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!
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Right when we thought things had turned for the better after Mosby’s 24 hr hospitalization / IV fluids, they got worse again. Mosby was tired and stopped eating, and even stopped drinking except just a little bit. I was visualizing more ER visits, ultrasounds, more tests to figure out what was wrong with him. But we have also been waiting to get him off the Cipro they put him on for his staph infection. We had to wait for the results of a second culture that they did on his incision. I hadn’t heard, so I texted our vet Monday, and he replied that while the culture did grow a strain of staph, it was sensitive to more antibiotics (unlike the bad staph infection he had), and that it was possible it was just some bacteria that was on his skin rather than an infection. I told him his incision looks great, no sign of infection, and he gave us the go to take Mosby off the Cipro.
By Tuesday evening, Mosby had energy, greeted me at the door, and ate almost a full can of food for dinner. He also started eating his treats again, and drinking water. But today was even better. He wolfed down breakfast and later wolfed down dinner. He has energy, is a happy boy, and is eating. We are so, so, so happy that he is feeling good. I hope he never has to go on Cipro again!!
Mosby went to daycare Monday, and while he enjoyed seeing the other dogs, he mostly slept all day and wouldn’t eat treats. His daycare folks love him so much and were so happy to have him back, but Stephanie told me she cried after he left on Monday because he was so different from the dog they knew from before, and so tired and depressed (they have been taking care of Mosby almost as long as I’ve had him). When I dropped him off this morning, I told her I was dropping off a totally different dog.
I was right. By mid-morning, they were sending me texts saying how great he was doing, that he was playing, drinking water, and had a new girlfriend! They told me that they had posted pictures of him on facebook and texted me this picture:
And here’s one of the pictures from facebook.
LOOK. AT. THAT. FACE. If that is not a happy dog, I don’t know what is. I am so, so relieved. He will be back at daycare tomorrow, and then I’m working from home on Friday and he’ll have his acupuncture appointment Friday morning. I think he will need it after all of the playing he has done this week! I’m so glad he is finally able to enjoy life again!! <3
Here’s a great picture of Mosby sunbathing this morning. He’s been pretty perky and relaxed, and after not drinking for about 24 hours after coming home (which I guess is understandable after 24 hours of fluids) has started drinking some. He is eating, but is much more picky than he was before last week. He seems to only want the i/d diet he had at the vet, and you need a prescription for that! So I am trying to work that out. And we are going to try to convince him to start eating something else.
Yesterday I worked from home to stay with him, and during the afternoon I thought we needed to have an outing. His health has been so up-and-down, with the back pain, and the dehydration and lack of appetite, that we’ve been treating him with kid gloves. He also lost a lot of strength over the last week because he was so lethargic and depressed. So I decided we’d go for a walk around the property. I put him in his harness and bundled myself up, and down we went to the creek.
We have 5 acres and live on a creek, and most of our property is very hilly. We walked down the hill to the creek to look at the little area where the spring-fed stream runs into the creek (that’s where the otters bring their mussels to eat them), followed some groundhog tunnels, walked to the old farm bridge across the stream, then followed the stream up the hill to the road. When we got to the part where it was a more significant uphill, I grabbed his harness handle and helped him along.
That walk tired him out, but really made a difference in his attitude. And even though I was scared I might have pushed him too hard yesterday, he seems even better today. So we will definitely be doing it again today and every day, building up to more – as long as he stays feeling good. I gave him lots of good back massages last night, and he is in good spirits.
Today we plan to stay pretty cozy (it’s FREEZING out) and make a cassoulet for dinner. We need to make a grocery store run, which Mosby can accompany us on – he’s much happier waiting for us in the car than he is waiting for us at home. One of the good things about winter is that we can bring him more places.
Chris just opened the pantry, and Mosby’s head popped up – rascal. It’s good to have the rascal back.