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.