Mambo is a happy, friendly 9-year-old dog who loves to get petted by just about everyone who sees him as he goes on walks through Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.
“Everyone one knows Mambo. He goes down the street and he has to say hi to everyone,” said Rolando Gomez, who owns Mambo with his husband Edward B. Reynolds Jr. “He’s a very, very friendly dog. He never growls at anybody or any dog.”
But one Friday in August, Mambo simply collapsed. “He couldn’t even get up and he was shaking his head. Something was wrong,” Gomez said. Mambo was taken to Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital, where veterinarian Dr. Diane Bassman determined that he had excess fluid around his heart.
Mambo was taken to BluePearl’s Midtown hospital, which offers 24-hour emergency veterinary care and many veterinarians who are board-certified in surgery, cardiology, internal medicine and other specialties. A team of these veterinarians immediately went to work on Mambo.
Dr. Marc Greenberg, a BluePearl veterinarian who is board-certified in veterinary surgery, said excess fluids filled the sac around Mambo’s heart and exerted pressure, preventing it from beating properly. That’s why Mambo got exhausted and collapsed.
Dr. Laura Hoyt, who is board-certified in veterinary radiology, evaluated Mambo with an ultrasound machine, and saw the dog had a tumor on his heart.
Hoyt and Dr. David Wohlstadter-Rocha, a BluePearl emergency veterinarian, also performed the delicate job of draining fluid from the sac around the heart, called the pericardium. They did this by inserting a needle into the pericardium, watching the needle’s progress through the screen on the ultrasound machine. The fluid they drained out contained blood, which indicated the tumor was bleeding.
Greenberg, along with Dr. John Farrelly, who is board-certified in veterinary oncology, explained the various treatment options to Gomez and Reynolds. They decided on surgery to remove the tumor, which would stop the bleeding and the fluids that were clamping down on Mambo’s heart. Some cancer cells might remain after such a surgery, but the operation would solve Mambo’s emergency.
“He was able to explain everything to us, he had all the pros and cons,” Gomez said. “He made us feel very comfortable even though we were very stressed out. I have no words to describe just how good he was. Not just him but the whole team.”
Greenberg performed the surgery and removed the tumor, removing the pericardium in the process. It’s a rare procedure because of the location of the tumor. Mambo’s cancer is now in remission, and he will get chemotherapy and regular check-ups in the future in case of a return.
The great news is that after recovering from surgery, Mambo is back to his happy and friendly self.
“Everyone says there is no one like Mambo,” Gomez said.