Pippa, a beautiful Cockerpoo, was diagnosed at 4 months of age with a serious congenital heart defect known as Patent Ductus Arteriosus (or PDA for short) after a heart murmur, that was picked up during her initial vaccination appointment, failed to disappear.
A PDA is caused by a blood vessel that connects the body’s major artery (aorta) to the main vessel that supplies the lungs (pulmonary artery) failing to close after birth as it should normally do. This can lead to poor growth, damage to the lungs, heart failure and ultimately death with 50% of cases not even seeing their 1st birthday.
Pippa’s diagnosis was made at our Conway Drive branch by vet, Giles Lambert, performing an ultrasound scan of her heart which showed the PDA and the abnormal blood flow that it was causing. The scan also revealed that her heart was already becoming enlarged because of the PDA, a worrying sign that heart failure would develop if left for too long.
Fortunately for Pippa she was able to be referred to specialists at Liverpool University’s Small Animal Teaching Hospital. A month after her diagnosis she underwent an operation to place a small device into the PDA (via a catheter in one of her back legs) to stop blood flowing through it.