Veterinary Highlights: Surgical Treatment For Dogs With Mitral Valve Disease?

Mitral valve disease is the leading cause of heart failure in dogs. The commonly affected breeds are Miniature poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Schnauzers, Dachshunds and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Colorado State University is developing a surgical treatment involving mitral valve implantation.

A bioprosthetic is implanted inside the original diseased valve. Sounds nice and neat, however, it's not all that simple. It is at an experimental stage and a lot needs to be learned before this technique can be put into practice.

It sounds interesting and promising, but there are a number of complications that need to be resolved.

Where I take a serious objection is the fact that the study is supposed to involve experimenting on normal dogs. I have nothing against trying an experimental treatment for a dog who's is out of options, in the attempt to save their life or quality of life. I do, however, have a problem with operating on healthy dogs.

Should that be allowed in the name of science? What do you think?

Further reading:
Degenerative Valve Disease