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See Congenital Heart Defect.  As the heart develops in the fetus, it creates four separate chambers that are used to pump and control the flow of blood.  In this congenital disorder, the chambers are not fully sealed from one another, usually the left and right ventricles.  The blood should normally flow from right to left but the left side is stronger than the right side,  Without the proper seals between the chambers, this leads to a backwash of sorts between within the heart.  While a small defect doesn’t affect the dog too much, a large defect can cause significant issues.  Symptoms can include:

  • Limited Growth
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Inability to Exercise
  • Persistent Cough
  • Fainting
  • Pale Gums
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Heart Failure