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Patent Ductus Arteriosis          


Common names or abbreviations:

bulletPatent ductus arteriosis

Description or definition:


Patent ductus arteriosis (PDA) is the second most common congenital heart defect of dogs.  The ductus arteriosis is a blood vessel that connects the aorta and the pulmonary artery in a fetus.  Shortly after birth this blood vessel should close.  When the ductus arteriosis is “patent,” this means it remains open after birth.  This “leak” causes the left ventricle to have to work harder to circulate the blood to the circulatory system.  If the condition is caught early and treated with closure of the PDA most puppies with this condition can live a normal life.



Heart murmur, breathing difficulties, coughing, exercise intolerance, lethargy, a bluish cast to the normally pink mucous membranes or cyanosis.  Sometimes the earliest physical sign is weakness or even collapse of the hindquarters during exercise.



Most experienced veterinarians can diagnose a heart murmur simply by listening with a stethoscope.  Since other birth defects also cause heart murmurs, the diagnosis should be confirmed with radiographs (X rays), electrocardiograph (EKG/ECG), and echocardiogram with doppler (cardiac ultrasound).

Check here for OFA heart clinics in your area:  http://www.offa.org/clinics.html



The conventional treatment is an operation done shortly after diagnosis. The PDA is closed with surgical suture or using special catheterization techniques.


For more information on heart disease, or if you are concerned about whether your dog has a heart condition, contact your veterinarian.

Links to sites about this disease:











This summary provided by:

bulletJessica S
bulletWildfire Kennel


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All rights reserved. Revised: January 2008

The information on this website was written by ISSR breeders and other concerned individuals, however we are are NOT veterinarians. This information is being provided as a general overview, from information we were able to find about each disease through our own research. These summaries are not intended to be relied upon as medical or veterinary advice, nor do we consider ourselves experts in the veterinary field or in any of these conditions. While we do our best to provide the most up to date information, new research is constantly being done on these diseases. We recommend that you do further study and talk to your veterinarian on any topics you see here, as we cannot guarantee that the information posted here is the most current information available.  This site was originally designed and maintained by Debbie Knatz.