Health and Nutrition

Atrioventricular Valve Dysplasia

This is a congenital abnormality of either the mitral or tricuspid valve which separate the ventricles from the corresponding atrial chambers. Many different anatomical abnormalities can occur and tricuspid dysplasia may also be associated with a defect (hole) in the wall of the septum separating the two atria — called an Atrial Septal Defect.

Affected animals have an abnormal heart sound when listened to with a stethoscope. Signs of Atrioventricular Valve Dysplasia usually occur before the age of one year; however, the signs are not specific to the disease, but rather, typical to right-sided or left-sided heart failure.

The disease is believed to be hereditary and is most frequently seen in large and giant breed dogs including the German Shepherd. The only form of long-term treatment is open heart surgery and replacement of the affected valve.

Additional Information:

Note: This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website is intended as a source of information only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional care. Always consult with your Veterinarian about health related matters.

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