A Rocky Health Update (2 Year Heart Check Up + A Tough Decision)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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So last week was certainly a crazy one.  A few weeks back, Rocky had his annual heart check up that got him a full workup of all the tests.  The great and amazing news is that there was absolutely no progression of his heart cnodition (you can read all about his original diagnosis of Mitral Valve Disease here) and last year we had great news at his one year check up, too!  
But, the vet did have some concerns with his teeth and I totally get it because his breath has been somewhat stinky for a while now.  He suggested we do a dental cleaning and possible extractions and that we had to do it at his facility because they are better equipped to deal with heart patients which is a big deal.   So we scheduled it for Thursday, March 9th of last week. 

I was a nervous wreck because I know it's risky to use anesthesia and stuff like that on animals with heart issues so when the phone rang earlier than they said they'd call, my heart dropped.  When I answered it was the vet who was doing his cleaning. She started off by saying that Rocky is the sweetest thing ever and they were even dressing him in little sweaters they had.

 Then she said they were able to clean his teeth but she doesn't feel comfortable putting him under more anesthesia for the X-rays and possible extractions. She doesn't think he'll make it because he's already been so up and down with heart rate and blood pressure and she's a wimp (in a good way) because if it was her dog she'd stop too. It's a sticky situation and she said there's 4 teeth that look like they could possibly be taken out. So If I wanted them out she'd send me to a different facility where there's a huge anesthesia team but the risk is still the same.  So I said "what if we just see how he is after a year" and of course she said that he COULD be completely fine after a year, or his teeth could get worse and that puts him at waiting a year with his hearth health puts him at an even greater risk going under anesthesia.

 And at that point she said I'd have to make the choice of is his quality of life fine (it is now and it probably will be then bc he acts so damn young) or is it worth the risk of putting him under knowing that he very well may not make it and if that's the case I would have to be comfortable with saying "well atleast he died while we were trying to save his health anyways" .

What a tough thing to have to comprehend.  I told her (and she agreed) that I feel like putting him at that kind of a risk feels like I'm slighting him and I couldn't live with myself if I knew I ended his life early. I mean he is so happy now, he eats fine, plays fine, his heart condition barely affects him, and he's so happy (she agreed that he's the happiest chihuahua she's ever seen) and to keep doing whatever it is I do for him. The crappy  part is that dental disease can kill you so I am crossing my fingers that we get lucky and he doesn't have any issues with the four teeth that she said could be iffy.  The only way to know is to do xrays which require anesthesia and it's just too much of a risk.  She struggled to keep him going as it was. 

They sent me home with a little swag bag of goodies for his dental hygeine. I'm going to give him dental chews more often and brush his teeth even better.

 It was a difficult decision to have to make, knowing that if I don't act now it could (maybe) get fatal eventually or maybe it wouldn't. But if I act now to see if it's critical or not I could end his life right away.

 Rocky loves his life and I've never seen him so happy. He is literally the happiest dog I've ever met in my entire life. There's no way I can take that from him. I know he wouldn't know the difference because he'd be gone but I know the difference.

 I feel like I'd be killing him early if I took a risk and something happened to himthen it's just not worth it.  I mean, if he was older and weaker it might be different but he doesn't even act like an elderly dog and honestly for a lot of Chihuahuas, 12 years is not even that old of an age for them because some can live to be 16 and 18 even with heart problems. I feel like he has several more years left based on my observations.

 So he was quite dopey after I brought him home and of course he is eating soft foods right now.  Speaking of that...

He ate like a king because he is obsessed with these Wellness CORE Chunky Centers! I looooooove that this is packed with superfoods and it gives him a high protein meal to go with his energy level. It's basically shredded chicken and gravy surrounded by a pate with spinach! It's 100% grain free and it comes in a convenient easy to open container that's ready to serve!

I think this is his new food for sure now!

So really it's the luck o' the Irish that Rocky is doing well and still here today.   I found Rocky years ago when he wandered into my parents' yard and it was in March.  So March is ddefinitely his lucky month!

Anyways, thanks for reading my update and thanks for all the kind words that some of you on my Facebook have already said.  I know I'm doing the right thing for Rocky because I'm not letting fear control my decision.  Here's to many happy years to come!

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