Hello and Merry Christmas, everyone! I can’t believe it has already come and gone – the years just seem to be getting shorter all the time.
We had an extremely successful Christmas this year, as my boys can attest to! We went caroling, saw the boat parade, explored some of the better decorated neighborhoods, and each of us really made out when it comes to gifts.
My hubby and I love spoiling the kids (and one another), so we are very much a part of that Q3 spending spree that so many businesses depend on (you’re welcome!). This year we really went above and beyond, though – we bought our oldest a darling little German Shepherd puppy to help the whole family get over the unfortunate passing of our old dog, Inga.
Inga wasn’t a spring chicken when she passed, but she should have lived much longer than she did. Her problems started during a checkup when she turned 6 years old – the veterinarian noticed a murmur after she had been unusually lethargic for a few weeks.
Fearing the worst, the vet immediately prescribed a number of strong medications that she informed us would need to be used until the end of Inga’s life, which would probably not be too long. Knowing how much the death of a beloved pet can affect you at my kid’s ages, I was determined to keep the dog alive no matter the cost, and I immediately agreed to the treatment plan.
Well, as it turns out, administering strong heart medications too quickly can cause severe side effects and worsen problems rather than solve them. I didn’t learn this until much later when talking to another mom who mentioned that she took her pet to see a cardiac veterinarian consultant after exhibiting similar symptoms.
Inga’s condition quickly worsened – she was so lethargic that she refused to eat or drink, which I knew from experience was a telltale sign of a quickly approaching end. My kids would spend their days cuddling her, trying to get her to walk around and eat treats. She would only wag her tail weakly and lick them before putting her head back down.
Frankly, this broke my heart, and my children were beginning to notice that something was wrong and would start crying after spending time with her. I had to get another opinion quickly before it was too late.
My husband picked her up and cradled her all the way to the animal hospital as I gathered the boys and strapped them in. Both of us tried to keep it together and keep the boys’ spirits up, believing that this would be a one way trip for Inga.
Luckily, it wasn’t – the veterinarian at the hospital took one look at the treatment history and immediately recognized the harm the sudden onslaught of medications were wreaking on poor Inga’s body and put a stop to the worst of it. Unfortunately, the treatment had worsened some extant issues and she’d need specialist care.
Fortunately, that introduced us to her cardiac specialist, Dr. Carley Saelinger, who has since become a friend and the first person we go to when our pets need heart care. I am fully convinced that Inga would have only lasted a couple months rather than a couple more years if it wasn’t for Carley.
The new puppy, tentatively named Buster, will be living a nice, long, heart-healthy life as well thanks to Dr. Saelinger’s advice regarding diet and exercise appropriate for the pup and his breed. If he starts exhibiting the same symptoms as Inga, you’d better believe we’re getting in contact with the Cardiac Vet before going to some quack fresh out of med school.