Minnha of the Forest… and the Tierklinik

Our sweet girl is at it again. She is testing our ability to keep our heads on straight, our calm, and our finances. Who needs kids when you have chihuahuas, right? Let me give you a little back story.


Meet Minnha, our 10 year old chihuahua-terrier mix. She’s a bundle of diva and emotions on a good day. A snaggle-toothed yipper on her not-so-pretty days. We love her for every quirk, for every issue. Before we moved to Vienna in July, we took the dogs for their flight certificates. Prior to this appointment, we’d heard about her slightly enlarged heart and knew she’d eventually need some extra love via medicine, etc. So no big deal when the vet mentioned it again. Would flying be an issue? According to him, not at all. We made the trip, and she settled in nicely.

Fast forward to October. Mama Coco takes her for a quick potty in the morning. Minnha begins her coughing routine, drops to the ground, stops breathing, and starts convulsing. Rushing her up to the house, Coco shoves the door open, yelling for me. The next 90 seconds we learned about doggy c.p.r. It was one of those inner calm moments when everything stops, nothing else matters, and you reach deep down to find your inner “dog whisperer”. I didn’t know she was in there, my pup medic persona. But she surfaced, Minnha began breathing, and slowly regained enough strength to lift her head before we walked to the local Tierklinik just two blocks away. After a referral to a full service, 24hour klinik, we found the root of the problem.

Diagnosis: Thrombus in her left ventricle plus a collection of fluid around her heart putting pressure on her little lungs. A large blood clot on the wall of her heart. You are more than welcome to look it up. The pictures are educational, to say the least.


Thank goodness for the amazing people at Kleintierklinik Breitensee. After 5 days, a small surgery to remove fluid from her heart, lots of medication & observation, the cardiologist let Die kleine Mäuse come home. That’s right. My 10 year old dog has a cardiologist.

Though Minnha takes heart medication and lasix twice a day, her quality of life has vastly improved. No more coughing. She runs and plays with her brother. The icing on the dog-friendly cake? Both dogs eat home cooked meals prepared by yours truly. Some days they eat better than we do.


Fast forward to the last two weeks. Minnha has the trembles. The chihuahua emotional trembles that typically follow a visit from her Aunties. Aunties who love to snuggle her and carry her around. Yet, the trembles have persisted. She stops jumping on the bed. She slows on our walks around the neighborhood. A chihuahua sized earthquake shakes the couch, complete with aftershocks. So it’s back to the Kleintierklinik.

Poor thing has a patella that slips when she moves. Her hips hurt from compensating. After some cuddle time with one of the techs, they medicate her and we take our stoned baby home. For the next 5 days we’ll continue this added selection of meds and see how she does.

Lesson learned: Aging is a bitch. 

07/07/2017 Update: Minnha recently had another 10 night stay at the Kleintierklinik Breitensee for pancreatitis. I had no idea dogs, especially females of small breeds, were inclined to develop pancreatitis. Though she is home and resting comfortably, she is less than thrilled about her twice daily insulin shots. Lord help us, our dog has the ‘beetus.


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