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Thursday, May 23rd, 2013, 02:46 PM | Updated: 06/05/2013, 07:31:52 PM | (Anonymous) [1 Comments]

My recent attendance of a Pet First Aid and CPR course has personal significance beyond its inherent value for my pet care business. 

Since December 2012, one of my Shih Tzus, Lucy has experienced several episodes of a perplexing nature.  Without any prior symptoms, she falls over to one side, stretching out her front legs with her head usually falling back to the floor.  Mostly she is quiet when this happens but will urinate or sometimes defecate.  One time she vocalized loudly as if she were in pain.  These episodes are brief, lasting between 10 – 20 seconds.  Afterwards, she recovers quite quickly and within a minute stands back up, looking at me with her tail wagging.      

In addition to being evaluated by her primary care veterinarian, she has been examined by a veterinary cardiologist and a neurologist.  While diagnostic tests have not lent themselves to conclusive findings, her cardiologist suspects that these are vasovagal episodes or syncope (fainting spells) that may be caused by sick sinus syndrome.   Syncope is caused by a decrease in blood pressure that results from a heart rate that is either excessively fast or slow. 

While her cardiologist does not believe her condition is currently life threatening, he does advise our close monitoring.  Given another episode happened in the past week, we are inclined to move ahead by having Lucy undergo a 24-48 hour Holter monitor test, which might detect an abnormal heart rhythm (possibly the underlying cause).  Lucy has had a rather pronounced heart murmur since her puppyhood, so taking this next step makes sense to us.     

Completing Pet First Aid & CPR training has special significance for me as a pet parent.  While I am obviously concerned about Lucy’s health and well being, I am now able to stay calm and not over-react when one of these episodes occurs.  Specifically, the Pet Tech training taught me how to assess a potential emergency situation with clarity of thought and acute senses of hearing and sight.

Not only was this training invaluable to me as a pet care professional, it also has close to homerelevance as Lucy’s Dad.

Another reason Pet Tech rocks!

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