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 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??
Let me explain. When Rocco was a puppy we took the dogs a few times to the local dog park. It was usually fine. A couple times we saw dog fights, or aggressive dogs running around tackling other dogs. We just tried to keep Chloe and Rocco at the other end. Well, one day we walked in and a huge shepherd attacked Rocco. Knocked him to the ground and help him there. This other dog’s hair was up on his neck, and I was freaking out. The owner hit him and pulled him off. We left! Thank goodness Rocco was not hurt. About 2 months later we decided to go again. I took my son with me, and we went during an off-peak time. Well, Rocco decided that HE was going to be the one tackling the other dogs. First one he saw, he ran over to him and knocked him to the ground. Thank goodness Nick was with me, he helped get Rocco off the other dog and we left. We never went back. I dont want to be ‘that’ person.
So recently they opened a new dog park at the park near our house. There is no way I was going to take him when other dogs are there, so we just go for our walks and if no one is in the park, I take him and let him play. He loves it! He runs around smelling all the smells, peeing on all the trees, treasure hunting for left behind balls and frisbees. He has so much fun!
So I guess the bottom line is: we love EMPTY dog parks!
Santa Rocco speaking: I love Christmas. Mom and Dad buy me new toys! I have to sit and wait while they stack up all the presents by each of them. I have a stack, too. Mom caught me trying to open one of my gifts the other day. I guess I wasn’t quite stealth enough. I was a little embarrassed when she caught me, but I got over it. She never stays mad for long. If I give her my “I’m so sorry” face, then she always forgives me. She is a great mommy! Back to Christmas, I knew I wanted to open this one present, it smelled like meat! I kept staring at it until finally they let me open it. Oh my gosh, it was just what a wanted. A new beef flavored nylabone. I love those things! I ran into the other room to chew on it, so no one would come try to take it. Now, that I think about it, I dont think anyone has ever tried to take one from me. I went back in and sat by Grandma. She has long nails and I love it when she scratches under my collar. I helped her open one of her presents. She got a shirt or something. BORING! But she was sure happy with it. After everyone opened all the gifts, and I had taken all my new toys and put them in by my other toys, we got to have breakfast. They always let me have a little bit of whatever they are eating when its a holiday. I love that about my family.
As far as dog wishes go, I think all of mine have been granted. I have a family who spoils me rotten. A nice warm bed (I actually have several beds), food, water, lots of balls to play with and all the love any dog could want.
Yesterday was the 4th anniversary of Rocco’s ‘eat a few sticks of Crisco’ adventure – what did he do to celebrate? Swallowed a big hunk of rawhide! (I never gave him one before, and the chunk was pretty big so I didn’t think he would swallow it!). It’s been about 10 hours and he seems fine. Hoping it doesn’t get lodged in is stomach or intestines. Wish I could stay home to watch him.
I called the vet and they said dogs swallow it all the time. About 25% of the time it causes problems. They said to watch and make sure he continues to poop. As long as things are ‘moving along’ then he is probably fine. If he vomits, or gets bad diarrhea, then also thats bad. She said we could bring him in, but she said unless there are signs of a problem, he will probably be fine. The stomach acids hopefully will break it down/soften it up enough so that it passes.
I will sleep lightly tonight, and be listening for problems. Rocco seems absolutely fine. He is conked out. Lets hope it stays that way!
The Crisco incident. Well, back on December 9, 2011 he somehow (still dont know how) got into a brand new 3 pack of Crisco sticks. I had them on top of the microwave because I was going to make some cake frosting. Anyway, I came home from work and Chloe came running up to me to tell me something – I can tell when she is trying to get me to go see something – so I followed her. Out in the family room was a crisco wrapper. Then she took me outside, and found another.. And there was Rocco – going potty. Whitish diarrhea! Yikes – he ate the crisco. I found the third one, not completely eaten. So I called the vet and they said bring him in immediately!
So we went to the vet. They did some blood work and determined that he needed to stay over night. They were going to flush his system, much of it had already been digested – so they would monitor him overnight, do more blood work, and flush him out to hopefully keep his system from absorbing all the fat. They were concerned about many possible things – including Pancreatitis. So we left him there and worried all night. By the afternoon of the next day they said they flushed it all out and that his bloodwork was normal. They didnt think he would have any ill effects from it. Whew!!! Quite a vet bill, but our baby was ok!
Halloween is a fun time of year for most of us. Pets, however, not so much. We live on a street that is not heavily ‘trick-or-treated’. We maybe get 5 groups of kids at the most, but its still hard on them. The doorbell rings & they want to greet the guests! I keep them in the other room, behind the gate usually, so they dont scare the kiddos.
Some people keep their pups in the backyard – but that’s probably hard on the dogs, too. They hear all the kids running around, screaming in joy, parents yelling for their kids to stay out of the street, etc. I asked a few friends what their strategy is for their dogs on Halloween. Here is what they said:
My one friend said she locks the dogs in her bedroom. Turns the tv on really loud and just lets them be in there while she takes her kids out trick or treating, and her husband is home passing out the candy. They live in a neighborhood with lots of kids, so I am sure they get lots of activity.She says the dogs (she has 2 little dogs) seem fine. When she is ready to turn off the porch light, she goes up and lets the dogs out.
Another friend of mine sits out front with her dog. He is a giant mastiff-mix dog is and is pretty mellow. They sit outside and the kids come up to get the candy from them. She said her dog pretty much just lays there. So for her, thats a great solution. I actually did this a couple years, but with the lack of trick or treaters on our street – it was pretty boring! And it was cold. If a bunch of kids came, it would have been fun!
My other friend told me that they take the dogs with them trick or treating, and then when they get home they let the dogs watch them answer the door. Yikes! Their one pup is kind of crazy. like Rocco, so I cant imagine how she handles it. She says its stressful for her but the dogs enjoy it. She keeps the dogs on a very short leash while out with her kids gathering treats. She walks in the street so they are not in the way of little ones. What do you do with your pets?
Rocco’s eye is completely healed, I think he really feels fine! There doesnt seem to be any discomfort, except he has some itching. I think its internal itching. He rubs his eye against the couch, or the edge of the bed. I rub it for him, too. Not too much else we can do, but other than that once in a while he is doing great! He is back to his old self, but seems to be more attached to me now. He has always been MY dog, but now he is even moreso. Maybe because of his ordeal, not sure.
He has been having a great time playing outside, chasing squirrels, playing soccer, going for walks, whatever! Life is good in Rocco land.
A friend of mine gave us a few new balls and he has been in heaven. Then I went to a garage sale and found this very colorful ball for 50 cents. I had it in a bag in the living room (room he doesn’t go into normally). I was vacuuming and he came in to see what I was doing. I forgot about the ball. I had just given him one from my friend so I was saving it until that one died. Anyway, I heard this happy little squeal type noise and looked over and he had the new colorful ball. He was so excited, he grabbed it and took it outside. I went out with him and got this adorable picture of him!
Unfortunately that ball didnt last long. It was a very thin leatherette style cover and it ripped off pretty quick – but he did fully enjoy it for a day or so! I look for soccer balls whenever I see garage sales – he loves the soft / almost flat balls the best.
Last night (which was our wedding anniversary) we had to say goodbye to our sweet, gentle, beautiful Chloe. She was almost 14, she had a long happy life. She declined quickly from OK to definitely NOT OK. The last 6 months or so I could tell she wasn’t feeling 100%, she lost interest in eating, she had a hard time getting up, it looked like her back legs arthritis was getting worse. But she never complained. She was such a sweetheart. We will never know for sure what happened, but her symptoms matched kidney failure. Chloe was the best dog ever and will be deeply missed.
Some of my favorite memories of Chloe: When we went to get her at the rescue organization she was part of a litter of 10 pups. Her mom was found on the side of the freeway pregnant. She gave birth to the pups at the rescue. We went to the rescue to see another dog, an older puppy. But we ended up looking at the ‘new’ pups. This was going to be Nick’s dog, so we let him pick one. All the dogs were in a pen. Chloe was the one who was most interested in us, climbed over all her siblings to get over to us so we could pet her. Of course Nick wanted HER! So we told the lady we wanted her. Had to go downstairs and fill out papers and talk to the main lady. She said that there were already over 20 people interested in the pups, and that she didnt want to add anymore people to the list. We asked if we could please be on the list, just in case. Then she said she couldnt add us because her computer wasnt working. Stu piped up – “Whats wrong with your computer? I can fix it!”. And he did 🙂 Then she said “You can have the puppy. Which one do you want?”,, So that was how we got Chloe.
She was a great puppy. Potty trained quickly (we crate trained her and I think that worked wonders). We had the crate in Nicks room. I found out later that he would sneak her out of the crate and let her sleep on his bed. One night she chewed on the footboard of the bed. Nick yelled at her. She stopped and never did it again. Thats the kind of dog she was. If she got in trouble for something, she would NEVER do it again. She wanted to please, and she did! We had Chip at the time, who was not a pleaser – he was a brat. Haha. He got into things and just didnt care if you yelled at him. Chloe would tell on him. If he was trying to get in the trash, she would run up and get me.
Chloe loved our cat Ashley. She would give her huge kisses, wanted to cuddle with her, wanted to be with her always! Ashley would hide and Chloe would just wait for her to come back down. I dont think Ashley liked all the attention but she allowed it. And sometimes she would come down and mess with Chloe, so she must have enjoyed the puppy love a little.
Chloe had these eyes that just melted your soul. She was so in tune with us, and just the best dog. She automatically knew when you needed cuddles, and would be there! She listened, she always wanted us all to be happy. She was a great big sister to Rocco. She potty trained him, showed him how to use the doggy door, tried to stop him from doing things he wasnt suppose to – or would come tell on him so I could stop him. He absolutely loved her! She tolerated him 🙂
Chloe is now in doggy heaven and I think of her often. She was and always will be my sweet girl, Chloe.
Rocco update: I know more about the tumor now. Here are the cancer details. It’s an optic nerve sheath Meningioma. It is not typically a tumor that metasticizes, so that’s good news, and there is no sign of it spreading YET. His neurological exam was normal. His tumor was sent to a dog cancer specialist on the east coast, and was liked at by a dog specialty tumor board. They said it’s a super slow growing tumor, which is also great news. The portion of the tumor that remains is right under the brain, so it’s a dangerous spot. If it grows up into the brain there is really nothing we can do. If it grows into the empty space that was created when the Tumor and eye was removed, that would be better. It could take years to grow back to the same size, but of course anything is possible. It could start growing really fast, or just stay the same size forever.
Treatment options: There is a radiation treatment that could help, but there isn’t much data on it. I guess they only do this specific radiation it UC Davis. Because they left some of the tumor inside Rocco, the radiation will not eliminate that tumor, but it could help slow the growth. But they think its a super slow growing tumor anyway .. I think we are going to pass on the treatment. There isn’t enough compelling data to sway me into making him go through it. Instead I want his quality of life to be the best it can be. I will do my best to make sure he is happy and enjoys whatever time he has with us. The vet seems to think his prognosis is decent. It could take several years before the tumor grows back – or maybe it wont grow back. There is a chance that since the edges have been breached that it could grow back quickly, but they dont think that is what is going to happen. If he starts exhibiting neurological symptoms, that means the tumor has grown into the brain and there is nothing we can really do. Watch for seizures, confusion, sleeping all the time, no interest in anything, things like that.
He is feeling good, eating a lot, being playful, seems happy! So we are going to enjoy life and just hope that the tumor doesn’t grow fast! (Or at all). Rocco wanted to take a selfie of his non-pirate side. That’s what this photo shows 🙂
Rocco update: Rocco is feeling much better! He wants to play soccer. This is the first time he has attempted to play with one of his soccer balls since his surgery. His jaw is sore so he couldn’t really pick it up, but he tried! He cant open his mouth wide enough. I will keep encouraging him to, though, because I think he needs to work that jaw muscle. He has a cloth, stuffed ball. Maybe we can play with that until his jaw feels better. He is a ball kind of guy. He will play with other toys, but his first choice is always a ball of some sort.
Chloe never liked balls. She would chase a tennis ball now and then, but would much rather have a stuffed animal. She liked to play chase, and liked rope toys, but never really balls. She treats her toys so nicely. She never ruins anything. She will carry the stuffed animals around, lay with them, just ‘play with them’, but not destroy them. Rocco destroys them! He wants to rip them to shreds. When he was a puppy we use to call him Shredder! Oh, Chloe would try to remove every toy’s eyes, though. She would chew them off. But that was the only thing she would destroy.
Our old dog, Chip, loved tennis balls. They were his favorite thing (besides shoes). I would buy the huge box of balls at Costco, and always have new ones available for him. His face would fill with joy as soon as he saw a new tennis ball. He also loved his bed. He would drag it around. He was a lab/cocker spaniel mix. And he was a very cute dog – looked like a little puppy his whole life!
Rocco update: he is doing great! Almost caught a squirrel this morning! No news on the tumor yet. His jaw is still sore, but they said that might take a while before he feels better. He is a happy pup and almost back to his normal spunky self. Just the fact that he saw the squirrel, actually wanted to chase the squirrel, is a great thing! I am glad he didn’t catch it.
I was talking to someone on a dog website that I posted some questions on. I met someone whose dog had a similar issue. We were discussing the whole process and how our dogs and how we handled it. It was an interesting discussion. Her dog wore the cone without issue after his surgery. She made a little play pen sort of area for him and he stayed in that, wearing his cone for the recouperation period. So she was able to go to work and do normal things, but she said she felt very guilty leaving him alone. I was telling her that I felt guilty putting the cone on Rocco, so I made sure he was never alone. Looking back, I think my solution was better for Rocco – he had someone there to comfort him at any given moment. Not judging this other person at all! Just sayin’
Her dog didn’t have any complications afterwards (jaw, or anything) and has healed great and is now fine. So I am very happy for her. She found out pretty quick what type of cancer her dog had. They are going to do radiation with him. We are still waiting to find out what kind of tumor it was, and what treatment they will recommend. As a former cancer patient myself, I am very hesitant to put him through all that. But if they give me compelling evidence that it will help him – then by all means I will do it.
Rocco update: (Sunday afternoon) he got his stitches out this morning! Doc says he is doing amazing, he is healing well. No news on the tumor yet, hopefully by the end of the week. Rocco will stay on his pain medications thru Wednesday, and is still restricted from playing outside unsupervised. His jaw is still sore, so soft food for a few more days. He is resting comfortably, and seems pain free (other than the jaw). He still has not really tried to scratch his surgery area or rub it on anything. Even though the stitches has been removed, if he rubs it too hard or scratches the area just right, he can rip the area where the stitches were. I am SOOOO glad that Lindsey is able and willing to stay with him.
I am going to sleep well tonight. I think the weight is being lifted a little as each day passes and he feels better. Its like having a sick child, you feel helpless sometimes to fix things. Just takes time. Chloe has been so sweet to him. He just wants to cuddle with her, and although I know she doesn’t really want to cuddle with him, she allows it. She is the best dog ever! She really is.
I know she isn’t feeling great either. She is just getting old and her bones ache. She never complains. She cant hear very well, but maybe she enjoys that. I see her declining the past 6 months or so. Just more days that she doesnt really want to eat, she sleeps a lot more, she has a hard time getting up, she has a hard time walking too far, I think it even hurts her sometimes when she goes out to go potty and her rear legs need to support her. She has the arthritis meds, and I think that helps. She will be 14 in November, which is pretty old for a lab. I sure love her!
(Wednesday am). Poor Rocco – his jaw is super sore. He barked and it hurt, he yawns and it hurts, and when Lindsey gave him a cookie yesterday he couldn’t eat it and was yelping in pain. He loves his cookies so I am sure this was very disturbing for him! Called the surgeon and he said it could be from the surgery (they did work very close to his upper jaw), but they want to see him. He also has very dark blackish poops, they said he needs to be seen for that, too! So I took today off. Not sure how long all this is going to take, or if there will be any special care needed. I gave him soft food for breakfast and he gobbled it down, and now he is sound asleep right next to me. Cant this cutie pie catch a break? I feel so bad for him. I know its normal to take two steps forward and one step back after surgery, but I just want him to feel good again! I want him to be able to play soccer outside again, I want him to be his wild and crazy self again! This picture is from before the surgery.
Later the same day: Everything is fine! Dr not concerned about the poop, they tested it and it’s just the meds. No blood!! The jaw pain is probably because the ‘mass’ was right above his jaw, so that muscle is probably sore from the surgery. Soft foods for a while. They said to keep him on all the medications for a few more days to help him get past the soreness. Rocco, aka Captain fawn beard, is exhausted from his day out. I think he is tired of going all the way to the valley for the vet visits. He would probably enjoy a long walk around the neighborhood a little more. He loves the car and I dont want him to think every time he goes in the car he will be going to the animal hospital. He really is in good spirits and other than the pain in the jaw seems fine! Thanks to all of you for the ideas and well wishes. We all appreciate your concern.
Monday morning: I’ve spent the morning with the pups today! Rocco was in good spirits and very excited to spend the morning with me!! Chloe was excited too! We cuddled up on the couch and then they both fell asleep… So….
Our morning has been a lazy one! I am taking Pirate Fawn Beard (oh yeah, Dad and I changed his name) to the vet in a little while for a check up of sorts, and I will post an update once we get back. I am exhausted, but I see progress and its wonderful that Rocco is healing, swelling is going down, and hopefully soon our life will be back to normal.
Later the same day: Rocco is doing really well. He doesn’t seem to be in pain (although he is still on pain meds). He is getting a little more rambunctious. The surgeon said he is coming along just as expected, and is healing quickly! We go back in Sunday to remove the stitches. I think the hard part is over – at least I hope so!! Thank you to Lindsey for puppy sitting while I work. This way he (captain fawnbeard) doesn’t have to wear the dreaded cone. He hasn’t really tried to scratch his eye area, or rub it on anything yet. The surgeon said we have to be really careful if we dont have the cone on him because he said its going to start being very itchy and he will probably scratch it. Until we have the stitches out, that could be BAD news! We do have the inflatable cone that we can put on if he starts acting like its itchy or if he starts trying to scratch it / rub against things. We are suppose to still ice him a couple times a day to keep swelling down. Rocco doesnt seem to mind it, maybe it feels good.
Rocco is coming home! I am so relieved – he is doing better! Dr told me that he has been on oral meds now and seems comfortable. He is alert and is acting happy to see people. They are going to get him walking around and eating. He is swollen still, but that’s normal. His incision is scabbing up, so everything now is as expected. Yay!
He will have the cone on for 2 weeks which is going to make things difficult – he won’t be able to use the doggy door, but hopefully that will be the only problem. (Except for the bill – maybe we will win the lotto).
Later the same day: Rocco is home! He is kind of out of it, a little disoriented, having a hard time getting comfortable, but happy to be home. We moved the crate downstairs, and we have to keep him calm . The words ‘calm’ and ‘Rocco’ are not typically used together. The first couple days will be tough. Pills on different time schedules and I need to put a cold compress in his eye every 3-4 hours. He HATES the cone. Wont even sit down. Just standing there. He is so tired, I can tell. He wont lie down. Whatever it takes! So happy to have him home!
<a href="http://www.puppydoggies helpful hints.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/surgery.jpg” rel=”attachment wp-att-193″>August 8: Rocco update (Saturday am): Rocco is doing pretty good. He only sleeps for about 20 minutes at a time, but he is getting more and more comfortable. The cone is not happening! He freaks out when it’s on – just stands in one spot. He doesn’t want to sit or lay down – practically falls asleep standing up! I took it off and have just been watching him so he doesn’t like the leg medicine patch or try to scratch his eye. He ate breakfast this morning and is ow laying next to me on the couch napping. I’m exhausted, but happy he is home and getting better. I sent Lindsey out to get an inflatable cone, maybe that will be more comfortable for him.. Otherwise we will just have to watch him very carefully. I cant miss work, but Lindsey is still off for summer – she will be my helper 🙂
August 9th update: Rocco update (Sunday eve): it was a good day. Rocco seems to be feeling better and better each day. The swelling has gone down almost all the way. Here is a picture of him sleeping. In the bright light it doesn’t look as good as this, but I thought you might like to see him. Hoping for a nice, restful evening. I have to go to work tomorrow. Lindsey is going to babysit Rocco. She is the best daughter!!!
Surgery update: What a day! Poor Rocco has been through a lot. He is now out of surgery and resting comfortably. They didn’t start the surgery until about 3. Its now almost 8pm and they finally called with the update (originally scheduled for 11am). I have been worried all day long!!! They think for sure its cancer. But they wont know exactly what kind or any details until the tumor comes back. They sent it out to get analyzed. The tumor appears to have started on the optic nerve. They removed the eye, the optic nerve all the way up to where it branches off to the other eye (which is still fine thank goodness!!!!!). He went up against the brain but not into it. He said some of the tumor appears to have gone into brain tissue. They did a neurology test and all brain function is normal. I think thats what they called it. So they dont think the tumor is affecting anything in his brain. Yay!
So right now Rocco is only heavy pain meds, and they will continue through the night. If everything goes as expected, he will come home tomorrow night. They have a staff overnight who will watch him like a hawk – just to make sure things stabilize. My poor little guy!!! Please pray for Rocco!!! And if you are independently wealthy ….
August 6th update: Just spoke to the surgeon. Rocco needs to stay another night. They tried to wean him off the injectible pain meds but he was still having lots of pain and discomfort. They want to keep him on the higher does for a little longer. He is very swollen and they want to get that under control, too. Oh man.. I just wish I could fast forward a few months to when he is all healed and doing well 🙂 Chloe misses him, believe it or not. She keeps wandering around looking for him. She is such a sweetheart. She knows I am upset and just sits with me, comforting me. I love dogs <3
We are finally going to meet with the surgeon on Saturday to come up with a plan of attack on what to do about Rocco’s eye. I am not sure what the hold up is – they already have the xrays, bloodwork, MRI, spinal tap results.. what else do they need? This place is about 20 miles from our house, and I its hard for me to keep driving down there. It’s so emotional for me, and I have to make the appointments around my work schedule, which just adds stress. I think Rocco knows whats going on, too. So its sad. I am trying to do fun things with him and Chloe, to keep his mind off it, but I know his eye is sore and he probably wants it fixed. Maybe somehow he knows that they are going to fix it??
This picture is Rocco on the way to the vet this morning. Saturday update (after the vet visit): I left Rocco there – they are doing the surgery TODAY! August 5, 2015. I was a wreck at the vet. I know he is in good hands and that they will do everything they can for him – but the whole day has been just horrible. The vet was awesome explaining everything but I just worry so much about Rocco. They came up with a plan to remove the entire eye/optic nerve, whatever tumor (they are 90% sure its a tumor and not a cyst) they can easily access first. Then go back in and get whatever they can get without going into the brain. The surgeon was nervous about the part up in/against the brain. He couldnt tell from the MRI if its just up against the brain tissue or if its already gone into the brain. I about lost it when he said that. It is going to cost a fortune! We have done so much already, we have to move forward. I dont want Rocco suffering any longer. I am sure that eye is very painful for him.
This picture was right before they took him in. You cant really see his left eye, but isnt his right eye perfect?
Today is the day for Eye specialist to get more answers. MRI time! Poor Rocco. He is not a happy camper. His eye looks worse than ever. I just dropped him off at the Animal Specialist Hospital for some tests. They are going to do xrays, blood work, spinal tap and his MRI. I am so worried that we are going to get bad news. I love this doggy so much, I just want him to be OK. He didn’t want me to leave him today. I think he is scared, too. Dogs are so intuitive in that way, he could probably tell how afraid I was. Its so hard having a family member with a serious illness, whether its a human child or a furry child!
Afternoon update: Rocco’s spinal tap results look normal. That eliminates some of the less dangerous possibilities, but actually it’s still good news. Other than the mass he is very healthy. All his blood work came back fine. They think his ‘only’ problem is a mass on his optic nerve. They could see it in the xray and the MRI. Its either a cyst or a tumor. Supposedly tumors are very common in boxers so the vet was preparing me for the worst. I actually prefer to know the truth. I am not a sugar coating person. I want all the info!
I am still going to pray that its only a cyst. Either way the mass and the eye needs to be removed. Whatever it is is engulfing the optic nerve and going up into, or against brain tissue. Next step – talk to the surgeon and get more info. I am really afraid to hear how much this is all going to cost. I love my Rocco so much, of course I am going to try to do whatever possible for him.
Today was our appointment at the Animal Eye Specialist near our home. Rocco, our boxer, has a problem with his left eye, and now we know what it is – well, not exactly, but we are heading in the right direction go to my site.
After a very thorough exam, they determined that there is a mass behind his eye, that is pushing on his eye and forcing it out towards the front of the face. So the eye is being pressed up against the bones of the face/skull. The resulting redness and swelling is from the pressure and from being pressed up against the bones. Ouch! I feel so bad for Rocco. I am sure its much more painful than I originally thought.
We will need to get an MRI to see exactly what we are dealing with. Its back behind his eye and there is no real way to see it. It can be a tumor, a cyst, an infection of some sort.. His right eye looks normal, so thats good. They also said that he cant see out of the left eye. We had no idea. I wish we had visited the Animal Eye Specialist a couple months ago!
I have a feeling this is going to be a very expensive endeavor .. but necessary to find out whats going on with Rocco. I will keep you posted!!!