Ugandan puppy gets heart operation in SA

2010-07-21 13:41

A top veterinary surgeon was performing a major heart operation today on an Alsatian puppy flown to South Africa by its Ugandan owner.

The operation started at 1pm at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Pretoria and was expected to take about three hours, said hospital spokesperson Chris van Blerk.

Veterinary surgeon Professor Louis Coetzee was leading the operation, assisted by paediatric heart surgeon Willem Roos from Montana Hospital.

The operation on Kia, the eight-month-old German Shepherd, was supposed to have been performed on Friday, but was postponed when she developed a fever.

The team had expressed concerns about possible complications if they continued.

“The fever had dropped considerably today (Wednesday). That is why it was decided to carry on with the operation.”

Last week Van Blerk said Kia would have a “shunt” inserted into her heart to improve blood flow to the lungs and oxygenate the blood.

“The professor is positive about the operation, but obviously it is very delicate.”

After the procedure, the puppy will recover in Onderstepoort’s small animal ICU facility.

Post-op care was as important as the operation itself, emphasised Van Blerk.

“She will be cared for and monitored by a dedicated team.” 

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