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My Heart is Not Ready for This
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26 February 2017 - 3:20 am
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I have been reading the blog about how Tex came into your life.  You are truly wonderful people, to knowingly take in a big dog with a history of biting.  But clearly also very smart people to just give him his coffee!  What a great home you have given him!

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Raleigh, NC
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26 February 2017 - 7:20 am
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Extinguishing behaviors can happen lots of ways.  Have a barker?  Teach them to bark on command.  That still didn't work?  Teach them to whisper and then at least you can tell them to use their inside voice while they let the woof out.  Dog training is more about giving them the skills to survive.  As long as they know the rules and how to behave, you're good.  What I want most of all is if my dog to trust me so that if we're in a new situation, that they'll defer to me on what to do, not try to figure it out on their own.

When Tex is stressed out, he expresses it with pica.  Try to remove the non-food item from him when it has become what he is using to sooth himself and he'll bite.  This is a form of resource guarding.  He's not aggressive, he's scared out of his mind.  So we trade.  I'll have to find the video of the technique we used to teach him to drop things but we don't do a fair trade, the treats rain from the sky at first.  When he hears us say 'drop', he knows to start sniffing the ground to find the liver.  Now, he often steals things so he'll get a cookie.  I can tell by how he's carrying himself that it isn't a real panic attack but we still go through the ritual.  It is rare for him to have a panic attack now but the first 6 months, he destroyed at least $500 worth of things.  That's not bad for a dog with pica.  Dr. Couto had a dog that destroyed over $10,000 worth of property with his pica.  Hopefully this week, I'll get to update the blog with "The Devil Wears Prada and So Does Tex."  I have never regretted bringing him into the pack but he's done some scary things, like try to eat a lithium battery.  And then there was the time that he vomited a 4 inch rubber gasket, almost completely in one piece (all the pieces came out actually) and by the changes in the rubber, the vet believed he'd been carrying it around for at least 6 months.  That caused his first round of xrays.  A lot of the things he's eaten don't show up on xrays.  He loves to eat my anti-snoring dental appliance even though he feels horrible afterwards and spends the next 4 hours vomiting.  I'm much better at locking them up now but when he wants it, he can reach any shelf I can.

My first high anxiety dog taught me to just keep lots of tissue boxes in the house.  Pulling tissues out the box is very soothing for them and shredding tissues or a sheet of bounty is also soothing.  Tex also helps me shred junk mail and it makes him feel good.  Win win!  Toughie eventually learned to come ask for a sheet of bounty when he was stressed out so he could shred it into tiny little pieces.  He also liked to do this when he was happy but the body carriage was different.  We always left him with at least one box of tissues when we went to work so he had a project to work on if need be.  After he passed, it took about 3 years to use up our tissue stash.

I still muzzle Tex in the car because car rides are often stressful.  He had to shred some paper on the way to the vet's last week and he didn't know where we were going but could feel I was stressed out.  I am a high anxiety person too, just very high functioning, and with behavior modification, have been able to get off my meds.  I don't think I've had a panic attack in public in about a decade now.  All of that is thanks to our first greyhound, Miss Kitty.  Dog never met a stranger and insisted that I learn to deal with my anxiety by putting me into lots of social situations.  She was an amazing dog.  My husband is hard of hearing, she learned to get him when any alarms went off (he can't hear a smoke alarm or the timer on the oven), she was a great emotional assistance dog for me, and then she was a great therapy dog who knew who needed cheering up, sometimes before they knew it.  She never accepted no for an answer.

I'm being told it is time to head to Panera to socialize by Cookie so I have to stop typing now.  🙂

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26 February 2017 - 7:48 am
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What a great story!  I just rescued a dog who had been turned into animal control by at least two owners and one foster.  Lots of people don't want to take the time to understand the dog's behaviors.  You are a great pack for Tex!

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Raleigh, NC
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11 March 2017 - 3:09 pm
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The past two weeks have flown by.  We never were able to do a fine needle aspiration because the bone was solid.  Dr. Couto said no to a biopsy.  The first xrays looked worse than things actually are due to how they were taken.

A week later, Tex became VERY ill.  What we thought was him mellowing out and relaxing was actually just a symptom of how sick he's been for at least 2 months, if not more.  His right wrist has continued to be painful and just started swelling.  He almost was anemic and his WBC continues to be elevated.  We're treating him for chronic Ehrlichia.  He's responding beautifully to the meds and is walking on 4 legs again.  His energy has returned and he's tearing my house up again and constantly telling me he's bored! 

He still has the lesion but below is the radiologist's report. 

Follow up Radiographs from Case #xxxx
______________________________________________________________________

DISTAL FORELIMBS 03/08/17: 1 DP projection including both forelimbs is supplied.

FINDINGS: There is a persistent abnormality of the left distal radius, with uneven opacity of the distal radial metaphysis and distal diaphysis; the uneven opacity now appears to result from patches of increased medullary cavity opacity with the cortical thickness remaining normal.  There is no evidence of periosteal reaction or associated soft tissue swelling and the adjacent ulna has a normal appearance.  The included carpal joint is also within normal limits.  The included portion of the right forelimb has a normal appearance.  No further abnormalities are detected.

CONCLUSIONS: The appearance of the left distal radius remains abnormal, although there is now an impression of foci of increased distal radial opacity without evidence of cortical thinning and the previous apparent cortical thinning could be artifactual due to technique factors and obliquity.  The appearance of the left distal radius is now less concerning for an aggressive process, although the bony abnormality may reflect infarction in association with aggressive neoplasia elsewhere in the body, scarring due to previous panosteitis is also a consideration and osteomyelitis is also possible, although is much less likely in the absence of associated soft tissue swelling.

RECOMMENDATIONS: If there is no current evidence of lameness or pain response in association with the left distal radius then continued clinical and radiographic monitoring of this lesion is recommended, with further radiographic evaluation after a further month; altered technique factors with less contrast and a lateral projection of this region in addition to the DP projection would be recommended for more detailed evaluation.

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11 March 2017 - 6:32 pm
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Well at least there is an answer and its not the dreaded C word.  I read that article.  So basically he could have been bit by a tick carrying that years before.  And its just now affecting him.  Prayers that meds continue to work and he will be back to normal soon.

xoxoxo

michelle & Angel Sassy

Sassy & MichelleSassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.

sassysugarbear.tripawds.com

07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

 

 "You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

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12 March 2017 - 6:41 am
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Hi,

Missed this conversation in Feb.  I'm glad it's JUST a tickborne disease.  (Never thought I'd be happy for that.)  I'm glad he's responding to the meds, and hopefully, he makes a full recovery.   We're in Massachusetts and the dogs spend a lot of time in our meadow and we've had a variety of tick diseases.

Regarding your earlier posts, I was told last summer zolodrenate had dropped by ~50% over the past year.  I believe the vet cited ~$500/treatment.  I could be totally wrong on that, but that's what I saved in my brain.  Still expensive over time.  In Milo's case, his tumor was big enough that even if we could control the growth & pain, he'd still be at risk of a sudden fracture, so we'd have to keep him leashed.  That would have been a big loss in quality of life for him.  Amputation allowed him to run free again.

I think the Fossamax study is interesting.  It's a bisphosphonate that's been working safely for old ladies for years.  I would certainly consider it as a poor man's alternative to zolodrenate.

Milo's amputation was delayed a few days because he had a tender spot on his non-cancer leg, and it showed on a x-ray as a calcified or abnormal region.  Fortunately, his non-cancer leg snuck into a few earlier x-rays we were able to dig up, and the it showed the spot had been there and hadn't changed.  The vets at Tufts believe it was the insertion point for a tendon or ligament, that had been stressed in the past.  Given the athletic history of Tex, he could easily have similar damage.

Glad for the tick diagnosis. Good luck.

Peace,

Jenifer & Milo

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12 March 2017 - 8:43 am
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goodmilo said
Hi,

Missed this conversation in Feb.  I'm glad it's JUST a tickborne disease.  (Never thought I'd be happy for that.)  I'm glad he's responding to the meds, and hopefully, he makes a full recovery.   We're in Massachusetts and the dogs spend a lot of time in our meadow and we've had a variety of tick diseases.

Regarding your earlier posts, I was told last summer zolodrenate had dropped by ~50% over the past year.  I believe the vet cited ~$500/treatment.  I could be totally wrong on that, but that's what I saved in my brain.  Still expensive over time.  In Milo's case, his tumor was big enough that even if we could control the growth & pain, he'd still be at risk of a sudden fracture, so we'd have to keep him leashed.  That would have been a big loss in quality of life for him.  Amputation allowed him to run free again.

I think the Fossamax study is interesting.  It's a bisphosphonate that's been working safely for old ladies for years.  I would certainly consider it as a poor man's alternative to zolodrenate.

Milo's amputation was delayed a few days because he had a tender spot on his non-cancer leg, and it showed on a x-ray as a calcified or abnormal region.  Fortunately, his non-cancer leg snuck into a few earlier x-rays we were able to dig up, and the it showed the spot had been there and hadn't changed.  The vets at Tufts believe it was the insertion point for a tendon or ligament, that had been stressed in the past.  Given the athletic history of Tex, he could easily have similar damage.

Glad for the tick diagnosis. Good luck.

Peace,

Jenifer & Milo  

Yes, being excited about a chronic illness is an odd but it is better than facing osteosarcoma in a third furry friend in 7 years.  What was heartbreaking was that Tex did absolutely great on 3 legs but the leg he couldn't put any weight on was the "good" leg.  He could do everything he wanted to do on 3 legs except go down stairs without assistance.  Seeing him hop around on the left leg the past month was so frightening, wondering if he was going to have a pathological fracture, and wondering what on earth could be hurting so bad on his right leg that would make hopping on an osteo tumor less painful.  

His right wrist has been hurting for months now, it has been losing range of motion even with physical therapy, has shown no signs of any arthritic changes in xrays, and he has been vocalizing when it was manipulated since at least July.  Other than odd bloodwork and the joint pain, he showed no signs of being a sick dog.  When he fell asleep in the vet's office with the vet in the room, that was a good indication he was really sick.

A price drop in zoledronic acid is great news.  The cost of a car payment (or 2 car payments) a month instead of a mortgage payment is almost affordable.  I can live on rice and beans and beans and rice so that I can have more pain free time with my furry friends.  🙂  

I have tried to get several vets in the area to try high dose Fosomax on some greyhounds but they refused to read "something on the internet".  So many people just shut down when told their dogs have cancer and think that everything on the internet is just snake oil so if their vet rejects the idea, then their vet is correct and won't get a second opinion.  Our DVMs have no problems trying something on the internet - that is why we use them.  They teach other vets about Class III and IV cold laser therapy and have been using alternative therapies for decades prior to them being accepted as worthwhile.   

Tex still doesn't have a confirmed diagnosis.  All the titer tests came back negative but he's responding to treatment.  Not all chronic patients test positive.  He'll have another series of xrays on April 5 to check the leg again.  I believe we're doing more bloodwork this Wednesday before we do another 2 weeks of antibiotics.  

The Rainbow Bridge

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12 March 2017 - 6:25 pm
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Woooooaaaah. Wow. Yeah, better than cancer that's for sure. It's unreal though that it took so long to get closer to some kind of diagnosis. How awesome that you were able to have such great vets working on his case. 

What's really weird is I was just telling Admin that I think we'll give Wyatt Ray the lyme disease vaccine this year. Those little bloodsuckers were so bad last summer in Colorado that I fear they'll be worse when we return this year. We've already started him on a topical flea & tick, which makes me feel terrible for going that route, but if it will be one way to prevent the kind of misery poor Tex has been feeling, then I can live with it I guess. 

That's too bad about some of the vets in your area being reluctant to try the Fosomax. Bone building drugs for pain relief is pretty common knowledge among general practice vet, at least it seems so based on the conversations I've had at the conferences we've been to. Kudos to you for searching for those awesome practitioners and sticking with them!

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12 March 2017 - 7:36 pm
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Ingrid, I am ALWAYS fascinated by your posts for so many reasons and on so many different levels! You provide sooooo much insight. Your first-hand experiences have enlightened us all.

You have such vast medical knowledge. You are able to impart that to is, as well as all the behaviour issues and solutions, in a straightforward and simple manner.

It's been, and continues to be, such an honor to meet all of your teachers on this journey. Miss Kitty, Toughie and Nixon must brag a lot about yoh at the Bridge and about what an EXCELLENT student you were! 🙂

ANYWAY, soooo glad Tex is feeling better!!! Hopefully, all his issues are "just" a tick disease

And when you get to the Virginia Tripawd Pawty in May (YAY!), I look forward ro you teaching Frankie how to use his inside voice!. After that, you can teach him he doesn't have to vocalize every single thing going on in his life every single minute!! EV E R Y. S I N G L E T H I N G. EV E R Y. S I N G L E. M I N U T E! 🙂 🙂

Lots of love to you, Rich, Cookie, and Tex!!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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