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Puppy Maverick Is Top Gun After Lifesaving Heart Surgery At Willows

7 months ago

8th October, 2020 15h24

Linnaeus Group

The UK’s first specialist-led congenital heart disease clinic for cats and dogs has received glowing praise after saving the life of a desperately ill puppy.

Maverick, the cocker spaniel, was just weeks old when he underwent intricate keyhole surgery to repair an abnormal valve in his heart at Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, in the West Midlands, part of Linnaeus.

Pulmonary valve stenosis is prevalent in cocker spaniels, preventing blood flowing through the heart correctly and putting it under enormous strain with the potential to eventually lead to right-sided heart failure or arrhythmias or sudden cardiac death.

Chris Linney, RCVS and European specialist in small animal cardiology and head of cardiology at Willows, along with his team, carried out the life-saving procedure, with the plucky puppy back on his feet just an hour after the operation.

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 Specialist vets.

“Willows has some of the latest and most advance equipment available in the Veterinary world including advanced ultrasound and state-of-the-art CT for the assessment of complex cardio cases.

“Our specialists work closely with our Emergency and Critical Care team to deliver an outstanding level of care for pets with critical conditions, alongside other disciplines to ensure the best possible care and treatment for our patients.” 

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 very best clinical outcomes in the world.

The 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.

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

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

“Early intervention is key and so we are here to support our colleagues who may be dealing with a puppy or kitten which a heart murmur or heart abnormality, ensuring that together the best possible clinical outcome can be achieved, giving pups like Maverick the best chance of a healthy and normal life.” 

Willows offers specialist services in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, clinical nutrition, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, emergency and critical care, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and spinal surgery.

To find out more about Willows’ wide range of specialist services, visit or search for Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service on social media.

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