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Nebuchadnezzar 10-05-2019 06:38 PM

I haven't posted this because it was just too much.

Wednesday night Xerxes was burping a lot/perhaps the start of a cough in hindsight.

Thursday morning I left early for work. Toby started work at 1 so was home for the morning.

Emails me - Xerxes is lethargic, I'm worried about him.
Me: Should I work through lunch and come home early? Does he need to go to the vet?
Toby: No no it's fine

Throughout the morning...geez, Xerxes really seems poorly. Finally I said I was coming home early and he said - good!

(This worried me; Toby never worries about the dogs. They could've lost a leg and he'd be like 'Just a flesh wound!')

I wasn't able to get an appointment with our vet that day, but made one for Friday. Knew I could take Xerxes to the e-vet if necessary.

Got home and Xerxes seemed not his usual self, but not desperately ill. Good, he can wait until the appointment Friday.

Then he started coughing more. Toby hadn't mentioned coughing. And retching. I took his temperature and it was slightly high. Then he started trembling. So I took him to the e-vet at 6:30 shortly after it opened.

They were concerned about pneumonia (Toby told me later he was too; WHY did you not tell me that!!!!!) so did bloodwork and x-rays. WBC slightly elevated, his lungs were clear.

They pull me in to show me the x-rays and say - his larynx is abnormally down, we're concerned he has an obstruction in his esophagus but we can't tell from this x-ray. We should send them to a radiologist for $150 to review.

Me: Well he's eaten today and kept it down, I don't think he has an obstruction.
Them: If you're sure
Me: I'm sure


Then they say - well, Xerxes heart murmur is a 3/6 (I thought it was a 2 before, we adopted him with it, so I doubt it'll be covered by his insurance).

"If you look at his heart in this x-ray, it's enlarged. He's in heart failure and you should follow up with your vet for medication and a referral to a cardiologist/get an echocardiogram"

I am shocked and horrified. Xerxes is SO active, so we never fussed about his heart murmur. This is awful. I am freaking the #$%$ out.

They give him a shot for his nausea and send him home with antibiotics.

I then spend Friday googling 'dilated cardiomyopathy' and calling around all the specialist clinics in the Greater Toronto Area to see which cardiologist could see us the soonest (earliest was end of October). I quietly try not to die. I was NOT productive at work.

Toby doesn't work Fridays so kept an eye on him and said he was the same. Towards the middle of the afternoon he thought Xerxes was improving.

I got the e-vet to send me the records so I can submit stuff to insurance. There are inaccuracies (they said he wasn't eating; he was, just not enthusiastically). The record said his murmur was a 4/6, which is NOT what I was told verbally.

We roll into our vet and they seem more concerned about Xerxes being sick. I am concerned about Xerxes's heart and want to discuss that. So the vet - who is young - says:

"I looked at the x-rays, and I didn't see what the e-vet saw, so I got the senior vet here to look too, and we both agree there are no signs of congestive heart failure. There's no fluid, it doesn't appear enlarged. In fact, if you look at the x-ray (shows us) - it shows the lungs in full but none of the views they took show the heart in it's entirety. He's fine, don't worry."

She listens to his heart and says his murmur is a 3/6.


This is why I LOVE our vet though. Feel about a million times better. They encouraged us to get an echocardiogram at some point to see exactly what his heart looks like but it's not a rush and they said not to worry. We are switching his food though to something that has rice now, and not legumes. Just to be on the safe side given his murmur. AAFCO compliant.

In the end, they suspect he has the flu. He's better today, his fever has dropped dramatically and he no longer has one. He is still nauseous - he has trouble eating and actually threw up mid-breakfast - so we picked up some pepcid per their instructions and hopefully that helps. Will also give him wet food for a bit. Still more lethargic than normal but then his normal is pretty 'I am insane' so yeah. If he were Neb I would think he IS normal, but he's not Xerxes normal. Poor boober hasn't bayed in days!

Man! So that's our week.

Cassie 10-05-2019 11:47 PM

135 Attachment(s)
Cassie here... my Mr X isnt feeling too well?. I should come and perk him up...hugs and kisses.

I completely understand your concern over the crazy diagnoses. About 2yrs ago cassie woke up and could barely move, walk, eat... i was frantic. She went to our regular vet who said most likely a pinched nerve in her neck so pain meds and relaxants were prescribed which turned her into a zombie with no improvement. A $2,500 MRI was suggested. I took her to the emergency hospital...that vet also said it was a pinched nerve and continue the meds...I DID NOT BELIEVE THAT DX.
I took her back to the regular vet and said...i believe she has Beagle pain syndrome and I want to put her on Prednisone. The vet never heard of it...what? But she reluctantly agreed...the second dose of the Prednisone had a huuuge improvement and was nearly back to her old self. Bottom line I personally would wait to see how he improves before all the tests...the elevated temp seems to be the key part. Most likely it was the flu. Practice good handwashing...
Hope he feels better soon..keep us posted.

Nebuchadnezzar 10-05-2019 11:55 PM

Xerxes looked happy Cassie!!!

Well, all the vets have said the heart and him being sick are two completely different. The e-vet just thought they uncovered something that our vet said - nope. Not at all. I am personally starting to think we wait and as long as his murmur stays a 3 don't worry about it. I dunno.

That's crazy though! (About Cassie) Good thing you knew about beagle pain syndrome, geez. Xerxes is VERY happy she's alright.

I'll keep you guys in the loop. Thanks!

Cassie 10-06-2019 12:00 AM

Did either vet test for the flu? The camp cassie goes to required a flu shot and booster a couple of years ago since a number of dogs rescued in Asia were brought in with flu in a local county.

Autumn's Mom 10-06-2019 11:23 AM

Oh my goodness!!!! I would be beyond mad and worried all at the same time. How can a practice do this? I would never go back there. My Vet has an emergency clinic they partner with but thankfully I have never had to go there, but I have heard of stories similar to yours about other emergency clinics. So very very sad! I hope you all are feeling better and it was just the flu. I saw someone in a different group post about getting their dogs flu shots. I haven't heard of this. Have you guys?

Cassie 10-06-2019 12:48 PM

The vaccine is a Bivalent and called H3N8 and H3N2. So cassie got 2 shots 2 weeks apart. She got it only that one time. The health department didnt say there was an outbreak after that .
Cassie does get Bordatella twice/yr however.

Nebuchadnezzar 10-06-2019 12:51 PM

Cassie, our vet didn't test for the flu as Xerxes was improving they said just to keep an eye on him and check in Saturday (yesterday). He was dehydrated so they gave him fluids and that perked him up. But his cough showed marked improvement Friday afternoon.

Autumn's Mom, yes, the thing is, I'm not sure how much better any other emergency clinic here is!!!!! But yeah, I'm not happy at all.

To both of you - I believe they are vaccinated for the flu - they have been for the past, I'm not sure if it's a yearly vaccine but I know our vet gives it. Cassie, re: the flu coming from Asia, it's here in fits and spurts too (not Toronto I don't think, but Ontario) but nobody really vaccinates for it regularly. Xerxes actually was vaccinated for it years ago (the people who turned him in to the shelter got him from a rescue that imported him from the US, and we have his US rescue vet records and he was vaccinated for it, but whether that still covers him I doubt).

He was perky enough this morning I took the boys for a 700m walk - he was so happy! Tired at the end, obviously, but I think he liked getting out of the yard and seeing the world. He didn't bay at any dogs we met (obviously I stepped well off the sidewalk so he had no contact) and in fact he hasn't bayed since Tuesday, poor guy. I think his throat hurts too much from coughing.

He's doing better eating the wet food and on the extra anti-nauseant our vet recommended yesterday after he threw up eating breakfast. He's kept all food down though kind of gagged at the end of breakfast today.

Cassie 10-06-2019 02:23 PM

Maybe some plain boiled chicken and rice in small feedings for a couple of days will settle his tummy.
Sounds though he's making improvement.

Nebuchadnezzar 10-06-2019 06:09 PM

He is. I had some friends come by for a bit and when they knocked on the door he bayed - but it was such a sad, painful sounding bay. Still, he's definitely getting more sprightly.

ljas 10-09-2019 11:27 AM

Poor Xerxes - and poor you!!!

Glad he is doing better - it's scary when they're sick!!!

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