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Harry’s story

“Harry required a relatively new and minimally invasive interventional procedure, currently performed by very few centres in Europe.”

Harry, a playful 10-week old puppy, visited his family vets to investigate an episode of diarrhoea. During the appointment Harry’s vet discovered a heart murmur. Due to Harry’s young age and his breed (bulldog breeds are susceptible to heart conditions) he was referred to our Puppy and Kitten Heart Murmur Clinic for further investigation by our cardiology team.

Harry underwent a full cardiac assessment including an ultrasound of his heart (echocardiogram). This revealed that Harry had a severe form of pulmonic stenosis.

Pulmonic stenosis is one of the most common congenital cardiac defects in dogs, present since birth. It is caused when one of the major valves in the heart, called the pulmonic valve, does not form properly, causing it to be narrowed, which obstructs the flow of blood from the heart to the lungs.

Dogs with this condition do not always show symptoms, but are at risk of developing exercise intolerance, syncope (fainting) and in some instances sudden death.

Typically, pulmonic stenosis is treated using a cardiac intervention called balloon valvuloplasty. However, because Harry’s pulmonary stenosis was associated with a hypoplastic pulmonary artery (where the artery from the heart to the lung is underdeveloped), Harry required a relatively new and minimally invasive interventional procedure called transvalvular pulmonic stent angioplasty. A stent is an expandable metal mesh tube that, when left inside the artery, helps keep it open.

This procedure is currently only performed by very few centres in Europe and our cardiology team at The Ralph is proud to be one of these experienced groups.

Harry’s procedure was a success and he’s now at home and back to his usual playful self. Harry will return for a check-up in a couple of months to ensure his heart is functioning well.

Thanks for reading Harry’s story. For more information about our Cardiology Service and team, be sure to check out the Cardiology page.

Take care,

Team Ralph 🐾

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