Meet Skyler, an 11-month Weimaraner. He presented to Miami Veterinary Specialists in acute respiratory distress. According to his owners, he started showing signs of inappetence and one night he started panting very heavily. He was also showing several vomiting episodes before bringing him in.
He was seen by Dr. Laura D’Amico, one of our ACVS Board-Certified Surgeons. Skyler had his x-rays taken which clearly showed that his chest was filled with fluids. He stayed over that night inside an oxygen chamber to help him breathe easier and was given medication. By the next day, x-rays showed that he was doing better and Dr. D’Amico performed an echocardiogram (chest ultrasound) to have a closer look at the source of his health complications.
After going over Skyler’s echocardiogram results, Dr.D’Amico carefully discussed the available options for Skyler with his parents. He was suffering from a PDA (Patent Ductus Arterious), which requires surgery in order to be corrected. PDA is a very common cardiac birth defect in dogs. With this condition, abnormal blood flow occurs between two major arteries connected to the heart. Before birth, the two arteries are connected to a blood vessel, which is an essential part of the canine fetal blood circulation. Minutes after being born, the vessel is supposed to close as part of the changes occurring in the puppy’s circulation. In Skyler’s case, this vessel never closed up.
Dr.D’Amico was able to successfully correct the PDA via surgery. Only two days after the surgery, Skyler was already feeling great and ready to go back home! He was brought in a few days later for a recheck. Dr. D’ Amico couldn’t be more thrilled about Skyler’s progress!