Sunday, December 03, 2006

A girl's best friend....

On Friday, my dog Brandy started this odd coughing. It almost was like a gagging or choking - but the more I watched her do it, the more I thought it might be a collapsed windpipe or something to that effect. It wasn't getting any better, and so my vet (who comes to my house, love her!) came over yesterday to see her.

The long and the short of it is....Brandy has a Grade 5 (1 being least, 6 being worst) heart murmur on both sides of her heart. Her heart beat, which I listened to - doesn't sound like a heart beat, but more of a "whoosh whoosh". If you've ever heard a baby's heartbeat while inutero, you'd recognize the sound. It is muffled, and doesn't sound like a true heart beat, but yet has the rhythm of one. This cough, is her body's way of creating more oxygen for her. And the vet could tell what it was going to be prior to even listening to her heart, because her breath was an indicator of something not right (outside of needing a bad brushing!). This can not be reversed...and while we may be able to keep it at bay for a short time with medicine, she will eventually die from this - either by suffocation, organ failure or heart attack.

We're having an echocardiogram done Friday to see the severity and to confirm that it is as bad as it seems - or hopefully, to maybe see if it's not as bad as it seems. If it is though...and that is something I have to think about - I'm more inclined to put her down gracefully than to have my children potentially either come home to find her gone, or even worse - see it happen.

She's only 10, rather young for a Jack Russell. And it came on so very quickly. The vet said since she didn't have this murmur last year, she more than likely may already have an infection that triggered the cough. Just like in people, when you have a severe murmur you need to be on antibiotics because you are prone to infections. I hadn't been expecting this, I sort of thought it was going to be something rather benign, like she ate something she wasn't supposed to and it was lodged or something like that.

My head and my own heart still hurts from thinking about it.

8 comments:

chesneygirl said...

Aw, Rebecca, I'm so sorry!!!

I hope the echocardigram turns out positive.

I know how sad it is to lose your "best friend."

HUGS!!!

martie said...

Oh, Rebecca, how terribly sad for you. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed and saying prayers that it isn't as bad as the vet thinks! I know it is a hard decision to make about putting them down gracefully. I had to make that same decision about 5 years back with my friend and companion, a chocolate lab, named Mocha, after having her a part of my life for 16 years. I'll be thinking of you, please let me know what you find out. Hugs, my friend!!

Lloyd L. Corricelli said...

Rebecca, I'm so sorry. I know how dogs are a part of the family and how much it hurts when they're sick. I still hurt from losing my greyhound Judy unexpectantly and it's been over six years. If there's anything I can do, please don't hesitate to ask.

Glitter/Aleka said...

*sniffle, sniffle* awww....

Anonymous said...

What can I possibly say to make it better for you? Nothing, I suppose, but I'll let you know that I'll add your Jack Russell to my nightly prayers. Here's hoping they're heard.

(*cyberhug*)

Shayna said...

Rebecca,

Dad and I were devastated when we read your blog last night. You know how much we love Brandy, to the point of wanting to kidnap her and take her home with us:( We will be praying that the test result turns out to be more positive in nature and please let us know when you find out.

EB said...

oh no!!! I will wish the best for you and Brandy! I am always in favor of putting a pet down over letting them suffer needlessly (as long as there is no other alternative of course). It's such a hard decision - my heart breaks for you. My own family dog passed on of a heart attack while in care of the Boston hospital and were were not there with her - I have always regretted that. I would much rather have done it ourselves and been there to hold her head and comfort her during that transition. I know you will make the right decision for you and your family! big hugs!

Anonymous said...

oh, so very sorry to hear. I hope it's not as bad as it may seem! I hope all turns out ok!