Friday, April 24, 2009

A Barrel Roll, and an Inverted Loop

Who needs roller coasters when you work with a dog rescue?!

Just days after our last baby passed over the Rainbow Bridge, we were taken for another emotional ride. It was a gorgeous day at Regency Park in the Koka Booth Amphitheater for the Rocks 4 Pets event, with good foot traffic, lots of great volunteers, and (sorry) some pretty lousy music. We had Einstein there with other pups, and naturally the puppies were getting lots of attention.

That is when we notices that Einstein was in trouble. Let me tell you about Einstein. We took in a pregnant girl who had a litter of pups just over two months ago. Deanne named them all after scientists - Sagan, Halley, Einstein, etc. Several of them had some medical issues, mostly cleft palettes. But Einstein had about as bad a heart murmur as you can have, a grade 5 or 6. In addition, he had a rather large and prominent abdominal hernia. We've been watching him and waiting for the day when we would have to decide about what to do.

Well, Einstein decided for us. While at the event, the hernia ruptured. Deanne and Aida found the on-site vet who bandaged him up and advised that he needed attention at a qualified vet facility. They rushed him to the NC State Vet School Hospital, and they checked him over. Preliminary evaluation was that we were looking at thousands of dollars. Should we spend THAT kind of money on just one puppy, when we don't even know whether he'll have a long life, or even a quality life? That much money is a whole fund-raising event itself!

The vets ran an echocardiogram, and gave us interesting news. His murmur came from two defects: a hole between two parts of his heart, and a narrowed aortic valve. The interesting thing is that these offset each other - the reduced flow from the valve was offset by the increased flow from the hole. Not ideal, but not life threatening, yet.

The hernia was mostly fat tissue, and when they did the repairs, they saw that the rest of his abdomin was in great shape. Good news!

So, Einstein recovered very quickly, and is a happy, playful pup. They even neutered him while he was under. The hole in his heart might close up by itself, in which case we will have to repair the valve. But the vets says he could live a long, happy life.

Oh, and those cleft palettes? They're all closing up on their own, no surgery required, and practically no risk to the pups.

All in all, an up day. Now to go plan some more fund raising... We have a $2700 bill to pay. If you would like to help, please consider going to our web site at and making a contribution through PayPal. Thank you in advance!

1 comment:

  1. Great blog!
    We adopted Sagan... well now it's Madison or Maddie. Never understood where the names came from till tonight, awesome to learn. I didn't even know about "Sagan" as an astronomer and I teach space as a 3rd grade teacher!
    I have spent a lot more time on your site's lately; we have "found" her sister Galan and are hoping to get the girls together and hopefully will find mom Rory, Franklin, Darwin, and Halley.
    Thanks for all you guys do, I can't imagine the patience, sleepless nights, heart break and excitement.... that you all experience.
    Thank you for our baby as she is defiantly taking to the name of a rotten baby! We let her and she loves it.