It is worrying and needs prompt medical attention when the canine patent ductus arteriosus occurs. Due to the severity of this health problem, it should not be ignored. Not all pet owners are aware of this disease; thus, this article will help you become more knowledgeable about it.

What Is a Patent Ductus Arteriosus in Dogs?

Before a puppy is born, blood can bypass the lungs through ductus arteriosus. Typically, this vessel shuts right after birth; nevertheless, when it does not, it is known as a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA dog heart).

Lethargy, exercise intolerance, congestive heart failure, irregular cardiac rhythms, and also death can occur if a dog is not addressed for this problem. If the PDA is not treated, they will deal with congestive heart failure during the first year of their lives.

How Is It Diagnosed?

During a typical physical examination of your puppy, the vet will likely recognize a PDA if they hear a ‘continuous’ heart murmur. When a murmur is continuous, it lasts throughout each beat of the heart. Because it sounds like water being stirred in a washing machine, it is frequently called a “machinery murmur” or a “washing machine murmur.”

A dependable veterinarian would suggest that your dog undergo laboratory tests, including chest X-rays, to examine the heart and lungs. Electrocardiogram (ECG) is also essential to inspect the heart’s rhythm. If irregular blood circulation or low red blood cell counts affect other organs, this will be shown by a blood test.

After the initial tests are complete, the veterinarian will carry out additional diagnostic tests for pets to verify the diagnosis and determine the proper treatment.

What Is the Treatment for PDA?

Closing the ductus arteriosus is the intended result of treatment. This can be done by open chest surgery (thoracotomy) or minimally invasive surgery (cardiac catheter). Although thoracotomies are more invasive than other chest procedures, most dogs show no outward signs of pain after 1 to 2 days.

A minimally invasive strategy that commonly results in patients returning home the next day is catheter-based occlusion, which involves sealing the duct with coils or a ductal occlude. Since it needs specific equipment, it probably isn’t an excellent option for cats and smaller canines. That said, after a diagnosis is made, one of these two operations needs to be done promptly.

Are There Any Surgery Risks?

While every effort is made to avoid problems and quickly handle them if they develop, you must still be aware of possible problems. General anesthesia, which is needed for PDA occlusions, is associated with hazards such as airway irritation, adverse medication reactions, and even death.

The danger of bleeding during the operation is another potential risk. Minor bleeding may require a blood transfusion, but severe bleeding can be deadly. If you want to reduce difficulties and keep your pet’s heart health in good condition, picking a reliable animal hospital is ideal.

What Is the Success Rate of PDA Surgery?

If the problem is addressed before heart failure develops, chances for a normal, healthy life following surgery are great, and the success rate of surgical closure is high. The dog might need cardiac medication in the future if irreversible heart damage existed before surgery.

Sadly, dog health problems like patent ductus arteriosus can not be avoided. That’s why regularly taking your pet in for checkups is crucial to ensure that any health issues can be identified and treated promptly.