CONGENITAL CARDIAC DISEASE AND THE OFA 

Congenital heart diseases in dogs are malformations of the heart or great vessels. The lesions characterizing congenital heart defects are present at birth and may develop more fully during perinatal and growth periods. Many congenital heart defects are thought to be genetically transmitted from parents to offspring; however, the exact modes of inheritance have not been precisely determined for all cardiovascular malformations.

Developmental Inherited Cardiac Diseases (SAS and Cardiomyopathy)

At this time inherited, developmental cardiac diseases like subaortic stenosis and cardiomyopathies are difficult to monitor since there is no clear cut distinction between normal and abnormal. The OFA will modify the congenital cardiac database when a proven diagnostic modality and normal parameters by breed are established. However at this time, the OFA cardiac database should not be considered as a screening tool for these diseases.

Purpose of the OFA Cardiac Database

To gather data regarding congenital heart diseases in dogs and to identify dogs which are phenotypically normal prior to use in a breeding program. For the purposes of the database, a phenotypically normal dog is defined as: 

  1. One without a cardiac murmur -or- 

  2. One with an innocent heart murmur that is found to be otherwise normal by virtue of an echocardiographic examination which includes Doppler echocardiography

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