Sweet puppy Mabel was referred to our Puppy Heart Murmur Clinic to see a Cardiologist and have a echocardiogram as her vet found a heart murmur.
Mabel was diagnosed with the congenial heart condition PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus).
This is when there is a defect with the ductus arteriosus, the gap between the pulmonary artery and the aorta (two major vessels leaving the heart). In a normal heart, blood from the whole body enters the right side of the heart and is pumped into the lungs through the pulmonary artery. After receiving oxygen in the lungs this blood returns to the left side of the heart and is then pumped into the whole body through the aorta.
Before birth, when the lungs aren’t working the ductus arteriosus diverts the blood from the pulmonary artery straight into the aorta. Shortly after birth the ductus arteriosus should close completely to direct all the blood through the lungs. However sometimes it doesn’t close, and the blood will flow from the aorta through the patent ductus arteriosus back into the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery recirculates this oxygenated blood back to the lungs. Since less blood is now being pumped into the main circulation through the aorta with each heartbeat, the left side of the heart is forced to work harder and harder and if the PDA isn’t closed it can ultimately lead to congestive heart failure as there is too much blood consistently coming back to the left side of the heart.
If a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) isn’t treated in a puppy then approximately 50% of affected dogs will die within their first year.
Mabel was taken into surgery and operated on to cure the problem and can live as a happy, heathy puppy now.