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Ventricular Septal Disease (VSD) in Dogs… Symptoms, expectations and costs!

Ventricular septal disease, aka VSD, can strike cats, dogs, and humans! But just because your pet has a heart murmur or an irregular heartbeat doesn’t mean it’s VSD. This is why we dedicated an article all about ventricular septal disease in dogs and cats so that if you suddenly find yourself the owner of a pet that develops this condition, you’ll be better prepared for what to expect.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

What is Ventricular Septal Disease?

As you may know, the heart comprises the right and left ventricles and the right and left atrium. The ventricular septum is the wall between the two ventricles. The job of it is to help control the blood flow. When there is a septal defect, there is a problem with the wall that impacts the blood flow. In dogs, the most common type of VSD is subaortic. This means it happens below the aortic valve rather than above it.

Now it’s essential to remember…

The heart’s blood flow can be obstructed in many ways— he disease name changes depending on where and how it is blocked. Eft ventricular obstruction is known as subaortic stenosis.

Clinical Signs & Symptoms of VSD

While it can happen to cats and dogs, it’s a bit more common in cats. He tricky thing is that many of them are asymptomatic. It has an owner, hat means you won’t notice a difference in your cat.  f there are any symptoms, it will be things like breathing problems, exercise intolerance, or coughing.  reathing problems like this occur since a left ventricular problem like VSD can cause a problem with blood delivery to the lungs, aka causing pulmonary issues.

Ventricular septal defects are most likely genetic.

Diagnosis of Ventricular Septal Defect in Pets

If you think something is wrong with your dog or cat, always take them to the vet for a diagnosis. Ow’s an excellent time to mention – we are not vets or medical professionals. You’re, the purpose here is only to provide information. One should be interpreted as a diagnosis, treatment, or cure.

This brings us to…

Were we like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians, or medical professionals.  We are a bunch of folks passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them. If you feel your pet may have ventricular septal disease (or any other health issue), you’ll want to have them checked out by a vet ASAP!


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

Okay, now that that’s out of the way…

Many animals get diagnosed with VSD almost accidentally (as we stated, there may not be signs). He vet might notice it during another test, like a thoracic x-ray, complete blood profile, or urinalysis.  owever, it is possible that if you see symptoms, the vet can diagnose it using the same tests.  f a pet has a holosystolic murmur, the vet may also look into VSD.

Treatment of VSD

Now that you know your dog has VSD, you are probably looking for a treatment option. Here are a few options requiring a cardiopulmonary bypass or some heart surgery. Our pet will likely need a left-to-right or right-to-left shunt to help. Hey, they may also need artery banding.

Because of the heart…

It is rather delicate, and many things are interrelated; your pet’s heart may have multiple problems.  o, the treatment will vary based on this. Ome dogs will additionally have congestive heart failure (which you probably know is a big deal). In contrast, others will suffer from tetralogy of fallot or another problem.  he exact treatment will vary depending on this.

Cost of Treatment

Some people choose not to treat their dogs or give them palliative care. His is undoubtedly the cheapest option, but your dog will not live as long.  f you choose to go with surgery, it’s likely to be $1500-6000, depending on the needed heart surgery. 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 pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, probably not. Ut until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

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 Policies article.

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