Myles is truly a one-of-a-kind pup. With the tilt of his head and his giant radar ears, how could he not put a smile on your face? Myles is nothing short of affectionate, loyal, social, sensitive, and intelligent. I rescued him from Wicomico Humane Society in Salisbury, MD in 2008, where I had been volunteering at for the past 3 years while in college. I had no intentions of adopting a dog until after I graduated, but then there he was--the most pathetic looking puppy (see picture) that had eyes that looked straight into my heart. Needless to say, he has never left my side since. We are each other's world. He has gone to work with me everyday for the past 3 years and recently we drove 3,000 miles across country together so I could attend veterinary school at Western University of Health Sciences in California.
Myles has been diagnosed with heart condition called Patent Ductus Arterosis (PDA). Most dogs that are diagnosed with this heart defect only have 40% chance of seeing their first birthday. Myles just celebrated his 4th birthday on September 1st! He is truly a miracle dog! He has never shown any clinical signs of having a heart defect. However, just as I was moving from Maryland to California, Myles was diagnosed with a heart murmur. I knew I needed to find the source of murmur as soon as possible. Fortunately, my veterinary school is extremely supportive and was able to run a series of tests such as an echocardiogram, chest x-ray, and a ECG over the past few weeks, which lead to the confirmation that Myles has PDA.
So what is PDA? Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is one of the most common congenital heart defects in dogs. The ductus arteriosus is a blood vessel that is normally present in a puppy before it is born. At birth, the ductus arteriosus should close allowing blood to begin flowing through the lungs to pick up oxygen. If the ductus arteriosus does not close, it results in an abnormal communication between the two largest vessels in the heart, the aorta and the pulmonary artery. This causes an increase in the amount of blood that flows through the left side of the heart, resulting in extra work for the left side of the heart. The increased volume of blood and extra work will cause heart failure. Myles is a extremely rare case considering is age and having no clinical signs. However, Myles’ left side of his heart has already shown signs of enlargement.
Luckily, Myles is a candidate for a PERMANENT FIX. Surgically, a coil will be placed into the PDA to stop the unwanted blood flow. However, the expense is the difficult part, especially since I am a full time veterinary student and unable to work while in school. If Myles does not get the surgery then his heart will continue to be overworked which will lead to congestive heart failure and his life expectancy will be greatly shortened. I cannot lose my best friend. Please donate so Myles can life out a full happy and healthy life.