Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)

The ductus arteriosus is a blood vessel that connects the two main arteries of the body-the aorta and the pulmonary artery. This blood vessel is normal in the fetus, which gets its oxygen supply from the placenta and by-passes the lungs.

pda heart

This vessel usually closes at birth, allowing the lungs to begin their normal function of supplying oxygen to the blood supply.

Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) is a birth defect in which this blood vessel remains open at birth and acts as a shunt, allowing only a small amount of blood to pass to the lungs and limiting oxygen intake. This condition is generally discovered during a routine visit. Blood flow through the PDA produces a continuous heart murmur.

Generally, there are no initial symptoms. Even when the doctor identifies a PDA, most clients believe their puppy is normal and refuse to follow up or look into this further.

Tragically, if ignored, and left untreated, about 60% of affected puppies die within a year of diagnosis. If caught early, the vessel can be successfully closed surgically and dogs can live a normal life.

Introducing Terra McCool! Terra is a 12 week old, female Bloodhound.


Terra was recently diagnosed with PDA by Dr. Kirlin. Terra’s owner took the diagnosis seriously and was referred to South Texas Veterinary Specialists, where surgeon, Dr. Grayson Cole, corrected the birth defect.


Terra is now doing great! thanks to Dr. Kirlin, Dr. Cole, and Terra’s caring owner (seen here). Another success story at Eagle Veterinary Hospital!!

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