Dubai vets perform groundbreaking surgery to save life of eight-month-old puppy

Pomeranian dog Holly is the first in Dubai to undergo treatment for a heart defect

A team of vets has become the first in Dubai to perform complicated heart surgery when it successfully operated on an eight-month-old puppy.

The surgeons at Modern Vet saved the life of a Pomeranian called Holly, who was suffering from a serious congenital heart defect known as patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).

If left untreated the condition can cause heart failure with fluid filling the lungs.

If Holly's heart murmur hadn't been detected in a timely fashion, she may had lost the chance to be saved

Dr Jose Botte, veterinary cardiologist specialist

The life expectancy of dogs suffering from PDA is typically between six to nine months.

The complicated surgery took four doctors two hours to complete.

“Although difficult, this is a very rewarding surgery to perform as it's able to change the life of the pet completely,” said Dr Silvério Moniz, a soft tissue specialist surgeon, who helped perform the operation last month.

“She will now have a normal life, where if not performed she would have a much shorter and not joyful life.”

The surgery was especially tricky as Holly was not able to breathe by herself during the operation and required assisted ventilation.

“In the case of our patient, this type of ventilation was necessary because during surgery as the thorax is open, the pressure exerted on the lungs from the outside is such that they cannot overcome the resistance and ventilate on their own,” said Dr Christina Epifanio, a neurospecialist at Modern Vet who took charge of the anaesthesia, as well as manually ventilating Holly.

“That is why it is necessary that we do it for them, so that the patient can be oxygenated and perfused throughout the procedure.”

Veterinary cardiologist specialist Dr Jose Bottedoctor said early screenings for pets were crucial when it came to identifying health issues.

“Early screening by a qualified veterinary surgeon is fundamental for all pets. If Holly's heart murmur hadn't been detected in a timely fashion, she may have lost the chance to be saved,” he said.

“It is also important to stress that all heart murmurs should be referred to an experienced veterinary cardiologist to be properly diagnosed, only then can we say what the clinical meaning of the murmur is and what treatment may be required to address it.”

Published: June 5, 2021 08:00 AM

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