Tag Archives: Meningioma

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!!!

More Cancer details

September 2, 2015

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.

selfie of the non-pirate side!
selfie of the non-pirate side!

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. 

Bottomline:

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 🙂 

Bad news! It is cancer!

August 28, 2015

Bad news: I have been praying for a good result from the tumor people, but I am sorry to say, he has an actual cancer. Some kind of Meningioma. Have to call the vet on Sunday to get more info. They said it’s a common cancer in dogs, especially boxers! It is a form of brain cancer. I did a little research and there are several different forms, so I will need to see exactly what kind it is before I worry too much. But it’s not good news. 😢 on a happier note – his appetite is back, he ate some dry food today! All in all, he seems to be feeling good. And He has been wanting to play. So bad news, but the good news is that he is healing and his overall quality of life is much better than before the surgery.

I am so bummed. I knew it was a possibility, but I was really hoping for the best. Now I have to wait until ‘our’ vet is available to talk to us about the tumor. He is off until Sept 2. How can they give me this news and then make me wait several days for the details? Cruel!!!

Rocco got a new ball
Rocco got a new ball

I will say that Rocco is doing great! He seems to be back to normal. His jaw seems better. He is eating everything, and playing ball – a friend of mine dropped off a new ball for him. Its not a NEW ball, its the perfect kind of ball – used, slightly flat, and soft synthroid tablets. He loves it! We played outside for about 30 minutes today. He is one happy camper! And that’s whats important right now!

This momma loves her boxer boy!