Background: Dogs with advanced heart failure are a clinical challenge for veterinarians but there are no studies reporting clinical features and outcome of this population.
Hypothesis/objectives: To describe clinical findings and outcome of dogs with advanced heart failure caused by degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD).
Animals: Fifty-four dogs with advanced heart failure because of DMVD.
Methods: For study purposes, advanced heart failure was defined as recurrence of congestive heart failure signs despite receiving the initially prescribed dose of pimobendan, angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor (ACEI), and furosemide >4 mg/kg/day. Data were collected for the time of diagnosis of Stage C heart failure and time of diagnosis of advanced heart failure. Date of death was recorded.
Results: At the diagnosis of advanced heart failure, doses of pimobendan (n = 30), furosemide (n = 28), ACEI (n = 13), and spironolactone (n = 4) were increased, with ≥1 new medications added in most dogs. After initial diagnosis of advanced heart failure, 38 (70%) dogs had additional medications adjustments (median = 2 [range, 0-27]), with the final total medication number ranging from 2-10 (median = 5). Median survival time after diagnosis of advanced heart failure was 281 days (range, 3-885 days). Dogs receiving a furosemide dose >6.70 mg/kg/day had significantly longer median survival times (402 days [range, 3-885 days] versus 129 days [range 9-853 days]; P = .017).
Conclusions and clinical importance: Dogs with advanced heart failure can have relatively long survival times. Higher furosemide dose and non-hospitalization were associated with longer survival.
Keywords: cardiology; degenerative mitral valve disease; furosemide; survival.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.