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Fay's Surgery – Geek Turned Athlete

Fay’s Surgery

Well, it turns out that Fay did need surgery for a condition called a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). This is a normal vessel in animal and human fetuses that is supposed to close up within 3 days after birth. If it doesn’t close up, because it shunts blood back to the lungs and heart, it causes heart failure.

Needless to say, Fay’s PDA didn’t close up. We always knew that she had a heart murmur, but we hadn’t been able to get her to a veterinary cardiologist (there wasn’t one in Spokane) until a couple of weeks ago. This is when the PDA was discovered to be causing the heart murmur instead of a faulty mitral valve . Then, we were told that she was not allowed to go on any runs/exercise until we were able to take her up to Texas A&M (3 hours away from San Antonio) because the PDA vessel could burst since its vessel walls were very thin. Her heart was also enlarged because of the extra blood flowing in there.  We scheduled the soonest appointment possible.


This took us to last Tuesday at Texas A&M veterinary clinic. There, they verified that she did in fact have a PDA. I left her there overnight, and her surgery to occlude the PDA occurred the next day. She spent Wednesday night in ICU, and then I was cleared to pick her up on Thursday afternoon. The vet said that even only a day after the surgery, her heart had shrunk down close to normal size. This is so good!!! Because she is only 3 years old, her body heals itself a lot faster than if she were 10 years old.

After the 3 hour car ride (3 hours to the clinic + 3 hours home for me!), Fay slept all afternoon. Poor baby! They went in through her femoral artery, so she has a huge bandage on the inside of her right leg.



She is not allowed to go on runs/walks for two weeks. After two weeks she can only walk (ha!! If you have weims, you know what I’m talking about), then once she is cleared from the vet after a month, she can run as much as she wants. Of course, there is no way of communicating this to her. She has been running around the backyard and house like a crazy person. We try to calm her down, but we can only do so much.

She has had such a hard life, and I’m just happy that she came into our lives. She has come a long way from a year ago with cowering when we just went to pet her or talk to her. Sometimes I think about whoever had her before us, and I just want to beat the crap out of them for what they did to her. However, the only thing the hubs and I can do is just love her. And that is what we are doing!

How is your long weekend going?  Do you have a scary pet surgery story? 

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • lindsay September 3, 2012, 10:01 am

    send her lots of love from austin too! poor girl.
    lindsay recently posted..Pen this, Pin that

  • Di September 3, 2012, 2:17 pm

    awww poor Fay! It’s hard to contain them though, they feel good, they don’t understand they can hurt themselves and/or delay recovery. Mine are just as bad (dalmatians) when they were sick/post op!
    Big hugs to Fay from me and my two furry monsters!
    Di recently posted..Sometimes I don’t feel like working out…. 5 tips to keep you motivated

    • Nicole September 4, 2012, 8:04 am

      Yep, dalmatians. I can totally see that!

  • Kristen Kjellberg September 3, 2012, 3:52 pm

    Wow, I can’t believe I stumbled upon this blog post! Give Fay a belly rub for me. Here’s to killer 5ks in her future.

    PS, I made some soup with the green chiles and shared it with everyone. Here is the recipe I used: My classmate from Albuquerque said it made her feel like she was home. 😉
    Kristen Kjellberg recently posted..Ides of March

    • Nicole September 4, 2012, 8:03 am

      Haha. Thanks!! I found out that a lady at the vet clinic was from Albuquerque so I brought her some green chile. Other people in her office did not understand how people from the 505 just brought each other these “weird peppers.” They won’t get it unless they eat them! I’ll check your recipe out. Thanks for the heads up on it. 😉

  • Lisa September 3, 2012, 4:41 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear she had problems but I’m glad they fixed her. I have two cats and they’ve both had their own issues. I was a total worry wart mom. Thankfully they were ok too.

  • Kristina September 3, 2012, 6:14 pm

    Glad that they were able to diagnose the problem and operate on her! It is so scary when pets aren’t well/need surgery.
    One of our dogs had bladder stones last year that ended up blocking his urinary tract and then his bladder burst. He was, obviously, in a bad way, and I was a wreck. Happily, he has recovered more than 100%, and I consider us fortunate to have him (and our other dog) in our life. I think that our dogs are pretty lucky too!
    Kristina recently posted..Odds and ends – summer’s over

    • Nicole September 4, 2012, 8:00 am

      Ack!! I would have been a wreck too! It killed me to leave her for two nights as it was at the vet hospital especially when she hates medical type settings!

  • Christina September 4, 2012, 4:02 am

    She is such a beautiful dog! I am so happy that they were able to diagnose the problem and operate on her! Here is to a speedy recovery!
    Christina recently posted..Fridge/Pantry Challenge

  • AmyD September 5, 2012, 5:18 am

    Yay! So glad Fay is on the mend!
    AmyD recently posted..Tarawera Ultramarathon – Part 1


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