SENECA, SC......Luna is a 14-month-old Boston Terrier Mix signed over to the Oconee Humane Society after the Owners decided they no longer wanted to deal with her medical issues. Luna has had heart issues since she was born. Sadly, no one has given her a proper diagnosis other than she has a Grade-4 heart Murmur.
I agreed to take on Luna and her care so Luna would not be euthanized. I had her transported to CVRC in Charleston, SC, where she would be admitted and put under our Cardiologist's supervision, Dr. Sophy Jesty. The Critical Care Team took over stabilizing dear Luna. Her breathing was so compromised she had to go into an Oxygen Chamber and remains there.
Luna's condition went from unstable to down-right scary. Her bloodwork was off the charts abnormal. Luna has a congenital defect in her heart that is causing blood to shunt past her lungs into circulation. Therefore, she's not getting enough oxygen, so her body tries to compensate by making more red blood cells. If Luna's red blood cells get higher, they will have to take blood from her to get the numbers down.
Luna had to remain in oxygen medicated during the weekend until Dr. Jesty could do her Echo Monday Morning. Since Luna is a puppy who wants to love everyone, they had to do everything possible to keep her from getting excited. The excitement caused Luna to turn purple and pass out from lack of oxygen.
We think Dr. Jesty is fabulous and believe she can do just about anything regarding animal hearts. Sadly, we have found something Dr. Jesty has never done. Luna's Echo showed she has a rare genetic heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. Luna was born with this condition.
Luna has a tiny pulmonic valve and pulmonary artery, which is limiting blood flow through the lungs. She also has a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a large aorta that over-rides both the lower chambers. The result is that deoxygenated blood is mixing with oxygenated blood in the aorta, resulting in insufficient oxygen content in the blood. This condition causes Luna to breathe harder and generate more red blood cells; these are compensatory mechanisms for low blood oxygen.
Tetralogy of Fallot can cause labored breathing, collapse with adrenaline, and neurologic abnormalities. Correction of the defects requires open-heart surgery, which is not readily available in veterinary medicine. Dr. Jesty will try to decrease the work of the heart with a β-blocker (atenolol) and decrease pulmonary pressure (sildenafil) to encourage blood flow through the lungs and lessen the degree of deoxygenated blood entering the aorta.
When I first spoke to Dr. Jesty, she said we needed to consider euthanasia. The cost of doing open-heart surgery was massive, and finding someone to do it was equally challenging. I listened to her reasoning and decided Luna had survived 14 months waiting for someone to diagnose her condition. That day has arrived, and I am not going to give up on her. Dr. Jesty is looking for a Cardiologist or Surgeon that has done this procedure before.
In the meantime, Luna has to remain on oxygen until we find someone to do her procedure. We are in talks with NC State and the University of Florida. If they do not have someone, we will reach out to another teaching Vet. Hospitals until we find someone to do this procedure.
We need for everyone to Donate toward this sweet pup's Medical bills. We have not done the surgery, and her bills are already way too high. Let's give Luna the Gift of Life by Donating.
This last year has been horrible for animals and people because of Covid. Everyone is suffering, and the mental state of so many is fragile. Donations are down, and abuse is up. I decided nine months ago to sacrifice and do whatever I had to do to save as many animals as possible without adding to people's suffering. I have taken on a significant financial strain to ensure my staff is taken care of and the animals in our care are adequately treated.
I get the saddest letters from people wanting to help but can't feed themselves. The letters prompted me to cut back on the number of e-mails I was sending asking for help. With so many getting vaccinated, I hope the World begins to find Joy and see glimmers of hope shining through. We need the funds, and the abused animals need us now more than ever.
The other issue we are dealing with is the mail system is consolidating letters. Letters are arriving 2-4 weeks behind their expected delivery date. If you have sent us a check and it has not been deposited, the chances are still en-route. Please, DO NOT cancel until you have spoken to us. Thanks for your Love and Understanding during these challenging times.