Born with a patent ductus arteriosus PDA has only one outcome if left untreated and that is congestive heart failure. Hetti was a lively little puppy and there was no indication of any ill health until a heart murmur was detected at a vaccination check up at the Archway Veterinary Practice at Grange over Sands, Cumbria. Subsequent cardiac ultrasound / echocardiography revealed a large patent vessel that had failed to shut down within 2-3 days of birth. The treatment options for a PDA are to have it occluded with an amplatzer device via catheters – this is the most minimally invasive technique if available and if a patient large enough to accommodate the catheters. The other option is that of an open surgery to identify the PDA and occlude it. PDA vessels are often thin walled, so whilst the majority of our patients 90% do well, sadly for 10% of patients, the surgery can prove fatal if the PDA ruptures intra-operatively.
During October 2017, Hetti with her devoted owner and breeder returned to Archway Veterinary Practice for surgery. A left sided thoracotomy was performed to access the chest cavity, revealing the large PDA vessel. Careful, slow dissection around the PDA was successful and silk ligatures used to tie off the PDA. Hetti had her small guide wire chest drain in for just 3 hours following the surgery after which time it could be removed and Hetti could begin her recuperation at home later that day.
Hetti’s owners did a wonderful job keeping a lively puppy ‘calm’ for 6 weeks so that the surgical site could heal and strengthen. Hetti is maturing fast as you will see from the photos and lives a very normal, hectic spaniel lifestyle.