Cardiologists at Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Solihull have performed a life-saving heart operation on their smallest canine patient – a puppy weighing around the same as a bag of sugar.

At 2.2kg, Teddy is among one of the smallest dogs in the world to undergo cardiac catheterisation.
At 2.2kg, Teddy is among one of the smallest dogs in the world to undergo cardiac catheterisation.

Tiny eight-week-old Staffordshire bull terrier puppy Teddy began to suffer dyspnoea due to heart failure caused by a congenital defect.

The team of cardiologists at Willows regularly perform cardiac catheterisation procedures; however, weighing in at just 2.2kg, Teddy was not only the practice’s smallest patient yet, but among one of the smallest dogs in the world to undergo such treatment.

Serious problem

The team took action after scans showed Teddy’s heart was significantly enlarged, with fluid building up in his lungs and causing major difficulties to his breathing. His condition was due to the patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) – a blood vessel that connects two major cardiac arteries – remaining open when it should have closed after birth.

Mike Martin
Mike Martin, specialist veterinary cardiologist at Willows, who led the operation.

The intricate closure operation required a 1cm incision and involved passing catheters via an artery in the hind leg and delicately plugging the PDA. The whole procedure, including anaesthetic, took about 90 minutes to complete.

Specialist veterinary cardiologist Mike Martin, who led the operation, said: “Teddy was already suffering heart failure, with severe heart enlargement. He was not going to survive another week without the PDA being plugged. We’ve gained a lot of experience over the years and we’re pushing the boundaries as best we can.”

On the mend

Mr Martin said the procedure went according to plan and Teddy was up and running the same afternoon.

He added: “There was a slight added pressure to the procedure, in that maybe he would be too small, but we made his owners aware of the fact it may not be successful and he might need traditional surgery. He’d been prepped and was ready for that, if needed.

“A lot of little dogs suffer from heart problems when they are too small for cardiac catheterisation, but instead have to undergo traditional surgery, so this type of interventional procedure is increasingly important.”

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz

related content

Comic Relief has apologised for the use of a French bulldog called Albert on one of its T-shirts for 2017’s Red Nose Day.

5 mins

Karen Perry describes two new approaches to stabilising the luxated patella in dogs, as well as a new form of subsequent pain relief post-surgery.

20 mins

International Cat Care, the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund and the RSPCA have come together to raise awareness that breeding cats and rabbits with exaggerated flat faces can cause health and welfare problems.

8 mins

A leading veterinary dermatologist has called for vets to prescribe narrow-spectrum antibiotics for first-line cases of otitis externa to help reduce levels of multiple-resistant, chronic infections.

5 mins

The Hybrid Breeders Association is for “hobby” breeders of all dogs deliberately cross-bred from health-tested lines and covers popular breeds – such as poodle-crosses – often targeted by puppy farmers for profit.

5 mins

Total of 19 awards handed out in glittering ceremony to celebrate best in veterinary and animal health marketing.

5 mins