Remember Duncan? Here’s the latest on the ADORABLE chocolate lab as he and his mom navigate a new world of living with Congestive Heart Failure:
“I am happy to report that Duncan continues to do great! When visiting with his cardiologist this summer, she outlined a best-case scenario as one where Duncan would be receptive to the treatment and his congestive heart failure would stabilize. I was so proud of my little guy when he received a “better than best-case” report: Duncan’s heart has shrunk and his condition improved. We will be visiting with the doctor again in the coming weeks and if all looks good, she will lift any limitations on his lifespan.
Judging by his state today, it amazes me that eight months ago Duncan was in the ICU and given just nine to twelve months to live. Today, Duncan continues to do all the things that make him happy. We go off-leash in Central Park every morning (albeit a shorter loop) and he spent the summer swimming, hiking and hanging out at our neighborhood’s outdoor bars and restaurants. We’ve had a lot of adjustments over the past eight months and I’ve learned a lot through this experience. If I could offer up any advice for those facing the same challenges, it would be:
1 – Shop around for medicines. Duncan takes nine pills a day, which gets very costly. I now use a combination of online discount sites (my vet recommends Vet’s First Choice), my local CVS pharmacy and had the cardiologist prescribe a larger dosage pill I can cut in half. I now pay just 25% of what his first refill cost me.
2 – Pumpkin treats. I couldn’t find any treats that were low in sodium or disclosed sodium content on the package. Instead of calling every dog food brand out there, I started making a big batch of Pumpkin Oatmeal treats each month and he goes NUTS for them!
3 – Crib Pads. Duncan was having accidents at night in his sleep, which I later found out is very normal as his body adjusts to the diuretic. After spending a fortune at the Laundromat washing my bedding on an almost daily basis, sewing crib mattress pads together to cover the bed was a lifesaver – and now we are thankfully accident free!
Duncan and I have nicely settled into our new normal. Although his life is very different from what it was prior to his diagnosis, he is as happy as ever and still wins over the heart of everyone he meets! High five to Dunc for being so awesome and to the Big Hearts Fund for all the great work they continue to do!"