Humans with mitral valve disease undergo mitral valve replacement or repair. Studies are currently underway in dogs to insert prosthetic valves and reduce the size of the leak between the valve leaflets with implanted clips that hold the valve leaflets together. These are still in the experimental phase and not available or validated for our patients, but show promise for the future. If these procedures are demonstrated to be safe to perform in dogs, VCA will commence offering this surgical option to our clients.

Several cardiovascular surgeons are now doing valve repairs in dogs with mitral valve disease. There are centres in Japan, U.K., and France where this is being done. However, surgery is not a cure and the degenerative change in the valve will progress after valve correction, with current studies demonstrating that only 25% of patients are alive 2 years after undergoing this procedure. The cost of a repair is several tens of thousands of dollars, making it unaffordable for most dog owners. If your dog has advanced mitral valve disease, please contact us at VCA and we can discuss this option with you.