Monty (December 2013)
It was just after Christmas 2013 that my girlfriend, Lori, who raises toy poodles phoned me to let me know she had a very sick puppy that was about 4 months old at the time. We named the puppy Monty and he was diagnosed with a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), which is a heart defect that he was born with. Without correction of the PDA, Monty could develop congestive heart failure, a complication of heart disease, and die within a year.
We live in Vancouver, BC, Canada and found a surgeon who would operate on him. During his surgery he started to hemorrhage and had three staples placed near his heart. We discovered sadly that his heart murmur was still present as the surgery was unsuccessful.
During this time I had offered to look after Monty and nurse him back to health. He was so affectionate and loving that everyone who met him felt a connection with him. My girlfriend Lori was up late worrying about him and decided to contact the Washington State University Veterinary Program. We couldn’t believe it when Dr. Pamela Lee a noted cardiologist contacted us.
After discussing the case with Dr. Lee, we made the decision to drive to WSU. Our beautiful puppy Monty would probably not last the year if there was no intervention done. And at this point he had won both of our hearts and we couldn’t imagine not doing everything in our power to give him hope.
The care at WSU was unbelievable....from the staff at the front reception room to the vet technicians, vet students and finally the wonderful cardiology staff. Monty had his surgery where Dr. Melissa Tropf and Dr. Pamela Lee successfully occluded/blocked the flow of blood that was leaking from his heart using a minimally invasive procedure. I cannot thank them enough.
It took us a full day of driving each way to get to WSU and I would have gladly driven across the country for the care that we received from the staff. It takes some pretty special people to go into veterinary medicine, especially cardiology. And I sincerely believe that the best ones teach at WSU. Every night, just as I fall asleep....Monty curls up beside me and the last thing I do is put my hand on his heart and say a quiet thank you that he is with me. And I am able to do this only because of the wonderful and kind people that work, learn and teach at Washington State University.