A heavy price was paid at Onderstepoort this week.
First, Kia, the eight-month-old German shepherd flown to South Africa by its Ugandan owner for a heart operation, didn’t make it. She died just 30 minutes before the end of her surgery yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon.
Second, veterinary surgeon Professor Louis Coetzee was supported not by fellow veterinary medics, but by paediatric heart surgeon Willem Roos from Montana Hospital, who reportedly donated his time; and a theatre team of "human" practitioners. Specialised equipment was brought in for the operation.
The question on many lips is this: why would a top surgeon dedicate his time, and divert scarce resources from human care, to attend to a dog with a questionable prognosis?
"The operation was going really well, but towards the end she started bleeding profusely from the lungs and ultimately died," said Onderstepoort Veterinary Teaching Hospital spokesman Chris van Blerk. The surgeons did all they could to save her, he said. "Her owners were really saddened by the news of her death," he said. – (Sapa/Health24, 2010)
View some insider's pictures of Kia's surgery here.