Some of you may remember our “special” dog, Daisy, and her heart condition. Two years ago (well, it’ll be two years the beginning of July) she was diagnosed with Pulmonic Stenosis, and without surgery given two years to live. After consulting with family, friends, and the only vet I now trust to handle her case, we decided against the surgery. She’s been on a human heart drug Atenolol since then, and we were told they recommended yearly ultrasounds of her heart to monitor her condition. After further talk, prayer, and consideration we decided that if her life expectancy was only two years, yearly ultrasounds were an unnecessary cost in her care.
As we are now coming up on the two year mark, and I can tell her condition is changing, we opted this year to have an ultrasound done, since the Doctor said it was a good idea to do one at least every two years since it would show us much sooner the changes in her condition and we could better manage her medication that way. So about a month ago, we took her in, they shaved her chest (seriously, she looks so silly!) and did another ultrasound.
All in all, the specialist that comes to the office to preform the ultrasounds was surprised by how well she’s doing – and as our Vet keeps reminding us all said (yet again), Daisy hasn’t read the medical text book! After two weeks of waiting, we finally got some results back – her pulmonary valves are about the same as they were two years ago, with only a minor amount of further thickening! This is amazing, considering they originally said by this point they would be so thick that almost no blood would be able to pass through. The greater concern though, is that her pulmonary artery is now thickened as well. This explains the new symptom I’ve noticed where sometimes Daisy starts to hack almost as if she were having an asthma attack. While they are concerned with this new development, overall, they are simply amazed at how well she’s doing. She still has a ton of energy (although, now being almost 5, she’s finally starting to grow out of puppy hood) runs, plays, and is a happy dog 90% of the time. I have learned that she can’t go on long walks anymore, and never in the heat we get here in the summer, and we have to move at a more leisurely pace or by the end she’s just panting and frothing at the mouth. Otherwise she is still mischievous (she’ll take every opportunity to squeeze out our fence and run free through the neighborhood) and very friendly. She may quickly be approaching “living on borrowed time” but she doesn’t know that and I feel no reason to tell her.