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Millie the Schnauzer

From the Heart

Millie is an 11 Year old Miniature schnauzer who presented to our Leigh Surgery due to recent collapsing episodes. Her Owners were very worried as the episodes were becoming more and more frequent.

Millie visited with one of our vets, Andrea, who after examining Millie found that Millie’s heart beat was  slow, irregular ( with a heart murmur), and that the colour of her gums was a little bit blue.

Andrea explained that if Millie's heart was not functioning normally she may not have been getting enough oxygen around her body, which may explain why she had been collapsing. There are many reasons why the heart may be working abnormally so Andrea advised Millie’s owners to bring Millie back to the surgery the following day for further investigations.

Millie underwent xrays of her chest and an ultrasound of the heart (echocardiography). These further investigations showed that as well as Millie’s heart beat being too slow, every few beats Millie’s heart stopped (sinus arrest). The tests also showed that the valves in Millie’s heart were abnormal. Due to the heart stopping every few beats our Veterinary Surgeon,  Andrea, felt that Millie should be referred as soon as possible to a heart specialist – A Cardiologist.

That same day Millie went for an emergancy referral to the Small Animal Teaching Hospital at Liverpool University, where after examination they agreed that Millie’s heart was not functioning normally and that she required a Pacemaker fitting.That same day Millie went for an emergency referral to the Small Animal Teaching Hospital at Liverpool University, where after examination they agreed that Millie’s heart was not functioning normally and that she required a Pacemaker fitting. A pacemaker is a small electrical device that is implanted under the skin and sends a regular electrical pulse into the heart to keep it beating regularly and not too slowly. The pacemaker has a wire that sits in one of the chamber of the heart.

Millie’s surgery and implantion of the pacemaker was successful, and after a few days recovery at the hospital Millie was able to go home to rest.

Millie visited us next for her 10 day post operative check to have her stiches removed and check that she was recovering well from her operation. Millie’s owners were very happy with her progress and Miliie was healing well.

It has now been a month since Millie’s operation and she is fully recovered. She is back to running around and playing. Apart from a lump on Millie’s neck no one would now how how poorly Millie had been, or how much Millie (and her owners) have been through.

Millie’s condition was serious, but, thanks to her owner’s and the vet's quick action, her story is a happy one.

If you ever notice your animal, panting excessively, struggling to exercise, collapsing, or with blue gums it could indicate that they have a severe problem with their heart and need immediate veterinary treatment, so come and see us if you are worried and we are always happy to help .

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