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Tazzie's dilemma: which place for treatment????
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Montréal , Canada
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31 July 2009
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2 December 2009 - 8:15 am
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I know your decision is made with so much love behind it. There is no way it could be a wrong one. My heart is melting for Tazzie today.  I am sending him a bunch of positive thoughts. 

Suzanne

Winnipeg
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13 July 2009
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2 December 2009 - 8:55 am
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thank  you genie and oslo - I can feel the 3500 km of energy from Montreal to Edmonton lifting Tazzie's spirits (and from Florida to Cal - Amazing!)

Radiology is unavailable for about one year at Saskatoon while the radiologist is on maternity leave - sounds weird but that is what my vet said during the last month. It would still be 10-11 hrs, so not that much closer than Calgary and we don't have a home base there. 

But I think we reached the point of no return this morning when it comes to considering treatment. A car trip would be horrible for him right now - he was eager to jump in the car (for short trips) until last night when he said 'nope' for the first time. And radiation did not really seem to be on the plate of discussion two weeks ago. If there was radiation here in Winnipeg, we might still be able to try it, without making Tazzie too uncomfortable. But as of this morning, even that would probably be getting questionable. The lump seems to have a growth spurt every afternoon - it is probably honey dew size now, moving up more than out. Any pain relief from radiation would take 1-2 weeks and I just cannot imagine that it can stunt the growth of this damn tumor enough to help.  I suspect side effects would be worse than if it were more diminutive.

My goal since amputation has been to keep him as happy as possible (all things considered, as best I can). That will continue. He looks comfy right now and Pup the cat is keeping a close eye on him. Tazzie's favorite thing is to see visitors - well, and to eat - and I'm sure he will enjoy both those things for a little bit yet.

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2 December 2009 - 9:49 am
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Hey Susan,

I wish you weren't so far away and that CSU was a more practial option for you. That being said, raditation - while able to offer some reflief - is definitely not a miracle cure, and may not be worth the added strain of travelling for Tazzie. We only live 45 minutes away, and Timber LOVED car trips...but even these short trips to the vet began wearing on him. I'll never forget the last round of radiation we had done for Timber. We walked into CSU and he immediately laid down on the floor and gave me that "I'm really sick and tired of this" look. We took him home and kept him as comfortable as possible on Tramadol and Rimadyl for the last few weeks, and had good success with this option. I was never under the impression Timber was suffering, and as long as he was up for certain things, we knew he was still happy. From reading your posts about Tazzie, it is clear you just want him to be comfortable and happy for as long as possible. Recognizing that the car trip would be too much at this point is a HUGE gesture of compassion and respect for his feelings.

Hugs to you and Tazzie.

Erin

On The Road


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24 September 2009
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2 December 2009 - 10:25 am
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Tazzie said:

...doubts when I woke this morning about how we want to spend our remaining time.


You bring up one of the most important considerations all cancer pups and their people will face. Most will agree it's all about quality of life, not quantity, but you obviously alrerady know that.

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

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2 December 2009 - 10:38 am
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Susan,

You know and lovee Tazzie best of all.  If you have doubts than they are valid.  Loving Tazzie as much as you do, you have made a hard decision but the one that is best for him.  Did the gabepentin work for relieving his discomfort?  Give Tazzie a kiss and hug from me and Emily.

Debra & Angel Emily

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:
4 December 2008
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2 December 2009 - 12:06 pm
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Oh Susan--

I'm so sorry to hear the latest update, I've not been on the computer much, Caya's home care has been keeping our hands full. (And I thought it would end when Tika passedWay Confused)

September we had made that decision with Tika, no more treatments, the trip would be too much for her, and I'll be darned if that girlie didn't stick around for another couple of months.  Of course there were good days/bad days, but they were all HER days.

This is the time when you will have to get nose-to-nose with Tazzie and really listen to what he's telling you.  I think right now, he's saying, Mom. Let's just take it easy and enjoy ourselves.

My heart goes out to you, I wish there was a way Team Tripawds could move the doctors and equipment up to YOU!  I think that would make the headlines..."Internet Chat Group Kidnaps CSU Oncology Team and Equipment--Makes run for Canadian border....Film at 11."

Hang in there.

--Kim, Tim, Caya and Spirit Tika

Kim and Spirit Tika http://www.tika.....ogspot.com

Winnipeg
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13 July 2009
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2 December 2009 - 2:51 pm
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Spirit Tika - You can always make me laugh, even through tears. If only those headlines were true - maybe I should fax that headline to CSU and see what magic might happen!

Emily - Tazzie has seemed pretty comfy today. He and Pup the cat had a good snooze on the twin mattress I moved into the dining room last Friday. That was while I spent most of the morning sitting in the bath bawling. Just like amputation news all over again. I thought, well this time Tazzie can't cheer me up because he won't be able to go to the park.

So when I went downstairs and saw what he would do. After getting his midday snack, he went outside (has to hop down 5 steps). I went to the car and indeed he came along with only a bit of hesitation and did jump in. At that moment, it looked bad - he seemed uncomfortable and I thought this would be the last ride. We drove to a little park that is only 4-5 blocks away, with him hanging his head out the window along the way. I thought we would just do a drive-by (in Canada that does not mean anyone gets shot Twisted , bad joke, eh) and by that time he was getting excited. So he did get out of the car and we bumped into someone else we know who is devoted to his big choc lab. I had to hold Tazzie back to leash him so he did not run full tilt, because you could tell he was going to. Anyway, you get the idea. After the sniffs and pats, we went to the grocery store and he even whined (good excited whines, not pain whines) when I got out of the car. Home to more treats (early-afternoon snack), my pancake breakfast (at 3 pm), after which he got to like the plate (mid-afternoon snack). He is snoozing again and I will try another round of Gabapentin later this afternoon (the late-afternoon snack shortly before the pre-dinner snack). So, the problem seems to be the simple mechanical obstruction of his enormous bump.

I think I will phone the oncologist at CSU again (she said to keep her posted and was helpful but realistic) to get a bit more info. 

Question about dosing to Gabapentin users: for pain control (not post-amputation, but other less horrible pain), what kind of doses are you using and for what weight of dog? My vet said to start low at 100 mg once per day, then increase to 200 mg once per day. But from what I have seen on this website and elsewhere, most people seem to give it 3 x per day (and at higher doses). The CSU oncologist indicated that it wears out after 8 hr (but they are cautious to avoid giving specific advice on doses over the phone). I'm not sure why my vet is hesitant - maybe she has not used it much or maybe she had a bad experience.

Montréal , Canada
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31 July 2009
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2 December 2009 - 3:58 pm
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Many thanks for this update Tazzie. I am glad Tazzie had a pretty good day.  He is amazing . 

About Gabapentin, Oslo takes 600mg twice per day.  (he is a 125-pounds dog)  He did not start with lower doses.  He never had any side effects. 

Tazzie's pain reminds me of my mother-in-law who had cancer of the lungs.  She had this big lump on her back that put pressure on one nerve and that caused her tremendous pain.  The solution to relieve her of the pain was gabapentin too.  It helped her very much. So I hope Gabapentin will work very well on your beautiful Tazzie.

Arizona
Member Since:
28 September 2009
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2 December 2009 - 4:22 pm
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I am so sorry hear everything that is going on with you and Tazzie, I have no great words of wisdom I just want to send my prayers and thoughts your way. I was happy to read that you had a good day out together. Tasha's little Yorkie sister hates the car, even after 10 years. I don't no if you kennel Tazzie when you travel but that seems to help with Ruby when we travel. She will even lay down in the kennel out of the kennel she will never even begin to relax, even on very long 650 mile trips. Good luck with what ever you decide and all the best to you.

Jo Ann & Tasha

Tasha 8 years old, First cancer diagnosis 6/26/09, Last cancer diagnosis 9/26/09, Amputation 10/01/09, Loving our girl moment by moment.

Tasha lost her battle and became my Angel on May 4 2011. Forever in my heart….

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20 May 2009
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2 December 2009 - 4:45 pm
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Emily took 100 mg of gabepentin every 8 hours.  She only was on it for a few days when she died so I don't if the vet would have increased it or not.  She weighed about 60 pounds.  She was also very stoic so I don't know if it helped or not.

Debra & Angel Emily

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.

Wesley Chapel, FL
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13 September 2009
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2 December 2009 - 5:19 pm
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HI Tazzie's Mom,

My heart is breaking for you and Tazzie as you are going through this... Except for the pain (which sucks) he seems to be doing OK...

So if I were in your shoes... this is what I would do. I would go ahead and start the radiation therapy in Calgary this week. Though Tazzie would have to have several fractions... and the effects are not immediate... But if there is some chance that the pain would be alleviated, that would be a bonus. That, plus the effects of the gabapentin, hopefully.

In the meantime, I would fax or overnite copies of all Tazzie's medical history, and latest results and films (make sure they're copies, since films often can get lost) to CSU. They need to see exactly what Tazzie is dealing with before they recommend the SRS. SRS is a one time treatment... and helps to kill osteosarcoma tumor cells (but not 100%) and it also takes 2-3 weeks before you even start to see an effect, if any. There may also be some skin irritation at the SRS site. SRS usually works best in smaller tumors, but I'm not sure what the size cutoff would be. That's why it's very important for them to review Tazzie's films and especially latest medical records, etc. Hopefully, they can tell you if they think that SRS would be worth it for you to drive all that way and try the treatment.

Another thing is the cost... I don't know about you... but we were already in financial difficulties before Jake got diagnosed (hubby was out of work for several months the year before and we were slowly trying to recover), and Jake's x-rays, biopsy, surgery, meds and supplements, etc really put us over the edge. We are now trying to recover, but it will take a while. Unfortunately, creditors don't seem to give a crap when you tell them that you're late or missed payments because your dog (which is like your child!) has a devastating disease. I feel so guilty that I couldn't afford to do more for Jake... I think if I would have had the money, I would have tried some chemo... Maybe he would still be here... I'll never know... Crying So, if you can afford all the extra costs of going to CSU and doing SRS... and they believe that it can make a difference and help shrink the tumor and reduce Tazzie's pain... then by all means, go ahead!

But only you can decide what is right for you and Tazzie... So, you will have to one day, make that horribly sad, but heroic decision...Crying

You and Tazzie are in my thoughts and prayers... and I am behind you 100%... no matter what you decide to do!

Angel Jake's Mom

Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… http://jakesjou.....ipawds.com ….. CANCER SUCKS!

On The Road


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24 September 2009
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2 December 2009 - 6:18 pm
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I feel so guilty that I couldn't afford to do more for Jake… I think if I would have had the money, I would have tried some chemo… Maybe he would still be here… I'll never know…

Marguerite, even a millionaire can't buy health, this disease doesn't know what money is. Nobody can ever tell if a dog who has chemo, or doesn't, will thrive or not. Please don't beat yourself up OK? {{{{hugs}}}}

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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2 December 2009 - 6:35 pm
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Marguerite

Thanks for the insight. Jerry is right to say not to beat yourself up. Our dogs think like dogs. They want to hang out, sniff gross things, eat gross things, stick their noses where they don't belong, and otherwise be incredibly adorable and well-loved. That is what matters. And that's the kind of stuff I don't want Tazzie to miss out on by jet-setting to Calgary or CSU. Jake had all that plus lots more.

If Jake's mets showed up that early, they probably would also have showed up if he were on chemo. Tazzie's showed up just before his 3rd treatment, which is also pretty early.

Take care,

Susan

Winnipeg
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13 July 2009
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3 December 2009 - 1:48 pm
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So, the CSU option is not completely off the plate yet. But . . . it would mean that crazy Tazzie would get to fly United (oh boy, need I say more?).

Have any of you flown with your pups, either healthy or post-amp. We figure a 2 hr nonstop flight is less stressful than a 20 hr drive. Having said that, either of those trips might be too much stress and discomfort (he'd just take tramadol). (A big concern is that something might already be brewing in a location like the spine, in which case this could be pointless.)

And, no we do not have an option of palliative radiation close to home. Treatment at CSU would span about 5 days, at which point we'd return home and hopefully he'd be bouncing around for a couple more months (if all went really well).

Susan & Tazzie 2

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3 December 2009 - 6:00 pm
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Tika and Caya only flew once, and that's when they were puppies coming to us.

Caya got lost in Salt Lake City all day in cargo.  Luckily, evil breeder had connections and knew somebody who found her and gave her water.  Tika actually came from Canada, O Canada!  Everything went fine, we had customs things with her, but nothing major.

Both of them were fine with it.  My friend just moved over to Germany to live with her fiance who's on job assignment over there, she flew over with her dog (shih tzu/maltese mix) and they did fine.

Search the web on 'flying with your pet', that's what we did for Lola (and started to again in case Caya will be making a visit to UC-Davis) and found great advice (like....send a note to the flight crew and pilot that your pet is on board in the pressurized hold.)  I heard some airlines are giving special exemptions and letting some special needs dogs ride up in the cabin if you pay for the seat.  My husband and I were rolling, Tika?  Miss Congeniality?  She'd be serving peanuts and drinks before the flight was over.

All in all, I hear pets are pretty adaptable to flying, they will naturally yawn to relieve pressure in their ears, the vet can give a low dose 'chill pill'.  You would just have to make sure paperwork, proper crate and everything is in order.  A Southwest flight attendant and I were talking one day and she says you'd be surprised how well animals are treated because so many airline workers are pet fiends, either they can't have a pet because of their work schedule or they do and just miss them terribly.

Anyway, I hope this helps?

--Kim and Spirit Tika

Kim and Spirit Tika http://www.tika.....ogspot.com

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