When Prima, a four-year-old Pomeranian mix, arrived at the San Francisco SPCA, she was not only homeless but also suffering from Patent Ductus Arteriosus, a heart problem preventing her body from getting enough oxygen.
Upon her arrival, she was immediately transferred to the SF SPCA’s veterinary hospital due to excessive panting (a side effect of the heart problems she was experiencing). Everyone quickly realized that without surgery, the condition was a death sentence and she would never live a full life. With surgery, though, the prognosis was good for a normal, healthy life without any need for supportive medication.
The only problem remaining was where to find the money for the crucial surgery. The SF SPCA launched a campaign to raise the $3,500 needed for Prima to receive medical care from a heart specialist. Thanks to the community’s generous support, the money was raised in only two weeks!
Prima then received surgery at the University of California Davis Veterinary Hospital, where cardiology specialists could give her the care and treatment that she needed. With the support of UC Davis veterinarians and her foster mom, Prima made a quick recovery. She still has a heart murmur, but it is much smaller and her energy level is much greater than before. Even more importantly, there is no longer a fear that she will go into heart failure at any time.
Prima’s foster mom described how the surgery had changed Prima:
“Emotionally, she’s still the same loving dog she was before her surgery, but she has more energy and more Pomeranian attitude! She wants to go everywhere we go! She loves car rides, walks and any attention she can get. Prima has come to love her doggy friends and she is especially close with my tiny Chihuahua. They spend their downtime cuddling and bouncing off each other because they’re too furry to wrestle.”
The San Francisco SPCA is a community-supported non-profit dedicated to saving, protecting and caring for cats and dogs. They do this through immediate care of animals that are ill, homeless, or in need of an advocate. They also work to educate the community, reduce the number of unwanted kittens and puppies through spaying/neutering, and improve the quality of life for animals and their companions.