Lily-Jean was rescued from a very rural, high kill shelter. She was completely petrified and tried to make herself as small as possible in her kennel. When we scooped her up, we thought she just needed a little time to feel safe and secure and she’d be adopted in a minute. Little did we know, something much more serious was going on with this tiny, curly haired girl. After a visit to two different vets and then a specialist, Lily-Jean was diagnosed with Patent Ductus Arteriosus, or in more simple terms, a hole in her heart that didn’t close at birth.
Before birth, the developing fetus receives all of its oxygen needs through the placenta, and the developing lungs are deflated. As part of the fetal circulation, the ductus arteriosus allows the majority of circulating blood to bypass the lungs. Therefore, while the fetus is in the uterus, the ductus arteriosus is normally open, or “patent.”
When the newborn puppy takes its first breath, the ductus is stimulated to close down. If the ductus arteriosus fails to close properly after birth, the difference in pressure between the pulmonary artery and the aorta means that it blood will ‘take the path of least resistance’ and flow from the aorta through the Patent Ductus Arteriosus into the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery then needlessly recirculates this oxygenated blood back to the lungs. Since less blood is now being pumped into the main circulation through the aorta with each heartbeat, the left side of the heart is forced to work harder to meet the demands of the body.
All of this means that Lily-Jean’s heart needs surgical repair so it doesn’t have to work as hard for her body to do normal activity. At only 2 years old, she has her entire life ahead of her. Will you contribute to Lily-Jean’s heart surgery so she can live life to the fullest?