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Abby has surgery . . . . . again

Rick C
September 12th, 2010, 05:20 PM
Abby has torn her cranial cruciate ligament in her left rear leg and is in surgery today to have it repaired, which will involve a plate and some screws and shaving of bone. Just waiting for a call from the surgeon to see how it went.

Recovery period will be four months and she'll certainly be on a leash for at least two months, a rough go for a dog used to running around the country on her private, fenced four acres.

Abby, an energizer bunny, is finding her zest for life is writing cheques her 12 year-old body can no longer cash. In the last three months, she's had surgery to remove two (2) six-foot leather leashes she'd chewed up and swallowed, had three teeth removed and ripped a nail out to the root and damaged tendons and ligaments mining for rodents as well.

Yesterday, the always calculating Abby was patiently studying the garden as the humans were digging up carrots, potatoes and picking peas, figuring she'd get some handouts. Keeper, not so smart, was no where around.

. . . . . and somewhere in this wonderful scene, Abby damaged her leg. She was alone when she did it and came hobbling back to the house, so we're not sure what happened. She can't go beyond the fence in the distance.

. . . and earlier . . .

Below, Keeper in the weird forest . . . .

And sunrise at our place.

Rick C

September 12th, 2010, 06:21 PM
Rick, I'm so sorry to hear about Abby's injuries. I hope the surgery went very well and that she will be ok. Maybe she stepped in a gopher hole?

Abby, girl, u have to be more careful and take better care of yourself. :grouphug:

September 12th, 2010, 08:12 PM
Oh Rick, I so hope everything goes well for sweet Abby. :fingerscr:fingerscr

How long is the surgery and how long will she need to stay at the vet hospital?

:grouphug: for you and your family.

Rick C
September 12th, 2010, 09:17 PM
The surgery for Abby's leg went well but, unfortunately, a x-ray looking at her larynx - she'd been coughing a bit lately - revealed a mass in her lung. She'll need further surgery in a day or two to remove it.

Suddenly, it's a lot more serious.

Rick C

September 12th, 2010, 09:40 PM
Oh dear, that's not sounding good Rick. :(

:goodvibes::goodvibes:and :fingerscr:fingerscr for such a sweet girl. Please let us know how her second surgery goes.


September 12th, 2010, 10:10 PM
Good Luck :goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes:

September 12th, 2010, 10:34 PM
Oh, no, Rick!! :grouphug: for you and :goodvibes: for Abby's surgeries.

September 12th, 2010, 10:37 PM
:fingerscr:goodvibes::pray: Abby and family.

September 13th, 2010, 09:11 AM
:sorry:I hope Abbey is okay. What beautiful pics as usual you certainly have a great eye. I know how long recovery is for these injuries good luck Abbey is in our thoughts

September 13th, 2010, 09:14 AM
The surgery for Abby's leg went well but, unfortunately, a x-ray looking at her larynx - she'd been coughing a bit lately - revealed a mass in her lung. She'll need further surgery in a day or two to remove it.

Suddenly, it's a lot more serious.

Rick C

Oh no...hopefully it is not more serious and just inconvenient :goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes:

September 13th, 2010, 03:45 PM
Oh Rick,I am so sorry,you are going to have to remind Abby,she's a senior now,that she has to slow down a bit:dog:
She's gone through a lot for an older girl,hopefully she'll be fine with another surgery,this time her lung:pray::fingerscr:goodvibes:

Rick C
September 13th, 2010, 05:59 PM
Abby's mass is cancerous but the "good" news this afternoon is it is operable and, assuming all goes well in removing it, we can expect our 12 year-old to reach 14 and maybe 15 years of age, which is a very healthy lifespan for any Golden.

The alternative, as we were discovering as the day went on, was the mass in the lung was only a byproduct of cancer spreading through her body, in which case her lifespan would have been measured in months.

That would have been a particularly cruel fate for this vital personality. If it had been Keeper instead, we would have believed and accepted anything given her medical history but Abby's superb health and fitness through her life made this situation particularly shocking.

So, I say "good" news because we would hope that by mid-winter Abby is once again climbing mountains.

And, I hear, in spite of her leg surgery yesterday, she is racing up and down the dog run at the vet hospital, very in keeping with the personality we are talking about.

Surgery for the cancer is probable tomorrow with a few more days in the hospital after that . . . . . then some months of convalescence for the leg and cancer surgery.

We hope Abby is once again leading the charge in crossing streams and mountains next summer at Ptarmigan Cirque in Kananaskis Country . . . .

Rick C

September 13th, 2010, 06:06 PM
A happy/sad/happy story Rick C. I hope that Abby recuperates quickly, both of your furbabes are so lovingly cared for that I am sure she will. I will be looking for updates on how she is doing. :grouphug::goodvibes: patti

September 13th, 2010, 06:47 PM
Oh Rick, I am so sorry to hear about Abby, that silly girl has to learn to slow down.

As for the mass sending lots and lots of :goodvibes::goodvibes: your way.

September 13th, 2010, 08:27 PM
Sad but very happy news Rick.

Lets all hope that Abby pulls through with flying colours tomorrow! :highfive:


September 13th, 2010, 08:58 PM
Good luck tomorrow, Abby! :goodvibes: I hope all goes well and you get back out on those trails soon!

September 14th, 2010, 12:03 AM
Hoping everything turns out well and we have many more years of lovely pictorial adventures to enjoy with Abby and Keeper!!

xoxo - Harley & Scarlett

September 14th, 2010, 03:09 AM
Sending along some :goodvibes: :goodvibes: for Abby girl :grouphug:

September 14th, 2010, 02:17 PM
Wow, poor Abby :( .....when it rains it pours. :grouphug:

Sending lots of :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: for a trouble free recovery. :grouphug:

September 14th, 2010, 03:24 PM
:goodvibes: and prayers here for Abby, please keep us posted on her recovery...

September 14th, 2010, 06:35 PM
Rick..sending lots of love and hugs to Abby and your family for her speedy recovery. That she will soon be walking thru those mountains again. :grouphug:

Rick C
September 14th, 2010, 07:43 PM
Abby's surgery went "very, very well" today according to her surgeon. The mass has been removed.

Samples will be sent to a lab to determine the grade of cancer encountered so that they might determine how likely a repeat would be and what depth the follow-through treatment will be.

Hopefully she'll be home on Thursday.

The last time she returned from surgery in June (the leather leashes incident) she surprised me by leaping out of the Durango and running around the acreage . . . . which was absolutely the wrong thing to do but that was the joy she was feeling. We'll be ready for that one this time around and make sure it doesn't happen . . .

Thank you for all of your well wishes and good thoughts. I'm sure it made a difference to the outcome.

Rick C

September 14th, 2010, 08:12 PM
Great news Rick! :thumbs up :highfive:

I'm sure Abby will be so happy for the homecoming party :party: :party: slowly stepping out of the Durango!

September 14th, 2010, 10:04 PM
Glad it went so well! :goodvibes: for a quick recovery and good pathology results!!

September 14th, 2010, 11:03 PM
:goodvibes::fingerscr:pray: for Abby and her family.

Rick C
September 15th, 2010, 12:23 PM
Thanks to everyone for their well wishes.

I hear from the hospital staff that Abby was smiling and wagging her tail this morning, although weaker obviously.

Depending on pathology, she may not need follow-up chemo according to the cancer specialist, which would be delightful.

Still on track to go get Abby and bring her home tomorrow evening.

There will hopefully be more windy days in Abby's future . . .

Rick C

September 15th, 2010, 01:02 PM
Sending lots of :pray: that she won't have to go back.

September 15th, 2010, 04:08 PM
Rick I am really glad she came through the second surgery fine,she must be a really strong young lady:thumbs up
Hoping the pathology-rapport will show,no chemo needed:pray::pray::pray::pray:

September 15th, 2010, 04:28 PM
fantastic that she came through the second surgery fine! what spirit she has! sending more :goodvibes: her way

September 16th, 2010, 02:01 PM
So glad to hear the second surgery went well ......what an amazing girl she is. :thumbs up

And, hope there is no need for the chemo treatments. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

September 16th, 2010, 02:05 PM
Good vibes coming your way.:goodvibes: X 1,000,000

Good Girl Abby - keep up the wonderful golden spirit.:angel:

September 16th, 2010, 05:48 PM
Beautiful Abby you need to heal fast so you can enjoy those mountain walks...:grouphug:

September 16th, 2010, 07:18 PM
I am glad to hear Abby's surgeries went well. I wish her a full and speedy recovery. :)

Rick C
September 16th, 2010, 10:27 PM
Abby is home again now . . . . . beaten up but happier and happier as the city receded behind her and the prairie surrounded us.

But the snow will be pretty deep before Abby will be allowed to run the prairie without a leash again . . . . at least two months to let the plate and bolts settle in as a substitute for her cranial cruciate ligament. Cancer specialist was optimistic she won't need chemo but we'll have to wait for the pathology next week to confirm that.

Abby's freedom in better days this past summer . . . . hopefully she'll be doing this again when the green comes around next year.

Thanks for all your well-wishes. We appreciate it.

Rick C

September 16th, 2010, 10:31 PM
Welcome back home Abby. :cloud9::goodvibes:

September 16th, 2010, 10:54 PM
Glad to hear that Abby is back home and sending lots of :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: for the pathology report. :grouphug:

September 16th, 2010, 11:36 PM
Hurrah for being home!! :highfive:

We're keeping our :fingerscr and crossin' all the :pawprint:s in the household for a good path report, too!

Rick C
September 19th, 2010, 07:14 PM
Abby's new reality . . . . . a very, very frosty morning on Saturday, Abby on a leash in the early morning fog, outside for only five minutes or less at a time (hence no need for a sweater) showing only one side of her scars and shaving . . . .

. . . . . but enough time to scope out a fence line . . . .

. . . . . but this is where Abby's is spending most of her days right now, our sun room with a tantalizingly sunny early evening outside.

In a week or so she'll get a little more outside time, and a sweater probably.

The lung thing doesn't bother her but the leg is definitely sore.

Her convalescence is up to four months but by mid-January, we hope Abby will be once again trooping up a mountain somewhere.

Rick C

September 19th, 2010, 09:36 PM
Aw, shucks, Abby! Don't worry--it'll grow back!!! And even when you're having a bad hair day, you're still beautiful! :flirt:

Heal quick, darlin'! :goodvibes:

September 19th, 2010, 09:42 PM
I would take a tantalizingly sunny evening--any day!

She should fill in a rather quickly but a great idea with the sweater Rick. :thumbs up

Pretty soon, the mountains will be calling her name. :)

Heal quickly beautiful girl. :grouphug:

September 20th, 2010, 10:49 PM
great that Abby is home, and yes even with the bad hair day she is a beauty... she just looks sooo happy and just totally at peace being back home with her people and sister keeper!

September 21st, 2010, 12:43 AM
Feel better quick Abby :goodvibes: :fingerscr :goodvibes:.

Rick C
September 29th, 2010, 09:01 AM
An update. . . .

Unfortunately, lingering cancer traces remain with Abby so she'll start intraveneous chemotherapy treatments today . . . . lasting about the length of her convalescence for her leg.

So, an unpleasant four months for Abby coming up.

Without the treatments, she'd probably have about 12 months of quality life left, of which four would be recovering from her leg surgery.

With the chemo, she'll probably have 18 to 24 months of quality life, starting from the end of treatments in January.

She's 12 now, so that would hopefully push her into the 14 or 15 year-old range, which is obviously a very long life for a mid-size dog.

Keeper is also 12 and also a cancer survivor.

Abby is walking much better now, a few weeks after her leg surgery.

Below, Polly, who has only two feet, makes progress in attempting to escape . . . .

Abby and Keeper at leisure . . . .

Rick C

September 29th, 2010, 09:15 AM
Oh no, poor Abby :( :grouphug:. Sending lots of :goodvibes: that chemo won't be too hard on her.

Dog Dancer
September 29th, 2010, 10:27 AM
I am so sorry to be reading this about Abby. She seems to be such a trooper I am sure she'll do okay with it all, but nonetheless, it's heartbreaking. I guess for her it's good that you've already been through these issues with Keeper and you will know what to expect and how to deal with it. I'm torn myself with putting dogs through this, but bless you both for taking such wonderful care of the girls. They certainly have the good life with you. Speedy recovery to Abby girl.

September 29th, 2010, 10:54 AM
Sorry to hear about having to do the chemo...hopefully it's not too hard for her and like you said she's all healed up for the spring! :pray::goodvibes: At least she has a beautiful beautiful loving place to recover, that has got to help!

Polly only has 2 feet? I'm sure you've told the story but I must have missed that....

Rick C
September 29th, 2010, 01:18 PM
Sorry to hear about having to do the chemo...hopefully it's not too hard for her and like you said she's all healed up for the spring! :pray::goodvibes: At least she has a beautiful beautiful loving place to recover, that has got to help!

Polly only has 2 feet? I'm sure you've told the story but I must have missed that....

Polly washed up to a local pet store with five kittens . . . . the young girl who owned them couldn't/wouldn't handle the responsibility.

The lady running the store was treating her for mites but Polly kept scratching her ears so the lady put sacks on her back feet and kept them in place with elastic bands. This cut off circulation to the feet.

By the time Carol spotted this and brought them home . . . the damage was done.

One day after we took them in, Polly had to have her back feet amputated. Either that or euthanasia. The good people at Western Vet donated their time and I picked up the other half of the bill.

She's been remarkably resilient and animals can teach humans a lot about adaptability. She can only go outside with human supervision but she does catch mice occasionally and the dogs are afraid of her.

She's about seven or eight years old I think. We kept one of the kittens, Skyler and he's the only one of our five other animals that gets along with her and she beats him up occasionally too.

She's a diva.

Polly rolls in the grass . . . . her back feet are missing.

. . . . . and Abby long ago learned to follow her around, waiting for her to catch mice . . . .

. . . . the leap . . . .

. . . . . and then moving in to check the result . . . .

. . . . . and Polly leads an interesting life sometimes . . .

Rick C

September 29th, 2010, 02:18 PM
Rick, you have a big heart and it is solid gold.....:grouphug:for Abby, Keeper and Polly and Skylar.

September 29th, 2010, 03:45 PM
rick,although i knew the story about polly,seeing her as happy as a clam in the grass,gets me all teary-eyed.

i am so sorry about abby's cancer,but with you and your wife taking care of her,i am certain she will eventually be just fine:dog:

September 29th, 2010, 08:41 PM
I hope Abby's chemo goes gently with her and does the trick for the remaining cancer cells. :goodvibes: :grouphug:

Love those pics of 'follow the leader' mouse hunting with Polly! :laughing:

September 29th, 2010, 08:55 PM
What I would give to sit in front of a window starring face to face with a beautiful deer! :cloud9:

Hope all goes well with Abby and the Chemo. :dog: :highfive: :dog:

Rick C
September 30th, 2010, 10:28 AM
What I would give to sit in front of a window starring face to face with a beautiful deer! :cloud9:

Right now, in addition to the deer, we're surrounded by our large, seasonal, meandering herd of Elk, their bugling, grunting and general carousing sounding through the night as they move about . . . . .

From a few years ago, on the other side of our fence, at daybreak . . . . I had to dodge a bunch of them on our gravel road a few mornings ago as I set out to work.

Rick C

October 2nd, 2010, 02:20 PM
So sorry to hear that Abby's cancer has returned. :(

She is such a fighter and I hope the chemo goes well. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

October 2nd, 2010, 02:51 PM
How is Abby tolerating the chemo, Rick? :goodvibes:

Rick C
October 2nd, 2010, 04:11 PM
How is Abby tolerating the chemo, Rick? :goodvibes:

We took her to the hospital today for some blood work, just making sure her white cell count was holding up after she became lethargic, nauseous and wasn't eating.

Fortunately, she's alright that way . . . . just in the time zone where chemo impacts apetite/stomach.

She's home now.

It'll be an unpleasant next three or four months for both the recovery of the leg and the chemo treatments.

We hope she'll have a great rest of her life after that.

No trekking for the dynamic duo this Fall . . . . a little bit for Keeper (left) maybe, but not Abby.

Rick C

October 3rd, 2010, 09:09 AM
Aw, poor dear. :( I hope her tummy adjusts soon! Speedy recovery for Abby with many more opportunities for mountain jaunts. :goodvibes:

Rick C
October 3rd, 2010, 10:23 PM
From this morning, Abby and Keeper take the sun in the early morning of a fading Fall . . . .

below, Abby is used to having the run of the acreage but these days, with her bum leg, she can only be outside with a leash . . . .

, , , , and then she wanted to stop exactly here and have a rest and a snooze. . . . . her hair is growing back a bit but the chemo might cost her the whiskers on her nose we're told.

She's better today . . . .

Rick C

October 3rd, 2010, 10:50 PM
So glad Abby is feeling better today :thumbs up. It's nice that she can still enjoy the last sunny days of fall :lovestruck:.

Rick C
October 16th, 2010, 04:59 PM
Abby's next chemo is on Monday but she's feeling sprightly right now, no longer limping and full of the old energy . . . . . and liking the fresh snow of a few days ago . . . .

Below, Keeper barks to keep some distant coyotes away while Abby watches attentively and Polly . . . . well, Polly isn't interested.

Below, Keeper at daybreak . . . .

Earlier, Abby in the Fall . . .

Keeper with the colours of Fall . . .

Rick C

October 16th, 2010, 05:23 PM
Once again, beautiful pics, rick. I hope Abby outlives what the vets expects. Hopefully all that fresh air and great exercise will keep her healthy :pray:

October 16th, 2010, 10:29 PM
Sending lots of :goodvibes::pray: for Abby. You sure have been through a lot with the pups this last while. And Polly!! :cloud9: What a trooper!

October 16th, 2010, 11:06 PM
Abby and Keeper definitely look good in fall colors! :D Love the guard shot where Keeper is warning off the coyotes!

October 17th, 2010, 04:01 PM
beautiful pics once again,i am sure you realize how lucky you,your wife,pups and kitties are,to live in such a beautiful place -the snow:laughing:
abby is such a trooper,i hope she has many more years:pray:
little polly always amazes me,animals are so much more resilient than us humans,they live life to the fullest no matter what.

October 18th, 2010, 02:42 PM
I always look forward to your updates.. glad Abby is feeling better, I think her spirit, and her surroundings do so much to affect her healing... sending lots of:pray: her way