I love broken legs.

I love broken legs.

I know how that sounds, but hear me out.

Broken legs are an obvious problem with an obvious solution. Yes, surgeries can be complex and expensive, but at least we know what to do. The hardest part about caring for dogs is when there is definitely a problem but the cause--and the solution--is unclear.

On January 1st a beautiful black Greyhound named Granite began his journey from Kansas to SHUG HQ in Virginia. We knew that Granite had been diagnosed with an enlarged heart and he panted frequently, so we moved him (along with Monty, a senior with LS) using volunteers. They made short drives with lots of breaks and overnight stops. Granite did great and arrived to Virginia on Saturday, January 4th.

Knowing that Granite was coming to us with a heart issue, we had an appointment for him already with a cardiologist. Our expectation was that Granite would probably need to be on medication for his life, with the possibility of surgery. Of course, things ended up being so much more complicated...

Granite's heart is slightly leaky and slightly enlarged but not enough to warrant medication. What the doctor did find is random "tissue" around his heart that doesn't belong there. At first they thought it might be liver tissue but after an additional abdominal ultrasound they now think this is lung tissue. They also diagnosed him with pneumonia and a partially collapsed lung. Oy.

What makes this all so weird is that Granite is a sweet, happy, completely normal seeming dog. He does pant a lot and he has a phlegmy cough, but he's acting as if he feels totally fine. Is this the canine equivalent to walking pneumonia??

Granite has been on aggressive antibiotics and next week will go in for additional xrays and we'll see what things look like and if there have been any changes. For now he's enjoying life and being a normal dog. We never know what the future holds so we'll take each day as it comes.

I want to say thank you again to our volunteers and supporters. Because of you we have the resources to make sure dogs like Granite get what they need. Many years ago, when SHUG was just starting out, someone once warned me against taking so many special needs dogs. "You'll get a reputation," she said.

Well, yeah. The absolute best kind.

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