Life seems to toss you a ball large enough and fast enough that you have no time to catch it. Well Monday we had a hard time catching this one. Its about Barley. (You cat people need not read on as you just won’t get it. I know, I used to be solely a cat person until I was blessed with B)
Barley was ill this weekend. He seemed to have lost his appetite for some reason. I was working on my stand all afternoon and he dashed his way down to the basement which he is NOT allowed to go down to. Within in seconds, he found the litter box and munched on a brown morsel left by one of the cats. “NO!” I shouted and tried to take it from his mouth. He swallowed it in a nanosecond. He lost his appetite that evening and on Sunday he never finished his dinner. At 4 am Monday morning, we awoke to a throwing up dog. He kept throwing up for almost an hour. Poor guy. So I called the vet in the morning and I took him first thing.
The doctor checked him out. Looked at his paw; he had a swollen paw and some form of fungal infection from last week. He said that the nausea and vomiting is not really related to anything. Just may have had an upset stomach from what he ate so he pumped him up with some penicillin and some anti-nausea meds. He began to take his temperature and was checking him over with a stethoscope. “Hmm?” I hear the doc say. I ask “What’s Hmm?” He explains that he is listening to his heart and he can hear a murmur. He said he’d never heard this before. We start looking into the charts and see nothing related to his heart, etc. He said that it sounded pretty severe and with him not being a cardiologist, we should seek an evaluation at Ohio State University’s Vet clinic there. Apparently there is one of the only vet cardiologists in the state that does research on Boxer health.
The vet graded his murmur with a grade 3/4 which is very serious as the scale only goes to 6 and 4-6 are fatal at early detections. We made an appointment for next Thursday. When we called they told us that we need to get in soon as possible as this is a serious condition. I have been in communication with my boxer friend Jessica and she has been feeding me with helpful links on what to expect and what this means. She said that this could very well be Aortic Stenosis (AS), or Sub Aortic Stenosis (SAS) which is a genetic defect that is usually detected around 2 years old. Barley just turned 15 months. What I understand is that if you have a boxer with a grade 2 or greater heart murmur, there is a 95% chance that your dog has AS/SAS. Both these conditions can give, as their first symptoms, sudden unexpected death or severe fainting episodes.
I have been a mess since I learned this. I love that little guy. I have never had a pet where I was more in love with than him. Do not get me wrong, I love my cats, but ever since I got Barley, I have been attached to him. He, like my wife, provides me with pure unconditional love. My cats do not even come close. All Barley wants to do is be with us. I can not even imagine losing him. Jess cheered me up with this (which put me in tears) “The reason that they have so many heart problems is because their hearts are so huge and full of so much love.”
I’ll keep you posted.