Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why is it always the sweet ones?

Today the last chapter of Madison's story was written. She is no longer working hard for every breath, wondering why she does not feel so good. She has joined her siblings across the Rainbow Bridge.

But perhaps her story has an epilogue. Maddie's condition, which has been well documented, caught the attention of the excellent veterinarians at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine. With her records, those of her sister Tuscon, and those of Patience's pups and another litter in Pittsboro, they are going to publish a paper. Maybe this will help advance the topic of virally induced congestive heart failure in pups.

I smile to think of how happy Madison was this last month. After the last Updates that I posted about her, she did very well. She had one bout with shortness of breath, and the vets kept her overnight to get her stabilized and run tests. We changed her dosages and added one med (5 medications and 4 nutriceuticals) and she came home to her friends. Aida and I wrestled with the choice - do we keep her completely calm to help her heart and lungs, or do we let her be a happy puppy for the time she has left? Well, mostly both. We kept her times of high activity to a minimum, but let her be all the puppy she could be.

And she was.

She hung off of Roscoe's jowels, and he played along. She did her best to convince the grumpy old Husky Kiko that play is a good thing (can't blame Kiko, though, as she is recovering from cruciate ligament repair). Gabriel was happy to roll on his back or play bow if she insisted that it was his turn. She even claimed a coveted spot on The Bed.

Maddie knew her name, and would come running if you called, body wagging. She loved her people. Especially Maia, who seemed to be the world's best chew toy.

She was one happy pup. Until last night. She started having problems breathing, and you could just see in her eyes today that she was not feeling well. We had an appointment with the vet to check on her status today, so that timing was good.

The news on the check up was not. The arythmia was much, much worse, and it was clear that the errant beats were being triggered from multiple locations. Her heart was even bigger, and now there was fluid leaking from her heart too. Maybe some time with lasix by IV would ease things for a day or two, but the story was clear. Madison's heart was not able to do the job her body needed it to do, and never would. She was not comfortable, and never would be again.

The vets and staff at the vet school are wonderful, and it was with the greatest of tenderness that they helped Maddie to breathe easily the last few times. She gave us a few kisses before she closed her eyes.

Play well, sweet sweet Maddie. We will miss you forever.

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