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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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minor effects of chemo: not eating or drinking
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Winnipeg
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13 July 2009
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1 August 2009 - 3:29 pm
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Hi Tripawds:

Tazzie 2 is feeling minor effects of his first chemo - adriamycin. He was flatulent and salivating within 24 hrs, started to lose appetite and still salivating during the next 48. I then gave him an anti-nausea pill (Cerenia), which helped and he ate dinner and seemed fine. Day 3 (today) he was salivating again, had really lost his appetite and is back to doing his best rock imitation (you know, the one he did for 2 weeks following surgery). He ate well until today, so I'm not concerned about that. (If it continues, things might be different!)

My main concern is that he is not even drinking today - although he briefly sniiffed the waterbowl. I can't mix food in with the water to bribe him to drink, since he does not want his food. (I have given him a smorgasboard to choose from: yogurt, cottage cheese, baby food, as well as canned dog food. Nada. Maybe I'll have to get some hamburger.)

He does not seem that bad - he is relatively alert and was willing to get into the car for a nice trip to town and back, and had a decent stool (it looked like there was mucous with a bit of blood on the outside, but I assume that could be explained by the chemo -  from what I could tell the stool itself seemed okay). Sorry to gross you out with details, but I can use some advice.

My question: how long can a dog safely go without drinking (assuming he is not vomiting or having diarrhea, which he is not)? I am guessing this will improve tomorrow when I give him a higher dose of anti-nausea med (which the vet said was ok), but of course we don't know that.

Susan

Kirkland, WA
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2 June 2009
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1 August 2009 - 4:39 pm
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Jack refuses to drink sometimes, too.  What helps us is to take a little dish over to him, talk to him sweetly, and dip our fingers in the water and dab it on his nose and mouth until he lowers his head far enough to realize he wants the water.  I'm not sure what his deal is, but it's like he wants us to offer him the water.  He's crazy. 

On The Road


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24 September 2009
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1 August 2009 - 5:10 pm
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Susan, we have heard of this happening before. Try putting low-sodium chicken or beef broth in it, or even some Gatorade, see if that helps. Good luck, and hang in there. Hope he gets moving again soon.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Winnipeg
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13 July 2009
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1 August 2009 - 5:38 pm
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I did try offering a smorgasboard of various drinks (broth in water, canned food in water), as well as foods, and NADA. Amazing for such a food hound - I NEVER NEVER thought he would turn down such food.  But since I wrote, I sat down next to him and he did take some water, sort of like Jack. And he seemed to like licking the ice for starters. So I can't complain if this is as bad as it gets.

Susan

Madison, WI
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14 June 2009
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1 August 2009 - 9:23 pm
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Hey Susan,

First off, I replied to your PM to me, check your inbox if you didn't see that yet.  After reading this post, it might be significant to add that when I called Yoda's vet about his vomiting the other night she asked me a couple times, to be sure, that he was taking water (which by then he was).  She seemed concerned about that, so I got the impression that not drinking can be an issue with post-chemo nausea.

Glad you've been getting Tazzie to take some and lick ice cubes though!  If you have more trouble – this may just have been a quirk of Yoda's – but after his amputation he wasn't drinking very much (because he was lethargic, it seemed).  For some unknown reason, (I certianly didn't expect it to work) when I cupped my hands into his dish and offered the water from my hands and he drank that eagerly!  He went back to drinking plenty from his bowl on his own since then.  I don't think this was nausea-related, because he was eating fine at the time and this was long before he started chemo, just after the amputation.  It was funny too that he would lick my hands for a while after the water was gone – Yoda never licks people unless they have food on them!  I've never been an anti-lick person, so it was kind of nice to get kisses from my dog for once Big Grin

Yoda&Mom united: 9/5/06 …….… Yoda&Leg separated: 6/5/09……… Yoda&Leg reunited: 10/14/09 ……… ……………….………….………….……. Yoda&Mom NEVER separated! …………………….….……....….…… Though Spirit Yoda currently free-lances as a rabbit hunting instructor for tripawds nationwide

Winnipeg
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13 July 2009
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2 August 2009 - 9:02 am
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Hi Yoda

Yes if your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea it IS important to drink water or to lick ice to avoid dehydration. But thankfully Tazzie was not doing either of those.

Good thing I have 10 fingers. Let's see, two pills and two fingers per day should get us through 5 days of Cerenia – maybe they will heal by the next chemo Wink. It was a CHALLENGE to get those pills into Tazzie this morning – he can be willfull and just sat there making me think he had swallowed it, and then kapuuee, spit it across the room. Even the chevre did nothing. I had to put the pill in the back of the throat, which is no easy matter with this dog (once three vets failed to get that mouth open, all holding him at the same time).

One thing that USUALLY helps is smearing some thing (peanut butter, cream cheese) on the nose. Then they kind of start licking and swallowing. But anything associated with food was not enough this time.

Like Yoda, Tazzie does not lick faces, just comes up and does long lingering sniffs.

He sat up salivating most of the night (I slept on the couch again to keep tabs on him – I was really worried about what I could or could not do if he did vomit), but I think the nausea is past the worst point. Hope so.

Susan

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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2 August 2009 - 9:48 am
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Thank you for sharing these details. They will certainly help others cope with the effects of chemotherapy tratment. FYI: We found Braunschwager (Liverwurst) to be a foolproof way to get Jerry to swallow pills – stinky, but effective! Rasberry

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
26 November 2008
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2 August 2009 - 11:16 am
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Sounds much like the problems we had during Cherry's chemotherapy and we agree the drinking is a far worse problem. I have used a process of getting them to drink for all of my dogs. I have used a test tube wash bottle to introduce moisture (broth and/or water) as far back in their jaw area as I can. Such a bottle has a small spout out the side connected to a tube that goes down to the bottom of the bottle. As you squeeze, pressure causes the liquid to flow out the very small spout. I just put it between the upper and lower lips, as far back as I can, and squeeze very slowly. Since I am not putting it into the throut, there is less of a chance of choaking. However, at times Cherry did not want to swallow, so there was considerable dripping. As I said, I have used this process for more than twenty years, but with the damage that Cherry caused to the spout, I may have to get another bottle soon.

Good Luck!!

Bob & Cherry

On The Road


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24 September 2009
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2 August 2009 - 3:16 pm
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What a great idea Bob! Never would've thought of this.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
20 May 2009
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2 August 2009 - 3:45 pm
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I sometimes put vegetable oil in Emily's water to give her a shiny coat.  Whenever I do, she laps the water right up!  

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.


Member Since:
22 August 2008
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2 August 2009 - 5:14 pm
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Unfortunately Tazzie is experiencing a common side effect of Adriamycin (nausea).  I find it is best to prevent this so whenever I give Adriamycin I give an injection of Cerenia 45 minutes prior to the chemo and this works for most dogs.  If the dog is still nauseous then I send home 4 Cerenia pills 1 tablet once daily. Just make sure to tell your vet that Tazzie was sick after the chemo and they should be able to do this next time.  If they did give him the shot ahead of time and you also started the pills right away then he might benefit from Carafate or Pepcid given daily for a few days.

Pam and Tazzie

Winnipeg
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13 July 2009
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2 August 2009 - 9:33 pm
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Thanks Pam - I will ask the vet to about an injection of cerenia next time - I did not know they would do that for Adriamycin (vs. cisplatin). They suggested to wait to give pills until day 3, but Tazzie was clearly having minor nausea on day 1, which got a bit worse the next two days. Thankfully it did not get worse than a loss of appetite. The Cerenia package also mentions loss of appetite as a side effect of the drug, which of course confuses things.

Today is okay but I dosed him a bit heavy (two 60 mg pills and he is only 31.5 kg; the package says 2 pills for 30 to 60 kg which is a pretty large weight range). He ate some really gross meat, cooked, provided by a hunter, but still won't eat anything else. But there is no more hiding pills even though he has resumed eating stinky sausage. I will just have to risk losing a few fingers 🙂

Hey - he hopped about 100 yards and then spent some time in a creek this afternoon with a crazy brittany spaniel! Progress!

Susan

Michigan
Member Since:
26 July 2008
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3 August 2009 - 3:07 pm
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Sorry to hear Tazzie is having such a hard time.  I have no advice about the chemo side but about giving pills here is the trick that works for us.  I put the pill inside a small ball of butter or margarine.  Keep the margarine really cold so that it is firm when you wrap it around the pill.   The cold butter is firm enough to give as a treat but soft and slippery enough that they just swallow it right down without thinking about it.  If he knows you are hiding the pills in it he may balk so be sneaky about it to start with.

For my dogs this is a huge treat and now whenever I get the butter tub out (for any reason) they all line up like it's time to get their meds LOL.  Hopefully this will work for Tazzie also.

Connie

Livermore CA
Member Since:
24 January 2009
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3 August 2009 - 7:16 pm
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Hi Susan--I wrap pills in cold butter too.  I call it a "butter bug" and the dogs think it's a treat.  One more thing--since I get butter on my fingers and thumb, I rub the thumb on the dog's nose as an extension of the movement to give him the butter bug, so he immediately wants to lick it off.  In the process, he swallows.  Works great!

Mary

Cemil and mom Mary, Mujde and Radzi….appreciating and enjoying Today

Cemil's blog

Member Since:
5 August 2009
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27 September 2009 - 6:12 pm
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Bailey started chemo a few weeks ago and lately she hasnt seemed interested in eating her normal dog food. The oncologist wants her to only eat cooked food so now raw diet however it has to be grain free and low carbs since I heard carbs actually feed cancer. Can anyone tell me a good dry food or wet food that is cooked and is low carb and grain free that is good...I need to keep her strong and eating but I know she is a picky eater.

Thanks so much everyone

ashley shafferman

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