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Six Weeks Away and Bad News

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mjso

Shiny_Rock
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Dec 31, 2007
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248
Well, my weddng is six weeks away and I found out this past weekend that our dog most likely has congestive heart failure


She''s only six and we''ve had her since she was a puppy when we took her from my roommate who didn''t want her anymore. She''s basically like a child to us and I can''t imagine life without her so soon. We''d always talk about if we thought she''d be good with our kids and other things like that. She''s a medium sized dog, so we expected that she''d live to be somewhere around 10-12, or at least a lot older than 6!

In January she seemed lethargic so we took her to the vet and they gave us antibiotics and said she probably just had a bug. We took her back a few weeks later and they gave us different anti-biotics to try. She still didn''t seem well, so I took her back again and they said they''d have to do a chest x-ray where they found fluid on her lungs. They gave us a stronger anti-biotic and a cough suppresant, suggesting that it was pnumonia or something like that. The last two trips I mentioned that her heart seemed to be beating really hard (as in we could see her heart beating from across the room). So finally we took her back again this weeked and the vet FINALLY noticed her heart and said (no joke) "I hope she doesn''t die" and then proceeded to tell us a story about a chihuahua that he had come in that morning that had a heart attack and died on the table before he even examined the dog. Great bedside manner. He then suggested some heart medication and we left.

I spent all day yesterday crying.

So, after feeling like this vet doesn''t really seem to have a grip on the situation I''ve decided to take her for a second opinion on Monday.

Amongst all of the sadness just because I can''t believe this is happening to her at all, I''m so sad because she was supposed to fly with us to our wedding. I wanted pictures with her on our wedding day and then my parents were going to watch her while we went on our honeymoon. Now, I''m guessing she''s not going to be able to fly and we have to find someone responsible to watch her. She needs medication twice a day and it is obviously really important that she gets it regularly. She''s never been boarded in a kennel-type situation and I don''t even know if they would take her.

I feel like instead of enjoying my wedding and honeymoon I''m going to be spendng the whole time hoping my dog isn''t dying without us on the other side of the country.


Obviously we can''t change the wedding or do anything other than hope for a better prognosis from the second opinion vet, but I can''t help but feel depressed and not excited to finish up the last minute details of the wedding.
 

Winslet

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
303
I''m really sorry to hear this
Having a dog myself, I can totally understand how upset you might be on your wedding day and honeymoon if you couldn''t stop worrying about your furry friend. I''m sending dust your way and hoping that everything works out ok for your family. Please keep us updated, sick pets are not an insignificant thing!!
 

Maisie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
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12,578
What awful news. I also have a dog and I love her so much. I can''t imagine how I would feel if she was so unwell.
 

Deelight

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
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5,543
I am so sorry it is hard when our furry babies are sick.

At the momment though your pup is still here with you, and hopefully once the meds kick in she will be feeling loads better - try and hold off worrying to much till you get the second opinion you said yourself this vet doesn''t seem to be that great, I really hope you get fantastic news on Monday please keep us informed.

*BIG HUGS*
 

violet3

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
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3,688
I am so sorry to hear this! My little guy is like my child as well, so I can certainly sympathize - i''ll be thinking good thoughts for the next doctor visit for you!
 

mjso

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 2007
Messages
248
Thanks so much for all of your support!

I''m trying so hard to be optimistic, but every time I look at her I start to cry. FI is really mopey too, which is basically his version of being depressed. Last night we decided to go shopping for wedding bands today to try to take our minds off of this and to give her some time to rest without us hovering over her acting like its the last time we are going to see her.

I think this is one of the longest weekends of my life, I''ve never wished for a Monday to come so hard in my life
 

Elmorton

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 5, 2007
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3,998
I''m so glad you''re looking for a new vet.

My parents'' dog (my dog when I was a kid) has congestive heart failure - and she''s been living with it for more than a year now. Her spirits are up with her medication and she''s acting like a puppy even though she wheezes pretty often due to her heart. She actually loves getting her medication - they roll it in some mixture of dog food and pb or something. Their vet is very attentive and has put her on two different medications now, with still a third to try if anything gets worse.

What I''m saying is that while yes, it might not be a good idea for your sweet dog to travel (but a good vet can tell you if this is OK! Shoot, it might be better for her than staying in a kennel, you never know) - there may be meds that can help if the situation is right and it''s possible your puppy could still have quite a bit of happy life ahead of her. I hope the second vet can offer you a better, clearer prognosis.
 

basil

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
1,526
So sorry to hear about your dog, mjso.

I agree on finding a new vet. We took my dog to a special cardiologist vet, and she even participated in several studies of new medications, so if you can find a specialist it''s worth it.

My Pepper lived for 18 months after her diagnosis of congestive heart failure, even though she was only given 6 months originally. And she had a particularly severe form of genetic disease that was causing her heart failure, so your dog might fare even better.

Anyway, I hope that she perks up on the medications!
 

Smurfysmiles

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2007
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3,938
so sorry to hear this mjso, i dont know what i would do without my kitty pepper

you, your fi and your furry baby are in my thoughts and prayers
 

DMBFiredancer

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Messages
595
you are in my thoughts and prayers....my cat is like a child to me (especially since we''re not having real kids) so i can only imagine what you are going through. just keep in mind that however short her life, she is very lucky to have spent all the happy times that she did with you...and try to be thankful for the time you have left with her.

so so very sorry
 

bee*

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 14, 2006
Messages
12,170
Sorry to hear about your doggie. I''m glad that you''re going to a new vets. If your dog is getting good treatment then there is no reason to think about her leaving you anytime soon. We have a lot of dogs on heart medication in the clinic that I work in and they seem to get on fine. Best of luck tomorrow!
 

Izzy03

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
613
SO glad you are getting a second opinion! Your vet should have noticed irregularities in her heart rhythm just from listening to her with a stethoscope. Not to mention an enlarged heart is quite noticeable in an x-ray!

I was a vet tech for five years throughout college, and if you get your baby on the proper medication, she can definitely live for a while, assuming her condition is not too advanced. We had patients in heart failure, and some of lived another 1-3 years. My vet would send you to specialist to have the full work up done, then place her on a medication like Lasiks (flurosemide) to keep fluid from backing up into her lungs. Second, he would probably put her on Enalipril for her heart. If she is coughing, Torbutrol can be helpful to give her some relief.

While you can''t help being worried for your baby, just keep in mind that there is hope for her to live comfortably for a little longer! Certain veterinary clinics have boarding facilities where they can stay under veterinary care, but hopefully your vet will give her the okay to fly. My thoughts will be with you!
 

mjso

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 2007
Messages
248
More thanks! I am soo much more relieved hearing all of your experiences and expert opinions!

She seems to be doing a little better today after I gave her the vetmedin that the other vet gave us. And I''ve managed to not cry since we got back from breakfast :)

I will definitely update tomorrow with what the second opinion vet tells us!
 

redfaerythinker

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
1,781
Oh my goodness... I''m so sorry to hear this. I''ll be thinking about you tomorrow and hoping for better news. *Hugs*
 

CNOS128

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
2,700
mjso, I''m so sorry! give her as much love as you possibly can while you''re still in town, and try to be optimistic about the situation.

Maybe if she regains some energy in the next couple weeks, you could have a pre-wedding photo session with your dog so you can have some "family photos" together!
 

Porridge

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
3,269
I''m so sorry msjo I completely understand how you feel. I hope you get some better news. *HUGS*
 

katamari

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
2,949
I am so terribly sorry to hear about your dog. I wish her the best. I also suggest you should find a new vet. Even if her diagnosis is correct, your dog and your family deserves someone more caring to oversee her as she struggles with this illness.
 

honey22

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
4,458
Oh sweetie, I am so very sorry to hear this terrible news. My heart goes out to your little fur baby. I would def get a second opinion and another vet, you need to feel 100% comfortable with her caregiver, fingers crossed they can help her!

*hugs*
 

PilsnPinkysMom

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
1,878
I am SO SO SO SO SO sorry to hear this news.... My heart is aching for you and your poochie.

It is very difficult to watch a beloved companion in any sort of physical distress. I''m sending TONS of positive thoughts your way. I really hope that she starts to feel better & her condition improves.

Please give us an update after she sees the second vet!!
 

CNYHopeful

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 9, 2008
Messages
360
MJSO,
I''m sooooo sorry to hear this news. Hugs to you and your FI. Who knows, maybe she''ll fight back and get stronger? Some dogs can bounce back from some pretty terrible stuff in a short amount of time, and she''s probably stronger as a 6 year old than if she was 12 or 13 years old.

Hang in there and enjoy your special day.
 

Bia

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Messages
6,181
How awful.


I''m glad you are getting a second opinion--not to get your hopes up but to cover all the bases.

You''re in my thoughts mjso...and I''m wishing the best for your pup. ((((BIG HUGS))))
 

mjso

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 2007
Messages
248
Again, I want to convey my thanks. It really really really helps to have people be understanding and not think I''m a psycho for being so upset


I just got back from the second vet. They were WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY better, spent an hour with me and the dog answering all of my questions, examining her, looking through the old information from the previous vet that I brought and discussing possibilities with me.

The good news is that the new vet isn''t convinced it is congestive heart failure. She couldn''t hear any heart murmur. She feels that she might be over medicated for her hypothyroidism, which is in turn causing hypERthyroidism, which is then stressing her heart.

They are doing an other chest x-ray and a series of blood panels (a general chem, a thyroid screen, a heartworm test, and a general heart function screen). After they get the results of that she said if the heart is enlarged in the x-ray and the thyroid screen comes back low or regular then she wants to do an EKG and an ultrasound on the dog''s heart to see what''s going on.

I''m so relieved, because even if it is CHF I know the diagnosis will be accurate and they are so much more caring. I still am not sure if she''ll be able to come to the wedding, but I feel like there is a much greater possibility now.
 

FrekeChild

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
19,456
I was so happy to read your update. I''m glad they are being thorough and performing all of those tests. I''ll keep my fingers crossed for you and her!!!!
 

AmberGretchen

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
7,770
I'm so terribly sorry you've gotten this dreadful news. I'm so glad the second opinion seems more hopeful and also that you found a better vet - that first one sounded horrific!

In the meantime, huge HUGS to you and your FI and your sweet puppy - I can only imagine how difficult this must be. But you are doing the right thing seeking the best possible care and keeping your spirits up - I'll keep all fingers and paws crossed at my house that it turns out to be something that is easily treatable!!
 

bee*

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 14, 2006
Messages
12,170
That''s brilliant that you new vets are being more thorough. Keep us updated!
 

honey22

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
4,458
That''s fabulous news! Fingers crossed for your little baby. Keep us updated!
 

mjso

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 2007
Messages
248
Just got home from picking her up. Mixed news.

The bad - the x-ray was shocking to the vet. She actually asked me if it was possible the dog had been hit by a car. There is a ton of fluid in her chest. There''s also a spot that could be a tumor or could just be a sac of fluid or could be a bunch of blood vessels. There''s not enough info to know for sure. So they scheduled an ultrasound for Friday.

The good in this is that she feels like if it was heart failure this would be VERY severe and the dog probably wouldn''t be in as good spirits as she is now (when I got her home she started rummaging through the garbage as if nothing was wrong with her!). Also, the vet checked out her lymph nodes and none of them seemed inflammed, which makes cancer a bit less likely (but obviously not out of the picture). There are some treatable things that it could be, so I''m holding out hope that it is treatable. Once the blood test results come back, if her kidney function is okay they might put her on a diuretic to relieve some of the pressure from the liquid. I should find out about that tomorrow or the next day.

Thanks again for the support. Its been an emotional rollercoaster - one minute I''m crying and the next I''m hopeful.
 

katamari

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
2,949
Glad to hear there is the possibility for better news. I will be hoping for the best!
 

bee*

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 14, 2006
Messages
12,170
Keeping everything crossed for the ultrasound.
 
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