Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
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Tazzie just had his first haircut of the week, in the abdominal area.
The ultrasound person looked at the liver, kidneys, spleen, urinary bladder & some big blood vessels around the bladder. Most things looked good news. Kidneys looked good, with just a slight ragged edge probably related to his renal failure 7 yrs ago, but otherwise had a nice shape and outline (and no extra masses). Everything else looked good, except for the spleen, with some question about the liver.
He found two spots in the spleen, with each measuring about 10 mm x 10 mm, so I guess that means 1 cm diameter. One had a bright appearance in the middle, consistent with what you'd expect if there were osteoblasts (due to OSA met). However, he indicated how you can pretty much lose your spleen and still survive, so these might not be the thing that does him in.
The liver looked fine, although there was a curvy texture or something, which he said indicated that some sort of cell had invaded the area. Whether those are cancer cells or something else (he listed a few possibilities), he said it would be impossible to say. It did make him question how the liver enzymes have been on the blood, but that has been fine so far.
Step 2 will be tomorrow with the chest x-ray and general exam (thank goodness, no haircut for that one). Then we can figure out whether to remain on course or adjust treatment.
7 August 2009
22 August 2008
You and Tazzie will be in my thoughts and well wishes. If Tazzie wants to borrow a wig or two after all this shaving, I have a few in my closet I could send. The blonde Hollywood Heiress wig is especially fetching, and it's still ok even if he's a boy. We all have an inner diva deep in our hearts.
29 July 2009
I'm glad that things look mostly good. Mac's last ultrasound too showed some abnormal and inconclusive liver, spleen, and kidney properties. I put him back on milk thistle to try and help out the liver as much as I could, and was told that many dogs who have splenectomies quickly recover, if it came to that. Here's hoping that his lungs are nice and clear tomorrow!
lol at Mel......I also have a mullet wig designed for dogs (really) that might look smashing on him. I don't know how popular mullets are in Canada, but I must say you can't truly appreciate it until you live in the rural south and see long greasy permed ones on hairy shirtless men who are mowing the grass around the broken down car frame resting on concrete blocks in his yard while his pregnant wife, who also has a nice frizzy mullet, stands on the porch with a baby in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
24 September 2009
I must say you can't truly appreciate it until you live in the rural south
OMG you just made us laugh soooo hard!!!!! You are funny!!!
Tazzie, all in all good news. I hope things go well today, paws are crossed. Keep us posted.
20 May 2009
I agree, mostly good news. If the spleen turns out to be a problem at least Tazzie doesn't really need it. Let us know how thing go tomorrow. Tazzie is in my prayers.
Debra & 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.
I had to google "mullet" to see what it was. We can just put it on backwards so the furry part is up front on Tazzie. Reminds me of when I was in 8th grade and used to cut my own hair - would only cut the front and the back got longer and longer. I didn't really notice . . . I don't cut my own hair anymore
Hmm, Tazzie not need his spleen but it is kind of hard to just get rid of it. As the vet said, they should have taken it out in June when they did the torsion surgery - of course that is before we knew he had OSA.
I'm not certain yesterday's news was quite as good as you all seem to view it. Anyway, I'll send today's update in a few minutes. Just googling different things: palladia, mitroxatrone, metronomics , the usual things we tripawd companions do.
By the way, smashing picture of Mac there. Is Mac hanging in there these days?
20 August 2009
hope to hear good news about the x-rays... please post asap!
Well, didn´t know what a mullet is either...
After all this shaving, maybe you should consider asking Bob & Cherry to knit you something for the winter??
Mac does really look cute on his new pic!
Spirit Horacia, Castaño, Olympia + human family Cecilia, Georg and Julia - - - Hori first diagnosed 8/6/09, ampu 8/12/09, run over the bridge 9/10/09 – We miss you every day dear girl!
Hi Everyone (great to see Hori back in the picture - we are thinking of you!) - Warning: very long post, even for me!!
So do you want the bad news or the good news or the bad news? I can't really remember how it all unfolded - thank goodness now it is starting to seem funny.
Chest x-rays seemed clear (Yay), although I'd say it is pretty darn hard to tell but the vet is really capable and seems to do all the hands on work herself. It is great!
But then (BOO) she saw that the 2nd rib, above his surgery site, was mottled. Then she probed at the spot and Tazzie reacted with pain. My heart sank for he has not responded that way since the surgery. All our hopes dashed. But the x-ray was taken on his back (poor humiliated pup!) and so he twisted a bit. By this time, we were abandoning the thought of removing the hip lump and planning new drugs to control bone pain.
So she took him back in for more x-rays (as I sat in the lobby scribbling my options, bisphosphonates , etc). This time he was twisted slightly in the other direction. AND, the ribs on the right side looked just fine! This time the left ribs looked mottled. So I think we ended with good news with respect to the lungs and surrounding area (YAY).
However, maybe some of you have idea why he is painful at the surgery site. He has licked it a bit (just a bit) during the last week or two, and not before then. There are lots of clips inside there, visible on the x-ray. His neck on the surgery side is also THICK. Do any of your dogs have THICK necks on the surgery side. It is hard to compare given the upper body is no longer symmetrical.
Back on topic: What to do, who knows??? The vet will talk to the Calgary oncologist tomorrow.
Scorecard: Two masses, 1 cm wide, in spleen and one that feels about 1" around above the hip in the skin. Blood work will come in tomorrow. Given the swervy lines in the liver, we are curious to see if something might show up with those enzymes.
Lots of questions for Pam the Wonder Vet.
1. Will removing the hip lump potentially affect the overall spread of the cancer? I sure would like to see it go IF it does not set Tazzie back too much. It would mean no swimming for 2 weeks, and by then the swimming season will almost be over and it will be time to skate. These are no longer trivial considerations in the scheme of things.
2. Should we continue chemo to prevent mets from appearing in the lungs? Do we worry much about mets if they are in locations that are not in potentially life-threatening locations (spleen, skin)?
3. Or assume that the current chemo regime is not working (did these mets start before or after the chemo) and switch drugs? The oncologist mentioned mitoxantrone, similar or even more scary than Adriamycin.
4. Or stop chemo to begin metronomics ? I re-read the information everyone gave me on metronomics in August - sure wish I did not need it this soon. It sounds like a lot of the dogs have side effects with bladder and kidneys that cause them to drop the protocol, and we have to consider kidney issues in Tazzie's case.
Well, I'll leave my confusion in the capable hands of all the other tripawds. Tazzie and I are going to the park right now!!
Susan & Tazzie
Sweetie, I don't know what to say. I'm happy there's no lung mets, and that the ribs seem OK. Could the pain be because of the clips or something causing scar tissue? Have you tried bromelain for swelling? Could it help now? I'm sorry you have to make these decisions. They pretty much stink! ((HUGS))
When you say "thick neck," do you think it is swollen? Does it seem tender? I don't know what could cause that, but keep on it until you get an answer that you're satisfied with if that's possible. There's so much going on that answers for the more glaring issues are hard enough to pin down, and these other seemingly secondary issues can keep getting put off. Boinks had some bloody saliva issues that kept getting overlooked in the fray, and I finally was able to get that concern some attention when I strongly reiterated that I wanted it looked at during her second surgery.
I will try searching the Internet to see if I can find any mention of something similar and let you know if I come across anything that seems of value. Give Tazzie some love from me.
That's awfully nice of you, but you should relax and find some nice things to entertain you away from this electronic box. The ultrasound vet agreed it seemed thick, kind of swollen. But he said he didn't really know what a neck that was missing a scapula normally felt like. We just don't have anything with which to compare it. Anyway, Tazzie does not seem sore there, and no obvious bumps in that thick neck, so it is probably the least of our worries.
now, he has had an ear that he has been scratching all summer. I'd sure like the vet to clean that wax out, but we seem to be focusing on life and death issues these days. When my cat came home from the vet with a suggestion for dental work, I just about keeled over. I mean, I realize most animals go to vets only for things like getting their teeth clean, but those days seem so far away.
Anyway, just checking into the website to find Pam's recommendations for Artemism. It sounds great, but the dosing seems tricky
By the way Mel, what part of the continent are you on? West coast?
Susan & Tazzie
another by the way, Tazzie has a big bump (always has had, this is NOT cancer) on the top of his head, covered with a dot of brown fur but just out of sight on his picture, that everyone says it typical of a St. They call it the 'holy spot'. I guess Boinks must have had one.
I suppose I should get away from the computer, but I still have some answers that I need to search out and hopefully make some sense of all that has happened. My other dogs live in the part of the house where I have this computer, so I enjoy being here with them and we have nice chats and some playtime interspersed with my busy typing. They got a lot less attention than they're used to these past few weeks, so they're enjoying some extra time. I also go back and forth from work-related writing to this, so it's all good.
I'm in North Carolina, USA, which is Eastern time zone. I've always been a notorious night owl, so posts at 2 or 3 am aren't at all unusual for me.
I hadn't heard of the holy spot before, but she did have a bump on her head. I think the space between her eyes and at the bridge of her nose was her holy spot, because I couldn't resist kissing her there. Luckily, she liked these kisses a lot. My old lab used to sigh and turn his head away when I tried to do that, like a peevish teenager.
I think it would have been near impossible for me to say if Boinks had a thick neck on the one side after amputation. Her neck was so big and furry that it would have been hard to tell. Someone else is sure to weigh in.