Plucky puppy Maverick is Top Gun after lifesaving surgery at Willows

Our expert cardiology team at our Willows referral centre has saved the life of a desperately ill puppy after carrying out intricate keyhole heart surgery.

Maverick, the cocker spaniel, was just weeks old when he underwent the pioneering surgery to repair an abnormal valve in his heart.

The condition is called pulmonary valve stenosis, which is prevalent in cocker spaniels and prevents blood flowing through the heart correctly, putting it under enormous strain.

Willows’ head of cardiology Chris Linney, who runs our congenital heart disease clinic for young dogs and cats (the UK’s first such specialist-led service) carried out the lifesaving procedure and, incredibly, the plucky puppy was back on his feet just an hour after the operation.

Maverick’s thrilled owner Sophie Rapson said: “We really can’t thank Willows enough for everything that Chris and the team have done for us.

“We never thought for one minute we would still have Maverick with us today after his alarming eight-week puppy check-up.

“The whole family is very grateful, especially the children who are super happy to have Maverick back with us.

“You would certainly never think he has had any surgery or a heart problem at all as he is such a happy, bouncy puppy. He truly is a little fighter.”

Heart specialist Chris said: “It really was a whole team effort – from our reception team to our dedicated Cardiology nursing team providing round the clock care and support alongside our world-leading specialists.

“With some of the latest and most advanced equipment available in the veterinary world our specialist team provides a unique and bespoke level of care for patients with heart conditions.”

This month, Willows’ specialist cardiology team celebrates its five-year anniversary, having established a reputation for excellence performing the largest number of cardiac interventional produces in the UK, delivering some of the best clinical outcomes in the world.

Our new clinic has now taken care to another level, aiming to react to heart conditions and murmurs in young puppies and kittens as soon as possible, just as they did with Maverick.

Chris added: “Often, the earlier these procedures are performed the better the outlook for the patient.

“Young puppies with congenital heart conditions like Maverick tend to do very well after surgery and his outlook for the future is now great. He will be able to enjoy life normally as he gets older.

“Early intervention is key and so, if your puppy or kitten has been diagnosed with a heart murmur or heart abnormality, we recommend that you speak to your vet about getting the condition investigated as quickly as possible, as often life-saving surgery may be available.”

Share this post!
<< Back to News