Woman launches £25k appeal so her dog can have life-saving heart surgery – as he collapses and needs CPR every time he gets excited

October 7, 2016 | by | 0 Comments

A dog owner whose pet collapses and needs CPR every time it gets excited has launched a £25,000 appeal so her pooch can have innovative, life-saving heart surgery – by Japanese surgeons.

Desperate Samantha Hosker, 36, is terrified she will lose Rocco, after she found out he will need a special operation that is only available in the Orient.

Her beloved dog’s condition is so bad that he cannot even go on walks or he will get too excited and suddenly collapse with heart failure.

But she “has faith” in animal lovers who will sympathise and help her raise the huge funds to save the seven-year-old Jack-Russell and Chihuahua cross.

Samantha Hosker with her dog Rocco

Samantha Hosker with her dog Rocco

The freelance hairstylist and make-up artist said: “He is a beautiful dog with a beautiful temperament.

“He is very placid but energetic when meeting people.

“Rocco is just the kindest, loveliest dog – he is like my child.

“I never ask for help with money but I have faith there are good people out there – it’s not the money, it’s finding the right people.”

Samantha, originally from Sidmouth, Devon, but now living in Ascot, Berks, was first alerted to Rocco’s condition in April when he was taken for a check-up and vets discovered an irregular heartbeat.

SWNS_DOG_CPR_05They said they would monitor him but just a few months down the line he collapsed and she had to give him mouth-to-mouth.

“I had given him some food and I thought he was choking,” said Samantha.

“I waited to see if he would cough it up and he just collapses and his heart stopped.

“I had to think quickly and did CPR – I was breathing into his mouth.”

Rocco sprung back to life but collapsed on a further two occasions – prompting Samantha to repeat the CPR.

Little Rocco

Little Rocco

After taking him to the vets again, Samantha was told Rocco’s mitral heart valve was leaking and could only be fixed with a special operation in Japan.

Mitral valve heart failure is an extremely common condition in small dogs but currently there is no operation is offered in UK due to it being so complicated.
Following research, Samantha discovered there were specialist surgeons – in particular Dr Masami Uechi – who performed an open-heart operation on dogs of his size in Japan.
A Japanese team headed by Dr Uechi has a 90 per cent success rate.
The freelance hairstylist said the quarantine to get Rocco to Japan was six months – time he did not have.
However, she found another clinic in Paris which worked with the Japanese team where she could take him.
She has since decided that the best option would be to arrange for surgeons to fly over to Paris – at a cost of £25,000 – to save the pet.

If the complicated procedure – involving ten specialists – goes ahead, the dog will be able to live out his life expectancy of 16 years.

Rocco is currently on medication but there are signs he is getting weaker and Samantha is desperate to get the help he needs.

“It’s about finding the right people,” she said.

“Even if it’s the tiniest amount – I’m not going to give up until enough people find out and want to help.

“I would give up all my material possessions for Rocco.

“An animal life is still a life,” she added.

Samantha is hoping the campaign for Rocco will help other dog owners who could find themselves in a similar condition.
“UK vets can be trained and Rocco’s operation will also help raise awareness and develop expertise in the UK,” she said.
“This condition needs to be understood,” she added.

Visit gofundme.com/2rrvwuj4 to help Samantha’s cause.

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