An American rescue dog is enjoying a new lease on life after taking a 7,000-mile trip to the UK for life-saving heart surgery. Blanche the Chihuahua was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. And her owner Hannah Robinson was told that her only option was for Blanche to have palliative care.

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Hannah Robinson and Blanche the Chihuahua at specialist vets Dick White Referrals (Image: Dick White Referrals/SWNS)

However, Hannah was determined that Blanche would get the surgery she needed. But after doing some research, she realized it was only available in the UK and the Far East. She got in touch with specialist vets Dick White Referrals in Six Mile Bottom, Cambridgeshire. And after speaking about the process, she decided to proceed with the surgery. Blanche and Hannah then boarded a flight from their hometown of Kansas in the USA to England. So Blanche could get the life-changing surgery.

What did Hannah say?

Hannah said: “Blanche had been given about a year. So I was racing against the clock to help her. I spoke to the team at DWR, and then I got a call from them to say. ‘How soon can you get here?’ We flew there within two-and-a-half weeks, and Blanche had the surgery.”

After a successful procedure, Blanche was suddenly unable to breathe on her own and needed to be placed on a ventilator. And so luckily, the puppy’s health improved.

Hannah said: “I went in to see her, gave her my shirt, and said. ‘Blanche, please don’t let me fly home without you.’ But I believe in miracles, and I got a call the next day to say she was improving.

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“She was on the ventilator for 24 hours and then on oxygen for four or five days. She received 24-hour nursing care and, daily, she got better.”


— Interested reading on — Vet Refuses to Put Down a Healthy Chihuahua


After two weeks at the surgery, Blanche was discharged and flew back to Kansas a week later with Hannah, where she continues to enjoy a good quality of life.

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Blanche the Chihuahua at Dick White Referrals (Image: Dick White Referrals/SWNS)

What a cool story

Hannah said: “I still look at her and think that no matter how badly a day goes, I have Blanche with me. I never thought I would fly to the UK alone with a sick dog.

“Along the way, you meet all these brilliant people. The love and support I got from all those people were nice. Amazingly, this little dog had all these people rooting for her. I can’t say enough good things about the team at DWR. I have never met such compassionate people.”

Poppy Bristow, head of cardiac surgery at DWR, said: “Blanche was a very challenging case, but she was a real fighter. During Blanche’s time with us, our team all grew very fond of her, and we’re so pleased she is doing well back in the US.”

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