2013 has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for us.
We started out our year with the joy of raising Spring and then we found out Eli had a tumor growing in his pelvis. We were so lucky to have so much support from everyone during such a tough time for us. Our co-raiser Elisabeth, and another puppy raiser from our puppy group, helped out by taking over Spring’s care while we dealt with Eli’s health issues.
It was hard to hand over Spring’s leash.
She is such a fun easy going puppy, and we were looking forward to watching her grow up. We knew that we were not going to be able to give her the attention that she needed at the time. Once we got back from from Colorado, we were able to bring Spring back and resume training with her. During a check up with the veterinarian for a yeast infection in her ears, he noticed that her gait was a little off, and we were asked to keep an eye on it. We noticed Spring walking a little stiffed legged, and we brought her to work to get some x-rays. Spring did have something abnormal going on in her x-ray, but we did not fully know what was going on. We will follow up with her hips in the future.
Last week Spring was taken to see the veterinarian at the Guide Dogs for the Blind campus.
On her physical exam a heart murmur was detected. The vets at Guide Dogs were concerned enough to have us follow up with a cardiologist. So off we went for a cardiac ultrasound, and we hoped that all we would find would be an innocent murmur. Sadly that wasn’t the case. Spring was born with a congenial heart defect. She was diagnosed with mitral valve, and tricuspid valve dysplasia. This is a serious heart condition that will at some point lead to heart failure. We have no idea at what point her heart will start failing, but until then she will be leading a normal active life. This condition does prevent her from working as a guide dog however.
It is never easy to find out that a puppy has been career changed, but all of our past puppies have been career changed because they were not meant to be guides. Only one puppy was career changed for a health reason, allergies, etc. Spring’s reason has been a little harder on us. The good news is that our co-raiser Elisabeth has decided to adopt Spring and give her an amazing life. So we will be able to have play dates, and spend time with her in the future. Elisabeth fell in love with Spring as she co-raised her, and it just seemed right for her to adopt Spring. So this years roller coaster theme continues. We are so happy with the progress Eli is making on his recovery on a positive note. Eli is doing really well post radiation treatment.