CONGENITAL heart defects, such as subaortic stenosis, pulmonic stenosis and patent ductus arteriosus, are relatively common in dogs, but rarely seen in cats. Such defects are usually suspected following the detection of a heart murmur on cardiac auscultation. Pulmonic stenosis and patent ductus arteriosus may be palliated or repaired, respectively, using interventional catheterisation techniques or surgery and it is, therefore, particularly important to diagnose these defects at an early stage before severe clinical signs and/or heart failure develop. This article discusses how to recognise different types of murmur, and describes the diagnosis and management of suspected congenital cardiac defects in dogs and cats.
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