1/28/15 - Our little Texas foster, Chewie, was seen today by Dr. Chris Jones of Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists . Chewie came to us in December of 2012 and was quickly found to have cardiac issues and was diagnosed with Chagas disease. He had a total work up at that time and was put on meds to help his heart, but we knew that it was a devastating and terminal diagnosis. He was given only a few months to live. Well, Chewie, who is a very social and happy little pup has defied the odds! Today, Dr. Jones found his heart to sound just fine!! Just amazing. We left Chewie there for the day to have blood tests, xrays and an ECG . We will update when we hear the results of this testing.
6/3/13 - Chewie went for a follow-up appointment on Friday, and all went well. Right now he is stable, and all of his test results are about the same as his last exam. That means that the meds are doing their job and helping his heart to pump as normally as possible. They were surprised and happy not to see a decline. As for his estimated time to live, they are still saying about 4 months. So who knows? They said he may just continue to defy all of the statistics for a while. They don't need to see him again until we see a decline or 4 months passes.
His foster parents were pleased with the outcome of this appointment and plan to keep doing what they are doing now, and roll with the punches.
3/6/13 - Chewie has started to not have as much zip to his step, so his foster mom brought him to Gulf Coast to see if his condition was getting worse.
It seems his heart has gotten larger, and it's not "squeezing" enough to pump his blood. (Which is why he's not so zippy and acting fatigued). Also, the veins in his heart and lungs are swollen (plump), and the effect of this is fluid in the lungs
They prescribed 3 more medications. One to help his heart "squeeze" better when it pumps, one is a diuretic to keep the fluid from building up in his lungs, and the third is to keep his body from overproducing fluids in response to the diuretic. He will go back Friday, the 15th, to check to see if the meds are working and to make sure they are not hurting his kidney function, which is a common side-effect. As far as a time frame on his time left with us, she said maybe a few months, but could give a better "guestimate" in 10 days, when he is brought back. At that time they will run the blood panel again and do an x-ray.
Obviously, Chewie will never leave his foster home to go onto a new home of his own, but he will be loved, cared for and medically taken care of until it is time for him to join all the pups that have gone before him to rainbow bridge.
All of your thoughts and prayers for Chewie are greatly appreciated!
1/24/13 - The Sotalol that the vet’s put me on did not seem to be working alone, so they have added a second medicine called Mexiletine. It is in a liquid form with beef flavoring. It costs $25.50 per month and I get .5ml 3 times per day. We are hoping that the combination of these two medicines will decrease the number of incorrect heartbeats I have. Nevertheless, the vets are so amazed at the fact that I truly do not show any side effects from my condition. I am so happy and healthy feeling that they are just in awww. I’m so cute, I have that effect on people all the time.
1/16/13 - My mommy and my daddy decided to split up. Unfortunately, this left me without a mommy or daddy, even though I loved them both very much. They made sure I got to a good rescue though, and I am having a blast at my foster home.
When I got here and my new foster mom took me to the vet, we all had a big scare. It seems my heart wasn’t beating properly, so we made an appointment with a cardiologist. I got to wear a holter monitor and everything. It was so cool! I was the only pup in my neighborhood with something that would monitor my heartbeats. Kind of like getting the newest iPhone out before anyone else! After blood work and puzzling some of the smartest people, we found out that I have Chagas. No, it is not a Mexican dance. This is a disease that is contracted from Reduviid bugs, also called the “kissing bugs”. How appropriate since I LOVE TO KISS, but talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ugh!!
Anyway, this Chagas attacks the heart and it seems that my upper and lower chambers aren’t communicating properly which results in ventricular arrhythmias (abnormal rapid heart rhythms). There is no treatment for this, but I have been started on some medicine called Sotalol. It is specially formulated for me into chewable treats and is only $30 for a month supply (2 treats a day). I’m a very good pill taker, and I think I’m well work $30 per month. We hope this medicine will decrease the number of incorrect heartbeats I’m having. Once I’ve been on the medicine for a week, I get to wear my holter monitor again to see if the medicine is working.
I know this all sounds so depressing, but it’s really all in how you look at the big picture. None of us are here forever, and none of us know when we will leave this great world. Me having Chagas and there being no treatment is just the same as any other pup passing unexpectedly. You know one day we’ll be gone, just don’t know when. I myself like the mystery. Life is too full of people always wanting to know what’s coming next. That’s only for God to know.
I am not neutered and need to have my teeth cleaned, but for right now, the vet doesn’t think it is safe for me to undergo anesthesia.
Let’s turn to a happier note. I am a very happy young fellow. I love people and spin in circles at foster mom’s feet when it’s mealtime, treat time or time to go outside. (watch my video to see me in action!) I am very loving and full of life. I am as eager of an eater as I am about life. I am always happy, energetic, love to be talked to, very well mannered, make great eye-contact, but am not demanding. Oh, did I mention I LOVE TO GIVE KISSES. Just making sure I didn’t leave that out. I also love to wear sweaters. I’m a pup that likes to keep up with fashion. Even though I love attention, I am not a smothering dog. I like to be close to you, but don’t have to be on you all the time like some of those needy Yorkies. I’m pretty well potty trained, but since I can’t have my “man” surgery, I still have the tendency to want to mark. No biggie, foster mom just dresses me up in my belly band along with my sweater.
There is a teenager in my home and I just love her. Small children might be too much, but an older child is right up my alley. I can’t say that I have a preference whether my next home has a mom, dad or both mom and dad since I love all people equally (which is how it should be). The only time foster mom has seen me get a tad beside myself is when we encountered another larger male pup outside when doing business. I’m fine with male dogs my size, but I don’t like it if they’re bigger than me. Foster mom says I get a little over-aggressive with the big dogs. Apparently I have a “big-dog” mentality myself.
Anyway, I’m happy, energetic and have THE BEST spirit and personality of any dog you will ever meet. Not to brag, but foster dad said that I’m the smartest foster they’ve ever had. Eat your heart out Lassie!
That about sums me up. Now fill out the application to adopt me.
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