Last November we waited nervously at the airport for the arrival of a plane filled with precious cargo. In it were over forty animals taken from Southern shelters in the aftermath of Hurricanes Michael and Florence. Room had to be made for pets whose families may have been looking for their beloved cats and dogs in the aftermath of the devastating storms, and the shelters were bursting at the seams.
One very special baby dog was chosen to ride in the cockpit. Her name was Willa Mae. Caregivers were especially anxious to meet this darling puppy as there were big health concerns. Willa Mae had been diagnosed with a Stage VI heart murmur. If not treated by specialists her life span would be greatly diminished. Once back at the shelter we quickly discovered that Willa Mae was a ray of sunshine. Nobody would have ever known there was a thing wrong with her. She was a playful, bubbly, happy baby that stole the hearts of everyone. Sadly, her diagnosis was a serious one that had us terribly worried. Her cardiogram was consistent with Patent Ductus Ateriosus (PDA) and Subaortic Stenosis (SAS). PDA is a congenital defect that can lead to congestive heart failure. The good news is that it could be corrected with surgery. SAS is a congenital defect that can cause, among other things, sudden death. Unfortunately, there is no cure.
Being the champion that we knew she was, Willa Mae sailed through her surgery at Iowa State and received glowing reports. She developed a big fan base while there with her sweet and charming disposition. The PDA surgery was a success, and on that end it is expected that Willa will live a normal life. The PDA was contributing to the severity of her SAS so Willa's is now considered a mild case. Although the risk of complications is low, she will need continued monitoring as the stenosis can progress up to two years of age. Willa Mae cares little about her earlier struggles. She is as carefree as a puppy dog can be, bestowing sweet kisses upon every human she meets. She is well-mannered and wonderful around other dogs and they delight in her company. Willa's future is as bright as the stars, and we cannot wait for her to start her new life as a beloved family member.
6/26/18 22 - need fully grown - 50 Birmingham
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