Dr. Brian Scansen with Rocky and fourth year vet student Karyn Tilton from Montana

Rocky, a 12-year-old Shih Tzu-Lhasa Apso mix owned by Mike and Kathy Tyson, is a patient at Full Circle. He was diagnosed by Dr. Tribbey at Full Circle with a small heart murmur or leaky valve in his heart and arthritis last summer. Dr. Tribbey prescribed a medicine for Rocky’s arthritis. Dr. Tribbey also advised that Rocky been seen at Colorado State University (CSU) Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Fort Collins for an echocardiogram which takes x-rays of his heart and the functioning of the heart valves. Fortunately, Rocky qualified for a one-year heart study at CSU directed by cardiologist Dr. Brian Scansen. Rocky was randomized into a trial in which he eats specific food manufactured by Purina. So far, 11 dogs have been enrolled in the study at CSU and across all the sites internationally, there are about 90 dogs.

At the appointment, a Functional Evaluation of Cardiac Health (FETCH) Questionnaire for dogs was completed to better understand how a dog’s heart disease has impact their comfort and sociability or limits the quality of interactions with the owner and their family. Fourth-year CSU veterinarian student Karyn Tilton weighed Rocky and took him for a physical and evaluation by the cardiology veterinary team at CSU. Interpretation of the echocardiogram by Dr. Scansen revealed that Rocky’s heart has not changed, which is good. Also, Rocky appears to have more energy and pep, which may be due to the medicine that Dr. Tribbey prescribed for his arthritis. Mike or Kathy take Rocky on 3-4 20-30 minute walks each day and Rocky enjoys greeting everyone as well as his sniffs of the lawns and rocks. CJ Florian, CSU Hospital Liaison, provided the Tysons with bags of more food for Rocky. His next appointment will be in May.