Background History: Noopy is a 6 yr old Bichon that was brought with bilateral paresis of both hind limbs last week. Seems to have sustained some trauma in the lumbo-sacral (lower back) region.
Noopy stays very calm on the exam table but when at home, he totally freaks out and refuses to be handled by the owner, snarling and threatening to bite etc...End result, owner has to bring animal every 2 days for medication and physiotherapy.
So...today Mr Noopy was brought in for a full physical exam under anaesthesia, just to rule out any concurrent abdominal pathology. Upon auscultation, a loud (Grade 5) Heart Murmur was detected!
I am always amazed how owners react when told that their pet has a Heart Murmur...they all panic and ask if the animal is going to die etc...Heart Murmurs are turbulence noises from the blood exiting/entering the heart or from within the heart; they can be physiological, positional (animal lying down v/s standing) or congenital (due to a defect in the heart of its valves). Animals can live a whole full and exciting life with a Heart Murmur...only thing is: they will be somewhat intolerant to intense physical effort and may need some special attention as they grow older.
Finally, nothing abnormal was palpated in the abdomen of Noopy and a new strategy was devised to speed up his treatment. We decided that Mr Noopy will get a daily immersion in a bucket of warm water; the heat will bring more blood to the lower back area and speed up tissue repair and the animal will try to move its legs to "make the effort" too on his own...and I must admit, his hind quarters needed some cleaning too!
A side note about "spoilt-rotten" little doggies who eventually become the dominant of the pack...they make veeeery bad outpatients! Usually, the owners never succeed in following up with medications etc!
Ok...doggy will be back on tuesday...hopefully with some positive attitude and walking...