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Aug 01 2012


Another Vet Visit, Prednisone Prescription, NADAC Trial, and 11-month Ampuversary!

Filed under Ampuversary,NADAC

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Things got kind of hairy again about a week and a half ago.  Kalil had another bad day, out of nowhere.  I was beginning to wonder if he was in a lot of pain.  I broached the subject to my husband about taking Kalil to the vet to see about pain management as I was thinking it may be close to “that time”.   Kalil seemed very pained, wasn’t excited about eating, and actually refused a meal at one point.

 

My husband isn’t a fan of meds, but after our vet visit on July 20th, the vet said it was time to put Kalil on prednisone… to at least try it to see if it improves his quality of life before making the final decision to put Kalil to sleep.  One of my Facebook friends, whose Boxer also had histiocytic sarcoma but wasn’t a candidate for amputation, had suggested inquiring about prednisone as it had helped her Grady have a few good quality months before his body finally gave out.   I sure am glad that we took him in.  Kalil is not only on prednisone, but he is also back on tramadol (he was on it after his amputation for a few months) – and what a HUGE change.  He is drooling for food again and dancing around, just like he used to do.  I hadn’t realized how downhill he had gotten in the few weeks before putting  him on the meds until I saw the changes after even one dose.

 

Of course, there are trade-offs.  The vet said that it would increase Kalil’s thirst and potty breaks and that is an understatement to say the least.  I don’t even think Kalil is drinking more than usual (he had been drinking more water but I didn’t know if that was due to the extreme heat or his liver failing) but he pees like Austin Powers several times a day.  I am fortunate that my employer allows me to take an early lunch and a second early afternoon break because I let Kalil out twice during each of those breaks and he pees like Austin Powers both times.  The first and second day of the prednisone dosing, it seemed like he was “leaking” overnight.  Now Kalil is not one to EVER want to make a mess in the house, but he leaked on our bed during the day when I was out of town and my husband was just a bit too late in being able to leave work to let Kalil out.  He had also leaked on his dog bed a couple of times overnight the first couple of days.  Since I’m trying to be all about dignity, I am now doing the 2 breaks during the day, working a half hour later, and getting up in the middle of the night to take him out.    I suppose I am a bit extreme, but I feel I owe it to him.  Maybe I’m just nuts.  (Well, I know I am, just a little…)   But he would leak and not even get out of bed.  It’s like he didn’t even know.  I just felt bad so I try to prevent it as much as I possibly can.

 

When we took him to the vet on the 21st, I was kind of iffy on if we would be able to do the NADAC trial the weekend of the 28th and 29th.  I had sent the entry form in early June and entered him in 2 tunnelers runs and 1 weavers run.  He claimed his second novice Weavers title on Saturday, left the tunnelers ring to see his dad and “girlfriends” on Saturday (his first “eliminated” run ever!!!!), and was .8 seconds over course time which prevented him from a Q on Sunday.

 

Saturday’s Weavers Run:

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Saturday’s Tunnelers Run:

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Sunday’s Tunnelers Run:

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I am so thankful that we had a few good runs this past weekend.

 

Today is Kalil’s 11-month ampuversary.  Another milestone reached with my big buddy.  🙂  He spent the day relaxing and being lazy.

 

 

 

 

 


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7 responses so far

Jul 03 2012


A Visit with the Holistic Vet, Another NADAC Trial, 10-month Ampuversary, and More Lumps

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I ended up taking Kalil to a holistic vet on June 16th.  His eye has still been very red and gets worse with excitement/exercise, and it was pretty bad during the visit with Dr. Falk since he got to go somewhere new and fun where he was the life of the party!!!  She put him on stasis breaker, which could potentially “clear up” nodules and is only available through veterinary request.  She approved all the supplements I have been giving him (there are A LOT more now than when I started out) but did say the eye was a concern but that in order to get a more definite answer, I would have to take him to a doggy eye specialist in Cedar Rapids… which would mean even more $$$$.  She said he seems to be able to see with that eye though… and unfortunately we are kind of maxed out as far as what we are going to contribute to veterinary care.   After several thousand dollars, we just don’t have any more money for major testing.  Especially since we can tell that Kalil’s health is declining.  I hate to say that we’ve given up on him beating this thing.  I guess I should explain.  The last few weeks haven’t been horribly bad but we can tell that he is definitely not staying the same or better (I would gladly take maintaining, I’m not greedy!).  The eye, of course, is a major concern.   He now has two lumps on his back right leg (I was mistaken in an earlier posting) – one is in the muscle and one is near where the leg meets the torso.  They are maybe within two inches of each other.  He has the possible fatty tumor on his non-amputation side.  He has another tumor about the size of a small pea on his amputation side, rear leg where the leg meets the torso.  I found one a couple days ago on the base of his neck (hubby thinks it may be a bug bite but I don’t think so).  Then, last night, after a trying weekend, I come home to my husband saying he found another lump on Kalil’s amputation side, near his ribs.  It’s HUGE.  I have no idea why neither one of us noticed it.  It’s like they appear overnight.

 

 

I guess I have more explaining to do.  Saturday, June 30th, was Kalil’s first “bad day”.  We were scheduled to do the weavers course for NADAC  and after a good breakfast and some pittering around, I told Kalil it was time to go play.  Usually when I get my jeans on, he thinks it’s time to go.  That day, he wasn’t so enthused – very unusual.  He slept during the 10-minute ride over to the dog center – very unusual.  He didn’t want to look out the window and I could barely get him to budge from laying down – very unusual.  I walk in the dog center to find out the status of where they are at on run order and find out that they had moved the weavers run to first thing in the morning.  We missed our run.  Apparently they sent an email out, but to my husband and not me.  In his defense, there was NOTHING in the subject line that mentioned anything about changing the run order and in the several months of participating in NADAC, they have never changed the order of the runs.  So I left.  I’m glad I didn’t drag him in there but had left him in the car with the air running.  I cried, I was so upset with myself, with things.  But I was more upset that he was acting so out of character and I knew it wasn’t good.

 

 

My husband had to take care of the afternoon feeding since I went in to work in the afternoon to “catch up” – ha, never happens.  I come home to find out that Kalil didn’t want to eat his dinner.  Kalil has never refused his dinner.  NEVER in his almost eight years.  He reluctantly ate after several minutes and it took him some time.  He wasn’t very excited about it which is VERY out of character for him.  He usually dances and jumps around at the word “dinner”.  Since I was home, I got his nightly supplements ready, and he didn’t come to the kitchen gate like he usually does.  He just laid on his dog bed in the computer room.  I ended up having to spoon-feed his supplements to him – it was the only way he would eat them.  I have never had to do t hat and never thought in all my years that I would have to do that.  Things were very sad in our house that night.  We were scared that something was not right.

 

 

Luckily, that was short-lived.  After worrying all night, Kalil was eager for breakfast and then for his mid-afternoon snack of greens and yogurt.  We had our NADAC tunnelers run that day and it was like he was a whole new dog.  Very excited to get going and see his friends and play.

 

 

Kalil’s Tunnelers Run from 07/01/12

 

 

We missed a qualify by .78 seconds but I was so happy to be running with him again, especially after the day before.  I can tell his lungs are starting to hurt.  His legs are starting to hurt.  He is slowing down, which scares the crap out of me because I know he’s deteriorating.  But he loves the game so much that both vets and his chiropractor say to run him until he just can’t do it anymore.  So I do.   And I am so thankful that we can spend those thirty-forty seconds out there together.

 

Sunday was also a great day, not only due to his recovery from the day prior and his great agility run, but it was his 10-month ampuversary!

 

 

We have been so lucky that things have been so smooth-sailing for us.  Saturday was definitely a wake-up call that our luck may be starting to run out.  Kalil is a fighter, but he can only fight so long.  Unfortunately, I think either his tumors in his legs or the tumors in his lungs are going to end his fight for him.

 

I will end this post with a picture of Kalil and I after our tunnelers run on Sunday.  You can see his red eye really well in this one.  We are both pretty happy though.

 

 

4 responses so far

Jun 12 2012


Another NADAC trial

Filed under NADAC

 

 

We had another successful weekend at the NADAC trial in Davenport.

 

Here is the Youtube link to the weavers course:

 

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I had horrible handling on the third obstacle.  I was supposed to keep him in a stay at the startline (HA!) and make my way up to the second obstacle and lead him into the weaves all nice and pretty.  Kalil got that glimmer in his eye and I knew he wasn’t staying.  LOL  By the time he got to the weaves, Kalil was probably thinking, “Woman! what are you doing!!!”  But we got another qualify and are 50 points into getting our second novice title.  The nice thing about NADAC is you can keep at a lower level (which we will have to due to more time being allowed on the course) and keep getting titles.  Another Q/10 points and we will have our second novice title nabbed.

 

Sunday brought the tunnelers course.  Even though he was the fastest in the 20″+ dogs (even with being a tripawd!!!), he  didn’t get a Q due to being 2 seconds over allowed course time even though there were no other faults.   The course needed to be completed in 35 seconds and we finished in 37 seconds and got a time fault.  But to think that he otherwise was in first place over the other six or seven four-legged dogs  is amazing in itself – he led the pack with the second place dog coming in about five seconds slower.

 

Here is the Youtube link to the tunnelers course:

 

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New developments I’ve noticed since the last trial at the end of April – I have noticed that he seems to be “slowing down” a bit about halfway through the course.  His startline stays are pretty much non-existent, and I would correct that in normal circumstances (Shane used to correct him in AKC all those months ago) but he gets that glimmer in his eye and I figure hell, who knows how much time he has left, I’m letting him RUN!  In tunnelers, the taller dogs are at a disadvantage anyway due to having to duck slightly to get in the tunnel.   I think this may be starting to take a toll on him.  He also lost his footing in one of the tunnels and it seemed like the world stopped – I was afraid he got hurt, but out he came, ready to go.  Looking at the video, it was probably a mere second or two, but once I heard the pitter-patter of feet  stop in the tunnel, it seemed like forever.  I go back and forth with wanting him to have his fun running his courses and worrying about whether or not he will hurt himself.
Another new development I’ve noticed with this most recent trial is that it seems Kalil’s breathing is more labored when he is done completing a course.  Running the course seems to take more out of him than it did when he started trialing in January.  I don’t know if this is due to the nodules in his lungs growing (???) but then again, I’m not sure I want to know how big they’ve gotten.  I wish there was some way to get him to slow down and just have fun at a slower speed, but when it comes to agility, slow isn’t in Kalil’s vocabulary and never has been.

 

I have already signed up for a trial at the end of the month and at the end of July.   We are fortunate that there is usually a trial every four weeks or so.  I am hoping that he can at least have fun at the next two.

 

We are also fortunate that there was a photographer present during this weekend’s trial.  The photographer got quite a few shots during the weavers course and got the best shot EVER of Kalil doing his thing.  This picture captures all the reasons WHY I am continuing to trial him in NADAC.  He absolutely loves the game.

 

 

7 responses so far

Apr 22 2012


NADAC trial – Weavers and Tunnelers, oh my!

Filed under NADAC

After our crappy news at the end of last month, things resumed back to normal pretty quickly, and it is kind of like we didn’t even get the bad news about the nodules.  It helps that Kalil doesn’t act sick really – the only thing that is slightly concerning to me is that he doesn’t get off the bed sometimes when I come home at lunch to let him and his sisters out.  I guess if I was comfy on the bed I wouldn’t want to get down either, though.  He sleeps up there with two of his three kitty siblings.  They all sleep in the same spots every day with Kalil taking up most of the bed (we have a queen).

 

We had a great time at the NADAC trial this weekend.

 

I could have moved him up to the open division but I thought the courses were tougher in the more advanced division.  I was mistaken.  That doesn’t apply to weavers and tunnelers courses.  He has already gotten his novice titles in both but can keep continuing to title in novice courses if we choose to.  The only difference is novice has 6 weave poles while open/elite has 12 weave poles, and he can do 12 just fine.

 

Here is our weavers run from 04-21-12. Q and 1st place.

 

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Here is our tunnelers run from today, 04-22-12.  Q and 2nd place.

 

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His next vet appointment is Saturday the 28th.  At that time, he will have his follow-up xrays to determine if the nodules have progressed in size or stayed the same.  Please cross fingers and paws that the nodules are the same size and haven’t grown.  Thanks in advance.  🙂

 

3 responses so far

Mar 12 2012


6-ish Month Ampuversary and Second NADAC Agility Trial

Filed under NADAC

Well, you know the old adage, no news is good news.  Things have been fairly smooth the last couple of months.   After a couple more lower dosage chemos, Iowa State came to a conclusion to terminate the chemotherapy treatments.  I believe his last dose of lomustine was at 20mg with approximately seven to eight weeks in-between dosages (supposed to be three weeks between dosages with a fairly quick recovery time).   Shane set an appointment to take Kalil to Iowa State for his “six-month” checkup on 3/29 (his 7-month ampuversary will be April 1st).

He hasn’t had any testing done since his amputation.  I will be honest, I am scared that something may come up during this follow-up appointment.  I think it’s always something that will be in the back of our minds because cancer is an ugly thing.  Kalil doesn’t seem to be having any problems and we haven’t gotten any red flags, but I know sometimes there just aren’t any red flags.

Kalil competed in two NADAC runs yesterday, weavers and tunnelers.  I took the plunge and ran him for his weavers course.  I hadn’t run him in courses before and HOLY CRAP he wore me out.  (His sister, Abby, is pretty laid-back and does NOT move anywhere near as fast as Kalil does).  Before Kalil was diagnosed with cancer, I had kept saying that I wanted to run him when he got “older” and “slower”.  Apparently, he’s gotten older, but not slower.  When he’s out in the agility ring, it’s like he has all four legs again.

Unfortunately, we left Shane’s camera in the car, and although I brought my dinosaur camera, Shane wasn’t able to get it to the right setting to record the weavers course we ran.  I was able to get the tunnelers course though.  I had Shane do the tunnelers course because I thought I wouldn’t be able to keep up with Kalil due to it being such a quick-moving course.  I forgot that Kalil has to slow down a bit due to ducking into the tunnels.  I’m thinking next trial, I will be running both courses with him.  🙂

Two first place finishes, and he gets to move up to the open division for NADAC tunnelers and weavers if we choose to.  Pretty cool!!!

 

4 responses so far

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