Riley came into our hospital last week after being diagnosed with pericardial effusion (fluid around the heart) at Mountain Parks Veterinary Hospital. An echocardiogram did not reveal an obvious mass on the right atrium, so the cause of the pericardial effusion is unknown, even after further bloodwork. Our cardiologist treated the pericardial effusion and sent him home to be monitored closely.

Two days later, Riley was showing signs of distress (increased heart rate, labored breathing) so he came in again to be checked. A repeat echocardiogram revealed mild fluid around the heart, mild fluid in the chest, and decreased function of the heart muscle. The cause of the heart changes is unclear. Dr. Lake-Bakaar took chest x-rays and found changes consistent with congestive heart failure. Riley was hospitalized and given medication to improve his heart function. 4 hours into hospitalization, a brief ultrasound showed improved heart function and decreased fluid around the heart. After overnight care, Riley was stabilized and able to be sent home.

Riley was a little anxious being at the hospital, so it helped to have his friend Raccoon to keep him company and remind him of home. Riley’s owner says that he is feeling much better at home the last few days, and he will be back in a week to check on his progress.