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?