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Clinical findings and survival time in dogs with advanced heart failure
- Beaumier, Amelie, Rush, John E., Yang, Vicky K., Freeman, Lisa M.
- Journal of veterinary internal medicine 2018 v.32 no.3 pp. 944-950
- angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, death, dogs, drug therapy, furosemide, heart failure, spironolactone, veterinarians
- BACKGROUND: Dogs with advanced heart failure are a clinical challenge for veterinarians but there are no studies reporting clinical features and outcome of this population. HYPOTHESIS/OBJECTIVES: To describe clinical findings and outcome of dogs with advanced heart failure caused by degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD). ANIMALS: Fifty‐four dogs with advanced heart failure because of DMVD. METHODS: For study purposes, advanced heart failure was defined as recurrence of congestive heart failure signs despite receiving the initially prescribed dose of pimobendan, angiotensin‐converting‐enzyme inhibitor (ACEI), and furosemide >4 mg/kg/day. Data were collected for the time of diagnosis of Stage C heart failure and time of diagnosis of advanced heart failure. Date of death was recorded. RESULTS: At the diagnosis of advanced heart failure, doses of pimobendan (n = 30), furosemide (n = 28), ACEI (n = 13), and spironolactone (n = 4) were increased, with ≥1 new medications added in most dogs. After initial diagnosis of advanced heart failure, 38 (70%) dogs had additional medications adjustments (median = 2 [range, 0‐27]), with the final total medication number ranging from 2‐10 (median = 5). Median survival time after diagnosis of advanced heart failure was 281 days (range, 3‐885 days). Dogs receiving a furosemide dose >6.70 mg/kg/day had significantly longer median survival times (402 days [range, 3‐885 days] versus 129 days [range 9‐853 days]; P = .017). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Dogs with advanced heart failure can have relatively long survival times. Higher furosemide dose and non‐hospitalization were associated with longer survival.