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Vascular Ring Anomalies in Animals


Sandra P. Tou

, DVM, DACVIM, North Carolina State University

Last full review/revision Jan 2020 | Content last modified Jan 2020

Pairs of embryonic aortic arches exist during early fetal development and subsequently give rise to the carotid arteries (third arches), the aortic arch (left fourth arch), and the pulmonary arteries and ductus arteriosus (sixth arches). The other aortic arches regress, although the first aortic arches also become part of the maxillary arteries. Congenital defects may arise if development or dissolution of the aortic arches is disrupted. Multiple vascular ring anomalies have been reported in dogs, including persistent right aortic arch, double aortic arch, left aortic arch with right ligamentum arteriosum, and retroesophageal subclavian arteries.

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Circulatory System
A 10-year-old, male-castrated golden retriever has a 1-month history of mild lethargy and decreased appetite. On physical examination, he has pale mucous membranes and weak femoral pulses. His complete blood count (CBC) shows a decreased packed cell volume (PCV), decreased mean corpuscular volume (MCV), and decreased mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC). His biochemistry panel shows a mildly increased blood urea nitrogen (BUN) level and mildly increased serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) level. Which of the following is the most likely cause of this dog’s anemia? 
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