Archive for February, 2012
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.
Please welcome Daniella T to the Thulani Program. Daniella was picked up as a stray by Monterey Co Animal Services, and we were contacted both by the very caring staff at the shelter, and by Carie Broeker of Peace of Mind Dog Rescue. It is terrific that lovely Daniella had many strong advocates before she even encountered us. She is about 12 years old and has all the ‘Shepherd Moves’, a true credit to the breed. She is friendly but aloof, is curious aboout the world around her, loves to go for walks (although she is a bit stiff), and is great with other dogs. She passed her eval without a hitch.
Daniella has a number of minor and major medical issues, but still has some quality life ahead of her, and she is a fighter. Her most challenging issue is that she has a huge, necrotic mammary tumor. We have not yet biopsied it, but it looks scary.