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Theriogenology. 2012 Oct 1;78(6):1235-42. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2012.05.019. Epub 2012 Jul 21.

Echocardiographic and Doppler assessment of maternal cardiovascular function in normal and abnormal canine pregnancies.

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Cardiology Service, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, National University of La Plata (FVS-NULP), La Plata, Argentina.


The objective was to verify maternal hemodynamic differences between normal and abnormal pregnancies in dogs. Brucella-negative pregnant bitches (n = 31) were retrospectively classified into abnormal (which had either their pregnancy interrupted between Days 52 and 60 or perinatal death of more than 50% of the litter; n = 14) and normal (which had delivered healthy puppies at term; n = 17). These dogs were evaluated with echocardiography every 10 days from Days 0 to 60 of gestation (Day 0 = estimated day of LH peak). Systolic blood pressure was also assessed. At Day 50 of gestation, left ventricular free wall in systole increased in the normal but not in the abnormal group (P < 0.01). In contrast, end systolic stress (P < 0.01) and systolic blood pressure (P < 0.01) diminished only in normal animals. We concluded that signs of altered maternal cardiovascular adaptation to pregnancy may be predictors of obstetrical complications in dogs.

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