updated 9/21/2005 9:40:41 AM ET 2005-09-21T13:40:41

Lance Armstrong’s Labrador puppy is recovering from open-heart surgery at Colorado State University’s veterinary hospital.

The university says the seven-time Tour de France winner’s dog, Rex, was born with a defective heart valve that put him at risk of heart failure.

The Texas cyclist took the nine-month-old puppy to CSU for surgery in late August -- the same week he proposed to rock star Sheryl Crow.

Chris Orton, who heads the hospital’s cardiac surgery team, performed the valve replacement operation on Rex. He says the puppy is through the most critical stages of the procedure but will remain on blood thinner for the next three months.

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