Dobby is a Pharaoh hound, the national dog of Malta, bred for hunting rabbits.
Dobby presented to AREC for surgical correction of a very rare condition know as a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) a condition involving the heart. To our knowledge PDA has not been reported in Pharaoh Hounds before.
Dobby has had a post surgical assessment, and it seems the surgery was a great success.
A PDA is a result of a normal vessel near the heart that fails to close over shortly after birth. In some individuals the Ductus Arterosum remains open and allows blood to shunt between two arteries coming off the heart, the aorta and the pulmonary artery. We most commonly diagnose these conditions by hearing a murmur when the heart is beating. The resulting abnormal flow of blood could eventually lead to heart failure for Dobby, so our Surgeon Dr Julian Lunn was able to correct the problem by carefully dissecting the vessel free from the surrounding structures around the heart and close if off using special silk sutures. At the time of surgery we can feel the vibrations in the heart caused by the shunting, call femitus, and determine if the surgery is a success by noting its absence after we tie the vessel off.
Dobby recovered well and was home 48 hours after his open heart surgery. We generally treat these conditions using special implants call thromboembolic coils or Amplatzer plugs that are placed via long catheters within the blood vessels themselves. In some cases the type of PDA means it is not suitable for these “intravascular techniques” and therefore we take these cases to surgery which requires opening the chest to get access to the heart.