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PHOTOS: BluePearl doctors fix puppy’s broken heart

Sprout recovering from surgery. Photo courtesy of Laurie Singleton.

Sprout recovering from surgery. Photo courtesy of Laurie Singleton.

 

TACOMA, Wash. – An 11-week-old Rottweiler puppy who is searching for his forever home is on the mend after undergoing open heart surgery Thursday at the BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Tacoma, Wash.

The puppy, named Sprout, was suffering from a vascular ring anomaly, a genetic cardiovascular disorder where a heart vessel is wrapped around the esophagus, restricting the ability to ingest food. As he was growing larger, the vessel was getting tighter, which meant it was becoming increasingly difficult for Sprout to swallow.

The situation was further complicated by a condition Sprout has called patent ductus arteriosus, or PDA, which causes blood to flow in abnormal patterns in the heart.

An echocardiogram performed earlier this week at ACCES in Seattle showed that Sprout wouldn’t live much longer if he didn’t get surgery.

Dr. Stephanie Lister Grey, a board certified veterinary surgeon with BluePearl, performed the 2.5-hour procedure on Thursday to correct the defects.

Photo courtesy of Laurie Singleton.

Photo courtesy of Laurie Singleton.

“It was a fairly risky procedure but he did very well,” Lister Grey said Friday. “He’s being a trouper and is already up and eating.”

Once Sprout has healed, he will need an additional surgery to correct an umbilical hernia, an opening in the muscle wall where the belly button is located.

Sprout is owned by Valhalla Canine Rescue, a Winlock-based rescue organization that provides homes for all dogs, including those with medical needs. While BluePearl discounted the cost of Sprout’s care to show support for the group’s mission, the organization is raising money to cover the remainder. To donate, click here.

Sprout is currently being fostered by Laurie Singleton, a veterinary assistant with BluePearl and a longtime Valhalla volunteer. After Sprout has recovered, the next step for the little pup will be to find a permanent home.

Those interested in applying for adoption with Valhalla Canine Rescue can click here.

“He is really spunky,” said Singleton. “He’s a wonderful puppy who loves to play and really enjoys cuddling. We’re all just so relieved that he’s doing okay.”

Photo courtesy of Laurie Singleton

Photo courtesy of Laurie Singleton