Cat With Heart Defect Saved by Rare Surgery

A 1-year-old Burmese cat named Vanilla Bean has another chance at life after groundbreaking surgery to fix a congenital heart defect. Dr. Josh Stern, a veterinarian with the University of California, Davis, worked with a team of cardiologists — whose patients are usually humans — to correct a problem that would have lead to congestive heart failure. The technique had only been used once before, in a procedure also done by Stern.  It has also been used for children born with the same problem. "I needed a human cardiology team to help guide me on this case," said Stern. "It's so uncommon in cats. It's uncommon in children also, but they've certainly seen more cases of this than I have." Vanilla Bean was able to go home about a week after the surgery. After four months of recuperation, an exam showed he was no longer in congestive heart failure. Stern expects the cat to make a complete recovery. — Read it from the AP via ABC News


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