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.
October 2nd 2012 11:35 am
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Mia had another seizure an hour ago and is going to see her regular vet shortly.
I talked to Dr. Ganske when making the appointment and unfortunately her initial reaction is one of trying to control the seizures but fears the underlying issue may be a brain tumor. She is speculating at the moment since she hasn't seen her yet but since the blood work didn't indicate any other cause and given Mia's approximate age she thinks it fits and will probably suggest seeing the neurologist at the UofM once she gets there.
I cannot stop crying, she has been lethargic all day and hasn't show any signs of recovery and then she had another seizure.
October 2nd 2012 1:09 am
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Mia asked to get off the bed around midnight so I set her on the floor. A moment later she collapsed and her eyes were rolled in the back of her head. She was weak and couldn't move and for a moment I had thought we lost her. We picked her up and rushed her the the closest ER vet which is actually around 40 minutes away. I was crying, it was a terrible ordeal to witness. By the time we got to the ER she was a bit more stable. The vet believes she may have had a seizure (which was way more serious than the mild little ones that Dragon gets). She was also a bit dehydrated so they have her on IV fluids.
She is staying overnight at the ER and tomorrow they will let us know if she is stable enough to come home or if she needs to be transferred to our regular vet. Please keep her in your prayers.
Chester was already scheduled for a dental cleaning in the morning when this all happened so he will also be at the vet. They could actually both use prayers since he will be under anesthesia for the dental.
August 16th 2012 7:45 pm
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Today was the big one! I hit double digits and turned 10 today. I was hoping for just a lot of love and pressies but I ended up getting some grooming done today. As I age (like a fine wine, might I add) I am less tolerant of getting brushed. What can I say, I just don't like it. Anyway, mom wanted me to look good for my birthday. Oh well, what is done is done.
I got some freeze dried liver and homemade Shepherd's Pie. Yummy! I also got some new Grandma Lucy biscuits. :)
Tomorrow daddy is off work so we are going to lunch at McDonalds. I overheard them say something about those new popcorn chicken bites. I hope those are yummy.
So even though I had to get brushed, I still had a super birthday and the temp was only around 70. Pawfect!!
August 9th 2012 9:09 am
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Wowzers! Hitting the big 1-0 next week. I haven't decided what I want them to buy me yet but it better be something great. After all it is 10 years and I'm worth it :)
Mom recently switched my food to The Honest Kitchen's dehydrated line. She said it would be easier for me to eat. Yuki was switched to it as well. I think it is yummy but I always get it on my facial fur :(
Some pawciting news is that there is a slight possibility we may be moving. Mom says now that the non-fur boys are moving out that we can look for a bit of a smaller home and one with more land. I'm all for whatever they decide. The market is terrible though so who knows if it is possible. I am pretty sure Chester would love more land, I personally could care less since I just want to lounge on the deck anyway. They are looking for an acre at least.
Way cooler temps right now, today should only hit 74 so it is quite comfortable. Before you know it, winter will be here. I don't mind fall, but winter is the pits.
Anyway, it has been a bit since I posted so I thought I would make and entry and shout out to my pals. I hope everyone is enjoying the summer.