Subaortic Stenosis

Subaortic stenosis, or subvalvular aortic stenosis, is a serious pet health concern that affects mainly large breed puppies. In fact, it is the second most common heart problem in dogs today. This is a genetic problem in which affected puppies inherit abnormal genes from their parents. However, it is unfortunate that it cannot be predicted as to whether or not puppies will be born with the problem.

Subaortic Stenosis

How it Affects your pet

When a puppy is born with subaortic stenosis, the passage way leading from its heart to the aorta is abnormally narrow. This narrowing is caused due to fibrous and muscular tissue growing longer than normal. If it becomes too narrow, it will prevent blood from flowing properly through the channel. As blood becomes more restricted, your pet will develop a heart murmur and the condition will worsen. While mild cases are not life-threatening and do not require treatment, severe cases can be fatal requiring immediate veterinary attention and treatment.

Common symptoms

Common Symptoms of Subaortic Stenosis in Pets: Fainting or Collapse, Heart Murmurs or Irregular Heart Beats, Weak Femoral Pulse, Difficulty Breathing, Rapid Breathing, Generalized Weakness, Lethargy, Inability to Exercise and Stunted Growth. The symptoms of subaortic stenosis can vary greatly from one dog to another and in many cases, the signs do not show up until the condition has become serious. Additionally, some animals never show any symptoms at all, before collapsing after an exhausting exercise session.

Treatments

The most common medications that your veterinarian will use to treat subaortic stenosis are beta blockers such as Propranolol and Atenolol. These medicines work by lowering the heart rate, controlling abnormal heart rhythms and reducing blood pressure. While open heart surgery is an option, it is no more successful than medication. The prognosis for these pets varies depending upon their individual condition; however, medication may be able to lengthen your pet's life by a few years. Since this condition can go unnoticed in many cases, it is a good idea to have a veterinarian check your pet's heart regularly, especially if it is a breed that is considered high-risk for the condition.

Breeds Affected

Subaortic stenosis is a complex genetic condition, and it is most often seen in large breed dogs. It rarely occurs in cats, and when it does, it develops a bit differently than it does in canines. Additionally, the condition is known as supravalvular aortic stenosis when it occurs in cats. Breeds most vulnerable to Subaortic Stenosis: Newfoundlands, German Shepherds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Great Danes, Bouvier Des Flanders, Rottweilers, Bull Terriers, Boxers, German Short-Haired Pointers and Golden Retrievers.

Subaortic Stenosis Affects

  • When a puppy is born with subaortic stenosis, the passage way leading from its heart to the aorta is abnormally narrow. This narrowing is caused due to fibrous and muscular tissue growing longer than normal. If it becomes too narrow, it will prevent blood from flowing properly through the channel. As blood becomes more restricted, your pet will develop a heart murmur and the condition will worsen. While mild cases are not life-threatening and do not require treatment, severe cases can be fatal requiring immediate veterinary attention and treatment.

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