A Ugandan businessman has hired South Africa's best veterinarians and human cardiologists to save his eight-month-old Alsatian pup.
The dog, Kia, arrived in South Africa from Kampala on July 12 and was being monitored at the intensive care unit of Onderstepoort Veterinary Hospital in Pretoria.
"Kia has a heart abnormality and she will undergo an operation on Friday," Henry Annandale, the director of Onderstepoort, told Sapa. "Certain arteries will have to be transposed out of one side of the heart to the other. It's a major operation. I guess it will take about 45 hours."
Annandale said the operation would be done in conjunction with a heart surgeon from Montana Hospital. Danie Greyling, who owns the Courtyard in Provence guesthouse in Pretoria, said he first heard of Kia's case two weeks ago when he received a call from a Ugandan vet named Dickson Okello.
"Dr Okello requested accommodation from 12 July 2010 onwards," Greyling said. "He joked that he had tried to get a flight for the soccer final game, but could not get place on any airline. He departed directly from OR Tambo Airport to the Onderstepoort Animal Hospital with Kia."
No expense spared
Kia's owner, who wished to remain anonymous, owns a conglomerate of Ugandan businesses and would spare no expense in saving his puppy's life.
"The owner contracted the services of Dr Okello to see if an operation at Onderstepoort will not rectify the heart problem of Kia," Greyling said. "As owners of two Jack Russell dogs, we care a lot about animals. Our doggies are like children to us.
"We collected Dr Okello from the hospital on Monday and we've provided transport for him to and from the hospital ever since."
Greyling said Kia's owner had been phoning every hour from Uganda to find out the latest news on his puppy. - (Sapa, July 2010)