NOTE: This post is a retroactive journal and all dates, times and events have been logged accordingly and will appear in italics. All thoughts and feelings are my own.
July 13, 2015
Dr. N got back to me today. She did some research on the things I sent her (including supplements), but she concluded that what she found was limited and therefore couldn’t make a sound decision. Instead, she referred me to a local holistic veterinarian and said that he’s one of the more experienced ones in the field. The only thing she asked was for me to keep her in the loop about what he eats and what supplements he takes.
I quickly called the holistic vet (Dr. B) and a woman answered. She wanted me to go online to fill out a form and to send photos of Angelo. Also to have Dr. N fax all of Angelo’s medical records. I went ahead and scheduled a consult with Dr. B on July 23. The consult is a bit pricey, but I think it’s going to be worth it.
July 21, 2015
Angelo has been panting so much lately, the summer heat has been brutal. This has got to be one of the hottest summers here. I definitely do my best to have the A/C running in every room of the house, but an $800 a month electric bill sometimes makes that impossible to do. We went for a car ride earlier today and he started panting at around 3:30pm (even with the air conditioner on) and didn’t stop until roughly 8:30pm. That’s far too long.
I counted his breathes per minute and it was a little high at 44 breathes per minute. I was literally freaking out, just because I have no idea if it’s the heat, his heart or both. Naturally heat would make anyone tired, but he seems awfully lethargic. (FACT: Normal resting respiratory rate for your dog should be 10-35 breaths per minute. If you find it suddenly increasing, it could be a sign that a disease is progressing.)
I emailed Dr. N to ask her what she thought. She told me she thinks it’s the heat, but to bring him in on the 23rd. She said to try our best to keep him cool and to make sure he always has water nearby. Angelo has been getting nothing but ice water and I’ve been giving him a cold bath every day. It works for a bit, then he starts panting again. (FACT: Heat & Heart disease is a deadly combination for both humans and dogs. Heat is extremely hard on the heart.)
We also noticed a skin tag underneath his arm and a cyst behind his ear. It sometimes really is one thing after another.
July 23, 2015
Went to visit Dr. N early this morning. She checked his heart again and said it is the same. Told us not to worry about the cyst or about the skin tag. We are to monitor them and if they increase in size, then we need to bring him in for further evaluation. Other than that he’s all good. She did mention that this summer the hospital has had an influx of dogs coming in to be treated for heat stroke. So she reminded us to be vigilant about keeping Angelo cool and hydrated.
I figured out a way to keep Angelo cool and it seems to work better than dumping him in a pool or bathtub. (TIP: If you find your dog panting because it’s hot take an ice cube or two and rub it across their neck and chest. Depending on how bad the heat is, you can rub them down with it for 30 seconds to a couple of minutes. I find that this cools them down very quickly and not to mention, they have a lot of fun licking the water off of themselves and eating the ice cube after!)
Our consult with Dr. B was today too. I have never had such an eye-opening conversation with someone. This wasn’t b.s. either, he sent me studies and articles to backup what he was saying. This holistic approach is fascinating. I’ll write more tomorrow as I’m still trying to digest it all. I really think this just might help Angelo.