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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sometimes a bigger heart ISN'T better

Bailey just turned 13.  For a dog his size this is senior status but not the end of the road.  He has plenty of life in him but some of his internal systems are starting to need support.  He has kidney problems and has to eat special-CRAY EXPENSIVE- food.  He goes to the vet every 6 months, sometimes more.  One issue is his heart.  He has a murmur now and we did an exray a year and a half ago to get a baseline.    I have a list of issues to "watch" for that could show a progression.  One is coughing.  Last night we had ALLOT of coughing.  It was scary and upsetting and landed us both at the vet early this morning.  Another xray showed his heart had grown and was possible pressing on his trachea-causing the coughing.  The dr said this was considered slow progression and put him on some new meds.  Basically he now gets blood pressure medicine.  That's how he rolls.  The vet gave me a short list of side effects to watch for with the new meds and one made me laugh out loud-DEPRESSION.  A 13 yr old shih tzu comes across as "depressed" on his best days.  I brainstormed with a friend on signs to watch for.  Feel free to comment and share more:
1.  If Bailey starts wearing black (granted I control his wardrobe)
2.  If he stops contacting his canine cohorts
3.  Unusual piercings
4.  He stops talking
5.  Starts pawing morose poems...a shih tzu manifesto if you will
6.  If I come home and he is watching that awful ASPCA commercial over and over

In all seriousness-he will be fine.   I knew he would likely need these meds eventually.  He is too grumpy to be done yet;)

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