Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) in Dogs: Symptoms and Diagnosis

What is It?

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), is a congenital heart defect when the ductus arteriosus fails to close.

What Causes It?

During gestation, dog’s lungs are not developed enough to oxygenate blood. The ductus arteriosus is a shunt that allows the blood to bypass the lungs during this time. When a puppy takes its first breath at birth, the ductus arteriosus is signaled to close. Patent, or open, describes an abnormality where this does not happen.

Female puppies are more likely to have PDA.

The Best Dog Vitamins and Supplements To Keep Your Pup Healthy. Period.

What Are The Symptoms?

Is it Life Threatening?

Yes, if left untreated it will cause heart failure.

Are You Covered When Your Pup Gets Sick?

How is It Diagnosed?

PDA is typically caught early by a veterinarian during a routine well check on infant puppies. A stethoscope over the heart will detect a “continuous” murmur. Imagining including x-ray and cardiac ultrasound are necessary to pinpoint the type of heart defect. Blood tests and other imagining will detect if surrounding organs are affected by the abnormality.

What Are The Treatments?

A veterinarian will refer you to a heart specialist. There are several surgical options, removing the shunt or tying it off. Your dog’s specific situation will dictate  which one may prove more beneficial.

Depending on when the condition was caught, your dog may require heart medication for the duration of its life.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pup’s condition, please make an appointment with your veterinarian. Or, consult a virtual vet here.