Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Friday, February 18, 2011


On Wednesday, the wheels fell off. Dr. Mike thought Bao's heart sounded a bit slow, so he did an ultra-sound -- which showed a large amount of fluid around Bao's heart.

We went straight to a cardiologist, and Bao underwent a surgical procedure to draw off the fluid, which was already affecting his heart. There was a lot of it -- 175 ccs. But nobody could figure out what it was. I've never seen anything like this, said the cardiologist. They've sent it off to a lab, to be tested.

When Bao was stable, they sent him home -- and he promptly began coughing and panting. So back we went. They put him on oxygen and did an x-ray. Now, his lungs were "wet" and he was going into congestive heart failure. Why? Nobody knew. But an injection of lasix helped.

There wasn't much else they could do, so we came home. I didn't want him to die alone, in a cage. If this is the end, I thought, let him be in his own bed, with me. I wasn't sure he'd make it through the night, but he did.

Dr. Mike is now wondering if the underlying cause might be Valley Fever, a disease that afflicts dogs and people in this area. We're waiting for those tests to come back, too.

This morning, Bao ate real food and enjoyed it. This is a good sign. There's no fluid around his heart, either. But his blood work now shows elevated white cell count and something going on with his liver. (If it hadn't been for the blood work, I'd be dancing in the street, because he seems so much better)

Dr. Mike thinks the liver involvement might have been caused by the build-up of fluid around his heart. In that case, it should sort itself out. Here's hoping.

But we're not out of the woods yet.

2 Comments:

Blogger Albireo said...

So sad. I let my West Highland White Terrier Duncan die at home, in my arms. I didn't want him euthanized--I wanted to give a miracle a chance. Hoping for the best for you and Bao.

8:22 PM

 
Blogger Miss Poppy said...

Let's hope that this will be the end of Bao's health problems. I guess the fact that he ate and enjoyed it, is a good sign ! In any case this will allow his little body to build up some of that so important resistance to fight back infections. We are thinking of you both alot and hope to read soon here that all is back to "normal" !!
Chris, Miss Poppy & Lily

9:25 PM

 

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