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Correlation of murmur intensity and disease severity in small dogs
Myxomatous mitral valve disease is a common Problem especially in small and older dogs. This new study was performed to determine whether murmur intensity in small-breed dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease reflects clinical and echocardiographic disease severity.

It was designed as a retrospective multi-investigator study.

Records of adult dogs Ä20 kg with myxomatous mitral valve disease were examined.

Murmur intensity and location were recorded and compared with echocardiographic variables and functional disease status.

Murmur intensities in consecutive categories were compared for prevalences of congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension and cardiac remodelling.

578 dogs [107 with “soft” (30 Grade I/VI and 77 II/VI), 161 with “moderate” (Grade III/VI), 160 with “loud” (Grade IV/VI) and 150 with “thrilling” (Grade V/VI or VI/VI) murmurs] were studied.

No dogs with soft murmurs had congestive heart failure, and 90% had no remodelling.

However, 56% of dogs with “moderate”, 29% of dogs with “loud” and 8% of dogs with “thrilling” murmurs and subclinical myxomatous mitral valve disease also had no remodelling.

Probability of a dog having congestive heart failure or pulmonary hypertension increased with increasing murmur intensity.

A 4-level murmur grading scheme separated clinically meaningful outcomes in small-breed dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease.

Soft murmurs in small-breed dogs are strongly indicative of subclinical heart disease.

Thrilling murmurs are associated with more severe disease.

Other murmurs are less informative on an individual basis.


Source: Ljungvall, I., Rishniw, M., Porciello, F., Ferasin, L. and Ohad, D. G. (2014), Murmur intensity in small-breed dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease reflects disease severity. Journal of Small Animal Practice. doi: 10.1111/jsap.12265


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SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE

Brachycephalic airway syndrome - differences between pugs and French bulldogs
Does the brachycephalic airway syndrome mean the same in all brachycephalic breeds or are there breed-specific differences? A fascinating question was raised. This retrospective study including 72 dogs aimed to compare clinical features of brachycephalic airway syndrome and long-term surgical outcomes between pugs and French bulldogs and evaluate the influence of laryngeal collapse.

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