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Archive for the 'Ampuversary' Category

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 07 2012


9-month ampuversary, lumps, and bumps

Filed under Ampuversary

 

Kalil’s 9-month ampuversary came and went on June 1st.  Shane usually works from home on Fridays but had to go in to work that day.  Kalil lazed around the house and Shane took him for  his laser beams (therapy) appointment in the late afternoon.  I mowed later in the evening and sat around outside with the dogs.  The weekend prior, Kalil went along with Shane and Luna the Belgian Malinois to Luna’s first AKC agility trial outside of Chicago.   Kalil has a good memory of agility trials past and knew he was going somewhere GOOD when Shane’s alarm went off at 4am to make the 2.5 hour drive to get there before showtime started.   Kalil saw quite a few friends during Luna’s trial and everyone  came home on Sunday good and tired!

 

Shane and Luna had another trial about an hour away this past weekend but Kalil stayed home with me during that one.  Shane was going to make the drive back and forth each day and decided last minute to stay overnight and he didn’t know if they cheapy hotel would have an elevator for Kalil OR if he would be lucky enough to get a main-level hotel room.  Kalil stayed behind with Abby the Rottweiler and I, and the three cats.  Kalil and Abby proceeded to take their security job very seriously while ‘Dad’ and Luna were away and they barked and alerted me of everything going on outside, much to my dismay.  I like to call Kalil and Abby “7 Paw Security”.  :0)

 

Things have been going pretty normally until Tuesday night.  We were enjoying the evening outside, watering the garden and grass seed, playing Frisbee and fetch, and other misc.  Shane was brushing Kalil and Kalil was happy as a clam.  Shane  then mentioned that Kalil’s left eye looked “weird” and that his eye wasn’t reacting to stimuli.  It was very “bloody” (as in it looked like every blood vessel in his eye had popped) and the eye was very cloudy like he couldn’t see.  I had thought that Kalil’s eyes were more red and the whites of his eyes weren’t as white for some time though and attributed it to his ongoing slight issues with allergies and eye boogers – I had always chalked it up to him just being sensitive.  But when I really looked on Tuesday night, I have to say I got scared pretty quick.   This was very different and scary.  We were afraid he may have a tumor or something horribly wrong that was causing this.

 

Shane then told me that he had found two hard marble-sized lumps on Kalil’s body.  One on Kalil’s left (amputation) side and one on the underside of Kalil’s right rear leg.  So I cried.  Kalil couldn’t figure out what the hell was wrong with me and I felt really bad.  I just couldn’t hold it in.  The nodules in the lungs from xrays a couple months ago were one thing, but the two hard lumps, along with a very bad-looking left eye, and I just couldn’t handle it.   Of course I spent the remainder of the evening trying to figure out if canine cancer can cause blindness, was it glaucoma? – and whatever else I could pull out of my butt.

 

Sometimes Google can be so helpful, and other times… I just need to learn to avoid it.

 

I got Kalil into the vet the next morning – SO GLAD I have a job where I have lots of time off accumulated and my boss lets me take it when I need it.   Kalil absolutely LOVES the vet and would spend all day there if he could, I think.  We were squeezed in-between a bunch of different appointments but were there for about an hour.  It was confirmed that he doesn’t have glaucoma, his eye pressure was fine, she couldn’t feel or see a tumor behind his left eye but that his eye was pretty “bloody”, and he must have suffered some sort of trauma to the eye.  She said that maybe he lost his footing somehow, like when he got out of bed, and fell forward and landed on his left eye.  Personally, I think Kalil got hit in the eye with Luna the Belgian Malinois’s out of control tail, which happens to be a very forceful sort of tail.   Shane doesn’t think that is the case, but I really don’t know if I believe that Kalil would have fallen out of bed or lost his footing that forcefully.  I could be wrong though.  Anyway, Kalil has two different kind of eye drops (one an anti-inflammatory and the other a prednisone-type) which will be given to him for the next ten days.  His eye started clearing up within the first set of drops though.  THANK GOODNESS.

 

She did say that the hardness and locations of the lumps isn’t a good sign.  I am not sure if this is just an educated guess due to Kalil already being a cancer patient with 2 nodules in his lungs or what, but that makes sense to me.  Right now they are very small, marble-sized.  And I actually rather appreciate that we can FEEL these lumps so we can keep track of them.

 

We haven’t gotten further xrays done of the lungs (and aren’t planning on it) to see how his 2 nodules are coming along in size.  The vet said the lungs sound very good and clear so I’ll take that as good for now.

 

I also asked her if I should continue trialing with Kalil in NADAC.  She said he loves it, so keep doing it.  She told me his eye would most likely be better by this weekend, which is our next trial.  His eye is already much better, and we are going to go for it.

 

Here’s hoping for a couple more qualifies this weekend and some fun videos to post of Kalil doing his thing.  🙂

 

 

 

 

9 responses so far

May 03 2012


Follow-up X-rays Completed…and 8-month ampuversary

Filed under Ampuversary

This past Saturday, we took Kalil in for his follow-up x-ray at our vet’s office.  Usually we have to get him sedated to get x-rays done but Shane requested a muzzle this time and all was well.  It generally takes three people to get him on the table and situated just right – quite a feat.

 

The two nodules in his lungs have grown, but there are still ONLY two from what we could see.  One smaller nodule grew from .8cm to 1.4cm and the other larger nodule grew from 1.4cm to 2.5cm.    This was within four weeks’ time.  I wasn’t sure if this was “good” news or not and the vet didn’t really want to elaborate (he’s a newer one in the vet group) and said he wanted to leave it up to the oncologists and Iowa State for a formal opinion.  The nodules are on his left side, near the amputation site of course.  The x-ray information was forwarded to Iowa State today and we’ll see what they say.

 

Call me hopeful, but I was REALLY HOPING the size of the nodules stayed the same.  I was pretty depressed on Saturday after getting home from the vet’s office.   The thought of these nodules continually growing in Kalil’s lungs just made me sad because there’s really nothing more we’re going to do regarding treatment.  We had talked to Kalil’s chiropractor (who was a vet up until this year) and she said that she felt the next level of chemo we could put him on would be more harmful than good since his body couldn’t even handle the effects of the lomustine he was on prior.  We aren’t going to put him through that.   The only thing we have started doing in recent weeks is a benadryl/tagament “treatment” (http://veraboxers.com/cancer.htm) – we started this about a week before his last x-ray, so it’s been about 5-6 weeks that we’ve been giving him this 2x a day.   The treatment is more fitting for mast cell tumors, which isn’t what Kalil has, but we are using it on the off-chance it may help even just a little.  It may be hooey, it may not be hooey, but both Kalil’s chiro and our regular vet said that the diphenhydramine in the benadryl and cimetidine in the Tagamet may have some positive effects.

 

I did talk to our main local vet yesterday (our cat tore his ACL) and she asked how Kalil was doing and we talked for awhile about things.   Her opinion regarding the nodules is that the growth isn’t aggressive.  She said that if it was an aggressive growth, they would have grown at a much faster rate over the last four weeks.  Again, not getting my hopes up, but if you don’t have hope then what else do you have?

 

Anyhow, Kalil is acting like his normal, everyday self.  I have noticed he is snoring quite a bit louder some nights, and some days he doesn’t want to get off the bed when I come home during my lunch hour to let the dogs out.  It has been raining a lot here lately and he doesn’t like the rain much.  I’m wondering if the weather changes affect him at all due to him being a tripawd – my guess is it does affect him, to what degree, I have no clue.

 

I will be sure to update after we get word from Iowa State.

 

 

 

4 responses so far

Apr 06 2012


7-month ampuversary/Check-up at Iowa State

Kalil has his first big check-up with Iowa State on March 29th.  Again, our lives changed.  And I don’t know how we will proceed.

 

X-rays located at least two nodules on his lungs.  ISU recommended us getting Kalil re-xrayed in another month to see how the nodules have progressed/have not progressed.

 

At that time, depending on the outcome, we could do a different type of chemotherapy which would be via IV and would take a few hours per visit.   From the sound of Shane’s voice on the phone after receiving the news, I am assuming that we are just going to let things take their course.

 

Kalil has been spending a lot of time with his hedgie, which we have gotten out for him almost daily in the past week.

 

 

We used to put his hedgie up in the closet because he would be so obsessed with it (it’s our third hedgie but he’s had one since puppyhood).  Now we figure what the hell.  He slept with it the other night.   I apologize for the “spit-up” on Kalil’s bed; the anesthesia was a bit more rough on him this time around than it usually is and I noticed he spit up a few times that same day  he came home.   It is what it is.

 

I am entering him in the NADAC trial on 4/21 (weavers) &4/22 (tunnelers).  The next NADAC trial after that isn’t until June 9th-10th.  I will have to play it by ear and see how he is doing.   I just take for granted that he will still be here, and he very well could be… or not.

 

I am sorry to disappoint you all with the crappy news.   He hasn’t given any signs that he is feeling bad, or feeling anything at all.   I know that the time will come when he will.  I am dreading it.

 

 

7 responses so far

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