Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Meet Mila's Dr. Bruno

---> Immiticide Unavailability!<---

In the last post about Mila, we talked about how sick she had gotten from her treatment: vomiting, not wanting to eat, lethargy.

This was with keeping her cool and inactive. Clots inevitably formed and she got sick.

Imagine if she had been allowed to be active - even mildly. The minor clots that were helped by the prednisilone could have been major.

Her illness could have turned severe, even fatal.

And that's how it is with heartworm disease treatment.

Your dog can be doing so well, that you forget that 12 inch long worms are dying off inside their heart and lungs, and that their body is working overtime trying to absorb all of that, in a system that is not meant to do such a job. It doesn't take a lot of worms to kill the dog, it takes one worm.

Don't take chances. Keep your dog quiet, keep your dog cool. "One little (fill in the blank with the activity - potty off leash, day out of the crate moving around, romp in the yard)" is not worth your dog's life. Those activities are what can tip the scales between a successful heartworm treatment and a tragic heartworm treatment. And as we've seen, even if you keep them quiet and keep them cool, they can still get seriously ill. Why risk it?

Mila was sick for about a week. During that time, we developed a scale, similar to the pain scale in humans:
But we called it the Dr. Bruno scale.

Throughout history (okay, TV history) there have been handsome, dashing doctors whose charisma and charm contribute to their patients' recoveries.

From the Internet we learn of Dr. Kildare:
Dr. Steven Kiley:

Dr. Phillip Chandler:

Dr. Doug Ross:

Dr. House (okay, maybe not the typical charisma and charm but a pretty good cure rate):

And now we can add Dr. Bruno:

Mila loves Bruno. He's a fun little mix (don't tell him he's little) and she cannot get enough of him. Most of the time, the feeling is not entirely mutual. He can get enough of her! But Bruno has been a therapy dog, and is a natural healer, so when Mila was sick, Bruno knew his job and was at her side.

I feel awful, but I have my Dr. Bruno
Each day we could rate how Mila felt by how she reacted to Bruno when she was out for potties and pills. If she perked up, we could tell she was feeling better. On the downslide days, she would be aware of him near her, but would not give him a special greeting. And Bruno would get closer to her, and watching his reaction would also tell us how well, or unwell, she was feeling.

So each day, with the new meds, different food combos, and careful monitoring, the Dr. Bruno scale was a huge part of evaluating how Mila was doing. We knew she'd turned the corner when Bruno was not allowed to go out to potty with her because it was too exciting for her, and too tempting for her to want to follow and play with him.

Another successful case for Dr. Bruno
Bruno has done this before with other fosters and pets - alerting to physical health problems - and has done this in his hospital visits when we did therapy work, so we really did trust his insight in this matter. Amazingly, he was accurate again, but the best part in this was that he not only was able to alert to Mila's illness and the subtle improvements or worsening, but he was also able to help impact how she felt, with his charm and charisma.

Of course, good vetting helped too! We want to thank her vets, BDBH rescue, and everyone for their good thoughts for Mila during this difficult time in her treatment. And of course, thanks to Dr. Bruno. 
Thanks for making me feel better, everyone!

On February 17th, 2012 Dr. Bruno was taken to the vet and underwent emergency surgery/splenectomy.  

While the spleen removal was successful, it is thought that Bruno threw a clot, and he never came back, despite the incredible efforts of all at the veterinary office. 

He is greatly missed. 


  1. Awwww. Hugs to Mila and Dr. Bruno!

  2. LOVE Dr. Bruno!!! That was hysterical! Keep up the great work on the blog, I love every post.

  3. Thanks! I kept thinking Bruno is like Mila's George Clooney. And he really is creepy in the way he knows what fosters are not well and just how not well they are.