Tiny Puppy Among Smallest Ever Have complex Heart Surgery
A tiny puppy is thought to be one of the smallest ever patients to successfully undergo a complex heart operation – after she was saved by vets.
Lola, a miniature Dachshund, was just 10 weeks old and weighed less than two bags of sugar when she was rushed for emergency care while suffering from heart failure.
Vets felt minimally invasive surgery, requiring a small incision in her neck, was her best chance of survival.
But as she weighed just 1.6kg at the time, they also knew this would make her among the smallest animals to ever survive it if she pulled through.
Incredibly, Lola’s symptoms disappeared after the operation, and she was discharged from Paragon Veterinary Referrals, in Wakefield, West Yorks., the next day.
Lola’s owner, Hayley Forrest, shared her delight following her recovery – saying she was indebted to the surgeons who saved her pooch’s life.
She said: “Lola has so much energy it’s hard to ever believe she went through this. She brings so much joy to our life.
“Due to the size and potential complications, we were extremely worried about the procedure.
“However the vets involved were amazing at putting our minds at rest and we knew we had to go through with this to give Lola a chance of life.
“I will always be thankful for the fact they looked at every possible way to save her life.”
Hayley, from Halifax, West Yorks., found out Lola had a birth defect, called patent ductus arteriosus, commonly known as ‘PDA’, soon after giving her a home.
The condition, which also occurs in human babies, happens when the opening of two major blood vessels of the heart – the aorta and pulmonary artery – fail to close.
This allows blood to ‘short-circuit’ between the heart and lungs, and results in the major organ’s failure.
Hayley said: “We had only had Lola for 12 days and I noticed her breathing had changed and her ribs were visible as she inhaled.
“A diagnosis confirmed a heart birth defect and we were in utter shock.
“She had undergone her first immunizations and got a full bill of health so we never in a million years expected to be told she had a heart problem.”
Julie Kavanagh, veterinary surgeon diplomate in cardiology at the practice, said she realized that the only way to save Lola was to carry out the complex surgery.
She said: “Unless her PDA could be closed, Lola’s outlook was very poor.
“Gold-standard treatment of PDA for both babies and dogs involves a minimally invasive surgery to place a special medical device inside the PDA lumen, occluding the blood flow through it.
“But with Lola’s small body size, this approach would be extremely challenging.
“A vein in Lola’s neck was used to access her heart by means of long catheters. These were passed through her heart and up to the level of her PDA.
“Despite her tiny size, she coped well with her anesthetic and was discharged from hospital the following day.
“Her outlook is now excellent, and her owners are over the moon.”
Hayley praised the vets for their incredible work saving Lola’s life following the daring operation, adding: “The team at Paragon were amazing.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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