Objective—To determine the signalment, clinical features, echocardiographic findings, and outcome of dogs and cats with ventricular septal defects (VSDs).
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—56 dogs and 53 cats with VSDs.
Procedures—Medical records of dogs and cats with VSDs diagnosed by means of conventional and Doppler echocardiography were reviewed. Signalment, clinical status, echocardiographic findings, and outcome data were recorded. Variables of interest were analyzed for the study population and subgroups according to species and clinical status.
Results—VSDs were isolated (ie, solitary defects) in 53 of 109 (48.6%) patients. Most (82/109 [75.2%]) VSDs were membranous or perimembranous. Terriers and French Bulldogs were commonly represented canine breeds. Most isolated VSDs were subclinical (43/53 [81%]) and had a pulmonary-to-systemic flow ratio < 1. 5 (24/32 [75%]). The VSD diameter and VSD-to-aortic diameter ratio were significantly correlated with pulmonary-to-systemic flow ratio in dogs (r = 0.529 and r = 0.689, respectively) and in cats (r = 0.713 and r = 0.829, respectively). One dog underwent open surgical repair for an isolated VSD and was excluded from survival analysis. Of the remaining animals with isolated VSDs for which data were available (37/52 [71%]), no subclinically affected animals developed signs after initial diagnosis, and median age at death from all causes was 12 years.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Most dogs and cats with isolated VSDs had a long survival time; few had clinical signs at diagnosis, and none with follow-up developed clinical signs after diagnosis. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2015;247:166–175)