Monday, February 7, 2011

New Hope For Heart Problems in Dogs

A new study at the University of Florida, and funded by a grant from the AKC, is looking at some new procedures for better treatment of Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis  (SAS). The current treatment for this disease is insertion of a balloon, similar to a human who gets a angioplasty to clear blocked arteries.
In dogs it's called Valvuloplasty.

The study will look at the safety of a double balloon valvuloplasty on dogs that currently have S.A.S. They will also look at new ways to decrease the heart's pressure gradient, post-operatively. And they will be testing a new balloon that actually has little blades on it to cut out the narrowed area below the aortic valve. WOW. Can you imagine that?

I was amazed by what the doctors did to save my husbands life when he had a heart attack. I didn't know they were doing this kind of stuff for our dogs too!

Currently these procedures can cost as much as $10,000.00 to $15,000.00. The hopes are, that in the future, they will be able to get the cost down to about $2000.000 - $3000.00. An Angioplasty in humans cost around $50,000.00.

If you'd like to read more about the study, here's an easy link:

A Heart-To-Heart on Severe Subaortic Stenosis


  1. Wow! I know they are making such technologies available to veterinarians these days, but still... wow.

    P.S. I wish you could post your cute squirrel pictures! Maybe in some way as a training exercise of how to stop you dog from varmint chasing when they're supposed to be on grouse... I'm just saying...

  2. T ~ That's a good idea, except, when a bird dog is on a grouse, they pay no mind to those measly squirrels. I'm working on a little something to get them posted and still stick with the subject of dogs.

  3. I suppose having a murmur repaired is out of sight, huh? My vet said it would be astronomical to have Jack's repaired.

    I thought they were born with it, but Jack's has shown up just this past year. A post on heart murmurs in dogs might be nice. (maybe - if it is going to scare me - I don't want to know)

  4. My old setter Flash had a prolapsed mitral valve and Erin has murmur but not symptoms at this time. I've always wondered if some of the life saving procedures for humans would become available for our four legged friends. It looks like that may be in our future but the cost is still an issue. Once again, pet insurance my be the way to go with a new pup. I'm considering it with my next dog. In the long run, it may make some of these procedures a real option. Good post as always.

  5. This is great news for those of us who are willing to spend $$ to save our dog's's nice that they are working to get the costs of some of these life-saving procedures down to a reasonable amount.

  6. Sharon, I have no idea what it would cost to fix a heart murmur. I'm sure it would depend on exactly what had to be done. They replace valves with pig valves. What do you think Jack would think of that?? ha ha
    Art, Thanks! The sooner the price comes down, the more dogs that will be saved. I think you may be right about the insurance. Certainly something to think about.
    Julia, Amazing isn't it? And to think they use pig and cow parts to replace faulty dog parts! Now we just have to get that price down a little.