This is Bailey, a now three and half month old Cockapoo puppy.

Bailey came into see vet Rachel for one of our free puppy checks. Unfortunately during this routine examination Rachel detected there was something seriously wrong with Bailey’s heart.

Whilst lots of puppies can have quiet heart murmurs Rachel found that Bailey had a very loud heart murmur that could even be felt reverberating through the young puppy’s chest without a stethoscope.

This type of murmur is often consistent with a very serious condition known as a patent ductus arteriosus, or PDA. A PDA occurs when two of the major blood vessels that come out of the heart (the aorta and pulmonary artery) are connected to each other by another vessel.

Dog Bailey with owner at Bicester vets

This extra vessel is important during the puppy’s development in the womb but should close very shortly after birth. However, in some cases this additional vessel remains open and if not treated can cause the puppy to go into heart failure at a tragically young age.

Thankfully for Bailey and his new owners Rachel knew exactly what to do and contacted the cardiology department at Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Solihull. Whilst we can do many procedures here at Bicester Vets, heart surgery on a 9 week old puppy is a highly specialist procedure and so Rachel referred Bailey and his new owners to see heart specialist Chris Linney for an emergency appointment.

The procedure, which is very complex, was carried out that very afternoon and thankfully went very well! Follow up scans have also shown that at the moment the extra vessel remains closed which is great news.

Rachel examined Bailey again recently and we’re pleased to say he seems to be doing wonderfully. We are lucky here at Bicester Vets to have a very good relationship with such a fantastic referral centre like Willows and we are all just so happy to see Bailey doing so well.

Bailey’s owner said:

If it wasn’t for the amazing service we had at Bicester Vets & Willows, Bailey wouldn’t be with us today. 5 weeks on and he is very much a normal puppy, doing all the naughty puppy things and we are thrilled.

Thank you everyone who as supported him, especially the lovely cuddles from the team on reception.

We offer free puppy and kitten checks for any new additions to your family and we have also recently launched free new rescue dog health checks too. If you are interested please give reception a call on 01869 252077.