Just a few days after appearing on The Dr. Oz Show to discuss his late wife Beth’s battle with lung cancer, Dog the Bounty Hunter had a health crisis of his own.
Dog was hospitalized with chest pains and shortness of breath. To make matters worse, the TV star checked himself out of the hospital — against doctor’s orders — shortly after arriving. Given what Dog has been through the last few years, it’s not surprising that his personal health may have been the last thing on his mind. The loss of a spouse is a terrible weight to bear. But Dog’s heart health is now more important than ever, so Dr. Oz flew to Colorado to make a house call. The goal: get Dog’s health back on track.
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When he initially went to the hospital, Dog’s symptoms included pressure in his chest, which caused shortness of breath. This wasn’t the first time Dog experienced shortness of breath. The symptoms first popped up a few years ago, but Dog ignored it. He told Dr. Oz the symptoms went away with a cold glass of water, so he thought it was fine. When the pain appeared again this year , it was Dog’s assistant who forced him to go to the hospital. “I held still. It went away at five, eight minutes. And then I went to the hospital,” Dog explained.
Here’s what Dr. Oz learned about Dog’s health crisis, and what he thinks Dog should do needs to do to confront the deeper issues at play.
Mini Heart Attack
Dr. Oz quickly spotted something suspicious in Dog’s medical records: Dog likely had a small heart attack the first time he felt pain all those years ago.
“When I look at your records, there’s an EKG in here, electrical lines. I see that there was some damage. Not a lot, but a little bit of damage. If you had the heart attack which killed the tissue, you wouldn’t have that pain anymore,” Dr. Oz explained.
It was only a matter of time before Dog’s symptoms flared up again, which is exactly what they did this summer, landing Dog in the hospital.
What Dr. Oz Found After Analyzing Dog’s Medical Tests
Dog’s lungs aren’t getting enough oxygen into his body. After analyzing Dog’s blood tests, Dr. Oz noticed that his blood’s oxygenation levels were only at 94 percent. hey should be at 99. A self-proclaimed nicotine addict, Dog’s habit could be one of the underlying causes of this situation.
“The fact that you [Dog] don’t have 99 percent means that your lungs are not getting enough oxygen into your body,” Dr. Oz explained. “If you have a heart and lung problem, they are supposed to back each other up. It’s the buddy system.”
High blood pressure was also a point of concern for Dr. Oz. Dog’s blood pressure, when measured, was 148 over 97. “You are not supposed to be over 140 over 90,” Dr. Oz explained. “Hypertension is the biggest ager of all. It’s the fire hydrant that has popped off its lid and is squirting water, scraping off that delicate lining of your arteries. Your body is going to have to heal that. And you are using the bad cholesterol that you have to heal it.”
Smoking is the major driver of Dog’s bad cholesterol, but there are additional changes Dog needs to make as well. “Not sleeping well enough, general diet issues, and the stress that you are feeling are all triggers,” says Dr. Oz.
Dog’s next step was to undergo a cardiac catheterization, which would require further analyzing once results were in.
What Dog’s Family Has To Say
Dr. Oz caught up with one of Dog’s daughters, Lyssa, to see if there was anything else he needed to know about Dog’s condition. The result was an emotional plea from a daughter to her father.
“I think he didn’t want me here because he doesn’t want us seeing him weak,” says Lyssa Chapman, also known as Baby Lyssa on Dog’s show, Dog The Bounty Hunter. Lyssa flew from Hawaii to Denver to be by her dad’s side as soon as she heard he was in the hospital.
Dr. Oz emphasized how important the role of family and loved ones is to active recovery. “I’ve learned practicing medicine all of these years — my biggest mistake was when I didn’t have the family on my team,” Dr. Oz said.
Dr. Oz remains hopeful that he can get Dog back on track. “I’m hoping we find something that we could fix with the stent and one day, this is just a bad memory of the acute process. Then we get to the big battle and the trench warfare to rehab your health. If we find something that’s bad and it requires a bigger procedure, it’s going to take longer,” he says. “But we can do it, we can do it together.”