Three-month old Janie T was rescued from a junkyard in the Bayview-Hunters Point district of San Francisco and turned into the San Francisco Animal Care and Control Shelter.   She was in very bad shape, abdomen distended, lethargic, and a very loud heart murmur.  X-Rays and further exams indicated an enlarged right chamber of her heart and a recommendation that an ultrasound evaluation be performed.  Fortunately, by the next day, her abdomen no longer was distended, and she was alert and playful.  So the shelter called us.

We took her to Adobe Animal Hospital for the ultrasound, and it was discovered that she had a huge hole between the upper chambers of her heart.  I am no vet, but it looked like you could drive a small truck through it.  But she was not laboring, and was bouncy and feisty.  So we brought her into the Thulani Program, and she now is living with four fur-sibs, driving them and her foster family nuts, as any good puppy should.

To get more information on her true condition and prognosis, we took Janie T to UC Davis to have the cardiology dept give  us a read on her heart condition. Here is what we found  out.

1. She  still has a huge hole between the atrial (upper)  chambers of  her heart
2. The right chamber is somewhat  enlarged and thickened,  although not as much as originally  thought
3.  She also has another minor  defect associated with her  heart, but not something that needs  treatment.
4. The  cardiologist said that she does not know of all that many  cases  of the atrial hole condition that she could give us a prognosis on  life expectancy (could be months to years)
5. There apparently  is a  minimally invasive surgical procedure to address the hole  issue, but they  don’t do it a UC Davis. The place they knew  does it is Texas A&M.
6. There apparently is an ‘open  heart’ surgery procedure possibility  which they also do not do,  but were also not thrilled about.
7. If the  option was for the  minimally invasive procedure, then she should be roughly  8 months  old before it is considered seriously.
8. In the meantime, they   recommend basically no behavior or activity restrictions.
9.  We are  supposed to monitor her for collapsing, passing out, or  fluid buildup in  the abdomen.

Other than that, Janie T. is  just your average,  pain-in-the-ass puppy at this  point.