Playmate's Alleged Shooting Victim -- In Dire Straits

12/13/2010 7:20 PM PST

Former Playmate Angela Dorian's Alleged Shooting Victim -- In Dire Straits

The husband of 1968 Playboy Playmate Angela Dorian -- whom she allegedly shot in October -- has taken a turn for the worse and needs to undergo a risky surgery to survive ... TMZ has learned.

A rep for Bruce Rathgeb tells TMZ ... Bruce was rushed to a doctor today after experiencing "a lot of pain and difficulty breathing" -- and was told he had an infection near his heart surrounding the bullet remnants still inside his body.

According to the rep, the doctors told Bruce he has to have the shards removed via a "risky" operation  ... or he will die.

As we first reported, Dorian -- aka Victoria Vetri -- was charged with attempted murder after allegedly shooting Bruce in the back after an argument on October 16.