Persistent Right Aortic Arch (PRAA)


PRAA is a congenital abnormality of the blood vessels of the heart. It can constrict the esophagus and cause dysfunction.  It is more common in dogs than cats. The earlier it is diagnosed and treated (surgically) the better the prognosis. Unfortuantely for Ellie, with poor prognosis differentials and financial constraints, this abnormality lead to her demise.

Ellie , a 6 month old feline presented for vomiting, lethargy and fever. She was treated symptomatically with fluids, cerenia and ketofen. She responded to treatment and her symptoms improved for several days.  She then began to have episodes of gagging that progressed to shaking her head, salivating, reguritating and choking. She was anesthetized and a radiograph revealed an esophageal foriegn body. It appeared to be dry kibble, a tube was passed down the esophagus to dislodge it. She recieved cerenia.

For the next 48 hours she was fed small frequent meals of watered down canned food. She seemed to be doing well but by the third day she began showing symptoms again and also developed aspiration pnuemonia. Due to finincial restrictions and her suffering , humane euthanasia was performed. Necropsy revealed a large blood vessel constricting her esophagus.