Ailments and diseases like Pulmonic Stenosis can be found in dogs the same way they can be found in humans. As pet owners, we strive to do the best for our dogs. Providing them with exceptional vet care is one of our responsibilities. Pulmonic Stenosis is a recurrent ailment amongst dogs, but that doesn’t make it less severe. The common causes and ailments are listed below. Ensure that you look at them carefully to stay ahead of any possible ailments that could affect your pooch.
What is Pulmonic Stenosis?
When a dog is diagnosed with Pulmonic Stenosis, it means that there are problems affecting the proper flow of blood through the pulmonary valve in the heart. This congenital medical condition can bring along a wide variety of symptoms that vary in severity. These symptoms can range anything from heart murmurs to congestive heart failure.
Certain breeds of dogs are at the highest risk of suffering from pulmonic Stenosis. These breeds include:
- Scottish terriers
- English Bulldogs
- Boston Terriers
- Cocker Spaniels
- Miniature Schnauzers
It’s essential to get a diagnosis from your vet if you suspect your dog has issues with his heart.
The Symptoms of Pulmonic Stenosis
The precise type of pulmonic Stenosis could cause different symptoms to show up. These types are valvular, subvalvular and supravalvular. The severity of the condition could affect the symptoms as well. If your dog has a milder form, he may not show any symptoms.
Some common symptoms that generally appear are:
- Reluctance to exercise
- Breathing issues
- Heart Arrhythmias
- A Swollen Abdomen
You should inform your vet if any of these symptoms present themselves or your dog is showing worrying symptoms! A self-diagnosis is never the answer. It’s best to get all medical advice from a medical professional.
The Causes of Pulmonic Stenosis in Dogs
Pulmonic Stenosis is a congenital disease. This means that puppies are often born with the condition. As mentioned above, the narrowing of the valve is attributed to valvular dysplasia. This narrowing causes higher than normal pressure on the right side of the heart. This can ultimately lead to right ventricular hypertrophy. This is more commonly known as the thickening of the heart!
The exact cause is still unclear, but it is suspected that the valve didn’t develop properly as the puppy had been growing in the womb.
The lifespan of a Dog With Pulmonic Stenosis
If your dog has been previously diagnosed with this condition, you might be wondering how long he’ll live. You can rest assured as a dog with mild pulmonic Stenosis can live for more than eight years. This is almost an average lifespan. If diagnosed with a more severe pulmonic stenosis, its lifespan decreases to only a couple of years. With severe pulmonic Stenosis, sudden death is quite common.
Treatments from your Vet
If you take your dog to the vet under the suspicion that they could have pulmonic Stenosis, the vet will ask about your dog’s full medical history. Afterwards, the vet will do a full physical exam and take blood and urine samples. They take these samples to test to rule out any other possible diseases. X-rays and other associated imaging techniques might also be done to examine your pooch’s heart and abdomen properly.
The course of treatment will depend on the precise condition and the severity of that condition. If your dog has severe pulmonic Stenosis, your dog might need a night or two in hospital. Some vets consider a surgical procedure to alleviate obstructions to the valve.
When your dog comes home for recovery, your vet might prescribe medication to help with the recovery process. When medicine is prescribed, it’s imperative that you stick to the dosage and frequency and complete the whole cycle of medications.
Treating of Pulmonic Stenosis Surgically
Veterinarians will often do a surgical procedure called balloon valvuloplasty. This treatment is minimally invasive, and it is the preferred method of treatment for dogs with moderate to severe pulmonic Stenosis. When doing the procedure, the vet will make a small incision on your dog’s neck or groyne and place a catheter through the vein and into your dog’s heart. The specialised balloon catheter will then be placed across the stenotic pulmonic valve. Afterwards, the vet will inflate the balloon to tear apart the valve leaflets. This will create a larger opening allowing more blood to flow through from the heart to the lungs.
The vet will take all necessary precautions to minimise the risk of this procedure. However, the procedure is performed under general anaesthesia, which carries risks. These risks include airway irritations and drug reactions but rarely death. Another risk of this procedure is bleeding. The extent of this bleeding varies from mild, which requires no treatment, to moderate, which would require a blood transfusion. Severe bleeding may result in death. When the vet positions the balloon catheter, abnormal heart rhythms may occur. Arrhythmias can typically be corrected with medications. It is, however, possible for arrhythmias to result in death if the dog does not respond to medications. It’s essential to know that if the narrowing of the valve is too severe, the vet may not be able to position the balloon catheter correctly, and the procedure would then need to be aborted.
Pulmonic Stenosis doesn’t have to be a death sentence for your dog. Ensure that you keep up to date with your dog’s vet visits and that he gets his medications frequently. Your dog could still live a long and healthy life, even with pulmonic Stenosis.