Beautiful Result

The problem that Beauty had is fairly common. Yet if left untreated, the four-year-old Pomeranian could have been at a high risk of developing heart failure.

Beauty was adopted in 2019 by her forever family and at her first check-up, her veterinarian noted a heart murmur. A trip to the Hixson-Lied Small Animal Hospital and an appointment with the ISU cardiology team was scheduled.

“We diagnosed Beauty with a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), which is a common congenital heart defect in dogs,” said Dr. Michael Pabon, cardiology resident.

Prior to birth, a vessel called the ductus arteriosus allows blood to bypass the lungs. Normally, the vessel closes shortly after birth. But sometimes, like in Beauty’s case, it fails to close.

“If left untreated, most dogs will develop congestive heart failure within their first year of life,” Pabon said. “Beauty’s PDA was small and her disease progressed much slower, but she was at a high risk of developing heart failure when she came to us.”

The ISU Cardiology team performed a minimally invasive PDA occlusion on Beauty. A small incision was made on her inner thigh and a specialized catheter was passed from the femoral artery into her PDA.

Once in place, an occluding device was deployed, stopping blood flow from crossing the PDA. After the procedure, Beauty was well on the road to recovery.

“This procedure is usually curative and most dogs go on to live a normal lifespan without medications,” Pabon said.