Degenerative Valve Disease

The four chambers of the heart also have four one-way valves which make sure that the blood flow and supply of nutrients to the body is in the forward direction. These valves may deteriorate with time. Deterioration of valves can occur due to certain genetic factors. Due to the degeneration, the valve does not close properly and there’s leakage of blood. This makes a splashing sound which can be heard as a murmur using a stethoscope by your vet. Valvular degeneration may not show any obvious symptoms in some pets and may be found incidentally during a regular health checkup. If the valve continues to degenerate, it can lead to heart failure. Pets having heart disease may show symptoms like cough, difficulty in breathing, lethargy, and exercise intolerance. A physical examination and imaging studies e.g., chest x-rays, echocardiogram, and electrocardiogram are required for the diagnosis of valvular degeneration of the heart.  Treatment of the disease varies and depends on the severity of the condition. Treatment mainly focuses on minimizing the workload of the heart.