Canine open heart surgery is not unheard of, but it is extremely rare. This past week, doctors performed the surgery on a seven month old rescue dog, named Taylor. It was the first time doctors had performed this surgery in British Columbia.
When rescuers brought the German Shepherd and Doberman mix into the Whistler Animals Galore shelter (WAG), the staff had no idea why his abdomen was distended and full of fluid.
Thankfully, Dr. Marco Margiocco, the only animal cardiologist in British Columbia, stepped in to help. He discovered that a membrane in Taylor’s right atrium was preventing blood from entering the heart.
After less invasive methods failed to help the pup, Dr. Margiocco decided to take a risk and have Dr. Michael King, and a team of seven doctors, all volunteers, perform open heart surgery.
King told CTV:
This really was the only way to give him a healthy life. It was life or death.
This life or death surgery happened in an instant – one minute and forty-seconds to be exact. Had the surgery lasted longer than two minutes, the loss of blood flow could have caused organ failure.
According to Dr. King, Taylor is doing unbelievably well and will make a complete recovery! He’s already back to being super playful. All he needs now is a forever home. He’ll be up for adoption once he is fully healed.