Last week when the girls were playing in the sandbox I felt compelled to take some pictures of our dogs, which I haven't done in a while.
Harley & Bailey
Little did I know the events that would unravel that weekend...
Sunday afternoon the dogs were resting and I was assembling the teacher appreciation gifts when I heard Harley's feet start scratching against the tile like he was running in his sleep. I go to look and something was very wrong! I yelled for Cody to come help that it seemed like Harley was having a seizure. We both sat by him hoping he would stop quickly and be ok...he didn't and he wasn't. His legs locked out stiff, he was flopping around gasping for air. We tried to look in his mouth but he was so tense we would have been unintentionally bit in the process.
Then his tongue started turning blue...and I said "Oh my God, he's not breathing!" Cody was ready to take him the the Vet ER but I knew he wouldn't make it if he wasn't breathing already. When he snorted out blood from his nose and started foaming out the mouth we had no other option but for Cody to try to get him to the ER in time. We threw him in the trunk as safely and quickly as possible. He was still locked out stiff and couldn't brace himself in the trunk. He flopped and rolled around with no control.
Cody sped off to the ER and I stayed back and cried! Thank goodness the girls were all napping and didn't witness that! It was scary enough for us as adults. Cody called me 1/2 way through his drive and said Harley was standing up and breathing again. RELIEF. (Rolling around in the car probably knocked his heart back into rhythm.)
They took Harley straight back for testing and monitoring. They said odds are it wasn't a seizure since he didn't pee everywhere during the ordeal. Plus oxygen loss is not typical of a seizure. They thought the blood was from him biting his tongue during the collapse.
His bloodwork was normal, chest x-rays normal for age, but his ECG was not. He was showing signs of an arrhythmia and they wanted to start him on medication and watch him overnight to make sure he reacted to it ok. The next morning he got a cardiac sono which showed internal dilation.
Diagnosis: Boxer Cardiomyopathy
Prognosis: 6 months- year (at best)
Risk: Sudden Cardiac Death
Preventative: he is on an anti-arrhythmic and will start a 2nd one tomorrow. This just buys us all some time (we hope). The medication is cheap and we are willing to try to get the most time we can with him.
Monday afternoon I told the girls we need to tell Harley how much we love him and play with him because he is getting old. Reese proceeds to say "Harley is my favorite"!
Harley Age: 10.5 years
Stay strong for us Harley - we love you very much!