Meet Bruce

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Google Maps location for Willunga Vet  Services

Willunga Vet Services
37 Main Rd
SA 5172

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8556 2075
8556 2654

Aldinga Vet Services
16 Heathersay Ave
Aldinga Beach
SA 5173

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8556 5498

"Bruce" is an elderly 14-year-old terrier who likes to go for walks in the morning and sleep by the window in the sun in the afternoons.

Bruce's owner had noticed that Bruce was a bit reluctant to go for his normal walks and seemed to be getting a bit "slow". Given Bruce was getting a bit older his owner put these changes down to "getting old". One night when Bruce's owner came home from work, he noticed Bruce was a bit restless and had developed a cough. Bruce's cough got worse throughout the evening and he seemed to be having trouble breathing. At 10pm Bruce was brought into the clinic. When we had a listen to Bruce's heart, we found that he had a heart murmur. A heart murmur occurs when the valves of the heart (which normally close tightly to help blood flow through the heart) become damaged and start to leak. This means the heart cannot work as efficiently as it needs to and signs of heart failure develop. These signs include; lethargy, reluctance to exercise and in the later stages fluid can start to build up on the lungs. Along with his heart murmur, Bruce also had a significant build up of fluid on his chest that was causing the coughing and his trouble breathing.

Bruce was immediately admitted to hospital, started on an IV drip and an oxygen mask was fitted to help with his breathing. He was also given a diuretic medication to help remove some of the fluid on his chest and some medication to help his heart beat more efficiently.

Bruce was a very sick little dog, and his owner was aware it was going to be touch and go overnight. Bruce battled bravely all night, and about 5:30 the next morning things finally started to improve. His breathing became much easier and he finally stopped coughing. By lunchtime Bruce was loudly demanding lunch and after an afternoon nap to catch up on lost sleep, Bruce was keen to go for a slow walk on the grass outside. After 2 days in hospital Bruce was able to go home. He remains on heart medications to manage his heart disease. His owner reports Bruce is back enjoying his morning walks with more energy than he has had for years and he still likes an afternoon nap in the sun.

Bruce was one lucky little dog! Heart problems in older dogs are common and signs often develop slowly up to a point, and then can become life threatening very quickly. That is why we recommend 6 monthly Senior Health Checks for older pets - so we can monitor for any developing health problems. Bruce was lucky his owner got him to us quickly when he realised something was wrong, but at the ripe old age of 14, Bruce is also lucky that he's one tough cookie.

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