Here We Go Again: Heart Murmur 2.0

20181114_141550My worst nightmare has come true. Chip’s vet detected a heart murmur on Wednesday while doing his pre-surgery tests. When my phone rang an hour after I dropped him off for what was supposed to be 8-9 hours at the vet, I knew there was bad news.

For those of you who don’t know, Rags had a heart murmur due to mitral valve diseased and dilated cardiomyopathy. Eventually, he went into congestive heart failure and a month later, he was gone.

Two months later, I rescued Chip from the shelter. He was fit as a fiddle, they assured me. And they were right. He’s had four checkups since then, and never has the doctor had any concerns except for two fractured teeth (from his days as a stray eating out of trash cans). She was going to put him under anesthesia this week to give his teeth a good cleaning, just like we did last fall. The labs were fine but she heard a heart murmur and graded it a 2-3 on a scale of 6 (Rags’ was a 6 by his final few months the end). No vet has ever heard this before, so it’s a newly developed murmur that could be either due to old age or heart disease. I’m hoping with all my might that it’s just old age, because I can’t go through this again.

Chip has no signs or symptoms, but the vet would not give him anesthesia until he’s cleared by a cardiologist, so I went and picked him up and I spent the whole day snuggling with him, taking him on lots walks, and spoiling him with treats. I got an appointment with the cardiologist at Angell who treated Rags for the final 5 months of his life and was the one to put him to sleep. Her only available appointment between now and February is 2 days after Christmas, when I like to be relaxing at my mom’s or dad’s, but it’s important to get answers.

After feeling sorry for myself all day Wednesday, I went to bed resigned to have hope. There’s nothing I can do between now and December 27, so there’s no sense in being depressed over the unknown or stressing myself into an ulcer. As long as Chip is happy, I’m happy.


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