a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Thoughts From The Heart

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thoughts From The Heart

SUMMARY: Well--actually *about* the heart. Tika's.

Tika went in for her annual checkup and shots and tests the other week. Actually it has been about a year and half although we've been in a couple of times in the intervening months for various other reasons.

It was about that time, back then, that I think I first was told that Tika has a heart murmur, but very slight.

This year, the vet said that, on a scale of 1 to 5--hmm, or was it 1 to 6?-- a year and ahalf ago it was about a 2, and now it's about a 3. Still nothing to worry about, he says, but if I notice any change in behavior, or less energy, let him know.

Well, of course, I've noticed less energy in recent months already. I attributed that to being 11 and a half. She still runs full tilt after a ball or frisbee, but instead of being indefatigable, she does it only a few times and then stops or takes a break.

So is that heart related or not?

He said to report in if she does a lot of coughing, say, first thing in the morning. She had been doing quite a bit of coughing in odd ways and at odd times, but now that the doc has said something about it, I haven't heard her do it at all. So... maybe just low-grade allergies or a tickle in her throat?

Also, I asked for a nice full panel on the bloodwork, not just a heartworm check. He reported back that her thyroid is borderline--normal is .8 to 1.0 and she's at .9. If I heard the phone message right. Which makes me wonder, if .9, smack dab in the middle of normal, is borderline, what exactly is normal? I just got around to calling him back, but now he's out of town until next week, so the mystery remains.

Mostly everything seems to be in good working condition, but now I have more things to fret over than just her ever-increasing deafness and what I still think is her deteriorating vision.

For a dog who's been so healthy most of her life, this is all quite distracting for me. I guess every dog will be different as they age, just as they've been different when they were younger. How rude.

We have three weekends of agility coming up, so will see how we all do.

Well--kinda 3 weekends. This weekend, SMART USDAA trial in Prundedale. Next weekend, Bay Team CPE in San Martin, about as close as it ever gets to my house any more. Following weekend--"Dreams of the '90s Are Alive in Dog Agility Woodstock", which seems to be an excuse for a bunch of agility people, who obviously don't have enough agility events yet, to get together for 24 hours from midday to midday and do fun, useful, or silly agility-related things and have a big potluck and sleepover party. I think there are about 30 of us.

We will see how we all do there, too.


  1. Sort of a 'oh yea she's getting older' moments...I hate those moments...

  2. Ive never heard of a Thyroid level between .8 to 1 as the normal range. Are you sure that is right? Its usually .8- 3.8. Some labs use 1 as the low cut off. My dog , Guiness, has been dropping every year and has no energy. Wasnt playing anymore and he is 8 years old. He was 1 this last time, so they started him on Thyroid medication. Its really helped. He can walk at the park without stopping to rest and he now plays with toys again. When they rechecked his level with medication he came up to 1.8

    1. I might have misheard the message he left. Hopefully we'll stop playing phone tag soon and I can actually confirm what the deal really is. It's nice to know that thyroid medication works for dogs.