Mochi in Pennsylvania- ADOPTED!

Mochi is ready to take on the task of finding his forever home! He is an 11-month-old little (weighing only 15 lbs) guy who was surrendered to a vet after suffering two broken legs which required surgical intervention. The surgery was performed and was very successful.


During Mochi’s time with the vet, it was discovered that he also had a grade 3 heart murmur. Additional diagnostics were pursued at the Med Vet Specialty Cardiology Department which revealed that he has an inherited heart defect known as pulmonic stenosis. This causes thickening of the pulmonic valve leaflets that lead from the right ventricle (right pumping chamber of the heart) to the pulmonary artery (vessel leading to the lungs). Because these leaflets did not form properly, they do not open as well as they should. This increases the workload on the right ventricle (right pumping chamber) as it tries to pump blood to the lungs. It causes the right ventricular wall to become thicker than normal, severely so in Mochi's case. The thickened heart wall does not get adequate blood flow, which can result in scarring and abnormal heart rhythms. Mochi has a severely thickened/dysplastic (malformed) valve. In addition, Mochi has evidence of annular hypoplasia, meaning that there is decreased diameter of the valve. Pulmonic stenosis puts Mochi at risk for complications of fainting, exercise intolerance, and fluid in the belly (congestive heart failure). Occasionally, it can cause sudden death (from a very fast heart rhythm = ventricular tachycardia to fibrillation).


Mochi also has patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). This is a congenital condition, meaning that it has been present since birth. The ductus arteriosus is a vessel that is open normally during fetal development but should close shortly after birth. PDA refers to the lack of closure of the ductus arteriosus following birth. Mochi's PDA is small with no secondary left-sided heart enlargement and thus may not ever require repair.


Currently, his pulmonic stenosis poses a greater risk for him. A balloon valvuloplasty was considered; however, the risk of this surgery is high, and the surgery would not guarantee improvement. In addition, there was the possibility that this congenital defect could also cause additional abnormality to the development of the coronary arteries. This also would preclude Mochi from having this procedure safely performed. Therefore, the decision was made to pursue medical management to which Mochi has responded very well. 


Mochi is on Atenolol (Tenormin). He gets 1/4 of a 25 mg pill. This drug is a beta blocker designed to decrease heart rate, control the heart rhythm, decrease or eliminate obstruction, and improve the filling of the heart. He will require this medication for life, no exceptions.  He also will require regular monitoring by a cardiologist, which will include at least 2 echocardiograms per year. Even with medical management and monitoring, Mochi will likely have a decreased life span and is at risk for sudden death. Mochi’s heart conditions cannot be "cured.”


He also was treated for an abscess. The swelling is all gone but he still has a small scab in the area. The vet said that the lymph node on that side of his neck is still a bit swollen but that it will continue to decrease with more time.


Mochi loves ALL people…no matter the size, age or gender. He can be hyper and get to jumping when he is playing so while he would not intentionally hurt a child, he could accidentally with his jumping. He also has gotten into an altercation before with a resident dog when a little human dropped food on the floor. For these reasons, Mochi would do best in a home with older, dog savvy children.


As far as cats go, we are not sure how Mochi would do as he has not been around any while in foster care. He loves other dogs, though, and after just a few sniffs is ready to play. He definitely will need a playmate to help with his energy. He is still a puppy so he gets bursts of energy, but he will lay down and rest as well.


Because of his surgery on his front legs, he would do well with short walks, but he will not be a hiking dog. He also will need some further leash training. He does not hate the leash or pull but is unsure of it. A fenced yard would be nice as he does like to do zoomies and chase his foster doggie siblings all over the place.


Mochi is crate trained but he prefers not to be in one. He will bite at the crate and if left in too long, could possibly hurt his mouth. He also suffers from separation anxiety. His foster family usually is not gone from home often and when they are gone it is no longer than 2 hours. When they leave home, they play doggie music and kennel him right next to the resident dog, so the pups can touch and see each other which helps his anxiety.


He is only partially house trained. He still will have accidents from time to time in his foster home. He will go to the door to go out but if you miss his cue, he will go in the house. He will need a routine to help him be successful in not pottying in the house. Mochi will need someone who is home most of the time due to his separation anxiety and to help him with potty training. Apartment and condo living would not be best for Mochi since he will jump up and start barking if he hears a noise. Also, a home with no stairs would be ideal.


Mochi tolerates baths but does not like them…you have to take your time and reassure him to make bath time tolerable for him. He also does not like his nails trimmed so he has been having them done professionally. He does not resource guard food but will go eat out of other dogs’ bowls in the home so if a resident dog is not too fond of sharing their meals, he will need to be fed separately.


Mochi loves his people, car rides, chew toys, squeaky toys, chasing balls, and attention. He hates to be left alone and will follow you everywhere you go. He also loves to be held, to snuggle, and to get lots of hugs and kisses. This little clown jumps like a kangaroo and sits straight up on his back end holding his front paws in front of him which would make anyone giggle.


Mochi doesn’t let anything stop him from enjoying life, even his heart condition and the surgery he had on both his front legs. This little guy has a heart of gold and while he may not live as long a life as some other dogs, he is a true warrior and deserves all the love in the world. The love you give Mochi, he will return twofold. He has such a beautiful soul and if you are looking for a little sunshine in life, he is your dog. His love knows no bounds!