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Colonel Mosby

The Three-Legged Adventures of Colonel Mosby

Colonel Mosby

Mosby Time

March 26th, 2017 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

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I realized belatedly that I didn’t update the blog 2.5 weeks ago when, after a long talk with a wonderful surgeon, we decided not to do the surgery and instead to proceed with Mosby’s chemo schedule. There were just more “cons” than “pros” with the surgery scenario, so we are focusing on chemo for now, and we can and will reevaluate the sarcoma at each subsequent chemo visit and going forward. So two weeks ago last Thursday, Mosby had his fourth (!) chemo treatment. It was also three months since his amputation. Really unbelievable.

He handled that chemo even better than the last, and never lost his appetite. The next week, we went to see his PT vet, who x-rayed his spine. The good news is that there was no visible spread of the osteo. Unfortunately, he does have compressed disks in his lower back and neck, which explains a lot of his pain symptoms. We are staying on the methocarbamol and upped his gabapentin a little. The meds he’s on now seem to be a good mix, and he has been happy and full of personality.

This weekend, we finally took a trip we’ve been meaning to take for years. There is a cabin a little east of here on several acres, that’s dog friendly. This is our first time taking Mosby anywhere post-amputation, so we were a little anxious about how he’d handle the traveling and the new place (being a creature of habit, he’s not the biggest fan of leaving his nice comfortable home where everything is where it’s supposed to be). But he handled it great! We started cooking dinner as soon as we got to the cabin, and the routine of it settled Mosby right in. He even adjusted to using the bathroom in a strange place (which is difficult for him)! He slept through the night both nights, and enjoyed snoozing in front of the fire (and getting lots of treats). We took him for a couple of walks – not very long, but probably long for him – with lots of breaks to stop and smell the outdoors and the various critters. I think it is safe to say that Mosby enjoyed his weekend, and we certainly enjoyed our Mosby. <3

King of the Ridge.

What was that? Squirrels?

I love the smell of squirrels in the morning.

Can’t beat a warm fire.


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Normal Days

March 5th, 2017 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

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Things have been pretty quiet around here, which is nice. That may change this week, because on Thursday Mosby will be evaluated for surgery to remove/biopsy the sarcoma on his remaining hind leg. I still don’t really know how invasive or disruptive that is going to be. I know that it is going to be hard to get the deep margin. I know we need to do it, so at least we know what we’re dealing with. Mosby’s main problem these days, since his med switch has helped his back, is weakness in that remaining leg. So I am definitely nervous about this, but I know this is the right way to proceed, so I’m just going to keep moving forward and taking it one day at a time.

Today was a barn day! And Mosby’s favorite, Cindy Lou Hoo was there! We love her and would steal her if it didn’t mean taking her from her mom, who is also one of our favorites. It was a gorgeous day, although the wind was a bit chilly! Mosby had a good day but his leg is worn out, for sure.

My menagerie! Co-starring Cindy Lou, of course.

Tired Mosby and sweet Cindy.

Enjoying the sunshine.

Finally, here’s Mosby on our front porch while I was picking up limbs in the yard (he’s a huge help, obvs). He’s ready for summer and porch weather – so am I!!

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Happy Boy

February 27th, 2017 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

The last week or so has been nice and quiet, which is a welcome change! Mosby has been in his daycare routine, has had a great appetite, and is just generally enjoying life. He has been having strength problems with his remaining hind leg, but at this point I’m willing to chalk it up to the fact that he got behind the curve in terms of fitness when he was sick, and once he started getting better we still treated him with kid gloves. So I’m hopeful that he’ll start getting stronger now. He is happy and does not seem to be in any discomfort. His med routine seems to be going well. He is on twice the gabipentin as before, plus the muscle relaxers and his normal meloxicam. His back seems much more comfortable than it was on the tramadol.

We went out to the barn today and let him go off leash and he loved it so much. He did a good part of his barn “routine,” making certain rounds, visiting people, etc. He’s tuckered out now, but happy, and tore into dinner. Yeah, about dinner. He still prefers that we spoon feed him. He has a great appetite, but if we present him with a bowl of food he just looks up at us like “what?” Ugh. And of course we indulge him.

I didn’t get any pics at the barn, but here he is on the front porch today, master of all he surveys! 

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A DNA Surprise

February 23rd, 2017 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

On Monday at Mosby’s PT vet appointment, we discussed his back and his remaining hind leg. The vet did not see any obvious issues with his hind leg, and feels that his back issues are likely muscle spasms, but that we need to rule out metastasis to the spine. We will have to go back in for more xrays for that. In the mean time, we are treating him for as if it is back spasms. He’s off the tramadol (which has questionable analgesic qualities in canines anyway), and on a higher dose of gabapentin and is now on methocarbamol, a muscle relaxer. He’s also back at daycare this week – while he is certainly somewhat more at risk post-chemo for infections, his quality of life is 10x better when he can go to daycare, so it is a balancing act. And through some combination of the above – med change, daycare, etc., he’s doing great! He’s perky, interested, has a great appetite and is just generally happy. He does still pant every time he moves around. Not sure if it’s pain or exertion (he did get behind on the post-amp fitness curve when he got sick); time will tell. He does not whine or seem distressed, so that is good. He’s feeling so good that we’re starting to have to monitor him. My husband was working out back and Mosby went down the deck steps by himself. :/ And then when my husband walked up the hill around the house, Mosby happily ran after him.

So things are much less stressful in our house right now. We have about 2 weeks now until he will get reevaluated for his surgery to remove his sarcoma on his remaining hind leg. We will concentrate on just letting him enjoy this time, relax, be in a routine, and not worry about stuff.

Here is Mosby not worrying. Note the beautiful orange “bridge” to this bed. It was one of the few spots that we didn’t have a runner to, since it’s not on his main circuit, and Mosby would somehow skate across the hardwood floors to this bed. So, I fixed it with a bridge. He likes that spot because he can see out the front windows.

On to the DNA test!! I’ve had Mosby 9 years. When I first got him, people asked me if he was a Rhodesian Ridgeback, because he was built like one and was a red color.

Look how handsome! The only white on his face was the snow. This was right after I got him.

At our first apartment.

But I always told people he was a lab / hound mix. Lab because he has a lab head, hound because he was built lean and tall, with a wasp waist, like a hound. I have thought he probably has some Pit in him, but other than that, I’ve basically just always considered him a “lab mix.”

WRONG.

I felt like I belonged on a daytime talk show when we got the Wisdom Panel results back. There is NO identifiable lab OR hound in this dog!

Mainly, he is good old fashioned American mutt. Wisdom Panel only goes back 3 generations, and Mosby is so mixed that 37.5% of him is just “mixed breed.” The groups identified as likely are “companion, sporting, herding and terrier.” So, technically, there could be some lab in there. But no hound.

Next, he is 25% golden retriever, so that is where he gets the retriever qualities, rather than lab.

Then he is equal parts (12.5%): Pit, Australian Shepherd and Boxer.

Of everything, we only guessed Pit! I think the Boxer is where he got his wasp waist and deep, deep chest.

I texted my mom his results, and she texted back “and 100% sweet Mosby.” Which is true. We always knew Mosby is one of a kind and a once in a lifetime type of dog. This just confirms it! Although I’m still blown away.

Mosby doing what he does best – run! Also taken when I first got him. We logged many miles together!

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One Day at a Time

February 18th, 2017 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

Yesterday Mosby had his third round of carboplatin (after “great” bloodwork and lab work and nothing visible on his chest xrays). To say that we have been nervous would be an understatement. It was after the last chemo treatment that he went so far downhill so fast, culminating in 24 hours in the hospital on IV fluids (despite having “perfect” lab work), then another decline when he stopped eating and drinking almost entirely, until we finally took him off the cipro and he became a totally different dog. So, we have been hoping that the adverse reaction that he had was the cipro and not the chemo. Otherwise we’d be heading down the same road after round 3 and reevaluating whether we wanted to continue at all.

Mosby ate his dinner heartily yesterday (although he has over the past couple of weeks come to prefer us feeding him with a spoon …), seemed in good spirits, and crashed for the night. But we knew today was going to be the first real test. This day three weeks ago he didn’t eat breakfast. Later he ate some chicken and rice my husband cooked him, but didn’t eat it the second time it was offered. That was the start of a bad week and a half.

This morning, he ate his full breakfast. There was a moment after breakfast when I went to give him his meds (I reward him with peanut butter) when he turned away from the peanut butter and I felt my stomach sink. But he turned back, and then after I gave him his meds, he ate the peanut butter off the spoon. One of the meds was the ondansetron for nausea. I determined to leave him alone food-wise and not try to ply him with things until his mid-day snack (w/ his mid-day meds).

I worked from home today, and he was my little shadow. His mood was bright, he wagged his tail every time I moved or made a sound. We had folks over landscaping and doing drywall and he was interested in all of them. He barked when the post man rang the doorbell. Around 11 I was munching on some crackers and Mosby was eyeing me closely. I offered him a little piece, and he ate it happily. Ok, good sign.

He also ate his mid-day snack with gusto. Was bright all afternoon. Ate his dinner. And is generally a happy dog. I realize that this is just day 1 — we have more post-chemo days to come. But this day was a good day, and the best part is that compared to day 1 three weeks ago, it’s night and day. So, day 1 is mostly over. Tomorrow we move on to day 2, and we’ll see how it goes.

Pictures!

My associate. Honestly he wasn’t much help all day. Slept on the job.

 

At one point we retired to the library, where we both had a quick nap.

 

Then we enjoyed the beautiful weather and sat outside waiting for dad to come home.

Alright, day 2. We are ready for you!

Bonus! We did the Wisdom Panel DNA test with Mosby and our results came back earlier this week. Any guesses as to what Mosby might be (other than 100% sweet Mosby, as my mom said)? I will reveal in my next blog post.

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