Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Cardiovascular Disorders

Aortic Stenosis

Animals Affected – Dog

General Information
Aortic stenosis is a congenital heart defect that is most common in German Shepherds, Newfoundlands, and Boxers. In this condition, narrowing of the aorta (the large artery that distributes blood from the heart) forces the heart to beat faster and harder to pump blood to the rest of the body. This can lead to heart failure.

While some young puppies with aortic stenosis appear completely healthy, others tire quickly, are stunted, and have fainting spells. Sudden death at 6 to 18 months of age is common.

Dogs with mild stenosis (narrowing) may live for many years without developing heart failure, but once signs of heart failure develop, the chances for a normal life are poor.

Diagnosis of aortic stenosis frequently involves radiographs (x-rays), electrocardiograms, angiography or echocardiography.

Important Points in Treatment
1. Many cases of aortic stenosis are correctable with open-heart surgery; however, the procedure requires a heart-lung bypass and is relatively risky and quite expensive. Therefore, the procedure is not often performed.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.