The 2 days before she got the stitches out (12 days post surgery) Doxie was just like her old self again! She was running up and down the hall, hopping up on the window sill to look outside, and bark at the mailman 🙂
She was not happy to go back to the vet to get the stitches out, she knows where we are when we pull in the parking lot….lol…poor thing starts to shake every time. Stitches were out and Vet said the incision looked good and now on to chemo!
She had her first chemo treatment on Monday (4/3/17) and she will have a total of 6 treatments, one every 3 weeks with blood work in-between to monitor her white blood cell counts. She is getting Carboplatin administered through IV so we drop her off in the morning and pick her up on our way home from work. She was very groggy when we picked her up but she was running for the door and wanted to get home! We got her home and up the stairs into bed with the help of the harness (since she was still really groggy from the sedative used to keep them calm and still for the IV) and she passed out and didn’t move until about 10pm when I started to give her a few kibbles of her food (she hadn’t even been interested in eating dinner before then). She started whining about 11pm and then we brought her her food and water dish and she ate, slowly, but she ate which was good. Started whining again after that but soon stopped and fell asleep again.
Very lethargic the next morning….we mixed a packet of the probiotic powder the vet gave us with her food and I don’t think she’s a big fan of it, or she still is having a bit of a poor appetite. She ate about half her food and seemed pretty weak, she had some crazy burps come out so I gave her a dose of the anti-nausea meds from the vet and that seemed to help. She has gone #1 but no #2 yet, which is a bit odd. I brought her to work with me and she slept in the corner of my office and hardly moved at all. She seemed to get a little more active around 4pm and when we got home a little after 5pm she ate the rest of her breakfast and her whole dinner and had a bully stick. So appetite is back and she seems to have more energy by the hour. Still no #2…… : /
And now I’m caught up to today! She ate 90% of her breakfast this morning and no crazy burbs, much more peppy this morning and was waiting by the top of the stairs to go to work with me. Still no #2, but my work must have done the trick because right when we got there she started hopping to the back door and success! She’s been napping on and off today but more active and hopped around the office once or twice to get petted and treats from my coworkers. 🙂
Blood work on Tuesday is next and then 2nd chemo treatment on the 24th – we can do this!
I completely forgot to mention that before we wanted to go through the agony of making the decision to amputate or not I wanted to get the lung x-ray done to see if it had already spread. If it had, we knew it was too late and if not, we would schedule the surgery. On our way to the vet just a few blocks from our house a dog came bolting down the sidewalk with their owner not far behind, it was a tripawd 🙂 He looked so happy and was running so fast it was amazing!
My husband said, “That’s a sign if I’ve ever seen one that we are going to get good news today”, and we did!
Fast forward a few days to her surgery – It was a bit longer than what I anticipated, about 4 hours! Our vet told us we would be taking her home the same day…. I hadn’t seen anyone post anything about taking them home the day of surgery but our vet said that she was going to be uncomfortable regardless so he’d rather have them be at home. They made sure she was stable before we went to pick her up and she hopped out to meet us when we got there! Definitely groggy from the anesthesia but happy to be on her way home. The first night wasn’t fun, period. Looking back on it I’m glad she was at home with us instead of at the vet, even though it was pretty hard. We got her to lay down within a few minutes and she slept for about 1/2 an hour and then started pacing and whining and would not lay down, the cone didn’t help either 🙁
Since the surgery took longer she did come home with a bandage, only to cover lidocaine patches around the incision that the vet felt she needed since it took so long. Even though she was stressed out by the cone we kept it on her 24/7 for the 3 days after the surgery because of how toxic the patches are and to make sure she didn’t consume one of them. After the 3rd day we took the patches off and from then on we ended up leaving the cone off most of the time. As long as we were right there in case she went after the incision, otherwise even leaving her for more than a minute we would put the cone on and always at night. We ended up getting an inflatable one and that worked SO much better as she had her peripheral vision back and I think that was her biggest issue with it in general.
She had a little swelling and we iced a few times for about 2 days and really went down quick. We used a regular hot/cold pack for the main part of the incision and for the more sensitive end area by her tail we found that freezing a damp washcloth worked great, it wasn’t too cold and was easily molded to fit the area. She had her surgery on a Thursday and she woke us up for her first poop at 2am on Sunday 🙂
Stitches were out 2 weeks later (3/23/17) and she had her first chemo yesterday – more on that next time.
Well I should have started this earlier, but my hope is that it can help someone with any part of the whole process that I just went through, or rather that Doxie did.
A little background on Doxie, she just turned 7 in February, and I have been her owner since she was 2. She broke her femur when she was about 1 year old and had a rod and pins put in. About age 4 the rod and pins were removed after they started getting a little loose and infected because of it. After that, I thought we were home free, at least for a few years we were.
She started to limp around in late January, she had been playing with my sisters dog and it was icy out. We noticed her limping and thought she had probably just pulled something. She seemed to get better over the next week so we carried on like normal. A few more weeks went by and the limp came back and we thought she had maybe re injured herself. We waited for another few days and it didn’t get any better. Took her into the vet and he had guessed a soft tissue injury and put her on Rimadyl and said if she wasn’t better in 3-4 days to bring her back in for an x-ray. It didn’t get better and we took her back in and the x-ray of her leg showed what the vet believed to be Osteosarcoma all in her right hind leg, the same leg she had broken before and had the rod and pins.
That day sucked, I cried like she was already gone or I had already made the decision to just put her down. At that point I had been thinking it was irresponsible to try to save her, and I was being selfish and cruel to keep her alive. Taking a few days to absorb everything and soul search on what we were going to do, we decided to have the x-ray done on her lungs to see if the cancer was visible. We wanted to know that before we made our choice, if the x-ray came back clear (or not rampant enough to be visible yet) we would move forward with the leg amputation/chemo, and if it wasn’t……..
Luckily it came back clear and we scheduled to surgery for the next opening he had which was 5 days away. Those were the LONGEST days of my life, Thursday couldn’t come fast enough and every day Doxie was in more and more pain. We had her on Tramadol so that took the edge off, but it was pretty bad. I was actually relieved the morning we took her in for surgery knowing once that leg was gone that horrible pain would be gone with it.