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Boston Terrrier, 16 weeks old

Persistent Right Aortic Arch


Panda came to us in June at around 16 weeks of age, she wasn't able to keep any food down and as a result wasn't putting any weight on. She weighed in at a shocking half a kilogram. This was due to lack of nutrition at such an important age and she was much smaller than a normal Boston Terrier of her age.


Hilary had a long chat with the owners about possible treatment , costs and ongoing care and they decided to sign her over to us,

We did a barium swallow and a conscious x-ray which confirmed Panda had a Persistent Right Aortic Arch.

A PRAA is a congenital anomaly of the blood vessels of the heart that result in constriction of the oesophagus. In the fetus, there are blood vessels that at first may serve a function, but then naturally deteriorate as the embryo grows.

Unfortunately for Panda the blood vessel didn't break down and the problem wouldn't become noticeable until she started on solid food.


Panda needed to have an operation to correct the anomaly but at this point was too young and too weak. The nurses volunteered to take her home during the evenings and at weekends.

Panda was to be fed a high calorie diet, we chose Hills A/D and watered it down to a paste so that it could easily pass down her narrowed oesophagus. Panda had to be held upright during her feed and for 20 minutes afterwards to ensure no regurgitation.


Donna from Pro Dog Direct then agreed to take panda on and built her a bailey chair for her to feed from.

PDD is an amazing charity, they take on puppies with congenital problems and ex puppy farm dogs, they pay for all the operations they need and have them fostered until they are ready for their forever home.


Panda had her operation in October 2016. The surgery was a major undertaking, Hilary had to open a window into her chest and operate very close to Panda's heart. June, our nurse had to ventilate Panda throughout the anaesthetic. We did not know if she would survive the surgery and anaesthetic, but Panda has recovered remarkably well. None of this has ever stopped Panda from being a naughty Boston!


Even though Panda has had the operation she will still need to be fed up right, it just ensures her condition won't get worse and she can live a full and happy life.

Panda has now found her forever home.

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