Our story: In November of 2016 we visited Front Street Shelter in Sacramento in hopes of finding a dog to bring home and immediately fell in love with a little 8 month old Staffordshire Terrior named "Sara". When we met her she was in the medical unit and had already been through a lot. She was found as a stray and brutally attacked by her shelter mate. We couldn't resist her sad eyes, sad story, high spirits, and the wiggliest butt from excitement we'd ever seen.
As soon as we brought her home to San Francisco we noticed some exercise/excitement intolerance. After several vet visits where they claimed to find nothing abnormal, we met with a vet who heard a heart murmur.
This is when the whirlwind began. The murmur led to an x-ray that showed some abnormalities in her heart. We were referred to a cardiologist to do further testing. An ultrasound was done and her heart condition was finally confirmed. Lola has been diagnosed with Severe Congenital Pulmonic Stenosis and Pulmonary Artery Hypoplasia. This means that her pulmonary artery valve is too narrow, her pulmonary artery is also narrow, and it is hardened. She also has shunting of un-oxygenated blood between the two sides of the heart which puts her at a much higher risk of a heart attack.
At this point there were three options: 1. Do nothing, which would probably mean that she would only live to be 3-5yo and would die from this disease (this was never an option for us). 2. Get a balloon valvuloplasty procedure. This would open up the valve to help ease the pressure the heart is exerting to pump it's blood. This is an okay option but due to the complexity/severity of her heart (her artery itself also being narrow and hard) this could most likely help with some exercise intolerance but would probably not extend her life long-term or allow her to live a normal life. This brings us the last option. 3. Get a more aggressive patch-graft surgery that is much riskier but will completely change her life. As Lola's parents we want to give her the best quality of life possible so we have decided on this surgery. This surgery will take place at the end of August at Colorado State University.
This surgery will remedy her heart disease but it is also the most expensive option. The surgery itself will be $15,000. Due to the numerous office visits and procedures we have had to do to diagnose her and make sure she is a good candidate for a surgery (x-rays, ultrasounds, CT angiograms, blood tests, medication, etc.) we have already spent several thousands and we are only left with enough to pay for a portion of the surgery cost.
We are asking for your help to contribute anything you can to help save Lola's life. She is a super sweet dog who enjoys cuddling, the times of day she gets to take her pill because that means she gets peanut butter, and giving unlimited kisses to any dog, cat, or human she encounters. If you can't contribute financially we are also accepting positive thoughts as we move forward with such a risky procedure. Thank you so much. We will send updates throughout this process.
- Cristina Cura
- Aamir Ali
- Rena DeBlasio
- Brian Burton
San Francisco, CA