I wanted to share some information that we have on mitral valve disease as Max struggled with it, having been diagnosed with a murmur when he was five. (Ed. Note: See Max's obituary.)
We recently took him to Colorado State University to Consult with Dr. Christopher Orton, a veterinary cardiologist. He is the only veterinary cardiologist performing open-heart surgery on dogs to repair/replace (with tissue valves) their mitral/tricuspid valves. Max was to have been his smallest patient, but had deteriorated too far to sustain him to his surgery date.
CSU was also waiting for a heart-lung machine to accommodate his size, as most of the other dogs were larger. Dr. Orton did an outstanding job of adjusting Max's medications, thereby giving him an extra few months of good life. One thing he noted which I feel is important to convey to others battling this horrible disease is that the dog's blood pressure needs to be monitored and kept at 100-120 as high blood pressure can exacerbate the disease.
Dr. Orton felt strongly that this was important in the management of this disease
ANTIC December, 2002
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