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Arrow's Bone Cancer. Need Some Guidance


Guest sethbest
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I don't know where you live, but it would be a good idea to check out the OSU Greyhound Health and Wellness Program. They are the experts in osteo and I've heard that sometimes they supply free chemo drugs.

 

Good luck. Osteo really sucks.

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Xavi the galgo and Allen the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09.

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It sounds like you're doing everything right. And support is what we're all about.

 

I did want to just let you know however that I had an amputation done on my girl when she had OS in the front leg. She was 12. She had a very very good 6 months before OS hit another leg.

 

And many greys have made it to 14, 15, even 16 yrs old. My own Onyx made it to 15.5. And I personally know of two that made it to 20 yrs and 2 months.

 

Unfortunately no matter what we do, they eventually leave us. Taking a huge piece of our hearts with them every single time.

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Guest elliemae421

Yogurt will work even better as a Probiotic,plain no flavor!

I am using that,Dr.Kisseberth at Ohio state suggested that over Probiotic pills at the store.

Also YES..... Willie's Palladia is free for him from Ohio State!

I go back to Ohio State next Tuesday to see how well Palladia is doing with this tumor! Fingers crossed on that!

I would never be able to afford it otherwise!

I also heard from people to keep dogs away from carbs such as rice when they have cancer,

I heard this from 2 people that have dealt with it. carbs are attracted to cancer is what I am told,just an FYI for you! :grouphug

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Guest sethbest

Thanks for the tips on food elliemae.

From what I read a little long grain brown rice, or oatmeal is fine as it doesn't breakdown into sugars easily or quickly.

Got cottage cheese for the flax seed/cottage cheese mixture I've seen around. I think cottage cheese also contains probiotic cultures, but I'm not sure.

 

I went ahead and ordered the Pamidromate. Looks like two treatments and doses will run me around $290, which isn't as bad as I thought it would be.

 

MP the4pack, 20 years?! that's remarkable. It just makes me more curious as to why these adopted racers have such shorter life spans according to the adoption group.

 

Will keep updated. Thanks again everybody.

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I am so sorry that another Greyt soul has been affected by the monster- Cancer. We lost our sweet girl Sara last year to Hemangio Sarcoma, cancer of the blood vessels, with an inoperable tumor in her spine, we let her go 24 hours after diagnosis, it was a painful but necessary decision. I would have done anything to prolong her life but it was time as she had survived 5 years with GME/another terminal disease and had gone through a year of chemo in 2007, she was almost 11 years old. I was told by her Doctor, to take her home and spoil her. Nothing could have prepared me for the grief that followed. Spoil Arrow and cherish the time you have together :grouphug:grouphug Just wanted to also add that sugar is another thing that speeds the growth of Cancer.

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Roberta & Michael with Furkids- Flower (Shasta Flowers 6/7/06) & Rascal the kitty - Missing our sweet angels - Max(M's Mad Max) 10/12/02 - 12/3/15, Sara (Sara Raves 6/30/01 - 4/13/12) Queenie & Pandora the kitties - gone but never forgotten

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12-15 years is typical. I don't know that its different down there, the person you spoke with may be going on personal experience (in adoption you might hear back more from people who lose their pups early for instance).

 

Where did you get that 200 mg/day is the max dose of Tramadol? It's definitely not for a male greyhound.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest elliemae421

Thanks for the tips on food elliemae.

From what I read a little long grain brown rice, or oatmeal is fine as it doesn't breakdown into sugars easily or quickly.

Got cottage cheese for the flax seed/cottage cheese mixture I've seen around. I think cottage cheese also contains probiotic cultures, but I'm not sure.

 

 

You are quite welcome! I am not sure either but I am staying away from rice period. I have some recipes and some have grass fed beef in them as well. If you want i can email them to you in a private message or something. My greys chemotherapy drugs are free through Ohio State which really helps out a bit. Let us know how we can help out,we are all here for each other. I am a little new on here myself but got very active recently with Willie's diagnosis! I do have a thread on it! it is titled Just diagnosed with squama call carcinoma. :goodluck

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Oh, I'd also like to add that I strongly recommend a fish oil over flaxseed oil. I'm a big fan of Icelandic Pure Anchovy/Sardine oil, which you can find pretty easily online.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Thank you so much everyone for your responses. I can't tell you how much the kind and supportive words mean. I felt like I was going to die from the shock and heartache that first day, and it still hits me in waves out of nowhere. I am a big stoic guy and it has really shaken my family, and friends to see me crying. For them, my girlfriend especially who is unbelievably supportive despite how hard this is for her too, and for Arrow I am doing my absolute best to stay upbeat.

 

I have spent two days of solid research and reading, and it has helped immensely. Just knowing that I am doing everything I can for him up until the end has helped with the self pity and guilt that I know is a big chunk of my grief.

 

Some very wise words from Patricia McConnell's blog (https://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/love-guilt-putting-dogs-down) about when she had to euthanize her heart dog:

 

But as he always had, Luke left me with a gift. It took awhile, but I slowly began to notice how EVERYONE I talked to who loved their dog, like we all love ours, was guilty about something related to the dog's death. It didn't matter how or why they died: hundreds of owners, from professional trainers and behaviorists to the dog loving public, found something to feel guilty about. "I should have seen the symptoms sooner," or "How could I have not known that the lock on the door was faulty and allowed my dog to run out the door?" or "Surely I could somehow have prevented the bite if I just hadn't...."

 

Here's what Luke taught me, along with the wise comments of a psychologist friend: It is easier to believe that we are always responsible ("if only I had done/not done this one thing....") than it is to accept this painful truth: We are not in control of the world. Stuff happens. Bad stuff. As brilliant and responsible and hard working and control-freaky that we are, sometimes, bad stuff just happens. Good people die when they shouldn't. Gorgeous dogs brimming with health, except for that tumor or those crappy kidneys, die long before their time. Dogs who are otherwise healthy but are a severe health risk to others end up being put down. It's not fair, it's not right, and it hurts like hell. But please, please, if you've moved heaven and earth to save a dog and haven't been able to... just remember: Stuff happens. We can't control everything. (Difficult words to dog trainers I know... Aren't we all control freaks to some extent?) You didn't fail. You tried as hard as you could. It's okay.

 

To all of us: Try folding up that guilt and pain like a pile of dirty, ripped clothing and throwing it away. Remember: Much of what we love about dogs is that they live in the present and accept what happens. That's our job, to accept what happens sometimes, even though it's the hardest job of all.

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My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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I am so sad to hear of your Arrow's diagnosis. (I'm sorry I didn't reply sooner - the GT server change had me locked out).

 

You are doing great research and really thinking things through clearly; kudos to you on that!

 

I did amp/iv chemo/oral chemo for my girl (b/c she was quite young, active, and her osteo was in a "good" location), so my situation is a bit different from yours. However, I completely understand the uncertainty and difficulty in knowing what to do. You want to protect him without overprotecting him. It is SO hard to know where that line lies, but it sounds to me like you are doing a great job.

 

Your recent post really makes me smile, because you are pulling things together so well. It sounds like you have a great vet - I love vets who are willing to research things they aren't familiar with. One thing to maybe address is dosages of pain meds (nsaid/tramadol/gabapentin). The one down side of many regular practice vets is that they often are looking at very long-term effects of higher dosages, and sadly, that isn't the most likely course for our osteo hounds. If you go through the osteo threads, there will be good recommendations on max dosages of the pain meds.

 

For food, I have heard said again and again that "cancer feeds on carbs". However, I remember someone posting a link to a study that showed that yes, cancer loves carbs - but if it doesn't get carbs it will just switch up its game and feed equally well on something else. I don't know. For us, I split the difference and went with a low-glycemic-index food, but whether that is helping keep cancer at bay or not, I have no idea. I would've gone raw, but that was a no-no since she'd been on chemo (and this is from vets who were fine with raw pre-cancer, so not anti-raw vets!).

 

It is so hard to know when to let them go. As said before too soon is much better than too late, but feeling like it was too soon is awful, too. I've had to let many pets go, and of those there were only two that I felt were "just right" timing-wise. I've also cremated all but one. My previous dog I buried behind my parents' house near the woods where we would happily walk together. The one thing you do need to do if you decide on burial is to make sure you can dig deep enough. Here (it was legal), we needed to go six feet - that was a lot of digging through clay soil.

 

I know you will be able to find a good balance between keeping Arrow safe and making the most of the time you have left together. Some friends of mine here locally went on outings to a local winery that welcomed dogs in some of their outdoor areas. They had many pleasant excursions out there. A little creative thinking will give you some great ways to spend nice time together.

Wendy with Twiggy, fosterless while Twiggy's fighting the good fight, and Donnie & Aiden the kitties

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I am so sorry to hear about Arrow. My heart breaks for you and your upcoming decision. As others have said, Enjoy every minute. Take lots of pictures. Spoil him with every favorite thing you can think of.. Sending lots of prayers to help all of you get through this. {{{HUGS}}}

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I'm not sure where the info from your group is coming from. Greyhounds routinely live past 10 years old, and into their teens, and a general life span is 12-15 years.

 

And yes, new info is now saying that doxycyline alone doesn't do much to reduce tumors. Also, the metronomic protocol previously favored by OSU (alternating a chemo drug cytoxan with artemisinin and an nsaid), has not demonstrated any clinical advantage in extending life spans for dogs with osteo. There is evidence that the nsaid piroxycam (sp?) *does* have some effect on tumor size, so you might consider using that one.

 

Many people in the Osteo Thread have had very good success with the pamindronate treatments. I'm glad you will be able to try them.

 

You will hear and receive more diet advice than just about anything else. You need to decide how much you want to try. It was commonly thought that carbs can "feed" cancer, but recent studies have seemed to disprove this.

 

Your tramadol dose has some significant room for increasing. It may take a few days for his body to adjust to a higher dose, but it's also better to keep ahead of the pain than to try and catch up to it. Adding Gabapentin can really help in this regard and you may not have to increase the tramadol so quickly.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest elliemae421

I'm not sure where the info from your group is coming from. Greyhounds routinely live past 10 years old, and into their teens, and a general life span is 12-15 years.

 

And yes, new info is now saying that doxycyline alone doesn't do much to reduce tumors. Also, the metronomic protocol previously favored by OSU (alternating a chemo drug cytoxan with artemisinin and an nsaid), has not demonstrated any clinical advantage in extending life spans for dogs with osteo. There is evidence that the nsaid piroxycam (sp?) *does* have some effect on tumor size, so you might consider using that one.

 

Many people in the Osteo Thread have had very good success with the pamindronate treatments. I'm glad you will be able to try them.

 

You will hear and receive more diet advice than just about anything else. You need to decide how much you want to try. It was commonly thought that carbs can "feed" cancer, but recent studies have seemed to disprove this.

 

Your tramadol dose has some significant room for increasing. It may take a few days for his body to adjust to a higher dose, but it's also better to keep ahead of the pain than to try and catch up to it. Adding Gabapentin can really help in this regard and you may not have to increase the tramadol so quickly.

This is true about the Piroxicam. We started it after 2 weeks into the Palladia. Had to wait and see how he handled the Palladia,then the Piroxicam was introduced. He has Palladia M,W,F and then Piroxicam on T,T,S and Sunday is his off day from drugs! With exception of Gabapentin and Tramadol and Famatidine.

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I am so sorry to hear about Arrow. I lost my heart dog to this horrible cancer last year. He was beautiful and healthy and only 8 years old but osteo seems to take so many of our beautiful greyhounds. You need to do what is in your heart and what is best for your Arrow. When my boy was diagnosed amputation was not an option so I did allot of pain meds, short walks, the best home cooked meals, etc. When it was time to let him go-6 weeks after the diagnosis I knew it was the right time and I still cry about it a year later.

 

As far as greyhounds not living past 10, I am not sure if that is true. Including my two current boys who are 3 and 5, I had six greyhounds spanning almost 20 years. I lost two to cancer, hemangio (another seemingly common cancer in greyhounds) at age 10 and my 8 year old to osteo. Two of my past greyhounds lived to be 14 and 15! They were doing really well up until the last few months when they just slowed down. In fact I have photos of my 13 year old Lance racing on the beach and on the river front like a 2 year old! It's really just a matter of luck and genetics. Please do take care of yourself, take it easy and take it one day at a time. Every day is a gift.

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Guest Adrianne

I am so sorry to hear about sweet Arrow, and I can see in your words how much you love him.

 

Lots of good advice in this thread, and it seems you're ahead of the game with all the information you're gathering. I would just like to reiterate that, like a piece of fine china, the bone in his leg is now very fragile. My boy, Wilbur, didn't even have a limp before his leg snapped one evening, and even then, not a single sign of cancer showed up on his x-rays. Nine weeks later, still no sign of cancer in the bone.

 

When will it be time to let him go? You'll know. In Wilbur's case, his spirit never gave up, but his body couldn't take any more. It was nine weeks after his leg broke, it had not healed, and two tumors appeared on the inside of the leg. Overnight, they went from marble sized to softball sized, and my vet diagnosed hemangiosarcoma.

 

It's the hardest thing to say goodbye to one we love so dearly, but it is a kindness.

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Guest Scouts_mom

I am startled to read that you are planning to invite a lot of people to be there when you let him go. Everyone is different, but I have always had it be a special time between me and my pet, when I tell her how much I love her and that she is going where there is no pain and she'll be able to play again. The vet very unobtrusively steps in to give the injection and then withdraws until I am ready to let them take the body.

 

For my Mindy who had a tumor in her pelvis area: When it was clear it was time, I took her to a private dog park that she loved. A friend carried her from my car to a nice sunny area on the grass. There her friends, human and canine, came up and said goodbye. I really think she knew what was going on. When she seemed to be tired, I took her home and let her sleep in the sun until the vet came.

 

One additional thing I would add, is to let your other pets see the body. They probably won't appear to be very interested--they know the body is just a shell and the real Arrow is gone--but it lets them know what has happened to Arrow so they won't be searching for him.

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Guest elliemae421

Scouts_mom quote!
[One additional thing I would add, is to let your other pets see the body. They probably won't appear to be very interested--they know the body is just a shell and the real Arrow is gone--but it lets them know what has happened to Arrow so they won't be searching for him.]

 

 

 

 

I so agree with you on this! We had my Doberman/Shepard he was at Ohio State awaiting our return to let him cross the bridge and my now ex husband though to leave Oreo

and Ellie Mae at home I said "no" they need to know and they will. We had just taken Ellie Mae in off of the street,yes she was a stray,matter of fact all 3 were.

She had just come to stay with us November of 2000 and this was March 2001! We sat in the room they brought him in,and Ellie and Oreo walked up to him happy to see him of course and they both just stopped and stared at him,they knew he smelled bad of course.

Ellie went and retreated to the corner of the room and just stared with the saddest of eyes and then Oreo went and sat next to her as if to say I guess it is you and me now Ellie! It was so sad,I cry just seeing that play over in my head. Keep in mind,Eliie is about 70 pounds and Oreo if lucky was 7 pounds.

Then we all let him cross the bridge he looked very happy to see his sisters and me. I was the last human he saw and nobody can ever take that from me ever and that was how I wanted it.

My ex can't even say that,I was the one who took him to cancer treatments,fed him,gave him shots,held him close a lot of times,he would lay across me when he felt bad and we would snuggle that made him very happy a lot of times.

Then I lost Oreo 5 years later and 3 days apart. She had been dignosed with kidney disease in fall of 2004,lived with it until March 2006 to the age of 18 years. She was at least that old. Someone found her and dropped her off at the clinic where I take my dogs this was in 1990,I took her home immediately. Had her spayed real fast,thought she had pyometra. They thought in 1990 she was easily 1.5 to 2 years old! She was not senile in her last days just in incredible pain. We did her blood work on a Thursday and vet thinking she has about 5 good months yet. Well that Saturday I called and made the appt. for her to cross the bridge that Wednesday and my vet was shocked,when he saw her he could not believe how fast she went downhill. The blood work was quite decent considering he said. He felt horrible. It was hard find a vein on her even,once she crossed the bridge I just held her tiny body and Ellie lay in my lap just looking so confused why this on e now?

Am I next?

She did not do well without her buddies! That is why it is important to have their 4 legged friends with them at this incredibly sad time.

That is when I got my first Greyhound Willie! Love at first sight,now he is sick! :grouphug

Edited by elliemae421
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Guest sethbest

VVz1lMf.jpgThanks again everyone for the kind words.

 

Arrow is doing well still. We have a Pamidronate session monday. I only have him currently on the 200 mg a day of tramadol as the vet prescribed, and his carprofen, but he's doing well. I'm a bit worried that with the medicine he's hardly limping at all when we go outside, i fear he's going to put too much weight on the leg. He still tries to charge off in his leaping spinning dance routine every time he thinks we're going for a walk so I've had to lure him outside and get a firm grip on his collar before I have my girlfriend grab the leash and bags. This is further complicated by our little (relatively) basset terrier mix who is getting very jealous of all Arrow's special treatment.

 

The medicine makes him so sleepy and dopey that I keep looking at him and getting sad, but then before his next dose he's back to his normal self.

 

Made another batch of food yesterday: organic free range steamed chicken, yucca (for b17), organic pinto beans, red pepper, organic sprouted black tofu. He loves the stuff, though his appetite is lacking in the mornings. He's tolerating the fish oil, flax oil, reishi mushrooms, super greens powder, and vitamins well. I even started putting some apple cider vinegar on his lunch meal and it didn't slow him down at all. Avemere dog formula "immunity4pets" is coming today expedited, but my artemisinin next day delivery got delayed. Will update after I see how he does with those.

 

The only supplement i haven't been able to track down in some form or another is DCA. There is a lot of good anecdotal stuff about it, but almost every website linked about it on forums is dead so I don't have a lot of information to go on. Without reliable sources or info I'm not sure if it's something I should pursue.

 

We're taking him out to his favorite dog park again this afternoon, it's good to see his big grin every time he gets in the car.

 

I have an old mattress that I was about to throw out that instead I'm moving to the living room. It will function as a super dog bed and a step up to his favorite couch.

 

Does anyone have any insights from the x-rays I linked?

 

Arrow keeps laying on his bad arm. This has me worried since I keep thinking he's going to hurt it when getting up. He's a big Greyhound, 82 pounds even now, and has always been cumbersome getting up and down. When he's on his right side he keeps grumbling but doesn't get up. If it was hurting badly I hope he would figure out not to lay on it.

---

elliemae421, or anyone else with good recipes I'd appreciate some information. I'm making a new batch of food today.

Edited by sethbest
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I only have him currently on the 200 mg a day of tramadol as the vet prescribed, and his carprofen, but he's doing well. I'm a bit worried that with the medicine he's hardly limping at all when we go outside, i fear he's going to put too much weight on the leg.

Please do not keep him in pain to control his activity level. Either you are willing to take the risk of a fracture and you keep his pain managed as best as you can or you're not and you either amputate or let him go. I know that may sound harsh, but it is just not fair to keep him in pain to control his activity, especially when he has a terminal disease.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest sethbest

Please do not keep him in pain to control his activity level. Either you are willing to take the risk of a fracture and you keep his pain managed as best as you can or you're not and you either amputate or let him go. I know that may sound harsh, but it is just not fair to keep him in pain to control his activity, especially when he has a terminal disease.

Just sharing my worry, I have no intention of cutting back on the pain medication. Every time he climbs off his couch I wince with every step. The mattress between the couches, and now carpet pieces I cut to cover the wood floors have been helping.

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Guest lynne893

Seth, no advice to add, just wanted to add my support and care.

 

Your love and concern for Arrow is very touching. It's clear how much you love your boy, and I'm sure he knows it!

 

He's beautiful. I'm so sorry you're going through this.

 

Hugs to Arrow!

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Just sharing my worry, I have no intention of cutting back on the pain medication. Every time he climbs off his couch I wince with every step. The mattress between the couches, and now carpet pieces I cut to cover the wood floors have been helping.

Gotcha'. The fact that he's still limping at all concerns me though. However, the Pamidronate will likely take care of that. In fact, you may also notice more "pep in his step" afterward. A few of us noticed an immediate effect along those lines, not sure why. Let us know how the treatment goes!

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest sethbest

The Pamidronate session went well. He was doing great immediately afterwards, which is weird since from everything I read there is no mechanism for that kind of immediate response, but I won't look the gift horse in the mouth. He's limping pretty bad today though. I've noticed its worse when he hasn't been very active. After a short walk or a trip to the vet there is hardly any limp, but after sleeping all night he's at his worst. I try to wake him up to give him medicine around 3-4 AM but he is very reluctant to eat any time before noon (he's always been this way. Most days he won't eat until I get home from work around 4-5). He also has developed an alarming ability to eat food wrapped around pills without eating the pills.

 

Anyways, despite the limp today hes still moving around with less trouble. Next Pamidronate session is in two weeks. I've been breaking his tramadol into smaller doses and doing more through the day. At the twice a day dosage the vet prescribed he was passed out for hours after a dose and then limping long before the next. He's still doing well at this dosage, like I said the mornings are the only times he exhibits pain.

 

Thanks for all the suggestions and kind words.

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