Dog

Get Your Dog Care Questions Answered by Experts

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Dog
This answer was rated:

My puppy has been diagnosed with a hole in her heart. She

My puppy has been diagnosed...
My puppy has been diagnosed with a hole in her heart. She is almost 6 months old. Will the hole close on its own or does she need surgery? If she does, is keyhole surgery available for dogs? She is starting to cough and pant when she has been playing for a while with her mate.
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Dog Question
Answered in 16 minutes by:
9/20/2008
Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7,618
Experience: Veterinarian
Verified

Hi thereCustomer

 

Thank you for your question regarding your 6 month old girl who has been diagnosed with a hole in her heart! You are now starting to see the symptoms of this problem now as fluid builds up in her lungs causing her to cough and pant. The outcome and treatment of your girl depends on the exact diagnosis. The hole can either be between two atria of the heart, two ventricles or even in severe cases - both. It is not normal for this to be there and it will not close itself down. The most likely defect is a VSD or Ventricular Septal Defect and your puppy really will need surgery in order to live a long life.

 

The following is an excerpt from a Veterinary only resource "VIN" on treatment of VSD's. As you will read and as I have said - it is very unlikely the hole will close on it's own.

 

SPECIFIC
1) There are isolated reports of spontaneous closure in dogs, however, this is a rare event, and should not be anticipated. 3,4

2) Small defects are usually discovered during routine auscultation, and cause the animal few or no problems. Larger defects can result in heart failure and should be treated for CHF (link to CHF treatment chapter). The magnitude of the left ventricular and left atrial overload can be used to subjectively estimate likelihood of clinical complications i.e., if the VSD is small, and there is little or no chamber enlargement, the VSD will not be clinically important.

3) Since the degree of shunting is a function of relative resistances, the shunt volume can be reduced by decreasing LV systolic pressure. This can be achieved pharmacologically by inducing peripheral vasodilation with arteriodilators, such as hydralazine or amlodipine.

4) An alternative strategy to reduce shunt fraction is to increase the RV systolic pressure (again, reducing the pressure gradient or driving force for shunting). This can be done surgically by pulmonary artery banding - effectively creating a supravalvular pulmonic stenosis. It requires expertise, as it is often difficult to estimate the degree of stenosis required to reduce - but not reverse - shunting.8-10

5) VSD can also be surgically corrected by patching the defect.8,11,12 Percutaneously delivered closure devices are not used in animals for VSD closure because of the complexity and location of the defects. Closure of a VSD usually requires cardiopulmonary bypass and ventriculotomy to expose the defect and apply a patch.

 

As you read keyhole surgery is not available for this condition in the dog and it is not a cheap or easy surgery to undertake either. I definitely suggest you get a referral to an internal medicine veterinary specialist or even more preferably a cardiothoracic veterinary specialist for more information on the exact type of defect your puppy has and the best way to repair it. She will also need other medication for the next little while to get the fluid off her chest.

 

Please communicate with your Vet that you would like a referral to a specialist to follow this up further. It is better to act on this problem sooner rather than later.

 

Thank you for your question and please now click ACCEPT.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Dr M D Edwards

Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7,618
Experience: Veterinarian
Verified
Pet Doc and 87 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Pet Doc Your Own Question
Pet Doc
Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7,618
7,618 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Veterinarian

Pet Doc is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets!

LinhCharleston, WV

$1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15

CarolCedar Hill, MO

I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all!

JudyNew Haven, CT

I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers.

NinaUSA

I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!!

Jasmine's MomUSA

Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there!

Sonya GEasley, SC

Last night my Expert spent close to 3 hours working with me on my dog's illness. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share in her care and knowledge!

Cathie MPompano Beach, FL

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Gary

Dr. Gary

Dog Veterinarian

3,028 satisfied customers

DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ

Joan

Joan

Vet Tech

5,222 satisfied customers

Vet Tech for over 35+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues

Candy

Candy

Veterinary Technician

7,971 satisfied customers

Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer

Dr Scott Nimmo

Dr Scott Nimmo

Small Animal Veterinarian.

5,063 satisfied customers

BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy

Medical Director

4,891 satisfied customers

UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management

Theresa

Theresa

A Voice for Your Pet

4,705 satisfied customers

19+ years experience in small animal medicine

Dr. Drew

Dr. Drew

Veterinarian

3,290 satisfied customers

Small Animal Medicine and Surgery

< Previous | Next >

Related Dog Questions
My female pomerian age 3 ate combat max roach hate worried
My female pomerian age 3 ate combat max roach hate worried of toxication … read more
Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo
Small Animal Veterinarian.
5,063 satisfied customers
No food in 5 days no water in2 no potty in24 hours.
No food in 5 days no water in2 no potty in24 hours … read more
Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
563 satisfied customers
I think he ate cat litter and has been puking and pooping
I think he ate cat litter and has been puking and pooping and looks like coffee grounds with rocks in it … read more
divealot1
divealot1
DVM
6 satisfied customers
SHE IS HAVING SEIZURES. ALABAMA SHE IS 8 OR 9. NO UPSET AND
SHE IS HAVING SEIZURES JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name and age? Customer: ALABAMA SHE IS 8 OR 9 JA: Is there a… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
8,649 satisfied customers
I have a 6.5-year-old Bullmastiff, and within the last 2-3
Hi, I have a 6.5-year-old Bullmastiff, and within the last 2-3 months, he has been very lethargic and slow. On walks he will walk maybe 100 yard and just stop. I had x-rays taken of his right shoulder… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
8,649 satisfied customers
I think he has a cold and he goes thru these moments where
i think he has a cold and he goes thru these moments where he sounds like he is congested or trying to cough. idk what to do to help him either cough up the phylem or breathe better … read more
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler
Dog Behaviorist/Trainer/Breeder/Health
3.75 GPA 36cr. Multiple Tech traini
0 satisfied customers
My Italian greyhound cut his leg somehow while I was away
Hi my Italian greyhound cut his leg somehow while I was away from home and I was wondering what I can do to help ease pain until the morning if I don't have aspirin? … read more
Joan
Joan
Vet Tech
Private
5,222 satisfied customers
Dingo looking mix. Only about 1 1/2 years old. House trained
Dingo looking mix. Only about 1 1/2 years old. House trained but has started urinating in the house. Often. In larger amounts than should be possible … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
8,649 satisfied customers
We just found a large (1-2in) lump on our 5 year old St
Hi, we just found a large (1-2in) lump on our 5 year old St Bernard... what do you think it could be? We are a bit nervous. … read more
Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
174 satisfied customers
I have a 5 month puppy. About a week ago his eyes appeared
I have a 5 month puppy. About a week ago his eyes appeared to roll back. It seems you can see more white area white area from the bottom inner corner. Also he is squinting and keeping his eyes closed … read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
She dry heaves several times a day doesn't whine she eats n
she dry heaves several times a day doesn't whine she eats n plays … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
8,649 satisfied customers
My 9 year old Bichon mix dog has been sick and eating very
Hi - my 9 year old Bichon mix dog has been sick and eating very little over the past week. She's also been shivering. I took her to the vet who did a blood panel and he diagnosed her with liver diseas… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
8,649 satisfied customers
Female (small ) border collie I am looking after just eaten
Female (small ) border collie I am looking after just eaten 2 Maltesers. … read more
Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
174 satisfied customers
My Dog was chewing on the bones to a dead raccoon that had
My Dog was chewing on the bones to a dead raccoon that had been dead for a day or two. My concern is not so much the bones, but the transmission of any disease. Is there something I should be doing ?… read more
Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo
Small Animal Veterinarian.
5,063 satisfied customers
I was taking care of a dog for a friend but he was sick the
I was taking care of a dog for a friend but he was sick the first fews days with a cold. The dog was 5months at the time and the owner had no insurance. So I gave the dog children's Tylenol for a few … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
8,649 satisfied customers
My dogs eyes are cloudy gray noe and one of them now has
My dogs eyes are cloudy gray noe and one of them now has blood on the surface of her eye from her scratching and rubbing them. Also, these clear boogie like discharge is coming out of her eyes. What c… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
8,649 satisfied customers
My dog ate yesterday 5 almonds she's 11 and a beagle. she's
my dog ate yesterday 5 almonds she's 11 and a beagle. she's been having diarea 2 days now … read more
DakotaSouthFive
DakotaSouthFive
Independent Contractor
High School or GED
9 satisfied customers
Dog hatreds Dogs ear has reddish crystalline film in ear.
Dog hatreds Dogs ear has reddish crystalline film in ear … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
8,649 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x