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'Swamp People' Star -- Bad Heart Threatens Career

7/18/2011 3:25 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The most beloved star of the hit reality show "Swamp People" is in danger of missing Season 3 after a serious heart condition almost took his life earlier this year ... TMZ has learned.


It's not Troy ... or Trapper Joe ... or the badass Guist Brothers -- it's Bruce Mitchell's faithful sidekick Tyler ... the lovable gator hunting dog.

TMZ spoke to a rep for Bruce -- the guy who rocks the overalls and the American flag bandana -- who tells us Tyler was having "heart troubles" back in January ... and had to be rushed to the vet for emergency medical care.

We're told things got so bad "the dog almost died."  
Luckily for Tyler, doctors were able to treat the illness ... and he's been resting at home and taking heart meds ever since.  
The rep tells us Bruce is unsure if Tyler will be able to join him on the boat next season ... saying Bruce is "hopeful...but still not sure."



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This show is fascinating. Does anyone watch when the blonde kid is on and he hauls up hundreds of lbs of gator with just that string? Laugh if you will, these people would survive just fine in the swamp while the rest of us would starve. Good luck to the doggie and man, get the heart worm pills for him. They're a bit pricey but here's a trick, buy the pill for a dog twice your dogs size and cut them in half, that way you get two months treatment for the price of one pill.

1190 days ago


Oh please people, animal cruelty? Are you serious? That dog looks healthy, happy and loved. Why are people on here assuming he has heartworms? Dogs can have cardiac conditions that have nothing to do with heartworm.

1190 days ago


This could work but depends on the size of your dog as
meds are proscribed by the dogs weight. Too little is same
as none at all. Just sayn, know what you're doing.

1190 days ago



awfully hard to start the 2nd season of gold rush when it is only July and they mine from may - oct

I watched about 10 mins of the USA top gear -- that was more then enough


the blonde kid (Willy) is wild with snagging gators with that hook... but even crazier when he goes hunting snakes at night and doesnt stop them from biting him

1190 days ago


Original story cited heart worm. TMZ just didn't tell the
whole story. It wasn't even an issue until some very
ignorant people started posting incorrect info that could
not be let go unchallenged. As for your last, lots of dogs
with these worms look and act great. Once they act sick,
it's too late.

1190 days ago


tyty boy
you get better handsome
you gots that facey face
we love you!!!

1190 days ago


I love his cute little widows peak. Maybe they should have named him Dracula or Bela Lugosi.

1190 days ago


Ok i'm from the swamp, actually i'm from Pierre Part, the place where Troy is from. This man does not mistreat his dog one bit. He shows more love to that dog then most dog lovers. Not everyone can afford heart worm meds. These days most famillies can't afford their own meds much less an animals. And as for the a**hole who made the comment about how ignorant us people are, huney we CHOOSE to live simple lives down here. We grew up this way and choose to remain living here. If you come on down here, for so much as one day & night you'd probably never want to leave. Especially our small community. We show nothing but hospitality & a good, fun time. That's why we're easy going and not as uptight as SOME people.. Mais Sha!!

1189 days ago


JohnnyT - It was the vets office that got me started buying the pill for dogs twice my dogs weight. She then told me to cut it in half, which I've done for several months. About the only problem I can think of doing this is someone might forget to halve the pill and their 40 lb dog gets a pill for an 80 lb dog. Tricky.

1189 days ago


Wow, very judgemental people yammering on here today. Why is everyone so offended? They live in a swamp, are cajun raised and take care of themselves, so they are a little different. You shouldn't be personally offended by it. The dog's ON heart-worm medication. That is not what's wrong with him, do a little research first people..He has a deformed heart valve. Get over yourselves.

1189 days ago




TMZgossip showed you!!!

Gotta love Swamp People, y'all!!!

1189 days ago


Sounds like good vet. Cares for your welfare as well as your dog.
I LIKE these swampers but it is true that most either don't know or
can't afford to use veterinarians. These Caguns can now. I was
misled on heart worm part but couldn't let sleeping dogs lie with
The misinformation being posted. Can't say I'm happy to hear it's
only a deformed heart valve.

1189 days ago


a bad heart: probably a heartworm from living in A SWAMP, good luck with that

1189 days ago


the story never said it was heartworms just "HEART PROBLEMS". You can tell he takes very good care of his dog.If you do not like the show turn the channel.My family loves the show.They take care of their familes and work hard.They are better than most americans who just want a handout.

1189 days ago


I LOVE this show. These are just good salt of the earth people who work hard to survive and seem to enjoy life. I would rather party with Troy or Bruce than all you so-called sophisticates from NYC who sit in your air conditioned offices and look down on people who chose a different lifestyle. Pass the zebra cakes Bruce while I sit here on the porch and scratch Tyler.

1189 days ago
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