Ductus Arteriosus

Animal: Dog
Breed: Jack Russel

Pet Symptoms: I wanted some info regarding my Jack Russel pup, now 15 weeks. We were told at first injections that she had a heart murmour. The vet and her 2 senior colleagues informed they suspected PDA. After a recent Doppler scan we have now been informed they now think it’s a hole in the heart, though the heart seems to be working fine, is not enlarged and she is not showing any affects. Is if possible that it could still be PDA? What would be the outlook for a pup with a hole in the heart? Is there anything we should be doing/aware of?

Our Advice: Patents with Ductus Arteriosus consists of surgery to close the blood vessel. In most cases the vessel is closed by using a surgical suture which ties it off. Surgery is suggested to be performed shortly after a diagnosis has been made. Waiting until symptoms arise or the condition worsens is not recommended. Medical management may be used before surgery to ease coughing or breathing difficulties if they are causing the dog problems. Overall the surgery has proven to be very successful in treating this condition.

When caring for dogs with PDA it is important to remember that their heart must work much harder to pump blood to its body than dogs without PDA. This means that they will not be able to exercise or play as much as a normal dog. Do not let dogs with this condition overwork themselves as this can lead to shortness of breath or collapse. After surgery has been performed it is important to follow your veterinarian’s care instructions. This will ensure that your dog recovers as quickly as possible. Once healed from surgery you should slowly increase your dog’s activity level as this will give their body a chance to adjust.