Heart surgeons agree to operate on pet Labrador as vets were unable to helpLabrador Lycka has a rare heart condition that vets could not treatTop Paris hospital said it would help after Facebook campaignDoctors said they would work for free as owner could not afford surgery
11:50 GMT, 30 November 2012
Happy-go-lucky: Nine-month-old labrador Lycka is set to undergo human heart surgery at a top Paris hospital after vets said they could not perform the operation
A labrador with a rare heart condition is to receive specialist treatment normally reserved for humans after vets said they could not help.
Nine-month-old Lycka's anguished owner Christian Collin was told by veterinary surgeons that the operation was too difficult to undertake.
But rather than giving up on the adorable pet, vets at Maison-Alfort passed Lycka's case to the Montsouris hospital in Paris.
Surgeons at the top hospital – which normally operates on those with only two legs – agreed to undertake the surgery for free.
Collin was still left fearing the worst, however, when doctors said that
operating costs of €3000 (2,400) would still need to paid due to the
specialist equipment used during the surgery.
Currently out of work, Mr Colin was unable to foot the bill.
a charity, the French Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA), soon
came to the rescue, agreeing to pay 70 per cent of the bill and
launching a Facebook campaign to raise the rest.
The charity said that it was close to raising the total and had received 'wonderful' support from members of the public.
One man donated €300, according to the SPA, and they are confident of raising the remainder before the operation, which is to take place on December 20.
Campaign: Lycka's owner could not afford the 2,400 operation. The French Society for the Protection of Animals has offered to pay 70 per cent, while a Facebook campaign has nearly raised the remainder
Sleeping sound: Lycka is set to go under the knife on December 20
decision to offer Lycka human surgery has come in for criticism though,
with some people suggesting that some humans are in need of such
A doctor who works in one of Paris' more impoverished suburbs, said: 'I would like to think that I
would have as much success if I needed a prosthesis for one of patients.
Lots of them lead dogs' lives.'
He told Le Parisien: 'On a personal level, I understand this man's attachment to his dog and
the fact that he wants to do everything to save it. But if you take a step
back, you have to admit we live in a rather strange society.'
of Lycka's supporters were furious on the dog's Facebook site, with one
writing: 'An animal is often more grateful than a human.'
Without a care: The operation is usually only performed on humans but Lycka's owner and Facebook friends are hoping the operation will prove a success
Montsouris hospital in Paris, where Lycka's ruptured artery will be treated