The most common cardiac disease in dogs is aging of the mitral valve . Much like arthritis, this is a slowly progressing disease that affects older dogs. Optimal monitoring and treatment when appropriate will delay the development of heart failure and most dogs will not develop congestive heart failure within their life-times. However, for those dogs that have advanced disease with fluid on the lungs, this is a terminal diagnosis with life-expectancy of 6-12 months. However, during this period of time cardiac patients typically enjoy a good quality of life.