The next day, he was taken to the vet who estimated his age to be only about three to four months. A cast was applied to his broken leg. During his physical, it was noted he had a heart murmur. An EKG was run and he was diagnosed with a heart condition called Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), a congenital heart disorder, if left untreated, will result in congestive heart failure. Sherri was told the corrective measures for this heart condition could only be performed at the Louisianna State University Veterinary School (LSU). A referral was made to LSU by the local vet. Bear was sent home with antibiotics and pain medication.
Bear went to his appointment the next day and Sherri was told that the tests to confirm the diagnosis would cost about $400. She borrowed the money to have the tests run. The results indicated a heart condition worse than just a PDA. Bear’s echocardiogram showed severe left ventricular concentric hypertrophy. In layman’s terms, a valve in his heart is not opening and closing the way it should be.
The veterinarian discussed the option of a Balloon Valvuloplasty. This would open the valve to help the heart pump more easily. This surgery is rare and has not been performed very often at the vet school. The veterinarian considers this a learning experience for his students; therefore, he offered to waive his fee, and the operating room fees as well, as part of their learning experience.
The earliest the PDA and the Balloon Valvuloplasty can be scheduled is the end of June. The estimate for Sherri’s portion of the surgical interventions is $700, a far cry from the $2,700 for the PDA and $3,000 for the Balloon Valvuloplasty originally quoted. Sherri will also be responsible for the anesthesia bill, post-op care and medication. Sherri’s words are: “Bear does have a lot of problems and I want to do everything I can for him. The vet said someone probably dumped him on the side of the road because they knew he would not make it and did not want to bother with all the problems he had. It breaks my heart.”
Bear’s condition has been upgraded to critical since his last medical appointment. He is now breathing with great difficulty. This situation has become urgent! Without surgery he will die. Please join me in helping Bear live a long and healthy life! Your monetary gift will bring about a happy ending.
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He just needs a little extra assistance. He is more than halfway there with a loving family waiting to make him part of their lives.