Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Cardiovascular Disorders

Valvular Insufficiency

General Information
The heart valves are one-way valves that allow blood to flow in one direction only (through the heart). If a valve does not close (valvular insufficiency), blood flows out of and then back into the heart. Valvular insufficiency may be present at birth (congenital) or can occur later because of disease.

It may affect the right, left, or both sides of the heart. Signs of left-sided heart failure include difficult breathing, coughing, and decreased stamina. With right-sided heart failure, signs include decreased appetite, weight loss, gradual abdominal enlargement, occasional vomiting and diarrhea, and swollen limbs. In many cases, signs of both right and left heart failure are present.

Important Points in Treatment

1. Many cases of valvular insufficiency can be successfully controlled for long periods with medication. A thorough physical examination, laboratory tests, chest and abdominal radiographs (x-rays), and electrocardiograms are necessary to devise a proper treatment program. In some cases, angiography and echocardiography are also needed.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.