PuppiesSpecial Needs
Emma & Lulu – Houston, TX

ESRA Special Needs Springers


Emma: ESRA #2016-0221TX   adopted
Age: 5 months
Gender: Female
Color: Liver and white

Lulu: ESRA #2016-0220TX   adopted
Age: 5 months
Gender: Female
Color: Liver and white

Meet ESRA's newest and cutest set of twins, Emma and Lulu!

Emma What could be cuter than a Springer puppy?  Two Springer puppies, of course! 

However, they were each born with a hole in their hearts, which if it isn't corrected soon, will cause them to have VERY short lives. It's called Patent Ductus Arteriosus, or just "PDA"


Lulu and Emma were given away in hopes of finding someone who could save them. These little girls are now in ESRA’s care, and we need to take care of these murmurs so that they’ll grow up to be bouncy Springer ladies.


What is PDA? It's an unclosed hole in the heart's aorta.

Before a puppy is born, the fetus's blood does not need to go to the lungs to get oxygenated. The ductus arteriosus is a hole that allows the blood to skip the circulation to the lungs. However, when the puppy is born, the blood must receive oxygen in the lungs and this hole is supposed to close. If the ductus arteriosus is still open, the blood may skip this necessary step of circulation. The open hole is called the patent ductus arteriosus, and it's life-threatening!

Because the blood flow is diverted in abnormal patterns, it causes the heart to work harder, resulting in heart failure.  Puppies with PDA have a sixty percent mortality rate within the first year if left untreated.  You can read more about this condition here:    http://vethospital.tamu.edu/files/hospital/services/PDA.pdf 

Unfortunately, both Emma and Lulu are already showing symptoms of the murmur at just 14 weeks of age.  Our vet prescribed a diuretic and referred them to the wonderful doctors and staff at Texas A&M University (TAMU).  We hope to find out more very soon, but they will very likely require surgery to correct the blood flow.  The good news is that we will also be getting the mother dog spayed so this doesn’t happen again.  We know it’s frightening, but the vets say this is the optimal age for surgery – before damage is done to the heart muscle.  We are hopeful these sweeties will be able to lead normal lives if all goes well with the procedure. 


Emma is smart, confident and fearless.  She’'s an active girl who wants to explore and play, play, play!  


Are you willing to help ESRA help them? We will need donations from the public to help pay for this expensive treatment so they can live long and healthy lives.



UPDATE 6/23/16: Three-month-old Emma & Lulu had their PDA heart surgeries at Texas A&M on Tuesday and are doing great!  They should be coming home today and then 2 weeks of rest.  This would not be possible without a foster home (Brenda Peebles) and the generosity of so many caring Springer lovers!

The money has already been raised - our volunteers and supporters are awesome!

UPDATE 7/13/16:Emma and Lulu made it through their two-week resting period. It was really tough for them, but it was even harder for their foster mom!
Emma & Lulu

The girls had a great checkup and were freed from the dreaded cones. Their stitches were removed and the incisions are healing nicely. Our vet listened to their little heartbeats. Emma's heart sounds normal and her lungs were clear. She weighed in at 20.8 lbs. Emma is expected to live a full and normal life thanks to the PDA surgery. This is wonderful news for this little girl!

Lulu has a secondary mild to moderate heart condition called aortic stenosis. Future follow-ups will determine how it can be remedied, if needed. Growth may repair it. We will know more when she is 12 months old. Lulu will need occasional follow-ups with a cardiologist. She is a bit smaller, weighing in at 16.5 lb.

The girls are full of energy and feeling so much better! They go back to TAMU for echograms on August 11, and then we can schedule them to be spayed.

We will be adopting the girls out separately and will continue to review applications. Please check back for further updates and a huge THANK YOU to all for helping these beautiful pups!


UPDATE 8/17/16: Emma and Lulu had their follow-up visits with the Cardiologist at Texas A & M University on August 11, 2016. The echocardiogram performed shows that the PDA surgeries were completely successful! Their exercise restriction has been lifted and both girls were spayed last week. They are now ready to go to their FOREVER homes.

Lulu's potential adopter will need to pursue routine re-checks with a cardiologist regarding the secondary heart condition she has, subaortic stenosis (SAS). Her SAS may need more intensive management at some point in her life. This would include an echocardiogram at least every 1-2 years, perhaps more often depending on the severity of the condition after she reaches adulthood. At this time, the most important thing to remember about SAS is that it predisposes her to get endocarditis (infection on the heart valve). Endocarditis carries a very poor prognosis and is often quickly fatal. As a precaution she should receive antibiotics any time we suspect an infection (UTI, skin, ear, wound, or before elective surgery). So as a precaution, Lulu received antibiotics prior to her spay surgery and everything went fine. Lulu is not restricted from normal exercise. However, it would be wise to avoid strenuous exercise with Lulu due to the SAS.

Below is an explanation of Lulu's condition from TAMU:

Lulu has a mild heart condition called subaortic stenosis. This means there is an obstruction in flow of blood to Lulu's aorta, the main artery that carries blood from the bottom chamber on the left side of the heart to the rest of her body. This causes the heart to have to work harder to push blood forward. Lulu has true subaortic stenosis noted today as opposed to a problem at the level of the valve. This means there is a ridge of tissue just below the valve that is causing the obstruction. Prior to today the two could not be differentiated due to Lulu's small heart size and young age. Based on these measurements today Lulu's subaortic stenosis remains mild, which is great news! Mild SAS would not greatly affect her length or quality of life without concurrent issues. However, this should be re-evaluated when Lulu is fully grown to determine how severe her SAS will be for her adult life. SAS tends to worsen until full size, so we cannot be sure how Lulu will be affected as an adult. Hopefully it will remain in the mild to moderate range. If it does, it is likely Lulu will not need treatment for it specifically. If it becomes severe, she may require lifelong medical therapy or if it is not manageable medically, a procedure called cutting balloon valvuloplasty can be attempted.

Please let us know if you have questions about Lulu's condition and we will be happy to try to answer them. Her prognosis is great, but she will require follow-up care with a cardiologist in 8-12 months.


UPDATE 8/31/16: Emma has found her Forever Home! Lulu is still waiting patiently as she seeks that extra-special Forever Family to adopt this extra-special little girl.


Update 10/5/16: Both Emma and Lulu have found their Forever Homes! These two little ladies have loving families of their own that will love and care for them now and in the future. Thanks...



Ryan Niland  
Courtney Cook In memory of My beloved Springer girl, Ellie
Susan Manthey  
Victoria Polce In memory of My three sweet springer babies Arco. Patrick, & Jenny
Carol Babcox  
Lacy  Biggers  
Martii Wallahan In memory of Mandii
Elizabeth Hall  
Peggy Outly  
Lacy Thomas  
Michaek Collins In memory of Addie
Barbara Davis  
Elaine  Sullivan In memory of Tim & Eleanor Sullivan
Shirley Hipp  
Deb Sell-Pugh  
Angela Fletcher  
Linda Prouty In honor of Jasz's junk food allowance
Nancy Lomonaco In memory of My Sweet Butty
Kathy Balwanz  
Rebecca Zullo  
Teresa Hillier In memory of BoJangles & Spangles and In honor of Emma & Lulu
Ronda Volkman  
Lori DiLorenzo In memory of Carlton Ware
Lori DiLorenzo & Sunflect Springers In memory of Carlton Ware
Daniel Morrow In memory of Annabelle
Sheri Leider In honor of The health of Riley , ESRA special needs 2012
Tami & Earl Morse  
Yelena Ptashinskaya In honor of Rita, our family Springer
Sandy Grubb  
Jessica Muenter In memory of Quincy
Karen Dudley In honor of From ESRA sisters Mya and Sata :-)
Shelley Dearmin  
Audie And Stephanie Bremer In memory of Mandy and Molly and In honor of Diva
Dessie  Botham In memory of Pebbles
Katie Lawrence In memory of Gwen, Puppy, Sadie, and Shelly
Dana Hanlon In memory of Amber Jean
Maggie Ford In memory of My Loving Dad and Mom...
Maryann Edwards In honor of Ziggy and Tucker, ESRA Rescues
Sharon Scattaglia In honor of Mickey and Molly
Felicia Adams  
Peggy Outly In memory of Grace
Barry And Gail Breckle In memory of Sweetheart of Texas
Maria Morrell In honor of Maribel Gomez & Linda Epstein - for giving us such wonderful words of prayer and hope each day!
Theresa Brown  
Steve Brown  
Barbara Kephart  
Lauri Dykhuis  
Melissa McKelvey  
Anna Thuren In honor of Clayton Nation
Colleen Hummel In memory of My sweet Zoie
Cathy Jaster  
Liz Whisler In memory of Molly, Maynard, Maddie and Layla
Sheri  Leider In honor of The health of our Riley (ESRA special needs 2011)
Timothy Culver  
Joyce Latkowski  
Michael Collins In memory of Addie
Ellie Anschuetz  
Adriene & Russ Grimes In honor of Dakota & Domino Medina
Jan Ybarra In honor of Sethy
Beth Fink  
Kris Svee  
Judy Schneider In honor of Milly
Dean Horning  
Cap Horning  
Kirtana Banskota  
Anita Howard In honor of Sally Barber
Bruce & Dee Herman In honor of Penney - a Special Needs Graduate of ESRA
Kerri Johnson  
Alyssa Dermott  
Melinde Waddle In memory of Sweetheart  (Dakota's Sister)
Mary And Brady Harris In memory of Homer
Anissa Allbritton  
Saundra Dean In memory of Higgins, Baxter, Moses, Jill, Jane, my rescues
Pattie Nitschke  
Elaine S Sullivan In memory of Squier's Little Nit of Randolph
Maricarmen  Tate In memory of Chuck Tate
Sharon Bell  
Elizabeth Hinckley  
Gayle Mizner In honor of All of our heart dogs
Christine  Zajac In memory of My best friend, Tucker
Shannon Sadler  
Theresa Reyer  
Pat Ryan In memory of Toby and Sweetheart and Bretagne-9/11 Golden
Elizabeth Hall  
Yolanta Jonynas  
Barry & Gail Breckle In memory of our first Springer girl Miss Molly the Boo
Robin Nelson In memory of Christopher scott Newcombe and Polo
  Diane Earl In memory of Chyanna,Beaux, Shelby, Bailee & Joker
  Maggi Stow In memory of Ari Cedarwoods Answered Prayer andIn honor of Megan Stow, Ari's mom
  Susan Manthey In memory of Candy and Buster
  Laurel Brackenridge  
  Deborah J  Bolino In honor of Alvin
  Julie Prein  
  Ellen & Mark Munson  
  Susie Gates  
  Cary Branthwaite  
  Shirl Benton-Graf In memory of Abby and Lucky
  Rene Pizzo In honor of the wonderful veterinarians who help dogs live full lives
  Ronnie Riner  
  Jo Mccawley  
  Linda Prouty In honor of helping those babies
= Stacey, Kenny, And Madie  Smith