So far over 2,500 animals needing help have already come through our shelter this financial year. Throughout Winter, we see 6 animals come into our care each day. These animals need our help to keep them safe during the colder months. The only way we can keep our doors open and continue this vital works is through your support.
Can you continue to help us help them by making a financial gift before June 30?
My name is Dr Sarah Pilbeam, and I am one of the veterinarians at RSPCA ACT.
The photos you see is the loveable Eli, and I want to tell you how we mended his broken heart – literally. He was surrendered into the care of RSPCA ACT just before Christmas as his family could no longer care for him, he was just 4 months old.
But as soon as we got Eli into the examination room and began to check him over, we noticed that he wasn’t like other puppies. The sound of his heart was very strange. Something was wrong – fatally wrong.
Our first step was to x-ray little Eli’s heart to determine what we were up against. Unfortunately, our vet clinic didn’t have the equipment to diagnose his condition accurately. So, to confirm our fears, we booked Eli in with the staff of Canberra Veterinary Emergency Services (CVES) for a thorough heart ultrasound and echocardiogram.
The echocardiogram confirmed it. Eli had a heart defect and was diagnosed with Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA).
What did this mean for Eli?
His heart was pumping extra hard to try to get his body the oxygen it needed. This abnormal blood flow was slowly filling Eli’s lungs with fluid. We knew his little heart couldn’t keep pumping like this. The x-rays already showed that without medical intervention, Eli would unlikely reach his first birthday.
He needed surgery – STAT – to save his life!
Typically, fixing a PDA is a referral procedure to a heart specialist, but we couldn’t afford that option. What we did have, however, was our dedicated RSPCA ACT vet team and the incredible support of our friends at Canberra Veterinary Emergency Services (CVES) that allowed us to use their facilities.
We knew that it was a significant risk. We knew Eli might die, but we had to try.
Our job is tough, but knowing that we make a difference to even the smallest of lives makes all the hard work worth it. By supporting RSPCA ACT, you are a part of our team saving animals.
The big day came. Little Eli was a fighter. For a moment he died on that table, but we were able to bring him back to life! We watched his little heart take one, then two tentative beats, and then we saw his anaesthetic tube fog up with one long, slow breath and the whole clinic breathed out a sigh of relief.
Thankfully Eli is young, and over the next six months to a year, there is a good chance that his heart will begin to remodel and recover. However, it will never be ‘normal’.
The reality is that our veterinarian team is one of the most expensive parts of the entire organisation. But your support helps us care for the animals that come to us for help. Eli’s story is an excellent example of the miracles that can happen when we work together.
There was no way that Eli would have survived the year without medical intervention. Will you help us give animals like Eli a chance at a happy life. We just can’t do it without you!
Dr Sarah Pilbeam
RSPCA ACT Veterinarian
Saving animals is what we do. Every day we change an animal’s life. Please donate before 30 June. Your generous gift could mean the world of difference for animals in need in the ACT.