Senior Dog Afflicted with Enlarged Heart

In late October, Phinney, an 11-year-old Chihuahua, was brought to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center, when his former owner could no longer care for him. Like every animal who comes through ARL’s doors, Phinney underwent a comprehensive medical examination, and unfortunately, some irregularities were found.

During Phinney’s exam, a heart murmur, a sound generated by the flow of blood to the heart, was noted.

Chest x-rays and an echocardiogram were performed, and discovered that Phinney has mitral valve regurgitation secondary to chronic valvular disease and mild left ventricular enlargement.

With an enlarged ventricle, its ability to pump blood out into the lungs and body deteriorates.

For Phinney, his heart disease has been deemed mild, however he will be on a medication called Pimobendan for the rest of his life.

Phinney was also diagnosed with MLP, or medial luxating patella. Lameness can occur as the patella (kneecap) slips out of position but slips back into position on its own. Both of Phinney’s patella’s are affected by MLP, however surgery has not been recommended. It is likely though that over time Phinney will develop arthritis as a result.

Despite his afflictions, Phinney has persevered and all he wanted for the holidays was a loving home and a cozy spot to curl up in.

Going Home

In early December, Phinney’s holiday wish came true, as he was adopted by a local resident who had adopted previously from ARL!

Given his medical condition, Phinney will need regular visits to his veterinarian, however the confirmed diagnosis by ARL’s shelter medicine staff and prescribed medication will certainly extend Phinney’s time with his new owner and improve his quality of life as well.

Help Even More Animals in 2019!

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes – and our work is not possible without YOUR support! ARL does not receive any government grants or public funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals to support our shelter, rescue, law enforcement and community programs.

As we look ahead to 2019, ARL will continue to be at the forefront of confronting the root causes of cruelty and abuse, and to help even more animals in need, like Phinney, throughout Massachusetts.

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