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Features February 2015 Issue

When Blood Flows Where It Shouldn’t

Shih tzu Boo was born with a shunt that kept blood flowing in the wrong direction in his heart. The condition is called patent ductus arteriosus. Tufts cardiac veterinarian John Rush, DVM (left), was able to fix the problem via a procedure known as interventional radiography. It’s a kind of x-ray movie.

When Blood Flows Where It Shouldn’t

Fixing congenital shunts.

Think “shunt,” and perhaps a medical solution comes to mind, as in a shunt implanted in the brain that allows fluid to drain and thereby decrease swelling in that organ. A cardiac bypass is a shunt, too. It’s a new route for blood to flow from one part of the body to another when the old route is blocked and needs to be gotten around. In medical terms, a shunt is simply a passageway that allows the movement of fluid from one part of the body to another.

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