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Owner Flies Dog with Deadly Disease All the Way to France for $50,000 Heart Surgery

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You hear people say it all the time “I’d do anything for my pet.” And for many people that’s true.

Pets are, after all, a part of our families, which is why we have stories like this.

This is the story of Sophie’s heart and the even bigger heart of her owner, Jeanne Navratil.



Sophie is a Cavalier King Charles spaniel living in Pennsylvania. When she was just 3, her owner felt like she was acting a little beyond her age.

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She would tire easily and seemed to want to lay down more than play. A trip to the vet revealed that Sophie had a heart murmur.

Everyone agreed to watch it but unfortunately, it was just a sign of things to come. When she turned 9, a trip to the vet hit Sophie and Navratil hard.

Sophie was diagnosed with mitral valve endocardiosis. This was not good.

As a breed, Cavalier King Charles spaniels have a predisposition to heart disease. Sophie’s diagnosis put her on a path towards heart failure.

Navratil told the Morning Call, “She’s my baby, I could not accept that this was a long-term death sentence for her.”

So she set out to find a way — any way — that Sophie could be saved.



Her search took her all the way to the Clinique Veterinaire Bozon in Versailles, France. This was one of the few places in the world to offer open heart surgery for dogs.

To show how rare this type of surgery is, performing it was Dr. Masami Uechi.

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Dr. Uechi flew to France from the JASMINE Veterinary Cardiovascular Medical Center in Yokohama, Japan!

Some veterinary schools in the United States have started to explore this treatment for dogs but due to its cost and specialty, it’s not something that is widely pursued by American veterinarians.

And what was that cost? A cool $50,000 dollars.

It worked, though! Sophie is “good as new,” according to the Morning Call, who interviewed Navratil.

If it sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. The question is there though – would you do anything for your pet?

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