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I asked Winslow's Mom if I could share emails or excerpts from her emails to me that were written during Winslow's amputation and recovery. Winslow is doing well and recently finished chemo.

 

Winslow is their first greyhound! When they went to the adoption group, Winslow walked up to Craig and looked at him. That was it! :wub:

 

January 1, 2007

 

Hi Diane,

 

Winslow's surgery is Wed. Jan3. If all goes well, he will start chemo on Jan. 16. Everyone on Circle of Grey has been so helpful with things I should do to get ready for this. I have taken the advice and prepared the house so that he can be safe and comfortable. I'll be staying at the hospital until he comes home. Fortunately both Craig and I work from home so he always has one of us around while he's healing.

 

We are as prepared as we can be, but I don't think anyone is really prepared for something like this.

 

On a lighter note, I'm sending some photos I think you will enjoy. We are planning the next party for when he's feeling better.

 

Winslowbd.jpg

 

We all wish you healing at your time of loss.

 

Glynis & Winslow

 

 

I'll be thinking of you both. I don't know if staying at the hospital the first 48 hours is a good idea. Do they think it is?

 

Diane

 

 

I'm fine in the waiting room. He has been my constant companion for the last 3 years. I feel like I should at least be there. Apparently this hospital is used to it. I asked about being there overnight and they said a lot of folks do it. It's a big hospital and cancer treatment center.

 

They don't mind if I stay there although I won't be able to see him until much later. They plan to send him home on Thurs. This way, when he starts to wake up, I can be there and they can help me take him out for the first time, etc.

 

When they say I can go in with him, I will. Otherwise, I'll wait. I cannot imagine dropping him off. This may sound strange, but I really think he will know I didn't just leave him there. The staff is really savvy about knowing when it's better NOT to have Mom in the room and that's fine with me, too.

 

Thanks for thinking of us.

 

I'll let you know how it goes.

 

Glynis

 

 

 

OK - sounds like they are used to handling owners :) Many times the dog recovering from major surgery does not do well seeing the owner as they try & do things they wouldn't if the owner was there. A major illness is different--the owner being there with the dog helps.

 

It helps to take a t shirt with your smell on it for him to lay on. Don't take a good one :) If you wear it the day before it should have plenty of smell for him. He'll know you are close.

 

Sending many prayers.

 

Diane

 

 

Yes, they know when to keep us away. I have to say in all my years as a pet owner, dogs, cat, birds, etc.. these guys are top notch. I have never seen a place like this. Human hospitals could learn a thing or two from these folks. They are not only good with the dogs and humans, they actually welcome questions and go out of their way to be helpful. The quality of care is excellent.. specialists who actually communicate with each other and with us!

 

Good idea about the tshirt. Thanks. We will certainly do it.

 

Thank you so much.. if you think of anything else, it's really appreciated.

 

Glynis

 

 

We have a hospital here in Houston that rivals human hospitals. However, many of us won't go there anymore. There are so many good specialists here that it doesn't make sense to pay what they

charge--it's crazy!

 

Sounds like he will be well taken care of. Now some valium for you and you will be all set :):) I hate waiting......

 

Since his stay there will be limited, anything else you can take would get in the way.

 

Was he hopping already? If so, the transition will be easier. Front or back leg?

 

Diane

 

 

We live in Northern VA.. Unfortunately, there are very few greyhound savvy vets around here and not a lot of specialists. This place is in Gaithersburg MD. about an hour from home. It's outrageously expensive, but so are ALL the others. I went to the emergency hospital in DC first, when I saw this swelling in the knee and the vet there wanted to operate on him for a torn acl, WITHOUT AN XRAY. I forced the xray issue and promptly called the woman who started our adoption agency. She referred me to Gaithersburg.

 

It's the left rear leg. His stay will be limited, but I'm taking his bed and blanket, food for him and a toy. For the biopsy, he got to lie in his own bed to wake up from the anesthesia. That really helped. I hope they do that again.

 

He's been limping since he injured his leg on Dec.12. The swelling showed up on the 15th. He's been on pain meds since the 16th, but he's still not putting any weight on it. I'm just really wondering how in the world he's going to poop?

 

I don't like waiting either. I just want this done because I'm worried about lung involvement. There wasn't any last week and I'm hoping it's ok. The doctors said it would be alright. I'm also worried because he's been on rimadyl since Dec. 16. Although he seems fine with it, I'm concerned about it because they said it's not for long term use. I don't want him to develop other problems.

 

I'll just be glad when this is over.

 

Glynis

 

 

 

January 3

 

 

Hi Diane,

 

I just wanted to let you know that Winslow came through his surgery just fine. I had a second xray of his lungs done this morning, just to make sure they were still clear before the amputation. They are. The doctor came out and told us that everything went well and we could stay but he recommended that we come home and rest. We have a lot going on tomorrow.. We hope to bring him home with us. We took that advice and came home for the night. I will send a post to circle of grey after he comes home, but I just wanted to tell you right away

 

Glynis and Winslow

 

 

 

 

I have been thinking of you! Make sure he is ready to come home. I know it's hard to have him there, but the ones that come home too soon--it's really tough on the dog and the owner. Two-three days seems about right. I'm sure they will let you know if they think it's too soon.

 

Sending prayers for a successful recovery! (both of you lol)

 

Diane

 

Thanks for the advice. I'll check with the doctor tomorrow. He has no problem telling us what is right. I asked to see him today.. The doctor said "If you must see him to know he is ok, I will take you, BUT, being a sensitive dog as greyhounds are, it is not in his best interest to see you. I trusted his judgement and left. He has our t shirts and his own bed. I will talk with the doctor tomorrow and if he says Winslow should stay an extra day, so be it.

 

I really have a good feeling about this doctor. He's extremely straightforward, understanding and compassionate, BUT.. the dog comes first and that's a good thing. We will see how it goes tomorrow. I'll let you know.

 

Thank you so much for thinking of us. The energy is healing for all.

 

Glynis and Winslow.

 

 

 

January 4

 

 

Just as I got your email, the vet's office called. The tech said that he's up, walking around, doing well. She said he'll be ready to go home at 11 tomorrow. I said I was a little worried and would like some guidance about how to help him walk, etc. She said I would be really surprised because he's already walking just fine only a little slower. They are pleased with his progress. So, hopefully the night will be uneventful. He's never been away from me overnight.

 

Thanks again.

 

 

He was so drugged up, he didn't notice too much :)

 

He'll do fine. Help him a little but not too much. I think you will be surprised. If you do not have a sling and think he needs a little support, a large towel (beach is good because it's thin) will work. You don't have to put any pressure on it unless he needs it. Some resist this type of help a lot. So, it really depends on him.

 

Don't worry -- if he is up and walking already, he's going to adjust well. The only thing that makes me nervous are steps. Hopefully you don't have any he needs to navigate, at least for a few weeks.

If you do have steps, you will have to hold on to him forever going down. They seem to go up ok.

 

Sending more prayers!

 

Diane

 

 

Hi Diane,

 

I got a call this morning. They are keeping him a few extra hours to make sure his transition from drip to pill pain meds is gradual. They are doing this since his surgery started later than expected yesterday. The doctor said he's been outside, ate breakfast and is doing fine. He's bruised, really bruised. Since he's white underneath, she said it's really ugly but not to worry. Just be prepared.

 

The doctor said we can come at 12 and stay with him until they release him around 3. That's fine. We will hang out until it's ok. It will give me a chance to see what kind of help he's going to need while there are experienced people around. They said he's doing just fine.

 

We do have stairs... It's a 3 story house with the main level being on the 2nd floor. We have moved our bed down and have no need for the 3rd floor. The stairs to get into the house on the main level are wide and not as steep as the interior stairs. He has been doing them on 3 legs since this started. Going up, we just let him go and stay right behind in case he slips, but he never has. He knows we are right there with our hand on his butt.

 

Going down is a little tricky, but we either hang on to his coat, or put on his harness and just give him some backward pressure across his chest so he can't fall forward. He doesn't get crazy and although he's big, we are both strong enough to hold him back. He also wants to go down right next to the wall, so we do that. We usually all go together.. he likes being with BOTH of us on his walk, so one of us usually goes down the stairs right in front of him so he can't fall. He was ok hopping that way. We will see what happens. Fortunately we both are working from home and can take him together as long as he needs it.

 

Our office is on the first floor of the house. What we were doing and will continue is this:

 

In the morning, get him down the outside stairs to go outside. Bring him back in through the garage to the office (1st floor) He spends the morning with Daddy (Daddy day care:) ... Big foam bed, tv and access to outside with no stairs.

 

Afternoon walk and back upstairs to me for the afternoon.. This way the only time he has to do the stairs out and back in is at night. Never does he have to do the narrower ones inside the house. I put up gates so he doesn't try it.

 

If this doesn't work, we will be moving all beds into the office until we can get a ramp built up to the deck in the back yard or an elevator installed. Yep, I've been checking into it. Expensive, but there is a way to do it. I just hope he does alright with these stairs. It's going to be an experience. When he had the bone biopsy I thought it was going to be impossible. He did just fine.

 

I did get a sling and a ramp for the car. I'll offer them if he wants them, but somehow, I doubt it. I can even put this sling around his chest to hold him back going down the stairs if it makes him more comfortable.

 

Meanwhile, he's not bandaged. They suggested not bandaging him. He's usually ok if I tell him not to lick, but this is a big one. The e collar that is big enough for him is like a satellite dish, it's huge. He has a muzzle, but I'm hoping to just tell him to leave it alone. I have covered every surface in sheets because he has a lot of blankets and I don't want him to get fuzz in the incision. It seems a little cleaner, too.

 

Glynis

 

 

January 5

 

 

Hi Diane,

 

I wanted to write to you last night, but ran out of steam before I could do it.

 

We spent most of yesterday at the hospital with Winslow, sitting in his kennel with him. It was big enough for both of us and Winslow to be inside comfortably. He loved having us there. I was very impressed with the number of techs and the real cleanliness of the place. They werre awesome. We got him up and moving a few times, but he was very weak and drugged. Finally, around 5, we lifted him into the car and brought him home.

 

Needless to say, we are living in the office. No stairs and just a few feet from the nearest outside door. He has all his beds and we brought down enough stuff that we are all comfortable. We made it through the night with numerous potty trips. The IV drip they had him on was making it's exit. We slept between. As that slowed down, we slept for longer intervals. The pain meds are doing a really good job and he's not so drugged that he can't stand up. He's eating well, drinking and I have ice on his incision. He's better each time he gets up, but still wants some help walking. He's still getting used to the idea. That's fine, we are both here all the time.

 

I asked about the tramadol and the doctor said he prefers codeine. He's on 5 days of rimadyl.. they did additional blood work before giving him another round of it. He's fine with it and it does him a lot of good for pain. I just have to watch for symptoms. He also has a lot of codeine. I'm not giving him huge amounts because he's not in pain, but I can give him more if I need to. Then he also gets an antibiotic. I'm giving him small meals and not giving him any of the meds together.

 

All of this seems to be working. He has improved greatly from yesterday. I'm feeling less stress because I'm seeing him feeling better than he did before the surgery.

 

Oh boy is it UGLY. Yikes. They called me to warn me about it yesterday, but it was still startling at first. The bruising!

 

Anyway, we are home and doing well. Thanks for continuing to give me information.

 

Glynis

 

 

 

Some vets aren't familar with tramadol. It seems to work better than codiene and there is no drugged effect and it too can be given with NSAIDs. At least he is comfortable.

 

Yes, the bruising can be quite startling!

 

Do you have an acupuncture vet? Really helps with healing.

 

Sounds like you are all doing well :)

 

Diane

 

 

My regular vet does acupuncture and wholistic medicine as well as being a dvm. THe hospital has kept her informed of everything. She's been good about calling and checking on us. Meanwhile, he's sleeping more, peeing less and that's an improvement. Maybe I can get a nap or at least a shower sometime today. I'm tired.

 

Glynis

 

 

 

Winslow wants me to lay next to him with my arm around him. He doesn't want me out of his sight. Ok, I haven't had a shower and didn't bother getting dressed. When he goes to sleep, I sneak away to brush teeth, get food from upstairs and do email. My computer is downstairs with us, but when he's awake, he wants ALL attention.

 

Normally, he just follows me everywhere, the supervisor. Now that he can't do that, he wants me to stay with him. So, I'm stuck in limbo.. short little naps and waiting for a chance to slip out for a moment. Craig is here with him whenever I slip away, but he wants his mom and nothing else will do.

 

You should have seen me at the hospital.. sleeping in the kennel with my arm around him. Ok, so they gave me a little lecture about being sure to give him some exercise, because he's spoiled, I guess they thought I wouldn't make him get up and out. But I do... Spoiled is fine, but his good health is most important.

 

Tomorrow I'm actually going to try to do some work. Hmm.

 

 

 

I mentioned the acupuncture vet:

 

 

I'll call and see if we can go in when he's walking a little better. Right now, I'm not trying to get him into the car. I have never asked, but I wouldn't be surprised if my regular vet would do a house call. In a couple of days, it's something to really check into. Right now, it's sleep and hugs and kisses for the boy.

 

I cannot possibly imagine doing this for more than one!!??

 

By the way, he did figure out how to poo.. unfortunately I didn't move fast enough and my shoe is now in the trash. Things could be a lot worse.

 

Glynis

 

 

Before he got sick, he slept in a soft crate next to the bed.. Although he was welcome to sleep with us, he only did once in awhile.. His bed was probably more comfortable than ours. When he got sick, he took to sleeping with us, kicking one of us out of the bed (usually Craig) and being very snuggly with me. Now, he just wants me to be right there. I think if we had others, he would be better, but we are his pack... It's like going outside. He always wanted both of us to go on walks. If we were both home, we both had to go or he would refuse to go. He does have some odd habits, but we don't mind it. He also likes being the only one. I also think that may be why he's a little odd. Probably says something about us.. but that's ok.

 

So far, today has been much better than yesterday. If we continue to improve at this rate, I'll be amazed and have a bunch of shoes without mates.

 

Glynis

 

January 6

 

 

Winslow had visitors today.. His friends John and Cheryll were here and Laurie, mother of Peaches, a neighborhood large, poodle something.. Peaches sent a toy and when I got the mail, there were cards and letters for Winslow and the blanket from C of G. See the attached photo (that big hot dog is actually a get well card.). We are all amazed at his progress.

 

DSCF0394.jpg

 

He's been out walking and doing well. A short walk in the front yard.. He wants to do more than he should. When he saw the front stairs, he really wanted to go up.. but not yet. I'm having trouble keeping him down. It's about 75 degrees here today. Today is better than yesterday. He only had one pain pill this morning at 7.. he hasn't needed another yet.

 

It's band practice day... Usually the band practices downstairs.. Winslow is their biggest fan. Today, they are upstairs and he's listening and napping from below. Later when they finish, the band members will come down to see him.. This boy loves company!

 

How are you doing?

 

Glynis

 

 

January 7

 

I'm going to call on Monday about the phantom pain. He's not having any, but it would be good to know about and if there is anything we can do if it happens.

 

Craig is the drummer in a local band. They practice here every Saturday. They play classic rock, mostly. Winslow loves to be in on the practice. He really was missing it today.. he could hear them. The band guys came down and visited him so that made it better. He had more company today than I have had in months. A very popular boy that Winslow.

 

I'm still icing and massaging his remaining hind leg. It's not sore, but puffy.. They said that was normal, but if it's not considerably better by Monday, I'll take him in for a check.

 

He tried a few stairs this afternoon., He really wants to go upstairs and be in the main level of the house. We didn't let him go all the way up.. Just a few steps and back down. He did really well. Amazing. He's feeling really good and just wants everything back the way it was. Me too, but we aren't rushing it.

 

Tomorrow is another day and we will see what is in store.. Right now, I'm going to curl up on the bean bag next to my boy and snooze.

 

I hope you had a good day and have many goodies to make. You make all those dogs soooo happy!!

 

Winslow is looking forward to his cake.. I guess I' better order soon. Everyone that was here today was asking if we were still doing his party this year. OF COURSE!! bigger and better than ever!!

 

Happy baking!

 

Glynis

 

 

 

Hi Diane,

 

I have to say, you were right, right, right... First let me say, I am allergic to codeine.. it makes me adgitated AND it makes my nose swell up and itch like crazy.

 

When they sent him home with codeine, the first dose was too much.. It stopped his pain, but he was panting and restless. We didn't sleep at all the first night. Ok, right away, I cut the dose in half and called them Friday morning. No problem..enter the leg swelling. Dr. says it's normal.. Ok, things are going ok BUT I'm beginning to notice that when he should be high and feeling good, he's a little warm (maybe the 75 degree weather?) and restless.. and the leg. Ice and elevation.. It would look better, then worse, then better, then worse...

 

Bedtime.. I put a fan on him to cool him. The remaining leg gets ice and a pillow.. We settle in.

 

2AM- it all comes together.. He wakes up from a good sleep..codeine is wearing off... He's a little restless..BUT no panting, he's cool, AND THAT LEG IS GOING DOWN.. OK, says I...MAYBE IT'S THE CODEINE! and I gave him about 1/4 of his dose of codeine.. trying to just hit the pain while seeing if I could get rid of the other stuff... He goes back to sleep.. leg swelling is going down and he's not hot.

 

I'll call today about the tramadol. I want a pain med here that I can give if he needs it..

 

Next issue.. during the night when he was sleeping really good.. he started growling and running in his sleep... He does it all the time.. We laugh because Winslow only growls and barks IN HIS SLEEP. Rarely when he's awake..

 

So, he starts the growling and running..SUDDENLY HE'S UP ON HIS FEET, SCREAMING!! The first time, I thought he may have turned over on his incision, but I was sleeping with him and didn't feel him turn over. I checked him.. this went on for about 10-15 seconds but felt like forever. I held him and he stopped, went back to bed, back to sleep... I told Craig I thought it was the ghost thing.. THAT REALLY SCARED ME.. If you hadn't said it, I would have had him in the car and back to the hospital. GEEZ!!!!

 

About an hour ago, it happened again. I was awake and saw it.. running, growling, then up screaming... As soon as he stopped screaming, he went right back to sleep.

 

And the remaining leg? It's almost normal this morning.. he's cool, not panting, thebruising is fading and Winslow is sleeping in a very odd position on Craigs little makeshift bed. He has once again successfully kicked Craig out of his bed... Something he's been doing for years.

 

Someone on the CoG list said "Get plenty of sleep, when he comes home you won't sleep for a week.." True.

 

Glynis.

 

 

Winslow is doing fine without the codeine. His leg is deflating and he's sleeping.. (ha ha, I can sleep all day and keep you up all night). I'm going to ask for tramadol... Even if he doesn't use it, I think it's a good idea to have some form of pain med on hand. The only thing he is on right now is rimadyl and that's only every 12 hrs. for 3 more days. He's not in pain and was playing with his toys this morning. He no longer feels warm and seems to be much more normal. I'll get a thermometer.

 

nap time for mama.

 

January 9

 

Hi Diane,

 

Well, yesterday was an interesting day at the vet. Since we were making the trip because Winslow was screaming and jumping in circles, we decided to get everything checked, too.

 

Ok... urination every hour and drinking a lot of water = no uti.

 

Ultrasound of the surgery- a very slight fluid--drain it.

 

Test that liver again- I've worried about the rimadyl from the beginning = sure enough.. it's starting to affect his liver-- get him off of it. Start liver protective-- Pepcid AC, Milk Thistle, Vitamin E and Denosyl.

 

Get rid of the codeine, replace with tramadol.

 

A prescription for gabapentin for the screaming.

 

OK, tramadol last night.. nothing else... let's try just that. The result:

 

No screaming, no panting, less thirst, less urination.

 

This morning.. the swelling in his other hind leg is gone. Really gone. His foot no longer looks like it should be on a malmute. Bruising--gone, all gone, except right around the incision.

 

He's doing a lot better and no screaming. I'm not giving hin the gabapentin unless he starts it again. He took his walk this morning and is happily napping. Appetite is good.

 

Thanks for the advice on the tramadol. Hopefully it's the last hurdle before the chemo.

 

Glynis

 

 

When this first started and the emergency vet in DC gave me the rimadyl (she thought it was a torn acl)..I told her I would prefer something else. She said it was the best. I got a liver test and then called ngap. When I took him to get his biopsy, I got another one. BEFORE he had the surgery.. I got another one. Everything every time was good. Until yesterday. They all said the same thing: As long as this test is ok, it's the most effective. I bet it's the reason he was screaming and also the reason for the adema in his leg.

 

 

I went through that whole thing last night. I try and try. I read everything. The bottom line is you are putting your gut instinct up against years of medical experience. These people are supposed to KNOW.

 

It's the same way with human medicine. In many ways worse. In my life I have had 2 serious misdiagnoses. One nearly killed me. I was diagnosed at 23 with Hodgkins Lymphoma. The doctor even had me scheduled for chemotherapy. I was absolutely crushed. I convinced an internal medicine friend to do a biopsy of a lymph node in his office. He did and all I had was a lymph infection.... caused by a recent change in my brand of anti perspirant.

 

When Craig had a hernia a few years ago, right before surgery, someone came in, handed ME a pen and asked me to please mark where the hernia was! I have no faith in the medical community.. I often wonder if I had marked his forhead, if they would have done a lobotomy?

 

I did ask when they did his amputation, to check for the big lump on his knee before removing the leg. They thought I was kidding. I told them I was serious.

 

I really like where I'm taking Winslow. I think they are really trying, but from now own, they are going to have to convince me when I have questions..and they are going to have to deal with doing some things that I THINK are right. I did get through to them about the Tramadol. I just flatly told the doctor, "take him off the codeine.. it's no good. Put him on Tramadol... I have heard from other greyhound owners that it's much better..". end of story. YOU were right! He's sleeping comfortably and has not screamed at all last night or today. So far so good.

 

Glynis

 

 

January 12

 

Hi Diane,

 

How are you doing?

 

Well, it's been a week.. Up and down, but finally appears (ha ha) to be leveling out. Winslow has a sensitivity to opiates.. even tramadol.. he gets tremors, pants and is agitated... same as the codeine and the drugs they gave him in surgery... it's less with the tramadol but I have had to adjust the dosage. I started him on the gabapentin and that seems to help. It took a few doses but it's better now.

 

I do see why everyone loves rimadyl. It make the dogs feel so good. I can tell a difference since Winslow isn't on it. He is more cautious and I can tell he's still having moments of pain. He doesn't like to get up although once he is up, he wants to go. He's getting better, but he got worse when I took him off the rimadyl.

 

Winslow is lazy. He's been lazy since we got him. He loves to sleep. He will sometimes refuse to go for a walk.. too hot, raining, just doesn't want to go out right now. Last spring, we took him to the beach and he had fun.. He was tired and when we got back to the hotel, he wouldn't get out of the car... It's all typical Winslow.

 

This evening, we reached a new level of lazy. Since his surgery, he's been taking a walk a day, gradually increasing as he wants to. He's been cautious, sometimes stalling..(he did that when we first got him..) but we just talk to him and give him rubs and he comes along. This evening, when he stalled, I started talking to him and he laid down. No shaking, no weakness, just decided to take a break. At first I thought he may be having some type of distress.. I sat with him for a minute then picked him up to a sitting postion. He sat there, looked just fine, then just stretched out again. I sent Craig home for the sling. I was sitting next to him, wondering what could be wrong and don't you know.... He leaned up against me and roached.,,, Yep, right up on his back, right there on the side of the road.

 

When Craig came with the sling, I put it on him, picked him up and we started for home. He was quite content to let me do most of the work until we got about halfway home (we were less than 1/2 block away total). Then he started dancing and wagging... all the way home.

 

I can't believe it! He came into the house, had a good dinner and went to bed. No shaking, panting, or anything.

 

I'm hoping this was an isolated incident.. Maybe he was tired, but he hadn't been out of the yard all day, and we don't allow him out there alone. He's on the leash. Yesterday, he insisted on walking a full block and that was fine. He didn't have any kind of symptoms..

 

He also seems embarrased when he sees people. When he sees folks he knows, they all greet him and tell him how beautiful he is.. When he sees strangers, he used to wag and smile. Now, he sort of hangs back,. really close to me.

 

I am hoping this is all signs that he is recovering.

 

I asked about the carafate.. She said the chemo doctor may prescribe it, but she has no reason to believe he needs it at the moment. I'll ask the chemo doctor..

 

My regular doctor called me today and she wants me to check into vet I tabs. (www.mtavet.com) I'll ask the chemo doctor if he can have them.

 

 

January 15

 

Hi Diane,

 

I hope you and your pack are doing well.

 

It's a good day.... We are out of the basement! Winslow decided to get over the phobia about leaving the yard.. That was hard... but when he saw the stairs, he was right there.

 

Although we are now sleeping in the dining room , it's a lot better than downstairs in the office.

 

He seems to be doing the outside stairs just fine. I don't think I want him on the ones inside.. Looks like the dining room is our permanent bedroom, but we really don't care about that.

 

Tomorrow is his first visit to the chemo doctor.. I'm asking about all the supplements tomorrow.

 

I started sending the invitations to the party..

 

Glynis

 

 

 

January 16

 

 

Winslow missed his doctors appointment this morning. He's been doing the stairs.. getting past his phobia about the front yard.. doing pretty well. Until 6:30 this morning. No way was he going down those stairs. Just wasn't going.. He's 80 lbs and we couldn't carry him down and he just slammed on the brakes and started shaking and crying. He's also become more vocal since the surgery.. something I'm still trying to figure out.

 

2 hours later, down the stairs and outside, no problem. Back into the house, no problem.

 

Since we moved upstairs, he slept in his crate, which he loves,(door always open) and slept all night. He's happy to be back and we are breaking the "backyard phobia"...

 

This whole behavioral thing is new. He's spoiled and lazy, but this seems like fear. Part of me says when the gabapentin wears off, all this will go away. I haven't given it to him for 2 days. Have you ever used one of those DAP things? I'm afraid to give him Bach's remedy because it has alcohol and he's taking tramadol.

 

Any suggestions?

 

 

 

He's still taking tramadol, but in a much lower dose. 1/2 every 4 hrs. I can tell when it's been 4 hrs. He gets really restless and whimpering. Aside from that, he is acting a little strange, getting used to things I guess. Fortunately the doctor rescheduled for tomorrow. I'll take him out when he has to go and sit at the vets until his appt

 

January 21

 

Here's the deal:

 

Winslow had his first chemo and it went well. He got a massage and laser treatment before it and got his stitches out, too. He's on amoxocillin in case his white count drops and reglan for nausea. He's been eating and drinking just fine. He's off all pain meds. He came out of the back yard, started doing the stairs just fine and doesn't mind going out front now. I think it was the pain meds.

 

Now, he sleeps all day and wants to go out every 2 hours all night long. At first I thought it was urinary stuff from the amoxicillin.. but he's sleeping all day. He wants to take his walks at 3:am. He is up walking around all night. Snoozing here, then there. He's upset because he can't get on his sofa, so he stands there and licks it. We have changed his name to Moon Doggie.. I am very attractive in my pink jammies running around the block at 3 am with a 3 legged dog. The shadow that we cast on the ground while we are running reminds me of ET. I think this is an anxiety thing so I'm going to give him some kind of herbal calmative. I would use the Bach's rescue remedy, but it' very high in alcohol. I need some sleep.

 

I asked the vet about the supplements and about artemisinin. He said because he has no studies to prove their value, he cannot say to give them. Based on the ingredients, he says they won't hurt either. I did read that study posted on CoG about Vitamins and chemo. showing that giving certain immune building supplements are not a good idea during chemo because the whole point of chemo is to take the immune system down, then you can build it back again.

 

I emailed Dr. Couto about the Artemisinin and he said give it to Winslow. I emailed back again to ask about interactions with his meds.. I'm set to start him on it tomorrow. I have heard a lot about it, all good. I just don't want to do anything that will be a problem, either interacting with the stuff he's taking or with the chemo. My vet has no opinion because he has no proof. He knows his chemo, but doesn't think too much of herbal and holistic stuff. But he doesn't say DON"T DO IT. He says, do it if you think you need to, won't hurt, won't help.

 

For right now, I feel like things are getting better. We are out of the basement, chemo is started. Although he's still not my Winslow, he's not behaving as if he's sick, in pain, or in any way that is totally bizarre. He does some things that let me know he's ok, but no interest in his toys, his favorite cookies, etc. It's like his unique personality is missing. Very sad for me, but I hope it comes back. Things were a lot worse.

 

If you have any insight on any of this, I would certainly appreciate your input..

 

 

in response to my question about a fenced in yard....

 

 

Yes, I have a fenced area, but Winslow likes to take a jog up the hill, around the corner and back down the street. We live in a quiet neighborhood. I'm not afraid. I look so crazy I think most people would be afraid of me in the middle of the night

 

He ate a good dinner tonight and showed some interest in his Kong and his soft crate. That is a big plus. We ran around the block in the snow already.. another improvement.. He usually saves that run for later in the night. I'm hoping to keep him on his regular food, but if he stops eating it, I'll follow your suggestions.

 

I'm starting the arte. tonight based on Dr. Couto's advice. He also said he would send me the findings of his research. They are doing a big study right now. As my vet says.. It won't hurt him

 

 

February 6

 

It's so cold here. about 10 degrees. I wish I was someplace warm right now. It only got up to 18 today. Winslow has finally decided to wear his coats again. After his surgery he wouldn't move if I put his coat on. Now, I guess it's resolved.

 

We are down to one trip out in the middle of the night and the rest of the outs are during the day. It's getting better. The oddest thing is that he hates his crate. It was his place to take his cookies and toys. He really liked it. I brought the soft crate down because the door is higher and he would be more comfortable in it.. Still, nothing.. he won't even go in for a burpdog biscuit. I'm taking it down because he's ok at home alone without it. Everything he took to the crate, he now takes to his bed in the kitchen. It's as if that's the new favorite spot.. Ok, I guess.

 

The psychological changes were amazing. I wasn't prepared for him to be so different after the surgery. It was really like a different dog. Everything we always did and understood was changed. He was like a stranger. We went through a lot of mental stuff with him. I think that was one of the hardest things. He's almost back now and each day is better.. I hope it continues.

 

2nd Chemo is Wednesday. I hope it goes as well as the last one.

 

Things here are getting back to normal, sort of. A lot of people are coming to Winslow's birthday party next weekend. The support for him has been amazing. I know if I got sick, I wouldn't have the number of visitors, cards, letters, treats and gifts that he has. I'm glad we can have the party and everyone can see him feeling well and happy again. It really is a celebration.

 

Glynis

 

 

 

Well, when you consider the change in his life, I wouldn't expect him to be "normal"! Lost a leg, had to live on a different floor, perhaps was treated a little differently by you :) It's amazing these guys adjust like they do. Much better than humans!

 

Diane

 

 

You're right. In all my preparation, that bizarre behavioral thing was something that caught me off guard. I guess I should have realized it before it started. But, hindsight here is very good.

 

 

 

Winslow had one scare when his oncologist decided to change the chemo drugs. Glynis consulted with Dr. Couto and they changed back to the original chemo drug. Last check up -- lungs still clear and Winslow begins swimming lessons in a week or so :)

 

Here is Winslow on his vacation a few weeks ago!

 

Winslowcamp.jpg

 

Winslowroom.jpg

 

Winslowbeach.jpg

 

Winslowvacation.jpg

 

I'm sure if any of the new amp owner's would like to correspond, that Winslow's Mom will be happy to!

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Diane & The Senior Gang

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Thanks for posting this, Diane. Glynis is one of our adopters and Winslow was a favorite foster dog. We were all devastated to hear of his DX, but he's doing so well now. He couldn't have gone to a better adopter :)


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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what a wonderful thread!

gallery_2175_3047_5054.jpg

 

Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

Religion is the smile on a dog...Edie Brickell

Wag more, bark less :-)

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What perfect timing for this thread! I am only halfway through it, but it's so helpful to have detailed information about the surgery and recovery. We're on day two post op at our house with Snickers.

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Aero: http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?d=kees+uncatchable; our bridge angel (1/04/02-8/2/07) Snickers; our bridge angel (1/04/02-2/29/08) Cricket; Kanga Roo: oops girl 5/26/07; Doctor Thunder http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?z=P_31Oj&a...&birthland=
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thank you for sharing. You know we all have a common thread, we love these greyt creatures with our entire being. I love the diary. It really should be kept forever.

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Pam with greys Avril, Dalton & Zeus & Diddy the dachshund & Miss Buzz the kitty

Devotion, Jingle Bells, Rocky, Hans, Harbor, Lennon, NoLa, Scooter, Naomi and Scout at the bridge

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LOoe the emails Diane. I had a message from Glynnis and have his story for the website plus a whole bunch of pictures.

 

Winsloy's Mom has donated a gorgeous painting the 2nd Miss Nellie Auction.

Casual Bling & Hope for Hounds
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Janet & the hounds Maggie and Allen Missing my baby girl Peanut, old soul Jake, quirky Jet, Mama Grandy and my old Diva Miz Foxy; my angel, my inspiration. You all brought so much into my light, and taught me so much about the power of love, you are with me always.
If you get the chance to sit it out or dance.......... I hope you dance! Missing our littlest girl.

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I'm sitting here bawling my eyes out .... Winslow seems like such a sweetheart. Everytime I read one of these stories, I try to put myself in there and I find it so difficult to even think about. God Bless all of those that must go down this road.

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Diane, thanks so much for posting this. I kept thinking as I was reading, What a lucky, lucky dog.....Glynnis is an angel! I was also thinking, I hope Aerosmom (Snicker's Mom) reads this too. And I see that she has. That's great. I think it would be informative and comforting for any owner of a new tripod to have an idea of what to expect. And the pictures....especially the last one. He is so regal, so beautiful.

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Nancy, Mom to Evangelina, Kiva and Laila
Missing Lacey, Patsy, Buster, my heart dog Nick, Winnie, Pollyanna, Tess, my precious Lydia, Calvin Lee, and kitties Lily, Sam and Simon
My Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Catsburgandhoundtown

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Chemo postscript:

 

I asked Glynis about the drug that made Winslow sick.

 

 

 

Winslow had 5 doses of ADRIAMYICIN (DOXYRUBICIN) and 1 dose of CISPLATIN. It was the cisplatin that made him sick. My vet prefers to do 3 adriamyicin and 3 cisplatin. Dr. Couto said he hasn't used cisplatin for years and uses only adriamyicin.. he gives 5 doses.

 

Winslow did fine with the adriamyicin BUT had to have 2 heart ultrasounds to be sure his heart was up for the treatments (he has a minor heart murmur as many greys do). The cisplatin was a horrible treatment involving way too much IV fluids and he was sick for about 2 weeks. No way I would ever put any dog through that again. I don't know how they give carboplatin, but I understand that a lot of vets use that. I just had them go back to the adriamyicin because I knew he would do ok with it and Dr. Couto said to do it that way.

 

Glynis

 

 

Diane & The Senior Gang

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Oh Winslow...I read every step of your journey...You are such a brave boy...and your Mommy and Daddy are very brave too! :grouphug Keep up the good work handsome. :grouphug

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CODY ANGELO~FLASH GORDON.

 

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What a wonderful post! Inspirational and helpful information, too! I hope I never have to experience this, but if I do, this diary record will be a source of encouragement! Thank you Diane, Glynis, and Winslow!

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May 30, 2007

 

 

Winslow's swimming lesson was fabulous. The place I took him swims horses and dogs. It's outside Middleburg VA... horse country. He swam in the baby pool. It's about 10 feet wide and I would guess 60 feet long, with a ramp at each end. The water is deep enough that he couldn't touch the bottom. The owner, Roger, fitted him with a vest, hooked a leash onto it and walked him onto the ramp. The pool has a walkway so the human isn't in the water. He told me to go and stand at the other end. Winslow went right in, Roger held the leash and offered him guidance while I cheered him on as he was swimming toward me. When Winslow got to the end, he was grinning and wagging! He was so proud of himself! He swam the length of the pool 5 times today! He wasn't over tired or stressed by it at all. I gave him a warm shower afterward with shampoo and conditioner.

 

I am so proud of him! After all he has been through, seeing him swimming toward me was very exciting!

 

Since I didn't know what I would have to do, I didn't take photos this time. He goes back on Saturday morning, so I'll be able to take a few then.

 

I was really impressed with Roger and his knowledge. He's been doing this for years and had no problem walking Winslow right into the water and getting him started. I think Winslow sensed it and trusted him. I saw no signs of fear at all. Each time he did it, he got better at it. I think the workout was about right for his situation. As he builds stamina, he can do more. I'll take him twice a week for the first few times and then once a week after he's used to it.

 

I really believe that exercise is going to be a factor in keeping the cancer from returning. He loved to run and go for really long walks. Just riding in the car isn't enough for him. He needs a real workout. I could tell that he was happy about it.

 

When he wakes up, a good massage.-- From the looks of it, that could be tomorrow.

 

Glynis

 

 

 

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I have a amputated tripod (OS) and have read about many others. It's the first I had heard of swimming lessons for rehab.

I was wondering if Winslow had a special problem or just better parents. :P

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I have a amputated tripod (OS) and have read about many others. It's the first I had heard of swimming lessons for rehab.

I was wondering if Winslow had a special problem or just better parents. :P

 

:lol Swimming is wonderful rehab for all sorts of injuries. I've never heard of it being used for post-amp surgery, but it will build up muscles nicely, so that should help with balance/coordination, I'd guess. Like Diane said, it can't hurt :)


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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May 31, 2007

 

).... someone was asking about why Winslow is swimming?

 

Winslow cannot run. He has a bone spur on the front foot that sometimes gave him trouble when he ran. I was about to have it removed but he got sick. Removal now is out of the question. So is running. We just can't have any accidents or lameness in his remaining legs. He no longer has the stamina for long walks. His hind leg gets too tired, but he still needs exercise.

 

Swimmng is the safest with no impact. It provides the exercise of a good run without any of the hazards. Having worked with horses, I know they do this as rehab for everything involving the legs. Why not with dogs? When I asked the cardiologist and the oncologist if Winslow could do this, they thought it was a fabulous idea.

 

I'm not the only one. Many others have already discovered swimming as rehab for their dogs. Many rehab vets use underwater treadmills now as well.

 

This pool does a good business with dogs and horses. It's designed for easy entry and exit with rubber on the ramps. There is a great big dog washing station for afterward. They do not chlorinate as heavily as people pools.

 

For Winslow, it's perfect and he likes it.

 

Glynis

 

 

 

June 2, 2007

 

Diane,

 

Winslow had swimming lesson #2 today. He learned how to do a u-turn in the smaller pool. Here is a series of photos taken by our friend John Frye who went along to cheer and document the event.

 

We arrive.

 

Arriving.jpg

 

Winslow waits his turn on the sofa.

 

Couch.jpg

 

Winslow suits up.

 

gearon.jpg

 

Swimming

 

 

ImDoingit.jpg

 

Uff.jpg

 

Cheers

 

cheeron.jpg

 

almostdone.jpg

 

 

 

Hugs

 

Whew.jpg

 

 

 

All done!

 

happyboy.jpg

 

feelsgood.jpg

 

Glynis

 

 

 

Diane & The Senior Gang

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Good for Winslow! He looks so proud of himself. What a great mom he has, to do all this for him.

 

 

Aero: http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?d=kees+uncatchable; our bridge angel (1/04/02-8/2/07) Snickers; our bridge angel (1/04/02-2/29/08) Cricket; Kanga Roo: oops girl 5/26/07; Doctor Thunder http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?z=P_31Oj&a...&birthland=
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June 4, 2007

 

As you can see Winslow has taken to swimming. He likes it because he doesn't get hot! This boy hates the heat. Just wants his AC..

 

Tomorrow is his 1 month oncology check up. I am hoping it will be good. He doesn't seem to be having any problems.

 

I'm going to get another kidney and liver check up, too. He had a normal test last time and I took him off the denosyl but have continued with the milk thistle and vitamin E. I just want to be sure it's still normal.

 

The psychology of swimming is this: I have noticed that Winslow seems more confident of himself now that he is getting exercise. He doesn't seem to be as clingy (something that started after his surgery) and he's getting up during the night and sleeping on his own bed. When we are outside, he's happier and not fearful of other dogs... even growling at one yesterday... He hasn't done that in a long time. Instead, he was hiding behind me. He seems to sleep better, too. The behaviors that I thought were going to be permanent seem to be fading. I really think it's from swimming and actually getting out there and doing something again. When he comes out of the pool and I cheer, he is really happy. It's easy to see his sense of accomplishment.

 

Glynis

Diane & The Senior Gang

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Winslow, you are one heart-stoppingly gorgeous boy! Keep up the good work--and that picture of you on the coach waiting your turn is amazing!

gallery_14387_3165_6886.jpg

 

Patsy and DH with the Humane Society specials, Linus & Jazz, in North Dakota

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