Heart of a Champion

A story about Zorro’s journey to heart health

Border Collie

Patient Profile


Meet Zorro, the extraordinary border collie with a heart of a champion. This is the tale of resilience, hope, and the transformative power of light therapy at PetLight.

Zorro’s story begins with his loving mom, Sandy, who searched tirelessly to find the perfect companion. Despite living in Silicon Valley, Sandy’s quest took her to various corners of California until she finally found Zorro in Placerville.

Their bond was instant, but soon, their journey took an unexpected turn. During a routine check-up, a veterinarian discovered a serious heart condition in Zorro. The diagnosis was devastating, leaving Sandy searching for answers and solutions to save her beloved companion.


The vet listened to Zorro’s heart and detected an abnormality. Then, a trip to the cardiologist confirmed—a grade IV-VI left systolic murmur, indicating potential issues like mitral valve insufficiency, dilated cardiomyopathy, or congestive heart failure. Further examination revealed that Zorro’s heart wasn’t functioning as it should, with blood flow moving backward instead of forward.

Both the vet and cardiologist agreed that Zorro’s time left was mere months, and during that time he would be on strong medications.

Owner Profile


Despite the grim prognosis, Sandy refused to give up hope. Zorro began a regimen of medication prescribed by cardiologists, albeit at a reduced dosage to minimize potential side effects as Sandy was concerned about the harsh effects it may have on Zorro.

She delved into research and stumbled upon PetLight Therapy Center. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Zorro began his journey to healing.

PetLight Therapy Center utilizes the latest FDA-approved therapeutic light therapy for both humans and animals. Zorro started his treatments, attending sessions twice a week initially, then tapering down to once a week as he showed signs of improvement. 

Zorro’s progress was nothing short of remarkable. During a waiting period of 2 months for an evaluation at the UC Davis Veterinary School, Zorro continued light therapy and received great care. When the evaluation appointment came, his UC Davis Cardiology referral found no progression of his Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease (MMVD) at that time and the Pimobendin he was on was discontinued.

Upon a future check-up at UC Davis, an EKG revealed there were no further degenerative changes and continued to be stable. Despite the initial grim prognosis, his heart exceeded expectations. Yet, challenges persisted. Zorro developed a persistent cough, a potential complication from his heart condition. Concerned, Sandy sought further evaluation at UC Davis Veterinary School, where specialists determined that a virus, fatty tissue around the esophagus, and possible laryngeal paralysis caused the cough and would require surgery if it got worse. Back pain from T3-L3 was noted but his cardiac disease was “static”.

Light therapy treatments were then additionally focused to Zorro’s throat. A year later, UC Davis did a full evaluation:

  • Heart: MMVD Stable
  • Lungs: Clear with no fluid
  • Kidney: Function normal
  • Esophagus: No inflammation

Throughout all these years and examinations, Zorro continued his long daily walks with his devoted owner and enjoyed a completely normal life well beyond the five months granted at his first cardiac evaluation. Zorro’s heart continued to defy the odds.

Today, Zorro stands as a beacon of hope. His story serves as a reminder that with determination and the right support, even the most daunting challenges can be overcome.

Download the Free eBook

Dive into Zorro’s inspiring tale with the children’s book by Kimberleigh Brown. Download the free ebook now and join the adventure!