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Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that most of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinary medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.
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surgery for heart murmur?
by Patti
surgery for heart murmur?About 6 months ago I posted a question about heart murmurs. When I took Rosco to be neutered, they found a murmur. I took him to a specialist who told me to bring him back in 6 months for a follow up chest xray and blood work. I brought Rosco back yesterday to be checked. He still has the murmur,and the right side of his heart is still enlarged (but no bigger than before). His red blood cell count (hematocrit) has increased from 40% in August to 55% now. That means his heart is not pumping effectively, and his little puppy body is trying to compensate by producing more red blood cells, to increase oxygenation to his cells, since his heart is not doing a good job. The vet recommends that I take Rosco to Ohio State University Vet school for a complete cardiac work up and possibly surgery. They don't know for sure what the murmur is caused by til OSU does a color flow doppler study. This will show for sure what the congenital heart defect is, and how bad it is. A possibility is pulmonic stenosis. They can do a balloon type of surgery to open the stenosed pulmonic valve. What I need to know, is has anyone's baby had this type of surgery, or any kind of heart surgery? Does anyone know anything about heart surgeries? I dont want my puppy-boy to suffer, I need to figure out what is best for him. I am so sad. He is my sunshine. He always makes me smile and always makes me happy. Thank you.


Patti, I write the AKC Gazette column for Maltese. In March 1997 I had a guest column from a Dr. Lynne Boggs on open heart surgery that was performed on a Maltese. It was a very touching story. It is too long to put in this forum, but if you email Jay back and give him permission to send your email address to me I will send you this article. It is marvelous and gives you a good perspective on the what happens with this type of surgery. You can also contact Dr. Boggs, who with her team of surgeons specializes in this type of surgery. Her office address is:
Dr. Lynne Boggs,DVM,
3407 Northland Drive,
Austin, TX 78731.
She is more than willing to discuss this type of situation with anyone that wishes to call. You will need to get her phone number from information. She is on the internet but has moved addresses.

Patti, although I know nothing about heart conditions in dogs, my heart breaks for you and Rosco. I'll be praying for you both. Please keep us posted with updates, okay? Marie
I'm so sorry poor little Rosco. I never had a dog with heart surgery, and haven't seen one (they are usually done by specialists). I guess I'd recommend you have the testing done by the specialists at Ohio State, so that you can better determine what kind of surgery might be necessary, or if medication may help, and what kind of chances he has. I can understand your wish not to have him suffer. I do hope they can help him there. I'll keep my fingers crossed, and do tell us how it turns out.

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