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Oklahoma State University

In Life or Death, Life Wins

Friday, January 27, 2017



Marley the puppy recovers well after a life-saving surgery at 6 months of age at OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital.

It was do or die for Marley. The 6-month-old puppy had a problem with his liver that desperately needed repair.

“Marley came to OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital by way of a secondary referral from a referral hospital in Tulsa,” says Dr. Ryan Baumwart, an OSU veterinary cardiologist.


“They found a shunt, a diversion of blood, in Marley’s liver that wasn’t operable by a traditional laparotomy, where they go in through the belly and try to put a constriction device on that. The shunt was inside the liver so they gave us a call. They knew we had the equipment to do the procedure. Unfortunately, we had not done one to date here at OSU.”

Still, Marley’s owners, Marcene and Fred Warford of Muskogee, Okla., had faith the veterinarians would be able to help their golden retriever puppy.

“We noticed within the fi week that something was wrong with Marley,” says Marcene Warford. “He was vomiting, had diarrhea. He would go into stupors, just really zone out to where he didn’t even know where he was. It was frightening.

“I just had a lot of confidence in what they were going to do,” she adds. “I felt real comfortable with the fact that I thought they could do it. This is where my vet, Dr. Lisa Jamison (’91), earned her degree. There was really no alternative because he would die without it.”

Baumwart and his colleague, Dr. Andrew Hanzlicek, a small animal internal medicine specialist, invited Daniel Hogan, a Purdue University cardiology professor, to help.

“With the expertise of Dr. Daniel Hogan, Dr. Hanzlicek and myself, we all went in on the surgery and had a very good outcome,” says Baumwart.“We made a very small incision in the neck to put a catheter in that allowed us to inject dye to outline the abnormal blood vessel where we needed to try to decrease the amount of blood fl . Once we did that, we were able to size a stent that went into the vena cava.

“The stent held the device in place that we needed to put into the abnormal blood vessel. We also had a plugging device outside the stent. The idea was to decrease the amount of blood flow through this vessel that was a shunt around the liver. The liver is the detoxification center of the body and blood was actually getting bypassed around the liver. So by closing this shunt, we can put blood back into the liver and allow the dog to act more normally once the detoxification occurs in the blood.”

“This was the fi time we have used OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital,” says Warford. “It was fantastic. Everyone has been so congenial. They are marvelous. They kept me updated two or three times a day, which just made me very comfortable knowing he’s here. I could let go; I knew he was being taken care of.”

“Not only was this the first time we had done the procedure, it was a minimally invasive procedure,” says Hanzlicek. “This dog, instead of having a big abdominal incision, had two very small incisions in his neck. We went through the vein and did the entire procedure. So the dog recovers more quickly and it is less painful.

I think a lot of pet owners are looking for these types of procedures — minimally invasive — and we’re going to offer more and more of these here at Oklahoma State as time goes on and we learn more of these procedures.

“Marley has a very good prognosis,” he adds. “He is expected to live a normal life aft this procedure.”

“I would like to say thank you to Dr. Hogan at Purdue University for coming and donating his time and expertise,” says Baumwart.“He was very instrumental in making all of this work. He’s an excellent cardiologist and very generous with his time.”

“It took special pet owners in the Warfords to make this happen and a very kind and skillful cardiologist in Dr. Hogan,” says Hanzlicek. “Thanks to all of them.”

Derinda Blakeney, APR

To see a video of Marley, visit

Gary Lawson / University Marketing

“OSU’s veterinary medical hospital … was fantastic. Everyone has been so congenial. … i knew he was being taken care of.” — Marcene Warford

Marley the puppy recovers well after a life-saving surgery at 6 months of age at OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital.

Marley and his owners, Marcene and Fred Warford, thank Dr. Andrew Hanzlicek and his team at OSU for saving the pup’s life.

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