Elsie is on a doggy diet!

dog diet
Elsie is such a happy dog!

I am not sure why, but it is weird having to put a dog on a diet. Elsie definitely loves food, and is very food motivated. I didn’t realize that we were feeding her too much, though. I have never had a dog that I needed to watch their weight. I knew she was chubby, but it wasn’t until we went to the vet last time for some vaccines that they said she needed to lose about 10 pounds! She is an English lab, so she will never be thin, they are built sturdier than other labs, but she needs to lose some bulk.

Elsie is an active dog, when we are home. I think during the day she lays around and rests, though. She does go to doggy daycare once a week, for some playtime and socialization. She sure loves that! As soon as we get close, she starts breathing hard and getting excited! She practically breaks down their gate to get inside!

Back to the diet. I put her on grain free, weight maintenance food. I also only feed about 2/3 of what it says on the bag. Vet said they always recommend more than the dogs actually need when they create the amounts on the bag. Don’t worry, she is not starving. I add a little coconut oil (for her coat), a little canned pure pumpkin,  some peas, carrots and broccoli. She loves the veggies!!

So far she has lost about 6 pounds – it has been about 2 months. So its a healthy rate of loss. She seems happy, doesn’t seem to be hungry, I think its a great diet for her! She still does get a little treat now and then, but I am watching it a bit more than I was before. I dont want her to have excess weight, labs get hip dysplasia and hopefully this will help her NOT get that!

Elsie is such a great dog, she is so sweet and fun! I love labs!

Our silly puppy

Elsie is so silly. She loves to be bratty just to get our attention. She doesn’t enjoy good attention as much as she prefers us to try to get us to chase her. We don’t chase her, but that’s what she wants.

Someone told me to ‘trade’ her treats for things she brings in from outside, or things she steals, so she doesn’t run away from us – instead she just hands over the prized possession for a treat. It works really well, and she volunteers up whatever it is IF we give her  a treat. Sometimes I think she wants a treat so she goes to find something so I will ‘trade’ her.

Elsie the silly lab - tree trimming
Tree Trimming!

Lately she has been bringing in large branches. She has a hard time bringing them in through the doggie door, but sometimes she manages to get the branches inside. Here is a picture of one she got the other day – it had 3 little pine cones on it, too! Bonus!! I let her keep that branch for a while – it looked like it was hard to get.

Another silly thing she enjoys doing is trying to carry multiple toys at once. She will have one or two in her mouth, and then she will be kicking a tennis ball around with her feet. She is getting pretty great at dribbling the tennis ball (soccer style). Every time I try to video tape it, though, she stops!

carrying 2 balls
2 balls at once!

Elsie loves getting her picture taken, but not when she is concentrating on all the toys, I guess. She cracks me up!

Another really cute thing she does – which is kind of annoying, but a total lab thing. She splashes in her water bowl. She loves to spread water all over the place and then lay in it. If I put water in her pool, she does the same thing. At the dog park, she goes to the water fountain and tries to get the water out of it and onto the area around it, so she can lay in it. Then after she gets wet, she runs over to the dirt and rolls around! Its funny to watch, but that means bath time when we get home and I dont always have time for that. 🙂

Owning a lab is fun. They have such great personalities and are always doing something silly. I love Elsie!

Elsie is 1 year old now!

Sorry, I haven’t kept up with this. Elsie turned 1 in April. She is a fun dog! If you’ve never had a lab, you should think about getting one! Never a dull day!

Just relaxing on the couch

She is a very typical lab. Social, friendly, a little goofy and into everything! She loves everyone! We go for our daily walks, and many days a week we also go to the dogpark. She plays nicely with every dog we meet. She likes to run and chase, but gets frustrated quickly if she can’t keep up. It’s really cute to watch her at the dogpark – she is one of the greeters. When she sees a dog coming up the walkway, she runs to the gate to greet them!

Elsie is really good on walks. She likes to walk slightly ahead of me, but she doesn’t pull. We need to stop and sniff and smell everything we pass. If a dog goes by on the other side of the street, she nods to say hello and we continue on our way. She is not dog aggressive at all, even when other dogs bark at her.  Sometimes she will bark back and then move on.

Elsie enjoys meeting people along the walks. She sometimes barks at them, but its not in a mean way. I think she is saying HELLO! She gets comfortable with the people pretty quick.  As a lab, she needs to carry things on our walks back home. I use to bring her collapsible bowl, and that’s what she would carry home, but now I don’t bring that with us. She knows how to drink from the water bottle, so I just bring a bottle that carries that home for me. Its her ‘job’.

I love Elsie so much! She is turning into a wonderful dog and I look forward to coming home to her each day!

Meet Elsie – our English Lab Puppy

Elsie English LabWe have a new puppy, Elsie. Well, we have had her for several months now, but I haven’t posted.

She is now about 10 months old and is a super adorable English lab.  We have had her since August, we got her when she was about 4 months old. She has been a lot of work, but we have almost made it through the hardest part of puppy ownership.  I wont go as far to say she is obedient, but she does listen most of the time to what we ask.

She completed a puppy class, Beginning Obedience and Intermediate Obedience classes. Elsie knows many things, and if I have treats she will perform pretty much flawlessly. But during a normal day, and when treats are not involved, she is no longer focused on me or what I ask of her.  Yes, she will sometimes listen but as a whole she is more focused on whatever toy, rock, stick or random thing she has found outside.

She goes to doggy daycare once a week. Elsie is super social and loves all dogs – and loves people, too! Lately, however, she has started to growl at new people – but just for a minute and then she wants to kiss them and play with them.  Best part of being a lab  is that she is not aggressive at all to dogs or people!

Elsie is a big girl. She weighs about 70 pounds right now. She could probably use a little dietary restriction. Problem mainly is that I broke my foot about 4 months ago and our exercise routine was greatly impacted! I just recently got out of the boot and can walk her again – so we will get a lot more exercise now and hopefully that will thin her out a tiny bit.

I’ll start posting more things, but this was just to introduce you to our new little baby! You can follow her on instagram – I post photos daily. Her name on instagram is Elsiesweetpea <3

My sweet boy is not doing so well

May 25, 2016

I am sad. Rocco is not well, he seems to be declining. His sight in his good eye is failing. He can still see, but not very well. When he tries to concentrate on something his eye doesn’t seem to want to cooperate. When I take him for walks he crashes into stuff, and when we play bubbles he can hardly even see them. He goes after the ones on the grass, because they are not moving.

well, it's In-N-Out
Going to In-N-Out

He is eating fine, he can get around fine, he seems to be going potty and all those sorts of things fine. I just see him struggling with his sight now, and is afraid to do things. Even on our walks, he just doesn’t seem as happy go lucky as he has always been. Every noise freaks him out, its just so sad! Everything he loves has been taken away. He cant play with the soccer balls, or any toys really. He cant even enjoy the walks anymore. He just lies around. I have to go to work each day so he just lays there on the couch. He doesnt run up and down the hill chasing squirrels, checking out the yard, he just doesn’t have interest in it anymore (probably because he cant see!).Well, It is heart-breaking. This is all happening too fast! I get one thing sort of under control, and then a new problem arises. I just wish there was something I could do to slow it all down a bit.

I’ve been taking him for rides. He still loves to go in the car. I took him to In-N-Out the other night, and of course got him a cheeseburger. He loved both! I have been feeding him lots of good stuff (maybe not good for him, but he loves it). Wet food so he gets some doggy nutrition, then I give him boiled chicken covered in turkey gravy, or fast food burgers, tapioca pudding, all sorts of soft stuff like that.

Every once in a while he goes over to the toys and acts like he wants to play! He has this one squishy yellow ball that has been one of his favorites for a long time. We played kick ball with it the other night. He had fun! It was a little spurt of energy and ‘Rocco’ was back for a few minutes.

The vet said that once his sight starts to go in the good eye, that means that the tumor is either working its way up into the brain or over to the other optic nerve.  We all felt like this was going to be months away, but its all happening so fast!

I don’t think he is suffering. as in pain, but he is suffering in that he cant play, he cant go on walks (well, he can, but its not so fun). He can however, sit on my lap & get lots of love. Im afraid the end is near, but  how will I know when to allow it to happen? The rest of his body is very healthy – its just this stupid cancer that’s the problem.

Double-dose of Rimadyl is helping Rocco

May 16, 2016

Rocco
You can see the growth on the left cheek.

Giving Rocco the double dose of Rimadul is helping. I really think Rocco is feeling better overall. He is eating more, seems more playful, and seems to be more energetic. So happy about that! But other areas seem to be decling. <sad face>

I have been trying to feed him more so he can gain some of his weight back. Not that he is too skinny, but I can feel all his ribs and spine – where before you could, but they were not so obvious. Anyway, the vet said to feed him more, and fatten him up a bit. So we are doing that! I give him half a can of wet food with his medicine crushed into a powder on top of the food. Mix it up a little. So he eats that. Then I give him a little Freshpet refrigerated chicken soft food and real boiled chicken, topped with turkey gravy! Oh my gosh, he loves it! For snacks, I give him cottage cheese with pumpkin stirred in, or doggie ice cream, rice pudding, or whatever else I can think of.  My husband brings him burgers every few days as a treat and of course Rocco devours those!

We’ve been going for out walks like normal. He seems to have trouble seeing things right in front of him. I am not sure if now the other eye is having problems or if its just his depth perception and he isn’t paying attention. But he has almost run into fire hydrants, mailboxes, etc. So I now use the leash to guide him along the sidewalk and warn him of an obstruction. He seems fine with it – hasn’t hurt himself, but I don’t want him crashing into things – that’s embarrassing for him! I took him to the carwash and he had a great time there. Got to talk to some of the guys who work there (there are many dog lovers), and check out some new smells.

He has been sleeping well, but has been having more tremors. They usually happen in the middle of the night, or very early in the morning. The vet said it could be many things causing them. He could be cold, he could be in pain, having anxiety, or it could be the start of kidney problems, or Addisons. The vet thinks it is probably pain. But he could also be cold. We dont keep our room super warm. So if he starts shaking, I cover him up and that seems to help. I am not sure if its the blanket helping, or if the mommy love makes him forget about whatever is hurting. Regardless, for now, covering him up and cuddling seems to help.

My poor little guy. I hate that he is suffering.

Vet visit – Pain & weight loss

May 10, 2016

Took Rocco to the vet today. Just for a evaluation / recheck sort of thing. He said the tumor is obviously growing, and its going to be more and more uncomfortable as time goes on. He thinks that some of the muscles/nerves on the side of his face are affected and that’s why his jaw hurts so much.

Neurologically he felt like Rocco is doing great, so he doesn’t think that portion of the tumor that they left in there has grown up further into the brain. He said he was not showing any of the typical issues of meningiomas in the brain, so that was good news! He said he was alert, could concentrate, was looking to him for cues, was walking normal, and acting as he should. He told me to watch for seizures – because once they start there are medications he can have to keep them from getting too bad.  I hope that happens way in the future, if it does advance to that point.

He was a little concerned because Rocco has lost over 8 lbs in 2 months. So he is not eating enough. He told me to feed him more often, and give him anything he likes. I know it hurts sometimes when he eats, so thats why he doesn’t just gobble everything down like he use to. I have been feeding soft foods. I have eliminated dry food, dog treats, cookies (kills me because he loves the pumpkin cookies), and pretty much just giving him soft cheese, tiny pieces of chicken, wet food, cottage cheese, dog ice cream, goats milk… I need to find more options for him.

pain pills
Wiped out Rocco. Pain pills are coming!

I have Rocco back on Rimadyl, which I think does help him feel better. We took him off of it for about a week because he was acting strange. But the vet said its better to keep him on it, and even give him pain pills – if we keep the pain away, and keep a constant flow of the meds – he will feel better overall. Makes sense. I haven’t been great about making sure he has the pain pills. In fact, I have only given him the Tramadol once. He said I should give it to him regularly and that will help him be more comfortable. He says his jaw/cheek probably aches constantly, but there is no way for him to tell us. He cries if he yawns, or opens his mouth wide, so that pain is obviously worse. So I am going to keep him on the Rimadyl and the Tramadol and see if he feels better.

He has had some mild tremors lately, too. The vet said there are many reasons dogs have tremors, but usually its because they are in pain. So that points again to giving him the pain pills. He said I can grind them up and put them in food. Its getting harder and harder to get him to eat the pills. I cant just throw them down his throat because I am afraid I will hurt him.

My poor little guy. I feel so bad! He is such a good boy, I just want him to feel better!!!

I’m a little worried. Tumor or side effect?

May 3, 2016

I am a little worried about Rocco (more than before). He has had this odd behavior lately. I dont know if its from the Rimadyl (thats the only medication he is on) or if its the tumor affecting his brain.

<a href="http://www.puppydoggies.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_1132 cheap amoxicillin 500 mg.jpg”>Odd behavior - He will look at his toys, and I can tell he wants to play with them, but is afraid it will hurt - so he wont!
He will look at his toys, and I can tell he wants to play with them, but is afraid it will hurt – so he wont!

I did reduce the Rimadyl dose, thinking that he would feel a little more like himself if he wasn’t so doped up. It’s funny, Rimadyl is only an anti-inflammatory, but he just kind of has this odd behavior. He lays there staring off into space. He will run outside and stand on the patio and just stare off into space – then come running in like something scared him. This morning he acted like he was afraid to go outside. I went out with him, he went potty and then ran back in the house. He got up on the couch ‘behind’ me! He doesn’t normally do that. Normally he checks out the backyard for a while, comes in and may lay on the couch, but today he was acting strange. I finally got him to relax and he had some breakfast and laid in his normal spot on the couch.  I had to go to work, but I felt better about things when I left.

Last night he was stuck to me like velcro. If I got up to go to the bathroom, he came with me. He stood right next to me as I washed the dishes, and as I folded the clothes from the dryer. He isn’t acting like he is in pain, its just like something is bothering him. Almost like he is afraid of something.

I called the vet this morning and am awaiting his call back. I just want to see if this is normal on the medication – or if they think it could be that the tumor has reached into his brain and that is what is causing the odd

behavior changes. I love Rocco so much, I don’t want him to suffer. I want my crazy puppy back! I want him to be healthy and happy and everything he was before this all started.

Cold Dog – do you cover your dogs up?

April 29, 2016

Strange question. Cold dogs – Do you cover up your dogs when its chilly in the house? Rocco doesn’t have much fat or much fur (boxers don’t really have dog fur – its more like little tiny short hairs) to keep him warm. Poor little guy will curl up in a tiny ball to try to stay warm. We have blankets all over the sofas so he can cuddle up with them. I dont know how to teach him to cover up!

This photo was taken at the end of Rocco's birthday party. He was wiped out.
This photo was taken at the end of Rocco’s birthday party. He was wiped out.

I cover him up when I see that he is cold, but it would be great if he could cover himself up! The other morning he was freezing! I could feel him shaking! I immediately covered him up and cuddled with him to warm him up. He sleeps on our bed, and it was not cold in our room. Maybe 65-68 degrees, but he was obviously cold! We have a huge blanket on the end of the bed for him, I wish I could teach him how to nuzzle his way under the blanket – he would make himself much more comfy!

So now throughout the night I wake up to cover him up. I don’t know how long he stays covered, or if he is even cold, I just automatically cover him up now.  The things we do for our dogs.. It’s like having a little baby – dont want them to be cold!! A cold dog is probably not a happy dog.

Then I was thinking that maybe its the medications that he is on that make him chilled? Like I said it wasn’t super cold in our room. I need to look into it and see if that’s a potential side effect. But regardless, I want to teach him to cover himself up! Or maybe I will buy him a sweater 🙂 I dont want a cold dog. I want my Rocco to be comfy.

Rimadyl Medication side effects

April 27, 2016

IMG_1134
It’s me Rocco! Please pray for a miracle!

Rocco is not in any pain that I can tell, but he is acting kind of doped up. He lays around and kind of stares off into space. He goes outside and just stands there. He does still bark at things in the yard, and gets excited when its time for walks, gets excited when people come home, etc. All he is on right now is Rimadyl. He was on it prior because of his surgery and I didn’t notice him acting spaced out at that time. He also keeps crashing into things, which is not like him. Yes, he only has one eye, but has adapted well to that. His close up depth perception was a little off, but I had not noticed him crashing into things until the past few days. I think I am going to discontinue it for a few days to see how he is.

I am not blaming the Rimadyl yet, it could be the tumor. There is part of it still up right under his brain and it could be growing and could be causing the problems. If I take him off the meds and he goes back to his old self, then we will discontinue it. If he acts the same way off the pills, then I may put him back on. I do know that there are side effects to Rimadyl. No medicine is perfect.

As I have been saying all along, I want him to have a good quality of life – for however much longer he is with us. So if not being on the meds makes him happier, and able to have more fun, then so be it – the pills will be done with. He is only 6, I should not have to be making these decisions now..

Happy Birthday Rocco – Let’s Party!

April 25, 2016

Happy Birthday Rocco. We had his party on Saturday and it was a great success. We did not invite any dogs, all the guests were the humans he loves most! My husband and I, our kids and their significant others and my mom. It was the perfect group. Rocco was so happy!

Happy Birthday Rocco
Happy Birthday Rocco. Peanut Butter Treats

Before the party I went running around trying to find doggie ice cream. I thought for sure that Petsmart would have it – NO. Target – NO. Finally found it at Albertsons. But while at Petsmart I found these little peanut butter cup looking treats. Grabbed a box for Rocco. When I got home I gave him one. He was a little unsure what to do with it. He was droooling! He knew he wanted to eat it. LOL So anyway, took him a minute but he figured it out. He loved it!

The party was fun. We all really did whatever Rocco wanted to do. My daughter and her boyfriend brought bubbles for him. He is afraid of toys now, and I completely forgot about how much he loves bubbles. He was in heaven. They played for a long time! Rocco came in and was exhausted. We had a bbq and of course Rocco got his very own burger. He scarfed it down! I gave him his normal dinner first because I knew he wouldn’t want to eat THAT after having a yummy burger.

For dessert he got to have some doggie ice cream. It was so cute, he ate it very carefully and deliberately. Didnt want to miss a drop! My daughter put a candle on for him.

Happy birthday Rocco
Happy Birthday Rocco. Have some ice cream!

We obviously didn’t make him blow it out. But it made for a cute photo.  I got him two boxes of the little ice cream cups. Frozen Paws I think it was called. Its easy for him to eat and something cold might make his jaw feel better.

After all that we put on the animal channel so he could watch some tv. We wanted My Cat from Hell. It kept his attention for a little, but then he fell asleep! He had a very full day. Full of fun and love from all his favorite people. I think he had a great birthday party!

I hope that we can celebrate with him again next year!! Miracles happen all the time 🙂

Planning a dog birthday party

April 21, 2016 – Party weekend coming!

rocco cute boxer puppy dog party
Rocco, our cute little boxer pup. He is turning 6!

This weekend is Rocco’s birthday party. I have never planned a dog’s birthday party before. It’s not as easy as one might think. I am NOT inviting any dogs. He doesn’t play well with others. Haha. He plays like a boxer and other dogs seem to get kind of freaked out. Rocco is not mean at all, he just wants to knock the dogs to the ground. Then chase them and knock them back down. Anyway, we are not inviting any dogs. But I am thinking I should invite some people for him to play with. People he loves!

So of course I will invite the kids and their significant others, my mom, but who else?? Should I invite friends? All these decisions.

I know for sure that I am going to have my husband bbq and I am going to have him make a steak for Rocco. I dont want him to get a tummy ache, so it will be a small steak 🙂 I am going to get doggie ice cream and I will make him an ice cream sandwich with the pumpkin oatmeal cookies I recently made for him and the ice cream. Hey, if you havent seen my recipe – dogs LOVE it – I mean devour it – they drool when they see the cookies! Here is the recipe.  Oh, I didn’t mention. That recipe is gluten-free!

Anyway, back to the party. I was trying to think of games/activities that Rocco might enjoy. Activity 1. Have everyone lay down on the floor and let him run around to each of us giving kisses? Activity 2. Run up and down the hill with him.  Activity 3. Go for a walk. Activity 4. Cuddle on the couch – but everyone must allow him to sit on their lap if he wants.

How does that sound? Do you think it will be an amazing birthday party for Rocco?

Hemp Oil

April 18, 2016

We have started giving Rocco hemp oil, not the type with the THC in it, but even this type is suppose to help. He doesn’t really like the taste, which surprised me. So I am just giving him a tiny bit with each meal until he maybe gets use to it, or doesn’t mind it.

Rocco went with us through the drive through. He loves the car!
Rocco went with us through the drive through. He loves the car!

According to K9addict website – these are the benefits of hemp oil for dogs. All dogs, not just dogs with cancer:

  • Improves condition of the skin and fur.
  • Reduces shedding and dandruff.
  • Strengthens the immune system.
  • Supports good heart health.
  • Supports healthy organ function.
  • Healthy Growth and Development.
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Positive effects on brain function.
  • Positive effects on fertility/reproduction.

All of these things sound great. I think it will be a great addition to his food. I also give him about 6 ounces of raw goats milk a day, and he takes his antiinflammatory meds each day (twice a day). I think he is actually feeling a little better. He seems more playful and is sleeping really well.

I have been adding boiled chicken to his food. He loves it. I just want to spoil him. If he is uncomfortable at all, I cant really tell. But he loves to eat – so I am doing what I can to keep him as happy as possible and food is one way I can do it. We have also been going for rides in the car a lot, and going for walks. He even got to play at the dog park a few times in the past week or so.

I cant figure out how to post videos on here. I have some great ones of him playing at the dog park (we only go when no one is there). CLICK HERE TO VIEW one of them. He just loves running around sniffing all the trees and ‘marking’ them. He is such a great dog. Hope we get to have him in our lives for quite a while longer.

Just realized is birthday is next week. I want to have a birthday party for him!!!

Rimadyl is the drug of choice

April 8, 2016

I spoke to two local vets that I trust and we have decided to hold off on the Prednisone. He is doing well right now, and we are going to give him Rimadyl instead and see if that’s enough to keep the inflammation down. They both felt that there wasn’t any proof that Prednisone helped with his type of tumor and that the risks of the side effects outweighed his quality of life at this point.

ball on couch
Back in the good ol’ days when Rocco would bring his balls with him everywhere. Rimadyl may help him get back to that point.

We know the cancer is going to keep growing, we know that its just a matter of time .. but for now he is feeling good! He eats, sleeps, plays, acts normal. We go for hikes, he runs around chasing squirrels, jumps for joy when we come home, etc. The only time it seems to hurts him is if he yawns wide or picks up a large toy. Once things start going downhill, I will start on the prednisone to keep him comfortable. The vets I talked to felt it was just pallative at this point, and not going to really cure him or hold off the tumor from growing.

We have weighed all the options and we just really want him to be happy. So we are going to give the Rimadyl a try and see if that’s enough for a while. I am also giving him softened food and raw goats milk. I’ll keep you posted!

Last night we had Nick’s bday dinner and had a few people over afterwards. Rocco was playing with his toys, even chewing on his nylabone!!! Even on the bad side of his mouth. Its after 3 doses of the Rimadyl. I think its helping!! I was so happy when I saw him chewing the bone. I hope this helps him for a while. I am definitely not ready to let go at this time.

So Rimadyl is our drug of choice right now – maybe combined with the raw goats milk he will be good for a long time! Miracles happy all the time 🙂

Second opinion – hold off on Prednisone

Second opinion for Rocco
Rocco wanted to take a selfie. Oh how I love this face! one eye, two eye – adorable pup!

April 5, 2016

Just spoke to our regular vet, well, one we have seen in the past for a second opinion. He agrees that maybe we should hold off a bit on the Prednisone. Really Rocco feels pretty good at this point, why add the possibility of the horrible side effects for a tiny bit of benefit. Everything I read – nothing said anything about meningiomas being affected by Prednisone. What it does say is that the tissue surrounding the tumor would be reduced by the Prednisone. I dont know if thats actually a problem for Rocco at the moment.

What the vet said made sense. The Prednisone is given when the dogs are very uncomfortable, having lots of pain, not eating, etc. It makes them hungry, and reduces some of their pain, so they act a little more like themselves, but he says the positive affects are only short term. Once the dog is on Prednisone for long term, the other side effects start to kick in and the dog wont be very happy. I am glad I got the second opinion, he confirmed what I thought.

So right now Rocco is doing well. Yes, his jaw is sore, but we will give him Rimadyl, which is an anti-inflammatory which has no side effects. He had that before, after his surgery and it makes him a little drowsy, but thats it. I can deal with that! Rocco can deal with it, too.

I do understand where the surgeon is coming from and maybe for some dogs its a good thing. I just think for Rocco, right now, its not a good choice. If and when things deteriorate, and he starts having more pain and is more uncomfortable, not eating, etc – then we can start him on the Prednisone. Right now we are just going to continue with what we are doing. Softer foods, raw goats milk, and lots of lovin’.

Holding off on Prednisone

April 4, 2016

I am a little leary of the Prednisone. I have been doing a bunch of research and many of the side effects are pretty bad. Rocco is suppose to go on it long-term, for like the rest of his life. Short-term use seems fine, but everything I am reading says that anything longer than a month or so, that’s when the side effects start to show themselves.

Some of the things I have read say their boxers have had these following side effects:

  • ulcers in their stomachs
  • panting spells that last for hours
  • loss of control of their bladder
  • loss of control of their rear legs
  • aggressive personalities
  • anxiety
  • unable to settle down and relax
  • look uncomfortable
After
After

There were some others, but those really bug me. I don’t want the rest of Rocco’s life to be miserable. I would rather not do the steroids and let him be happy as long as he can be, comfortable, and able to relax and enjoy himself. He had one dose last night. About 2 hours after the dose he passed out and never quite came back to normal until this morning. I dont want that either!  So for now – no more Prednisone. I have it, so if we decide to start with it, its available.

So I am going to call our local vet, not the surgeons/specialists office and see what they say. I am going to look into some more holistic approaches, things that will maybe just improve his quality of life.  We have started the raw goats milk and he loves it! I also boiled up some chicken for him and will mix that with the wet food, and give him less dry food. He can still eat it fine, but I think the soft food is easier. He likes the crunch, so I will continue to give him a little dry 🙂

Bucket List for Rocco

April 1, 2016

Rocco's Bucket list
He cant play soccer anymore, but there are lots of other fun things we can do. Bucket list for Rocco!

Since Rocco only probably has a few more months (unless of course the wishes I have for him come true), I want to make these months amazing for him. There is a commercial on tv that shows a guy taking his dog around and doing a bunch of bucket list items. I am going to do that for Rocco! What a fun idea.

 

I have thought of a few things already, that will be on Rocco’s bucket list. I will talk to him about them tonight and see what he thinks. LOL I’ll add more things as I think of them. But this is a really good start! If you would like to participate in any of these things with us, let me know!

He is a fun, I’ll-do-anything-as-long-as-its-with-you type of dog. So this will be a fun little adventure for us.

  1. Go hiking
  2. Go to the beach and let him play in the water (not sure where we can do this)
  3. go to PetSmart and pick out a new toy
  4. Have Sushi
  5. Sit in a police car
  6. take a ride in a convertible (if Lindsey is up to it)
  7. go to In-N-Out and have a burger
  8. doggy spa day or massage/pampering
  9. eat steak with dad. He loves to help dad bbq.
  10. eat a bowl of ice cream
  11. breakfast in bed (this could be really messy. I may rethink this one)
  12. play on the playground with Lindsey
  13. take a nap with Nick
  14. play in the sprinklers
  15. Have a birthday party (his 6th birthday is April 29)

The thought of losing my sweet Rocco makes me so sad, but I will make these next few months the best months possible for him.

Raw Goats milk for dogs

March 31, 2016

A friend of mine suggested giving Rocco raw goat’s milk. She shared an article which toted raw goats milk as a great nutritional food, as well as a potential medicine for certain ailments in pets.

Puppy Rocco. Look at that sweet face! Wish I had given him raw goats milk all along!
Puppy Rocco. Look at that sweet face! Wish I had given him raw goats milk all along!

I decided to do some research. Found quite a bit of good info and thus have bought some goats milk for Rocco. He LOVES it. I just pour it over his food and he devours it all. Will I notice a change in him? Who knows? Will it help keep the tumor from spreading? Who knows. Will it make him feel better? Who knows. But its making him happy and at the moment that’s my goal.

According to the Journal of American Medicine, “Goat milk is the most complete food known.” It contains vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, trace elements, enzymes, protein, and fatty acids all utilized by the body with ease. In fact the body can digest goat’s milk in 20 minutes. Having fat molecules one-fifth the size of those in cow’s milk makes it easily digestible and tolerable to those with compromised digestive systems. says Answers Pet Food.

According to Loyalbiscuit.com and IBPet, Regarding Raw Goats Milk and Cancer: Many researchers have found that carotene (or Pro-Vitamin A) contains cancer preventing properties. The milk fat in goat’s milk contains a higher evolved carotene that is readily available for the body to absorb. There is also a fat in raw goat’s milk, called conjugated linoleic acid (or CLA), that is known as the cancer fighting fat. CLA has actually been shown in some cases to shrink cancer tumors.

Read similar info on many sites, including A Place for Paws – they say: Raw goat’s milk contains both anti-mucous and anti-inflammatory properties.  This makes it a perfect supplement for dogs who suffer from allergies of any sort, including food and environmental allergies.  Raw goat’s milk can help to make the steroids that you are forced to give your pet a thing of the past.  As a natural anti-inflammatory, you can be certain that the side effects of drugs such as prednisolone and cortisone will never be an issue.

Rocco is starting Prednisone on Sunday, so I hope its true that the raw goats milk with help with the side effects of the medicine and I hope that it helps shrink his tumor! Hope is a good thing 🙂

Rocco’s tumor is back.

March 30, 2016

Rocco at the park! One of his favorite spots.
Rocco at the park! One of his favorite spots.

So yesterday was rough. We found out that Rocco’s tumor has returned. It’s spread to his jaw. Poor guy!

Yesterday I was told the to call and speak to the oncologist (who is in the same building as the surgeon). She spoke to the surgeon and got to see Rocco yesterday while he was there. Ok, so anyway, I called to talk to her. I was told that I cant talk to her. I must make an appointment for an exam and consultation before she will share her ideas. Why? She already saw Rocco, already had a discussion with the surgeon. She probably wants me to try some new experimental drug or she wants to talk me into chemo/radiation or something. I am not going down that road. The cancer has already spread. I know what that means. I dont want to put him through a bunch of treatments that will make him feel sick. Right now he is fine! His jaw is a little sore, but other than that he is doing great!

We have decided to just keep him comfortable and as happy as possible for as long as we can. The vet wants him to try steroids to see if that will halt the growth of the tumor, so we are going to start Prednisone  in a few days. I just hope the side effects aren’t horrible. I know that it increases appetite, thirst and the dogs pant a lot, but hopefully that’s it.

The surgeon is also suggesting pain pills, which he doesn’t need yet, but may need if the tumor grows. It will be good to have them ready if he needs them. I am going to go after work to find raw goats milk – heard its great for dogs!

The cancer is back!

March 29, 2016

tumor is back. I hate cancer!
tumor is back

The tumor has returned. Poor little Rocco. He is such a good boy, and I love him so much. I cant believe the tumor grew back so quickly! I hate cancer! Here is what has happened in the past few days.

Over the past several months, Rocco jaw has been sore. It seemed to have never healed from the surgery. He has been taking Rimadyl for it, and I think it takes the edge off. The last month or so, however, he has been more uncomfortable. He no longer plays with his soccer balls (well, he tries, but when he opens his mouth wide, it hurts). So he would rather not. It hurts when he yawns big, or gets excited and goes to grab a big toy. Its so sad, he whimpers and looks at me to ‘fix it’. Oh how I wish I could.

We finally decided to take him back in, it seems like its getting worse and I feared that the tumor had returned. My husband thought it was tooth related. So anyway, I made an appointment to go see the surgeon who did the tumor removal. I was going to go to his normal vet, but they missed the cancer in the first place, and I didnt really want to have to explain everything that the surgeon did – I decided I would go right to the person who actually knew what all had happened. So anyway, finally got an appt for today.

We went this morning. The surgeon is really nice, and completely remembers Rocco. He told me that it felt like there was a mass there. His eye socket was hard and it should not be. So he said we could do a catscan or a ultrasound. Ultrasounds are much cheaper and he felt like he could see enough with the ultrasound to see what all was going on. He said it could be an infection/abscess, cyst or a tumor. He wanted to do a biopsy on the tumor (if it was one), but I told him not to. We are not going to do another surgery. The last one only kept the cancer away for a few months. Not putting Rocco (or us) through that again!

So I went to work and they kept Rocco there. About 2 hours later he called me with the bad news. It was definitely a tumor. He said he could see the edges and he said it looked like the old tumor, and it was a crunchy tumor (whatever the heck that means), and thats why he remembered it. There is a little good news, the tumor is on the tmj or near it. The tumor is not near any organs, not in the nasal cavity, not near the other eye or going towards the brain. (he still does have some of the original tumor up in the brain area – that has not grown). So even though the jaw area is painful, its not deadly to have the tumor there, as long as it doesn’t continue to grow so quickly. If we can keep it from growing, then Rocco will have some discomfort, but we can control it with pain meds and anti inflammatorys. He wants me to talk to the oncologist tomorrow to see if they recommend steroids, or anything else to help keep the tumor from growing.

So that’s where we stand. Right now we are doing nothing. Rocco will just go on as he was before. The tumor hopefully will stop growing and he can live a long time. If it continues to grow at the same pace, he wont have many more months. Once it gets to the brain, things go quick.  I have everyone praying for him! Many people love Rocco. Will you please pray for him, too??

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