Hooch and his heart

hooch-2 One week ago today, we welcomed this stunning fella to Grass Roots with open arms. Hooch came to us because his momma didn’t have the time to spend with him that she felt he deserved. Like any parent, she wanted the best for him. Before handing Hooch over to us, his mama let us know he’d been on heart meds, basically his whole life, for a murmur that they hoped he’d grow out of. She let us know that around one year of age, he’d have to have an echocardiogram done to see how his heart had grown it and if what was causing the murmur had corrected itself. No problem. He has spent the last week getting settled into his foster homes and making friends with the eight children, three other dogs and three kitties in the house.

We had a bit of a scare with Hooch on Tuesday. He became very lethargic, vomited several times, the last time there was quite a bit of blood in it so off to Savannah we went. An xray was done and it appeared as though his stomach was pushed up very close to his vertebrae. This concerned the vet that was working that evening so we made plans to bring Hooch back first thing Wednesday morning for an abdominal ultrasound. Thankfully the ultrasound didnt show anything concerning, which was a huge relief…..BUT…..they did let us know his murmur is a grade 5/6, which is pretty serious. About this time, Hooch’s original owner contacted us and let us know he was diagnosed with Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis at around 8 weeks of age and provided us with his medical records indicating this. After sharing that information with Savannah they let us know there wasn’t anything they could do for him there and that we needed to get him into a cardiologist as soon as possible. Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis is not a diagnosis anyone wants to hear….in English, it basically means…..the passageway that goes from the heart to the aorta is too narrow. This prevents proper bloodflow and oxygen to the heart. Symptoms are much like those of an older dog that’s in congenitial heart failure, main difference being, with SAS the dog can simply drop dead if over exerted or the heart is working too hard. To say we were crushed to hear this is an understatement…..
We have secured an appointment at UPENN for Hooch with one of their cardiologists on November 9th. While there, they will perform an echocardiogram and be able to tell us if Hooch’s condition is mild, moderate or severe. We will also have them compare the new imagines with his original echo to see how much the disease has progressed over the past 8 months.

hoochHooch is 10 months old today. He is the biggest, goofiest, most slobbery dog we have had come through the house. Most of the dogs that we get are “my dogs”, I (Karli) am their person. Not Hooch, he immediately chose;my hubby,Jon. Regardless of the severity of Hooch’s SAS, the prognosis isn’t very good. We are hoping the cardiologist at UPENN will have some treatment options for us, but at this point we don’t know if there’s a whole lot we are going to be able to do for him. We aren’t sure how long he will be with us, we of course are hoping for many happy years. What we do know, is however long he blesses us with his presence, he will be loved.

At this time we are asking for donations to help cover the cost of Hooch’s care. We have already spent almost $800, and aren’t sure what’s in store once we get him up to UPENN. All donations are tax deductible. If you are able to donate, you can do so by clicking the donate button on facebook or our website (www.grrde.org), or by mailing us a check. We know it’s getting close to the holidays and money may be a little tight, but every little bit helps. If you can’t donate, please don’t underestimate the power and importance of sharing his post. We’d also appreciate it everyone could send some positive, healing vibes Hooch’s way. He has only been with us a week, but he has already left his paw print on our hearts and we want to make sure we are doing everything we possibly can for him.

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