Hello and I am still here after a 2 week hiatus, but I have a good reason for it – last weekend was a tough and long weekend that started Friday night when I woke up to Miko coughing, restless, and alarmed. Last August, we got a devastating diagnosis at a new vet of an enlarged heart and I was told he would need to be on medication for the rest of his life. It was a horrible gut punch after having a good check up at his regular vet months prior and his regular vet being closed with Covid cases at the time and everything else going on. Multiple x-rays and checkups later, we got him stabilized on medication for the time.
But his cough started getting worse, he would wake up coughing in the middle of the night, cough when he gets exited, etc. So I took him to his usual vet for a check up 2 weeks ago and was told the x-ray looks okay and had his medication adjusted. But the cough did not get better over the following week, it got worse leading up to that scary Friday night where he could not stop coughing, very visibly struggling to breathe, he was throwing up clear liquid, his nose was running, and the alarmed and terrified look in his eyes was gut wrenching – it was awful. I ended up taking Miko to a 24-hour emergency vet very early Saturday morning and going to any vet currently still sucks thanks to Covid forcing us to wait in the parking lot and not being able to be inside comforting him. That was really hard this time, we waited for about an hour for an update while emergency x-rays were taken, etc. When the doctor finally called, I was told Miko was in full heart failure, his heart had enlarged to the point of pushing on his trachea causing the breathing issues and there was a lot of extra fluid in his lungs and heart.
Long, hard story later, he ended up spending the entire weekend being hospitalized getting oxygen treatment, medication IV to remove the fluid build up, multiple tests to check his kidneys, x-rays to confirm his heart condition was improving, etc. He finally was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon with more medications and a list of special instructions for us to monitor his breathing, etc. Poor guy was very drugged up and mellow for the ride home, but he did not seem traumatized from the whole experience and it seemed he was treated very well which I’m grateful for.
He went back to the same vet on Tuesday for an echocardiogram by a cardiologist to understand more of what is going on with his heart where he was officially diagnosed with congestive heart failure due to degenerative mitral valve disease. A condition I have been spending hours researching and trying to find the best treatment options for since. It is a horrible condition that affects many small dog breeds and some larger and the treatment options are limited beyond medication to manage the symptoms until it progresses to the point where medications can’t help. Poor Miko is taking many pills 4 times a day now! And he is scheduled for another appointment next week to make sure his kidneys are handling the medication okay. If that goes well, hopefully he can be stable on this medication routine for a few months before the next incident/check up.
Ugh, it’s been such a tough and emotional time since. I did find an organization that is trying to help advance a surgery technique to repair the mitral valve in dogs, Mighty Hearts Project. Basically there is a new surgery option for dogs with this condition, but it is very limited and tricky, only a few vets in the world offer this (most successful cases travelled to Japan or London just for the surgery by the doctor that invented it!), it’s extremely expensive, and Covid appears to have brought that option and progress to a screaming halt for now. I have already reached out to the two universities in the US that have performed this surgery to confirm they are unable to offer it at this time. Ugh! And reading through the success stories, Miko would be the oldest patient which could be too risky and a miserable experience for him. But I’m still going to explore all the options we can for him and pray for a miracle.
I am grateful to have Miko home and more time with him and grateful his new vet giving us so much more knowledge and options for dealing with this condition to give him the best quality of life he can have for now. She was even very knowledgeable about the current surgery options and research which confirmed she is the best option for him. But getting through last Saturday without him after such a traumatizing and emotional night was tough and we needed to get out of the house while waiting for an update. So we headed to a new local sandwich shop, Timmy Ginger’s, after social media buzz about their impressive vegan menu.
When we arrived, we overheard the owner talking to the customer before us about being surprised and nearly overwhelmed by the vegan demand. They set up a separate prepare station for the vegan menu and need to expand it because it’s not big enough to meet demand. And he has not really been advertising on social media yet because he was still trying to hire enough staff and meet the demand that was already from vegan buzz. Isn’t that great?
We have already been twice to try the options and the many vegan snack and chip options to go with the sandwiches. On our first visit last Saturday, I tried the hot breaded BBQ “chicken” sandwich and the more traditional chickpea salad sandwich yesterday.
The sourdough bread is awesome and my favorite, they remind me dearly of deli subs Ron and I used to get back in our non-vegan days living in Florida and I am thrilled to have hearty vegan sub options locally now that aren’t simply watered down veggie subs and looking forward to a picnic or lake day we can order them for.
It’s been an interesting 2 weeks around Miko’s scare, a lot going on at work still with upgrades and new projects, trying to get into spring mood and embrace warmer temps … except this weekend which has been overcast, cold, windy, and raining – again we are grateful to have rain when we can get it. Wild turkeys have been very active here all over our office campus. Both Ron and I were exhausted after helping my dad set up a large roofed backyard pergola that took many adults just to hoist the roof sections up and we decided we’re never doing anything like that in our yard, haha.
We have been enjoying eating out more with vaccinations flowing and restaurants opening up here which has been nice having work day lunches at Pho Vegan Asian Cuisine and having vegan Thai dine in again.
Lots of simple eats at home with salads, edamame pasta dishes, and tofu stir fries.
More salads, vegan curry sautés, and soups.
And we finally received our new dining table months after ordering it and could not be happier with the wood, size, and color choices. Our previous dining set was a small, round table that seated 4 and was a loud, youthful look with bright, contemporary chair colors. It was an inexpensive set we bought in Florida many years ago that has survived a cross country move, being stored for awhile, and multiple pets. But it was time for a larger table for projects and entertaining. The delivery timing was perfect because we had a community garage sale this weekend where I put the old set out in the driveway for free since so many with trucks would be cruising the neighborhood for deals and it disappeared fast for someone else to enjoy.
And Ron tried a new Gardein find – Nashville Hot Chick’n Tenders which he was pleasantly surprised with the level of heat in them and that’s saying a lot for a daring hot sauce addict!
And here we are at Sunday again and me fighting the Sunday blues looking at another busy week. But we are meeting friends for dinner tonight which I’m looking forward to since they are vegan dog lovers too and it’s getting better to spend time with good family and friends again. I hope you have a great week and this list helps.
- We need a vegan breakfast sandwich road trip!
- How to cook the perfect vegan grill cheese.
- Best vegan yogurt options.
- Vegan lifestyle helped this student.
- Mmmm, vegan burritos.
- Vegan bar food recipes and the all look delicious.
- Eating less meat helps the environment.
- Best vegan sausages.
- 30 vegan gift ideas.