Showing posts with label canine osteosarcoma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label canine osteosarcoma. 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. 

August 1, 2012

One Word Wednesday: WINNER!

OK, it's supposed to be Wordless Wed., and I'm changing it to One Word Wed, but of course I can't limit myself to just one word... But the main word for today is Winner!

Without further ado, the winner of the big giveaway is (do you hear the drum roll??): Baba HooHoo!! (Isn't that the cutest login name?)
Here's how she won... I used Randomizer.org to generate a random winning number which was 23. (I like #23 since it's my birth date.) Baba Hoohoo had the 23rd comment slot, so she's our winner! And now a signed copy of the book, Smooches treats, The Honest Kitchen cookbook, and an adorable pink & brown bookmark hook all tucked up in a cheery pink tote bag will be winging their way to her!

January 7, 2012

Life's a Beach

Abby had a really good day at the beach yesterday. Here are some pics of the highlights:
Running to greet Dakota!
She found a good stick.
She got a new toy from Dakota's mom






Rolling in stinky stuff is fun!
Best Friends

Today we went to a little park near our house. She had a good time there as well, meeting a pugle and watching the surfers enjoy the large surf we've been having.

"Hello little pugle"



Enjoying the surf...
...and watching the birds


It was a good time. There was the part though where a complete stranger had to hug me. For those of you that don't know me IRL*, I'm okay with hugging people if I know it's going to happen, but am completely awkward about hugs when there's that Are We Going To Hug/Are We Not Going To Hug? thing that happens upon first seeing each other. Those of you that know me IRL are probably going "OMG, she let a stranger hug her? And I can barely get her to hug me?" Anyway, here's how the hug incident happened: as soon as we hit the park, this woman walked over to us and asked me how long Abby had been a tripawd. I told her almost 15 months and she asked how it happened. When I said, "cancer," she said, "oh, how's she doing with that?" :(  It was nice of her to hug me, although I was kinda expecting just a pat on the shoulder and suddenly she's hugging me and not letting go... Luckily another woman came over to meet Ab, which broke it up.

In other hug news, I got a nice bear hug from Dr. V. at Ab's appointment yesterday. (I knew it was coming so, again, that's okay... He hugs you if you cry at the appointment.) He loves Abby. (His whole staff does. They sent me a nice email afterwards saying how much they all love her.) Anyway, at her appointment we had a nice talk. He said how proud he is of us and how well we've done with the fight. He said that Abby has changed lives (that's for sure), and said he can think of at least three of his patients who were going to just put their dogs down when they got the osteosarcoma diagnosis, but decided instead to go ahead with the amp and treatment because he showed them Abby's videos and told them about her and how great she's done. He said this part at the end is the worst part of his job and he doesn't know how much longer he can do it. (Going to need to send him a card about that - cuz he's really good at his job, so he should keep doing it!)

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that Abby is doing pretty well. The Prednisone seems to be helping already and she had a good night - slept the whole night through and her coughing is much less than it was before. Her breathing is starting to seem better, and it really must have been as she didn't get up and move around in the night like she had the night before.

This morning on our way back from the park, I stopped at the store and got her some steak, pork products (bacon and chops) and a box of Frosty Paws. (I also got myself some mint chip... don't want her to have to eat all that comfort food alone...) She very much enjoyed her pork chop breakfast. Tonight, we dine on Flying Dutchmen!

Before I forget - I want to thank everyone for the wonderful emails and the messages on the blog and on Facebook and on the Tripawds forums. It is nice to know how much everyone loves our girl. The support really does mean so much to us.


* IRL = In Real Life - as opposed to my virtual life where I have made so many great friends online via Tripawds. I give hugs all the time, virtually. And I even receive them with no awkwardness. :)

November 29, 2011

13 Months & Hoping for Good Luck

Today is Abby's hopefully LUCKY ampuversary #13! So far we haven't done too much to celebrate, as she is still having some lameness in her front leg.

In my last post I mentioned we went to see Dr. V. last week fearing the cancer had spread, but she was vastly improved by the time we got to the office and it seemed like it was just an overuse injury. Well, Tues and Wed last week we went on our little approved 10 minute walks and she seemed to be doing really well. But then Thanksgiving morning she was lame again (because these things ALWAYS happen on a holiday or weekend). At first I was afraid it was a bad reaction to the new pills we'd started (the Masitinib), but we went through the whole long weekend keeping her off the pills and she is still hobbling around - which isn't super easy on only 3 legs.

So, at this point it's either just a nagging injury, or the cancer has in fact spread. We are going for an X-ray tomorrow at 12.30 and then we'll know for sure. Please keep a good thought - or poke a cancer voodoo doll - for our girl. On the plus side: she still has a good appetite (in fact, when we went for the office visit last week she was the heaviest she's been since her amp - over 48lbs! Although their scale is a bit wonky, so not 100% sure that's right...); she gets up and goes outside to do her biz on her own; she still wants to play with me now and then and will go to her basket and pick out a toy; and she follows me into the kitchen after dinner at night to "help" with the clean up.

This weekend, to cheer her up, I got out the remaining Barney. You may recall that when we ordered Abby her very own Barney to kill, the nice folks threw in a spare "Beanie Barney" for free. I haven't really wanted to give him to her since he is full of beans (I mean that literally and not euphemistically), and I figured she'd destroy him, like she always does with her toys, and there'd be wee Barney beans everywhere. So far, though, she's been very gentle with him. When I first gave him to her, she got hold of his hand in her mouth and just hung out there with him like that for a while.



Yesterday I took her to the park to just get outside and enjoy some fresh air. She had a good time, but it was unfortunately short-lived as the Parks Dept. people showed up and started spraying pesticide. Nice.



Hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend. Although I caught my bro's miserable cold, we had a nice Thanksgiving at his house eating way too much yummy food and playing with the "Santa Hat" app on my sister's iPhone:



In other news, we've been felting again. This time we made a Rio for one of my friends from Tripawds.com.
This was my first attempt at adding a mouth/tongue.
Such a good girl to not eat the mini-Rio!

I'll let you know what happens with the x-ray tomorrow. We are worried but trying not to freak out.

November 22, 2011

Abby Thanksgiving Everyone!

Boy, what an exhausting weekend. Abby gave us quite a scare starting Friday night when she tried to jump on our bed (like she does for a few minutes every night, before going off to her own bed) and almost didn't make it. I had to grab her and hoist her up. The next morning, she was having trouble walking. We had to carry her out to the living room and she kinda fell over into her bed. Then her back legs started shaking. I gave her a pain pill leftover from her surgery and she slept most of the day. We carried her when she needed to go out. Sunday she was still having trouble walking and her remaining front leg/paw looked a little swollen.

We considered taking her to the ER, but figured if the cancer had spread to her other leg, there wouldn't be much they could do for us anyway, so decided to just keep her quiet and resting as much as possible until we could get her in to see Dr. V. on Tuesday.

For the past three and a half days I've been chanting "overuse injury, overuse injury, overuse injury." It's weird when you HOPE that your dog has an injury - but when the alternative is the cancer has spread, you really do start to see things differently!

This morning she seemed a lot better and hopped in to her appointment like nothing was wrong. Dr. V. examined her and said it does indeed look like an overuse injury. We didn't do an x-ray, but he said the signs point to just an injury. He pushed on the bones around her wrist and she was fine – he said if it was the osteosarcoma spreading, even doing that would be painful for her. She only protested when he manipulated her wrist – so it looks like she tweaked it Friday night.

We have to keep an eye on her for a few more days and keep her a bit quiet and if she continues to improve, than it's all good. She is cleared for little 10 min walks in the neighborhood, but no beach and no vigorous play. We celebrated by meeting up with her daddy at the park across the street from his work and went for a little hop. She did great and seemed quite happy to be up and about again!!

We are also starting up the masitinib again. (I didn't give it to her over the weekend, just in case.) I gave her a 1/2 dose today and will continue that until Friday when we'll go to the full dose and see how she does.

We have a lot to be thankful for this holiday!!! Abby is thankful for turkey.
"This is for me, right?"

"Let me in there!"

We are going to my brother's house for Thanksgiving (and we can't wait because he is an awesome chef! I, on the other hand, am not. I've been assigned to bring things that we can't ruin: the booze and the relish plate. If there is a freak snow storm on the way there and we are stuck for days on the side of the road, we will have to survive on olives, pickles, Stone Brewery beer and wine. Luckily freak snow storms in San Diego are somewhat rare.) Anyway... whenever we don't host Thanksgiving, we like to have a small turkey of our own, because one of the best things about the holiday is the leftovers. So this year I ordered a smoked turkey. We've done this before and they are a wee bit salty eaten straight - but they make DELICIOUS leftovers. Mmmmm. I can't wait for smoked turkey chili! We already tore into it last night and had smoked turkey quesadillas for dinner.

In one other wee bit of news, my sis and I did some more felting - this time we attempted our first cat! We made a little Topi, my other sis's cat. Cats are hard! With their little pointy noses and their pointy ears and their superior attitude! We will probably stick to dogs from now on!
Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving! May your turkeys be juicy, your pies plentiful, and your families functional!

September 16, 2011

And Yet More Worrying!

Let me just cut to the chase and say Abby had a good check up. But not before scaring us, yet again.

This latest round of scaring started last night. We were watching the Rugby World Cup (which is INSANE and so interesting to watch, btw. If you've never watched rugby before, it's pretty fascinating. You can't believe the things that happen to these big beefy dudes and how they throw themselves at each other - and yet, no one ever gets carried off on a stretcher! At least, not that we have seen yet...) Anyway, we were watching US v. Russia - nothing like a good old cold war rivalry - and the US was doing well*, so Mike yelled "Go!", and Abby went.... She started racing up and down our long stretch of hardwood floor and spazzing out, and then suddenly pulled up lame. She flopped over onto the area rug and held up her lone good front leg out as if to say, "This hurts really bad!

Panic set it, but after a few minutes of resting, she was up and hopping about again. Then in the night I heard her get up to bark at something. She must have re-hurt herself, because in the morning she could barely walk. I attempted to carry her around all morning (she insists on being in whatever room I'm in), which was just barely doable. She is "only" 45 lbs, but rather unwieldy.

I got her oncologist visit rescheduled to an earlier time, got the Tripawds folks busy sending positive thoughts (or "pawsitive" as we like to say on the site - yes, we are silly that way), and hoped it wasn't a case of the cancer spreading to her good leg.

At her appointment, Dr. V. messed with her shoulder, ankle, wrist and toe and the only time she fussed was with the toe. Hooray! He said it doesn't seem swollen at all so is probably just a mild sprain. He said it is very very rare for OSA to spread to a toe, so not to worry. He said to give her tramadol for the pain and only do short leash walks in the neighborhood for a few days. No beach. But that is good timing as Fiesta Island is closed for 3 days because of some big silly boat race thingy, so we couldn't go there anyway. If all goes well she can go back to the beach next week. :)

In other good news, he listened to her lungs for a good long time and said they sounded great. He said if we didn't know the mets were in there (damn Boris & Natasha!) he wouldn't be able to tell there was anything wrong with her. In additional good news, she weighed 47 lbs, which is great as we are trying to get her weight up just a bit. To celebrate all the good news, Abby and I stopped at Arbys and got a roast beef sandwich for lunch. We stopped at the park and shared it. :)

Next appointment will be for x-rays to check on Boris & Natasha on Oct 28 – just one day shy of her one year ampuversary!!

Sorry I have no pics of Abby to share today. I hate to have a post without any pics, so I'll just post this drawing I did that I put up on Facebook and on the Tripawds site, so most of you have already seen it. We've been joking lately on the Tripawds forums about "Tripawd Girl Power" and how our hero girls needed some pink capes, so I did this drawing of some Tripawd Warrior Princesses (TWP) - that is Abby in the middle. 


One of the ladies ran with my idea and made a pink cape for her TWP, Lylee. Here is Lylee modeling her cape (with sparkles even!) at a Tripawds get together in Northern California. Wish we could have gone!
Unfortunately, Abby didn't have a pink cape to wear to her appointment today, but she wore her Tripawds bandana instead, and I'm sure it brought her good luck. 

Thanks for reading and thanks for thinking good thoughts for our girl! 

* The US won! The matches are on Universal Sports Network - you should check one out. It makes American football look like powder-puff girls.

August 29, 2011

Double Digits!

Today is Abby's 10 month ampuversary - that's right, she has made it to double digits! Whoohoo!

Unfortunately, we are not having a super celebratory day... Normally we would have gone to the beach this morning, but yesterday she gave us a little scare. We took her to the beach for a walk/run, like we always do on Sundays, and as we were running down the hill at the far end of the beach, she face-planted. She got up and immediately face-planted again. That second one was a little more worrisome. Then she acted a little strange at home – hopping around quite slowly and just not seeming like herself. (She didn't even terrorize me at night like she normally does - chewing my toes while I try to lay on the couch and relax.) But... yesterday was pretty much the hottest day we have had here yet (it's been a cool summer at our house until just the other day) so I'm hoping it was just that the heat got to her and that she maybe tweaked her leg a little when she took the tumble.

Of course, as soon as I decided today that she should stay home and take it easy, she started racing around chasing a fly – so I'm assuming the leg doesn't hurt or she wouldn't do that, no?? Anyway, it is supposed to be hot again today so I think we will just take it easy and hopefully be back at the beach tomorrow.

I can't help the sinking feeling that the cancer has spread to her good front leg… I keep looking at it seeing (imaginary??) strange swelling, but hopefully that is totally not the case (and is just my paranoia). And hopefully Boris & Natasha are still all alone in there…

We will at least break out a Frosty Paw to celebrate making it to DOUBLE DIGITS!!! Whoohoo! This was a big one – I really wanted to hit those double digits… Now our next BIG goal is ONE YEAR. Come on, Ab, you can do it!

On a brighter note - Friday was a great day. It was National Dog Day so we went to the beach for an extra long time. I took a lot of pics of her:
"I ran with some big dogs...

...and a little dog that kinda looked like me."

"I looked for my friend, Gopher, like I always do."

"Mom took a gazillion pics. She likes this one best."

Abby also got a Frosty Paw that day. It was a good day to be a dog - but then, every day is pretty much Dog Day at our house.

August 12, 2011

Why the Dino?? (& Abby Stuff)

Thought I would take a short break from the actual events of this stop on the Kill Barney Tour (KBT) to 'splain a little bit more about Barney and what the KBT is all about. I explained it a bit a while ago, but folks may have missed that, and also I didn't explain what I think Barney means to the Tripawds community.

The very same Barney that we are now hosting once belonged to Jerry, who is now known on the Tripawds site as Spirit Jerry since he's no longer with us in the flesh. Jerry was the Original Tripawd--the dog that inspired his pawrents to start the Tripawds site. Jerry has been gone since 2008, but his spirit lives on in the Tripawds community, which has been a really amazing place to go for support and answers during all of this. Everyone on there is very nice and very helpful - and some of them are damn funny.

Which brings us back to the KBT. If I'm counting stops correctly on the KBT map, we are the 25th house to host Barney. Barney travels with a journal and everyone who has hosted him writes about their tripawd pooch and a little bit about Barney's visit. Here is what one woman wrote, which I think sums up nicely why we are all spending time doing silly things with a stinky purple dinosaur:
"I cannot begin to express my gratitude over this Barney. I believe he carries strength from all the tripawd and quad-pawds he's visited. He has been a great source of comfort to us during his visit."
Here's what I'm planning to write in his journal:
"It’s been an honor to host Barney. The Tripawds family has been so great and supportive and it’s nice to have something tangible we can all share that brings a good laugh along with it. Barney is a great symbol for sharing our strengths, our hopes and even a laugh in the face of tough times."
So hopefully that explains why a grown woman is playing with a stuffed dino. It's nice to bring a little silliness to the sucky roller coaster ride that is canine osteosarcoma. I mean, really, how can you not look at something like this and at least crack a smile?

In other news (many of you will already know this from Facebook)... remember this drawing I did of Abby?

Well, the Tripawds folks are putting it on T-shirts and gifts and such, and you can customize the items with your own caption. I ordered a bunch of stuff today, most of it with the caption: Tri to relax. Can't wait to get it!

July 20, 2011

No Contest

Plotting evil in Ab's lung
Well... the follow up x-ray was not great. The Met formerly known as Lone has (a) gotten bigger and (b) found himself a little buddy, or a girlfriend, or a little sibling, or whatever the hell it is. So we won't be having a "Rename the Lone Met" contest. For now I'm just calling them Boris and Natasha (unless someone has a better suggestion), and even though Natasha was bigger than Boris in Rocky and Bullwinkle, I'm going to think of the bigger met as Boris, since in my opinion he was always the nastier piece of work.

Dr. V. said that it could be worse, and that Abby could still have a decent amount of time left, but it's still not good news. He said he was really not expecting to see another met. He was getting a little red-eyed as well as he told me all this. :( 

He said, overall, considering how crappy and aggressive this disease is, she's still doing good. She feels great still: has great energy and a good appetite (well, as good as it's ever been, which has never been great; she's just not a big eater). Also, her lungs and heart sound really good - no sign of strain on the heart or fluid in the lungs. Her blood work was also fine. He said there is no sign of mets anywhere else in her lungs and Natasha looks to be a chip off Boris (they are sort of nestled right up against each other). And he said that, as mets go, Boris has grown pretty slowly. We first saw Boris back in December, and now 7 months later he's about the size of a golf ball. (That sounds big to me, but Dr. V said that because of where it is, it can get really big before it starts to be a problem.)

Hopefully the new pills (the Artemix, which is the hollistic thing we just started her on last week) will make some difference. We have to give them to her every night and then in 2 months do another x-ray to see if they are helping at all. It could happen that they would make a difference... So all hope is going into that now.

He also said that if we wanted to try to be more aggressive, we could try another type of IV chemo, which would not cure her, but would maybe slow things down. I don't think we'll do that... I think instead we'll hope for the Artemix to do its thing, but I'll have to talk to her pop about that. 

In a bit of good news, the "Dog Days of Summer" contest is going well! Abby is already into triple digits with her votes! Not bad for being in the contest a mere 24 hours. You can vote more than once, so if you have a sec, click on the picture below and vote for her.


In the grand scheme of this fricking disease, I know we've actually been kind of lucky. Some folks don't get to have their doggies with them this long after diagnosis, or don't get to have them be so energetic. It's nice that she still feels fine and her body has no clue that she is sick. Hanging on to that, and hanging on to hope for the Artemix. Come on, Artemix! Do your thing, Artemix!



July 6, 2011

Another Good Check Up & Feeling Crafty

Abby had a quick check up at the Vet Cancer Group today just to check her blood and make sure she is doing OK taking the Cytoxan every day now. All went well and Dr. V. said her blood looked great - in fact, it was the best it's been. We go back again in two weeks for x-rays. Of course we are hoping the Lone Met will still be a loner, and once we have confirmed that he is, we will have the "Rename the Lone Met" contest. Don't want to have it now, just in case... So fingers and paws are crossed for good news in two weeks. 

We still haven't started Abby on the artemisinin (which I blogged about here) as she's had a wee bit of tummy issues. I'm certain it's from stealing green peaches off another of our peach trees which is not producing much yet. (We've caught her munching on the pits a couple of times...) She is almost back to being a "solid citizen" so we'll be starting the "arte" soon.

As for feeling crafty, I've been playing with my "Brushes" app on my iPad a bit more and did this e-painting of Abby. This is the pose you will most often find her in as she very much enjoys a bit of belly rubbing. She pretty much lays around like that, in the hopes that a hand will come by. (I hope you see this as "art" and not "puppy porn." Mike wanted me to incorporate a fig leaf, just in case anyone might be offended, but I know you guys don't offend easily!)
Slut Puppy        


Three Bunnies & A Rat

In other craftiness, my sisters and I get together every once in a great while for what we like to call "Forced Crafting." You must participate, no matter how much you suck at the particular craft we are working on. In the past we have done Christmas wreaths, beaded bracelets, little stuffed Easter chickies and bunnies made of felt, etc. etc. This time we tried "felting wool," in which you basically just get this special wool (called "roving"), form it into a shape, and stab it repeatedly (and yourself occasionally) with a special needle until it magically retains said shape. We made bunnies. (Well, they all started out as bunnies, but one ended up becoming a rat... And a darn handsome rat he is!)

After we made the bunnies/rat, I had to go, but my sisters made a very fine replica of corgi Lou, remember him from this previous post?, and a neighbor's dog, Marley. Too cute, eh? We are going to try again this week. I'm going to start slow and attempt a quadpawd first. Actually, I can't decide if a tripawd will be harder (tough to get it to stand/sit without falling over...) or easier (one less leg to make!). You can be sure that if they come out cute I'll be posting pics all over the place - the blog, Facebook, Twitter, maybe even a YouTube video! (And if they come out ugly, I will only post the pics here.)
Applying the Tail to the Rat
Lou!
Marley, next to his photo
Finally, I just want to say there have been some very sad posts on the BoneCancerDogs listserv and on the Tripawds' site the last few days about sweet pooches who lost their battle with this oh-so-shitty disease. We are thinking of you guys and hoping you are taking some comfort in the fact that your furry family members are now running pain free. Hang in there. 

April 27, 2011

No New Mets!!!

Abby had her follow-up x-ray today, and while the results weren't miraculous (no, unfortunately the lone met did not disappear...) they were still pretty darn good: that lone met is STILL a loner. None of his rat-bastard friends have come to join the party! Hoorah! Hopefully he STAYS a loner... although I guess that's kind of a long shot. Dr. V. said it's very rare to have just one met--I guess they are like potato chips or something. 

The slightly bad news was that the Lone Met (I've decided to start capitalizing that...sorta like he's the evil villain in a B Western...) had gotten a little bigger in the almost-three-months since the last x-ray. He went from 1.0cm to ~ 1.4cm. The good news is that The Lone Met lives in a "good" spot in her lungs. Apparently the location of the mets can have a big impact on longevity, for instance you don't want them up by the airways. Our Lone Met is hanging out in sort of the "back country" of Abby's lungs, so nowhere near up where all the action is. Phew. 

Dr. V. says if we keep doing what we are doing with her metronomic therapy (maintaining her every-other-day doses of Palladia/Cytoxan) we should have her around for "a good long time." Which, with osteosarcoma, is still not THAT long in the grand scheme of things, and it's impossible to really put a number on these things, but... there is a dog on the Tripawds site who is on metronomic protocol, AND has lung mets (plural) and has been going for 2 years that way! Another two years (at least) would be awesome. 

And, I ask you, does this look like a sick dog??? 
video
[No animals - or humans - were harmed in the making of this video, although all three of us did end up quite wet.]


Oh, one other thing... Mike was asking, Why can't we just cut that damn Lone Met out? Dr. V. did address that -- it is possible that we could cut it out, but it's pretty rare to do because it's not worth it unless the dog meets three criteria: (1) the met has to be stable (it can grow some, but not a ton -- as it is now, he said we could actually call her met "stable," so check on that one), (2) it has to be a Lone Met (check), and (3) it has to remain a Lone Met for a year (so, we need to keep waiting and see what happens). We'll see if we make it to another six months and The Lone Met still rides alone. It's pretty major surgery, so I dunno... Hopefully we'll someday be at a point where we need to make that decision. 

P.S. She is still having minor diarrhea (still not entirely a "solid citizen") so we are on a little break from her meds until her system settles down again. Hopefully she'll be back into her routine very shortly.  

March 16, 2011

Taking Pills & Making the Podium

No, the dog is not doing performance enhancing drugs to win a race. The two parts of that title don't actually relate to one another. Let me 'splain. (Or perhaps, just sum up.)

PILLS: Today Abby had a follow up appointment with Dr. V. at the Vet Cancer Group to see how she was doing on the Palladia. Since she's doing well (only lost 1/2 a pound and has had only mild GI trouble, easily controlled with a couple of doses of Flagyl), we decided to add additional drugs to our cancer-butt-kicking arsenal. As shown in the photo, in order to keep track of her myriad pills, I had to get her one of those things like grandma uses (no offense to anyone out there who is NOT a grandma and uses one of these things... Like, oh, my hubby - not cuz he takes a ton of pills, but cuz we are forgetful...).  

The main things we added are: Cytoxan (another low-dose chemo med, but it attacks the tumor differently than how the Palladia does, so it will be a one-two punch to that damn met) and Piroxicam (an NSAID, which apparently helps starve the tumor of the blood supply it feeds off of). To help with side effects, she gets Lasix on the same days as the Cytoxan plus a generic Prilosec each day. The plan is to try this for the next 2 weeks and then Dr. V. will check her blood and see how she's doing. It sounds like a lot, but others I talked to on the BoneCancerDogs Yahoo! group are also doing the every other day Palladia/Cytoxan thing, and apparently their dogs' tummies are handling it all well, so hopefully Abby will too. [I don't know if I mentioned it before, but basically this is called Metronomic Chemotherapy, which they explain quite well here if you want to know more.]

PODIUM: So, on to funner things. First of all, if you've been reading along, you know I entered Abby in the Orvis Cover Dog Contest. Well, as of today (the contest ends March 31) she is squarely on the bottom step of the podium for "Most Unique Voters" all by herself (for a long while she was sharing that last step with another dog). Yes, she's THIRD out of what is now up to a pool of 12,800+ dogs! That's a lotta poochness, and our girl is shining! Thanks to all who Vote(d) for Abby. As I've said (what, like a dozen times now?), one vote = one dollar and all the money goes to the Morris Animal Foundation Canine Cancer Research organization.

PICTURES: In other news, Mike and I went away this weekend with his brother and his brother's wife for a quick visit to Santa Barbara. Abby stayed with her aunt and uncle and her cousin, Lou, as she usually does. Her Aunt Terry took these very cute pics of her, anxiously awaiting the return of her parents. (Which is not to say she doesn't have a great time there, cuz she does... I think the main thing she likes is pestering Lou.)
"Are they back yet? Thought I heard their car..."

Isn't it cute how you can just see Lou's little Shmoo head in the background?















PEDICURE: In one last bit of fun news, we stopped by her regular vet office today, just to say hi. Everyone there was SO happy to see her, as this is the first time they've seen her since she got her stitches out way back in Nov. Dr. Shaprut, her regular vet, came out to love on her, but I could see him giving her the 'vet-once over' - surreptitiously checking her gums and whatnot. He noticed her back dew claws were getting long, so offered to have a tech cut them for free. He said "Anything for our Abby!" So, we just stopped to say hi, but ended up getting a free pedicure (peticure?) as well.