this is turtle, our 12 week old foster pup. we've had him since he was 6 weeks old. he is seriously one of the best puppies i have ever met (he is our 7th foster with this rescue) - he loves everyone and everything. i have him in puppy class and he is AWESOME, even our trainer agrees that he is a special pup. he is happy, active, and healthy.
turtle met a family last weekend and they fell in love with him immediately (of course). he was scheduled for his neuter this past monday and was set to go home with them this coming saturday.
i dropped him off for his neuter early monday morning and was just pulling back into my driveway when the vet called. he'd heard a "significant" heart murmur and refused to put turtle under anesthesia until he'd gotten an echocardiogram. he got the echo and the cardiologist had some bad news, turtle has pulmonary stenosis which is a congenital defect of the heart - his pulmonary valve doesn't work correctly and stays mostly shut. it's actually pretty bad and his heart has enlarged and the muscles have thickened to compensate for the extra work of pumping blood through a mostly closed valve. the cardiologist was particularly concerned at the amount of change in his heart considering he's only 12 weeks. because he is cryptorchid (only one testicle has descended), and the neuter would be a longer, more invasive, surgery the vet didn't do it because they were uncomfortable anesthetizing him for that long due to his heart condition.
i was completely in shock. you would never know that this pup had anything wrong with him. he is UTTERLY normal, plays, is very active, loves his food, is growing like a weed. needless to say, the family that was going to adopt him is devastated - the guy actually started crying on the phone when he heard the bad news. the rescue gave me the guy's phone number and i have been texting him status updates as we move forward.
turtle has an appointment with a cardiologist on saturday. she thinks he is a great candidate for a surgery called balloon valvuloplasty. this is a minimally invasive surgery where they use an arterial catheter to insert a balloon in the valve to open it to reduce stress on the heart. post-valvuloplasty dogs have a very good chance of going on to live full, normal, lives. the rescue i work with is willing to do anything to help this little man and are paying for the cardio appointment and the surgery. the hospital is giving us 15% off the price of the surgery but, obviously, it's still going to be enormously expensive.
i know this is a tough time of year to find extra cash, but if you can contribute anything at all - even just a couple of bucks, i'd really appreciate it (and so would turtle and his adopters!).
the chipin link for the rescue is:
thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for reading this!
i have shed so many tears for this amazing dog, he is so so great and everyone who meets him is instantly charmed. when i got the bad news, i was in my car and was literally screaming at the top of my lungs "BUT HE IS FINE!! WHY COULDN'T THIS HAPPEN TO SOME OTHER ASSHOLE DOG?!"
ETA turtling video :)