New Surgical Procedure
***UPDATE*** Our plan is to complete the first surgeries with the team visiting every two months and performing up to six cases each time. Dogs will be selected based on health status with close collaboration with the team from Japan. Dogs with a history of heart failure (stage C) will be prioritized as they have limited time but dogs with enlarged hearts before heart failure will be considered (stage B2). To contact the Cardiology team about the program, please email: OpenHeart@vetmed.ufl.edu
Mandy’s Mission to Mend Hearts
Mandy’s Mission to Mend Hearts, established by a generous donation, is in honor of Mandy, a wonderful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who lost her battle with Mitral Valve Disease. This is the most common heart disease suffered by dogs in the United States with approximately 5 to 7 million dogs affected. Common in small breeds, this malady can affect any dog and is a leading cause of death for older dogs. In this disease, failure of the mitral valve causes heart enlargement then ultimately heart failure.
The good news is a team in Japan has developed the ability to perform a surgical repair procedure of the valve via cardiac bypass in dogs, presently achieving a success rate of 87%! The dogs are often able to discontinue all medications after surgery. Unfortunately, the Japanese surgical team are unable to visit the United States regularly. We really have a need for a successful open-heart program to perform this surgery in the United States. More good news, at the University of Florida, we have a Veterinary Cardiology team willing to undertake the training necessary to become proficient at mitral valve repair. This is where you can help! Funding will allow us to establish this program to perform repair of congenital and acquired heart diseases in dogs that would otherwise have a poor prognosis. Your support of this program could help advance the future of veterinary medicine and save many pets who suffer from this devastating disease. How can you help now?
And thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!