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Pet Health: Understanding PDA in Dogs

It is worrying and needs instant medical attention when the canine patent ductus arteriosus occurs. Because of the seriousness of this health issue, it must be addressed. Not all pet owners understand this condition; thus, this article will allow you to become more aware of 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 soon after birth; when it does not, it is called a patent ductus arteriosus.

Sleepiness, exercise intolerance, congestive heart failure, irregular cardiac rhythms, and even death can occur if a dog is not addressed for this problem. If the PDA is not treated, they will experience congestive heart failure throughout the first year of their lives.

How Is It Diagnosed?

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

A trustworthy vet would recommend that your dog have laboratory tests, including chest X-rays, to examine the heart and lungs. Electrocardiogram (ECG) is also crucial to check the heart’s rhythm. If irregular blood flow or low red blood cell counts affect other organs, this will be revealed by a blood test.

After the preliminary tests are complete, the vet will carry out additional cardiac veterinary services to confirm the diagnosis and determine the suitable 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 technique that generally results in patients returning home the next day is catheter-based occlusion, which involves sealing the duct with coils or a ductal occlude. Because it requires special equipment, it isn’t an excellent selection for cats and smaller dogs. That said, after a diagnosis is made, one of these two operations needs to be done immediately. If you want to learn more about this health condition, you can visit the vet’s website.

Are There Any Surgery Risks?

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

The danger of bleeding during the procedure is another potential risk. Minor bleeding may require a blood transfusion, but severe bleeding can be fatal. If you wish to lessen complications, selecting a reliable animal hospital and veterinary laboratory is ideal.

What Is the Success Rate of PDA Surgery?

Suppose the condition is attended to before heart failure develops. In that case, chances for a normal, healthy, and balanced life following surgery are excellent, 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.

Unfortunately, dog health issues like patent ductus arteriosus can not be prevented. That’s why routinely taking your pet in for checkups is necessary to ensure that any health problems can be recognized and treated quickly.