In January of 2017 I took Simba in for his annual health check-up and the vet noticed a slightly enlarged heart. I was advised to take him to the cardiologist where I was told everything was fine and that he didn’t need to be on medication at the time. Approximately 1 month after his second cardiologist visit on August 11, 2017, Simba went into congestive heart failure (CHF). A month later, he had another episode and I cried every night reading about this terrible disease. My cardiologist was also not being very supportive so I had to switch doctors. During this time I found an article that led me to find Dr. Masami Uechi, who was performing mitral valve repair surgery in Japan with very high success rates.
I was determined to make it to Japan and made sure Simba took all his medications on time (Furosemide, Pimobendan, Benazepril and Spironolactone). To provide better support for his kidney and liver functions I added a few more supplements. Simba was also on a kidney nutritional diet regimen since he was on such high doses of meds. I was careful to always keep him calm, cool and only took short walks. The goal was to keep him as healthy as possible for 6 months until we could travel to Japan for surgery.
When we arrived in Japan, Simba was diagnosed at stage D with a grade 5/6 murmur. Simba had his mitral valve repair surgery and was such a fighter. His heart has now shrunk to almost normal range with minimal regurgitation and he is now at a grade one murmur and currently on absolutely NO MEDS!! During surgery I was told, Simba had two major ruptured chords which was what caused him to go into CHF overnight. It is truly amazing and a blessing to see the differences with Simba after surgery. He has a new lease on life. He is full of personality which I never knew he had!!