Abandoned puppy to undergo heart surgery

Cowboy, his mother and the rest of her puppies were found abandoned in central California.

SAN DIEGO — The Helen Woodward Animal Center announced Tuesday that one of its shelter dogs is set to undergo an innovative and specialized heart surgery in the next month.

The puppy, named Cowboy, was brought in with his mother and the rest of her puppy litter in October after being found abandoned in central California. The shelter’s medical staff soon noticed that Cowboy had a heart arrhythmia and diagnosed him with a high grade heart murmur, a relatively rare condition for a dog.

The shelter has treated Cowboy with medication for roughly six months to lessen the strain on his heart while he grows. Next month, veterinarians at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Center are expected to place a small balloon into one of Cowboy’s heart valves to improve blood flow and assuage the heart murmur.

“We care deeply about every single orphan pet that comes into our care and go to great lengths to make sure that each one of these wonderful animals has the chance to live a long, healthy and happy life with a loving forever family,” said Jennifer Shorey, the shelter’s director of operations. “When we learned about Cowboy’s unique condition, we didn’t hesitate to find him the expert care he needs.”

According to the shelter, the UC Davis veterinary staff had to special- order the balloon to fit Cowboy’s heart valve. The surgery is scheduled for May 7. Once he has finished rehabilitating, the shelter expects to put him up for adoption.

Residents can help fund Cowboy’s medical care by visiting the shelter’s website, animalcenter.org, or contacting the shelter at (858) 756- 4117.

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