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Old 10-16-2009, 12:38 PM
17 posts, read 41,393 times
Reputation: 20


Sammy definitely had fear based issues as well, not fault of her own though! She was 5 when I got her and for the first 5 years of her life she had been tied out to a little dog house in the owner's yard and basically forgotten. That was all she knew.

When the owner decided to move from the country to the city they wanted her to be good in the apartment. Sam is a very nervous dog and does not do well at the bottom of the "pack" - hence why we got a puppy before Probert passed away. When they had her in the house, she didn't know how to act in the house and they decided she was too much and shipped her to live with their elderly parents, who already had a Toy poodle that was their baby. Poor Sammy was confined to a room with a closed door because she was too much for them to handle.

I had been talking about getting a dog to keep Probert company for some time when a lady at work said "I know a beautiful dog you can have, for free, she is spayed and healthy, she just needs some patience...and you have to make up your mind in 30 minutes because she has an appointment to be euthanized in half an hour". Without hesitation I said yes. I went to meet her and thought I would be eaten as soon as I walked in the door!

She was barking like a junkyard dog but I couldn't see her...I fould her cowering under the table, fur on end, shivering and shaking and warning me to stay away. I sat on the floor, in a complete stranger's house, ball and treats in hand and waited...for almost two hours for her to make a move and come out and see that it was all ok.

By the time I left that night (I couldn't take her home right then because I had a prior committment for the morning and didn't want to leave her alone with Probert) she followed me to the door like I was her long lost friend, wagging her tail and licking my hands...

When I went back the next afternoon to bring her home, we went through the same routine, her growling, me sitting patiently on the floor for over an hour. As soon as she got in my car, it was like she knew she was going home!

I love her very much, but she is not an affectionate dog. That's ok though, I don't hold it against her. She still has to be the one to initiate the petting sessions and they are fewer than they were with Probert because she doesn't seek out as much attention but when she does - I lay it on her thick!!
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Old 10-17-2009, 02:32 PM
Location: Santa Barbara CA
4,413 posts, read 9,326,057 times
Reputation: 7754
I love your story about Sammy and give you high fives for it as so many people will walk away from a dog with issues rather then try to work on them. They do not understand the bond you can form with a dog that has issues after you spent many many hours working on them. Behind those issues are often some pretty great dogs. I looked at the photos. Baxter is very cute I see the boxer in him but not the Bernese.

Erica How is Scout doing? I have been sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers his way in hopes that the IMRT buys him the same time Tillie has been getting!

Bill, You know I am still pulling for Emmitt. I think of him almost everyday and pray he continues on the good path he seems to be on. It would be so great to hear that he is still doing well a year from now!

I would so love to see one of the dogs here be it Tillie, Scout, Emmitt, Bear or any of the others be a dog that beats this cancer and dies of old age! Working in health care all these years I know there are miracles as I have seen a few so hold on to your Hope. Jan

HOPE, sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.---anonymous
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:22 PM
129 posts, read 413,781 times
Reputation: 35
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to give a quick update on Scout. He goes for his final IMRT treatment on Thursday and is doing well. It was been very easy (minus the drive and arrangement of childcare, etc.). Scout didn't show side effects from his non-IMRT definitive treatment until after the radiation had ended, so I didn't expect to see anything yet. The doctors don't expect any side effects at all. He does have quite a bit of drippage. Not the long white snot ropes that we all know so well, but more puddles of watery stuff where he lays down. He's had a few more slight bloody noses, but those seemed to have stopped. Not sure if he seems like he feels better yet (and not sure I'll even notice a difference since he seemed fine before).

My next mission is to find the magic concoction that will keep this tumor at bay for as long as possible. Boy, do I wish there was an easy answer to this! I'd like to try K9 Immunity, but the cost and my husband (who thinks it looks bogus) are steering me away. We keep with the cottage cheese/flaxseed oil, high protein diet, omega-3 pills daily, but I'm wishing there was more. I'll be asking the vet oncologist what he would do if it were his dog in this situation. I'll be interested to hear what he says.

I'll update again once we finish treatment so there is yet more talk here of IMRT for those looking for information.

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Old 10-19-2009, 03:04 PM
104 posts, read 395,989 times
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be sure to ask your vet about piroxicam for its use in keeping the tumors from growing. tillie has been on it since her palliative IMRT which was in june, 2008. dash was on it , too. good luck.
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:32 PM
129 posts, read 413,781 times
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Yep, I forgot to include piroxicam--we've also been on it for a while.
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:19 PM
Location: Burbank, CA
19 posts, read 66,381 times
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Hello All

I haven't been on the forum for a few weeks due to a serious backlog at work. My deepest condolences to Probertsmama and Jan -- there really are no words to express the sadness of losing your best friend.

I really haven't had time to read through all the posts that I missed, but I did skim some and saw that the Colorado St. University Animal Cancer Center consultation line was utilized to assist with the radiation at Tufts. It is a great service. I actually thought we'd do that but then after checking the price for the Angel Care Cancer Center CyberKnife (almost $14,000), we decided to fly Kisses to Colorado. There was only 3 wks between diagnosis and his SRS radiation, so everything was rapid. The CSU cancer center was incredible --- they were compassionate, honest, professional and very reasonable on the fee ($5,200 including daily lab work.) We used Pet Airways for both trips and the Canine Health Resort to pick up/drop off at airport and do the boarding. Connie is wonderful; she provides a homelike environment, understands the special needs of cancer dogs and provides all the transportation back and forth to the vet school for treatments. She even let Kisses sleep in her bed!

What I'd like to convey to all of you who are just starting along this horrible experience, is DON'T give up and think it's not worth it or the dog is too old. Check out ALL available options! When he got his radiation, Kisses was just 4 mo. shy of his 16th birthday and had other medical issues (early stage renal, hypoparathyroidism and GI problems.) Even with all that, he was still considered a suitable candidate.

He did have a rough month after he came home with his kidney values going too high, GI upsets, serious lethargy, but he's come around now and is almost the same dog we knew and loved before the cancer. His weight is back to normal, as is his appetite and energy. We think he still has more life to live. He is now our constant companion, going to work daily with us and on most errands. Every day's a beautiful gift, and we are definitely happy we chose the radiation option.

Here is a link to Kisses blog, which has links to CO St Univ and the Canine Health Resort


Last edited by IceQueen00; 10-20-2009 at 08:21 PM.. Reason: omission
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:06 AM
14 posts, read 36,942 times
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Erica- So happy to hear Scout is doing well with his IMRT. Great news! I just wanted to pass along some info about a supplement that our holistic vet recommended for Allie for the cancer...it was more affordable than the K-9 immunity..I got it from our vet but you can order it on amazon as well. It's just an overall blend of the mushrooms that Jan mentioned and other cancer-fighting antioxidants & Coenzyme Q-10 (which i've read some people on the board have used alone too). She tolerated it very well and I have to think it helped contribute to her great energy levels. I do have about 1/2 a bottle left and could just send it to you if you are interested. I've been donating her meds and food to shelters but would love to see this supplement go to a fellow cancer fighter. They are chewable but we still ground it up and added to her ground chicken at night. Here is the info on it:
CAS Options provides a nutritionally concentrated synergistic blend of Reishi, Maitake and Shiitake mushrooms, which are well researched and have been shown in numerous studies to be potent immune enhancers. The proteoglycans and polysaccharides from mushrooms have been shown to nutritionally assist the immune system, reduce inflammation and can stimulate natural killer (NK) and T-helper cell activity. Additionally, this formula includes strong antioxidants found in Coenzyme Q-10, Green Tea and Selenium.
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:38 AM
Location: Wisconsin
14 posts, read 82,793 times
Reputation: 19
Your story of how you slowly "fell in love" with this dog who seemed like a peck of trouble at first...is inspiring. I love reading about how we humans can fall in love with a dog to the point that we are willing to fight for him/her, we are willing to disrupt our lives, forgo vacations, pay for expensive kennel and medical treatments and other wise just do things that other people cannot understand. Your story of your relationship with Probert is truly inspirational. As I sit here day after day, watching my 13 year old slowly get sicker and sicker and never quite knowing what to do, I gain sustenance and support from reading about other's love for their sick dogs. I don't know when my journey with Ziggy will end. I don't have any other dogs to take the edge off of the loss i am awaiting so it is very frightening to me. This dog is a part of me just as a physical part of my body or mind. He is on low dose prednesone for over 4 months now. I was having trouble logging into this site for a while, but hope to hear from some other folks during this long drawn out...day to day struggle.......
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:28 PM
Location: Santa Barbara CA
4,413 posts, read 9,326,057 times
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I am glad to hear that Kisses and Scout are doing well.Hope Ziggy can hang in there for a long time yet too. I will be sending positive thoughts and prayers to all. I am going away for 15 days but will try to check in if I am around any computers. Hope everyone has some good days ahead as this thread has had too many bad days. Jan
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Old 10-23-2009, 01:07 PM
129 posts, read 413,781 times
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Thank you for all of your good wishes and kind words. Scout is tired but doing okay after finishing his IMRT therapy yesterday. The roof of his mouth is apparently sore (although he's not having any trouble eating!), and he's pretty much sacked out until it's time for a romp in the woods. The next 5 days will be the "worst" and then he should be feeling better. This is nothing like definitive radiation.

We met with the radiation oncologist yesterday and will be talking by phone with a medical oncologist in the coming days to decide about next steps. They are recommending conventional chemotherapy, which surprised me because I've always heard that nasal tumors do not respond to it. Apparently there is a study out of Australia showing success. Our other option is metronomic therapy, which I know Jan and others have used.

On a bittersweet note, we are coming upon TWO YEARS since Scout's first signs of nasal cancer. Other than 2 weeks following his first round of definitive radiation, he has lived two years filled with nothing but quality--hikes, bike rides, skis, swims, camping trips, snuggles on the couch, tricks, games of hide and seek, and lots and lots of love. While this diagnosis is terrible, I am so thankful for the gift of these two years. While he most likely would had all the same adventures with me, I know that I appreciated them ever so much more knowing that we were living on borrowed time.

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