Congenital Heart Disease in Cats- Valve Dysplasia

Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia in Cats

Tricuspid valve dysplasia is a birth defect where the valve does not form properly (dysplasiaCongenital Heart Disease in Cats- Valve Dysplasia means abnormal growth). The abnormal valve does not close properly allowing blood back flow into the right atrium instead of out through the pulmonary artery. This back flow causes atrial enlargement and eventually right sided congestive heart failure. The most common first sign seen is a distended abdomen with fluid (called abdominal ascites). Other clinical signs may include atrial fibrillation, or other concurrent birth defects. At this time, there are no good surgical options for this disease. Treatment is medical management of congestive heart failure when it develops.
Tricuspid valve dysplasia is rare in cats. That said, it is reported as the most common congenital heart disease seen in 17% of cats with congenital heart disease.

Mitral Valve Dysplasia in the Cat

Mitral valve dysplasia is the same disease process as tricuspid valve dysplasia. The abnormal valve allows back flow into the left atrium. Most commonly signs of left sided congestive heart failure are the result of this disease. At this time, there are no good surgical options for this disease. Treatment is the same as tricuspid valve dysplasia which consists of medical management of congestive heart failure.
Mitral valve dysplasia is also rare in cats, but it is seen almost as commonly as tricuspid valve dysplasia.

Click here to learn about normal functioning of the cat heart.

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Dr Roger Johnson and Dr Kyle Marano

Roger K. Johnson, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (internal medicine) is a board-certified veterinary internal medicine specialist. His professional interests include cardiology as well as using advanced diagnostics to help his patients. His particular favorites include echocardiography, abdominal ultrasonography, and endoscopy. Kyle Marano, DVM is a small animal veterinarian practicing out of Northern Colorado. He has written pieces ranging from sports commentary and analysis to quips on the every day life of veterinary medicine. His furry family includes a chocolate lab mix and an overly nosy cat.

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