Marnie is a delightful 5-month old Cavalier who has been through a lot already in her young life. When she first came in for her puppy vaccines a heart murmur was detected, we kept a close eye on this and by around 4 months of age the murmur was loud and continuous – a so called ’machinery murmur’.

We decided to investigate this further and Marnie had a heart scan – echocardiography- performed by vet Alan at our Barnhill surgery. The scan showed a congenital heart defect known as a PDA – a patent ductus arterisosus.

The colour pattern on the images shows us the direction and speed of the blood flow. This is an uncommon defect but thankfully a treatable one. The defect is an abnormal blood vessel that remains open after birth allowing blood to transfer from the main artery, the aorta, into the pulmonary artery.

Unfortunately this can lead to severe heart failure often at a young age. We referred Marnie for treatment at the Edinburgh Vet School. Due to her small size the only option was open chest surgery but everything thankfully went brilliantly and Marnie is now back to normal and fully recovered.