|Barked: Fri Jun 6, '08 11:45am PST |
|Kaia, so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Did your vet hear a heart murmur (which can be caused by many different things - some benign, some not so benign) or was there further work up done to establish mitral valve dysplasia (i.e. echocardiogram)? This is not a common congenital heart malformation, so I'm not surprised that you haven't met too many other Dogsters who have experienced it. There are some breeds that are affected more than others, so sometimes searching breed websites or clubs can be helpful (maybe start with a search of your breed in particular - you never know).
The prognosis will greatly depend on how big the defect is and how rapidly the heart decompensates, which can be quite different in different individuals.
In people, there are fancy surgeries to replace the defective heart valve, but this is not done with dogs (unfortunately), so it's supportive care (dealing with congestive heart failure as it arises), and enjoying your time together as much as possible. Also, I'd probably tell the breeder about it since there is some heritable component.
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