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Heart problems in Aussie pup

757 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  hanksimon
We got my baby Aussie 4 months ago, she's 7 months now and we were told she had a murmur a long time ago on her first visit to the vet, but she assured us it was probably nothing and she would out grow it. Fast forward to present, and she is being referred to UT Knoxville for a pulmonary stenosis? Which means a valve leading to lungs and heart is malfunctioning and we may have to do a balloon procedure to ensure her living longer. We are so upset, and I can't even think about losing her. We were told if we don't do the procedure she could live a short life. We of course have been reading up, and see some people have the same story, didn't do the surgery and their dogs lived a long life. Some even to age 17. We are going to see the specialist next month but are prepared to do whatever it takes. The surgery looks like it will cost upwards of 5 grand. I'm so scared something will happen while she is under but it says the surgery is non invasive. Anyone have any good stories or uplifting thoughts? She is like my child. I'm a wreck!


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I'm sorry you're going through this! I don't have any experience, just wanted to send some positive vibes your way though. Hopefully the specialist will be able to give you some thoughtful insight on all your options. She is very cute!
Thank you. I'm trying to stay positive and hope the cardiologist has some good things to say. She has to have a balloon procedure which stretches the valve. I'm just nervous putting her under for the procedure. But if we don't do the procedure, it's literally gambling with her life. She's so happy and normal now but I guess she could get tired easily later in life and only make it to 2/3 years per the vet. Ughh
It sounds like you understand the overall diagnosis. I believe that if you talk to a cardiologist who does the procedure, then he believes in it, and will allay your fears. For example, she is young and healthy, so the anesthesia should not be a major issue. One question to ask is what type of restrictions will the pup be under after surgery?

On the other hand, you may be able to find some reputable Vets that do not perform the surgery, and prefer other treatments. This may not be a better or worse approach, but a different approach.

In human medicine, babies can be born with a murmur due to a hole in their heart. This is very different than your circumstance, because it is normal, unrelated to valves, and usually closes after 6 weeks. In a small number of babies, the hole does not close. There are three possible treatments, in my experience: Try a drug that encourages the hole to close naturally; perform surgery immediately or before puberty to close the hole; Or do nothing and watch to see if it resolves itself or if there are symptoms. Different doctors have different approaches, and I don't know if research are shown one method to be best ...

Similarly, Vets may have different experiences and recommendations?
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