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Meet Miracle, the puppy that Kara Smart has rescued who is now in dire need of surgery before there is permanent damage to the esophagus. .

The term vascular ring anomaly describes several disorders that occur because of abnormal development of the blood vessels that arise from the aortic arch in the fetus. The most common abnormality is a persistent right aortic arch which develops instead of the left aortic arch that would normally become the permanent aorta, the main blood vessel leading from the heart.

These anomalies are relatively common in dogs. They do not cause cardiovascular problems; however the abnormal blood vessel forms a ring which entraps the esophagus and sometimes the trachea, causing regurgitation, unthriftiness, and often aspiration pneumonia.

These anomalies can be corrected surgically. It is important to do so before there is permanent damage to the esophagus.

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