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PATIENT STORIES

Fix the broken heart

Published on December 1, 2021.
Last Updated December 1, 2021.
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Cindy & Dr Morgan
At the time, Cindy was only a 13 week old Corgi pup when she was diagnosed with a heart defect known as a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).

At the time, Cindy was only a 13 week old Corgi pup when she was diagnosed with a heart defect known as a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), by Dr Louise Trist, her local vet from East Maitland Vet Clinic. This is when the two major blood vessels of the heart are not sealed properly after birth, causing improper blood flow and heart failure.

On advice from a specialist cardiologist, Cindy’s parents drove over 165 km to have heart surgery at SASH to tie off the PDA. This required all hands on deck: a full team of specialists (surgery, anaesthesia, and critical care), as well as a full team of nurses. Even though it was a Friday night, our specialist teams stayed back to ensure that Cindy could get the surgery she desperately needed.

The surgery involved opening Cindy’s chest, and delicately passing a tie around the PDA. This type of surgery can carry risks – such as bleeding out, and complications from anaesthesia, especially since Cindy already had early signs of heart failure diagnosed by Dr Louise.

PDA surgery dog

Fortunately, Cindy made it through the surgery like the little trooper that she is and was happily home only a few days later. Cindy has since gone back to being a happy, healthy puppy. She is putting on weight, and an ultrasound of her heart by her vet shows that her heart health is improving.

About the Author

Jerry Liu

Veterinarian
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SASH is home to some of Australia’s leading specialists and veterinary experts. If you have any concerns about your pet, please get in touch with us.

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