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Wally the Boxer's Recovery and Hemangiosarcoma Treatment
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13 January 2021 - 6:37 am
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Hi All,

I’m a fairly new member to the community as I joined around Christmas.  Some of you have probably seen my post in the Presentation and Diagnosis forum on my best buddy Wally, who was diagnosed with intramuscular hemangiosarcoma (HSA) right before Christmas.  Due to size and location of the tumor (left hind leg near his knee, imbedded is the muscle) the only way to remove it surgically was to amputate his leg.  After doing quite a bit of research, including help from some great folks on here, I decided to proceed with the oncologist recommendation to amputate his leg along with both chemo and holistic treatment for HSA. 

I’m happy to report that things have gone well so far.  The first few days were tough (more on me than him), but since then Wally has been getting up and walking well on his own.  Also, the incision has healed well enough that the surgeon released him from his restrictions with the caveat that I have to slowly ramp up his activity over the next week or so.

Wally’s also released to undergo his chemo treatments and is receiving his first Doxorubicin treatment today.  Does anyway have any experience with this?  Would appreciate any recommendations and advice.

Also, something else I could probably use some advice on is sleeping arrangements.  During his initial recovery period Wally and I were sleeping on my guest mattress, which I had set up on the floor in my living room.  After being released from his restrictions yesterday, I put things back to normal and Wally and I slept in my normal bed in my bedroom on the 2nd floor of my house.  It worked out great for me, but I did wake up to a thump in the middle of the night and found Wally laying on the floor at the foot of the bed.  He may have tried to jump down, but I think he fell off b/c he had a pretty confused look on his face.  He wasn’t injured as after a minute or so he stood up, and I picked him up and put him back on the bed only more towards the head and middle of the bed.  This helped as he stayed on the bed the rest of the night, but I’m concerned he’ll fall off again and hurt himself.  Any thoughts or suggestions?  Hate to do it, but maybe I just have him sleep on his dog bed or the couch in the living room at least for awhile?

Thanks in Advance

Rich and Wally

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13 January 2021 - 8:50 am
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Hey Rich, thanks for starting a new topic. You forgot to share a Wally pic though 😉 I’m so happy that he’s doing so well, except for that little bed spill. More on that in a sec…

Wally’s also released to undergo his chemo treatments and is receiving his first Doxorubicin treatment today.  Does anyway have any experience with this?  Would appreciate any recommendations and advice.

Check out these Forum topics mentioning the phrase “experience with doxorubicin”

https://tripawd…..;include=3

This helped as he stayed on the bed the rest of the night, but concerned he’ll fall off again and hurt himself.  Any thoughts or suggestions?  Hate to do it, but maybe I just have him sleep on his dog bed or the couch in the living room at least for awhile?

I’m soooo glad he’s OK. Do you have pet stairs? They are a huge help if you can get Wally trained to use them. Most pets are smart enough to figure them out, with enough training and bribery! 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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13 January 2021 - 10:58 am
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Great to hear Wally is doing so well!

I know he is an older gentleman…. how is his eyesight?  One of my Quad-Pug’s, Tani, was losing vision as she aged, it got pretty bad by the time she was 13 or so.  I woke up one night after a ‘clunk’ to find Tani a bit confused but thankfully unhurt on the floor.  I assumed it was just a one off thing but I saw it happen again a couple nights later.  I was reading with just my book illuminated and the rest of the room very dark. I watched her get up to re-position herself and she walked right off the bed! I installed a night light on the side of the bed she was falling off and it didn’t happen again.  I’ve also more recently had to install lights on our stair cases and near the Pug steps to the beds for Quad Pug boy Obie. He came to me at age 4 with one damaged eye and now at 14.5 years old his vision is quite poor.

If you think he is rolling off the bed you could try putting some type of bolster around him, maybe a rolled up blanket.  I would be very careful though that you don’t create something he would trip over.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Virginia




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14 January 2021 - 9:54 am
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Thrilled to hear how well Wally’s recovery proceeded and he is now moving onward and upward!  

You got good jnput from Karen and Jerry on the bed issue.  Hopefully you can get the issue resolved.  And maybe it was just a one time thing anyway🤞

And yes!  Pictures!!!

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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14 January 2021 - 11:11 am
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Hey guys.  Thanks for the responses.  I read through some of the Doxorubicin topics and sounds like it’s mostly positive, so that’s good news!  So far Wally is doing well.  He had a little bit of leakage last night while sleeping, but that has happened in the past so could be a coincidence.  The vet said if there are side effects they pop up 3-5 days after, so fingers crossed that he doesn’t.  I am going to run out to Walmart this evening and get prepared for it though.

I do have a pet stair for him to get into and out of the bed.  I noticed in late spring/early summer that he had become hesitant to jump up onto the bed, so I had bought one for him then.  He used it to get into the bed but would always hop down, so he used it to get into the bed the past 2 nights (with my assistance) but has put on the breaks hard when trying to go down them.  So I’ve been lifting him up off the bed to the floor and then helping him down the steps to the 1st floor.  Do most tripawds figure out doing down stairs ok?  In no need to rush Wally, but I was just wondering.

As far as I can tell his eyesight is still good.  I might look into a nightlight when at Walmart though.

Finally, as requested here is a pic of Wally on his not as comfy living room arrangement, lol.  Although by the look of the pic I’d say it’s comfy enough.

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Virginia




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14 January 2021 - 11:39 am
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Wally, you melt my heart with every picture💖 

 My fro t legger tripawd INSISTS/DEMANDS getting on and off the bed on his own.  So, I have a very firm mattress (Big Barker Bed ) on the side of the side  he uses to get up and off.  You could also maybe get a pallet or two and cover them in some firm foam, etc.  

Most dogs do figure stairs out, many still need harness assistance  just as a precaution.  

Tha ks dor the picture!!!😊😊

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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14 January 2021 - 12:08 pm
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Great pupdate! YESSS!!!! I’m glad you found pawsitivity in the Doxorubicin posts. 

Do most tripawds figure out doing down stairs ok?

Oh yeah, especially rear-leggers because it’s easier for them to go down than up. He will try to fly down them when you least expect it though, so keep an eye on him.

I love the nightlight idea! Never thought about that before because dogs do naturally see better at night, but I did notice that Wyatt Ray was getting more hesitant moving about in the dark during his last year with us. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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22 January 2021 - 9:32 am
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Hey Guys!

Sorry I haven’t been around lately.  I had a pretty busy week catching up on things now that I no longer have to watch over Wally like a hawk, lol.  Overall things are going well.  Wally was fully cleared by the surgeon this past week, so no more ointment on his incision or donut cone!  He’s also been getting around great.  He’s been getting up and down on the couch/love seat and going outback to potty all by himself (I was previously helping him down and up the 2 steps from my back door to the yard).  We’re still building up our walk distance and are now making it close to the end of the block before he decides he wants to turn around for home.  I’m also still helping him up and down the steep steps to the bedroom, but my help is more of a precaution as he’s doing all of the work.

He seems to have fully recovered from his first chemo treatment as well.  His energy level did dip a little bit for a few days after the treatment, but other than that no real side effects and his energy level has been back for the past few days.  I did think he had developed a UTI b/c on Tuesday night there was a lot of nasty gunk leaking from his man part.  So I had the vet do a urinalysis on Wed. (he was in for post chemo bloodwork) and no UTI.  Not sure what the deal was, but it’s gone away now.

Finally, yesterday was one month since his HSA diagnosis date, and we celebrated with steaks which has become a tradition on all of Wally’s big milestones over the past couple of years (Gotcha Day and ~Birthday).  See below for pics!

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Virginia




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22 January 2021 - 10:42 am
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STEAK!!!!!  Look at that happy boy loving his steak!!!  Well deserved sweet boy!!!  

And he owns his loveseat again!  YAY!!   Yeah, steep stairs are hard.  I have them in my house up to the bedroom.   But Wally has mastered “regular” steps and that’s great!  I love that he tells you he’s had e ough of the walk and turns hk e.  Smart boy!  It’s all a put s iffi g anyway!

Thanks for the update it’s a good one!

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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22 January 2021 - 11:50 am
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Oh he makes me SMILE! smiley4 Wally, you are such a good boy! I don’t know any dog that would wait that patiently for a steak. CONGRATULATIONS!!

How pawesome everything is working out as we all hope it will. You two have mastered the art of recovery and chemo and now it’s time to enjoy life. I’m so hoppy for you two! 

Thanks for checking in, it’s always a joy to find out how he’s been doing. 

P.S. Sorry Wally but I have to admit this caught me off-guard, I LOL’d on this icon_lol

 there was a lot of nasty gunk leaking from his man part.

So glad it wasn’t anything serious! 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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22 January 2021 - 3:37 pm
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Thanks guys.  Trust me, he wasn’t happy about posing with his ribeye sitting right in front of him, lol.  But it was well worth it I’m sure!

Jerry – Yeah, I tried to be as clean as possible with that comment, and now that I know it’s nothing serious it’s definitely funny.  When the vet tech called with the update and told me he didn’t have a UTI and just to keep an eye on it I responded with “What about all of the stuff coming out of his thing?  That has to be caused by something.”  LOL.

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22 January 2021 - 5:39 pm
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Ah the things only a pet parent says! You crack me up!icon_lol

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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23 January 2021 - 8:55 am
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Hey guys.  Well we had a setback last night smiley6.  I took Wally for his evening “walk”, which is the shorter of the 2 we go on and has been at most 1-2 driveways down before he decides to head back.  A little after his dinner I grab his web master plus (which has worked out great) and ask if he wants to go for a walk.  He hops down off the loveseat, sits for his harness at the front door, goes out the door and down my front steps fine, pauses for a minute at the bottom (nothing unusual) and decides to take a left.  We go about ~20 feet and I notice he’s dragging his hind leg and soon after his leg seems to give up on him and he sits.  I give him a minute to rest then encourage him up and we get about ~10 feet and he’s having trouble again and this time he lays down in my neighbors front yard.  So I give him a couple of minutes, encourage and help him back up, and with a lot help from me we get back into the house.  

Once back in the house he sits for me to get his harness off and then immediately lays down on his side near the front door.  I let him rest and about 10-15 minutes he’s popped his head up and licking at his paws, etc.  Then another 10-15 minutes he’s up and asking for a treat, which I oblige.  Another 10-15 and the tacos I ordered are delivered and he’s up and doing his begging from a distance as normal.  I gave him the bite I had saved in his bowl (as normal) and he scarfed it down along with the rest of his dry he didn’t eat earlier.  He then crashed on his dog bed and was zonked out and dead to the world for the rest of the evening.  

When I finally got up from the couch (I zonked out as well) he got up, went outside, and up to bed like normal (I did help him a little more than normal getting up the stairs).  This morning everything seems back to normal.  Got up, has been outside a couple of times, up on the couch and love seat, and came to see me a little earlier when I was typing this for some butt scratches.

Any thoughts?  I’m hoping that he may have just overdid it and we need to build his leg strength up more, but it didn’t seem like he was any more active yesterday than the past couple of days.  Concerned that it may have been his first HSA bleed, which if the case is BAD news icon_cry.

Virginia




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23 January 2021 - 11:15 am
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It’s so hard to not to always think the worse case scenario whenever  some little  “oddity” shows up.  And almost all the time, it’s nuttin’ !  

It certainly  sounds like some sort of muscle tweak.   Could be anywhere… shoulder, neck, back, etc.  Because he’s eating and pottying normally  and reclaimed  his normal routines, makes a tweak of some sort highly likely.

And yes, it is soooo easy this early on to strain a muscle without seeing any obvious cause

For the next several days try and ,kmit his activity  to as little as possible.  And offer help when he gets up on his loveseat, etc.  Do you have any Rimadyl  or Carprofen  left?  WITH VET APPROVAL,  you can see if you should give him a dose for a couple of days.

Give him lots of massages up and down his spine, neck, shoulders, etc.  

Also, if you haven’t  already done so, check into getting  a consult with Rehabilitation Specialist.  The Tripawds Foundation will pay for the first app!ication!👏

Now, all that said, cert call your Vet if you jave ANY concerns. Okay?  Make sure there aren any side effects from the Doxorub. etc.

Keep us updated…and. ore Ribeye for Wally will definitely heal any tweak he has!!.

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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23 January 2021 - 1:03 pm
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Thanks Sally for the response.  He’s back to normal and the same energy level as the past couple of days, so I’m guessing it was just a little blip as well.  He’s been on glucosamine and fish oil for a couple of years now due to achy joints, so maybe he overdid it along with some achiness.  I’ll keep an eye on it and cut out the evening walk for the next few days.  If it happens again I’ll give the vet a call.  Also, I’ll take a look at getting him a rehab appointment now that he’s cleared with the surgeon.  Thanks for the info!

Something else that I forgot to bring up is he’s still on Gabapentin, and I had gotten busy with work and totally forgot to give him his afternoon dose.  So I gave it to him with his dinner, so maybe that had something to do with it?

Finally, the pic of the day comes with a story.  We did go on our morning walk, and Wally went further than I thought he would.  Not as far as the past few days, but still ~halfway down the block.  Then after we got back he immediately went to the back door and was begging to go out.  I figured he hadn’t taken care of all of his business, so I let him out.  Turns out he just wanted to say hi to our neighbors visitor!!

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