Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Books and Dogs

It’s been a week of ups and downs.

The ups include the launch date of two of my books on the same day--yesterday: OODLES OF POODLES, my fourth Pet Rescue Mystery, and UNDERCOVER WOLF, my fourth Alpha Force paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne.  As I mentioned last week, I’m doing a lot to let people know about both of them.  That’s fun, but time consuming!

The downs involved the health of my older Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lexie.  Last week, she started wanting to go outside every five minutes, including in the middle of the night.  I rushed her to the vet and learned, not too surprisingly, that she had a urinary tract infection.  That was easily treatable with antibiotics, and we’re all sleeping better now.

However, it was a good thing she got the infection since, for the first time in her almost ten years of life, the vet discovered she has a heart murmur. 

Heart issues are very common in Cavaliers.  In fact, all of my other Cavaliers have had them in varying degrees from a moderately young age.  I’d felt a bit smug that neither Lexie nor Mystie, who is five years old, had shown any indication of a heart issue... before.  Both had other medical issues, but they weren’t heart related.

I next rushed Lexie to a doggy cardiologist, who took an electrocardiogram.  Sure enough, she has a problem but, fortunately, it’s only moderate in nature, at least for now.

Years ago, with my first Cavalier, I started cooking all his food when he was diagnosed with a heart issue.  I was told his diet had to be salt-free, and there weren’t any prescription or salt-free pet foods being sold in those days.

With subsequent Cavaliers, I was also told to put them on salt-free diets, but as time went on those kinds of foods became available.  We were additionally told to put them on Lasix pills to eliminate a lot of their internal fluid retention.

How things have changed!  This cardiologist was horrified about the idea of Lasix and what it could do to a dog with heart issues.  He indicated there were some meds that we could use but their testing indicated contrary results.  And salt free diet?  Well, we could do that if we wanted, but his experience was that most dogs wouldn’t eat if they didn’t have salt, and that was worse than having salt in their food.

I was warned not to go overboard in babying my baby.  Which is fine--to some extent.  I’m definitely reducing the salt in her diet but I didn’t make her go cold turkey.  And, in the past, most of my beloved Cavaliers lived for significant amounts of time after their heart issues were diagnosed.

So... right now, as I write this, Lexie is barking behind me, giving me orders, telling me she wants to go out.  That’s exactly what we’re going to do.

How do you react if your fur-kid has health issues?


Betty Hechtman said...

It's always a worry when a pet gets sick because they can't tell you where it hurts. Glad your pup is doing okay.

Linda O. Johnston said...

That's true, Betty. But fortunately Lexie is acting like her usual cute demanding self!

Chrystle Fiedler said...

I feel for you and Lexie. When Holmes had to go to the Pet ER I was a WRECK. I'm glad she is okay. You know those chicken treats from China are causing liver failure and worse. Does she eat those? I switched to the organic kind. Let me know if you need more info!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Fortunately we weren't feeding the pups those tainted treats, Chrystle. Thanks for the offer. I hope Holmes did well after the Pet ER!