Fernando is quickly adjusting to being a member of the Taylor family. It’s almost as if he has always been with us! We know that many of you have asked questions about his health and after a few veterinary visits over the past couple days, we can now provide as much information as possible.
All dogs that arrive at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue receive a medical evaluation to determine their needs and they are provided any necessary veterinary care. There were some concerns with Fernando, but it was important to Dan and I that Fernando see our veterinarians here in Colorado since he would be living with us, and the great folks at Muttville agreed to let us provide that.
The immediate issue for Fernando is taking care of his mouth. He hasn’t many teeth left and those he has are rotten and loose. He also appears to have suffered a substantial amount of bone/jaw loss. He has at least one fistula (opening through the roof of his mouth into his nasal cavity). Fernando had been in pain for quite some time. Once he arrived at Muttville he was put on antibiotics and pain relief medicine for this.
Before Fernando could undergo anesthesia for the dental work he needed a cardiac evaluation because his preliminary exam revealed some concerns about his heart – and it was necessary to make sure he was a candidate for anesthesia. Yesterday, Dr Heaney (cardiologist at Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists) spent a great deal of time with Fernando which included an EKG and an echo-cardiogram. The findings are: grade 3 heart murmur caused by defective heart valves, enlargement of certain areas of his heart, minor arrhythmia, and low grade pulmonary hypertension. These conditions aren’t terribly uncommon in a dog Fernando’s age, and none are currently life-threatening. With proper care and medicine, Fernando should enjoy a much longer life.
Fernando visited Dr Bradley (internist at VCA Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado) for a general exam and her findings were consistent with those of the Muttville veterinarian. She ordered a couple more tests and we discussed Fernando’s missing eye, his crippled leg, his good eye and his hearing. His right rear leg is deformed, most likely caused by a long-term permanently luxated patella, this has led to muscle atrophy and there really is nothing we can do about that. It doesn’t appear that Fernando is feeling pain due to his crippled leg. We are hoping that Dr Roberts (ophthalmologist at Animal Eye Center PC) can have a look at Fernando’s missing eye while he is under anesthesia for his dental work. We’ll know more after that exam. He has limited vision in his good eye and his hearing is impaired as well. There is a high point mid-way down Fernando’s spine that likely was caused by a slipped disc at one time in his life, this isn’t causing him pain.
Fernando is funny, happy and very loving … and he is tremendously grateful.
Fernando’s comfort and quality of life are of the utmost importance to us. His dental surgery with Dr Sitzman (dentist at Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists) is scheduled for Tuesday and after that, Fernando’s future will be looking very bright!