Mia's Memoirs

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Surgery tomorrow

October 25th 2012 12:21 pm
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Mia is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. They need to put a port into her stomach so she can be tube fed. She has been refusing even the highest valued foods.

Say a little prayer. With her heart, I'm petrified to have her under sedation but she can't go on without eating either.


Cardiology visit

October 22nd 2012 10:48 am
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Mia's appointment this morning went well. Her lungs are remarkably clear and her respiration rate has decreased. They are pleased with that progress but her kidney levels are creeping up. They decreased her lasix dose just a little to help them from elevating too high. She continues to lose more weight so they added two new medications. One is an antacid and the other is for nausea. They are hoping these along with the appetite stimulant will get her back on track and eating again. So as it stands, there is improvement but we are now concentrating on the appetite so she can get stronger.

Overall though the visit seemed to go well. She is now resting from a busy morning and hopefully she won't have any new issues. I took the needs POTP off her name not because she doesn't need prayers (she can still use them until she gets stronger) but because I am hopeful that we are past the worst and on a road to recovery. She's been through so much in the past three weeks that she deserves it.

Thank you from both me and Mia. Your prayers have meant to much.


Thank you Dogster

October 19th 2012 10:46 am
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Thank you Dogster for the honor of being a diary pick. All the prayers from my furiends and their families have been such a wonderful blessing.

I am happy to report that today I am showing signs of improvement. I woke up this morning bright eyed. It is the best I have looked since going back into failure last weekend. Mom just hopes and prays that I don't relapse again like last time.

Monday I will see the cardiologist from the U of M again so they check my progression. A syncope seizure now that I am showing signs of improvement would be the worst possible outcome. If anyone can spare a prayer or two for no more that would be much appreciated.

Thank you Dogster, thank you all my wonderful furiends, and thank you precious angels for working so hard to keep me away.




October 16th 2012 9:26 am
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There hasn't been a lot of improvement since Mia came home late Sunday but she has been holding steady. We were just in the process of sending out Thank Yous for all the love and prayers Mia has been getting when she had another seizure episode. We immediately called her cardiologist who said that since her respiratory rate didn't elevate and since she pulled out of it quickly that we can keep her home and monitor her. Her body is still in congestive heart failure so it isn't surprising that she would respond in the same way as when it all started. This is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to witness. It is so sad to see her struggling so much.

Thank you for listening. Sometimes I feel these diary entries are all I can do to keep it together. If I try to talk about it, all I do is cry.


Home and resting

October 15th 2012 10:10 am
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Mia was allowed to come home late last night but I was so tired to post an update.

They gave her 6 injections of furosemide from the time she went in Saturday until she left late Sunday night and she spent almost 20 hours in the oxygen kennel as they worked to clear some of the fluids.

Since she has been home we have been managing to get her to take her pills fairly well. She is weak and tired but she is alert and they say she is fairly stable. Later this week she will go in to see her cardiologist and see what she thinks as far as improvement goes.

Thank you all for the love, support, and the prayers for her well being. They are so very much appreciated.



Back in ICU

October 13th 2012 11:23 pm
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We took Mia back to the University of Minnesota after her seizure and they have her back in ICU in an oxygen kennel. Today's x-ray shows the lungs are full of fluids once again. We were hoping she might be able to come home but they want to keep her until morning.

Once again she really needs the power of the paw. We desperately want to be able to pull her out of failure but the ER vet says if we can't pull her out this time, it would only be harder if it happens again. Considering how quickly her heart failed even on medication, this may be her only chance to pull through.


Another seizure like episode

October 13th 2012 7:02 pm
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About thirty minutes ago Mia experienced another seizure like episode. We don't know why the heart medications are not working right now or what happened since yesterday to make her condition so much worse but she is not doing well right now. Just when we thought we were making progress we take two steps back. This is very disheartening. We don't know if we are really doing her any favors by forcing her to take all these pills. I just hope the good Lord will either help her to improve or help us to make the right decision for her.


Cardiology Re-check

October 13th 2012 9:54 am
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Yesterday was my cardiology re-check and overall it went well. X-rays show there is considerably less fluids in the lungs and clinically I am stable and doing much better. There are two current issues. One is that the new blood work shows the kidney levels are now a bit elevated from the lasix. This is a medication I really need to stay on right now though so the lungs can clear. They wanted to increase it but decided against it when the blood results came in. The second is still my lack of appetite. They started me on mirtazapine yesterday and it really helped my appetite but then later last evening and still this morning I seem to have more labored breathing. Mom isn't sure if it was the medication or the stress from yesterday but has decided against giving me any more this weekend until we can consult the cardiologist on Monday. The search continues for something I'll eat.

Thank you for all the wonderful love and support.




October 10th 2012 7:02 am
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Mia Pupdate since it has been a few days - Mia is staying stable and taking her medications. She still doesn't have a great appetite, some meals she eats well and others she doesn't. She is slowly starting to do a few things like bark, roll around, and scratch herself. They sound so mundane but she wasn't do them just a few days ago. I would have to guess the medications are working pretty well. Friday she goes back to the cardiologist for a new x-ray to see if the lungs are clearing and he can evaluate how she has been doing over the past week.

Thank you all again for the POTP and prayers


Discharge notes

October 6th 2012 10:26 am
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We got the discharge notes from the University of Minnesota. Here is a portion that explains what happened -

The echocardiogram allows the cardiologist to look directly at the heart with an ultrasound probe and assess
the function of the different chambers and valves within the heart. The echocardiogram was performed in the
afternoon with the cardiology service. The echocardiogram confirmed our suspicion that Mia was suffering
from congestive heart failure. Both her mitral and tricuspid valves were abnormal, displaying degenerative
changes known as valvular endocardiosis. This condition is not uncommon in small breed dogs and over
time leads to congestive heart failure. Mia's valvular disease is relatively severe and therefore likely to be the
cause of her seizure-like episodes.
Episodes, like the ones that Mia has experienced, can be caused either by neurologic disease (seizures) or
heart disease/failure (syncope). Syncope refers to a period of unconsciousness (which can last seconds to
minutes) due to lack of oxygen to the brain. Disorders of the heart and vessels (cardiovascular system) are a
common cause of syncope in the dog.
A consultation with cardiology in the morning confirmed that she had a Grade 5 out of 6 heart murmur, and
she was then scheduled for an echocardiogram and repeat chest x-rays in the afternoon. The results of the
these tests (as described above) were consistent with relatively severe congestive heart failure and
cardiogenic edema.
Congestive heart failure is when the function of the heart is not able to keep up with the needs of the body,
meaning that the heart is not able to pump the appropriate amount of blood to circulate through the body.
The end result is a build up of excessive amounts of blood in veins of certain parts of the body. In Mia's case,
since the left side of her heart is more severely effected, we are seeing the fluid build up and leak out of the
veins of her lungs. The body is often able to compensate for months to years for the heart's inability to keep
up with demand. The signs of congestive heart failure may appear to come on suddenly and unexpectedly,
which seems to be the case with Mia. Her body was likely able to compensate for her heart for a very long
time and is now no longer able to do so.
We are sending Mia with two medications that will make her more comfortable at home. Furosemide is the
same diuretic that Mia was placed on here in the hospital, to decrease the fluid load on the heart and lungs.
Pimobendan is a medication that will help Mia's heart pump stronger. Please follow the instructions below for
the medications. We would like for Mia to come back to be seen with the cardiology department in 10 days
for further evaluation of her heart failure.

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