PDA in Dogs

What is Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)?

  • PDA is the failure of a large blood vessel (ductus arteriosus) to close just after birth.
  • In a fetus, this vessel is normal and allows blood to bypass the lungs since the lungs are not used in utero.
  • At birth, the vessel should closes within hours, directing blood to flow into the newly inflated lungs.

Who gets this defect?

  • PDA is the most frequently seen congenital defect of dogs and is sometimes seen in cats.
  • The most commonly affected breeds are Maltese, Poodle, Pomeranian, Keeshond, Bichon Frise, Chihuahua and German Shepherds.
  • PDA is more common in females than males in most breeds.

How is PDA diagnosed?

  • A continuous ‘machinery’ murmur is heard by the veterinarian.
  • Referral to a board certified veterinary cardiologist such as those of CVCA for accurate definitive diagnosis via an echocardiogram (ultrasound or sonogram of the heart).

Effects of PDA

  • Pets have a greater than 50% mortality rate for patients with a PDA by one year of age if left untreated.
  • Heart enlargement that can result in secondary left sided congestive heart failure (fluid in lungs).
Thoracic radiograph revealing Amplatz ductal occluder device after successful deployment.
Thoracic radiograph revealing Amplatz ductal occluder
device after successful deployment..
patent ductus arterious
Diagram depicting the abnormal shunting of blood from the aorta (AO) to the pulmonary artery (PA) across the PDA.

Treatments for PDA in Dogs

Fortunately, with appropriate diagnosis and correction of PDA in dogs, the vast majority of treated pets will live a full and healthy life. Our veterinarians are board-certified for dog cardiology.