Meet Daisy. Daisy is a 4month old Maltese/Poodle mix that the owners adopted from a breeder. They adopted another puppy of a different breed from the same breeder. Daisy had been knowlingly adopted out with a heart murmur.
At Daisy’s puppy visit to receive her last set of puppy vaccines, Dr. Grosser noted a Grade 6/6 holosystolic heart murmur- holosystolic refers to a murmur that lasts from the first heart sound through the second heart sound. Dr. Grosser suspected a PDA (patent ductus arteriosus)- an arterial shunt between the aorta and the pulmonary artery, the two main blood vessels leading from the heart.
Daisy was referred to Purdue University Veterinary Hospital for work up and treatment. They confirmed what Dr. Grosser suspected and they also noted an enlarged left atrium, one of the four chambers of the heart.
A ductus arteriousus is a normal structure in a developing fetus. The developing fetus receives all its oxygen through the placenta, and the developing lungs are deflated. As part of the fetal circulation, the ductus arteriousus allows the majority of circulating blood to bypass the lung. When a newborn puppy takes its first breath the ductus is stimulated to close down. In Daisy this vessel remained opened which caused the murmur, or shunting. Over time, if not corrected, the extra blood in the heart could back up into the lungs causing congestive heart failure.
Daisy’s PDA was closed with an Amplatz Canine Ductal Occluder through minimally invasive surgery. They gained access to her heart through her femoral artery in her back-right leg. She recovered overnight in Purdue’s ICU. The next day they did some follow up testing and she was already showing signs of a decrease in the size of the left side of her heart.
It was discussed that Daisy can enjoy a normal lifespan, however, the damage already done to her heart could be permanent. Daisy was started on medications to help improve her heart function and will be monitored and re-evaluated on a regular basis by Purdue’s Cardiologist.
At home they will monitor her for increased breathing, collapse, lethargy, exercise intolerance, cough, pale or blue gums.
At Post Pet Hospital we followed up with Daisy to remove her sutures, which she had already done herself! and to recheck her kidney enzymes per her Cardiologist’s request. Her bloodwork came back normal and she was able to get her last puppy boosters. Per her owners it has been very difficult to keep her for playing with her little sister!
We understand not all clients would be able to take on the financial responsibility necessary to provide Daisy with the health care and treatment required. We recommend researching the breeder you are adopting from and knowing the history of the parents. Thank you to Daisy’s owners for adopting her and taking on her health care and loving her healthy!