What Is Valve Disease?

Atrioventricular Valvular Insufficiency (AVVI) or mitral valve disease is the most common form of heart disease in the dog. Three quarters (75%) of the cases of canine heart disease in North America are caused by chronic valve disease.1

As the name suggests, this disease affects one or more of the heart valves. Heart valves normally form a perfect seal when closed. However, in valve disease one or more of these valves "leak," allowing blood to be pumped backwards. This backward flow creates a noise, called a murmur, which your vet can hear with a stethoscope. Listen to a heart murmur.

Valvular disease is 1.5 times more common in male dogs than females.1 This form of heart disease usually occurs in small- to medium-size dogs, less than 44 pounds (20 kg).1,2 The most susceptible breeds are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Poodles, Schnauzers, Chihuahuas, and Fox Terriers.5

Heart Health Tips

Take your dog in for a checkup at least annually.

Tell Us Your Story

Submit your story of a canine member of your family and his or her battle against heart disease.

Is Your Dog at Risk of CHF?

Learn more about the risk factors for your dog.