Help Buster Heal

Help Buster Heal2022-11-03T14:17:17-04:00

After a successful surgery on his eye in early February, Buster has continued to charm his friends here at our Port Washington, NY campus. His activity levels have been allowed to slowly increase and he’s even been able to play in the dog park!

Buster is doing so well that he has been cleared to find a home of his own. It wasn’t long before he charmed the Csonka family, and another new beginning was made! Buster will continue to need regular follow-up appointments to ensure his heart continues to do well, and as a member of the Help Me Heal Program those visits and any future medication or treatment will be covered at our Pet Health Centers. Thank you for your continued support of this vital program.

On January 19, Buster underwent surgery at the AMC in New York. The procedure, called a balloon valvuloplasty, is intended to correct the issue with his heart by expanding the narrow valve and allow his heart to work more efficiently. We’re happy to report that the surgery was a success and after a few days in recovery Buster was on his way back to our Port Washington, NY campus. He will continue his recovery at our Pet Health Centers while he awaits his second surgery for his cherry eye.

Buster has been progressing nicely as he grows, which is great news because now he was able to go home to one of our foster families. There he will continue to receive all the medication and therapies needed as he awaits his surgery, but he’ll also receive much-needed socialization outside of our shelter. Luckily, our Foster Care Program provides all our foster families with the training needed to handle a case as special as Buster, and we know he is in very good hands.

Buster remains under the care of our dedicated veterinary team while he continues to get bigger – and hopefully stronger. Next week Buster will receive another echocardiogram, and his doctors will then consult with the cardiac team at the AMC in New York to fully assess his progress. Given Buster’s diagnosis of severe pulmonic stenosis, he will require these tests periodically as he grows until he is big enough to undergo the surgery to correct the problem.

Help Keep Buster’s Heart Beating

As Buster romps around like any puppy his age, he is blissfully unaware that without surgery, he will likely die from cardiac arrest. Fortunately, the veterinary team at North Shore Animal League America knows, and can help. Buster’s heart is in our hands — and yours. Together we can give this precious pup the care he needs to survive.

Rescued from Louisiana, Buster is a three-month-old, Basset Hound mix with an irresistibly squishy face and loveable nature. According to Dr. Gerard Laheney, Senior Veterinarian at Animal League America, “When Buster first came in, we noticed he had a very loud heart murmur. You could even feel it on his chest.” We had Buster examined by a cardiologist, who confirmed a diagnosis of severe pulmonic stenosis. That means the pulmonic valve of Buster’s heart is very narrow, and causes his heart to work inefficiently.

“The recommended procedure for this condition is called a balloon valvuloplasty,” explains Dr. Laheney. “That’s where a catheter gets introduced to the heart. We then open the catheter to expand the valve, so that Buster’s blood can flow normally.” For the surgery to be performed, however, Buster must be a few months older so his heart will be more fully grown.

Buster is safe and being cared for in a foster home until he is ready for his surgery. He’s not in any pain — but does want to run and explore just like any puppy — so he requires watchful monitoring. Left untreated, Buster’s condition would be a death sentence. As a member of our Help Me Heal Program, Buster will receive the attention and treatment he needs to make his heart strong.

We need your help to keep Buster’s heart beating so he can grow into a happy, healthy dog who enjoys an active life as a loyal companion to a responsible, loving family.

Will you help give Buster the future he deserves?