Washington: A rare, severe form of pulmonary hypertension, which up until now has only been classified as a human lung disease, has also been discovered in dogs according to a Michigan State University (MSU) study. The study is published in the journal, Veterinary Pathology. Pulmonary hypertension develops because of abnormal blood vessels in the lungs, which makes it harder for the heart to push blood through and provide oxygen to the rest of the body.
In cases of pulmonary veno-occlusive disease or PVOD, the small veins in the lungs become blocked, increasing pressure in these blood vessels, and ultimately causing heart failure. The same process happens in canines.
“Our research is the first to document the existence of pulmonary veno-occlusive disease, or PVOD, in dogs,” said Kurt Williams, the lead author of the study and an expert in respiratory pathology in MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “PVOD is considered one of the most severe forms of pulmonary hypertension.”
Symptoms include cough, increased rate of breathing, respiratory distress, loss of appetite and chronic fatigue. Fatal progression of the disease in humans can last up to two years.