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Pulmonic (Pulmonary) Stenosis: A Congenital Heart Defect in Dogs
Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.
Race Foster, DVM
Heart and Respiratory
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The pulmonary artery carries blood from the right ventricle to the lungs. If a congenital narrowing of this vessel or its valves is present, normal blood flow will be impeded. Without normal pressure, not enough blood can pass through the vein and enter the lungs. To compensate, the right side of the heart must pump harder. This enlarges its muscles and size. The right side of the heart becomes overworked and prone to failure.

What are the symptoms?

Most affected dogs initially show no symptoms even though a heart murmur will be present. These types of murmurs are typically noted on routine veterinary examinations with a stethoscope. Later in the syndrome, as the right side of the heart fails, it is unable to accommodate all of the blood returning from the body. This leads to edema or fluid build-up within the abdomen and limbs.

What are the risks?

In severe cases of pulmonic stenosis, the heart will be overworked. This can lead to a shortened life span and heart failure.

What is the management?

Minor cases are generally not treated. In severely affected dogs, surgery can be performed to remove the narrowing (stenosis) and improve blood flow.

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