Plucky puppy Maverick is Top Gun after life-saving heart operation

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Maverick, the cocker spaniel puppy, underwent lifesaving heart surgery at Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, in Shirley, Solihull.

THE life of a desperately ill puppy owned by a Stratford woman has been saved after it underwent keyhole heart surgery at a small animal hospital.

Maverick, a cocker spaniel, was just weeks old when he had the surgery to repair an abnormal valve in his heart at Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Shirley.

The condition is called pulmonary valve stenosis and prevents blood flowing through the heart correctly, putting it under enormous strain.

Maverick with Chris Linney, head of cardiology at Willows.

The life-saving procedure was carried out by head of cardiology Chris Linney – who runs the UK’s first specialist-led congenital heart disease clinic for young dogs and cats at Willows – and the plucky puppy was back on his feet just an hour after the operation.

Maverick’s owner Sophie Rapson, from Stratford-upon-Avon, said: “We really can’t thank Willows enough for everything that Chris and the team have done for us.

“We never thought for one minute we would still have Maverick with us today after his alarming eight-week puppy check-up.

“The whole family is very grateful, especially the children who are super happy to have Maverick back with us.

“You would certainly never think he has had any surgery or a heart problem at all as he is such a happy, bouncy puppy. He truly is a little fighter.”

Heart specialist Chris added: “It really was a whole team effort – from our reception team to our dedicated cardiology nursing team providing round the clock care and support alongside our world-leading specialist vets.

“With some of the latest and most advance equipment available in the veterinary world our specialist team provides a unique and bespoke level of care for patients with heart conditions.”