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Update on Buddy

June 21, 2010

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Well, as you might have read over on Nikki’s Blog, things have been going pretty good with Buddy’s sister and her cancer journey.

I wish I could claim the same good news for Buddy.

As you might remember, Buddy was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in his right hind leg, and we pretty much figured that we’d caught it in time. We were also fortunate to get him into a pallative study at CSU that would spare his leg and yet still treat the cancer.

For the first 2 treatments (every 30 days), things were progressing normally and Buddy was doing fantastic. However about a week after his second treatment, we noticed that Buddy was starting to lose his appetite and just didn’t want to eat. He seemed fine everywhere else, was a happy dog, and had a great attitude, but just didn’t want to eat.

We called the folks at CSU and brought Buddy up to see them last week. After looking at him and doing some tests, it appears that the Duramax (a required pain medication as part of the study) had destroyed his kidneys. The reason he wasn’t eating was because his stomach was so full of acid. The protocol to try and solve this was intense IV therapy and 5 days of hospitalization to try and get the kidneys restarted. Even then no real guarantee, and the recommendation was to effectively end his life.

Well, being the types that like to get a second opinion on every major decision, we decided to let Dr. Pyne take a look at Buddy and see what she could see. She recommended that we bring him in and drop him off for 2 days of therapy (with being allowed to go home over night) and then see what the kidney tests show. If they showed improvement, then maybe we could get the kidneys going again..

Buddy spend both Friday and Saturday in the hospital hooked up to fluid IVs, and then Saturday evening the kidney tests were run again. The tests showed slight improvement on 2 of 3 tests, and major improvement on the last. The two tests that were only slightly improved were still in the range to cause concern, so Dr. Pyne suggested we give him a couple days rest, and then see if we couldn’t get him to eat and maybe kick-start those kidneys.. Today Buddy seems as if he might be pulling out of it. He’s eating much better, and is acting very much like he’s not in the same pain that he was before..

 

Keep your fingers crossed for Buddy. We really need him to pull through this, as the cancer seems to be the least of our problems right now, and honestly the radiation treatment seemed to do the trick there, as he’s been running and jumping like normal.


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One Week Post Treatment

May 10, 2010

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After bringing Buddy home from CSU last Friday, we had one night at home and then Mary and I hopped a plane for Europe. We left Buddy in the care of our son, with instructions on who to call and what to do if Buddy experienced any side effects.

Luckily, Buddy did quite well.

We have some security cameras on the outside of the house (Don’t ask, we live in a wonderful neighborhood with almost no crime, but we put the cameras up anyway) and one of the benefits that we get is when we travel we can check in on them. So, we were able to check now and then and see that Buddy was walking just fine while we were a few thousand miles away in Stockholm.

When we got in last night, all 3 of the dogs were bouncing and of course very happy to see us. I happened to notice that Buddy was really using his back leg and moving as if nothing was wrong at all. This was confirmed this morning when I let them all out and watched Buddy tear off after a rabbit that was in the yard. (I don’t think he really wants to catch them, as he seems to let off once he gets close, but he does like to chase them). I’ve been working from home today and all of the dogs have pretty much been here with me the whole time. Buddy has been very happy, and I’ve been watching him closely and he really is doing great!

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The swelling on his leg has gone down some, but not as much as I’d hoped it would by now. But, I guess that’s why we have more than 1 set of treatment to go through. The good news though is that at least for now, Buddy is very happy and doing quite well on 4 legs!


Home From CSU

April 30, 2010

Mary and Buddy just returned home from CSU in Ft. Collins. Buddy did extremely well, and the good doctors up there are very pleased with Buddy’s performance so far. (Not that he really had to do anything other than let them treat him, but even that can be a challenge sometimes I guess)

We’re very thankful that we have such a world-renowned care center such as CSU nearby (yeah, we consider a 3 hour drive to be “nearby”), and even more thankful for the various studies that they have on a regular basis.

All told, Buddy spent the night in the kennel, had a pre-treatment diagnostic exam that included a very high-tech weight distribution monitor (used to determine just what percentage of his weight he’s currently placing on the affected leg), had various visits with some specialists, and then received 2 radiation treatments that required him to be sedated. When Mary handed me the bill I noticed that it was $1351.00 for this visit, but when you take the study discount the total cost for everything that they did was $105.00.. NOT BAD!!

When they walked in the door, you’d have thought that Buddy had been away forever and was seeing his long-lost family for the first time.. He was so happy and full of pure energy that it was really amazing to watch.. (Remember, this is the dog that when he first came to us all he would do is lurk in a corner or attach himself to Mary’s side) He was running all over the place, playing with both Nikki and Sasha, and wagging what’s left us his tail (or nub, as we call it) like there was no tomorrow.. Anyone who doubts the power of positive reinforcement just needs to look at the before and after behavior of this dog!

Buddy really dislikes having his picture taken by me, so this was the best picture that I could get of him once he calmed down:

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You can see the lump on his right-rear leg pretty well in this picture. We expect that it will start to dissipate pretty soon, but it’s clear that he’s not experiencing much pain in it at the moment, so that’s a very good sign.

So now Buddy goes about his normal life for about a month, and then we repeat the treatment again…

So far, so good!!!