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Pulmonic Stenosis in Dogs… Symptoms, expectations and costs!

Pulmonic Stenosis in Dogs is a congenital condition.

In this disease, the pulmonary artery is not developed properly while the pup is developing in the womb. This leads to all manner of heart problems all throughout your dog’s life.

And while…

There may be three different types of this condition all types end with the right side of the heart swelling up as it tries to unsuccessfully pump that blood through an artery that is just too small.

And…

If left untreated this condition will eventually become fatal to your dog. The good news is that it is usually diagnosed in puppy-hood during vet visits. This type of disease is one of the many reasons that your veterinary surgeon will want to listen to a new puppy’s heartbeat, just to be sure everything sounds alright.

Which is why…

We wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to have a pet that has this condition so that you as his or her owner might be able to identify any potential issues sooner so that a professional can begin treating him or her right away!

So…

Without much further ado let’s get to the pint. What is Pulmonic Stenosis exactly, what are the symptoms and, most important of all, how we go about treating it and sparing your poor pooch any more pain.

What Pulmonic Stenosis and why is it such a serious medical condition?

Pulmonic Stenosis is a septal defect that occurs in dogs as a result of hereditary DNA. As a result of this, the only known way to prevent it is to breed it out of existence. Diseases like this are one of the many reasons it is important that you avoid puppy farmers and always find out as much information about your puppy’s parents as possible.

This congenital heart defect…

Is usually ventricular in its most common form. In this first variant the problem arises when the three-pronged pulmonic valve in the left atrium is too swollen for blood to pass through. With blood flow hindered in the pulmonary valve the oxygen and blood supply to the lungs is cut off. This version of the disease is known as valvular pulmonic stenosis but is also sometimes referred to as valve dysplasia.

The second and…

Slightly more rare variation of this disease is known as Annular Hypoplasia, and this happens when certain tissues around the main pulmonary artery thickens and tightens like an elastic band wrapped around the vessel. You can imagine that this results in a swollen heart, possible right sided congestive heart failure.

The third version…

Of this horrible disease is known as supravalvular pulmonic stenosis. This is the rarest of all three and is a result of one side of the artery being narrower than the other. Any of these variants might result in sudden death, a blockage in the ventricular outflow tract which will cause sudden death or a blockage in the right ventricle which will cause… you guessed it… sudden death.

But it’s important to…

Remember that it’s not all doom and gloom but your dog will need surgery if they have been diagnosed with this condition – and the sooner the better. Your vet will want to rush them through if they detect even the slightest hint of a heart murmur. Other clinical signs include exercise intolerance, the dog may be extremely lethargic, might pass out and definitely won’t be behaving as energetically as its littermates.

Affected Breeds

Since this is a congenital or hereditary condition it is safe to say that most of the breeds that carry the gene for it have been identified. You should take extra care to check your puppy’s parentage if you have any of the breeds below. Please also remember that mixed breed dogs cannot be accounted for and may or may not carry the genes.

The affected breeds are:

  • The Airedale Terrier
  • The Beagle
  • The Boykin Spaniel
  • The Chihuahua
  • The Cocker Spaniel
  • The English Bulldog
  • The English Bull Mastiff
  • The French Bulldog
  • The Fox Terrier
  • The Miniature Schnauzer
  • The Samoyed
  • The Scottish Terrier
  • The West Highland White Terrier

Treatment Options

Thanks to modern veterinary medicine all variants of this condition are not necessarily a death sentence and it can be treated, providing the dog is otherwise healthy heart wise.

A balloon valvuloplasty…

Is the name of the operation in question. A catheter is fitted to the offending artery and an angiogram is performed to push a little balloon-like device to the affected area. Lastly the balloon is slowly inflated until the blockage has dissipated. This works for most patients and recurrence is low. 80% of all dogs who undergo this operation will go on to live perfectly normal, happy and healthy lives.

In cases where…

The dog is too ill to be operated on your vet may prescribe beta-blockers, which thin the blood and make it easier for it to pass through the heart, thereby lessening the symptoms. This disease also gives your dog permission to take it easy, and your vet will restrict the dog’s exercise time to stop it getting over excited and risking a heart attack.

Which brings us to…

Were we like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians or medical professionals.  All we are is a bunch of folks who just happen to be passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them.

This is why…

If you feel like your pet may have pulmonic stenosis (or any other health issue for that matter) the first thing that you’re going to want to do is have him or her check out by a vet ASAP!

Because…

The truth is, an early diagnosis will often lead to the “best” medical outcome for your pet regardless of what is bothering him or her, but beyond that diagnosing a medical condition early could save you a bundle in medical costs!

This is also why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a dog with Pulmonic Stenosis be able to qualify?

No probably not, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have other pets in the household that will be able to qualify which could potentially save you thousands of dollars on treatment costs in the event that they ever become sick or injured in the future.

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance

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