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About Kestrel

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  • Birthday January 1

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    SF Bay Area

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  1. Happy happy birthday to the handsome Billy Bob! Great photos of them both.
  2. I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing her with us. I loved hearing about her adventures in the city and in the suburbs! Hugs to you all.
  3. Kendra, I am so sorry to learn about Falcon's death.  He was such a fun dog to have as a secret santa recipient a few years ago, and I smile every time I see his full name in my Amazon address list.  I will still smile, but will cry a little, too.  Hugs to everyone who loved your beautiful (if occasionally cranky) boy.  :grouphug  

    Not that it would have made a difference, but I wonder why the tumor didn't show up on the spine x-ray.  

  4. I'm sorry to say that we joined the club too. Falcon was diagnosed with osteo on 1/30 and we put him to sleep on 1/31. His primary tumor was on his spine, not a leg. Although his case seems atypical, I wanted to share it in case the info helps someone else dealing with it down the line. There may or may not have been an earlier sign of the tumor. In November, Falcon was running in our yard. He went to jump over our low retaining wall, and he yelped a little and pulled up his feet. He got pretty scraped up by the wall and was having some pain so of course we took him to the vet then. They diagnosed an iliopsoas strain, and he did two weeks of meds and rest. He appeared to recover completely. He had an annual exam in December and seemed fine then, too. In retrospect, I wonder if the tumor had started to put pressure on his spinal cord back then, causing the pain when he jumped. More immediately related, on January 10 Falcon woke us up around 2:00 am to go outside and we assumed he just needed to pee. DH took him out, he peed, and he came back in and went back to sleep. This happened again two of the next four nights. He was not having any extra need to pee during the day, and he was not drinking any more than usual. Over the next few days, he also started being hesitant to come up the stairs from the garage into the house after walks, but he was not limping. Then he started having visible hind end weakness: when you ran your hand down his back, his hind end would sag a bit when you got to his butt, even without much pressure. He also just seemed off--subdued, less interested in breakfast, less playful. He continued to wake up during the night, and so we called our vet. She agreed that it could be a UTI, or he could just be getting older (he turned 9 in September) and not able to hold it all night. Or it could be arthritis or LS that was waking him up with pain or discomfort and he was just peeing because we took him outside. We ran a urinalysis to rule that out and started him on a course of carprofen on 1/20. The urinalysis came back clean. He responded to the carprofen and his energy picked up a bit. He had a couple of normal, good days. Then he was back to not feeling well and was still getting up once, sometimes twice, each night. Still not drinking more than usual or being unable to hold it during the day though. So on 1/28 we did x-rays, which showed some narrowing of a couple of vertebrae but nothing glaring. We added methocarbamol and continued the carprofen, and our vet said that if he started showing neurological symptoms, such as knuckling under of his hind feet (which he was not at that point), then she would refer us to a neurologist. The next day, Wednesday, DH worked from home to keep an eye on him, and when I got home from work, he told me that Falcon was indeed having trouble with his back feet knuckling under. So on Thursday morning I took him in for an emergency consult with a neurologist. He was showing delayed reactions in both legs on the physical exam and they recommended an MRI. They thought it was likely IVDD but possibly a spinal tumor. They could fit him in that afternoon, and we decided to go ahead with the MRI. It showed a tumor on the L1 vertebra and putting significant pressure on the spinal cord. It was not resectable. The neurologist thought she could do surgery to debunk the tumor and relieve some of the pressure, which would provide only temporary relief. She could also do a biopsy to confirm whether it was osteo, which she suspected, or another kind of sarcoma. But given the risk to the structural integrity of the spine, just how damn virulent osteo is, and that even if it was a different kind of cancer we wouldn't do anything different, we decided to go with palliative care. We had hoped to spoil Falcon with lots of love and home-cooked chicken for a while, but he continued to decline rapidly Thursday night and Friday. We said goodbye to Falcon on Friday afternoon. Sending so many good wishes to you and to Bella, Sara, and to Puma and BrittaAndGregg. It SUCKS. I so appreciate all the info that everyone has shared over the years in these threads. It definitely helped us feel more prepared, ask better questions, and make the best decisions we could for Falcon.
  5. Now that's a spin class I could get into!
  6. Too much cuteness! I can't handle it!
  7. I can't believe it's been 8 years...and I love hearing the story each year!
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