Cardiology

Blood-based cardiac biomarkers for assessing heart enlargement in asymptomatic Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with mitral valve disease.

Title: Blood-based cardiac biomarkers for assessing heart enlargement in asymptomatic Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with mitral valve disease.
Contact Person: tamucardiology@cvm.tamu.edu
Species: Canine
Inclusion Criteria and General Background Information: Adult (> 1 year) Cavaliers with a mitral valve heart murmur are eligible. Dogs must be clinically healthy Cavalier King Charles spaniels (Cavalier mixes do not qualify).

Background: The purpose of the study is to determine breed-specific cardiac biomarker blood levels that can be used to predict the severity of heart enlargement in asymptomatic Cavaliers with mitral valve disease. There will be three large weekend clinics to enroll dogs for this study between December 2018 and December 2019.

Exclusion Criteria: Dogs receiving any type of cardiac medication (other than heartworm prevention), dogs with current clinical signs suggestive of active congestive heart failure and dogs that are too anxious/stressed to complete the evaluation cannot be enrolled.
Owner Commitments:
Financial Incentives: All enrolled Cavaliers will have their heart sounds auscultated by a board certified cardiologist, have a chest x-ray, blood pressure measurement, ECG and an echocardiogram (cardiac ultrasound) as part of the study at no cost to the owner.

Gene therapy for treatment of heart failure in Doberman Pinschers with dilated cardiomyopathy.

Title: Gene therapy for treatment of heart failure in Doberman Pinschers with dilated cardiomyopathy.
Contact Person: tamucardiology@cvm.tamu.edu
Species: Canine
Inclusion Criteria and General Background Information: Doberman Pinschers with congestive heart failure that is secondary to dilated cardiomyopathy. All enrolled dogs must be stable on standard medications (pimobendan, furosemide, enalapril or benazepril, and spironolactone, with or without sotalol and/or mexiletine). Dogs must be currently living in Texas and be able to make several trips to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in College Station.

Background: Doberman pinscher dogs have a very high risk of developing a heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy (a disease that causes the heart muscle to enlarge and become weak) during the course of their life. Despite optimum medical therapy, the disease remains terminal with reported survival times measured in weeks to months. In this study, Dobermans with heart failure (a late stage of the disease) secondary to dilated cardiomyopathy will have a gene inserted into their heart muscle cells. The main purpose of the study is to show that the delivery of the gene is safe and helps the heart muscle become stronger. If gene therapy can make the heart stronger, it could significantly improve survival or even result in a cure for this disease.

Exclusion Criteria:
  • Abnormal heart rhythms that are not well managed on medication(s)
  • Slow heart rates
  • Other heart diseases in addition to dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Other known systemic diseases that are expected to limit the dog’s life expectancy to less than 1 year.
  • Dogs with a temperament that would make being involved in the study a risk for the dog or for the faculty and staff of the hospital.
Owner Commitments Owners must be living in Texas and willing to bring their Doberman to the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for several visits.
Financial Incentives: There is no cost to take part in the study. Owners will need to continue to buy and administer the other heart failure medications their dog is taking.