A seven-month old German Shepherd/Doberman-cross rescue dog named Taylor has successfully undergone B.C.’s first canine open heart surgery.
When the young puppy was rescued by the Whistler Animal Shelter, volunteers at the non-profit Whistler Animals Galore found Taylor to be in medical distress with a fully distended abdomen. They quickly asked Canada West Veterinary Specialists (CWVS), a specialty veterinary hospital, to see if anything could be done.
B.C.’s one and only animal cardiologist, Dr. Marco Margiocco at CWVS completed cardiac ultrasounds and a CT angiogram and found Taylor had a rare congenital heart defect causing a block in the right atrium and pooling in the abdomen. After a less invasive treatment, Dr. Margiocco learned the puppy would only respond to open heart surgery.
The procedure was performed by Dr. Michael King in only one minute and 40 seconds. If the surgery had last longer than two minutes, a lack of blood flow to other areas of the animal would have been fatal.
“The surgery was the culmination of a few weeks of deliberation and consultation amongst our specialists as well as a consultation with a cardiac surgeon at Colorado State University who has done such procedures,” says Dr. Laurence Braun of Canada West Veterinary Specialists. “It was a big team that all pulled together for this surgery. We are very proud of them and are pleased we could help Taylor.”
Taylor is now recovering and doing well, says his doctors, and will be released back to Whistler Animals Galore where they hope to find him a permanent home.
The Canada West veterinaries donated their serves to the dog and other costs have been funded through Whistler Animals Galore and the Jessie-Bandit Donor Assistance Fund.
Check out these pictures from Taylor’s CT and open heart surgery: