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.
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.
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
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
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.
October 5th 2012 11:11 am
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I must have issues with nights because at 3 AM I had a very small episode where I collapsed but I was aware the entire time and did not have a seizure. It made momma sad and today I have seen a few more tears.
I also didn't want my peanut butter today (I know she is hiding pills in there) so instead she got me to eat some cheese. Momma also posted a new pic of me today. I stay alert but I'm still not moving around. She fixed my top knot a bit and I didn't object too much. I know I need a brushing since it has been days but brushing is stressful to me and mom is afraid to add stress to my already delicate situation. I know it breaks mom's heart to see me this way and I know she would like to see me the way I was and I hope to eventually get there but my little 9 pound body suffered a traumatic event that was worsened with the IV fluids and what I just need is time to take it all in and let the meds help me get to a point that is a bit more normal. Oy, my English teacher would be unhappy to see that run-on sentence. Oh well.
On a slight upside, I barked today. Just telling mom I love her and to perhaps find me something I might actually eat. I am getting chicken with brown rice but I really don't want the stupid rice. I try to get just the chicken out but that isn't working well. Mom does pick out some chicken and hand it to me. I also ate a few bites of pot roast.
Does anyfur know something good and healthy to eat that I might enjoy? Mom is trying to find a meal I will actually find more appealing than my chicken/rice. I am not trying to be picky I just don't have an appetite for most things right now.
I am sure a few more prayers and POTP would be helpful.
October 4th 2012 8:14 am
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I don't know what to say, for once I am speechless. I want to thank all my furiends for pawraying for me these past few days, I was very sick but today I feel much better. I am still very sleepy and do a lot of this
BOL! That is me sleeping.
I ate most my food this morning and drank some water. I also took my peanut butter ( AKA pills ). Mom says if I keep taking them and keep eating and drinking, I should feel a lot better soon. It was really hard to be away from my family for those two nights, I love sleeping on my blankie that sits on my queen size bed. I even share my bed with mom and dad. I know, it is kind of me, I'm just that kind of gal.
So here is what happened. I really didn't feel good on Monday and it was kind of hard to breathe. I didn't eat breakfast or eat dinner but I DID watch Da Bears kick the Cowboys butt! After the game we went to bed and I felt even worse. I wanted off the bed because something was really wrong. Mom set me down and the next thing I know is I pass out or something. When I was alert I could see mom crying and her and daddy getting dressed. They drove me to a ER clinic where they gave me fluids and took some blood. They sent me home 5 hours later and said to watch me closely. Mom didn't think I looked good at all but hoped I just needed some rest. I tried to sleep and may have dozed off once or twice but I still couldn't catch my breath. Around noon they let me out to potty and that is when I got really bad. I think when I starting moving around the breathing got even harder. Next thing I know, I pass out again (pawrents called them seizures). There goes mom crying again and I see her run to the phone to call my friend Dr. Ganske. They make an appointment to bring me in and I'm thinking great because I really don't feel well. Just as we are getting ready to get in the car, I passed out again. Can mom just please stop crying...she's making me cry. Anyway once I am alert again I am put in the crate and rushed to the vet's office. There they stretch me out on a cold hard table and take my picture. I think they called it an x-ray. The vet says my lungs are full of fluids and it is no wonder I can't breathe. They draw some blood and take some tests and then tell daddy I have to go back into emergency care overnight but they want me to go to a place called the U. Off we go to the U where they were expecting me. I was taken away from daddy while he filled out paperwork and brought to a clear box that they placed me in. OMD!!!! I can BREATHE! It felt so wonderful in there and it was immediately the best I had felt in a couple days. They said it was an oxygen chamber but all I know is that in there I felt better. I spent half a day in there before I was stable enough to start having some tests ran. They took a test on my heart called an echocardiogram that showed I have a congenital defect of my heart valve that allows blood to leak out. I must have had it all my life but it just now caught up to me. They put me on some heart medications and something called lasix that makes me want to pee all the time. All I know is that I feel better on these medications and I love the big clear box. A funny is daddy said I look like a puppy in the pet store in that box. BOL! Once the medications kicked in they said I could go home and back to my queen sized bed. I stayed in the ICU ward the entire time but they did downgrade my condition later that evening to stable.
So then daddy got off work and got me as soon as they allowed and we were finally on our way back home. I took a few nibbles of food last night but was so tired and really just wanted to sleep. Once I pottied and took my last pill of the night, I went to bed. This morning I am coughing less and breathing easier. Mom is finally not crying, thank doG.
Anyway, imagine my surprise to not only see all the the wonderful get well wishes and comments but to also have Dogster pick me as one of their diary picks. I may not always show it, but I really appreciate it and I can honesty say that if you are reading this and managed to make it to the end of my very long diary entry, you deserve a medal and I know what a pawtastic furiend you really are.
I love you! Thank you so much!
October 3rd 2012 2:17 pm
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Two days and $2500.00 dollars later and we have an answer.
The echocardiogram did indeed show significant damage to the heart caused by a deformed heart valve. That is the bad news, the good news is it explains the seizures because the brain wasn't receiving enough oxygen.
She will have to be on heart medications for life but right now she is responding to them wonderfully. They are discharging her from the hospital in a few hours.
The power of the paw is AMAZING!
Thank you all so much and thank you God!
October 3rd 2012 9:53 am
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Later today they are doing an echocardiogram on Mia to see how well her heart is functioning. She is doing much better in the oxygen chamber and her breathing is now much less labored. They think this afternoon she will be out of the ICU ward but we still don't know if she can come home tonight.
They are still going back and fourth on which is the leading contributing factor to her condition. Is it the heart and lack of oxygen that caused the seizures or are the seizures caused from the brain? Hopefully the echo will answer some questions.
Best news I heard all day though is that they do believe she will be able to come home and have some quality of life with us.
October 2nd 2012 2:44 pm
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Our vet has recommended immediate hospitalization with the specialists at the U of M.
Mia has now had a total of 3 seizures in the last 16 hours but the vet feels these are secondary to some other underlying cause. They took x-rays since she is having difficulty breathing and the lungs are full of fluids. With finding the fluid in the lungs she isn't sure it is a brain tumor anymore. The vet is concerned that the fluid is blood because blood results show that the body is trying to produce more to compensate for a loss somewhere. They mentioned rat poison but we don't have ANY in our home and if by the slight chance that is the case, she was poisoned by a neighbor. We really don't think that is the case but it has to be a consideration. She also mentioned the possibilities of a stroke that dislodged a blood clot or the body attacking it's own red blood cells. Our vet feels very strongly that she needs to be on oxygen and have an expert read the x-rays to determine for sure if the fluid is indeed blood or not. In any event she is too weak to come home so off to the U of M she is heading for overnight care.
She is now considered in critical condition. She desperately needs prayers.