Saturday, 24 March 2012

Butz worries

Having dogs and cats really makes you aware of the passage of time, doesn't it.  Their lives go fast so much more speedily than ours.  The average lifespan for an Airedale is eleven and a half, and Butz will be twelve in May.  He has seemed lively and strong for so long that we congratulated ourselves that this was due to having kept him on a carefully-balanced BARF diet for nearly all his life.
The latest pic of Butz in the local country park - taken just before he fell ill
For the last year he has been slowing down a bit, which we put down to age, and then about two weeks ago he really seemed tired all the time and almost weak.  He wanted to turn back home after only a short walk, whereas before he wanted to run, trot, sniff and saunter for hours!    So I took him to the vet, expecting a diagnosis of arthritis maybe.  But no, it was his heart.  The vet said she could hear an ominous squishing sound suggestive of congestive heart failure.  She booked him in for scans and an x-ray, immediately.  These showed her diagnosis was correct - his heart was struggling to pump his blood around.   Experienced as I am with vet visits, nonetheless tears came to my eyes.  The vet, Peggy from Cherrydown, assured me that the condition was probably quite easily treated with tablets, and prescribed Vetmedin.

Wow!  What a difference.  After only one day, Butz showed a noticable improvement and was ready for longer walks.  A week later and I'd say he is at least 80% back to normal, and is even being a bit naughty again, which is wonderful to see!

Thank you dear Peggy, thank you Vetmedin.  He will be on this medication for the rest of his life, but what a relief!  And above all - thank you to Butz for being Butz!