We took Archie to the vet's on Monday. It was time for his annual booster jab, but he was also due for a medication review and he had a health check too.
The verdict - his heart murmur is extremely loud and is at the most severe stage, he's been living with this for a number of years now, it's caused by mitral valve disease which is common in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. He doesn't have any symptoms which show that the disease is progressing at this stage, so that's good. He's also got a number of lumps and bumps (haven't we all) which the vet thinks are nothing more than fatty lumps, something very common in dogs and not harmful. Obviously, we're not 100% sure that this is what they are, but Archie is absolutely fine in himself and they don't seem to be bothering him at all, so we're happy to just keep a close watch on him, as we always do anyway, at this stage.
Archie is twelve now, he's definitely slowing down, but he still enjoys life. His tail wags when he's taken for a walk, he's happy to greet other dogs and say hello, and he acts like a puppy when there's any food around. I'm always worried though when he has a vet appointment and it's such a relief when the vet's happy with him, as she was on this occasion.
How are your dogs and cats finding the heat? Archie's been struggling. We keep his fur quite short all the time now as we can tell he's happier when he hasn't got a long coat. His last grooming appointment was three weeks ago but even so, this hot weather doesn't make for a happy doggy. We've been walking him early morning and early evening in the coolest parts of the day, but even so, it's still warm. I believe that storms are forecast tomorrow, perhaps they will clear the air a little and make life more bearable for him.