Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is the most common congenital heart disease in dogs and usually causes heart failure and death unless corrected at a young age. Previous histologic studies in a line of dogs derived from Miniature Poodles with hereditary PDA identified varying degrees of hypoplasia and asymmetry of ductus-specific smooth muscle and the presence of aortalike elastic tissue in the ductus wall sufficient to cause patency. To determine if similar structural abnormalities cause PDA in other dogs, serial-section, 3-dimensional histology of ductal architecture was studied in 8 non-Poodle purebred dogs with PDA with no immediate family history of PDA. Morphologic abnormalities were observed in 7 of 8 dogs with PDA and essentially were the same as those in dogs known to have a hereditary form of PDA. These findings suggest that apparently sporadic PDA in these breeds is caused by a genetic defect in the structure of the ductus arteriosus that is similar or identical to that in the Poodle. The relatives of dogs with PDA, particularly parents, offspring, and siblings, should be screened for evidence of PDA. Dogs with PDA should not be used for breeding, regardless of breed.
Buchanan, J. W., & Patterson, D. F. (2003). Etiology of Patent Ductus Arteriosus in Dogs. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 17(2), 167–171. https://doi.org/10.1892/0891-6640(2003)017<0167:EOPDAI>2.3.CO;2