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Ductus Arteriosus in DogsDuctus Arteriosus in Dogs

(Patent) Ductus Arteriosus in Dogs

Cost of Treatment: $2,550 to $5,025 for surgery, $30 to $95 for ongoing monthly medication

What it is: The ductus arteriosus is a vessel in embryos that moves blood from the pulmonary artery to the aorta, bypassing the lungs since the lungs are not needed by embryos in the womb. When that valve fails to close after the first few weeks of birth, however, a condition called patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) occurs. PDA is the most common congenital heart defect in dogs.


  • Breathing problems and distress
  • Increasing breathing rate
  • Coughing
  • Inability to exercise
  • Weak hind legs
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Stunted growth
  • Congestive heart failure if uncorrected

Treatment:Treatment depends on several factors, such as the severity the condition as well as the age and health of the dog. Surgery is an option in some cases, as is ongoing medication. Puppies can undergo the surgery as young as eight weeks of age, although your puppy would have to be enrolled in a pet health insurance plan before showing any signs of the condition for the surgery to be covered.

Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.

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