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A mighty journey: Chockie’s story

by Burns Team Writer

At Burns Pet Nutrition we are always looking for ways to help with the advancement of causes that support animal welfare so, last year when we were invited to support the Royal Veterinary College with their pet blood donor scheme it was the perfect opportunity.

Below is just one success story from this fantastic scheme and sums up exactly why we are so proud to be able to support the RVC. Here’s Chockie’s story.

A mighty journey: Chockie’s story

Our beautiful, incredible 10yr old Chihuahua, Chockie, was at end of life when we happened to use google and magically found the RVC. He simply wouldn’t be in our lives anymore were it not for their incredible support and expertise.” Megan Deglow, Chockie’s owner.

If we rewind to Nov 2018, Chockie started coughing with no explanation. Megan knew to count his respiratory rate, but didn’t know why. It was a very fortunate decision as it was double its usual rate and they booked an appointment to see their local vet in San Diego. Chockie was found to have a grade 5 heart murmur, a torn mitral valve and was given six months to live. This is where their mitral valve disease (MVD) battle began.

If we then fast forward to April 2019 when Megan hit ‘google’, she counts Chockie’s journey to recovery as starting then. Through the Mighty Hearts project, a group of owners dedicated to providing education, advocacy and hope for dogs with MVD, Megan heard about the RVC and their life changing surgery for this dreadful condition. They made the long and rather stressful journey from San Diego to the RVC and his battle to survive began. Dan Brockman, Professor in Small Animal Surgery, remembers:

Chockie’s mitral valve repair surgery and initial recovery were uneventful. Two days after surgery, Chockie lost the pulse in his right front leg and echocardiography revealed pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in his lungs) along with a blood clot on his valve.  Three days later, he developed a build-up of fluid in his chest and his blood test revealed ongoing inflammation.  Antibiotics were given and diuretic therapy was initiated. 

“Clearly, it was “touch and go” for Chockie for a while and his post-operative course illustrates first, the often “chaotic” behaviour of biological systems and also the importance of the high quality and diligent care that these patients need and receive at the QMHA.  He is a shining example of how important it is to identify and manage complications quickly and that perseverance really counts. Without the rapid identification of these complications, Chockie would not have survived.”

Chockie, whilst he fought extremely hard himself, owes his survival, in no small measure, to the entire team at the RVC and the Animal Care Trust are proud to be able to fund the research and vital equipment required to treat complex cases such as this. Thank YOU for the part you play in supporting dogs like Chockie who would otherwise not have survived.

Every single person we met during our time at the RVC, was so lovely and there are so many whose names we knew but we never got to meet who played their vital part behind the scenes. Accommodating, kind, professional, caring….I could go on and on! Our journey over the last 9 months would have been much harder without the incredible team who looked after not just Chockie, but myself and Alan too.”

UPDATE: “Chockie always played before, but he’s now running laps and he would never have done that, even prior to his illness. He is literally transformed and we are so incredibly happy.” Megan.