Melli the Rough Collie Needs Heart Surgery

Melli the Rough Collie came to us on June 4, 2019 from a breeder in Oil Springs, Ontario.

When we got Melli home to Nova Scotia, we immediately took her to our vet as she appeared to have an eye infection that the breeder told me was "a little bit of demodex around the edges of her eyes which is due to the hormone changes she is experiencing as the result of going through puberty and with a heat cycle soon on it's way."  Our vet diagnosed her with an eye infection, and she was successfully treated.

Melli has two congenital eye anomalies (which were in the paperwork I received) and has microphthalmia (which was not in the paperwork) - her eyes are small for her breed and size.  Her eyelids also roll inward - a condition called entropion.  We were not sure if the entropion caused the infection or vice versa but entropion is still present after successful treatment of the eye infection.

At our first vet visit , Melli was also diagnosed with a grade IV heart murmur.  Heart murmurs are graded based on how loud they are, from I-VI. Melli's murmur can be heard on both sides of her chest.

Melli was also covered in mats from stem to stern, and we continue to make progress busting those daily.

When I sent all this information to the breeder, she replied that "The only veterinarian that is qualified to comment on this eye check of mild choroidal hypoplasia is an American Board Certified Ophthalmologist."

We live in Canada.

Further, she repeatedly said that if Melli had all these issues, I should not have bought her.  

Sadly I trusted this breeder to sell me a healthy pup.  I am not a breeder.  I did not know her eyes were too small.  I was not told she had a heart murmur.  I was misled about her eye conditions. And her poor care from 8 weeks (when she had her only documented health check) to 9 months when we brought her home, was appalling.

So here we are.  Per our contract with the breeder, Melli must be spayed. But our vet wanted a Cardiology consult prior to surgery to determine if there are any increased risks for anaesthesia given her heart murmur.

On July 17th, 2019, Melli was seen by a canine Cardiologist. He performed a very thorough examination of Melli and his findings were heart-breaking.

Melli has PDA - patent ductus arteriosus and a mild mitral regurgitation.

"Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a medical condition in which the ductus arteriosus fails to close after birth: this allows a portion of oxygenated blood from the left heart to flow back to the lungs by flowing from the aorta, which has a higher pressure, to the pulmonary artery. " ~ Wikipedia

This is yet another congenital defect.  I have tried three separate times now to get hold of Melli's veterinary records from the vet in Ontario, and have yet to receive them.  The vet in Ontario has tried to contact the breeder for permission to release the records, but I have not been given access.

We received only two vet records at the time of purchase, one of which is only a receipt for an 8 week vaccine, but the vaccines given were not listed.  We were also given a report on Melli's eyes and the breeder pointed to the diagnosis of mild choroidal hypoplasia is "what breeders like to see".

I feel that if Melli had been properly followed by a vet, her issues would have been brought to the breeders attention and she may not have given Melli to us.

The Cardiologists report states "With moderate left sided cardiomegaly present today, there is an increased risk for left sided heart failure in the future without closure of her PDA.  I would anticipate that clinical signs could be noted within the next year.  Prognosis for dogs with congestive heart failure secondary to an uncorrected PDA is generally 1-1.5 years once in heart failure. With successfully closure of the PDA, long term prognosis is excellent.  I would encourage consideration to PDA closure in the near future.  In the interim, medical therapy is indicated to help delay progression to overt heart failure."

We have started Melli on the medications the Cardiologist suggested to keep her heart healthy. 

I am not one to ask for help, but for Melli's sake, I will.  I need to raise $6000 for Melli's surgery.  Our own expenses for travel and lodging will be paid by us. 

Every little bit helps.  And any extra funds we raise with go to Collie Rescue Network [], from whom I adopted my first Collie, Heidi, when she was a distinguished elderly lady.  She left us in July of 2018.  I was heart-broken, and after waiting almost a full year for another Collie girl, we found our Melli.  Her full name is Melon Flower, Melli for short.  Some don't get that joke but once you do, it's a hoot if I do say so myself.

If you can help in any way, we'd like to be considered for a donation, and you would have our unending gratitude.


  • Sally Stone 
    • $1,700 
    • 10 mos


Jill Skaling Chongva 
Greenwood, NS
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