Bruce Wayne's Medical Journey, Part I

Bruce Wayne’s health. Where do I even begin?

I, like most of you, watch my dog’s every move. I analyze his every breath to the point that it gives me anxiety.

Over the last few months, I noticed that Bruce Wayne has been breathing heavier every once in awhile. Mainly, at night, he snores often. He also dry heaves/gags after he drinks water and after he plays/runs. It became more worrisome when he started “grunting” during the day in an unusual way.  I also noticed that Bruce Wayne would also want to lay his head so that it is elevated. This was alarming and making me wonder if it was so that he could breath easier.

Around this time, I also took note of a few other symptoms Bruce Wayne has been showing -- lethargy, slight hair loss (you all have probably seen his “heart” on his chest in his pictures), and weight gain. Bruce Wayne has gained a pound within the last 6 months. A pound may not sound alarming to most, but when a dog is as small as Bruce Wayne and there is no reason for the weight gain, it becomes a concern.

The height of my concerns corresponded wonderfully with the timing of his yearly wellness exam. After speaking with his vet (the infamous Dr. Joe Zulty aka Dr. JZ), we decided to sedate him for his wellness exam so that Dr. JZ could also take x-rays of his throat and teeth/jaw. Dr. JZ wanted to rule out any periodontal disease that could be causing the throat issues for Bruce Wayne.

I received a call later in the day after dropping Bruce Wayne off for his procedure from Dr. JZ stating that all checked out well with his dental x-rays (that daily teeth brushing has been paying off), but his tonsils were still enlarged. Bruce Wayne’s tonsils had been enlarged a few months ago, in which we tried to treat with an antibiotic. (It is hard to re-check dog tonsils as they have to be sedated to really get a good look at their tonsils). Dr. JZ gave Bruce Wayne a different IV antibiotic to try. Our plan was to wait to see the results of his thyroid panel before moving forward with his tonsils.

Later that week, I spoke to Dr. JZ who stated that Bruce Wayne’s yearly blood work checked out as normal and his thyroid checked out normal as well. However, this does not explain his symptoms of lethargy, weight gain and hair loss. Dr. JZ suggested checking his hormone levels and taking an ACTH test. So back to the vet we went :-( Bruce Wayne was dropped off early in the morning. The vet techs took his blood for a baseline, then Bruce Wayne received an injection of cortrosyn. About an hour later, the vet techs took another blood sample to compare to the baseline sample they took when he came in. Unfortunately, this test has to be sent to Tennessee and we won’t have the results for about a week or so depending on the day that the lab does testing.

As I stated in an earlier Instagram post, I’m sharing Bruce Wayne’s health journey to hopefully help others. I know I’ve personally learned a lot about different medical issues dogs face through interacting with different accounts on social media. Medical issues are never fun, but it’s always helpful when you can learn from others that might have traveled the same path.

I’ll update everyone once we have more answers and if you’ve ever had the ACTH test done on your dogs or have any dogs with Cushing’s Disease, we’d love to hear your story and thoughts.

Thank you all for reading and thank you for your continued support!