View Full Version : Valvular heart disease (VHD)

4th December 2006, 10:20 PM

i was just asking my mam what the condition was called that our 12 year old cav lucy was unfortunately put to sleep for 4 years ago and this was the name of the disease.

i remember she got out one time when she was in heat and we picked her up at the local kennels. A couple of weeks later we noticed she had a cough and her belly seemed bigger! We all thought she might have caught kennel cough and also may be pregnant. Anyway she had none of these and had what I now know is VHD. at the time I didn’t really have a clue that it was a really serious progressive disease because I was only about 16 and she had tablets which she took every day and she seemed fine. A year went by before she really got ill and the tablets eventually stopped working and she got worse. Her belly was huge, she couldn’t lay down or get up properly, she couldn’t walk or go to the toilet and she couldn’t eat . she wasn’t the same dog because she loved her walks and her food so I knew she wasn’t going to get any better and this vet trip would be the last time id see her. I didn’t go with my dad because I couldn’t face leaving with out her and I guess a small part of me still hoped that she would come home and she be ok. I was really upset that she had been pts but I knew she was old and there was nothing they could of done except drain the fluid from her lungs but they would only fill up again. My dad told me the vet said lucys gums were blue which meant she was struggling for oxygen and it made me really upset because she still wagged her tail even on the way to the vets.

she was a great dog and a model cavalier :D i miss her alot :l*v:

i was wondering is this the condition most of our cavs are prone to??

4th December 2006, 11:14 PM
I'm sorry to hear Lucy had this disease. This is more commonly called mitral valve disease, MVD, and yes, this is the number one hereditary illness cavaliers suffer from. There's a lot of good info in the Health section of the Library on the site.

MVD is why people should only get cavaliers from breeders who properly cardiac clear their breeding dogs with a certified cardiologist and follow the MVD breeding guidelines (only breed heart clear dogs at least 2.5 years old whose parents are both known to be heart clear at age 5). Failure to breed for heart health is sadly the main reason this wonderful breed continues to have early heart failure. Following the protocols and understanding the health histories of several generations of the breeding dogs means longevity can be increased and chances of early onset MVD greatly reduced. So all around, it is worth supporting committed breeders working toward heart health in cavaliers. :)

There's a good post in the Library about all the things you can try when they do get MVD. But there is a point at which things stop working and people have done their best to give a cavalier the best treatment possible. :flwr:

Barbara Nixon
5th December 2006, 12:14 PM
My nine year old boy, Izzy , has very advanced mvd, but he's been at that stage for nearly two years. New medications some of which are Vetmedin, Fortekor and Frusicare can keep dogs comfortable for a very long time nowadays. Izzy has offdays when he gives me a scare but most of the time he is quite untroubled.

You did well to keep your dog going until 12 years old. I suppose the tablets he got would be the ones that look like red Smarties. That's what my dogs got some 20 years ago.