Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Luna's Illness

When we returned from our visit with family this weekend our Dear Friend that sits with Luna while we are away told us that she was coughing pretty hard and that she had fallen down. Well, before we departed we didn't notice that she was sick. We knew that she coughed occasionally but I attributed it to allergies. Often it happened when I was also having allergy trouble. I was way wrong of course. We took her to the vet. They did blood tests, which we got results on yesterday, and they did a chest xray. It is not good news. She has been diagnosed with Dialated Cardiomyopothy. We are so sad. She doesn't feel well and we can tell that. They treat it much like the human condition. They have given her a diuretic and an inhibitor of some sort. I am sure DB can fill you in on the specifics if you want him to. There is also another drug that the vets are just now starting to use that is supposed to work very well. We will try it too when they get it in. We want her comfortable.


My heart is just broken. When I looked at that xray and these untrained eyes saw a ball in her chest instead of a heart I was just stunned. She is a brave girl. We brought her home from the vets even though they thought they should keep her overnight. I promised her I wouldn't leave her in the kennel again when we got her. The reason I don't want to is because in her past she was kenneled so long she was almost crippled. Part of how she came to the rescue group from where we adopted her. So I don't intend to kennel her unless hell is freezing over or they can give me a better reason than " she is really groggy and she needs rest." I am hoping that with meds she can have a couple of more years of a happy life but she is quite miserable right now.


We will just have to wait and see. It is amazing how seemingly quick this all overtook her. I guess after looking back we could see other signs of weakness in her. I always knew she wasn't as strong as she looked. She would get winded after a good long walk. However since I would be too I didn't think much of it. ha.. We are just a good pair. We were told when we adopted her that she had had heartworms but was successfully treated for this. So being a big dog and having had heart worms she had two strikes against her heart and this could be conginital condition.


Dogs with this condition can live a couple of years if they can get the meds adjusted etc. She seems better after a couple of days of meds. She also had an elevated white blood count so she has antibiotics to take too. She seems quite content. She hasn't asked for anything more than a walk about the garden the past couple of days though. If you have or have had a big active dog you know this isn't normal. Of course in normal dog style she doesn't complain. She is a happy girl. Now DB and I must do our part and try to be happy too.

26 comments:

jodi said...

Oh Lisa! I'm so sorry to hear about Luna's illness. I know next to nothing about dogs but we had a cat with cardiomyopathy, which presented really dramatically and suddenly with no warning. I'm going to hope that with your loving care and skillful veterinary that Luna rallies and that she will be there to entertain and love you and DB for a long time yet.
Sending you hugs from soggy Nova Scotia.

Sherry at the Zoo said...

This post makes me very sad. I always love hearing about Luna, she seems like such a wonderful, wonderful companion. We have 2 dogs that are senior citizens and both take diuretics for congestive heart failure. We love them dearly. When they begin coughing, we know to increase their diuretics and get the mop out. Luna is very loved, and she knows that.

beckie said...

Lisa, I am so glad you put Luna's illness on here. I was hoping you would. There are so many of our dear blogger friends who care about you and Luna. By sharing this, they can all "rally 'round" and follow your journey. You have our love!

gintoino said...

Lisa, I am so sorry to ear about Luna's illness. Hoppefully with the right medication she will live happilly for quite some time. I wish her and you all the best.
Warm regards from all the dogs at "jardim com gatos" (the cats wish her to get well soon too)

lintys said...

I'm so sorry Luna is ill. As lucky as you are to have her as part of your family, she is just as fortunate to have found a wonderful family to take such loving care of her.

Mary Richmond said...

Oh good luck with your lovely dog. There are lots of dogs who come through things like this so please hang in there. My own 10 year old dog collapsed of kidney failure about 6 years ago and had a virulent case of Lyme's disease. We were told she would not make it through the year. You would never know it today. She is active and happy, due to a special diet, lots of TLC and let's not forget just plain luck. My heart is with you and your friend.

Mary said...

Dear Lisa, I feel for you. And I don't blame you for taking her home. Being at the vet can cause stress and she certainly doesn't need it.

It sounds like she's responding to the medicine so give it time. She might surprise you and feel like jogging with you :o)

My fingers are crossed for her. Keep us posted. She's such a pretty girl.

mon@rch said...

So sorry to hear and must be very hard for sure! I always worry about my cats when they start sneezing and never know if its a little pet cold or something else! If only they could talk! Please keep us updated!

verobirdie said...

Oh Lisa, i'm so sad to hear about Luna's illness. She has become part of my routine, I always look if there are some picture of her. I hope that the meds will help her, and that she'll be there for a long time. She is so cute.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

How sad! It's so hard to see your pet suffering and in pain. I hope the medications help. You did the right thing bringing her home early from the vet's. Give her lots of hugs & doggie treats.

Cheryl said...

I am so sorry to hear the news of Luna but don't give up hope. Our loving pets are amazing creatures and they sometimes surprise us. My old spaniel is 13 now...she is deaf, has partial sight and a double heart murmur. She has had the severe heart condition for one year now and whilst she has had bad moments, she has a good and happy life. Enjoy every day with your beautiful dog. My thoughts are always with you.

nan Ondra said...

The boys and I are sending our best thoughts your way, Lisa. I'm so glad you brought Luna home to recover; she's better off being with you.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I want to thank everyone for their kind thoughts for and about Luna. She is our little sweetheart. We were in such shock when we first found out. Just reading that she isn't the only one and seeing all the kind wishes from human and furry friends makes all more bearable.

It is amazing what a couple of days of medicine can do...just what it is supposed to. She was quite chipper today not herffing much unless she was lying down for some time. So she is on the up swing.

Theresa said...

Oh, I am so sad for you. I hope that Luna can overcome this. I will send good thoughts your way.
regards,
Theresa

Annie in Austin said...

Your photos and stories make us feel as if we'd met Luna - my sympathy on her illness, Lisa.
There are new developments in medicine every day, both for humans and animals - hope she'll benefit from technology and pharmacy.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Sandy Carlson said...

Your pup is in my prayers. This is such a hard experience. Wow.

My friend wrote a book that I found to be a great comfort when my dog faced serious illness. Her site is blessingthebridge.com. Rita is a great source.

Wishing you peace.

RuthieJ said...

Oh Lisa, I'm so sorry. Luna is very fortunate to have such loving "parents" who can take good care of her. I hope you get those meds regulated so she doesn't suffer and you can have her around for a good long while yet. It's pretty easy to get very attached to those wonderful doggies and even harder to lose them.
Sending positive thoughts and {{hugs}} to you all in Indiana.

Teri C said...

Oh Lisa, how heartbreaking. Hugs to you and Luna.

Marvin said...

I am so saddened hearing this news. I'm hoping Luna responds well to the meds.

Frances, said...

It is with tears in my eyes that these good wishes are sent to Luna and her family. You most certainly are the best parents she could possibly have, not leaving her at the kennel, no matter what, I'm with you on that. Let her be at home and as normal as possible, it is what we humans would want isn't it, for ourselves, as well. It is cheering to hear she is feeling pretty good, even to follow rabbit tracks in the post above. We all love Luna desperately and will send her all the strength she needs to carry on.
With our love,
Frances

Kerri said...

Oh Lisa, my heart goes out to you! How very sad, but what a lucky dog Luna is to have such loving 'parents' :) She's such a beauty and it's easy to see how enjoyable her life is there at Greenbow with you and your hubby. She appears to have a constant smile on her face in your lovely pictures :) I hope and pray she'll rally and live many more happy years with you.

albertapostcards said...

Lisa, heavens I am so very sorry to hear about your dear Luna. Dogs are so resilient and I do hope the medications will give her much more quality of life. I was nodding my head as I read about you not wanting to leave her in the kennel overnight -- bravo to you for that! I'm sending positive vibes and cyber hugs your way,

Diane
Dogs Naturally

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Lisa, I'm so sorry to hear about Luna's sickness. I'm sure this is very difficult for you. I wouldn't have left her kenneled at the vet either. I'm sure if she is anything like my Lilly it would have stressed her to be away from her people. I hope she responds well to the medication.

I hope you'll keep us informed of her progress. You'll both definitely be in my thoughts.

albertapostcards said...

Lisa, I realize your vet will have given you information but here is some useful information from the vet, Dr Jean Hofvre about the connection with taurine and dilated cardiomyopathy. I hope it's helpful.
http://onlynaturalpetblog.com/2008/02/16/the-importance-of-taurine-for-dogs-and-cats/

Diana said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Luna. Thank you for sharing with us all, we certainly feel like we know you both. A dear friend of mine said something to me lately that was of great comfort. I have a dog with a chronic health condition, and after our most recent frightening episode, she said, "God gave her to you because she knew you would take care of her and give her what she needs." I believe that with all my heart and it brings me comfort when times get rough. Remember that about Luna, too -- you are her guardian angel. You're in our thoughts.

Kylee said...

Oh Lisa, I'm so sorry to hear about your gorgeous Luna. :-( I'm sure you can't bear the thought of being without her and I hope with the proper medication you don't have to know what that's like for a very long time. *Hugs*