Wednesday, January 23, 2008

DCM and Brady

Dilated Cardiomyopathy, aka heart disease. DCM is a disease of the heart muscle that results in weakened contractions and poor pumping ability. As the disease progresses the heart chambers become enlarged, one or more valves may leak, and signs of congestive heart failure develop. The cause of DCM is unclear in most cases, but certain breeds appear to have an inherited predisposition. Primarily, the Boxer, or in this case, Brady. DCM is inherited and thus is present at birth. It is a progressive disease and normally takes years for the symptoms to become a problem. In Brady's case, DCM did not play by the rules. Brady is not yet two years old. But he has spent the last five days going from emergency vet hospitals, to the vet, to the North Carolina State University Veterinary Hopital and finally back home today. After a number of collapses for Brady and a rollercoaster of ups and downs for us, he is home. The short term for Brady is somewhat promising. With test results still pending and a plethora of meds to tweek for optimal heart rate, the long term is yet uncertain. The biggest challenge of immediate concern is how to limit the activity of a 68 pound boxer who loves to run and wrestle with Lexi, his 60 pound boxer buddy, while maintaining his quality of life. But for now, of most importance, Brady is home.

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