Got another interesting story to tell you about Chocolate and a bull terrier with a very serious heart condition. Alas she is no longer with us as we just could not see her suffering any longer.
Lucy had a very severe heart condition, more like a squelch than a beat. Her heart was enlarged and she had a terrible cough with obvious signs of fluid congestion around the lungs.
Lucy got to the point where she just kept going outside and laying down on the cold floor waiting to die. She was 11 years, which is a decent age for a bull terrier. 6 weeks ago the vet told us she had a few weeks to live.Following our visit, in just a few days her condition worsened to the point where she would need 2 rests to walk the 20 feet to the door. Her bowel control and bladder control were nil and we frequently had to clean up after her. Constant runs and often bloody stools.
One night, after a tearfull day and us both agreeing to take her down to the vets to end her suffering, my wife had gone to bed. I needed some time with Lucy so stayed up with her, thinking what if anything could be done for her. I saw her collapse several times and she refuse point blank to get back up. She was so week that night and I felt awful watching her, if not totally useless.
In desperation, I gave her some honey and warm water, injecting it into her mouth. She was too week to resist, having refused to eat or drink anything we offered her. After about thirty minutes, I caught sight of her lifting her head and looking round.
I thought at the time it must have been a reaction to the energy from the honey and the small amount of water she had forcably imbibed. Impressed by the aparent improvement, I gave her a whole bag of revels. (assorted centred chocolates) one at a time she ate them, and over three hours showed an unprecedented improvement in her condition. I went to bed with ease of my own heart that night, and the next morning she was walking around with comparative ease.
Each day we gave her chocolates and included an imodium tablet a day over three days for her constant dihorreah. Each day her health improved remarkably and she ate all the chocolates she could sink her teeth into. The look on her face showed signs of the old Lucy we all loved, and not the emaciated depressed Lucy of a few days before.
We know in our hearts that the inevitable will come sooner rather than later, but at least we can have a few more weeks to come to terms with ending her life.
After about 4 weeks of a chocoholic programme, Lucy was walking around with ease, and even began climbing onto the couch all by herself. She was clean again and began eating raw minced beef, raw fish and raw chicken, along with her daily fix of chocolate, which we were buying in bulk from the supermarket, the Darker the better, picking the chocolate with the most cocoa in it, which incidentally was often the cheapest.
Lucy had not been out for a walk with the other dogs for about four months. She simply could not do it any more. In fact she would not even lift her head up as we went through the door with the other Bullyís on leads.
But today, she was alert and showing a great deal of interest in the pandemonium prior to going down the beach for a stroll. So I suggested that we take her and let her stand and look around.
To our amazement, she walked from one end of the half mile beach and back, and walked up the steps to our home when we got returned home.
We have always been amazed at the remarkeable qualities within this breed of canine companions, but this day, we realised that their powers of recovery are second to none.
After about 5 weeks, I noticed an email from the list relating to chocolate and the heart. Amazing how we manage to find this stuff after we have discovered it for ourselves first.
Lucy had another 6 good weeks with us, but her cough returned and she again became weak, refusing to eat or drink. She again began to lay down outside, and, although she was still able to walk outside to relieve herself, the blood in her stools and the absence of colour in her gums told us that she was going into shock. Her body was quivering, and spasmís in her head muscles told me that her system was shutting down for the last time, and out of respect for such a truly wonderful companion, we did the right thing, and had the vet put an end to her battle against an unbeatable foe, which will visit us all in the end. We told hi about her miraculous recovery and her walk along Goodrington Beach with the other dogs. He replied, Iím not surprised, chocolate is well renowned as a stimulant for the heart. Which leads us to ask the question as to why he or anyone else in the veterinary world, failed to mention this simple elixir of the heart, in favour of selling us Heart pills and Diuretic pills, that didnít do anything for her?
Dearly missed by everyone who met her, but never forgotten R.I.P Lucy.
Andrew K Fletcher