Update: July 25, 2020
Jessica is settling in nicely at her new foster home. Her foster mom took her to have the Echocardiogram done on her heart on July 17, 2020. Jessica was diagnosed with mild subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS), which is a congenital disease that causes narrowing of the aortic valve. Her medical report explained that the aortic valve is the valve between the left ventricle (pumping chamber that moves blood to the body) and the aorta. When the valve is narrowed, it causes the heart to generate more pressure to move blood passed the abnormal valve. When the condition is mild (like Jessica’s), most dogs are asymptomatic and live a normal lifespan. Dogs with mild SAS are at risk for developing an infection of the aortic valve. Therefore, Jessica will need to be given antibiotics for any surgeries (including dental), lacerations or bite wounds.
Jessica’s report also noted that her left ventricle is not functioning as well as would be expected for her size. This decreased heart function could be related to her history of eating a grain free or boutique diet. The two options are to change her diet to a traditional grain containing diet versus starting a medication to help with heart function (Vetmedin). It was recommended that a diet change be made that includes grain and noted that a lamb and rice diet for Jessica should be avoided since there is a potential concern for lamb diets in Golden Retrievers.
GRRMF was relieved that Jessica’s heart condition was diagnosed as mild and we are hopeful that it can be corrected with a diet change and antibiotics when necessary. Our sweet girl isn’t out of the woods yet, she will be monitored by her foster family for any coughing, trouble breathing, or collapses that may be a sign of worsening of her disease.
Jessica’s next recheck will be in three months for another echocardiogram to monitor her heart function after changing her diet. Paws crossed that Jessica won’t need to be put on medication to improve her heart function.
GRRMF knows these are difficult times for everyone and we want to thank all of our wonderful supporters who continue to contribute what they can to help Jessica and all our Healing Heart babies. Your gifts help restore these darlings health and allows them to move on to their loving, forever homes.
Sweetheart, Jessica, affectionately called “Jessi” by her loving foster family, came to GRRMF after she had been transported from Missouri to Florida. She spent a week in the donors home in Florida where she was cleaned up and taken care of until her surrender to GRRMF.
Jessica has had quite an experience going from one place to another. When our transport team picked her up, she was unsure of herself; her head was down and her tail was between her legs. Our dedicated and compassionate transport driver took some time with her and sat near her until she slowly approached him. Jessica later offered a paw and a nudge of her muzzle on his hand as if to say “I want your love and attention, but I just need time to find trust in my heart for all your kindness”.
After Jessica’s initial medical examination it was decided that she should have a cardiology evaluation, which is now scheduled for July 17, 2020. The results of this test and further evaluation will give us a clearer picture of her medical needs. For now, she is being treated for an ear infection and intestinal issues. This lucky girl is getting plenty of attention and tender loving care from her foster family.
When Jessica arrived at her foster home she was weak, lethargic, depressed and scared. Her foster mom and dad realized this sweet girl needed some extra time and attention. They calmly and patiently sat near her and softly petted and reassured her that she would be loved and cared for.
“Jessica, we call her ‘Jessi’, is the sweetest and most gentle dog we have ever met. She craves attention, petting, ear rubs, belly rubs, loves food, walks, is potty trained, sleeps quietly on the floor in the bedroom and doesn’t bark or cry”, states her adoring foster mom. Jessi doesn’t love getting in the car, but rides nicely once she is aboard. Her foster family thinks she will show more interest when dog rides don’t just mean going to the vet or to a new home.
Since Jessi is sensitive to loud noises and sudden movements, her foster family has been taking things slowly. She likes people, but hasn’t met any children or cats in her new environment- this will be a new experience for her that will need to be slowly and patiently introduced. She has socialized with other dogs on walks and in the backyard, she watches them with curiosity and behaves nicely when they are around. As for other living creatures, she has shown interest in Mr. Squirrel and Lizzy the Lizard, but no “gotta chase you and get you” behavior has been noted. Her foster family feels that a quieter setting with mature adults might be a better fit for this docile, sweet natured dog. Perhaps being “Queen Bee” and the only dog might be more to her liking; time will tell as she has more opportunities to spread her wings and get her golden “giddy-up” going.
This gentle, loving dog needs time to build confidence and feel loved and secure in her environment. She craves love and makes the gift of her love a happier day for her foster family. She is trustworthy, obedient and has a loving, affectionate nature. Her foster family says “Jessi is an amazing dog, when she is well and able to go to her forever home, someone will be very blessed to have her as part of their family.”