Atrial Septal Defect in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

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Atrial septal defect in dogs, also known as ASD, is a medical condition characterized by the appearance of a hole in the septumwhich is the wall that separates the left and right atria from the heart.

This defect can affect a dog’s oxygen levels and lead to exercise and breathing problems. The condition is congenital and some breeds, including Boxers, seem more predisposed to suffer from it.

If you see signs that your dog is suffering from heart problems, then you should consult your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and advice. Here’s what you need to know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for atrial septal defect in dogs.

Symptoms of Atrial Septal Defect in Dogs

Atrial septal defect in dogs can produce a range of symptoms. Symptoms can vary depending on where the defect occurs and whether it causes left or right atrium blood overload.

Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Reluctance to exercise
  • heart murmurs
  • To cough
  • Skin turning blue (called cyanosis)
  • breathing problems

Causes of Atrial Septal Defect in Dogs

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The cause of atrial septal defect in dogs is unknown, but it is considered a congenital problem, which means a dog will be born with it.

Samoyed and Boxer dog breeds seem to have the strongest predisposition to this condition.

Veterinary treatments

If you suspect your dog has developed an atrial septal defect, your veterinarian will want to ask you about your dog’s full medical history.

A physical examination will take place, along with complete blood tests. The use of electrocardiograms and x-rays can also show any problem affecting the lungs.

In general, dogs diagnosed with this condition usually require a hospital stay. This can help stabilize a dog’s health. In extreme cases, veterinarians may suggest optional surgery.

In less severe cases, medications can help improve a dog’s heart function. As always, if your veterinarian prescribes medication for your dog, it is essential that you stick to the precise dosage and frequency instructions and complete the full course of treatment.

In terms of lifestyle changes, lowering your dog’s standard of living sodium intake and limiting exercise can aid in their recovery. Your veterinarian can advise you on how to take these steps safely.

Does your dog suffer from atrial communication? What kind of treatment does your vet recommend? Tell us all about it in the comments below.