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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.

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..

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’.