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Abby – October 9,2010 – August 4,2018.

Shared with permission

Abby was always a happy, healthy and energetic Golden.

Her only fault was being a fussy eater. Once she was old enough for adult food, I had a hard time getting her to eat. I tried multiple bags of different brands but she refused them all. After 5 months of searching, I finally found a food which Abby loved. The days of being a fussy eater were over.

Once Abby turned 2.5 years old, she had OFA clearances done by a cardiologist. Everything looked normal.
Every year Abby had a health exam done and no concerns were noticed.
Abby spent her days happily running around, swimming, chasing birds and enjoying lots of attention.
Life was good. Little did I know that things would go drastically wrong.
Abby looked 100% fine, acted 100% fine and had tons of energy.

One day this past July, after coming back from a fun run, Abby gulped down water and ended up choking. Than it turned into a hacking cough for no apparent reason. This had me very concerned.
At the vet, blood work was done and everything including her kidney and liver function came back normal.
Further testing revealed severe DCM and Congestive Heart Failure. What a shock! How was that even possible?!
Blood was drawn for Taurine testing. As the vet clinic did not have the proper test tubes and it would be 2 weeks before they could get them, the vet went to the local hospital to borrow from them.

Abby’s whole blood Taurine level came back at 144.

As per cardiologist, several cardiac medications and Taurine supplements were immediately started as well as switched her food at the very next meal time.
In spite of being on medications and supplements, Abby passed away suddenly on August 4. What awful devastation and grief!! What a horrible nightmare!

Since my other two goldens were also on the same food, I decided to have their Taurine level tested.
They looked and acted perfectly normal but I was concerned.
Tessa’s whole blood level came back at 175 and Skye’s came back at 194.
Appointment with the cardiologist was made and both goldens were diagnosed with moderate DCM.
Both were immediately started on several cardiac medications and Taurine.
We got into a routine of medications and minimal exercise.

Even though we were in a new routine, Abby’s absence is deeply felt.
Then on October 13, Tessa suddenly became sick and went unresponsive.
The vet gave her several medications and we hoped for the best even though it didn’t look very hopeful at all.
Slowly Tessa came around but it took a full 9 days before she was her usual happy self. Sad to say, her heart function decreased some more due to this incident and the vet noticed the first signs of Congestive Heart Failure.

If your dog is on grain free food with suspect ingredients, don’t think everything is fine even though they look and act healthy because looks are so deceiving until it is too late.
Get your dog tested so you can spare yourself this horrible grief.
Educate others because knowledge is power. Hopefully we can change things and save lives.
A special thank you to a friend who lives close by who alerted myself and our local vet regarding this problem and providing us with the information.
Also a big thank you to someone for so willingly reaching out via texts and phone calls. It has definitely helped to get through this sad and rough time.

On left is Tessa, right is Skye.


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