7.23.2008

Doggie Congestive Heart Failure

My dear canine companion of lo these 15 years - predating DH and the kids and even graduation from grad school - is taking four prescription meds now (thankfully much cheaper than people meds) to keep him sufficiently oxygenated in spite of having a bum ticker.

He has a heart with valve problems, which he has tolerated more or less all his life. Now, however, the fluid accumulating in his lungs resulting from the blood not getting pumped through the heart adequately is starting to be a constant bother to him. Besides having him on heavy diuretics to try to keep the fluid out of his lungs, he's on potassium supplement, Vetmedin which is supposed to be helpful for this condition, and a bronchiodilator to help him get more air into his lungs.

He's a very sweet dog, his clouding eyes are still bright and shining, he still has significant spring in his step, and if it wasn't for the coughing and hacking, you'd think he was half his age. And yet, at our last appointment, the vet said that his heart wasn't just bad, it was terrible.

My dog frequently makes me nuts with his whining and begging during dinner time and insistence on being underfoot in the kitchen while I'm rushing around to make dinner, get a baby fed, and monitor Griffin and Ada. But I love him dearly. I am finally having to come to grips with the fact that he is, after all, mortal. I have such conflicted feelings about this. Thankfully the meds seem to have made him more comfortable.

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