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Old 12-01-2014, 12:56 PM   #1
diznee25
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My husband and I had the most difficult Thanksgiving week imaginable

My husband and I are mainly lurkers on the Disboards. We love everything Disney and frequent the Trip Report board a lot.

I am actually a private person, and not one to post personal stuff on public boards. Maybe I'm doing this to see if others have gone through it, maybe I just need cyber hugs, or maybe I just want the universe to know how much our doggie means to us. He's like a child to me and my DH.

We have a 10.5 year old chihuahua. He is not your stereotypical chihuahua in that he doesn't bark or bite at strangers. In fact, it's the opposite. He's so reserved and will actually lick peoples hands as if to say, "Please don't hurt me." He's been like that since he was a puppy. We've had him in our family since he was 12 weeks old.

His pre existing conditions include seizures and mitral prolapse, which is a heart condition that hasn't given him any problems in the past 5 years. Until now....

On Thanksgiving night, we noticed he was having a hard time breathing, so we took him to the ER. He was listed as critical that night, and he was put on oxygen. He also had fluid in his lungs. My DH and I hardly slept. My DH called every 4 hrs to get an update. We really thought he was going to pass away that night. Luckily he pulled through.

He ended up staying at the ER T-Day night, and Friday night. They weened him off oxygen on Sat because they noticed the fluid in his lungs starting to clear out. He came home Sat. night at 8pm and is now on 3 heart medications. Plus, we already give him seizure meds too. It's a huge adjustment, but we were so happy for him to come home!!!!

He's been home since Sat., he hasn't been eating. Just a bite here or there, but nothing substantial. So today he's back at the ER, in the Cardiologist dept. I had to drop him off and leave because they said they were booked today, so they'll have to find time to squeeze him in.

At the moment they don't know why he isn't eating. Could be that his heart meds need to be adjusted. He's only been on those since Friday, so we're hoping that's the problem and that it's nothing major.

I cannot even describe how draining and difficult this is, especially going through this during the holidays. Never imagined in a million years we'd be in the ER on Thanksgiving night. That night is when we got his diagnoses: Congestive Heart Failure. He has been given 1 to 2 years more to be with us.....if that. You never know when a heart is going to give out.

We just want him home, and as healthy as he can be given the new diagnoses. Last night he actually got out of bed, and I notice his tail wagging. I was crying, I was so happy to see that!

So while I'm waiting for the cardiologist to call, I'm going to post some pics.
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:23 PM   #2
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Good luck. I hope everything turns out ok. Though I hope the dog proves the doctors wrong
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:26 PM   #3
diznee25
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Tobey is our Chihuahua, and this is a pic from when he came home Sat. night. He's giving googly eyes, which means he's relaxed and resting from the rough stay at the ER. His sister Belle, can tell something is wrong, so she gave him space, but stays near him. So sweet!

[IMG]
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:32 PM   #4
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Oh my goodness! How cute is he?

I don't pray, but I'm sending some good thoughts your way for your little doggie man. It's amazing how they worm their way into your heart. I hope that the doctor can figure out what's wrong {{hugs}}.
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:59 PM   #5
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Thank you for the replies! Ironically, I don't pray either, so that's ok.

He is my DH's and my first dog. Neither of us had pets growing up, so with him being our first, and with how well he bonded with us, he's just a really special part of the family. He trots out to the garage back and forth after my husband to "help him" bring in Christmas decorations. Luckily, we decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving, before all this medical stuff came raining down.

I'm wrapping doggie toys for Christmas to help pass the time as I wait for the cardiologist to call. All we know for sure right now, is that he has Congestive Heart Failure with a timeframe of 1 to 2 years. So yeah, now it's just figuring out why he's not eating.

Thanks to everyone who is posting and/or just reading this thread. It's just therapeutic for me to share.
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:12 PM   #6
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diznee,

I'm so sorry you've had to go through this. Our pets are such special members of the family. I never had pets as a child either, so as soon as I moved out, I got my first dog (I was 20) and now that I'm 50, I'm on my 5th dog. She turned 14 over the summer and the decline is just breaking my heart. She's got a bit of cognitive disorder and will only eat soft, homemade food now rather than her dog food. She hates for me to even leave the room. The worst part is that we both work full time so I'm sure that she's a mess when we are at work all day.

I'm sure once your dog settles down a bit from all the weekend upheavals and gets used to the meds, he will be back to his old self and start eating again.

Hang in there!
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine View Post
diznee,

I'm so sorry you've had to go through this. Our pets are such special members of the family. I never had pets as a child either, so as soon as I moved out, I got my first dog (I was 20) and now that I'm 50, I'm on my 5th dog. She turned 14 over the summer and the decline is just breaking my heart. She's got a bit of cognitive disorder and will only eat soft, homemade food now rather than her dog food. She hates for me to even leave the room. The worst part is that we both work full time so I'm sure that she's a mess when we are at work all day.

I'm sure once your dog settles down a bit from all the weekend upheavals and gets used to the meds, he will be back to his old self and start eating again.

Hang in there!
Thank you for sharing. Interesting that you mention your dog only likes soft foods. Ever since my dog came back from the ER, he only eats wet/soft food and treats. Won't touch his dry food.

The cardiologist has tweaked his heart meds, and his appetite seems to be coming back slowly. He woke my husband this morning at 2:30am and ate a good amount of wet food!

I took it hard when my dog turned 10 years old last May. It's like, I was happy to celebrate that milestone, but in the back of my mind I wondered how much time we had left with him. Guess I was hoping for 15 years....healthy chihuahuas can live long lives. Now with his CHF, it'll be shorter than I thought.

My husband and I want to soak up as much time with him as possible. Silver lining, (if there is one), is that we are aware of his health condition and know his prognosis. So hopefully we can make some peace with that, and just come to terms with this "new normal" and continue on this journey for as long as we can.

Thank you everyone for your well wishes.
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:13 PM   #8
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I am glad your chihuahua is home noq

I just wanted to say I am glad your dog is home with you now and you have more time with him. My dogs are like my babies so I know how hard it is when they are hurt or sick.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:21 PM   #9
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Good news he is home!

So sorry to read all this.. What a sweet picture..

I think this must have been moved, I never saw this until now?

I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. .Please keep the updates coming
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:29 PM   #10
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both your dogs are adorable! I hope he is perking up and getting back to himself.

pets are just the most amazing little friends you can have. I grew up with cats, and am really, a cat person. I have 4 of them at home, ranging from 11 to 1. my 11 yo kitty has been with me through some major milestones the past 11 years and i don't know where'd be without her. I hate to think about her getting older and not having her around someday but I try to focus on the fact that I was lucky enough to find such a great friend to have with me all these years!

back to the doggies...well ive always wanted a puppy and finally this summer, at age 31 i got my first puppy. at 7 months now he is a huge trouble maker but the bond with him (already!) is incredible. its very different from a cat and i just absolutely love him and look forward to having him around for a long time.

i hope you and your husband have several great years ahead with your little friend!!

i love reading about the bond between people and their animals. it truly is a special thing.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:56 PM   #11
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Relax and take it once minute at a time. Getting adjusted to a new med can be taxing on his system and finding the right dose will have its ups and downs. Seems like his Doc is good at what they do and will have him back to his normal eating habits. That is one great step that he begged for food and ate so that means he does not have a problem eating its just the appetite he needs.
Not to mention his body going through being sick and spending a few days in a place other than home can effect him. I believe by the end of this weekend he should start to feel like himself. He will have had the new meds in his system for a week and his body should be through the adjustment point.
Just be thankful you have him

Hugs to you.
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Old 12-13-2014, 12:37 PM   #12
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Thank you everyone for the replies.

The past 24 hrs has been a whirlwind experience, to say the least. My husband woke up to get ready for work yesterday morning at 5am, and our dog was having a difficult time breathing.

We took him to his regular vet yesterday, and she kept in in an oxygen cage, while taking him in and out to get X-rays. He was in congestive heart failure again, and he had fluid in his lungs, *again*. Ugh! Unfortunately, she couldn't do anything more for him, so we had to rush him to the ER.

Luckily, our vet and ER are only a 10 minute drive from each other, which was great, because our dog could only be out of oxygen for 15 minutes. Sigh....

So he stayed at the ER over night. Apparently his second heart valve tore, which caused fluid in the lungs. (His first valve tore on Thankgiving night.) Fluid is completely gone now. He is being weened off oxygen so he can come home later today.

All the doctors are completely shocked.....everything that is happening to him only happens in like 1% of dogs with congestive heart failure.

Good news is he gets to come home today, *again*. They are revising his heart meds for this new development, and also to see if it will help get his appetite back. He hasn't eaten a lot since Thanksgiving and has dropped 1/2 a pound. (Obviously, it's more serious for him b/c he's only 7 pounds!)

So the cardiologist is going to try and get him to eat before he comes home today. Overall my husband and I are in complete shock over all this. The odds of his second valve tearing were so low, that it wasn't even brought to our attention, because no one thought it would actually happen.

Ironically, our cardiologist is still giving him 1 to 2 years. That's great, but my DH and I are trying to focus on just day to day at this point. Once his appetite comes back, then things can get back to normal for us.

Our doggie coming home *again* today is the best gift we could have asked for. Today happens to be our 11th wedding anniversary, so we're glad that he'll be home with us to celebrate.
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Old 12-13-2014, 08:48 PM   #13
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I will start with Happy Anniversary to you both!

My goodness that sounds exhausting for you all.. I am glad he is home to celebrate as well..

Giant hugs all around.. It often is about the little things, and one step and day at a time.
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Old 12-13-2014, 10:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommasita View Post
I will start with Happy Anniversary to you both!

My goodness that sounds exhausting for you all.. I am glad he is home to celebrate as well..

Giant hugs all around.. It often is about the little things, and one step and day at a time.
Thanks mommasita!

Yes, this whole experience has put things in perspective for us. We started shopping for Christmas gifts early November, talked about what restaurant to eat for our anniversary, and had planned a weekend get away for my DH's 40th B-Day for Christmas weekend.

When our dog's medical problems started Thanksgiving night, we knew we wanted, (not needed), to reprioritize for our dog's medical expenses. So all those things have been canceled, and that's ok with us.

This is the first anniversary that we've stayed in, but I must say, it's my favorite so far. We are watching Christmas movies for the rest of night, and our doggie is resting comfortably.

Thanks for the reminder. I really need to take everything a day at a time. Sometimes my thoughts get away from me, and then I get too stressed.

I really hope that I'm not coming across as a Debbie Downer for those reading this thread. It's just very therapeutic for me to "talk" about this, and the support really helps.

We're going to do our advent calendars now. Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! I can't believe that Christmas is 12 days away.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:16 PM   #15
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Oh no Debbie Downer at ALL.. We are all here as a means to support one another..

I love to be a part of this group.. Sometimes it is hard, but knowing that we can all be there for each other, then it just makes it all worth while..

Regarding Xmas .. I know.. I must get my butt in gear.
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