My daughter and fam spent the weekend at Disney, and boarded the dogs at the vet. No big deal, they've done it many times before. This time when Dudley came home there was a noticeable difference in his behavior, dramatic enough that she had him back at the vet at 4 today. He was lethargic, had no appetite and no energy. He didn't bounce back after a nap, and didn't want dinner. Morning didn't bring any improvement.
Cut to x-ray results: enlarged heart, and his heart murmur is much more pronounced (he was diagnosed with a heart murmur as a puppy), pulmonary edema, and maybe a shadow that might be a tumor in a lung. He's on diuretics tonight (good thing most of the house is tile) and a follow-up x-ray tomorrow. No, this isn't the boarding at the vet's fault. The stress may have exacerbated this underlying heart condition that was always known but never a big deal, and nobody could have predicted that this would be the weekend it would get worse. And even if the "tumor" is a tumor, ain't nobody putting a 12 year old dog with a heart condition under the knife to try to fix it.
So, we cracked many jokes about the old man being on heart meds and a low sodium diet, and I suggested turning on Matlock for him, but never, ever Fox News. My baby puppy first granddog is officially a fragile senior now, but nobody's giving up on him. If the shadow in his lung is a tumor, that would be bad, but we will hope it's a shadow from the edema and wait and see. It will all depend on how he feels after the diuretic takes the pressure off. If the lung mass is a tumor, operating isn't a sane option on a dog with a bad heart. But if the diuretic helps him bounce back, he can maybe have a few more innings on heart meds and a low sodium diet.
I'm turning 59 this month and also confronting the concept that the baby puppy my daughter brought home from FSU is in reality a frail old boy now. Somehow that makes me feel older than doing the math on the ages of my kids.