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Kimberly Logue/The Lhasa Lady
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Symptoms of Pectus Excavatum

Pectus excavatum in puppies and kittens can be recognized by a narrowing of or depression in the chest due to a congenital deformation of the sternum and/or costal cartilage. Prognosis is dependent on the seriousness of the condition. The symptoms depend on severity and can include the following: indention in the chest region, breathing difficulties, coughing, difficulty in exercising, digestion difficulties, weight loss,heart murmurs, cyanosis (bluish skin color), generalized weakness, and vomiting.

What dogs are affected by Pectus Excavatum

Pectus excavatum affects very young animals both male and female. It primarily affects pets that are brachycephalic,(brachycephalia refers to a flat and wide skull shape). This includes the following breeds: Boston Terriers, Bulldogs (English/French), Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Himalayan cats, Pekingese, Persians cats, Pugs, and Shih Tzus.
Some Possible Causes of Pectus Excavator

Some Possible causes are Genetic deformities and environmental influences that occur prior to birth. The most common causes are as listed:
Abnormal Cartilage Development, Deficiencies in the Muscles of the Diaphragm, Deformities of the Sternum or Costal Cartilage, Excessive Intrauterine Pressure, Osteogenesis (Fragile Bones), Shortened Tendons of the Diaphragm, Unusually Thick Substernal Ligaments, Upper Respiratory Obstructions.
Typical Treatments of Pectus Excavatum in Cats and Dogs

If your puppy displays any of the symptoms previously listed, seek veterinary help immediately. Pectus excavatum can lead to abnormal skeletal development, heart defects, lung problems, pneumonia, and even death. Prompt treatment may save the puppy's life. Some examples of treatment: Antibiotics, Corrective Splints, Pain Medications, Physical Therapy, Short-Term Hospitalization, and Surgery.


Pectus Excavatum
Note the concave area in the lower portion of the rib cage, It appears to be depressed. (left photo). Note how narrow the depth of the chest cavity is from front to back (right photo). When probing the area it feels as though the pups back is domed and then comes around to the front where the ribs seem to disappear into the pup on the belly side, rather than coming to a rounded area covering over the lungs.