431573BD-AF16-4DEE-AE97-D2BCF4C0117E Created with sketchtool.

Help for Adelaine


Authored on: 03 July 2023

*** UPDATE – 21st July *** 

Adelaine has had surgery and is recovering well in her foster home! 

On Tuesday morning (18th July) Adelaine underwent open-heart surgery which saved her life. The surgical team - a specialist cardiac surgeon, a vet nurse and an anaesthesiologist - spent an hour operating on Adelaine’s tiny, fragile body and successfully repaired her heart. Blood is finally being pumped around her body properly and she is no longer at risk of heart failure! 

The following images show Adelaine during surgery – no blood or wounds are visible, but they may be upsetting to some.

Click to view each image

[Under anaesthetic] [During surgery] [Surgery complete] [Waking up] [Ready to go home

The vet nurse, who was part of the surgical team, has been caring for Adelaine round the clock during her recovery. She said “Adelaine is doing really well! I bring her to work with me during the day so she can get lots of hugs from the team – she's stealing everyone’s heart. She’s healing really quickly, so keeping her quiet is hard!” 

We want to take this opportunity to say a HUGE thank you to the vet team for saving Adelaine’s life and to everyone who has supported her appeal.

We’re a small, self-funded charity, and £5,000 is a lot of money for us to find, which is why we started this appeal. Delaying the operation would have put Adelaine’s life at risk, so we had to go ahead before we had raised all the money. We’re two thirds of the way to our goal so far, so if you could spare a few pounds, we would be extremely grateful. Every penny and pound are helping us reach our goal of helping Adelaine and other dogs like her. 

On behalf of Adelaine and all the other animals you help us save, THANK YOU! 
The RSPCA Derby Team 💙 



UPDATE - 11th July

After a discussion with the specialist cardiac surgeon, who said that delaying would increase the risk to Adelaine's life, we have booked her open-heart surgery for next week. This is a very big operation for such a tiny pup, and as with any surgery, there are risks. However, if she doesn't have the operation, she is unlikely to live more than 2 years, and the longer we wait, the greater the chance of complications. 

The veterinary practice where Adelaine's operation will be performed specialises in cardiac surgery, so we know she is in the very best hands. One of their vet nurses has taken Adelaine on foster so she can provide expert care in the days and weeks following the surgery while she recovers.


UPDATE - 7th July

Adelaine had her heart scan this morning and unfortunately, the news isn’t what we were hoping for. She has been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect called a Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). When she was born, a valve in her heart should have closed, but it didn’t, so blood isn’t being pumped out of her heart properly.  

Adelaine now needs open-heart surgery to stich the tiny 1.9mm valve closed so she can live a long and healthy life. Without this surgery, she is at very high risk of heart failure within the first 1-2 years of her life. 

We don't want to delay, so we want to get Adelaine booked in for the surgery in the next few weeks, but it is going to cost around £4,000. This is on top of the £795 heart scan, so we have updated our target to £5,000. 


Adelaine's story - 3rd July

10-week-old Adelaine was born at our centre after we took in her mum from an inspector. She was a happy and healthy baby, and nothing seemed amiss, until she went for a routine check-up with our vet. 

Whilst listening to her heart, the vet noticed something was wrong. Adelaine was diagnosed with a heart murmur - this could be a problem with the way blood flows through her heart, or there could be a structural problem with her heart. The vet determined that it was a concerning Grade 4 (on a scale of 1-6, 1 being lowest, 6 being highest) and she would need to see a cardiac specialist for further testing. 

We have booked Adelaine in for a heart scan with a cardiac specialist on Friday 7th July, as it is important to find out exactly what is wrong as soon as possible. The heart scan alone will cost £795, and if the specialist finds an abnormality or structural problem, Adelaine may need further tests, treatment, or even surgery. 

Our Animal Care Team described Adelaine as ‘a strong and determined little puppy.’ 

Leanne, our Kennel Team Leader, said “There’s something magical about Adelaine – she has a care-free and happy-go-lucky personality that fills us with joy and caring for her over the past 10 weeks has been an absolute pleasure. We are sad that she is having to go through tests and possible treatment, but we know her tail will keep wagging and we will be here to love her through it all.” 

As an independent, self-funded charity, we rely on the generosity and compassion of people like you to ensure each of our animals has the very best veterinary care possible. If you can spare just a few pounds to help Adelaine, we would be so incredibly grateful!