Dog of the Day

September 7, 2008

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Scout, the Dog of the Day
Name: Scout
Age: Six years old
Gender: Male Breed: English Springer Spaniel
Home: New Jersey, USA
   This is Thunder Scout... better known as Scout. He is a English Springer Spaniel, six years old and lives in New Jersey. His story is unique as he is one special dog.

    Scout was purchased at a local pet store and his energy and enthusiasm was amazing. As I stood there watching him he would not stop running back and forth in the shop, barking, jumping and springing as all Springer's do. We had just lost our beloved dog Zeus, a German Shepherd Dog to cancer, so we were looking for some way to fill that void. I immediately brought my husband to the pet shop and he too fell in love with this little playful puppy so we took him home.

    Scout loved his new home and new found friend Chase, who is also a Springer Spaniel, and she helped him to settle in quite nicely.

    When Scout was four, he began falling over when he would get up from a laying position. I thought maybe he had low blood sugar or something and took him to the veterinarian for examination. The veterinarian was amazed that Scout was even alive as his heart was only beating a few beats per minute and normal is 50-130 in a dog at rest. He was unable to help Scout and referred us to Veterinary Hospital 40 miles away.

    When we got to the hospital, Scout saw the cardiologist. He examined Scout and then told us the bad news. He said that if Scout did not get a pacemaker, he would die as his heart was beating way to slow thus the reason for his "fainting". He had a heart defect. The cardiologist told us everything that was involved, from the prep to the surgery and care after.

    We discussed it and came to the conclusion that Scout is a part of the family and is still a young dog and we were able to afford the surgery so we gave them the go-ahead. After the surgery Scout had these horrible bandages on his neck, and Frankenstein-like sutures. He had to be confined to the pen while I was at work and had to be on a leash so that his movement could be restricted. I had to keep him on a leash when he went outside to do his business. He was now required to use a harness and could not have anything around his neck because that would break the wire leading from the pacemaker to his heart.

    The bandages had to be changed frequently and had to be fairly tight so that they would hold the pacemaker in place as it healed. He was not able to jump or run for six weeks and Scout loved to sleep at the foot of the bed so I had to think of a plan. I put the mattress on the floor so that Scout could still sleep with us without having to jump on the bed. It worked wonderfully! Everyone was happy.

    About three weeks after the surgery, I took Scout back to the cardiologist to check the progress and everything was going well. Six weeks later he went back and the stitches were taken out and Scout was checked again, the pacemaker adjusted and Scout was able to go back to his playful, springing self!!

    I am happy we came across Scout. He is a very high-maintenance dog now, but he has brought so much love and warmth to the family. I couldn't want a more loving dog.

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