View Full Version : Weak pulse - Femoral artery occlusion - PLEASE ALL READ

21st August 2011, 09:37 PM
Something everyone needs to be aware of...my Kayleigh was examined last week and there was only a very weak pulse in her left leg.

She underwent an ultrasound to check for thrombosis Fortunately they didn't find anything wrong.

I subsequently found this


DR. JAMES BUCHANAN, Professor Emeritus of Cardiology at the University of Pennsylvania

...Femoral artery occlusion (FAO) is unique to Cavaliers, having not been seen in any other breed. It causes no problem since other arteries take over for the blocked femoral artery. Diagnosis is made when the pulse on the inside of the dog’s rear leg(s) is found to be weak or absent.

An inherited weakness in the artery wall is suspected....

from http://www.ckcsc.org/ckcsc/formsdocs.nsf/filelookup/98heartsymp.PDF/$file/98heartsymp.PDF

and this study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9333089

in brief:

Femoral artery occlusion in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Of the 954 dogs, 22 (2.3%) had an undetectable right or left femoral pulse on 1 or more examinations. Forty (4.2%) additional dogs had weak unilateral or bilateral femoral pulses.
Femoral artery occlusion is rare in other breeds and is not clinically important in dogs because of adequate collateral circulation; however, its rather common development in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels indicates a genetic predisposition and probable weakness in the femoral artery wall.

[B]something to remember - and to pass on to the veterinary team caring for your Cavalier.

You can check this yourself - http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2099&aid=1077 shows you where to feel but PLEASE don't do this if it is going to worry you, ask your vet to check on your next visit.

21st August 2011, 09:58 PM
It says this is not clinically significant. Does it ever become a concern?

21st August 2011, 10:07 PM
At the symposium he said that it wasn't a problem - I'm waiting to hear back from my cardiologist to confirm this though. Kayleigh is showing no signs of it being an issue for her - heart/circulation problems are very obvious - reluctance to exercise, panting etc

Kate H
22nd August 2011, 10:13 AM
Heigh ho! We all know our Cavaliers are very special dogs - but do they have to be so special that they are the only breed with PSOM, peculiar blood counts and now failing arteries?!

Still love 'em! And sorry to hear that Kayleigh is SO special...

Kate, Oliver and Aled - now reunited after 2 weeks away

22nd August 2011, 02:55 PM
Lovely to have you back Kate, your posts are always thoughtful and informative - we've missed you :flwr:

PSOM has been seen in other breeds, but nowhere near as often as in Cavaliers - they are such a very special breed, it's just sad that as you say, they are special for medical reasons too :( Episodic Falling and Dry Eye/Curly Coat are additions to your list :x

22nd August 2011, 07:14 PM
Thanks for the info!:l*v: I would have freaked if our vet found this in Rose and we didn't know it wasn't a big issue, after having a dog with severe aortic stenosis.