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Aortic Stenosis in Dogs.

Like aortic stenosis in humans, aortic stenosis in dogs is a medical term used to define an inheritable cardiovascular condition in which the aortic valve of the affected patient is too narrow to allow for proper blood flow from the left ventricle of the heart to the rest of the body via the aorta.

Aortic Stenosis broken down by its terms:

Aortic:  referring to the aortic valve which is the valve that connects the left ventricle of the heart to the aorta, the main artery supply blood from your dog’s heart to the remainder of his or her body.

Stenosis:  A term used to describe the abnormal narrowing of a passage in the body.

As a result…

Of this condition, your dog may be one of the lucky ones in which he or she does not experience any “outward” symptoms such as:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty catching one’s breath, particularly after exercising
  • Fatigue and/or weakness
  • Fainting and/or lightheadedness

And in some cases, affected dogs could suffer from sudden death!

The good news is…

That this disease can be easily detected through a routine “wellness” examination during which, your veterinarian will look for clinical signs that might indicate that your dog is suffering from aortic stenosis.  These clinical signs might include:

  • Stunted growth.
  • And/or a classical systolic murmur that most if not all dogs suffering from aortic stenosis will exhibit.

Then once a murmur is detected, your veterinarian may also decide to order chest x-rays and a EKG (or doppler echocardiography) so that they can get a better understanding of just how serious the stenosis is in the affected patient.  These test may also indicate just how hard the heart is being forced to work as a result of the stenosis which will be reflected by the “size” of the affected dogs heart as well as the thickness of the affect heart muscle walls.


Regardless of how “severe” the patients case may be, there is little one can do to treat aortic stenosis in dogs other than possibly referring these cases to a specialist like a veterinary cardiologist who may or may not recommend open-heart surgery to correct for this disease.

The problem is…

That is course of treatment can be very risky not to mention expensive which is why in the “vast majority” of cases where this disease is diagnosed, most veterinarians will typically recommend that these dogs refrain from doing much if any exercise and instead, try and maintain “exercise intolerance” combined with the use of beta blocking medications which should help your dog reduce his or her blood pressure levels thus reducing pressure on their heart.


You’ll want to be sure to try to watch what these dogs eat so that they also maintain a health weight despite the fact that they are now having their exercise levels minimized.

Now at this point…

We do like to point out that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not medical professionals, and we certainly not veterinarians, we’re just a bunch of folks who really care about animals and like to try and shed a light on some of the most common medical conditions that could affect the pets that we love.

We do this…

Because we feel that it’s important for any pet owner and potential pet owner to understand that owning a pet is a HUGE responsibility.  A responsibility that you need to understand that is going to last the life time of your animal.  This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet like to recommend to anyone considering adopting an animal to take a moment and explore what the cost purchasing a Pet Insurance policy would be so that if their loved one does end up suffering from medical condition like aortic stenosis, and you find yourself needing to “finance” a medical condition that is likely to last the entire life of your animal, you won’t have to bare that cost alone.

This is particularly true…

If you plan on adopting a larger dog such as a:

  • Boxer
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden retriever
  • Newfoundland
  • Rottweiler

Or any other large dog breed which will tend to have a higher propensity to suffer from this disease.

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