Newton's doing extremely well one year + post-surgery. By the time we arrived in Japan, he was in very bad shape, after having gone into CHF briefly the month before. I had kicked myself for not starting the Japanese quarantine process as soon as he was diagnosed with mitral valve disease, as the disease initially seemed to be moving slowly. But it progressed rapidly in between two checkups, one of which I delayed. The regurgitation after his surgery was virtually nil, but within a few days it had reappeared, albeit at a much lower level than pre-surgery, which caused concern. Jasmine thought it was because of over-exertion after surgery - but certainly there were no dramatic incidents. Tranquilizers are contra-indicated but there are herbal supplements that help Newton (my holistic vet has a tincture that works very well), and it would have been super helpful to have those with him (along with a large crate) during my travels.
Keeping Newton calm at Jasmine was difficult from an excitement point of view. Within a few months, however, the trend towards heart chamber shrinkage resumed, and continued through his recent one-year post-op exam. On the recommendation of his holistic vet I have been giving him low sodium and fresh-frozen foods, along with Omega 3 / fish oil and Standard Process Cardiac Supplement. I'm convinced these supplements help, and he's done super well on this food, particularly after surgery. I am so grateful for the care of Jasmine, and have absolutely no regrets about going through the procedure, which I knew was no guarantee. The people I met through Mighty Hearts Project provided an invaluable support. There are many, and increasing options for treatment of MVD, and the effectiveness varies greatly.
Do your research on different programs' success rates and costs, and plan early. I really believe (and this seems to be supported by the literature) that a fresh diet can greatly slow the progression of the disease in some cases. Most dry food is downright bad for your dog's health. As with everything medical, the more research you do, the better. Another bit of advice, when traveling with an MVD dog and/or one with a partially collapsed trachea, it REALLY helps, where possible, to fly on a plane like the 787 which is pressurized to a considerably lower altitude, and has an air system that is humidifying. He had no problems getting to Japan, but did have coughing problems on short flights prior, on older planes. Mighty Hearts Project does a great service. I'm happy to reply to anyone with questions: email@example.com
Breed: Newton Age: 12 Diagnosis: Stage C Surgery Date: August 7, 2018 Hometown: Northern California Owner: Ethan Chorin Primary Vet: Dr. Anne Reed, All Paws Holistic Veterinary Clinic Cardiologist: Dr. Catherine Gunther-Harrington, UC Davis Small Animal Clinic Surgical Team: Dr. Masami Uechi, Jasmine Cardiovascular Medical Center