At the Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine are brave people that write history. Recently they had the amazing opportunity to have the smallest PDA surgical patient, an almost 2 lbs. Chihuahua named Luna.

Luna was only 3 months old and already in a need of a surgery. Diagnosed with PDA by her primary veterinarian back in January, she was in a search of a brave veterinary surgical team to perform a lifesaving surgery on her. She found her luck with Harry Boothe, DVM, MS, DACVS, a professor of soft tissue surgery who led the surgery team.

They say that this kind of surgery on a such a tiny patient is not easy to perform. Everything was a challenge, from anesthesia dosing and monitoring to using horse eyelid retractors to open her chest.

In the end, everything ended well and Luna is a healthy, happy pup scheduled for a check-up in 6 months.

Luna, Auburn’s smallest PDA patient in question. Photo courtesy of Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine

PDA, or Patent Ductus Arteriosus, is a congenital heart condition where a large blood vessel, the ductus arteriosus, fails to close after birth. While in utero, this vessel is normal to be open and allows the blood to bypass the lungs. The vessel runs from the aorta to the pulmonary artery. At birth, this vessel should normally close after few hours, directing the blood to the freshly inflated lungs.

This condition is treated by a transvenous catheterization or by a surgical ligation.


Read Luna’s story and more details about her surgery here: