Unexpected findings during an echocardiogram on a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with Chronic Valvular Disease
Lucky Star Cavalier Rescue and Admiral Veterinary Hospital take amazing care of the dogs in their care. This little male was found as a stray in rough shape with a broken jaw and a list of other health problems. The heart murmur was not a surprise, given his breed.
What was surprising was his echocardiogram findings! Besides the expected chronic mitral valve disease and mitral regurgitation, a significant aortic valve insufficiency was identified. His aortic valve was leaking a large amount of blood volume backwards. Check out the video above. The lovely yellow and blue color shows turbulence around the valve. The yellow red shows backflow of blood.
And the cause of the leak? A quadricuspid aortic valve. Normally the aortic valve has three leaflets. This guy has 4. Besides the extra valve, the aortic valve leaflets were thickened. See the picture on the left. There's normally a "mercedes sign" in the middle that looks like 3 thin lines joining in the middle of a circle. These valve cusps show thickening and if you look closely, there's a thin 4th line at the top right. There was also decreased motion of one of the valve cusps and systolic flutter of the cusps on M-mode. The systolic aortic flow velocity was normal with a normal flow profile, indicating that significant aortic stenosis (narrowing) was not present. That's best seen on the photo on the right.
This little patient is recovering and already feels so much better. Thanks to the care of his devoted veterinarian and the caring folks with his rescue group, this is one Cavalier who is well cared for, inside AND out.