Showing posts with label bone cancer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bone cancer. Show all posts

February 12, 2014

Guest Post from MAF: Help Save Dogs and Kids!

As you know, we lost our angel Abby to osteosarcoma. 
Pamela Anderson had nuthin' on our beach babe.

It was while Abby had cancer that we discovered Morris Animal Foundation when we participated in their K9 Cancer Walk with our girl. We also entered her in the Orvis Cover Dog contest which raises money for MAF. We've been supporters ever since, and attended their gala, and I've pledged to donate a portion of the proceeds from Rescue Me, Maybe to them. 

So, when MAF contacted me about doing a guest post, I was happy to agree! I asked if they'd specifically write about a new project they recently started. Thanks very much to Katie and MAF for sharing this info with Pooch Smooches' readers! 

Take it away, Katie: 
~ ~ ~
Every year, ten thousand American dogs are diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. This is a number that Morris Animal Foundation, a nonprofit working to further veterinary science, would like to change. Even more devastating than the sheer number of dogs with this terrible disease is that this type of cancer develops in young dogs—those between two and three years old. Osteosarcoma does not let up, either, as this cancer will commonly come back in dogs that have already had this ailment.
Photo provided by MAF

Owners can often tell that something is wrong when their dogs start to show symptoms of lameness. At this point, it is highly likely that the cancer has spread to other parts of the dog’s body. The current treatments for osteosarcoma include amputation and extremely strong chemotherapy drugs.

In order to combat this terrible disease, Morris’ 5-5-5 Project will fund five osteosarcoma studies. This project as a whole will last five years and will provide the chosen five studies with approximately $5 million. Every year for five years there will be a new osteosarcoma study bringing hope to dogs affected by this illness.

This study even has the potential to help kids, too. Finding the most effective cancer drugs for dogs, could potentially mean finding the most effective treatments for children affected by osteosarcoma. Morris is continuing the fight against cancer with this new project; join us and donate to Morris Animal Foundation. Thank you to all of our donors and those spreading the word about Morris studies!

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Katie F. on behalf of Morris Animal Foundation. Visit morrisanimalfoundation.org/ to learn more about the animal health research that Morris Animal Foundation participates in.

~ ~ ~

With Abby, she was hit even younger by the disease, being only 15-months old when she was diagnosed. As Katie writes, it was the limping that caused us to take her to the vet. With such a young, goofy dog, we figured she'd just overdone it. But when the limp didn't go away, x-rays confirmed osteosarcoma. 

We opted for amputation (obvi, from the above picture!), and also a lotta chemo (both IV and at-home pills) plus holistics treatments. We had another amazing 15 months with her and lost her at age 2 1/2. But she lives on in our hearts, and now in the character of Maybe in Rescue Me, Maybe.

Here's hoping the research funded by MAF can find some answers and bring hope for parents of both dogs and kids who get this horrible disease!

Thanks again MAF for the post and for everything that you do for the animals! #CancerSucks!

Thanks to Heart Like a Dog and 2 Brown Dawgs for hosting the Thursday Barks and Bytes Blog hop. 

June 13, 2012

Happy Kampers

The End of K9 Kamp!
 
"Rita, stop being a couch potato!"
K9 Kampers were left to their own devices this week -- it was Kamper's Choice for our final week. The four weeks have gone by fast. I decided to mix in a little of everything from K9 Kamp into this week:
  • Friday: I did weights and threw Rita's squeaky toys for her between sets
  • Saturday: We walked to the park, where we found a tennis ball and played Monkey in the Middle.
  • Sunday: We went for a nice long, fast walk at the beach
  • Monday: "Don't Be a Couch Potato Day" - stretched/rough-housed on the floor during the hockey (As you can see by the pics, Rita loves to watch TV.)
"But, Mom, it's Charles Osgood!"
  • Tuesday: "Make Up a Game Day" - we used to play a fun game at our old house with Abby that we called "Around the Island." We'd run around the stairwell/part of our kitchen and get her to chase us. So, I tried a similar thing that involved running through my office, out the sliding glass door, then back in the other door, and looping around again. It was fun, except that Rita (like Abby used to do) would cheat and just stop chasing and wait. I also tried to make up a game involving burpees, but the burpees were just Too. Damn. Hard. Plus I wish they had a nicer name. 
  • Wednesday: "Two-walks Wednesday" - planning to squeeze in a second walk tonight
  • Thursday: Tomorrow I'm planning to include a bit of running on our walk, which will be necessary because I'm going to the Del Mar Fair later in the day and want to be able to eat a deep-fried Girl Scout cookie (or three) without a lot of deep-fried guilt. 

I can't believe it's the end of K9 Kamp already. It's been fun, and hopefully Rita and I will keep up our extra-exercising ways. (Well, I know Rita will... so the "hopefully" really just refers to me.)
 Team Captain in his uniform

The End of Dodge Ball
Last week was also the end of the dodge ball tournament at Mike's work. I'm sorry to say that Dodgey Style did not in fact win the whole thing and bring home the big trophy. But...they did manage to come in 2nd! So at least he came home with a medal.
"Whaddya mean we didn't win?"
"Second place?? Aw, man. That sucks."





Mini Max, next to his pages in the Tripawd Heroes book

Our Latest Creation
My sister, Terry, and I needle-felted a Max. Max was a gorgeous Tripawd who, like Abby, was taken too soon by stupid osteosarcoma. I must say, he's been one of the hardest ones we've done - he had such a beautiful multi-colored coat and those piercing ice-blue eyes. Max's mom was one of the first folks on Tripawds to reach out to us during our cancer journey with Abby and both Max's parents were there for our Tribute to Abby day, so Mini Max was just a tiny thank you for all their support.

Writer/Book News
In What the Dog Ate news: first of all, I'm working on a print version. Hopefully it will be out soonish - maybe in a few weeks or so?? I'll keep you posted!

Also, I got another really nice review, this time from Roxanne Hawn on her Champion of My Heart blog. She's had a rough go of it lately with her mother-in-law passing away and her pup, Lilly, having a very bad reaction to her rabies vaccine, so I really appreciated her taking the time to read/review the book. She wrote that she started the book...

"...during our recent hospice vigil. The novel held my attention at a time of great upset and distraction, and, I think, that says a lot about What the Dog Ate."

I was happy to provide a distraction during a rough time. In other "makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside" news, I got an actual email from an actual reader saying how much she liked the book and is looking forward to the next one. So, that was fun! And... I got my first payment from Amazon. It was a small payment - but still, I got $$ in exchange for WORDS that came outta my wee little head! Whoohoo. Feeling like a real writer.

Better go do some work on my next book - can't keep up the "real writer" feeling if I don't write!

This is a blog hop! 

February 1, 2011

Super-Model Dog

Not much is new with Abby this week, although I can happily report that she seems to have bounced back very quickly after not feeling so great post her last chemo. She's been full of energy (maybe a little too much energy) and very much her usual puppy self the past few days. We took her to Fiesta Island this weekend (aka: her favorite place in the world) and she had a great time. I also got a new camera this weekend -- primarily for taking better pictures of her (she moves so quickly and my old camera was so slow, I was always missing shots of her) and for trying to take better pictures of the sunsets we've been having (of course, ever since I got the camera, the sunsets haven't been super exciting). 

The Humane Society has a calendar that they put out every year with pictures from contest winners. I've sent in pictures of Bailey in the past, but most of the dogs that "win" are rescue dogs or have some sort of story. Well, we are thinking this might be our year: a rescue dog, with cancer, AND it helps that she's like the Gisele Bündchen of dogs (super slim, gorgeous, and with that poutty/serious expression the camera loves!). 

So, in place of much news on Abby, I give you a whole mess o' pictures - and even a wee video I made from some shots. (OK, I admit the video is not exactly Oscar-worthy, but I wanted to play with the camera/video software...) (P.s. If you want to see any picture larger, just click on it.)
video
 
She met an Anatolian Shepherd...

...he out-weighed her by 2.5 times
She mostly held her own...


Then tried to hide behind Daddy
Cricket anyone?
Downtown waaaaay in the background


Love this action shot with ears & paw up


She loves getting dried off...
...here she is smiling to prove it. 

December 28, 2010

Out, Damn Spot!

Well, today Abby had her lungs rechecked at the Vet Cancer Group. Mike was able to go along, which was nice. Abby was happy to have her dad there, as you can see in the photo. The news wasn't totally bad, but it wasn't totally good either. As you probably guessed from the title of this post, there was one spot that the oncologist, Dr. Vancil, was concerned about. He said that it is not something we should really worry about or alter our course of action for . . . yet. 

First of all, he said it might be nothing. Metastases apparently like to hang out in gangs, and since there is only one unusual spot on her x-ray, it may not be a "met" at all. It could be something else - just a little abnormality. He said he needs to get the original x-rays, which were taken by our regular vet, and compare to see what it looked like before. (When our vet originally took her lung x-rays before her surgery, he said her lungs were clear, but maybe he didn't notice this small spot, or maybe it's something that has recently appeared - which would probably not be good news.) On the other hand, if it is in fact a "met," Dr. Vancil said a single met is not a death sentence. He said it's rare to only have one, but he knew of a dog that had one and it grew into a walnut-size-ish tumor, but wasn't even what killed the dog in the end. He said Abby could have a single met and still be quite healthy. We'll see . . . 

He said we'll check her lungs again in about two months and see where we're at. If it's all good/looks the same, we'll go out probably 6 months to a year before rechecking. He said it often happens that after a year, you'll start to see mets in the lungs. He said that's not necessarily the end. We could consider another shorter round of chemo, which he has seen add another good year of health to a dog's life.

So, next steps are that Dr. Vancil will get the original x-rays sent over and compare to the latest ones. He'll also have a radiologist look at the x-rays and see what he/she thinks. In the meantime, Abby is 2/3 of the way done with her chemo. Two more sessions to go! If we keep going on this every-two-weeks schedule, we should be done by January 25th.

We'll see what happens. I'm a little worried about that damn spot. Worried that we may only have another year or two with our little sweetie, but we'll see what the original x-ray showed and see what the radiologist thinks. 

Anyway, even with all that, Abby managed to have some fun at chemo. First of all, she loves to kiss everyone there, and they're all for it, so she enjoys that. Then, Mike and I left to run an errand while she was having her treatment. It was quiet there today so apparently they let her have the run of the place while they were waiting for us to come back. There was a display of toys - a stuffed duck, a tiger, etc. - and other doggy items they've been collecting to donate to a shelter. When we first walked in, Abby tried to snitch several of the toys. Well, when we came back to get her, Abby was the proud owner of the stuffed duck. (It reminds me of when you were a kid and would go to the dentist and get to pick out a toy.) Anyway, some poor unfortunate pooch is now not getting a stuffed duck cuz our little cutie talked the gals at the cancer clinic into giving it to her. She is trying to de-quackerize it even as I type. 

Will let y'all know if we hear anything more from the radiologist or once Dr. V. looks at the older x-rays.

December 4, 2010

Chemo-Shmeemo

Abby continues to breeze through her chemo! Hoorah. She had her 2nd treatment on Tuesday and we've had no side effects (other than the popcorn not agreeing with her). This time we didn't even have to resort to feeding her plain pasta--she ate pretty normally at every meal. (Although she has not eaten a bowl of just plain ol' dry kibble-which used to be her standard diet-since her update-to-tripawd surgery on Oct. 29. She always gets a little extra somethin' in there now. With all the leftover turkey we've had, it's been easy to entice her to eat a bowl of half-kibble, half-turkey.)

Since she's doing so well, she'll go to an every-two-weeks schedule now, so her next treatment will be Dec. 14, which will likely be the halfway point. 

This time when I took her in, the oncologist said they would check her blood before administering the chemo. If things didn't look good (white cell count I guess) then they would have had to delay the chemo, but he said she was doing great. He also looked at her incision really well. She has this little nubbin (as I like to call it) now where they tied off the sutures on the inside. He said once the sutures are fully absorbed it will go away - which is good, because I'm constantly saying to her, "stop licking your nubbin!" It's already looking a lot better, and her hair continues to grow back so she's looking pretty great.

 Yesterday was her first visit to the dog park (just a regular dog park - as opposed to Fiesta Island, where there's the ocean and MUCH wider open spaces). There weren't too many other dogs. At first it was just Abby and her good friend Dakota, who you probably remember from their play date a while back. Then Pasha showed up. She had a great time! 



I finally got my camera back, as evidenced by the dog park photos. Posted below are a few belated photos of Abby and Leo at Thanksgiving. As you can see, they love each other:
Here they are kissing

Here they are hugging

Here they are begging.

November 15, 2010

Photo Gallery (& A Side Effect of the Side Effect)

Post-Bath

You can see where the wall's all wet
We took a ton of pics of Abby this weekend, so let's get to it. First of all, Abby had to have a bath, due to a side effect of a chemo side effect. We've been really lucky and it seems the chemo has only affected her appetite. She still has one, but it's hard to know what she'll eat on any given day, so we've been feeding her different, odd things everyday - wet food, salmon, cottage cheese, pasta, whatever she'll take. Unfortunately, that meant that when she went to do "her business" yesterday, there was a bit of the "business" on her leg when she came back inside. So into the bath she went. (Which she hates. Truth be told, this was only her second bath since we got her almost a year ago - although we do hose her down post visits to the beach. She's funny - she loves the water, but hates a bath.)

When we were done, she ran up and down the hall, leaning into the wall. Not sure if she thought she was drying herself off or what (maybe just paying us back for the bath treatment), but we had nice little wet streaks along the walls. We took her for a walk to air-dry a bit, so below is a photo of her looking oh-so-happy on her walk. I was rubbing her to facilitate drying, and you can see that I came away with a mohair hand. (If you double-click the pics you can see them full size and see the hair really well.)

I'll do a separate post of some super cute pics of her.  

Action shot: in mid-hop



My hairy hand            

Taking the air to air dry