Heart Surgery for Austin

When Austin--my handsome, funny 8yo Australian Shepherd--began coughing last month, I sought veterinary care. But trips to 3 vets with differing diagnoses (kennel cough, collapsed trachea, lung lobe torsion, possible cancer) offered no relief for his worsening cough and the diagnostic testing cost me $3500!
Finally, a CT scan at PennVet hospital in Philly last Thursday (7/13) revealed the cause: restrictive pericardium. In other words, the sac around his heart had lost its elasticity and was keeping his heart from beating normally. Fluid was collecting in his lungs and more than a liter was drained.
Dr. Callan at Penn said the only treatment is surgery to remove part or all of the Pericardium to free up the heart. She recommends a Penn surgeon (Runge), known for his minimally invasive procedures. Dr Callan estimates the surgery and hospitalization will cost $4000, with
pre-op echocardiogram and cardiac catheterization another $750-1500.
It's a daunting sum! But how do I put a price on the life of my beloved boy, who comforts me when I'm upset, makes me laugh with his wildman enthusiasm for life, makes me run in his agility lessons, even wins film and tv jobs for me with his handsome looks.
I'm grateful for the emotional support I've received from friends and touched by one dear friend who has offered financial assistance. I would so appreciate any amount you could donate to help pay for Austin's surgery and additional diagnostics.
My anxiety about him is already overwhelming and I'd be so grateful to have some of the financial burden lifted so I can just focus on his health.
Thank you in advance, as we head up to Penn now for another fluid tap.

  • Eve Vogel 
    • $80 
    • 61 mos
  • Jacqui Nichols 
    • $25 
    • 62 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 62 mos
  • Susan Kelly 
    • $200 
    • 62 mos
  • Jacob Elsey 
    • $25 
    • 62 mos
See all


Susan Arden 
Wilmington, DE