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Predictors of treatment success in dogs with congestive heart failure

K. E. Schober, T. M. Hart, J. A. Stern, X. Li, V. F. Samii, L. J. Zekas, B. A. Scansen, J. D. Bonagura

CONGESTIVE heart failure (CHF) secondary to mitral valve disease (MVD) or dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is common in dogs. This study examined the short-term effects of treatment on clinical, haematological and Doppler echocardiographic markers of disease.

Sixty-three client-owned dogs with MVD or DCM were evaluated during 2007 to 2008. Dogs were examined for signs of CHF at an initial examination, and at a second evaluation (following treatment) five to 14 days later. This included a physical examination, thoracic radiography, analysis of serum N-terminal probain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) concentration, and Doppler echocardiography. Owners monitored their dog's respiratory rate at home between examinations. They were instructed to count the number of breaths per minute based on thoracic wall movements, with the dog at rest (almost asleep) or asleep, in sternal or lateral recumbency.

Forty-five dogs had MVD: 21 showed no clinical signs of CHF, 17 had CHF and responded to treatment, and seven had CHF at the time of the second examination. Eighteen dogs had DCM: 11 showed no signs of CHF, and …

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