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Old 13th August 2004, 11:12 AM
NortonsMom's Avatar
Boxer Pal
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Mercer County, NJ
Posts: 24
Exclamation Please help..3 month old Boxer dying from TVD

Here is the short version: We got a brindle Boxer pup from a Conn. breeder. He had a murmur and we have kept an eye on it. Last week he turned 3 months & we did an echo since the murmur had not improved. Diagnosis: He has severe Tricuspid Valve Dystrophy and is already in heart failure. He doesn't seem sickly, he runs and plays & wrestles with his brother and our Boston Terrier Otis. He is happy and SO smart and as adorable as can be. The vet assured us that although he seems healthy, he is going to die and will not see his first birthday The vet said the blood is backing up into his liver and then to his abdomen--I believe that is how she described it-- this is the heart failure. She told us his only hope was a surgery that is only done in Texas and Colorado and costs $8K. There is no way we could ever afford that. She even call U of Penn to see if any vet there would try to save him and no one would touch the case. My kids are heart broken. These pups are our 3& 4 boxers and we have not been very lucky health wise in the past either. I love that little pup so much, he is so sweet and smart and beautiful. After crying for 3 days, I have decided that if I can do nothing else for him, I will make sure he has a very happy life for the short time that he has. Had I picked any other Baby in the litter, we would not be going through this right now... but he is such a sweetie that I could not send him back. I refuse to let him live out his short life alone without a family's love. I just wish I could find someone who would save him. He is a real sweetheart of a pup...just wants to play and snuggle.
Does anyone have any experience with this, TVD or a pup dying in general? Any advice on what we can do for him?
Thanks so much for any help....I always know that everyone on the Boxer board can understand the heartbreak we are all feeling right now.
Mom to Otis (Bstn Terrier 4yr)
Mom to Boxers: Murdoch(fwn) & Dempsey(wht) (14mos) Murdoch is terminally ill
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Old 13th August 2004, 11:17 AM
Austin's Mom's Avatar
Boxer Insane
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 5,863
I'm so very sorry for what you're going thru with your baby. Just keep on doing what you're doing-loving him.

Chris & Austin
Austin, 1998-11/7/08
Forever in our hearts.
Megan 4 yr old brindle rescue

Old 13th August 2004, 11:25 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Findlay, Ohio
Posts: 141
i felt the same way about choosing another baby in the litter when the one I had got HOD and died at 8 months.. but i loved her so much while she was alive i couldnt imagine what someone else would have done with her when they found out she had the disease and had to be waited on hand and foot! love them while you have them and make sure the life they know is an awesome one.. no matter how short or long it may be... Good luck

Old 13th August 2004, 11:27 AM
Linda/NJ's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA - New Jersey
Posts: 3,928

I am sorry to hear about your pup being very sick. I don't have any advice. Just wanted to say I am keeping you & your pup in my thoughts. Make each day special that he has left. We are always here to talk. Take care.

Linda & Ginger

Old 13th August 2004, 11:30 AM
LoganLVR's Avatar
Boxer Buddy
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Gardner,KS
Posts: 44
I wish I had something I could tell you to help...

I think what you are doing is the best, just cherish the time you have with him. I know he is happy and feels very loved, which is the best thing you could ever do for him. Thoughts and prayers with all of you...
Jamin and Holly
Logan, our sensitive fawn girl

Memphis, our fearless fawn boy, waiting at the bridge

Old 13th August 2004, 11:33 AM
NortonsMom's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Mercer County, NJ
Posts: 24
Thanks for the good wishes

Thanks to everyone who has taken a moment to read and reply. I know Murdoch would melt all of your hearts if you could see him. I'm going to keep praying for a miracle.

Old 13th August 2004, 12:10 PM
ssleighter's Avatar
Completely Boxer Crazy
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 904
I am so sorry. I know you must be heartbroken!

My suggestion would be to contact the Veterinary school at Cornell University in New York State. I believe the school is in the town of Itasca?? I know they have a large cat group there, but not sure on the dogs. There's also an awesome Veterinary school at Texas A&M though much further from you. I would beg and plead for them to try this surgery for your baby, pro bono or for supplies/med costs, as a teaching class. The worst they can do is say no.

Good luck, and give your baby a big hug from all of us.

Sharon Sleighter
Legacy Boxer Rescue

Old 13th August 2004, 12:24 PM
tessmonster's Avatar
Boxer Buddy
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 75
I, too, am very sorry for the pain you're going through right now. I can't imagine your heartbreak.

I agree with ssleighter, though. Try calling Texas A&M Vet school. It is apparently one of the best in the country. It's my alma mater, so I assure you that you'll be dealing with good people regardless of the answer you get. Here's their website: http://www.cvm.tamu.edu/vsam/

Best of luck and hang in there!


Old 13th August 2004, 12:33 PM
NortonsMom's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Mercer County, NJ
Posts: 24
I'm going to keep looking for help for Murdoch.

I have been online for hours trying to find info on any types of experimental or research-based programs that I could try to contact. Texas A&M is, I believe, one of two places where this surgery is currently done at the price at $8,000. I will gather what information I can and contact them. Like you said, the worst they can do is say no. Maybe I should put together a webpage with Murdochs story and see what attention I can draw for him as well. I am a graphic artist, so I can make a site. As cute as he is, I know everyone that sees him falls in love immediately. I have spent the past few days consoling everyone from our babysitter to our neighbors because they were all crushed to hear he is so sick. He looks healthy, he acts like any other puppy. I don't think he has any idea, how would he know how it feels to be healthy if he has always had this defect I guess. I would just hope some kind hearted vet would hear about his predicament and see how much we love him and how much he means to us and maybe he would help. That would be a miracle.
More and more I am so worried about the health state of our Boxers in general. There are so many serious diseases, even when dealing with reputable breeders. I am considering donating some time to one of our area rescues, maybe I can contribute something to the breed and help other Boxers or help other families from experiencing the heartache of losing another dog. This is our third unhealthy Boxer and we have done our best to be very cautious about disease. I admit the first was bred by someone that just decided to breed their dog (we did not know any better at the time. Now I warn everyone that backyard breeders can only mean bad health!)-- but the last two were researched and bought from reputable breeders.
Most importantly, I will continue to make Murdoch's life happy and healthy. I did notify the breeder and she was very upset. She has not had health problems with her pups, nor has the sire's mom. The sire's owner writes books on Boxer health -- we thought we could not go wrong with such reputable breeders, but I guess they cannot be sure of everything. She has told us she would refund our money. I am going to send her out the echo report so she can decide what this means for her breeder. She doesn't breed her often, and this might mean she cannot breed again I guess. That is what they do in the case of Goldens, where TVD is much more prevelant.
Sorry I went on a bit...I love my dogs and tend to go on and on. Thanks for the support and advice.

Old 13th August 2004, 01:19 PM
ladyluck_t's Avatar
Boxer Insane
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 1,570
I am so very sorry for you troubles. we will keep you and your family (especially the fur-kids) in our prayers.
Another university that i have heard of is Auburn university in Alabama. When my katie was diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia, my vet said that only 3 schools in the country did hip replacement surgeries, Auburn, Texas A&M, and one other in CA that i cant remember. I know that AL is almost as far as TX for someone in NJ but they might charge less. Also, contact your local vet school and see about them doing a visiting prof type deal with one of the vet schools experienced in that surgery, they might be willing to do that kind of thing, Nag the dickens out of the board of directors (those with the purse strings)

Good luck and God Bless,
Carolyn and Katie

Old 13th August 2004, 03:04 PM
Rocco850's Avatar
Super Boxer
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Romeoville, Illinois
Posts: 456

This is so sad. I'm so sorry you are going through this. Take a look through this website, maybe you can find something here... Medical Health Links
I also sent you a PM.
You guys are in our thoughts.

Old 13th August 2004, 03:47 PM
NortonsMom's Avatar
Boxer Pal
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Mercer County, NJ
Posts: 24
Murdoch's picture

I added Murdoch's picture to my profile, this pic was taken the day we got the news. I will take some more this weekend as the tape is now off his ears.