Congratulations to Maddy Mattin who recently completed her PhD on canine degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD), the most common heart disease in dogs.
This PetPlan funded work aimed to document the prevalence of DMVD, evaluate survival characteristics of dogs with DMVD at various stages of disease progress and determine the prognostic value of clinical measurements and biomarker blood tests in the primary care setting.
The project found that:
- Heart murmurs consistent with DMVD were reported in the medical records of approximately 3.5% of dogs attending VetCompass practices.
- The disease was particularly common in older, small breed dogs.
- Following detection of DMVD, dogs typically lived for 2 - 3 years, although some dogs lived for much shorter or longer periods of time.
The study also identified several factors associated with prognosis. The level of cardiac biomarkers (measured with a blood test), the presence or absence of clinical signs and measurements obtained by examining a dog could all help predict the risk of dogs dying due to their heart disease. These results can be used to help vets improve the management of dogs with DMVD and provide information about a pet's likely prognosis.