Golden Retriever

Sub-aortic Stenosis (SAS)

Stenosis means narrowing: subaortic stenosis (SAS) is a term that refers to a narrowing of the area just below the aortic valve, usually due to the presence of an abnormal fibrous band of tissue. This fibrous band can be present from birth (congenital) or develop early in the postnatal period. The narrowing causes pressure overload in the left ventricle. Other types of aortic stenosis exist, but SAS is by far the most common and represents more than 95% of the cases. 

Studies have confirmed that SAS is inherited in the Newfoundland, and it is likely that SAS is inherited in other breeds that have a high prevalence. Other common breeds affected include Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, Boxers, German Shepherds, Samoyeds, and Bulldogs. 

Sub-aortic Stenosis Explained:

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How is sub-aortic stenosis (SAS) detected

SAS patients are often identified when a heart murmur is detected at the left heart base during a routine physical examination of an otherwise healthy dog.  

Definitive diagnosis is made using echocardiography to measure the pressure gradient between the left ventricle and the aorta. In dogs with SAS, the pressure gradient is abnormally increased and correlates with the severity of the stenosis. 

Breeding Recommendations

Every breeding Golden Retriever should be examined once, after they have reached 12 months of age, ideally by a specialist veterinary cardiologist.

If a heart murmur is diagnosed then an echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) should be performed to confirm the presence of aortic stenosis

Do not breed any Golden Retriever who is diagnosed with aortic stenosis

Any littermates of breeding stock having sub-aortic stenosis should be taken into very serious consideration with regards to removing from breeding programs. 

© CardioRespiratory Pet Referrals Victoria 2012