Dedicated to raising funds and awareness
for dogs and cats diagnosed
with heart disease.


Coco passed away on May 13, 2013, from complications of her heart condition. Coco had been waiting several months for funds to be available for her to receive open heart surgery, but unfortunately in the end, there wasn’t enough time. Coco’s suffering increased every time she needed a blood transfusion (about once-a-month) and her mom made the loving and responsible decision to let her go peacefully and painlessly. It was a sad day for all of us, but we will always remember Coco and her loving, fighting spirit here at BHF.

If you knew Coco, or loved a dog like Coco, please consider making a gift to her memorial fund in her name. In this way, Coco’s legacy will live on to give other beloved pets with heart disease a fighting chance.


Below is the entire history of Coco’s case, originally published between March and May, 2013.

Update on Coco, written by Christy 5/2/13:

You may have noticed, Coco just got closer to her goal! BHF was able to award Coco $1,000 towards the cost of her surgery. But make no mistake – she is still very much in need. Coco had more blood removed last week, and is having an especially difficult time recovering from the procedure. Her mom reports: “The will [to live] is still there, but the body is becoming an issue.”

We are trying to do everything we can for Coco. Her surgery is going to take place in Michigan now, and it needs to be scheduled soon. If we do not meet our goal, she cannot have life-saving surgery. Can you help?

Coco Breathing from The Big Hearts Fund on Vimeo.

Here is an update on Coco, written by her mom 3/29/13:

This is an update on Coco. These short videos are of Coco on a good day. She just had another 60 ml of blood removed and fluid replaced. The breathing becomes heavier and she shivers more because of the lack of oxygen. She remains happy through it all. I gave her a treat the other day, she violently threw it up and she flopped on the side of her body, got up and threw up a bunch more.

Coco breathing 2 from The Big Hearts Fund on Vimeo.

After she has blood removed it takes her 3 days to recover, which is like the videos. I have 4 rescues and keeping her calm with all the action is hard on her. She wants to get up and run out with them but gets half way to the door and sits down with labored breathing.
I have read how great she could be doing with the surgery performed, the cost is really high. As we try to gather donations I pay for the blood removal and testing until she has the surgery. This costs about $275.00 each time. The bill is mounting to keep her stable.
Please help by making a donation, any and all donations are important as well as appreciated.
We really want to have her around for many years to come and have her live a healthy life. She can’t without your help. Thank you for anything you can do to help.

Coco’s Mom

The following was written by Coco’s owner, Joan:

It was a hot summer day (103 degrees) and we took a drive up to the foot hills past Sutter Creek, CA. We decided to stop at a yard sale and a woman pulled up. Coco came out with a rope around her neck and the woman said she had been tied to a tree without water or food, and they did not know what to do with her.

My husband and I did not hesitate to say we would take her. We stopped our trip and took her home. We noticed right away that she stopped often because she was out of breath. She started to have more shortness of breath and one day she was huffing and puffing so badly I became concerned. I called and took her into the Vet’s office were she saw Dr. Sergio Iniguez, DVM. He immediately said there was something wrong and took an X-ray. There it was: an enlarged heart. He made an emergency appointment at UC Davis Small Animal Clinic with one of the Cardiologists which is two hours away.

The doctor came out and gave me the news, but first said that open heart surgery was very expensive. She said they could remove blood and replace it with fluid to help the oxygen level and her breathing. They did, which helped her considerably. Then, not even a month went by and we had to do it again. This time, she had a really hard time recovering from the procedure and I thought I would lose her that night. Frantic, I called Dr. Iniguez and he spoke with the cardiologist. They decided to remove less blood the next time. The blood removal is done by taking fluid from her neck and replacing it in her arm. Every time she has to do it my heart breaks.

She has great spirit and apart from the breathing you would not know she needs open heart surgery. She is only 2 years old. The surgery can’t be set unless we collect the money for the surgery. Will you please help? The prognosis for recovering from this surgery and living a long life is good. Coco thanks you for your help!