Apr 26, 2009

A High Point in Mia's Care

Mia napping this afternoon on the sofa after her trip to the vet. Today, I have wonderful news about Mia, my Katrina rescued dog. As you know, she's had a cough that won't go away. Her vet has described it as caused by her enlarged heart (from mitral valve disease) putting pressure on the trachea, thus the coughing. But never before has it been this bad. As she got over the kennel cough, the cough persisted. So, I took her today to Dr. Roger Knighton, her veterinarian in Las Vegas. He had seen her a couple of years ago, shortly after she was diagnosed by another vet. Three really big things are that her oxygenation is 100 percent (her tongue and gums were bright pink), her pulse was normal and so was her heart rate. The drum roll is that Mia is not in congestive heart failure. He said the cough caused by the collapsing trachea doesn't seem to be interfering with oxygen intake. If I can increase her endurance by walking her more, then her heart should get a little smaller, and that should take care of the pressure on her trachea. It's amazing how everything with this particular disease seems to have a domino effect, as Dr. Knighton called it. He did recommend I get Mia a cough suppressant and said I should be able to find a holistic one. it should lessen the coughing. The other positive news is this: I've been trying to get weight off of Mia. When she hasn't felt well, it's been difficult, because instead of walking, she'll get me to pick her up. Then, I end up carrying her around the neighborhood while I hold the end of a two-in-one leash for my other two. Because of that, Mia hasn't been getting the exercise I'd like her to. But that didn't seem to matter; when she weighed in today, she was 8.6 pounds -- a pound less than two years ago. She'd been hovering around 9-1/2 pounds. So, to have gotten her down to a healthy weight for her breed and size, and having done that slowly, is incredible. The only negative thing he said was her murmur is now graded at 6 -- on a scale of 1 to 6. But it's just a grade, not a level. "Wow," he said as he put his ear next to, not on, her side. "I can hear the murmur without touching her." The final good news Dr. Knighton shared is that while Mia is going to one day die of heart disease, she is not in congestive heart failure. He said she seems healthy, happy and alert. He also said, with everything I'm doing and her body's positive response to it, could help her stay at this level for a long time -- years, even. "She's not dying tomorrow," he said. And that, after a harrowing couple of months with first bordatella, then a chronic, honking cough, was music to my ears.


  1. I always seem to sense when to read this blog! What amazing news for you today!!! YAHOO! I know you are so relived... thanks for updating!

  2. Thanks, Pam! Yes, it's a HUGE relief.

  3. Hooray!!!! Happy for Mia and you!

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