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Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia in Dogs… Symptoms, expectations and cost!

One rare heart disease for dogs is known as tricuspid valve dysplasia and while that’s a good thing, it doesn’t change that fact that if your dog ends up getting diagnosed with it you’re going to have a lot of questions.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet wanted to include Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia (TVD) on our list of disease found in dogs so that if you ever find yourself dealing with a dog with the condition you’ll have a better idea about what to expect.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

What is TVD?

TVD is a congenital heart disease. The word congenital means “from birth”. It may be genetic because it’s seen a lot more in certain breeds of dogs like: Great Dane, Irish Settler, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, and German Shepherd.

Cats cannot get TVD.

Normal Blood Flow Through the Heart

First, the blood is supposed to move from the superior and inferior vena cavas. After that, it goes to the right atrium and to the tricuspid valve. Next, it goes on to the right ventricle. From there to the pulmonary artery and to the lungs. From the lungs, it then goes back to the heart and through the left side; the left atrium and then through the mitral valve to the left ventricle before going to the aorta. Movement through the ventricles is thanks to the papillary muscles.

Here’s what happens

The tricuspid valve complex is where the congenital malformation occurs and there is a problem with the septal leaflet. As a result, there is a disruption to the blood flow; the blood experiences regurgitation back to the right atrium instead of to the right ventricle like it’s supposed to.

Clinical Signs & Symptoms of Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia in Dogs

Your dog won’t be able to tell you if he or she is having a murmur, so how do you find out that something might be wrong with tricuspid leaflets? Well, first start with some signs and symptoms.

Dogs with TVD are more likely to:

  • Have stunted growth/ not grow to size.
  • Show signs of exercise intolerance (doesn’t like to run, play to the level his/her breed should).
  • Have a swollen abdomen.
  • Heavy breathing.

If he/she has mitral valve dysplasia the symptoms are pretty similar, though he/she may not have stunted growth and also may faint occasionally.


There is another heart valve malformation known as atrioventricular valve dysplasia. This impacts the atrium of the heart, which makes it different from TVD. Sometimes the mitral valve doesn’t function right; this is call mitral valve dysplasia

A dog can have…

TVD and other heart diseases. In fact, this is quite common. In addition to mitral valve dysplasia, he or she may also suffer from interventricular septum, subaortic stenosis, pulmonic stenosis, ebstein anomaly, stenosis or septal defects.

Diagnosis of Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia in Dogs

The only way to know if your dog has a pulmonary disease or septal defect is to take him or her to the vet. The vet will diagnose it after giving a heart exam and hearing his/her history. You may also have to give your dog an echocardiography (ECG) to check atrial dilation. The ECG is a really great tool to help determine any heart irregularities like arrhythmia. It can also help the doctor to know if the left or right side of the heart is the problem.

Treatment of Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia in Dogs

Veterinary medicine may be the only thing needed in some cases. However, in more severe cases, your dog may even need a surgery. As mentioned, there are a lot of different things that can be secondary conditions.

Because of this…

The treatment will depend on that. One thing’s for sure, whenever a dog has a heart condition, there will be many vet visits to come. Also, it’s strongly recommended that a dog with a heart condition be spayed or neutered.

Which brings us to…

Were we like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians or medical professionals.  All we are is a bunch of folks who just happen to be passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them.

This is why…

If you feel like your pet may have tricuspid valve dysplasia(or any other health issue for that matter) the first thing that you’re going to want to do is have him or her check out by a vet ASAP!


The truth is, an early diagnosis will often lead to the “best” medical outcome for your pet regardless of what is bothering him or her, but beyond that diagnosing a medical condition early could save you a bundle in medical costs!

Cost of Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia in Dogs

Since we can’t say the exact treatment plan, it’s hard to guess the cost. If your dog has minimal heart problems, he’ll at the very least, need an annual check-up, which is much more than most pets. That alone will cost $100-200. Tests like x-rays, and ECGs will be another couple hundred—and your vet might recommend these annually.

If it comes time for a heart surgery, then that will cost upwards of a $1000, and probably closer to $5000. As you can see, this can be expensive. But is there a price on the love you have for a human’s best friend?

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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