Casey is Crossing the Bridge this Afternoon (He Already had Wings)

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I’ve been away for a little while here with non-fur baby issues, but with all the support and guidance I’ve received from everyone here, I wanted to let you know what’s going on.

Casey started slowing down about 6 to 8 weeks ago, and was developing a cow hop, typical of dogs with hip dysplasia.  He also had a couple new, hard, subcutaneous lumps.  I took him to a new vet for a PT evaluation, and she identified a few things.  First, he was suffering from laryngeal paralysis that she believed was migrating down his spine and causing his unusual gait, as well as some atrophy in his hind legs.  She also aspirated one of his lumps and while she saw nothing definitive, thought she was seeing cancer cells under a microscope.  Bottom line, she was amazed that Casey was doing as well as he was ten months after diagnosis, but while he might enjoy an underwater treadmill, she did not feel he was strong enough for physical therapy.

We continued our walks but they kept getting shorter, and Casey was much less active around the house.  The hard lumps are multiplying quickly, and while he was able to jump onto the couch ten days ago, and get off the couch and climb the fifteen steps upstairs last week, we are now helping him stand, and carrying him in and out to tend to his business.  He has great difficulty maintaining his balance when we set him down.  Yesterday, Ann carried him down from upstairs, and when I went to the foyer to take him out, he was all smiles and excitement, with his tail wagging, but today, not so much, and he’s whimpering when I pick him up.  As Ann puts it, he really can’t dog anymore, and he’s telling us it’s time.

Casey was diagnosed on 12/16/2017, and became a TriPaw almost a year ago on December 29th.  We were told maybe a year with amputation and chemo (possibly more), and we got a very good year.  It’s notable that, to our knowledge, his lungs are still clear (his one osteo vaccination perhaps), and while his recent difficulties may be cancer related, we now know that he’s dealt with the laryngeal paralysis for years (we always told him he had locomotive breath the way he’d pant whenever he got excited).  While he fought the good fight against osteosarcoma, at twelve and four months, he can’t fight the calendar.

So, a difficult day.  I plan to put together a collage to, as his primary care vet puts it, the quintessential Golden, and I’ll share that here once my emotions settle down.

Finally, thank you again, all of you in the TriPawd community, for your support and guidance over this last year.

Tom


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Goldens are Smart

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Hopefully you’ve read my post about being more dog from a few days back.  Anyway, we went for a walk last night and Casey was really dragging.  I almost brought him home before we got out of our long and steep driveway, but I decided to be patient for a few more minutes when suddenly, there’s Casey, flashing past Jet, Bode and me, down the road and through the woods.  More deer.  My immediate thought is that darn 5+ foot wide ditch.  I mean really, since he wasn’t hurt, his leap and resulting faceplant the other night was funny, but we don’t need more practice.  I called out to him but he never slowed down.  What he did do is change his angle so rather than needing to leap the ditch, he ran down into it and up the other side.

Good boy Casey!

Being More Dog (Or is it just Doggin’ it?)

So, Casey’s walks have been getting shorter, but no dog is more excited to start a walk, and he truly enjoys the half mile or so we cover.  Tonight, just as we started, there was a small herd (4 or 5) of deer in a neighbor’s yard.  Jet and Bode alerted, but Casey was doing the classic Golden thing of prancing around, smelling the flowers, so I said “CASEY!  LOOK!”  And he did.  Casey only has three legs, and an unusual gait, so since we kindof live in the country, he walks without a leash (and loves it).  Well, he saw those deer and took off, tearing across my neighbor’s yard.  The deer were probably three or four hundred feet away, but he was on it, across the turf, through the woods, and holy shit, a ditch.  Casey jumped the five foot ditch, only to complete an epic (I mean EPIC) faceplant on the other side (it’s got to be hard with one arm).  No worries, he popped up in hot pursuit of that flock of deer, only to face plant again in the middle of the road.  By now, the deer are gone, and Casey, being the quintessential Golden he is, hops up, tail wagging and says “Wow, that was cool.  Let’s go for a walk”, so we did.

 

Take That Cancer . . . Clear X-rays

Casey and Jet both had clear X-rays today.  Casey is nearly 9 months from diagnosis (Osteo) and Jet 3 1/2 months (Hemangio).  His vet calls Casey her miracle dog (she gave him 2 weeks to 2 months last December), but we knew that already.  So . . . Hooray!

Casey is on metronomic therapy again for the last couple months, with 100 mg Rimadyl daily and Cytoxan every other day.  He also gets Maximum Recovery and Turkey Tail mushroom powders from Canine Matrix, K9 Immunity Plus, and fish oil.  Jet is on double doses of the mushroom powders and K9 Immunity Plus, and a fish oil capsule with every meal.  The mushroom powders just had a 15% price increase, but I guess we’ll have to swallow that.

Casey also had one dose of the Aratana osteosarcoma vaccine, but between him tolerating it poorly and the cost, we stopped after that one dose.

Happy day at our house!