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!


Toby’s Ultrasound

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!

43 Responses to “Toby’s Happy Heart!”

  1. Dianne

    Such excellent news ! We are are all praying for Toby to keep getting better.Perhaps he upstairs heard all our prayers! lol

  2. Pat Monday

    Kelly, this is such excellent news. We are happy for your family.

    Toby looks like he really is a good patient. He is such a doll.

  3. Lucy and Laddie

    So happy to hear about Toby.How wonderful! Please keep us all updated on him.Love and Hugs to you and Toby.

  4. Jan Hunter

    Thank you for sharing the wonderful news with us. Yes, thanks to God for answering prayers. Toby is so gorgeous and I know he is a delight. Keep us posted and I hope he continues to do well for many years to come. Our Tory, who looked like Toby died earlier this year. Our Mickey Finn had an FHO a month ago and he will have his right side done after the left side heals.

  5. Shannon

    I am so happy to read that Toby does’nt need surgery and medication is helping his heart. Best wishes for his continued recovery and you both will be in my thoughts and prayers. Ceilidh and Penny send you both kisses!

  6. Erin

    Thank you for the update…we have all been anxiously awaiting news of Toby’s trial with the prednisone. We are so happy to hear the good news! Hope Toby just gets better from this point on. :)

  7. Becky

    Thanks for the update-So glad to hear that news Kelly!
    When I look at Toby’s sweet little face he just melts my heart-he has the kindest eyes. Keep positive and enjoy every day with your baby! I give lots of hugs, kisses, and cherish every day with Coop. I could never own any other breed but a Sheltie and I consider them to be blessings from Heaven while here on earth-and Coop has brought my husband and myself so much joy, laughter and love-it’s amazing that a small furry animal has that much power over us humans ;-). Life is so much better with Sheltie hair! And anyone who says to me “he’s just a dog!”.. has no idea… no clue… and is sorely mistaken!
    Love to you both!

  8. Tina

    This news brought tears of joy to my eyes. I am so happy to read this update. He is such a beautiful boy. Thank you for sharing with us!!

    • Susan L.

      I am so glad Tobie has responded to the Prednisone. However, talk to your vet about the underlying inflammation the prednisone fixed. if Toby was my Sheltie, I’d try switching him over to the Wellness Simple 5 food in hopes that if a food sensitivity was underlying the problem, a simpler high quality food might help maintain the improvement.

  9. judy groff

    i am so happy is going to be ok . he is such a handsome boy . they are the best dog to own.

  10. Ann

    Here I am hoping my sister doesn’t walk in the room while I read this super news between lots of tears .But good news always chokes me up . God bless you and continue the good progress. Thank you so much for the update Mommy .You never know ,we could be in the same situation some day.Hope to hear more good news from Toby in the future. Ann Soleil Etoile .

  11. Bobbie

    That’s GREAT news!!!! And he does look like the perfect patient :) Fingers and paws crossed things continue to go well.

  12. Sharon

    AWESOME!!!!!!!! So glad to hear good news, phew. Your family and Toby are definitely in my thoughts and I am sending much healing energy your way. Give that cutest of boys a hug from me!

  13. Thom and Dodie

    Merlin (blue merle) and Duke (tri rough collie) are sending tail wags and high paws for Toby!

  14. Tabitha

    Wonderful news Kelly! I’m so happy Toby’s getting better! Praying that each day brings improved health for your little man and that he’s back to being a happy healthy little sheltie VERY soon. Big hugs to you and Toby, he’s so lucky to have you!

  15. Leslie

    Oh, such good news- congratulations! Give Toby a big hug and kiss (and a cookie!) from all of us, and please continue to tell us how you all are doing.

  16. Jennifer

    I’m right there with Sullivan, my eyes welling up with tears of joy. Praying that Toby’s heart health will continue to improve – he’s touched each of *our hearts and made them happy, for sure. Give that lovely boy a kiss on the nose from his new friend and cheerleader in Virginia! Rah rah, Toby!

  17. Sandra

    Prayers will continue for Mr. Toby and your family. To GOD be the glory for this great news. Had never heard of this until your post last week but so very glad there are ways out there to protect our babies. I have lost 2 shelties to cancer in the last 4 years and it was terrible. So I understand your concern totally.
    I would totally tell all of you to consider VPI Pet Insurance for new puppies in the future.
    I have my own Mr Cody and he is fully covered for lots of things, especially major medical issues.
    Again, my very best to you and that darling Toby, he is soo handsome, reminds me of my Cody too.

    • Ruth Shoenthal

      I have Trupanion insurance for Motek. While Trupanion has deductibles for each new problem, I compared them to VPI which, if I’m not mistaken, has only 1 deductible per year. I found even with multiple deductibles, Trupanions repayments to be better. On Christmas Eve, Motek ate a whole box of very chocolate brownies that I made as treats for my building’s staff. Needless to say, we went to have to have his stomach pumped, eat charcoal, etc. Because it was christmas eve, he had to stay at the vet’s for 2 nights. I had to pay $1,250 for this “accident.” But I got $840 back from Trupanion about 2 weeks after the occurrence.

      Check it out. Insurance has really made it much easier to take the best care possible without major financial worry.

      • Kelly

        Thanks Ruth, but they don’t cover pre-existing conditions. Toby’s heart issues wouldn’t be covered. :(

        • Ruth Shoenthal

          Understood. Totally forgot about not covering pre-existing conditions. Hugs to you and Toby.

  18. Ruth Shoenthal

    This is wonderful news. I’m so happy for all of you. I have found the best way to de-stress is to hug and kiss my Motek, my sweet Sheltie. I kiss him and he licks me. Heaven. Best wishes for a long,wonderful future with your Toby.

  19. Connie C

    What great news! So happy medication is doing it’s job and he may be able to avoid surgery. I’m praying for continued good results for you.

  20. Kimberly Agzigian

    Congratulations to you and Toby!

    May Toby continue to make excellent progress and may the two of you have many happy years together!


  21. Naiche & Naruto's Mom

    Peace My Sweet,
    Continued blessings to the Magical Sheltie Being
    That is Mr Toby & your self & whole family !
    What a gentleman & scholar Mr Toby seems to be!!

  22. Gloria

    Omg!!! My heart lepted for joy and tears were steaming down from my eyes when I read your email… absolutely outstanding news. Every one of us at SN felt like it was our own sheltie possibly going though your hardship of apprehension… Not knowing the outcome, holding our breath until the great news came!!!!
    A round of applause for Kelly, Toby and the doctors and techs who took such great care to find the right therapy!!!! Just a wonderful outcome and outpouring of prayers and well wishes for Toby helped too!

  23. Aus sheltie mum

    So happy to read the good news! May Toby feel better every day, and hopefully you can rest easy now knowing that he is improving. Big sheltie hugs:)

  24. Elizabeth

    Thank heavens for this good news!!! Can’t tell you how happy and overwhelmed I’m feeling about this report. Will keep you and Toby in my thoughts and prayers!

  25. Sullivan

    WAHOO TOBY, WAY TO GO! Kelly, I am crying tears of joy right now for all the good news you received today. The power of prayers is a wonderful thing and you know we will all continue to keep you, your family and your baby in our thoughts and prayers. I can only imagine just how stressed you’ve been over what this out come could have been, now . . . go home, have a glass of wine, (or two!) and take a much needed rest. We know you will continue to keep us updated. Congratulations on the good news.


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