Waggy Tales – Lexi
In this waggy tale, we meet beautiful Miniature Yorkiepoo, Lexi, and her parents, Allan and Bonnie.
Little Lexi was just 4 months old, and a tiny 800 grams when she had a huge operation.
‘We got Lexi from a breeder and met her a number of times before she came home with us. We could see nothing wrong with her.
At 3 months we took her home, but a couple days in, she was pooing blood, vomiting blood, and refusing food. She would play for a maximum of 5 minutes and then sleep for hours. She slept a lot, which puppies do, do but not as much as she did. Her heartbeat and breathing were always SO fast.’ Explains Bonnie.
Bonnie contacted the breeders, who took Lexi back to their regular vet, however the vet couldn’t find any problems.
‘They put it down to stress, but myself and my husband had a gut feeling that something was wrong. Our breeder had kindly given us a ‘Buddies One Month Free’ pet insurance policy, so we knew we would be covered if anything should happen. Once our month was up, we carried on with a full year’s insurance policy with Buddies.’ Says Bonnie.
Bonnie and Allan took Lexi back to the vets for her next set of injections. It was during this visit, that the vet made the shocking discovery that Lexi was going into heart failure.
The vet recommended tests and a trip to London to see a specialist to operate.
‘The vet suspected a number of possible heart problems, and during tests discovered it to be Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), which is a heart defect that occurs when the ductus arteriosus fails to close down at birth.’ Says Bonnie.
The ductus arteriosus is an arterial shunt between the aorta and the pulmonary artery, the two main blood vessels leading from the heart. It is normally present during fetal development
The developing fetus receives all of its oxygen needs through the placenta, and the developing lungs are deflated. As part of the fetal circulation, the ductus arteriosus allows the majority of circulating blood to bypass the lungs. Therefore, while the fetus is in the uterus, the ductus arteriosus is normally open, or “patent”.
When the newborn puppy takes its first breath, the ductus is stimulated to close down. Closure of the ductus arteriosus ensures that blood will circulate through the inflated lungs and become oxygenated.
If the ductus arteriosus fails to close properly after birth, the difference in pressure between the pulmonary artery and the aorta means that the blood will ‘take the path of least resistance’ and flow from the aorta through the Patent Ductus Arteriosus into the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery then needlessly recirculates this oxygenated blood back to the lungs. Since less blood is now being pumped into the main circulation through the aorta with each heartbeat, the left side of the heart is forced to work harder to meet the demands of the body.
‘It was if she was sprinting all the time, even when she was asleep. We knew that our puppy was too small to be operated on through an artery, so knew it would be open heart surgery and would be a very invasive surgery.
She was so well looked after at the Queen Mother Surgery for Animals. As she could not be left alone, she was small enough to be put into the nurse’s pockets, where she was kept all night and day till her operation the following day.’ Says Bonnie.
‘We were very worried, as we knew that her surgery was going to be very costly, but how could be deny her a chance at a good life.
Having the Buddies insurance policy definitely made our lives so much easier as we could focus on our puppy and not the money and costs. Claiming was so easy, as the Surgery in London dealt directly with Buddies, we barely had to do a thing.’ Adds Bonnie.
Little Lexi recovered well from the operation and is now up to a healthy 2.2kgs.
‘She just loves life. She can now play and be a normal puppy which she couldn’t be before. Her breathing and heart beat are all back to normal.
Lexi is loved by everyone; we cannot walk two doors down without being stopped by dogs or people so they can talk to her or play. Lexi also loves to play with our guinea pigs and swim with them in a little green pool we have, she loves them so very much.
She has been through so much in her short life so far, but she is the most loving puppy and has the kindest, happiest little nature. She has completed our house and made it a home.’ Says Bonnie.
A huge thank you to Bonnie and Allan for sharing little Lexi’s amazing story. The team here are so glad to hear she is now living a normal and fulfilled life.