A Reason for Celebration! You Lucky Dog!

One year ago our sweet greyhound, Vinny, was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. And he was not even 5 years old, yet. It was discovered after a trip to the dentist for some oral surgery, that he had developed a murmur. For those of you with a limited medical background, cardiomyopathy is an enlargement of the heart muscle. This leads to  thickening of the muscle and a weakened pump.  It is a progressive disease that can also cause arrhythmias (irregular or dangerous heart rhythms) or sudden death. No cause could be determined, it was thought to be genetic or just an anomaly.  Being a critical care nurse for the majority of my nursing career, I am quite aware of how devastating this disease can be.

So, the greyt spouse and I came to terms with Vinny’s diagnosis and were ready to give him the best that we could and enjoy him for however long he would be with us.

Yesterday, one year later, we repeated his echocardiogram. I calmly waited to hear from our vet  to call. Vinny has been doing very well this past year. His energy levels were good, there has been no signs of coughing or signs that he tires easily. I was not expecting a bad report, but I did not expect the vet to say that he heart is,….NORMAL! 

What? This is not a disease that returns to normal, normally. The explanation from the vet and cardiologist is that for some unknown reason Vinny developed a viral infection that affected his heart. Most viral infections are self-limiting and the heart muscle will return to normal or near-normal function over time.  However, viral cardiomyopathy is not a common occurrence in humans, even rarer in dogs and the first case my vet has seen in her career.
So gone  are the twice daily horse pills that cost about $100.00 a month. Along with routine trips to the vet for blood work that made Vinny shake worse than the Energizer Bunny on uppers.   He will need another echocardiogram in a few months, just to make sure there are no changes. 

I love kissing big-nosed dogs!
Trying to hide during a thunderstorm
He always crosses he front paws in this manner
Not sure what he is thinking with this look. But I get it often.
Guess how many different beds I have?
The many sleeping positions of a greyhound

The greyt spouse and I now look forward to many, many years with this silly dog whose talks to us, roos at us for taking too long to get ready for a walk and whose tail wags like a broken spring!

Vinny, here’s to many, many years of walks, dreams of rabbit hunting, treats and lots of love! Now if only we could cure Vinny’s corns, so that his walks could be pain-free.

4 thoughts on “A Reason for Celebration! You Lucky Dog!

  1. Vinny is so handsome!! Beautiful coloring and a sweet, sweet face. Congratulations on a healthy-hearted dog, and the great relief of finding out he’s okay.

    With your medical background, it’s a good thing you knew when to act. With a dog that’s so physiologically different, it’s hard to know when to act quickly or when to really question a vet’s knowledge of the breed.

    Kilroy had a heart scare a few years ago. A vet (who didn’t seem to know much about greyhounds) declared that Kilroy should go to the doggy cardiologist immediately due to a murmur. It scared the be-jeezus out of B, who was ready to shell out the $1,000 without question. But I had read that greyhounds have large hearts and often have heart murmurs on the left side (http://vet.osu.edu/vmc/sites/default/files/import/files/greyhound_pdfs/faq/MurmurGreytPaper.pdf). We had his usual vet (who is very familiar with greyhounds and their physiological differences) take a listen. She deemed him to be totally fine, and he’s been totally fine ever since!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s good news for Kilroy. We definitely want to keep these hounds around as long as possible. Vinny also has corns on two of his paws. Something that is also common with this breed. However, we did not discover this about a year after we adopted him. We have tried several different remedies and had them removed twice, they seem to want to stay. Very hard to see, since he is so young, (he will be 5 in June). He loves his daily walks, but we have to be careful where we walk home, mostly areas, with soft grass.


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