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Defect of the Ventricular Septum in Cats



Most patients can be treated on an outpatient basis. Large shunts may be surgically repaired during a cardiopulmonary bypass. Patients with moderate or large shunts may also undergo pulmonary artery banding as a palliative (relieves some discomfort but does not cure the disease) procedure. 


Living and Management


If your cat  is showing signs of congestive heart failure (CHF), its activity should be restricted. Your doctor may also advise you to impose a strict low sodium diet if your cat is diagnosed with CHF, to minimize pressure on the heart. Cats that are diagnosed with overt CHF are generally given 6 to 18 months to live with medical treatment. If your cat has only a small shunt it may continue to have a normal life span if there are no concurrent disease that are posing a direct threat to its health. 


Do not breed your cat if it has been diagnosed with ventricular septal defect, as this defect is thought to be genetically transmitted. Your veterinarian will schedule regular follow-up appointments for your cat to follow its progress, retake x-ray and ultrasound images, and adjust any medications or therapies as needed.


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