Canine Mitral Valve Disease

“Every time a dog is lost, they take a piece of our heart with them.”



What is Canine Mitral Valve Disease?

Canine Mitral Valve Disease (CMVD) is a degeneration of the heart’s mitral valve, one of four sets of valve’s in a dog’s heart.  As the mitral valve disease progresses, the valve no longer closes completely after each pumping action. This allows blood to flow backward through the mitral valve.  As the condition worsens, more and more blood is able to backflow through the valve leading to congestive heart failure. 

Some Facts about CMVD

Canine Mitral Valve Disease (CMVD) is the most important heart disease in dogs.

  • Affects about 1 in ten of all dogs.
  • Accounts for 75% of all heart disease in dogs.
  • Affects 5 to 7 million dogs in the United States alone.
  • Is the leading cause of death and disability in dogs.     
  • Any dog can develop CMVD but toy breeds are more susceptible.

What are the Symptoms of CMVD?

Congestive heart failure is the direct result of CMVD and causes the lungs to fill with fluid.

  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Restlessness and inability to sleep
  • Weakness  
  • Collapse    

The symptoms of CMVD can be controlled with drugs for a period of time, but patients often cannot enjoy normal activities and struggle to survive.  Ultimately, congestive heart failure is 100% fatal

Just as in humans, early diagnosis and intervention are critical to ensuring your dog leads a happier, healthier and longer life.