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21 November 2017 - 5:52 am
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Hi everyone.  It's been a while since I've posted.  Things have sort of spiraled a bit out of control here.  I'm at a loss now for what to do and frankly, the people on this forum have been more help to me than all the vets combined in terms of good advice.  My last post, Maddie was doing well and we'd decided to go to Dr. Loops for homeopathic treatment  We'd exchanged some emails and things were looking up for Maddie.  My daughter came home from school last Tuesday and Maddie was up on her bed!  She was hopping around and finally happy, like she was before the tumor took her joy.  The next day she wasn't quite so hoppy so we were concerned she had pulled something and were looking into seeing a physical therapist.  By Thursday evening she wouldn't/couldn't even stand up.  She was still eating and drinking so I took her over to the ER vet Friday (the same place that did her surgery) and they did xrays of her other leg, shoulder, three chest views and all looked great, but she had a fever and elevated heart rate so they surmised it was from pain.  They took blood to send off and sent us home with pain meds again thinking she'd pulled something or injured herself somewhere.  Things have progressed downward since then.  Saturday and Sunday she was completely out of it again (combo of gabapentin and tramadol I thought), but she was still eating and drinking, she just wouldn't stand.  It was like the day she came home from her amputation surgery almost.  Yesterday morning they called me and told me her blood work looked good, that she had one elevated liver enzyme but otherwise it was good.  I however found yesterday morning that her pee smelled really bad (like rotten eggs), I told them and they added Deramaxx and had me take them a urine sample.  So we are waiting for that to come back.  The doctor there told us at our visit that it's possible she has some infection but more than likely it is the cancer having went somewhere else....  She has stopped eating all but very little (I can get her to eat cottage cheese, her frozen doggie yogurt, and gravy, but nothing solid that she really has to chew).  She is drinking well still though.  Doesn't Osteo go to the lungs?  Does it sound to any of you like it is somewhere else we just can't see?  I mean she was literally perfect one day and immobile the next?  That seems weird to me, like something else is going on.  They (my vet, the er vet) just basically say "it's the cancer" and the end is near or here.  I just can't wrap my head around that given it was such a major change in less than 24 hours?  I'd welcome feedback from all of your experiences.  

Bobbi & Maddie a/k/a ManiacMads

Front leg amputation 10/17/17 due to Osteosarcoma

She's Madeline, She's Madeline

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21 November 2017 - 6:58 am
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Hey there,

I am so sorry that you are going through all of this. No you are not crazy, this does not sound right. Ok, fever and increased heart-rate can definitely happen with stress and pain. To just assume it has "traveled somewhere else is an asinine thing to say, let alone callous and unprofessional. Did they do a sterile urine or was it just a clean catch?

When people get UTI's it can mess them up big time, especially with older people. It can make dementia patients combative, it can make lucid patients confused. If it is just a clean catch it may not be as accurate as a sterile sample. 

Did she get into something? Is it possible? Who is her regular doctor? Something does not sound right here. I am at work, I will be in and out and will try to help. I would call her reg docs and/or specialists and stt what their take is.

((BIG HUG)) hang tight!!heart

Hugs,

Jackie, David, and Huckleberry

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21 November 2017 - 7:05 am
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I do not know of anything that would make the urine smell like that. I also don't know as much about the cancer treatments that you all use. See if it is a side effect, the odor. Maybe people will chime in as well. I assisted with very few chemo treatments. The most of what I saw was lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea. They ended up with some type of med like immodium that helped a lot. But the urine is odd.

Hugs,

Jackie, David, and Huckleberry

Virginia
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21 November 2017 - 8:17 am
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Oh gosh!!! Put all the worse case scenarios out of your head right now!!!!! 

DITTO Jackie!  This coukd ve soooooo many things!!!!   I have to run and will ve back, vut, yes, we HAVE seen "issues" like this and it is NOT that piece of crap disease!!!

The jumping up on the bed and being all wiggly and happy...worki g that spine over....working those muscles over.....to me, that's the first clue.  The smelly urine, the fever, definitely most like so e type of oi fecrion all interrelated.   That, plus the pills, would lower her appetite

For the Vet ro jump to worse case scenario without all the pieces of the puzzle put together...shame!!

DEEP BREATHS!!!!!!    HANG TIGHT!!!!!   May take a few days and a  another opinion or two from different Vets, vut this WILL be figured out!

LOTS OF HUGS!

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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21 November 2017 - 8:19 am
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It was not a sterile sample, just a normal urine sample like I'd gotten previously - she is prone to uti's she's had three in the last five years or so.  I'm also not sure which liver enzyme was elevated.  Her normal vet, unfortunately, retired 🙁 and VCA took over the practice.  She's seen three vets there since this all began and all but one have come and gone.  The closest to "regular" she has is the surgeon who removed her leg, as he's been taking care of her the longest and he did see her when we went in Friday night.  It was the ER vet that gave us the "when you hear hoof beats...." speech about how bad osteo is and that's probably what's going on.  Also, when I dropped off the pee sample yesterday, I spoke to the oncology nurse - she heard me at the counter and came out to see me and tell me she was sorry to hear about Maddie's liver enzymes.  Which confused me because the ER vet said it was not anything to be worried about.  This morning she wouldn't eat much but she drank a ton of water.  She even got up at 5 to drink and pee.  She's still going out to potty, but she's very wobbly on her back legs and all she really wants to eat is soft food like cottage cheese or baby food.  I'm thinking at this point I should just let her eat whatever I can get in her......  Thanks for the thoughts - I will post again here when I talk to the doctor today about her urine test (they said the meds wouldn't make her pee smell).  I'm praying it's some sort of infection. 

Bobbi & Maddie a/k/a ManiacMads

Front leg amputation 10/17/17 due to Osteosarcoma

She's Madeline, She's Madeline

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21 November 2017 - 8:28 am
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Sounds like it, and liver enzymes... a little elevated? Maybe from medication? The liver is the only organ that has the capability of rejuvenation.  If she got into something, if a med her body is not liking, can hurt the liver but many things( except for liver failure of course ) can do things to change liver values but the liver is like a Timex, lol. What about the homeopathic doc?

Hugs,

Jackie, David, and Huckleberry

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21 November 2017 - 8:34 am
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With a sterile urine they can do a culture if needed. Culture will also tell medication of choice to kill the infection. That is why I asked. Clean catch is only so clean, it will show blood, white cells, but for somebody with so many of them i am surprised they did not want sterile. Sorry, this is allchoppy, at work heart

Hugs,

Jackie, David, and Huckleberry

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21 November 2017 - 8:45 am
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If you can pick up some A/D, its canned prescription Hills at the vet she may eat that. It is high in calories and nutrition, baby food texture but its better for her. It is for post op and debilitated animals.

Hugs,

Jackie, David, and Huckleberry

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21 November 2017 - 10:22 am
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When they call about the urine sample, I will ask about the A/D.  That's a good idea - although my daughter just texted me that she got her to eat a good bit of cooked chicken and peas, plus her Instinct patty.  So that's good news - maybe the Deramaxx is making her feel a little better?  I don't see how she could have gotten into anything - she is really not a "stealer" plus someone has been with her pretty much 24/7 except for a few days the past two weeks - and then we have her confined to the family room so that she doesn't slip and hurt herself.  When the blood test was taken, she hadn't been on any meds at all for a little over two weeks.  They just started her back on pain meds Friday.  I am still flummoxed but hoping the urine test tells us something.  I was very happy that her chest was clear as I thought that is the most likely place for it to go.  Her back legs are unsteady and my daughter is really worried about that - I am more inclined to think that's from not moving much and not eating much - so feeling weak.

Thanks so much Jackie & Pam - I will update when I get more info!  I appreciate your help and words of encouragement.  I feel more hopeful that there is something else going on that may be able to be fixed!

Bobbi & Maddie a/k/a ManiacMads

Front leg amputation 10/17/17 due to Osteosarcoma

She's Madeline, She's Madeline

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21 November 2017 - 10:31 am
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Maybe her weakness/wobbly-ness is the gaba/tramadol. I noticed Huck's appetite not nearly as good on gaba/buprenorphine. A few times it threw him for a loop also. Some of these meds can affect the liver regardless if they are actually in the system at the time of the draw or not. Would be a good question to ask the doctor to make sure if she is on one of them she may need to come off. You did get good news, the xray news is awesome! They may want to re run urine, be sure to tell them that she can be prone to UTI if it was another doc that used to see her. A/D can even be syringe fed if her appetite plummets again. Good luck, I will be keeping an eye out for you.

Big hugsheartheart

Jackie

Hugs,

Jackie, David, and Huckleberry

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21 November 2017 - 10:44 am
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Hey there I just got to my desk and am sorry that you're dealing with this situation right now. Cancer is a ruff road and can make you crazy with worry when odd things happen. So here's my thoughts for what they're worth.

We often see ER vets scare the bejeezus out of people in situations like this. Sorry it happened to you. They often draw conclusions before looking at the whole picture, which is I guess the nature of the job because we all want answers in an emergency. But try to keep in mind that this vet doesn't know your dog or her backstory. Things often end up completely differently than the information we receive in the ER setting. And while I think most ER vets do fantastic work, I'v read that they are also often the most inexperienced of the practice since it's where vets pay their dues to move up and get into a regular schedule without odd hours. So try to keep that in mind.

It sounds to me like the clinic isn't working in the greatest capacity since VCA took over. Do you have other options in your area? Now may be the time for you to get into an oncology practice (not the department where you're currently going) so you can better pinpoint Maddie's condition. Oncologists are cancer specialists and you don't need to be going the chemo route to get the information you need from them. Yes, they want you to do chemo but the final decision is up to you. So if that's an option, I would seek another opinion at a different clinic.

Finally, keep in mind that this could be anything and not at all related to the cancer. From what you're describing it does sound like some sort of internal infection that's making her weak. So try not to jump ahead to the worst case scenario. Yes, osteosarcoma can spread to the lungs (your vet should have told you that, I'm surprised they didn't), and it can also go to the spine but it is very rare. So as hard as it is, hold out for better information from your current vets. Hopefully they can come up with a plan to get her feeling better and once they do, get her into an oncologist to give her a better assessment of what's going on.

I'm so sorry you're going through this, I know you must be sick with worry. You can always call the Tripawds Helpline if you want OK?

Much love & hugs coming your way. Keep us posted.

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Virginia
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21 November 2017 - 11:57 am
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Is this a great support family or what??   Hope you are feeling a lot more calm now that we all grabbed you and pulled you back from the edge!

As we've all mentiw above, this could be so many thi gs NOT related to that piece of crap disease at all!

YAY FOR EATING SOME CHICKEN!!  And YAY FOR DRINKING AND PEEING (even if she is drinking a lot and her pee srinks)!

So hes, feed her anything yummy she will eat....cheese pizza, scrambled eggs, bacon, cheeseburgers, stinky liverwurst, etc.  We can deal with "proper nutrition" once she gets her appetite back.  For some nutrition though, you might also try FRESH PET in the refrigerator secion where dog food is.  Dogs tend to eat that regardless of what's going on.

When you massage up and down her spine, does she show any tension, any signs of pain?  How 'bout her shoukder and neck area?

We're all cheering for sweet Maddie! 🙂   Update when you can! ' And get another opinion when you can!!

Lots pf higs

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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21 November 2017 - 12:01 pm
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I know this a serious subject.. but Sally *smile* I notice every time you start mentioning the "good food", pizza and cheeseburgers jump right in there... are you sure we are not related??  laughinglaughing

Hugs,

Jackie, David, and Huckleberry

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21 November 2017 - 1:17 pm
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LOL - I want some cheese pizza 🙂  We're trying everything at this point - I've been trying everything I can think of sardines (stinky), tripe (ultra stinky), her instinct raw medallions (which she ordinarily LOVES) her cooked food (which is basically chicken, beef and veggies all cooked together) and even chicken and dumplings minus the dumplings.  She really liked the "gravy" so I figured, what the heck.  She also ate the veggies so that's good.  That was last night.  She also ate some cottage cheese and baby food this morning but my daughter did get her to eat the rest of her "real breakfast".  It seems like the Deramaxx must have made her feel better because just an hour ago SHE GOT UP AND WENT TO THE BACK DOOR!!!!  This is huge as she hasn't done that since Friday morning (before the ER visit!).  She also pee'd two times but the third she tried, nothing came out.  Which definitely makes me think she may have some urinary or kidney infection going on.  I've called the ER where they are doing the tests and also our regular vet (they also send results to them) and the ER was too busy at the moment, no one available and her regular vet's went to the answering machine.  So I will continue to try.

Bobbi & Maddie a/k/a ManiacMads

Front leg amputation 10/17/17 due to Osteosarcoma

She's Madeline, She's Madeline

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21 November 2017 - 1:24 pm
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Oh and I should add that the doctor at the specialty center did tell me it would spread to the lungs (he felt it was already there, just not visible on the xray or cat scan) - that's why I was surprised when now they said they thought this was the cancer, since her lungs are still clear?  I thought that if it went anywhere, it would go there rather than some other random organ?  I don't know.  I will take your advice and search for another oncologist practice.  I think the only other one within a couple hours of me is UPenn.  I may take her to a vet who has been doing some work with stem cells and cancer?  Has anyone heard of that?  A friend of mine who is a nurse suggested it to me.  She said she took her baby there when she got sick.  She really likes them and says they're compassionate and have the dogs best interests first.  That is really what I think we need - a primary care vet (for lack of a better word).  There was one doctor that was at my old vet's office right after VCA took over who I really liked - he was great with Mads, I am trying to figure out where he went also.  Thank you all again - you've made me (and my daughters who I am texting everything to) feel much better - like there is a chance....  I just am really anxious to hear these urine test results.  I never thought I'd be hoping for a UTI....

Bobbi & Maddie a/k/a ManiacMads

Front leg amputation 10/17/17 due to Osteosarcoma

She's Madeline, She's Madeline

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