Hello, my beloved black lab, Jean Paul (9 1/2 years old) has been diagnosed with Chronic degenerative valve disease. He is on medication to help ease the symptoms…but medication alone cannot cure the problem. Apparently, only heart surgery has the potential to address the valve problem, (as well as the other issues that arise as a result of that valve problem: Atrial fibrillation, Mitral and Tricuspid regurgitation and Heart failure). As of yet, I have found only one center in the USA that performs heart surgery; Colorado State Univ. There, they are performing a type of valve surgery where the defective valve(s) are replaced with artificial heart valve(s) made from bovine pericardial tissue or with mechanical valve prostheses. The other surgical alternative I have identified is a procedure known as “Mitral Valve Plasty,” (which is another name for Mitral Valve Repair). This is performed by two doctors: Dr. Masami Uechi, (located in Japan), who travels to France and Singapore on a regular basis for this procedure…and Dr. Dan Brockman at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London, in England. Dr. Uechi conducted this surgery at Cornell in 2014, but has currently run into problems securing a visa to come back to the USA. I am earnestly trying to line up every option for my pup in order to make the best and most well informed decision on his behalf. Does anyone out there have any additional information that could help ?
Wow, it sounds like a mitral valve replacement and more. That’s pretty aggressive for a dog…but you know your dog. Will the surgery and recovery period be stressful? Will the surgery extend his life by a couple of years? Did the vets tell you that the surgery alone could be too much for him?
I understand however your desperation to help him, I lost a dog a few years ago due to hemangiosarcoma, no treatment options were offered.
Maybe you can find some helpful information here http://skeptvet.com/Blog/
Science-based Veterinary Medicine.
Best of luck with your decisions to do what is best for your dog.
Thanks so much for your helpful response. Excellent, insightful questions that you pose, all to be factored into the decision-making equation. I checked out the site you sent and it looks fabulous….so important to challenge one’s thought process, especially when it comes to the art of science!
I am so sorry you lost your loved one to hemangiosarcoma. I can’t even imagine how painful a road that was for you both to travel.
All the very best, and thank you for taking the time to post.
Unfortunately, their (dogs) life span is much shorter than ours. Do what you can to keep him comfortable.
And if you think aggressive treatment will extend his life and give him a few more good years and you can afford it, then I don’t blame you.
Just look at all these silly people that buy a new car for 30-40 grand. I would much rather have an old dog, and used car in good condition! Priorities….
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