I’ll be taking a bit of a break this week from SN. Last evening we had to say goodbye to Toby. He had started to experience heart failure back in May but with many drugs, he was able to come out of it. Sadly his heart started to fail again this week. It was time.
Thank you Toby for almost 10 wonderful years. You were the sweetest and most beautiful Sheltie I’ve ever known. You never met a stranger and everyone who met you wanted to take you home for themselves. You will be very much missed by a lot of people.
I love you, handsome.
Judging by Toby’s happy smile from last year, this Christmas should be fun!
Cute, Cuter and Cutest!
OK, all my kids are the cutest. :))
(L to R: Teddy, Tyler and Toby.)
Toby gets an EKG
As everyone may remember, Toby was scheduled for pacemaker surgery last Thursday but at the last minute, the doctor wanted us to try one other drug therapy with prednisone. I promised an update on Toby after his surgery postponement. Today was to be his checkup to see if there has been any improvement in his heart function.
I went into today’s visit fully believing we would be walking out with a surgery date. We had seen some improvement since starting the prednisone late last week, but Monday he seemed to slip back into his lethargic, I-don’t-want-to-move existence. I wasn’t holding out much hope, but it’s been a good day here at Sheltie Nation HQ!
The cardiologist first hooked Toby up for an EKG. An EKG (electrocardiogram) is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart. He reported that Toby’s heart rate is much improved from his average slow, 60-70 beats per minute. (Today it was around 100, which is considered a normal range for a dog his size.) The cardiologist also saw much fewer dropped beats than the last time he was in. That means the signal that goes from his brain to his heart – telling it to beat, is performing more accurately and consistently than it was a week ago.
He then double checked his enlargement with the ultrasound to compare it to the last one performed. His enlargement did decrease, but only by about one millimeter but hey, we will take it as good news because it didn’t get any bigger! Given all these positive results today, the cardiologist recommended we NOT schedule him for surgery!
So the plan going forward is to try and find the lowest dose level of prednisone that he can take while getting the maximum benefits. Normally prednisone is not recommended for cardiac patients and Toby’s cardiologist said he can count one one hand the number of patients he treats with this drug. Lucky for Toby it seems to be working for him. If he continues to do well on a low dose of prednisone, the cardiologist doesn’t need to see him again for another 3 months. Now THAT would be wonderful!
Of course Toby was the perfect patient and got lots of treats when it was all over. He always makes new friends where ever he goes.
Thank you all for the prayers and well wishes as my family stressed through this past week. I would have never thought today’s outcome would be filled with good news. The power of all your Sheltie lover’s prayers! :))
The cutest (and most cooperative) patient!
Thank you everyone for the wonderful well wishes for Toby today! All your collective Sheltie karma must be working because the doctor called me a little while ago and wants to postpone the surgery! He would like us to try one last drug treatment with prednisone for 7-10 days and re-check his heart at that time. If we see no improvement in his heart function or his cough then we will reschedule his surgery day.
Thank you again everyone for the well wishes and I’ll update everyone with how he is doing on the medication in a few days.
7:00PM UPDATE: We just got back home and Toby is resting in his favorite spot – in front of a fan. Boy was he happy to see me! Before we left the cardiologist took a bit of time to re-explain why he chose to change his course of treatment at the last minute. He wanted to make absolutely sure that there was nothing else we could do for him except the pacemaker. Toby will be on the prednisone for a week and then he would like me to bring him back for another cardiac evaluation. That is scheduled for next week on the 15th. If that scan shows no improvement and Toby’s activity level also does not improve over the course of this coming week, then we will know for sure that a pacemaker is the only option. I will post an update on the evening of the 15th and let you all know how it goes and if surgery has been re-scheduled. So tomorrow it is back to the regular SN programming! ;)
I want to thank you for all your prayers and well wishes today. It made all the difference. Hugs to you all!