Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Cardiovascular Disorders

Atrioventricular Septal Defects

General Information
The heart is divided into right and left sides by a septum, or wall, during embryonic development. Occasionally, holes or defects in this wall develop. If the hole occurs between the right and left upper heart chambers (atria), it is called an atrial septal defect; if it occurs between the lower chambers (ventricles), it is called a ventricular septal defect. The seriousness of the problem depends on the size of the opening or hole.

There are several possible outcomes of atrioventricular septal defects. With small defects, there may be little or no effect on heart function, and the pet may seem completely normal. In others, there may be partial or complete closure of the defect by a portion of the heart valve. Patients with larger defects may develop congestive heart failure or low oxygen levels in the blood and exhibit bluish-colored membranes (cyanosis).

Important Points in Treatment
1. Correction of septal defects requires open heart surgery using a cardiopulmonary bypass. These operations are rare and are usually performed at major veterinary referral centers.
2. Pets with congestive heart failure can sometimes be treated effectively for long periods.

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.