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Canine Heart Valve Disease - Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Five years ago this Thanksgiving my husband returned from North Carolina with our beloved Willie, an old-style red full standard Daschshund. My children swore they would forgo all other Christmas presents if they could have a dog. Bred back to “Tekkel” specifications with German stock, Willie is a barrel-chested 32 pounds. When his puppy rabies vaccination was expiring, I took him to one of the largest veterinary practices in the area. The examining vet said he was fine except for a heart murmur. I asked, “What can I do to help?” She replied, “Not much, really, just keep the dog fit and trim and never skip the heartworm medication. Make sure we see him promptly if he starts getting short of breath.” Despite this upsetting diagnosis, less than a year later we went back for Willie’s sister Schottzie, a black and tan Tekkel. Although the main goal in her life is to exceed her ideal 27 pounds by eating anything and everything, Schottzie has no signs of heart trouble, and Willie’s has not progressed.
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