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Discussion Starter #1
Our Yukon is 9 months old and just diagnosed with TVD (tricuspid valve disorder). We're so upset by this and trying to learn more. Our vet heard a murmur so we had an echocardiogram done. They said his valve is deformed and his right atrium is enlarged. His heartrate is normal, so he isn't being medicated.

We could go to a cardiologist to find out how severe of a case he has, but he wouldn't be treated yet anyway and I'm too scared to get bad news. We just put our 13 yr old Gunner to sleep in September and now our new pup has this. We haven't really told the kids, they're still getting used to the fact that Gunner is gone! I know dogs can live with this, but I just don't know what to think. Does anyone have any experince with this? How worried should we really be? I read something online that dogs with this can have a life expectancy of 1-3 years! He's just a baby, I want to cry when I look at him :(

Has anyone been thought this?
 

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I'm very sorry...it's hard to say what will happen until you know the severity. Have you contacted the breeder?
 

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Not yet but we will. I'm wondering how to word it so she doesn't feel like I'm blaming or something. Yukon's mom is named River and I know she said this was the last litter she would be having. Buzz is his father. I thought we were doing things the smart way this time around. There really are no guarantees...

Thanks.
 

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I'm so sorry about your pup, and about losing Gunnar too. :(

I have no experience, but PLEASE contact the breeder immediately. Don't worry about making them feel bad, they need to know. Did the parents have all of their clearances? The others in the litter might have the same thing so they deserve to know right away.

Please keep us posted. I'm sure someone here knows something about this.

:)
 

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Funny.. i just ran across this today..

Attention Labrador Retriever Owners—DNA Samples Needed
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are conducting a study on Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia (TVD) in Labrador Retrievers. TVD is a congenital cardiac defect, is heritable, and can lead to heart failure. The research team is seeking to identify the responsible gene(s), and are in need of blood samples from affected dogs as well as their immediate relatives (affected or unaffected). Please see the attached forms for more information. This research is funded through a grant from the AKC Canine Health Foundation with the financial support of the OFA.

http://www.offa.org/
 

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Homer also has a murmur, I don´t remember exactly the name of the problem. Vet detected a murmur and performed an ultrasound to check his heart. He´s taking something called Vetmedin from now on.

To be honest, I´ve never seen a change in his activity level, before he started with his elbow problems he ran with me on my mountain bike for over 10ks without showing the least problem, getting tired, fainting or anything at all.

Like you, I got him from a "supposedly" reputable breeder, both his parents are champion dogs with clearances and still he got Elbow displasya and this heart problem, which now I now seems to be a common problem in his bloodline.

He´s a happy dog. If you ask me, I would say the murmur is not a problem at all. Left elbow is another story, even after surgery...

Get him diagnosed, but a good friend that´s a vet told me that it´s not uncommon for dogs to have murmurs and they can live a happy long life even without medication.
 

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No experience here, either, but your pup is in my thoughts and prayers!
 

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The thing about TVD is, we don't know how it's passed. Even if a dog has a heart clearance, doesn't mean it won't pass it to the next generation. That's the scary part of this and why they're now doing studies on TVD.

To the OP, please read Kelli's post and send blood in for study. This is very important stuff and you could save the lives of many Labradors to come.
 

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PM dweck. He too has a dog with TVD. I know someone in California with a TVD dog. The dog is now a senior, so it's not necessarily a death sentence. Depending on the severity, the dog can live a long life with TVD.
 

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Yes. Wesley has TVD.

And he turned nine this past April.

And he's still going strong.

He ALSO had a murmur as a pup. But he outgrew it.

Frankly, for the majority of his life, it was no big deal at all. He ran. He played. He jumped. He swam. He competed both in Obed and Rally. He got his therapy designation. He was a demo dog for countless obed classes. He wormed his way into the hearts of just about everyone who met him, the big lug....

It is only recently that it has become worrisome. He was diagnosed w/ventricular arrythmia back in the Spring of this year, the effects of the TVD coming back to haunt him in his senior years. I was referred to an EXCELLENT canine cardiologist, and he's now on two meds to treat it.

And he's still spinning like a top. Acting half his age. Being a total dingdong at times.

We take it one day at a time. I watch his exertion carefully, especially in the heat/humidity. But in all honesty and for the most part, this has been an non-issue.

With any luck, your path will follow ours and Yukon will have many healthy years.

If you need more info, feel free to PM me.

I'll be thinking only good thoughts and praying good prayers for you and Yukon.
 

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Three more things:

1. The meds Wes is on, just so you know, are Sotalol and Mexiletine. One lessens the severity of the irregular beats. The other lessens the frequency.

2. Yes, yes, yes: inform your breeder. You will not be sounding judgmental, and he/she should let the other owners know that something is up, so that they can take appropriate actions as well. We were in the same boat as you: Had little kids when all this came to light and were scared to death of losing Wesley. Breeder guaranteed a new pup if that happened, but sheesh -- how on earth were we supposed to do THAT?!?!?! Thankfully, none of it became necessary, and Wes has been a happy part of our family since then.

3. The U of P Vet study oppty was presented to me as well. And at this juncture, I have declined. I feel guilty about it, but you should know that the clinicians trying to track all this down require, post-mortem, you arrange for the heart of your dog to be removed and sent to them.

...

And as selfish as this sounds, I cannot agree at this point.

...

But I still struggle w/the decision and may, in the moment, change my mind.
 

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Excellent and comforting words, Dan. I hope she comes back and sees this.
 

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Dan, the consent form at the link Kelli posted says that you can decline to provide the heart after death but can still participate in the study by providing blood samples. There's a yes/no box to check on the form if you're going to participate in that part of the study. I just wanted to let you know that it is not a requirement.

I'm so sorry to hear about Yukon. Best of luck with everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm still here, reading and appreciative :) Thank you so much everybody, for the kind words. I did contact our breeder and she thanked us for telling her. I didn't get to speak to her directly, but she emailed me back and also left me a long message. She said that River (Yukon's mother) is retired as I thought and that she will tell his father's owner. She kept one of Yukon's sisters so was interested for her own sake too. She said that she hasn't seen this in any of River's pups, but once years ago when she 1st started breeding there was one pup who was diagnosed with it. He's apparently 9 and happy. She wants us to stay in touch regarding this, so I'm glad I contacted her.

Thank you for sharing Wes' story, I'm glad he's living a good life and wish him more of it! I'm trying to keep positive. Right now our only decision is whether or not to have him further evaluated by a cardiologist to find out the severity. I almost don't want to know. I guess we don't have to decide right now.

Thank you again everybody.
 

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I'm wondering how Yukon is doing? We are experiencing the same thing with our now 11 month old puppy. He was diagnosed with TVD in October. The breeder knows and was appropriately upset. We have him on a diuretic but otherwise he is leading a normal life. We don't take him on major outings, but he does run on the beach or in the woods with other dogs most days. Our cardiologist told us that there are two places that will do surgery on this. One in CA and one in CO. The surgery is risky and expensive and the outcome is not guaranteed so we decided against it. We have decided to give him the best life we can for however long he has. Last night when I tucked my 12 year old in to bed he was crying because he doesn't want our pup to die. It's just so sad. I'm interested in how things will progress from here. I'd just like to prepare myself. Yesterday he vomited up both meals right after eating. There was lots of mucus in the vomit and the food wasn't digested. This is probably a result of eating too quickly, but when something like this happens I immediately wonder if it's a symptom of TVD. I hope Yukon is doing ok!
 

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Sorry no advice to offer, but you have all my good thoughts and prayers for your pup and your family too.
 

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Hi. So sorry to hear about Yukon. We also have a Lab (Pebbles) that was diagnosed with severe TVD at the age of 9 months. She is now 2 years old and while she has some symptoms, they so far are not severe. I was wondering how Yukon is doing. It appears that our pups were diagnosed around the same time and I haven't found many Lab owners that have written about their experience. I am hopeful that Yukon is doing well.
Regards...
 
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