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Raggs has been dx'd with Hemangioma or Hemangiosarcoma

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dbg10
December 24th, 2010, 02:00 PM
Raggs is now 13 years old and has been diagnosed with a probable hemangiosarcoma in his spleen. But there is a slim possibility he only has a hemangioma which is slightly less lethal. :( My vet and I decided that we would only put him through blood work before deciding whether to do an Ultrasound or Surgery. His complete blood count came back very suggestive of a hemangiosarcoma. However my vet did say that there is a slim possibility it is an hemangioma. My vet also said that his platelets, though low, were not as low as she would expect to see in hemangiosarcoma.

Because his gums are very pale and his hemoglobin very low, I started him on cooked liver and a multivitamin compound. I'm hoping that the liver will help his anemia.but have wondered (as in my other post) whether the liver should be given to him raw for the best absorption of the nutrients.

This all started back in the spring when I noticed a hairless tumour increasing to the size of an egg, today, on the lower part of his chest, midline. I had talked to the vet at the time and she did a needle aspiration and found fat cells in the tumour. In the last week he had 2 episodes of vomiting seemingly caused by a new treat he didn't particularly like. After that he had returned to normal until he injured his front left paw when he fell on the ice outside. His front paw was lame following the fall and because his hind legs are weak normally he lay around for the better part of 24 hours. I had to reposition his hind legs before he was able to get to his feet. He was still limping when we finally got him to the vet this last Monday.

My vet examined all his joints especially the ones in his front legs and checked the bones in his feet as well. She examined his entire body and noticed his gums were very pale and that's when she suggested we do blood work to confirm or rule out cancer. She did a complete blood count only because she told me it would tell her if any further testing was indicated. After getting the results I decided not to put him through anything more testing as it would become evident in a very short period of time if she was right. As much as I love him to bits, I have strong beliefs about the treatments for cancer. I decided to try some alternative therapies. However when I read about the individual herbs I found they were not recommended in anyone with potentially active bleeding so I settled on liver and a high dose of multiple vitamin and mineral product for dogs.

If anyone has any other remedies they have tried or heard of that work, I'd love to know what they are?

I have also looked for information on the complete blood panel results when the tumour is a hemangioma, not cancer, unsuccessfully.

I know there are those of you who would give chemo or have surgery to remove the spleen but I think it will not provide him with a better quality of life even if it does prolong his life.

Another thing I've wanted to know, is if either tumour is painful for the dog. Raggs does not appear to be in pain but I wonder if I'm just not seeing it.

Either way he has really grabbed my heart strings in the year I've had him, and I'm am really hoping that my vet is wrong and the liver I've added to his diet will help him live a lot longer than she forecast of one day up to a month but no longer. :cry::(:pray:

:cry:

hazelrunpack
December 24th, 2010, 02:10 PM
I'm sorry to hear about Rags, dbg10 :grouphug:

We've had a dog with hemangiosarcoma--we had a positive diagnosis because the cancer had spread to his lungs. :( I'm not sure they can tell from just blood work weather it's a hemangiosarcoma or a benign hemangioma, though.

Either condition leads to blood loss through internal bleeding, though. Our dog never showed any discomfort from the condition, although because of the lung involvement, his breathing was impacted his last couple of days. But the primary tumor didn't seem to cause him pain.

Because he's anemic, Rags might feel tired, but anemia isn't usually a painful condition, either.

It's been some years since we had experience with hemangiosarcoma. Maybe there are different treatments now, but back then the only treatment option was surgery to remove the primary tumor before it burst and bled out. :( If the surgery is successful and the tumor proved to be a hemangioma, then the dog was 'cured'. If it was hemangiosarcoma, it would likely recur somewhere else in the body.

What terrible timing for you, right before the holidays :2huggers: Whatever you decide, you're in my thoughts and prayers, dbg10!

dbg10
December 24th, 2010, 03:33 PM
Thanks Hazelrunpack I really appreciate your prayers.:grouphug:
They now use chemo as well as surgery depending on whether the tumour has metastasized or not.

My vet is against surgery due to his previous blood work a year ago that showed his platelet count was low (indication of how well his blood will clot). Actually it was a little weird because the previous year he had blood work done with the same normal ranges where the platelet count was much lower than it was when my vet did it in January 2010. I found it strange that it had increased (for the better) but he was living in a boarding kennel then.

She also doesn't think an ultrasound is necessary, though it might prove what he has, because he has that lump on his upper abdomen at the level of his spleen. I wonder about whether I should have the ultrasound done, but I read that an ultrasound won't necessarily show the difference between a hemangioma and hemangiosarcoma. The only diagnostic test to confirm which one it is, is a surgical biopsy or removal of his spleen. Since she doesn't think he'll live through the surgery, I don't want to take the chance.

The only thing I thought might help was to try to treat his anemia so that any small bleed will not necessarily kill him. I know when he has the massive bleed out it will be the end.:(:cry:

Yes it is the worst possible timing for this news, especially when I thought we were going for the injury to his paw and might find a broken bone in his foot. I had noticed that his gums were pale but hoped it was the way I was looking at him at the time.

The other bad thing is my vet is now away until after New Years and I might have to take him to a strange vet. :(

I forgot to mention that we increased the amount of Metacam he is getting as well, to reflect his weight gain over the last few months. He is also on a glucosame/chondroitin/MSM daily with his food and has been since I got him in January.


I am just trying to prolong his life as long as he has no pain by treating what I can. :) If anyone has any other ideas for supplements that might help I'd love to hear about them. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed and praying that he doesn't have something that will end his life in the next month. :fingerscr :pray:

BTW: my avatar pic of Raggs was taken yesterday and shows how happy he is.

MaxaLisa
December 25th, 2010, 09:54 PM
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MaxaLisa
December 25th, 2010, 10:00 PM
I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis :(

There is a hemangiosarcoma link in this cancer thread that might be helpful:
http://germanshepherdhome.net/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/32998/Cancer.html
There is an herb that is supposed to help stop bleeding that some have used, the antibiotic doxycycline has been used to prevent the formation of new blood vessels to the tumor.

Is the vet sure that there isn't a tick disease - the blood profile and enlarged spleen can be found in both. When my boy had low plat, lower red blood cell count and an enlarged spleen, the ultrasound showed no tumor, just a "generous spleen". Of course, if this is related to this fatty tumor you mention, then it wouldn't be tick related.

ScottieDog
December 25th, 2010, 10:09 PM
I had a dog with splenic hemangioma. It was very difficult. She was 10 years old and became ill very suddenly. The ER vet did the Xrays and ultrasound and told us there was a very large mass in the spleen. We were told it was frequently cancer. My little dog was at the point of the organ rupturing (pale gums, the spleen was "seeping"). We did the surgery and it bought us an extra year with our girl. Biopsies didn't show cancer, but the entire organ wasn't examined. This is a brutal surgery. Removing the spleen causes something to happen with the cardiac enzymes. Tipper, my little Scottie, was in ICU care for several days to monitor her heart, which was causing problems. We did the surgery because it was either that or put her to sleep. She was critical at the time. I know another Scottie owner who's dog died in recovery from the heart complications.

I know you have opted not to do surgery. I just wanted you to know that the recovery, if the dog survives surgery is very hard. My little dog took weeks to get her strength back and then without her spleen, her immune system broke down and she had random, bizarre infections her last year (UTIs constantly, hepatitis, etc.)

Tipper was a pudgy little Scottie at around 28-30 pounds. When she had her surgery, the spleen was the size of a 16-20 ounce soda bottle--it weighed over a pound. It was so engorged, it was pressing on other organs and she wasn't comfortable. I was told that her condition was one that was indicative of trauma, but she was a pampered little house dog, so no trauma. We don't know what caused this, but it is devastating.

Make your decisions for Ragg's best interest and please don't second-guess yourself. It is a horrible surgery. Tipper did get cancer later on. Chemo treatments for my Tipper's bladder cancer destroyed her kidneys and she died from kidney failure. As one who tried the chemo route, I have to say I wish I hadn't done this part.

I'm so sorry for this diagnosis. It is so hard. I will keep Raggs in my prayers and ask for strength for you as well. :pray::grouphug:

It is hard for me to talk about this. I miss my little Tipper so much still.
-ScottieDog

Love4himies
December 26th, 2010, 07:32 AM
I don't have any advice, but wanted to give you some :goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes: and a great big :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
December 26th, 2010, 08:52 AM
The other bad thing is my vet is now away until after New Years and I might have to take him to a strange vet. :(

More :pray:s, :fingerscrs and :goodvibes: that he holds out till long after your regular vet is back, dbg! :grouphug:

BTW: my avatar pic of Raggs was taken yesterday and shows how happy he is.

He does look extremely happy to be with you! You've been his :angel: this past year! What a gift to have bestowed upon him!

dbg10
December 26th, 2010, 11:49 AM
Thank you all for your support and hand holding during this awful time. :) Raggs spent the day yesterday lying in his bed until the evening and then came to watch TV with me as he does every night. I was a little worried that he was so inactive but today he is bright and cheery and jumped up to lie beside me at the computer. Maybe he needed that day of rest. At least he's still holding his own. Also to me his gums look a little less pale. I didn't think the liver would work that fast, but maybe it's just me hoping they will 'pink up'.

@maxalisa thanks for the link, there is a lot of information there. I found some other info on dog cancer especially where it relates to diet. One of the diets I found was posted by the Veterinary Information Network, so I think it may be better than the other diets I found but they are all quite similar.

@ Scottidog thanks for the information about your Tipper please accept my condolences on your loss. I read about Tipper the other day when I was looking for info on the forum. I am sure you still miss her. I know I miss every one I've lost even if I've adopted a new one. I do intend to make my decisions based on what's best for Raggs. I know if he starts to go downhill and/or shows he's in pain I'll take him in to be euthanized.:(

I have issues with chemo for people, as a nurse I have seen far too many people spend the end of their lives with very few quality days when they are receiving chemo. As for giving it to an animal, unless I was absolutely certain it would be curative, I wouldn't even think of subjecting a pet to it. But that is my opinion only. I would never discourage someone from giving their pet chemo because each situation is different.:2cents:


@L4H I really appreciate your :goodvibes:

@hazel thanks. He has been the love of my life since he set foot in my home in January 2010. Because he is a beagle X I was hoping he'd last longer than a year. It will be extremely hard for my adult son and I to lose him, he is a fabulous dog. :thumbs up:):D

Yes I am praying he lasts until she gets back because I know she'll come to the house to euth him when it's necessary. :( I'm just hoping I don't find him gone one morning or anytime for that matter because I honestly don't know what I'll do if he dies at home thought that would probably be best for him. Anyone know what you do with an animal that dies at home?

Thanks everyone, I need all the support I can get to get through this one. It is almost as bad as when I had to have my first dog PTS after having her 14 1/2 years, Raggs has really wormed his way into our hearts:):cry::(

MaxaLisa
December 27th, 2010, 03:31 AM
When my girl died at home, when I was ready, I brought her to the vet later that day to be cremated.

Regarding chemo, and you may very well know this, but even in animals, I think it can be curative in the blood cancers, as in humans. For many of these cancers, I'm a huge believer in IP6, though I don't know about hemangio. Since the symptoms of this cancer are so similar to tick diseases, and doxy helps with these cancers, that's one drug that always makes sense to me for this cancer.

I think that diet and a good supplement program can help so much with quality, and sometimes quantity of life in these situations - am hoping for the best for you guys!

dbg10
December 28th, 2010, 08:56 PM
Thanks Maxalisa I appreciate your information. I have chosen for the time being to restrict his diet and add supplements. The diet I've chosen or more to the point designed has very few carbohydrates, high protein and relatively high fat. Apparently this combination tends to reduce the proliferation of the cancer cells. He seems to be getting a little stronger, and is still happy and behaving normally even fighting with the cats and reminding them who's boss. Right this minute he's in his bed pouting because I am late going to watch TV and he will come out as he always does as soon as I sit down in front of the TV. So I'd best get offline and do what he wants :)

With my vet away until next week I'm just trying to do what I can until then.
Thanks again for all the support :grouphug:

14+kitties
December 28th, 2010, 10:55 PM
Awww crud dbg, I just read this. :( I am so sorry you are going through this. :grouphug: Are you doing the liver raw? I know when I was giving Brownie his liver every day he loved it raw. When he got to the point where he wouldn't do the raw any more I cooked it very lightly in the microwave for a few seconds. It got him interested in eating it again. I figured liver, like any other foods once it is cooked, loses some of its' nutrients.
Again, I am sorry. Many :fingerscr:goodvibes::pray: coming yours and Raggs' way. :grouphug:

dbg10
December 29th, 2010, 03:13 PM
Thanks 14+ I really appreciate your support. :grouphug:

I have been cooking the chicken liver because he does not seem to respond to the strong smell of raw liver. I stuck it under his nose and he backed away from it so I figured I'd go with cooked and so far so good. I definitely agree with you that raw would be better for maximum nutrient uptake.

He seems to be stronger every day. He is spending more time than usual in his bed, but I think he now finds it more comfortable there with the breeze from the air vents blowing on him. He has demanded to go outside the last two days to relieve himself which I had been preventing him from doing because of his sore front paw. ( he has to go down 4 stairs to get outside). (I have pee pads all over the house for him to use, which he has been) He is still limping occasionally but is definitely ok when he goes out and climbs the stairs to get back in. He seems interested in everything going on in the house more than he was and is telling the cats who's boss on a regular basis. So I definitely see an improvement in him. His gums appear a little pinker, but maybe that's my imagination.

He is more than happy to eat and drink and have treats and is behaving normally more than he was. So maybe we got past the worst for now keeping my fingers crossed, anyway.:fingerscr

The diet I've designed is based on an anticancer diet I found online written by the Veterinary Information Network for dogs with cancer and I've added a few items mentioned on other anti-cancer sites for dogs. I'm not sure if I should post it here unless others want to know what it is.

Anyway the good news is he is holding his own :thumbs up

hazelrunpack
December 29th, 2010, 06:24 PM
Glad to hear he's doing so well, dbg. :goodvibes: :grouphug: I'd be interested in your anticancer diet if you're willing to post. You hope you never need it, but knowledge is power and it's nice to have alternatives if the need arises.

rainbow
December 29th, 2010, 06:45 PM
I'm happy to hear that Raggs is showing improvement and hope it continues. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

I also think you should post the diet and I think most folks would like to see it as well. :thumbs up

dbg10
December 30th, 2010, 08:35 PM
Thanks Hazel and Rainbow I will post it. I am still playing with the amounts and a few of the ingredients.

I started by reading everything I could about treating dog cancer with diet alone. I came to the conclusion that there were a multitude of options but the essentially boiled down to a diet that was high in protein, high in fat especially omega 3 oils and low in simple carbohydrates but complex carbs at a minimum were ok. I also knew that I had to treat his anemia if he was going to make it through another spontaneous bleed that my vet said would occur eventually.

So I started with foods that would raise his hemoglobin in his iron deficient state. Liver was the first thing that came to mind.

So then I decided to put together a diet of many of the things I had found online that were contained in the recommended cancer diets for dogs.

Don't ask my why because I honestly don't know, I started with a very small amount of his original dry food which is Pro Plan Select Senior Natural Turkey and Barley Formula about 1/4 cup of it. I'm also adding about 1/5 of a large can of Pedigree choice cuts with the gravy for taste.

I was already giving him rice from the episode of vomiting he'd had the week before he hurt his foot but I reduced the amount.

So here is his diet


1/4 cup of Pro Plan Senior Select Natural Turkey & Barley
1/5 can Pedigree Choice Cuts Beef with 3 tbsp gravy (can is 374 ml)
3 heaping tbsp of cooked and broken up chicken liver mixed with 3 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 lb of ground beef, chicken or turkey
1/2 cup of cooked white rice (that's what I had available instead of brown rice)
1 crushed sardine with olive oil it is packed in
1 whole raw egg
1 cup plain yogurt
5 crushed Nutri-Vet Senior Vitality Vitamins (3 for his body weight + 2 to catch up)
enough warm water to bring it up to temperature
UBA vet 5 ml
Metacam by weight 28 ml


I think he finds the diet a little rich because he eats it over several hours but always cleans the bowl in the end.

Raggs wasn't at all impressed with raw liver or raw beef so I decided to cook the meat. He has shown more strength every day and is definitely staying involved in the animal and people families. I also received the results of his blood work today in the mail so here it is. My vet said it is consistent with either a hemangioma or hemangiosarcoma though it could also indicate a severe infection. She doesn't think it's a severe infection because he has no fever and is still more than willing to eat. I am a nurse and know what these blood results mean in humans, not animals. In case anyone can read the results properly or can hazard a guess at what they mean, here are the blood work results:


White Blood Count 50.4 Normals 6.0 - 17.0 x10E9/L
Red Blood Cells 5.2 Normals 5.5 - 8.5 x10E12/
Hemoglobin 116 Normal 135 - 205 g/L
Hematocrit 0.36 Normal 0.39 - 0.60 L/L
MCV 70 Normal 62 - 77 fl
MCH 22 Normal 21 - 26 pg
MCHC 322 Normal 320 - 360 g/L
Reticulocytes 1.9 Normal 0 - 1.5 %
Platelets 293 Normal 165 - 550 x10E9/L
Nucleated RBC's 1 Normal - /100



DIFFERENTIAL
Bands 11.0 % 5.5 abs Normal 0.0 - 0.9 x10E9/L
Neutrophils 81.0 % 40.8 abs Normal 3.0 - 11.5 x10E9/L
Lymphocytes 5.0 % 2.5 abs Normal 1.0 - 4.8 x10E9/L
Monocytes 2.0 % 1.0 abs Normal 0.2 - 1.4 x10E9/L
Eosinophils 1.0% 0.5 abs Normal 0.0 - 1.2 x10E9/L
Basophils 0.0 % 0.0 abs Normal 0.0 - 0.2 x10E9/L



MORPHOLOGY
WBC Left Shift - Present
WBC Neutrophilia - Marked
WBC Toxic Neutrophils Present

RBC Anemia - mild
RBC Howell Jolly Bodies - Few
RBC Polychromasia - 1 - 3
RBC Response to Anemia - Good

PLT Morphology - Normal


About Raggs's diet there are several websites where I found information that had similarities so they are where I got the most info for designing his diet.


K9 Dog Cancer Diet (http://www.dogcancer.ca/diet.html)

Dog Cancer Diet and Natural Supplements (http://www.natural-dog-health-remedies.com/dog-cancer-diet.html)

Nutrition for the Canine Cancer Patient by Dr Gregory Ogilvie DVM Colorado State University (http://www.caninecancer.com/nutrition.html)

Homemade Cancer Diet Recipe from CCA (http://caninecancerawareness.org/therapy-and-support/diet)

Nutritional Requirements of Dogs and Cats with Cancer, Dept of Oncology Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (http://www.oncolink.org/types/article.cfm?c=22&s=69&ss=550&id=6002)

Veterinary Diet for Dogs with Cancer (http://www.ehow.com/about_5485968_veterinary-diet-dogs-cancer.html)

Integrative Treatment of Cancer in Dogs and Cancer Diet for Dogs (http://neuro.vetmed.ufl.edu/neuro/AltMed/Cancer/Cancer_AltMed.htm)

Dr Dressler's Dog Cancer Survival Guide and Diet (http://www.dogcancerblog.com/) The guide costs money which I didn't spend but there is still a lot of info available through his site.
According to his website Dr. Demian Dressler, DVM is apparently known as the "dog cancer vet".

Thanks everyone for all the support, I certainly need it while trying to help Raggs. :grouphug:

If anyone has any comments on the diet, please let me know. If you think I am doing something wrong, I would really like to know that too.

I want to do what's best for Raggs with the idea of helping him live the longest possible life in quality and comfort. :) :pray: :fingerscr

luckypenny
December 30th, 2010, 09:03 PM
He does look extremely happy to be with you! You've been his :angel: this past year! What a gift to have bestowed upon him!

I wanted to say that Hazel's words are my sentiments as well. It's fate that brought Raggs into your home and into your heart :grouphug:.

MaxaLisa
December 31st, 2010, 12:04 AM
For an anti-cancer diet, I would nix all processed food. I wouldn't generally recommend the Pro Plan or the Pedigree, and definitely not for an anti-cancer diet. I don't have the ingredients handy right now, but those brands generally have a lot of filler.

I would nix the white rice too, and would use a base of steamed veggies. Others that I know would use a raw diet, but my dogs generally have had too weak of digestive systems to tolerate raw.

I'm guessing that the sardine adds a tiny bit of omega-3 fatty acids, but overall, any additional amounts would be good - particularly DHA. Fish or algae based.

With that blood profile, I would treat with doxycycline. Hard to distinguish between hemangio and infection. If you. Search Dressler's site you will find a couple of blog entries on using doxy to fight cancer, hemangio also. So it kills two birds with one stone.

Some dogs are real sensitive to oils, and you can induce pancreatitis, so you have to be careful. My girl was very sensitive, and I couldn't add much of oils. I did give her a lot of fresh ground flax seeds. Budwig's flax oil and cottage cheese protocol is very powerful.

Fighting cancer is so tough, you are fighting the good fight, and all the additions that you have made are definitely making him feel good. Hope all is still well on your end.

dbg10
December 31st, 2010, 09:33 PM
Thanks Luckypenny, I believe that too. I'm just hoping I get a little more time to love him :)

Thanks Maxalisa for your comments about his diet. I included rice because it is in several of the dog cancer diets I found especially in the ones posted by the Veterinary Information Network. Complex carbohydrates are recommended in dog cancer diets because they do not feed the cancer.

When I adopted him I experimented with a number of both dry and wet foods ranging from the best and most natural to the mediocre and he was very difficult to please. He had been eating grocery store food for 12 years and I had trouble getting him to accept anything better than that. I finally found he would eat Pro Plan Select Senior which was the best food I could get him to eat and because he was severely underweight at the time my main aim was to get him to eat a reasonably acceptable food. Pedigree choice cuts I used to flavour and moisten his food only and that was what he had been given for most of his life as a wet food. Now the cancer diet is something totally different and he eats it over several hours. I think it may be too rich for him and that's why he takes so long to eat it. He also likes company when he's eating.

Sardines and pure virgin olive oil have some of the highest levels of B12 and other B's, omega 3's, selenium and all the nutrients recommended in the cancer diets. They also are included in the cancer diets I found from the VIN. Nutrtients in Sardines (http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=147) and Nutrients In Extra Virgin Olive Oil (http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=110)

I also read that using a lot of veggies in his diet would probably cause diarrhea. I don't want to stress him in any way so I have not added any veggies. Instead he gets the multivite/mineral tabs yogurt, an egg etc. The amount of processed food he is getting is limited to the 2 tbsp of gravy from the Pedigree can and the 1/4 cup of pro plan.(normal for his weight is 2 1/2 cups a day). The first thing he eats when he goes to his dish is the Pro Plan and Pedigree chunks of meat so I am not sure if he'd eat any of the diet if I removed them completely.

I'm not saying the diet I've put together is perfect, probably far from it, but I have taken into account the fact he is 13 years old and is a finicky eater at the best of times. I probably should add some veggies to it, but he hasn't wanted any I've offered him before he got sick so I doubt if he'll eat them now. I was surprised he didn't like carrots because all of my previous dogs loved them.

I discussed the use of antibiotics with my vet before she left on holidays and she said if it were a severe infection then he would have a fever, other abnormal blood work and other signs to indicate infection. She said the lab results as they are don't indicate an infection because his WBC's are much too high without the other tests being abnormal. I will discuss doxycycline with her again when she returns.

The one thing I keep thinking is that if he hadn't hurt his leg/paw/elbow I wouldn't have taken him to the vet and heard the bad news. The other thing that crosses my mind is how long he's had the lump on his chest/abdomen and that it appears to be very slow growing unless it is growing inside as well. So maybe, just maybe he will live a month or more :fingerscr but I'm not under any illusions that I am right and my vet is wrong.

I really appreciate all of your help and support, I re-evaluate everything I'm doing when I hear alternatives and some of the ideas are excellent and I may introduce them a little at a time. :grouphug: :)

Happy New Year to one and all!! :crazy::thumbs up :D

MaxaLisa
January 6th, 2011, 04:48 AM
The o-3's, also according to the link, should be about 9,000 mg. Olive oil is primarily O-9, and sardines are high in O-3's, but not that high. I believe that striving for high doses of the good oils is where some dogs get in trouble - trouble with fats more than protein, but that's the dosage that's called for in that diet.

Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans also add fiber to the diet. I have fed primarily a meat and vegetable diet for over 10 years no (no grains or potatoes) and the vegetables are really only a problem where there are weird allergies. I like the Normandy mix from Costco and I use a vegetable steamer, but I have too pick out the carrots, my boy is allergic.

You're right though, the important thing is that he eat the diet and it is working for him. I might first try adding the beef with no rice to his kibble and see if the works. That little extra of kibble that you are giving already has the carbs to offset the meat. Then, add the super veggies. Again, I worry about the oils, and too many oils, particularly without extra digestive enzymes, might be making him feel ill. You'll have to mess with it, and see how he feels. Keep an eye on the firmness of the stomach - if it's real tense and firm, that can often be inflammation. My girl would get this with oils.

I see now why you are making the choices you are, knowing his history best, and his quirks. I hope that he surprises you and all of us.

hazelrunpack
January 6th, 2011, 08:15 PM
How is Rags doing, dbg10? :fingerscr

dbg10
January 7th, 2011, 11:00 AM
Thanks Maxalisa for your concern. Yes I am really aware of the added oils and am being really careful of how much I add. I noted that statement in the diet about the fact that you needed a huge amount of O-3's to be practical to add to a diet and you shouid get it from other sources like kibble. The vitamin/mineral supplement I'm giving him gives him some additional O-3's. So far he's doing well with the diet, no extra trips outside except yesterday when it was snowing, he loves snow. I've kept an eye on the tenseness of his belly and his poops to make sure they are formed with no signs of diarrhea. He seems comfortable and anxious to be fed. He's also demanding his treats at the usual time. So far so good, the diet may not be completely balanced but I am trying the best I can to stick to that diet. The veggies are not going over well at all, but I have slipped a small amount in mixed with the sardines and I'm trying to add more each day. He is such a finicky eater though and very aware of any additions. He goes off and pouts with his back to me when I add something he doesn't like. It is hilarious, :D but he is so stubborn he doesn't back down or later start to eat what I've given him, he just refuses to eat the meal. I now give in and make him another meal after a few hours because I think it better that he eats, than not. We have gone through this since I adopted him, if I give him something he doesn't like. A few times I waited overnight but he still didn't eat the food he didn't like. It's like having a 2 yr old child again LOL :laughing:

Thanks for asking hazel I appreciate it. The last few days he seems stronger than he was and his gums are pinking up. He has gone back to his usual behaviours (or misbehaviours) and has been barking at the cats and preventing them from getting at his treats or food which was his usual game.When I put his food down for him he usually lies about a foot away for about 15 minutes and waits til a cat heads toward the dish and then barks at them and chases them away. He is also more active and has been insisting on going outside to relieve himself (he has to go down and up 4 stairs both in and out). His limp is limited to an occasional slight limp when he's been really active. He seems better, but I still have to remember his blood work was very abnormal and though I may have improved his hemoglobin and anemia status, I doubt I've done much for the cancer. It's hard to tell :( I notice his hind end is stronger since I increased the dose of metacam to reflect his increased weight. I think I mentioned in one of my posts that there was a little drainage from his right elbow and after that he didn't seem to limp any more so I assume that is where his injury was though there was nothing obvious when I took him to the vet.

For those of you who believe as I do that "things always happen in three's" I am still waiting for the third thing. One of my gf's had her 10 yr old cat die in her arms last week and the second gf had a second surgery on her cat for cancer and the wound didn't heal so they had to put her cat down the other day after trying palliative application of healing cream to the open incision for several weeks to get the wound to heal.:( :angel2::cry:

I'm just keeping my fiinger's crossed that he lives longer than he was given when he was diagnosed 2 weeks ago. :fingerscr :pray:At least he's getting a super diet and everything he could ever want in his last few weeks and I'm doing everything I can to keep him alive. :thumbs up:)

Thanks all :grouphug:

14+kitties
January 7th, 2011, 11:09 AM
:grouphug: for you and Rags. :grouphug:

MaxaLisa
January 7th, 2011, 05:55 PM
Just checking in to send my best....

My last two posts were via phone, and sometimes I am terse, or don't get a good overview when I am posting that way...hope none of it came off the wrong way.

Good to hear that he has some misbehaviour coming out - always a good sign!

rainbow
January 7th, 2011, 06:29 PM
Sending lots more :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: for you and Raggs. :grouphug:

dbg10
January 7th, 2011, 09:33 PM
Thanks everyone. :grouphug: I never noticed Maxalisa :) You will be happy to know that he is po'd at me tonight because we went out and left him alone for 2 hours. He is lying with his back end to me ..pouting. Also I took a chance tonight and ordered another bottle of his metacam - the 100ml bottle which will last 53 days. I'm just hoping he lasts that long to use it. My vet gave me the choice of the 32 ml bottle that lasts 17 days or the 100 ml bottle so I've taken the chance with a lot of hope and prayer. :fingerscr :grouphug::pray:

ScottieDog
January 8th, 2011, 09:32 AM
I've been checking in for updates. Know that you and your sweetie Raggs are in my thoughts. :grouphug:

dbg10
January 8th, 2011, 12:54 PM
:fingerscr:laughing:Thanks for thinking about us Scottiedog :) :grouphug: The only things I notice that are not particularly good is the hairless bump/tumour on his abdomen is slightly larger and has shifted slightly to the side of midline. However, it has not changed colour and is still pink. He does have rapid breathing but doesn't appear to be more rapid than it has been for the last 6 months or so. :confused:

He has also insisted on going outside frequently and I was worried about this, but my son went out to see what he was doing last night and he was rolling around in the snow in the back yard. :laughing:

So far so good. If he makes it until Tuesday he will have been with us 1 year and I'm praying he lasts longer than that :pray: :fingerscr

hazelrunpack
January 10th, 2011, 09:36 PM
In case I'm not around tomorrow, give Raggs a happy anniversary hug for me, dbg!

ScottieDog
January 11th, 2011, 09:38 AM
Happy Anniversary Raggs! A big hug from me too.

dbg10
January 11th, 2011, 11:05 AM
Thanks everyone, I am happy to say Raggs and I have made it one full year! :) :D:laughing::highfive:

However, maybe it's just me but I keep watching him for signs that it is nearing the end. I hate to say it but I keep thinking of his abnormal blood work and keep looking for the changes in him in the last month or so. :( He is still eating eagerly and insisting on going outside to relieve himself despite the fact I still have a few pee pads around for him. He hasn't used them in about 5 days.

What I see now that I didn't see before is after he eats he wants to go out every few minutes. He seems to be eating snow and rolling in it but after he eats a few mouthfuls of food, he immediately wants to go out. Then he comes back in and within a few minutes wants to go out again. I can't see any signs of diarrhea or any reason for this, but he does have gas despite the digestive enzymes. He was eating snow the other night so I got out some ice cubes and let him eat them. He crunched about half a dozen then stopped but seemed to enjoy them and settled down to rest after he ate them instead of continually asking to go out. I automatically thought he was trying to stop some pain in his belly. I gave them to him again last night when he seemed to want them and he settled down after having a couple to rest. Maybe he used to have ice cubes at his previous owner's place because I didn't need to show him what they were or what to do with them. The snow eating may only be new because last year we had virtually no snow and this last week we've had lots. With my negative mood I of course am looking at this as a negative event even though everything still seems ok. I've been watching the tumour on his belly like a hawk trying to decide if it is getting larger or changing shape. It's like I'm waiting for him to die or to tell me it's time. I hope I can shake this mood, it's not doing either of us any good. :pray: Writing how I feel helps and hopefully someone else has experienced this negative thought pattern and can tell me how they worked through it.

I am enjoying him too and playing with him when he wants to play and I'm giving him a lot of love. His hind end is a little weaker the last few days but he has had bad days off and on the entire time I've owned him as we all do. He's still pouting, barking at the cats and doing all his silly behaviours which I should be glad about. :wall:

Anyway I have to turn my attitude around and look on the positive side that he's made it this far :thumbs up :D :) and hope that he'll make his next date of Jan 20th, a month since he was diagnosed. My vet originally gave him a maximum of a month to live on Dec 20th. :fingerscr

Thanks for all the support, as you see, I need it more than ever now and so does Raggs. Raggs needs me to break this mood and look at him through positive eyes, not negative! :) :fingerscr

luckypenny
January 11th, 2011, 11:57 AM
It's been my experience with our dogs that cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc. can cause gas and tummy upsets. If you're feeding any of these, you may want to replace them with small amounts of green beans and carrots (steamed and put through a blender) for easier digestion and absorption. I would trust Raggs' instincts when he has an aversion to anything you're adding to his meals.

Try to tip the balance of the negative feelings you're having with the positive. Just think of how lucky Raggs is to have found himself in your home and your heart. How well he's eating, how much he's loved, how he's having all his needs met. He really couldn't have ended up in a better place...be happy for him. What you're perceiving as him pouting could just be that he's resting or, he could be sensing your feelings of sadness. I know it's difficult but, try to think of all the happy aspects of his wonderful life with you...he's not thinking about the quantity, he's reveling in the quality :grouphug:.

luckypenny
January 11th, 2011, 12:00 PM
Oh, and happy 1 year Gotcha Day Raggs :goodvibes: :lovestruck:!

dbg10
January 11th, 2011, 12:24 PM
Thanks Luckypenny I really appreciate the positive thoughts. Actually he's been pouting since shortly after he arrived in the house whenever he doesn't get what he wants he moves away from me and turns his back to me. It is hilarious because if I offer him a treat or something he likes, he comes back happy and lies down beside me. He often does this when I pay attention to the cats and he perceives that I am favouring them over him. His return to this behaviour was the first sign he was feeling better.

I have cut way down on the veggies and I'm giving him less than a tsp of the mixture each meal. I didn't have them in the original diet and may have to remove them completely. Other veggies like carrots are not recommended in the cancer diet because they are simple carbohydrates and feed the tumour cells. I'm going to look at the pet store for a pseudo veggie mixture in a bottle that I know is available at some pet stores instead of giving him the broccoli, brussel sprout and cauliflower mix. I can only hope that he is getting the vitamins/minerals he needs from the supplements I'm giving him with his food. :shrug:

He's sleeping soundly right now getting ready for his evening fighting with the cats. LOL :) :laughing:

luckypenny
January 11th, 2011, 12:46 PM
Thanks Luckypenny I really appreciate the positive thoughts. Actually he's been pouting since shortly after he arrived in the house whenever he doesn't get what he wants he moves away from me and turns his back to me. It is hilarious because if I offer him a treat or something he likes, he comes back happy and lies down beside me. He often does this when I pay attention to the cats and he perceives that I am favouring them over him. His return to this behaviour was the first sign he was feeling better.



Oh ok, I get it now, his pouting is a good thing :laughing:. What a little bugger :laughing: :cloud9:.

hazelrunpack
January 11th, 2011, 01:17 PM
He really is in the best place possible for him! :grouphug: You're doing a great job.

Remember that Raggs doesn't know what you know, dbg--he doesn't know he's dying. He knows he's living! And that's what's important. We humans get all caught up anticipating the loss and they just go from day to day doing what they do naturally and wondering why we're so sad.

When I find myself in your situation and in your emotional state, I keep reminding myself to be more like the dog--appreciate every good moment, bask in the love and live moment to moment. It's time for living; there will be time for grief later. :grouphug:

Keep us updated on how you're both doing, k? And if it helps to talk here, we'll be around :2huggers:

ScottieDog
January 11th, 2011, 03:02 PM
My heart truly aches with you. I know the feeling you described. I had the overwhelming fear and panic when my two dogs were dying. The truth is, you know that Raggs is in his twilight time. But remember there is beauty in the sun set as well. Find the simple joys and focus on these -- a bump of the head to your hand, a nuzzle to the back of your knee, the rolling in the snow, happy grunts. Lock these memories in your mind.

Hazel is right. Raggs doesn't know he is dying. He is living. It is so hard to distance yourself from the inevitable, and I know that emotionally I was a basket case. Even as the days were dwindling for my little Tipper, some of my happiest memories were our early morning walks. Tipper, my little dog who had the spleen surgery, developed bladder cancer and kidney failure, so she needed to go out frequently. She would wake me just before sun rise. Our mornings were just the two of us, out watching the sun rise before the neighborhood woke up. It was a special quiet time for just the two of us. Our time; a special time. I hope you can find your special time.

I took a few minutes each day where I just went off by myself and prayed and cried. A few days before "the end" I think I was able to accept that I had to let my girl go. Like you, I set the little milestone dates. If she can just make it to such-and-such day. But there will always be another day you want him to live. In my case, I really wanted to see Tipper make it to the one year anniversary of her spleen surgery. She did, but was gone a couple of weeks later. She didn't make it to the next milestone--her 7 year anniversary with me.

I don't know if you are a person of faith, but when Tipper and Mac were dying, I found true comfort in the words of this prayer:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

May you find faith, hope, light and joy. You have giving sweet Raggs a wonderful life. Our time with them is never long enough and the hurt you feel is very real. I wish I could give you more than this, :grouphug:, but you will find strength. Try not to mourn now, but cherish these final weeks. We cry with you, because we understand this awful pain.

MaxaLisa
January 11th, 2011, 09:05 PM
He really is in the best place possible for him! :grouphug: You're doing a great job.

Remember that Raggs doesn't know what you know, dbg--he doesn't know he's dying. He knows he's living! And that's what's important. We humans get all caught up anticipating the loss and they just go from day to day doing what they do naturally and wondering why we're so sad.

When I find myself in your situation and in your emotional state, I keep reminding myself to be more like the dog--appreciate every good moment, bask in the love and live moment to moment. It's time for living; there will be time for grief later. ...

Great advice, worth remembering....

Glad to hear how well that Raggs is doing :2huggers:

14+kitties
January 11th, 2011, 09:21 PM
:grouphug: Again, nothing for advice for you. Just thank you for being you. :grouphug: You are the best thing Raggs could have asked for.

dbg10
January 12th, 2011, 05:45 PM
Thanks 14+ I know others have said the same thing and I hope it is true. I hate to think of all the unwanted and abused animals that never have the good fortune of having an owner like me. I wish they all did. I think of owners as being the same caring people that I am, but I know when I really think about it that many aren't. It is very sad :( :cry:

When Maxalisa reposted what hazelrunpack wrote I read it again and realized how profound it was and definitely is something we all should remember.:grouphug:

Thanks Scottiedog for your empathy I am really trying to follow hazel's advice but it is hard. I am still very surprised at how much he means to me it is like I am putting all the feelings I've had for all the dogs I've lost into what will happen to him :confused::(

He was extra hungry today and gobbled his food much faster than he has been. He also still had to go out immediately afterward but that was not followed with the usual 5 or 6 times he wanted out immediately after he came in. :thumbs up :)

So far so good... :) :) :D

Thanks all you have no idea how much your support means to me during this. :2huggers: :grouphug:

dbg10
January 16th, 2011, 08:12 PM
I took some new pics of him last night because the girl who rescued him wanted to see him again. She has had a rough year apparently and really misses him and his sister. So I decided to post one or two here so that everyone can see how he's doing. I am afraid to become optimistic because I'm afraid that will be the beginning of the end.We took him out for his first car ride since he was at the vet and he seemed to really enjoy himself after he realized we weren't going to the vet. He's now very tired, but I expect he'll join me in front of the TV as usual. :)

He's still eating well and that's the one thing I keep an eye on as I know when he stops eating it will be time... :(

Here are the pics I took The second one the flash didn't go off so the colour is off but I love the look on his face:

hazelrunpack
January 16th, 2011, 11:19 PM
Raggs always looks so happy, dbg! :cloud9: What a great spirit he has! Thanks for sharing the pictures! :grouphug:

chico2
January 17th, 2011, 04:46 PM
dbg,I just finished reading all the posts and I am very happy to see Raggs is still with you and doing ok:thumbs up
Our animals are so in tune with the way we feel,I know it's very difficult not to cry,not to be sad when you know their time is limited,but they don't want us to be sad.

So,please enjoy every day with Raggs and who knows,maybe he has more time than the vet thought,miracles happen.
:grouphug::pray::fingerscr:goodvibes:for you and sweet Raggs.

ScottieDog
January 17th, 2011, 05:05 PM
Such a handsome face! It is good that he has a strong appetite. Keeping you both in my thoughts.

rainbow
January 17th, 2011, 06:12 PM
Those are wonderful pictures of Raggs :lovestruck: and, I love his happy little face. :cloud9:

Glad to hear that he is still eating well. :goodvibes:

dbg10
January 18th, 2011, 07:57 PM
Thanks everyone :grouphug: I love his pics, he looks like such a happy boy. I have one where he doesn't look so happy and I think I'll post it to ask a question of you all. I look at the happy ones and can't see any sign of pain in his face or stress around his eyes. He doesn't lie in a position that shows he has pain but I keep wondering if I'm missing something I should be seeing. The fact he's eating well tells me he's doing well because all my previous dogs either stopped eating or couldn't keep their food down, which made me make the final decison.

Thanks everyone for the support and staying with me during these days.:grouphug: I am hoping I get more time :) :fingerscr..that's why I've stuck to the diet so carefully as it is the only treatment he's getting.

This pic was taken after he hurt his paw/elbow and the day he'd been to the vet and received his diagnosis on Dec 20th. I did notice that the 'lump' or tumour on his belly is visible in this pic. I outlined it and put an arrow showing where it is. I have other pics taken the other day with a similar expression on his face but none that showed the tumour as well. Does anyone think he looks like he's in pain in this pic? I think he probably was at that time because of his paw/elbow.

MaxaLisa
January 19th, 2011, 12:21 AM
So glad that he is still doing well, great news!!

I understand about being afraid to be optimistic. The great thing is how much additional quality time you have given him, no matter what happens. Wonderful job!

hazelrunpack
January 19th, 2011, 04:32 PM
Glad to hear that he's still eating and seems to be feeling better. Sending more :goodvibes: that you get even more quality time with your boy!

And as for that last pic, if anything, he looks tired. It had been a busy day. He doesn't appear to be in pain, but they can hide it so well.

dbg10
January 21st, 2011, 10:39 AM
I am very happy to say that we have passed our last deadline... a month since he was diagnosed on Dec 20th. That was the maximum time my vet gave him to live at that appt. :thumbs up :D

However, the last few days since Wednesday he has seemed tired and is acting sick. :( He is still eating and wanting his treats at treat time but he has seemed subdued and has been spending most of his day in his bed. His bed is in my bedroom and when he is well, he usually spends his days lying with me near my computer. I also noticed his gums are a little paler than they were, and a slight bulge had developed on the right side of his rib cage. I assumed it was another bleed from the tumour but it stopped before it finished him. My vet told me these would probably happen and then the blood would reabsorb into his body and he would recover somewhat. Today he is sleeping by my computer so he must be feeling better. Much will depend on how long it is between these bleeds, whether I have a chance to counteract the anemia with his diet.I am keeping my fingers crossed that they won't increase in frequency. :fingerscr

I am glad I have no more deadlines, because now I can just celebrate each day as it comes and enjoy him. I did get beyond the sadness and I'm now ready to take one day at a time.:) :highfive:

Thanks Hazel for your comment about the last pic I posted, I also thought he looked tired but wasn't sure if he also looked like he was in pain. :2huggers:

Thanks everyone I will update as things happen, especially if he seems to be going downhill without a bounce back like he's had so far. I can be very thankful that I've had Raggs, he has such a strong personality that he has wormed his way into my heart in a very short year. Thanks to all for the support :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
January 21st, 2011, 09:28 PM
Congrats on exceeding the month! :highfive:

I hope he rallies for you again! Sending lots of :goodvibes: and keeping my :fingerscr for the old love! Sending along a few :grouphug:s for you and Raggs, too!

14+kitties
January 21st, 2011, 09:42 PM
Continued :grouphug: and :pray: for Rags and you. You are an amazing person to be doing everything for Rags. Many others would have already given up on him. Thank you. :grouphug:

Love4himies
January 22nd, 2011, 05:29 AM
Sending lots of :goodvibes::goodvibes: for him.

dbg10
January 24th, 2011, 06:32 PM
Appears we have another rally :thumbs up:) :D
Last night he was chasing the cats and barking at all of them at treat time. He's much stronger today and giving me the evil eye for not feeding him on time. We had to go out in the afternoon and the fact that he has to go out several times after he eats, I didn't feed him before we left. I am thrilled that he's rallied again and have hopes that he keeps it up :)

@14+ It really surprises me that someone would give up on their adopted dog, especially one with as much personality as Raggs has but his rescuer has said the same thing to me.
I do know he is quite different from our Pepper (adopted at the age of 9) the way he wormed his way into my heart in such a short period of time. However, I think that was partly the way I dealt with him from the start knowing that he had spent his first 10 years with his sister and owned by a priest helped set the stage for things I did with him that I didn't do with Pepper. I did meet her Pepper's owner but he didn't give me any ideas on how she had been loved other than she was very attached to him.

Thanks everyone from Raggs and I :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
January 24th, 2011, 06:35 PM
:highfive:

Great news, dbg!!! :grouphug:

Chris21711
January 24th, 2011, 06:38 PM
Appears we have another rally :thumbs up:) :D
Last night he was chasing the cats and barking at all of them at treat time. He's much stronger today and giving me the evil eye for not feeding him on time. We had to go out in the afternoon and the fact that he has to go out several times after he eats, I didn't feed him before we left. I am thrilled that he's rallied again and have hopes that he keeps it up :)

Thanks everyone from Raggs and I :grouphug:

That's great news dbg it must bring such a smile to your face.

rainbow
January 24th, 2011, 06:42 PM
I am so happy to hear that. :thumbs up

Continued :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: coming your way. :grouphug:

dbg10
January 24th, 2011, 07:12 PM
Thanks all ! :thumbs up

@Chris you better believe it does! I am absolutely certain that all the prayers :pray: for him coming from this forum have helped him rally again. His gums are also a bit pinker again and the new lump on his side has gone down a bit. I have added some herbs to his diet too as of yesterday:

Burdock
Green Tea Extract
Astralagus
Ginger
Tumeric

The only problem is with the Burdock I bought - it tells you to add 15 capsules a day to his food and I suppose that is the effective dose but it seems like a lot to me especially when it comes in 60 cap containers. I am looking for a health food store near me where I can probably get the burdock root and it should require less I would think.

I didn't add alfalfa or echinacea because I am allergic to them and don't want to handle them.

Not sure if it will do any good but why not try it.:shrug: They are recommended at :
Herbs For Cancer in Dogs (http://www.natural-dog-health-remedies.com/herbs-for-cancer.html)


Thanks again :grouphug:

rainbow
January 24th, 2011, 07:20 PM
I think it is worth a try. I used Flor-Essence for one of my last huskies that had cancer and the first ingredient was burdock root. The vet said his prognosis was 8 to 10 months and he lasted for 22 months after his operation.

Here's the ingredients ....

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/3005982/floressence_tea_ingredients_history.html

dbg10
January 24th, 2011, 09:47 PM
@Rainbow what excellent results you got after using it! Thanks for the link. I read the ingredients and it contains Red Clover which I bought a few weeks ago then fortunately I read the implications again before giving it to him and it said that it shouldn't be given to an animal with bleeding tendencies. Unfortunately hemangiosarcoma has that as it's main cause of death. So even though it sounds great I think I may buy all the other ingredients separately and give them to him. I didn't buy the others because I hadn't read up on them.

Thanks for the link it sounds like a great supplement for any animal or human with cancer. :thumbs up

ScottieDog
January 25th, 2011, 09:11 AM
Just checking in to see how things were going. It is wonderful that Raggs is having good days. It is heartwarming to know the lengths some will go to in order to provide a quality of life to an older pet. Raggs is blessed to have you, as you are to have him. Sometimes, fate just matches us up with the "right one".

You and Raggs continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

dbg10
January 25th, 2011, 09:31 PM
Thanks Scottiedog I am always surprised to hear that I am unusual when it comes to my adopted pets. I love them all no matter how long they've been with me and I hope others are the same but I do know they aren't :( Since I found out after I adopted him that he was actually 12 yrs old, not 11 as I had been told, I have wanted more time with him. Since he is part beagle and part spaniel, beagles often live to 17 from what I've read. I hoped he would last at least a couple of years. Now with this diagnosis I'm celebrating each day he is with me and doing everything I can to give him the best treatment possible. :)

I don't know if the herbs will help but I added Slippery Elm to the mix yesterday. He is still eating well and wants treats and his car rides. He seems stronger at present and is taking on the cats for his position in the family.

Something makes me wonder about his diagnosis, his fur seems to be getting thicker and shinier than it was before I started the diet. I wonder how his fur can look and feel so healthy when he is supposedly dying. Maybe the diet, herbs and other supplements are working to reduce the tumour cells or something. Whatever it is I hope his insides are being treated the same :)

I can't find any information about what happens to their fur when a dog has cancer but if it's like a human, their hair looks lifeless and dull usually when they have cancer. Does anyone have any information about it? I'd really like to know.

dbg10
January 29th, 2011, 08:40 PM
Sadly things don't look good starting yesterday when he vomited 3 times. I had added the new herbs the day before as well as yesterday so I don't know if that's what started this. :(

Today he has slept most of the day other than wanting to stay outside lying in the snow for over a half an hour. He was eating the snow as well. He got up and came to me about feeding time and I mixed up rice and chicken broth, his metacam and Uba-vet and offered it to him. He immediately got up and went back to his bed and I haven't been able to coax him out of there since. He didn't sniff or touch the food so I've put it in the fridge hoping that at treat time he'll come and try some. He also doesn't seem to be drinking either so I don't know if there is something else going on as well.

I think Monday, if he makes it that long, will be decision day :( I spoke to the vet on Friday with an update but at that time he was still fine and hadn't vomited yet. Please pray for us and keep us in your thoughts again

You guys have been incredible during this and I hope I am surprised again by him, but I have a feeling I'm not going to be. :pray: :fingerscr :pray:

A big hug to all of you :grouphug:

14+kitties
January 29th, 2011, 08:42 PM
:grouphug::grouphug: You have been a rock through all of this mf. Raggs knows how much he is loved thanks to you. :grouphug:

Rgeurts
January 29th, 2011, 09:01 PM
I'm sorry to hear he is not doing too well. You will both be in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that he does surprise you again. :grouphug: :pray:

rainbow
January 29th, 2011, 10:36 PM
Hopefully it is the new herbs you added that are responsible and he'll start to feel better by tomorrow. :fingerscr :grouphug:

Sending lots more :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: your way for Raggs. :grouphug:

chico2
January 30th, 2011, 07:42 AM
I am so sorry,you must be in turmoil,it is so very difficult:(
You know that when the time comes for Raggs,we are all here for you:grouphug:

Winston
January 30th, 2011, 07:54 AM
dbg10 sending positive vibes your way and hoping you will have some more time...thank you for giving him the time you have your an Angel! :thumbs up

Love4himies
January 30th, 2011, 07:56 AM
I hope this is just a blip and he recovers :pray:. Great big :grouphug: for you. :goodvibes:

rainbow
January 30th, 2011, 02:28 PM
How is Raggs today? :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: :grouphug:

ScottieDog
January 30th, 2011, 07:57 PM
Know that we are here for you. I hope this was a small bump and things are looking better for Raggs. I understand the seriousness of his condition. Sending you and Raggs prayers for continued strength. :pray:

Remember, Raggs isn't afraid to go and has no fear. All he knows is love. Look into his eyes and you will see and feel this. And he feels all your love in return. :grouphug:

dbg10
January 30th, 2011, 08:34 PM
Thanks again everyone for your positive thoughts and prayers. Last night he finally came out at treat and TV time. I had his favorite treats, soft chicken drumsticks, and broke each one into 4 pieces. I also had his food there too that I had kept in the fridge and warmed before I gave it to him. I alternated the treats with the food by giving him his food by offering it to him on a spoon and he finally started to take some of it. I was able to get all of the treats and most of the food and medication into him and he went back to bed at bedtime. He was very tired but also insisted on going outside to pee. He was able to get in and out down the stairs without incident so I guess he wasn't as weak as I thought. I went to bed thinking he might not be with me in the morning but when I wakened he was out in the living room barking at one of the cats. So even though he looked really tired and weak, he went outside without a problem.

Later i put together a mixture of rice,ground beef, liver, and chicken broth with his metacam, vitamin and mineral supplement and UBA vet but no herbs or sardines and put it on the floor. (about half of the amount I would normally feed him). He went to his bowl slowly sniffing all the way as though he was afraid of what I had in it. He tentatively started to eat it, then finished it completely over about half an hour. I had hoped that it would stay dow but just a few minutes ago he vomited up about half of it again. :(

So I started writing this update thinking we might have dodged another bullet but only time will tell if that's so. :fingerscr

I don't want to give him any treats tonight or more food, but I might offer him just some rice and broth to see if he can keep it down.The big problem is I have made treat time a nightly thing around here, the cats get theirs at the same time and I know he'll want something ...I just don't know what to give him that he is able to keep down. Maybe some more ice cubes to start. :fingerscr

I know he is aware how much he's loved and appreciates everything I do for him and doesn't know he's dying. :)

Thanks everyone, you have no idea how much your prayers and good thoughts mean to me at this time :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
January 31st, 2011, 10:08 AM
Can you break his meals up into smaller portions and just smaller amounts more frequently? I do hope he rallies for you again, dbg :grouphug: You're doing such a great job with him! And Raggs is one lucky boy!

dbg10
January 31st, 2011, 03:44 PM
Thanks Hazel for the suggestion. I gave him half of what he normally gets and had planned to feed him more if he wanted it and had kept it down. Today I plan to feed less than I did yesterday in hopes he is able to keep it down.

Last night he ate the rest of the food in his bowl after I posted and was able to keep it down. He is lying in the living room today, not in his bed, and seems more active even though he is tired. So I'm hoping he can keep the smaller amount down today :fingerscr

From what I see it definitely is not time to make a decision yet and hopefully he will rally from here Only time will tell...:pray:

rainbow
January 31st, 2011, 06:53 PM
I hope the smaller portions will continue to help. :fingerscr Also, do you raise his dish for him? ....that may help him as well. Glad to hear he seemed a bit more active. :thumbs up

hazelrunpack
February 2nd, 2011, 07:48 PM
How is Raggs doing, dbg? :goodvibes:

dbg10
February 3rd, 2011, 10:13 AM
Thanks for the suggestions Rainbow and for asking Hazel.:) Yesterday he was hungry and ate his food well. I was unable to find anything to raise his bowl on that would hold it in place so I held his bowl while he ate. I split his food into two meals so he didn't get too much in his stomach at one sitting. Each time,he gobbled up his food but had to go outside after half a bowl. Then stupid me gave him a large bone we had bought him a few weeks ago several hours later while we were watching TV and he ate it, then barfed it up. At least his food didn't come up too.Hi gums are very pale but he does seem to have some energy and is more than willing to go outside in the snow. His hind end is fairly strong and he is able to go up and down stairs without incident. He was really tired last night and went to bed early but seems fine today.

I only gave him rice and beef with his metacam and vitamins the last two days because I didn't want to upset his stomach but because his gums are pale I'm going to add the liver today and hope he can keep it down. I am really cautious about what I give him now because I think it's more important that he get some food into him and keep it there than what I give him. Unfortunately it appears the herbs won't get added back in because I think they caused him to barf. The other thought I had is that the tumour may be encroaching on his stomach and there isn't much room for food so small frequent meals it is. His comfort is more important to me than treating the cancer. I've kept the vitamin/mineral combo in his food because I'm sure he needs it. He still seems happy and painfree but is more tired than he was. If adding the liver causes him to barf I'll have to stick to beef and rice or chicken and rice.

It seems we have two steps back, one forward then half of one back.:( I certainly won't give him anything extra tonight like a bone...duh :wall:

Thanks everyone for being there for us,:grouphug:

ScottieDog
February 3rd, 2011, 03:12 PM
Thanks for the update. I've been thinking of you both. It is good that he can eat and keep the food down. The fact he wants to eat is wonderful. Sending kisses to that sweet old guy Raggs, and hugs to his momma.

MaxaLisa
February 4th, 2011, 01:56 AM
I haven't had a chance to get back here, I'm so sorry that he has slipped some, but so glad to hear that he still has quality. It's such a tough balance, and you have been doing such a great job <<hugs>>

For raising the bowl, you might be able to find a flower pot with the right size opening and height, and line it with non-slip shelf liner. I used an old shell for a mini crock pot for my old girl.

Continued best wishes to the both of you!

dbg10
February 6th, 2011, 04:33 PM
I waited a few days so I had some good news for everyone :) He seems to have bounced back a bit and though he's tired and his gums very pale he is fighting with the cats and eating a very modified diet from the original diet I put together.

I have been giving him rice, beef/chicken, chicken broth, vitamins, minerals, and metacam. On Thursday his stomach seemed settled so I added liver because his gums were so pale. Then yesterday I added a sardine, and so far so good, he's keeping all of it down and acting hungrier than he was.
I plan to add one thing a day as long as the previous day has been a good one. He also seems stronger, actually jumping up and chasing the oldest cat when he bugs him.

Thanks for the good thoughts @Scottiedog and @Maxalisa, I've continued to hold his bowl because my unused flower pots are buried in the garage right now and I can't get at them. But thanks for the great idea! :thumbs up

For now, things seem to be fairly good, we took him to the store the other night too, and he played in the snow a little. Surprisingly he seems strong despite the colour of his gums. He is also running up and down the stairs to get in and out of the house. Thank gawd we seem to have dodged the bullet again, though I was sure we wouldn't. It would be really nice if he continues to beat the odds. :fingerscr He has a few more lumps visible, but who knows what they are. I would love to take him back to the vet for a checkup but I'm afraid she may find something I don't want her to. :)

Thanks again everyone :grouphug:

Love4himies
February 6th, 2011, 04:35 PM
That is great news, I am so happy for you and Raggs :thumbs up:grouphug:

rainbow
February 6th, 2011, 06:21 PM
Thanks for the update and glad to hear Raggs is doing well. :thumbs up :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
February 6th, 2011, 07:20 PM
Sounds like he's doing really well, dbg :grouphug: So glad to hear it!

MaxaLisa
February 6th, 2011, 09:57 PM
Love hearing the good news :highfive: , hope it continues :goodvibes:

chico2
February 7th, 2011, 07:45 AM
Love good news in the morning,Raggs is just not ready to leave yet,he still has a lot of living to do:grouphug:

dbg10
February 10th, 2011, 06:55 PM
Another 7 days has come and gone and he's still holding his own :) :party: HURRAY!! He's hungry and active around the house but does seem to have to go out frequently after he eats. As this is always after dark it is hard to tell what he's doing out there but he often comes back in with snow on his muzzle and I wonder if he's just going out to eat snow.

I've offered him ice cubes but he doesn't want them as often as he did before. I've continued to hold his bowl while he eats as I still haven't been able to get to the flower pots or find anything else which will work to raise his bowl. He seems to digest his food better and eat much slower when I hold his bowl. I also had to take the sardine out of his diet because he wanted to go outside after only a few bites of his food when I included it. I added some flax seeds to his diet in it's place.

The only major change is the 'tumour' on his lower chest/belly is larger but remains pink and hairless. His gums aren't as pale as they were when I added the liver, so it seems to be working for his anemia. I have decided to leave his diet essentially as-is with rice, beef/chicken, finely chopped liver, 2 tbsp flax seeds, chicken broth, crushed senior vitamin/mineral pills, UBAvet and Metacam as he seems to tolerate that mixture without any problems. I decided not to add any herbs or other supplements back in because I think they caused this episode and even if he doesn't last as long, it is better not to give him something that may cause vomiting and another episode like the last. I think this diet I have him on has given him more time than he would have had, if I had stuck to his old diet of kibble and canned food.

He's also interacting with all the cats more than he was before this last episode. He is tolerating Smokey rubbing himself under Raggs's chin and he and the oldest cat, Sam, seem to have found common ground and aren't fighting as often. He still has issues with the female and I'm not sure what they are because there seems to be no rhyme or reason to Raggs's objections to her.:confused: :)

Anyway just thought you all would like an update after a week of improvement. Looks like we did dodge the bullet for now :thumbs up What I see is all good for now, he definitely is holding his own. :thumbs up :) and I can only hope and pray I have more time with him. :pray:

Thanks again everyone for staying with us during this time. :grouphug: :fingerscr:pray:

Winston
February 10th, 2011, 08:06 PM
Good update! I am so glad things are improved! I was thinking about your delema with the raised dishes and though maybe you could pile up some old telephone books or something like that and at least you wouldnt have to hold his dish?

Keep us posted please! :thumbs up

dbg10
February 10th, 2011, 08:53 PM
Thanks Winston for the suggestion. :) I thought of all sorts of things including phone books but everything I thought of he'd knock the bowl onto the floor while he's eating. He pushes his bowl around unless it's on carpet usually. I thought the plant pot was a great idea if I could only get at them..:wall: The one I'm thinking about has square sides which means the bowl would stay put in it but can't get near it. :( The great thing about me holding it is he's slowed right down while he's eating which means he doesn't choke on his food like he used to. It took a few days before he slowed down but now he's really good about it :)

hazelrunpack
February 11th, 2011, 10:11 AM
I suspect that Raggs doesn't mind one bit that you hold his bowl for him! :D He sounds like such a character!!!

huskertrading
February 20th, 2011, 10:23 PM
I'm sorry to hear what you are going through. My dog was recently diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma so I completely understand. I'm using a lot of the same supplements that you are. I've been blogging about my girls experience since day one. If you are interested you can read her blog at http://doghemangiosarcoma.blogspot.com/ I also have info in there about the diet I decided on.

dbg10
February 24th, 2011, 08:14 PM
Thanks huskertrading for the link to your blog I will be more than happy to read it :thumbs up

I haven't updated this thread for 2 weeks because I see him starting to fail and am still hoping for another recovery. He had another episode about 10 days ago when he spent most of his time in bed. It took him a couple of days to show some energy but never reached the level he has in the past. Just when I started noticing he had more strength he had another day of lying in bed followed by another one. These lying in bed days are coming every few days now and I wonder about his quality of life :(

About 3 days ago he fell on the stairs on the way outside and I think he really hurt himself despite the fact he shows no sign of injury. Now when he has to go outside he stands at the top of the stairs and often decides he doesn't want to go out. Then he goes back to bed. We are standing in front of him now when he comes to the top of the stairs and that has helped him feel more secure about going down them. He has no choice but to use the stairs to get outside other than to use the pee pads I have around the house but he still refuses to use them.

On the few sunny days we've had in the last week he lies in front of the bay window in the sun instead of staying in bed. He is still eating well but his gums are extremely pale and don't seem to be pinking up the way they were a month ago. The only thing I've been able to do is to add more liver to his meals. He has been fighting with Smokey and Sam too so he's certainly not oblivious to the cats. He is still with me every night to watch TV and even demands it when he thinks it's time and I haven't moved yet. He has more bumps on him now, the abdominal/chest tumour is larger but he still seems pain free. He is still showing his happy face but not as often as before. :(

I know he must have had a couple more bleeds just going by his behaviour. I think he is staying in bed because his anemia must be getting fairly severe. One thing I've noticed is at times he is shaking his head. I always look for an ear infection when this happens and his right ear is a bit warmer than his left, but there is no discharge or odour as I would expect. I hesitate to clean his ears because it is something he hates do instead I've been rubbing under and behind his ears and he seems to like that.

I know I have pushed the panic button several times now but it seems he is not having time for a partial recovery as he did, before another bleed or whatever happens and he spends his days in bed.

We've been given the gift now of more than 2 months together since he was dx'd. I'm praying that he will have some recovery from this last one and we'll have more time. I really think that fall on the stairs took a lot out of him. He is also molting, which I found in the past with my other dogs took a lot out of them when they were sick. I am ready now if he shows he's in pain or shows he's having the big bleed to let him go. I honestly don't think he's ready yet, because the times we spend together during the day he really enjoys. :)

Thanks everyone for your continued support :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
February 24th, 2011, 08:27 PM
:grouphug: It's tough to watch, I know. He's still eating well, though? That's always a good sign. :thumbs up

He is so lucky to have you! And Raggs is such a good boy, not wanting to use the pee pads because it's "just not right to go in the house!" :D

Hang in there, dbg :grouphug: You're doing a great job with him!

dbg10
February 24th, 2011, 09:32 PM
Thanks Hazel:grouphug: I know about those pee pads, I wish he'd use them but absolutely no dice :laughing: He used them when his paw was sore right after he was dx'd but since he began feeling stronger, he's insisted on going outside. I guess I should use that as a major marker that he isn't that weak yet :thumbs up because he is still able to get up and down the stairs but now occasionally needs help getting back up them.

The weather here has been unpredictable very mild and sloppy with rain and mixed snow so he doesn't have the cold he loves when he gets outside. He is still eating as before, relishing his meals and gobbling them up. I have added the flax seed and burdock back into his diet because he had them before I added all those extra herbs without incident. :) He has had no problems since I added them and maybe it'll help him get a little stronger. I have doubled the amount of liver I'm giving him but wish I could do more to counteract the anemia but I think I'm doing everything I can.

Thanks for the support :2huggers::grouphug:

ScottieDog
February 24th, 2011, 10:02 PM
I'm glad you took time to update. Your tender care and Raggs' love for you has given you a bonus month (I was thinking of you on the 20th :2huggers:). It isn't an easy battle, or one that can be won, but you and Raggs are showing courage and dignity. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Huskertrading, I checked out your blog too. I can tell your level of love and commitment is tremendous. Strength for you and prayers for your sweet Laura. This is a wonderful forum with kind, compassionate members, sorry your arrival was due to such a dire illness.

chico2
February 25th, 2011, 07:22 AM
dbg,I too have been thinking of Raggs and you,it is extremely difficult to be the decision maker,but I believe so far Raggs is not ready to leave,each good day is a gift:grouphug:

Love4himies
February 25th, 2011, 07:26 AM
I am glad he is keeping strong :thumbs up. Hopefully he will still have many more months with you :pray: :grouphug:

dbg10
February 25th, 2011, 11:40 AM
I was going to post on the 20th celebrating that Raggs had now made it 2 months but he was having a bad day and I didn't want to post and then find the decision had to be made a day or so later. So I waited. :)

He was/is breathing rather fast the last few days but his breathing slows when he's asleep. Last night his gums looked slightly pinker I think,:thumbs up (hope I'm not seeing what I want to see rather than what is really there).

I'm just hoping now that he can make it a few more days without another bleed. It has seemed in the last 2 weeks that he only improves for a day or two then has another down day or 2. This morning he's not in his bed, but here beside me at the computer and that is always a good sign, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that whatever made him go downhill several times, will now take a break for awhile. I'll keep everyone updated. :)

Thanks again for all the support and staying with me through this. I never expected him to last this long after he was dx'd but I didn't know what to expect because none of my other animals have ever had cancer. Thank goodness! :thumbs up :grouphug: :grouphug:

dbg10
February 25th, 2011, 11:51 AM
i know I've mentioned how Smokey loves dogs and wants to be friends with every dog we've had. Raggs has been a hard sell but they now are friends and I was able to get one pic that shows them interacting which I'm going to post. I wish I'd had the camera yesterday when Smokey was cleaning Ragg's muzzle, it was so cute. Raggs needs a good brushing after molting overnight, he is having a really heavy molt right now. Anyway here it is: :D

Chris21711
February 25th, 2011, 12:02 PM
Really cute pic dbg10 you are both such troopers....Raggs is blessed to have you as his caregiver :grouphug:

Love4himies
February 25th, 2011, 12:03 PM
Awww, what a sweet picture of them. :cloud9: :lovestruck:

hazelrunpack
February 25th, 2011, 12:38 PM
They look pretty relaxed in that shot, dbg :D Glad Smokey and Raggs are such good buddies now! :cloud9:

MaxaLisa
February 26th, 2011, 01:27 AM
I"m so glad that you have had this extra time with Raggs. It really must be difficult now, not knowing exactly how he feels, but it seems that you have a good sense.

Thinking of you guys and sending you the best :grouphug:

dbg10
February 27th, 2011, 04:08 PM
Thanks everyone I really like that pic of them. Smokey was rolling around and I was surprised the pic wasn't blurry.

Raggs is not doing too well, he vomited while taking a break from his food during dinner last night for no apparent reason. Then his breathing was very rapid for the rest of the night. He doesn't seem to be bouncing back the way he has in the past so I hold my breath and hope and pray :pray:

So far today he has been hanging around me instead of lying in his bed. He is still insisting on going outside to relieve himself but needs a bit of help to get back up the stairs. I fed him earlier without incident and he's due for his second meal soon. Just have to wait and see :fingerscr and :pray:

chico2
February 27th, 2011, 04:30 PM
What a sweet pic,I am sure Smokey is making Raggs feel good:lovestruck:
Smokey knows Raggs is not feeling so good,so he's trying to help..
I think Raggs wants to show you that he thinks it's not ok to pee on a pee-pad and as long as he's strong enough to go outside he will do so..:lovestruck:

ScottieDog
February 27th, 2011, 06:03 PM
It is a beautiful photo of Raggs and Smokey.

I'm thinking of you and Raggs. I know how hard it is to have a critically ill, much-loved dog and it totally drains you emotionally. So many of us are lifting you :pray: and you will find strength.

After Tipper went into kidney failure, even with the bladder cancer and the constant UTIs, she just would not go in the house. They live to please us.

Stay strong and big hugs for sweet Raggs.

rainbow
February 27th, 2011, 06:08 PM
Aw, that is such a cute pic of Raggs and Smokey. :cloud9:

Hope Raggs is doing well today :fingerscr .....sending lots more :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: for you both. :grouphug:

dbg10
February 27th, 2011, 07:47 PM
He finished his second meal today without incident, so far :thumbs up I had added the Burdock back into his diet 2 days ago and I wonder if it was it that made him barf, yesterday. I didn't add it today thinking that it very well could have been the catalyst. :(

I agree with you chico2 :laughing: I'm sure he's telling me that he will only use the pee pads as a very last resort. We have a few of them around the house still, though they are dirty from tea and other stuff being spilled on them so I've changed them for no reason. I hesitate to remove them completely in case he needs them in the middle of the night or something. When he barfed he used one.

We had to go to the store tonight and we didn't take him with us. He was upset that we were going without him but I figured he didn't need the climb into and out of the car today, and we were only going to be gone 20 minutes. He loves his car rides but when he is weak it always takes a lot out of him and lately we deal with a day or two recovery after each ride. When we got back he was sitting on the rub in front of the door waiting for us. I think he sat there the entire time we were gone. :(

One thing I don't think I've mentioned before is that he is very hard to brush. He has always pulled away when I bring out the grooming tools especially when I try to brush his flanks and hips. It has almost seemed to me that it is painful. I always wonder what happened when he lived in the boarding kennel, because I can't imagine the rescuers I know that were involved with him and his sister doing anything that hurt them. That is the main reason he looks so scruffy in that picture of him and Smokey because when I get out the tools and try to brush him he pulls away as though he's in pain. Then he gets up and walks away even if I use treats to reward him. I have used almost everything in the way of grooming tools, soft plastic brushes (not meant for animals), regular animal combs using the wide side, slickers, matt splitters (though he doesn't need them), grooming rakes, you name it. The only time I had any real success was when I used the back of the grooming rake a few times and then on the last stroke used the side with the tines. That didn't last though because as soon as I used the side with the tines he jumped up and left the area. I have used a very matter of fact attitude with him over grooming but no matter what I do, I still think it causes him some pain. Does anyone have any ideas? :shrug: :confused:

Scottiedog I am very happy that I've been given this time with him as I've now accepted the fact that he is going to die. Though it's still very hard to think of him being gone, and I will miss him terribly when it happens, it is somehow easier since I've accepted it. I'm still committed to try everything I can to help him stay comfortable and with me as long as possible. :)

Thanks again for helping me through this everyone, it really says tons about the people who belong to this forum. I have promised myself that from now on I am going to post as often as I can if I can help others, because I do care a lot about other people and their animals. I need to give back the help that has been given to me :lightbulb: :grouphug:

chico2
February 28th, 2011, 07:33 AM
dbg,:grouphug:
If Raggs does not like to be brushed,I would leave him be,I would not care if he looks a little scruffy,after all he's a senior and I can relate,I often look kind'a scruffy:)

hazelrunpack
February 28th, 2011, 03:15 PM
He might just be one of those dogs that doesn't like to get brushed. Or he may have a touch of arthritis that makes it painful for him to be brushed on the flanks. Have you tried a thick-toothed metal dog comb? Our guys seem to have sensitive skin, too--they didn't like the thin wire brushes but they don't mind the comb. Looks like this (without the hair :o)

72467

dbg10
February 28th, 2011, 05:08 PM
Chico2 LOL :laughing: I often look scruffy too so he's definitely at home here.

Hazel I haven't got any combs with the thick tines as in your pic, but the rake has tines that are a little wider than your comb. He doesn't mind it until it pulls his hair even sllightly. That's what makes me think he was brushed roughly at some point in time and his skin is now very sensitive. Often as soon as he sees any of the grooming tools he gets up and leaves. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before but I am disabled and have difficulty chasing him when he does this. In some ways I think he thinks he's alpha in these circumstances because he successfully avoids being brushed every time. The one thing he allows me to do is ruffle his fur to get all the loose hair out, but if I pull some out that is loose but stuck he leaves. I've resorted to ruffling his fur and trying to get him to allow me to get the loose hair off him with the brush or comb without touching his fur. Sometimes he allows it, sometimes he doesn't. You may be right about the arthritis because that is what I have decided may be the problem. I will probably pick up one of those wider tine combs tonight when I'm out. Thanks for the suggestion :thumbs up

Today before I fed him he had diarrhea. So I have cut back to rice and beef with chicken broth and metacam and see how he does with it, today.
Not sure what has upset his stomach but it looks like he may have got something he shouldn't have that caused the vomiting and diarrhea. :(
Hopefully he'll be able to withstand this :fingerscr:pray:

hazelrunpack
February 28th, 2011, 06:51 PM
I hope he's feeling better again by morning, dbg :grouphug: Maybe just a little tummy bug... Is he still drinking water? Vomiting and diarrhea together can dehydrate a dog pretty quickly....

dbg10
February 28th, 2011, 07:32 PM
Thanks hazel yes he is still drinking and I make sure I change his water several times a day so he has cold water available all the time, especially now with the vomiting and diarrhea.

When I add the chicken broth to his food, his food is always covered with it so he has liquid in his food. I started that after I switched him to the home made diet because I found he needed to clear his throat after a few bites of food and when I added the broth he was fine so I think the rice made it too dry. Now he usually eats and then goes to his water bowl for a drink even with the broth.

He didn't eat all his food tonight so he may be still feeling off. I'll offer it to him later and see if he'll eat it then. Then I'll see what happens tomorrow. He did seem hungry while he was eating the first half of his food tonight. :)

Thanks for the suggestion :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
March 2nd, 2011, 02:40 PM
How are things going, dbg? Is he still having trouble with the nausea and diarrhea? Hope he's doing better! :goodvibes:

14+kitties
March 2nd, 2011, 05:24 PM
I keep checking in to see how Raggs is doing. I hope you know it is your love and dedication that has kept him going as long as he has. :grouphug: I am so proud of you and what you have done for this wonderful boy. :highfive:

Sylvie
March 2nd, 2011, 07:19 PM
I have been reading and my heart goes out to you. :grouphug:

It is so wonderful that Raggs found you. He knows he is loved :grouphug:

You both will be in my prayers. :pray:

rainbow
March 2nd, 2011, 07:25 PM
I keep checking in as well ....hope Raggs is still doing okay. :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: :grouphug:

dbg10
March 2nd, 2011, 07:43 PM
Today I am sad and apprehensive :( Yesterday he ate only one full meal and half his second meal and only some of his treats at TV time. He then fell asleep and went to bed when I did.

Today he has insisted on going outside only twice, but he was able to get in without help on the stairs. Up to now he has had a few mouthfuls of food and nothing more. However he is still drinking. He has spent the majority of his day in bed, but still wakes easily. I plan to go and sit with him as soon as I finish this post and see how he really is. I don't know if I'll be able to get more food into him when I do, but I'll try. He maybe having the big bleed now but I really hope not. I would think he would be restless, breathing rapidly and anxious if he were having a massive internal bleed and he definitely is none of those and is not breathing rapidly though he was yesterday.

I have put pee pads all over the house again but he doesn't appear to be using them. I'll try to post again after I spend some time with him

Thanks everyone, you've been my saviours throughout this :grouphug::grouphug:

ScottieDog
March 3rd, 2011, 10:00 AM
Just wanted you to know you and Raggs are in my thoughts. :2huggers:

diandpat
March 3rd, 2011, 10:10 AM
:grouphug: Stay strong. You have been so good to Raggs..Go enjoy some quiet time with him. Might just be a bad day :( :shrug:

hazelrunpack
March 3rd, 2011, 12:36 PM
He won't necessarily show much distress if he has an internal bleed, dbg. Often they just slip away very peacefully :grouphug:

But I hope he rallies for you again! :goodvibes: I think of you every day even though I don't get to the board to post every day.

dbg10
March 3rd, 2011, 03:50 PM
Good News! :) :thumbs up When I went to sit on the floor with him he lay there quietly while I gave him a complete rub down and ruffled his scruffy edges full of old fur to get it out. He did object when I was close to his hips so I think his hips are sore despite the metacam. Then he proceeded to eat the food my son had warmed up that he didn't eat last night (about 1/3 his regular meal). Then a visit outside with no diarrhea and he was able to get back up the stairs without help.

When he came back in he was obviously still hungry so I made him his usual meal and he ate that over 1/2 hour. Then I moved to the TV and he demanded his treats and pouted when I made him wait for them. His gums are very pale again but he wasn't breathing rapidly except after exertion and his breathing slowed down after a few minutes which it wasn't doing the other night. He went to bed early again last night but it appears he has again recovered somewhat. :D :laughing:

Today he knows I have made his first meal but hasn't come for it yet. He was up lying in the sun when I got up but as soon as it got cloudy he went to bed. I think he is more comfortable in his bed and I have thought about moving it to wherever he is lying eg in front of the TV. I don't want to force him to eat so I let him know it's ready and I expect he'll come when he gets hungry. :fingerscr

@hazel thanks :) I was led to believe that he would show anxiety and restlessness and possibly signs of distress alternating with periods of lethargy during the final big bleed because according to this person it will take awhile for it to happen. Each time he has had a crisis that I posted about, I have noticed that his breathing becomes very rapid and for a short period of time he is restless. But he is able to settle down at bed time and sleep despite the fact that he is still breathing rapidly. The next day I notice his gums are much paler and up until recently have pinked up over the next few days.

I really feel like I should apologize to everyone, when I think it is the end and he proves me wrong. :o Everyone has been so kind each time this has happened, I almost think I shouldn't post until I find out if he's going to recover from the episode but the support has been really important to me. The other reason is if he does happen to pass during one of these episodes as he will eventually, I would feel just as embarrassed and somehow guilty :o because I hadn't let everyone know that things had turned bad again. :confused: :shrug: :sorry:

I appreciate all the kind words and thoughts so much during this awful time :2huggers: and of course I am very grateful that I've been given this extra time with him All of your support has been a gift along with him still being with me :grouphug: You are all :angel::angel:

krdahmer
March 3rd, 2011, 04:02 PM
Just wanted to add my support and :pray: :grouphug: And that picture of Raggs and Smokey is adorable!:cloud9:

chico2
March 3rd, 2011, 04:04 PM
dbg,you are so sweet and of course we want to know,I think of you and Raggs every day,the struggles,the ups and downs..

I think most of us have had the sad experience of watching our loved pets deteriorate,until we have to make that final decision for them.

With Raggs,every day is one more day to stay with you,the family he loves and I hope there will be many more.:pray:

14+kitties
March 3rd, 2011, 10:25 PM
Don't you dare stop posting Raggs' updates!!! :frustrated: I may not answer each time you post a new one but I have read it. I'm sure others have too. I've shed a tear or three when he's having his bad days.:o I've smiled and laughed out loud during his good days when you describe him with the cats.
Having two seniors myself I know it's difficult sometimes to see them grow older and suffer. We want them with us for as long as possible. It hurts to see them struggle to get up, to go blind, lose their hearing, etc. It's doubly hard with other medical problems to go along with that.
Please keep us informed on how that hero is doing. He is a miracle pup and we all love him. :cloud9:

dbg10
March 4th, 2011, 11:21 AM
Thanks everyone again :2huggers: :grouphug:

Don't you dare stop posting Raggs' updates!!! :frustrated:.... Please keep us informed on how that hero is doing. He is a miracle pup and we all love him. :cloud9:

@14+ I didn't plan to stop posting updates about Raggs because I know many are following his progress. I was feeling badly for everyone here because I know what an emotional roller coaster this has been for me, one day worrying I will have to make the final decision and the next realizing he's recovering again (I am so happy this is happening but as I said it has been a roller coaster ride of emotions and I love those recovery times) I expect some of that has transferred to some of you here, when I post about his down days and I'm very sad when I'm posting.

The last week or so Raggs hasn't recovered the way he was and he's quite weak despite the fact he can get up and down the stairs to go out. He's spending the better part of his days in bed and when I go and sit beside him he lifts his head up then after a few pats he kinda falls back onto his bed. He never did this before and I'm hoping it's because he wants his full body massage, but my better sense tells me it's because he's very weak and tired. When I sit in front of the TV he even goes back to bed during his TV time for a rest and then comes back after 5 or 10 minutes. :( He still wants all of his treats.:D

Yesterday he ate two full meals but they were not spread apart by hours like they usually are, he started eating about 6pm, took a break half way through as I posted yesterday, went out, came back in and went to bed. He got up again about 8.30 pm and after going outside, ate the rest of his food from the first meal. He was obviously still hungry so I made another meal and gave it to him at 9.30pm. He ate that bit by bit over the next 2 hours. This is totally different behaviour than usual, he was wolfing down his food at each sitting before last week. He still reacts if the cats go near his bowl, but doesn't make a move to protect it or eat it, the way he used to. I think his anemia is much worse and he is bleeding on a regular basis every day or so which doesn't give him a chance to get his hemoglobin up with the liver, between bleeds as I think was happening before. :(

I always like to say 'where there is life there is hope' and I am very happy I've had this long with him and hope to have more :fingerscr He doesn't appear to be in pain.:) (no pain posturing or other signs like pulling away when I rub him all over :thumbs up) except of course when I try to brush him which may be a learned response to previous brushing before he got here :confused:

Thanks everyone for staying with me through this very sad time, as I said you have no idea how much this has meant to me and I don't plan to stop updating. :grouphug: :2huggers:

BenMax
March 4th, 2011, 12:20 PM
I have been following your thread and have been praying that all is well everytime I see an update.
I remember this lovely story about 1 year ago...
You are an amazingly compassionate person.
My thoughts are with you and Raggs.:goodvibes:

Love4himies
March 4th, 2011, 12:31 PM
You have nothing to apologize for and we will be here to support you at all times. :grouphug:

I, like other members, don't always post, but I do read all your updates. It's one of the first threads I read when I log on.

Sending lots and lots of :goodvibes:

dbg10
March 4th, 2011, 01:56 PM
Thanks BenMax and L4H and everyone else who posts to this thread or reads it. :) I understand those of you who don't always post and only read this thread at times because I sometimes do the same thing with others' threads unless there is something worthwhile I can add :)

I don't think I mentioned the fact that I made an appt for Raggs to see my vet last week when I needed a refill on his Metacam. Then I cancelled it because I thought if I put him in the car it might cause more harm than good. He has wanted to go with us every time we've had to go out this week, but so far each time I've thought it might be too much for him and might cause another bleed because he seems so weak. I know that he's able to get up the 5 stairs without a problem and that flies in the face of the weakness I see :confused: :(

A friend dropped over and he came out of his bed to greet her and stayed beside me since. This is a good thing I see that make me think he may be stronger than I think. :shrug: I just find it hard to evaluate.

Thanks again :grouphug:

14+kitties
March 4th, 2011, 03:07 PM
Oh mf, I did not mean my post in a negative way. You are feeling pain. By posting it and "releasing" some of it it is probably helping you. We are here to share your pain, your joys and, in time, your sorrow. Because believe me, when the time comes we WILL feel your sorrow, and ours. I just didn't want you thinking you shouldn't be posting updates when you are feeling down. You are hurt. Sharing that hurt helps ease your pain a little and we are here for you. :grouphug::grouphug:
And please give Raggs one of those too. :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
March 4th, 2011, 04:42 PM
I'm glad he's hanging in there, dbg! Raggs is such a lucky boy to have you to lean on! :grouphug:

About the Metacam--have you considered calling the vet and telling him your reservations about taking Raggs in the car? Given that he knows about Raggs, he may be willing to give you a prescription for the Metacam without an office visit. :fingerscr

I really feel like I should apologize to everyone, when I think it is the end and he proves me wrong. :o Everyone has been so kind each time this has happened, I almost think I shouldn't post until I find out if he's going to recover from the episode but the support has been really important to me. The other reason is if he does happen to pass during one of these episodes as he will eventually, I would feel just as embarrassed and somehow guilty :o because I hadn't let everyone know that things had turned bad again. :confused: :shrug: :sorry:


Never feel like your posts are impositions or a bother or that you need to apologize or that you owe us a post if you really aren't up to it! We're here to listen and give you some support if you need it. There will be lots of ups and downs and we're here for the long haul to help you up the hills and support you on the other side :grouphug: And if there comes a time when you don't feel up to talking, that's okay, too. We'll still be here when you come back :2huggers:

dbg10
March 4th, 2011, 08:45 PM
Oh mf, I did not mean my post in a negative way. You are feeling pain. By posting it and "releasing" some of it it is probably helping you.

Thanks 14+ I really didn't take it in a negative way, what I said probably came out that way due to my worrying over the way he has been for the last couple of days and feeling like I should apologize to everyone. I know now that it wasn't necessary, it was just all those emotions coming together with Raggs as the focus. I am not used to letting my emotions hang out the way I have in this thread and everyone has been so supportive... :2huggers: :grouphug:

I'm glad he's hanging in there, dbg! Raggs is such a lucky boy to have you to lean on! :grouphug:


Thanks hazel, and everyone who has said similar things :thankyou: about how I've handled Raggs. It really boggles my mind because I can't imagine being any different toward him, nor any animal :confused:

I know you may remember when Pepper had her surgery in 2009 for the giant lipoma you were all there for me then as well. The difference now is that I've posted about Raggs throughout his time with me, especially since he was dx'd with cancer. I was the same with Pepper when she was alive, I just didn't share all the details with the forum because in her final days she was well until a week before I made the final decision. :(

About the Metacam--have you considered calling the vet and telling him your reservations about taking Raggs in the car? Given that he knows about Raggs, he may be willing to give you a prescription for the Metacam without an office visit. :fingerscr


My vet gave me the metacam without question when I told her why I didn't want to bring him. She is all about the comfort of the animal and she knew that's what I was thinking of too. She insists she relates far better to animals than people and she knows I feel the same way. I've had her as a vet for 20 years, so we know each other quite well.


Never feel like your posts are impositions or a bother or that you need to apologize or that you owe us a post if you really aren't up to it! We're here to listen and give you some support if you need it. There will be lots of ups and downs and we're here for the long haul to help you up the hills and support you on the other side :grouphug: And if there comes a time when you don't feel up to talking, that's okay, too. We'll still be here when you come back :2huggers:

Thanks hazel and all of you :thankyou: for the continued support. You are right some days I don't feel like posting and others I can't seem to shut up LOL :laughing:

Today he stayed in bed until 8pm even though I went to sit with him after making his first meal. He sniffed it but wanted to rest and have his body massage. I couldn't wait any longer at 8 and went in with his food and gave it to him while he was in bed and sat there on the floor beside him. He lay there and ate most of it before taking a break to go out. When he came back in he finished it and then went back to bed. I will try to feed him his other meal later when I'm sitting in front of the TV but I'm certainly not going to push him into eating if he doesn't want to. I'll just keep hoping that he does so I can get more liver into him. I picked up some better vitamins and minerals than I was using they are Holistic Blend from Global and seem to have a better mix of vitamins and minerals than the ones I was using. They also have a higher dose of Iron in them. :)

I'll post tomorrow with an update Thanks everyone :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
March 5th, 2011, 10:52 AM
I should have known you'd have a great relationship with your vet! :D We're blessed that way, too.

Hope today went great for you and Raggs! :goodvibes:

:grouphug:

Sylvie
March 5th, 2011, 11:32 AM
Still thinking of you and Raggs. :grouphug:

I don't post often but do check up on how things are going. I am sure quite a few people on this site have been through this and feel your pain. I know I do. :grouphug: for both of you.

dbg10
March 5th, 2011, 08:06 PM
Last night he joined me in front of the TV and ate almost his entire second meal, just leaving the rice and a little broth and then demanded his treats. He was smiling away during our time in front of the TV and really seemed himself but tired. He did pout a few times when I made him wait for a treat. (guess I should explain, I give him 2 chix drumsticks broken up into small pieces and 1 beggin strip broken up into pieces and spread them over a couple of hours, so I'm not giving him a ton of treats).He wanted to go to bed early but ended up falling asleep on the floor in front of me instead of going to bed, until I was ready. I think he makes an extra effort at night because it's our special time together with the cats as well. He was still telling the cats off when they did something he didn't like. :laughing:

Today he spent the majority of the day in his bed. He seemed very tired but ate about 2/3 of his food when I put it in front of him and seemed to enjoy it. His gums don't look quite as pale but he's obviously very tired and lethargic.

Tonight he had trouble going down the stairs to get outside and I'm going to try to make him use the pee pads from now on because I don't want him to fall. When he came back in, he ate the balance of the food in his bowl and then went back to his bed. I hope he's going to get up for TV time, :fingerscr

He seems even more lethargic today than he was yesterday and I'm hoping and praying that he holds his own, at least until Monday. :pray:
He has spent the day in bed in the past when he's had the previous bad times, but I feel he's slightly worse than before :(

I hope he does exactly what he did last night when I move to the TV in the next few minutes :pray: :fingerscr

hazelrunpack
March 5th, 2011, 08:15 PM
I hope he does, too, dbg :grouphug:

Have you tried the towel trick for taking him out? Loop a bathtowel under him when he's walking up and down the stairs and help support him from above. We've used it for dogs after joint surgery but I think it might work out for Raggs, too!

ScottieDog
March 5th, 2011, 08:54 PM
Thank you for the updates. I check in on Raggs every day. He is a special guy and has so many here cheerleading for him (and you). I think there are several here who feel a strong connection to him.

I really wish that when I was facing Tipper's serious illnesses, I had confided here. I tend to be a private person and I really had no one but my husband to talk with, cry with. So many people thought we were crazy to spend so much money with specialists for "a dog". She wasn't "a dog", she was my little Tippy, my heart. I know now that no one here would have had negative thoughts for us and the depths of my love would have been understood and shared. My heartache not dismissed. The members of this board are so wonderful. Seeing the support you are getting with Raggs makes me proud to be a member here.

I want to second the suggestion of using a towel to help Raggs walk better to go out. I did this for my neighbor's cocker spaniel when she was in declining health and it helped her be able to eliminate easier.

Even if I don't post daily, you and Raggs are always close in my thoughts and heart. I know how bad this hurts.

rainbow
March 5th, 2011, 11:06 PM
Thanks for continuing to update us. :grouphug:

I hope that Raggs is still doing well. :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes:

dbg10
March 6th, 2011, 09:37 PM
We had a much better day today! :) Yippee! When I woke up Raggs was lying in the sun in the living room and stayed there for about an hour before going back to bed. At his usual first feeding time I went in to see if he wanted to eat. He licked his lips so I gave him his first feeding and he ate at the regular time. Then he went outside and when he came in he stayed beside me as usual. He went back to bed about 2 hours later but I really think this is a better day. He is much more alert today and has been bugging me for the last hour to go sit in front of the TV. He's reacting to the cats too, yesterday he only reacted to them after he'd eaten about half his food. So I have keeping my fingers crossed that he is going to hold his own for awhile longer. :thumbs up YAHOOO! :)

I really wish that when I was facing Tipper's serious illnesses, I had confided here. I tend to be a private person and I really had no one but my husband to talk with, cry with. So many people thought we were crazy to spend so much money with specialists for "a dog". She wasn't "a dog", she was my little Tippy, my heart. I know now that no one here would have had negative thoughts for us and the depths of my love would have been understood and shared. My heartache not dismissed. The members of this board are so wonderful. Seeing the support you are getting with Raggs makes me proud to be a member here.

Oh can I ever relate to you. That's the same thing I did when Pepper was nearing the end. I wish I'd shared then like I have now. I did share Pepper's surgery here but then I didn't post again until after she passed.
However, this time things were different because I thought Raggs was going to pass away before the month was over and I was in shock from his diagnosis so I kept posting. I also can't believe how kind and supportive everyone in this forum are. I am proud to be a member here :D :thumbs up

I want to second the suggestion of using a towel to help Raggs walk better to go out. I did this for my neighbor's cocker spaniel when she was in declining health and it helped her be able to eliminate easier.

We tried it last night but Raggs became so anxious, I didn't have the heart to continue. I've found if I tell him "go slowly" he walks down the stairs without a problem. The problem happens more often when my son
lets him out because he sometimes sounds irritable that he's been taken away from what he's doing to let Raggs out, and Raggs seems to want to hurry down the stairs to please him. I've talked to my son about this and he's started telling him to go slowly too.

Even if I don't post daily, you and Raggs are always close in my thoughts and heart. I know how bad this hurts.

I know many have said they read or post almost every day and I feel bad now for thinking I needed to apologize. At least it's over now, and I know I'm not imposing on everyone here. :) :2huggers: :grouphug:

I'm off to watch TV with my furbabies, and will post again tomorrow :thumbs up

chico2
March 7th, 2011, 07:02 AM
Good boy for mommy Raggs:grouphug::lovestruck:
:pray:for many more good days...

A strange question perhaps,but when you say Raggs has a"bleed",how do you know,is there blood in his feces,or do you just judge by the color of his gums??

Love4himies
March 7th, 2011, 07:04 AM
That is wonderful :thumbs up :highfive:. Raggs, keep up the good work :goodvibes::goodvibes:

dbg10
March 7th, 2011, 11:00 AM
A strange question perhaps,but when you say Raggs has a"bleed",how do you know,is there blood in his feces,or do you just judge by the color of his gums??

Not really that strange IMHO :) There has never been any blood in his stool or barf and yes, I am assuming that he has a "bleed" because of the colour of his gums and the fact I know that is what is expected to happen. But I have also noticed small areas of dark "bruising" forming on the lump on his belly, that are increasing in size, however the lump still has some pink skin, originally was all pink. There are also a few new bumps on his abdomen that have a "dark blue" center that looks to me like a bad bruise. These dark areas were disappearing after a few days but I still saw them there last night and this morning. I have thought they are blood pooling after a bleed but they could just as well be something else. When I notice them it is always after a day or two of extreme tiredness and a period of rapid breathing.

When I got up this morning he was lying in the sun and demanding to be let outside. Not sure if he's much stronger because he went spread eagled at the top of the stairs before going down the stairs but he was able to recover and get downstairs without help. :) He then went back to bed when he came in but he was barking at the cats this morning too which he hasn't been doing much of in the last few days. Funny how I hang onto such little things, but I guess that's normal. :confused:

Thanks for the good wishes :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
March 7th, 2011, 01:47 PM
Seems like he must be feeling pretty good when he starts bossing around the cats! :D It always brightens my mood when you post that he's been barking at them or making demands.

Glad you had such a good day! Here's to many, many more! :goodvibes:

dbg10
March 9th, 2011, 02:28 PM
I kept my fingers crossed all day yesterday hoping that he would continue to improve and I was rewarded :thumbs up :) He is slowly getting better :) but has had two episodes of trouble going down the stairs but he seems to be ok after them. Each of them has been when my son distracted him so he has lost his concentration. After the first incident Raggs seems to want to concentrate on each step as he goes down them.

Yesterday I had to take one of the cats to the vet and of course she wanted to know how Raggs was. She thinks he is improving when the blood reabsorbs after a bleed and is very glad he's starting to improve again. :)

He is also bossing the cats around and was mad at Smokey for climbing on my lap last night so I couldn't bend over to pat him. Hazel as you say I always know that he is feeling better when he bosses the cats around and interacts with us as he was before this all started and it does make me much happier. I just hope this lasts longer than a day or two this time, but I'll take what I can get at this point :) :fingerscr

But the wonderful news is he's eating and drinking well and seems much stronger than he was a few days ago. I can only put this down to the liver I am giving him every day and the good vibes, :goodvibes: thoughts and prayers :pray: everyone here has been sending for us. :thumbs up :grouphug: :highfive:

Love4himies
March 9th, 2011, 02:31 PM
YAY!!!!!!!!!!!! :goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes:

BenMax
March 9th, 2011, 02:58 PM
So glad to hear the good news.:thumbs up

Sylvie
March 9th, 2011, 03:48 PM
That is wonderful news :thumbs up

chico2
March 9th, 2011, 04:31 PM
Aww Raggs,you are making us all very happy,you still have a lot of living to do:lovestruck::grouphug:

hazelrunpack
March 9th, 2011, 06:34 PM
Hurrah for good days!!!! Good boy, Raggs!!! :dog: Glad to hear it, dbg!!

rainbow
March 10th, 2011, 01:45 PM
WOOO HOOO Raggs :highfive: .....great news dbg. :thumbs up

dbg10
March 11th, 2011, 05:34 PM
Thanks for the continued support for us, he is still doing fairly well. I noticed last night that his gums are still pale but he definitely has more energy and is bossing the cats around to prove it :laughing:

The only thing that I am puzzled about is he isn't eating as much as he was. :( I am a little worried about that, but I think he has gained weight on his home made diet and can stand to lose a little weight. Keeping my fingers crossed that it's just another stage :fingerscr

I'm going to give him his second meal now, Thanks to all :grouphug:

dbg10
March 11th, 2011, 07:01 PM
I have a very dumb question for those used to feeding home made or BARF diets. As I said he seems to be gaining weight, though he also has some new lumps as well. I am giving him about 4 cups of food a day and wonder if I've been over-feeding him. His current diet is approx 3/4 cup brown rice, 3/4 cup of ground beef or chicken, 2-3 chopped chicken livers, 1/2 cup mixture of whatever veggies I happen to have (usually spinach, yams, green beans, and/or carrots), 1tbsp ground flax seeds, 1 sardine, vitamins & minerals for his weight, uba vet and metacam. Am I giving him too much food?

Love4himies
March 12th, 2011, 06:31 AM
He may be gaining muscle mass and if he was on kibble diet, he may have more fluid in his body now as he will be getting more water.

Glad to hear he is still doing well :thumbs up.

chico2
March 12th, 2011, 07:36 AM
Good boy Ragg's :grouphug::lovestruck:

hazelrunpack
March 12th, 2011, 09:33 AM
If he's gained some weight, he may not have as much appetite just because he's getting more than sufficient calories. I wouldn't worry too much about it unless he starts to lose weight again.

Glad to hear he's feeling feisty! :D

dbg10
March 12th, 2011, 07:45 PM
So far so good :thumbs up He's had another good day. Dare I say that we've bounced again, I'm afraid to say it because it usually comes back to bite me when I say it. At least we have another day or two together. :) Thanks everyone for all your thoughts and prayers, they are working :thumbs up :grouphug: :2huggers: :thankyou:

ScottieDog
March 12th, 2011, 08:02 PM
Best news today! Gentle hugs to that sweet, old boy.

chico2
March 13th, 2011, 12:06 PM
dbg,I think that is all we can ask for,one day,one month at a time,GOOD BOY Raggs:cloud9:

14+kitties
March 13th, 2011, 12:46 PM
Still :pray: and keeping my thoughts with you and Raggs.

rainbow
March 13th, 2011, 01:19 PM
Glad to hear that RAggs is still doing well. :thumbs up

Sending lots of :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: for you both. :grouphug:

dbg10
March 14th, 2011, 08:10 PM
Thanks everyone for your good thoughts :grouphug:
dbg,I think that is all we can ask for,one day,one month at a time,GOOD BOY Raggs:cloud9:

Yes I definitely agree, one day at a time. :) I haven't posted because I've been keeping my fingers crossed that he is going to complete the comeback again :fingerscr Yesterday I noticed that he didn't want to eat until later in the day and went outside only a few times. As one of the pee pads was wet, I assumed he had used it during the day or night.

Today he has been sleeping most of the day but did come out when a friend dropped by who he likes. When I gave him his first meal he only took a few licks of the broth and then went to lie down again, but stayed with me in the computer room. :)

I also noticed that he only went outside once today which is quite different from previous days, so I am worried that he is going into renal failure. Only time will tell if he is. He wakes easily but is not reacting to the cats like he usually does. However, the cats are not hanging around him so maybe he is ok and I'm just panicking. :fingerscr When he has had previous bleeds they have all gathered around and stayed near him
so another change that may mean he is just tired today. :pray: :fingerscr

A friend is coming to stay for a few days tomorrow and I am really hoping I am just panicking. We have 5 more days to go before the 3 month mark, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as they have worked up to now :grouphug:

Thanks everyone I will keep you updated :grouphug: :2huggers:

hazelrunpack
March 14th, 2011, 08:14 PM
As many prayers and :goodvibes: as you need coming from this end! Hang in there, Raggs! You, too, dbg! :grouphug:

Have a great visit with your friend! :D

dbg10
March 14th, 2011, 08:36 PM
Well I hope this is "here we go again" :fingerscr As soon as I finished posting he proceeded to eat all the food I had put out earlier and then wanted to go outside to pee which he did. So it looks like he's stronger than I thought and he's still more than able to pee, :thumbs up though not as frequently as before but at least his kidneys haven't shut down the way I thought they had. Guess it was me panicking which is far better than what I was thinking. :) Thanks again everyone :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
March 14th, 2011, 08:45 PM
Whew! :goodvibes:

dbg10
March 16th, 2011, 02:32 PM
On Monday Raggs only ate one meal which is something totally new. Yesterday I was scared because he vomited in the morning for no apparent reason, as he hadn't eaten since the night before. He finally ate one meal late in the evening but his behaviour was good and he appeared. My friend was here and he followed her everywhere around the house :) He is active and friendly and seems stronger. His gums are still a little pale but they are getting better every day that he gets his liver. He only eats one meal, which I am not sure is enough food now, but at least he is getting his medication and vitamins. :)

Just to keep the info uptodate on what is happening with Raggs and thank everyone for their support throughout this time. :2huggers:

ScottieDog
March 20th, 2011, 06:12 PM
Thinking of you and Raggs today. :pray: :fingerscr :2huggers: :dog:

rainbow
March 20th, 2011, 06:20 PM
How is Raggs doing ....I hope everything is still okay. :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: :grouphug:

dbg10
March 20th, 2011, 06:42 PM
My friend was here all week and left today. Raggs liked having her around but he still spent much of his time in bed. Even at night he only came for a short TV time and then went back to bed. He is still only eating one meal a day, if that. :( This week he hasn't been eating until very late in the day, and yesterday he had only eaten about 1/4 of his food before midnight. We were up playing scrabble until about 3am and he finally ate the rest of his food at 2 am. Then promptly wanted more. :thumbs up :shrug: So I gave him a little rice with lots of liver and ground beef and he ate all of it and then disappeared to bed.

After he eats he wants to go outside over and over again. He is still strong enough to get up and down the stairs, but is definitely sleeping a lot of the time. He doesn't have diarrhea, isn't vomiting, so I'm trying to figure out what is different about his second meal from his first. None of the supplements that I add to his first meal should cause him to want to go. So I am baffled with the fact that he ate his second meal last night and went directly to bed whereas he had been out 5 times right after his first meal. What I add to the first meal of the day is flax seed, a sardine, his vitamins and minerals (2 types, one natural, the other for both cats and dogs) his Uba Vet and his metacam. I hope it is not the metacam that is causing the diarrhea, because he will have a severe problem getting to his feet at all if I have to stop it. Does anyone have any ideas what it could be?

He has appeared now and I'm going to try to feed him,will post again after he eats.
Thanks everyone for asking, I hadn't posted because nothing had really changed in the past few days. :grouphug:

dbg10
March 20th, 2011, 08:02 PM
Raggs again ate about 1/4 of his meal and then lay down in the hall. He didn't go back to bed, nor did he want to go out. So I have no idea what is causing him to want to go out so many times after his first meal of the day when all the supplements and meds are in his food. I forgot to add the chicken broth to the list of things that are different between his two meals, I add it to his first meal and not his second.

He still seems very tired all the time heading for his bed and not eating his treats at night. He seems to wake up very late at night just when I'm ready to go to bed. That's when he's been eating the rest of his food and then heads for bed. This week he's been sleeping most of the day then he gets up when I call him when I sit down to watch TV, He doesn't stay with me very long just until he's had a few small pieces of treats and then he goes back to bed.

I am not sure what to do at this point. His quality of life is non existent with him sleeping all day and night. His gums are a bit pale but not too bad, so I'm not sure what is going on. I am still pushing the liver as I think it is the only thing that is keeping him alive but I wonder if it's time to make the decision, though he doesn't appear to be in pain and still smiles away and looks happy when he's awake. :confused:

I keep hoping for improvement but so far I haven't seen any. This week the days are essentially the same. He is also molting really badly, almost looks like he's shedding all his hair, though it is being replaced with new hair. I have read that an animal under physical stress, be it from illness or other stress, will molt more than usual. I keep my fingers crossed :fingerscr

Thanks all I really appreciate your thoughts and prayers, :grouphug: :2huggers:

14+kitties
March 20th, 2011, 08:04 PM
:grouphug::pray: Stay strong mf. :grouphug: You are an exemplary mom. :pray:

Love4himies
March 20th, 2011, 08:27 PM
Awwww, could the shedding just be from the time of year it is?

Maybe he is just pooped from having company around?

Lots of :grouphug: and :goodvibes: coming your way!

chico2
March 21st, 2011, 08:01 AM
dbg,:grouphug:you certainly are a wonderful mom for Raggs:grouphug:

In our family,it's always been I who have to decide when the time has come to let a much loved cat/dog go.
It's a heavy burden,but one I would not give up,it's a roller-coaster,many ups and downs....but when it's time,you know you did the right thing,out of love:lovestruck:

Chris21711
March 21st, 2011, 11:49 AM
dbg I've been following Raggs story just like I followed Pepper's, he will tell you when the time is right, try not to miss the signs :grouphug:

If it were me and he still has his dignity then I would hold off for now and continue taking it one day at a time.

I was reading about Metacam and it says that it can cause diarrhea. Perhaps you could check with your Vet to see if there is another pain med that would do the trick.

rainbow
March 21st, 2011, 12:54 PM
Awwww, could the shedding just be from the time of year it is?

Maybe he is just pooped from having company around?


I agree with that as well and also about the Metacam. Sending lots more :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: for you and Raggs. :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
March 21st, 2011, 01:43 PM
Illness can definitely cause a dog to blow its coat, dbg--combined with spring, I suspect that's all that's going on with Raggs' fur. And having company can be exhausting!! So that could explain his lethargy, too. If that's all it is, then he should be feeling a bit more energetic in a day or two. :grouphug:

What does Raggs do when he goes out so many times after his morning meal? Could he just be feeling a little more energetic and wanting to be outside that time of day?

Keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers, as always! :2huggers:

dbg10
March 21st, 2011, 05:44 PM
Well we have now arrived at March 21st - 3 months plus a day since Raggs was given his diagnosis. Happily he did perk up last night finally, and after finishing his food at midnight wanted more. :thumbs up So after going outside twice I gave him the liver, beef and rice, but he only ate the meat, no rice and then lay down beside me. He made no move to go outside again until it was bedtime at 2am and when he came in he went to his bed. :)


Stay strong mf. You are an exemplary mom. :pray:

Thanks 14+

Awwww, could the shedding just be from the time of year it is?
Maybe he is just pooped from having company around?

I was wondering about that plus the fact we were occupying the space he normally lies in when watching TV while my friend was here. I thought that might have caused him to lie in his bed where he's comfortable until she left. Last spring his shedding was nothing like this years, and it may be because he's sick. He's shedding chunks of fur from everywhere and the fact he won't let me brush him properly makes me feel guilty, but he's happy LOL :laughing:

dbg I've been following Raggs story just like I followed Pepper's, he will tell you when the time is right, try not to miss the signs
If it were me and he still has his dignity then I would hold off for now and continue taking it one day at a time.

Yes I know you are right, I was just hoping he would get up like he usually does but he spent his entire days and nights in bed. He was also very shaky on the stairs going down to the door so I wondered if it was time. He was still smiling and seemed happy but was hard to wake up at times. I intend to hold off for now and take it one day at a time and I expect when he is ready he will stop eating.


I was reading about Metacam and it says that it can cause diarrhea. Perhaps you could check with your Vet to see if there is another pain med that would do the trick.

Yes I am aware that diarrhea is one of the side effects, but we tried all the others before moving to metacam and all of them caused both vomiting and diarrhea until we started the metacam. I missed today's metacam dose and will watch to see what happens.


I agree with that as well and also about the Metacam. Sending lots more for you and Raggs.

Thanks Rainbow

Illness can definitely cause a dog to blow its coat, dbg--combined with spring, I suspect that's all that's going on with Raggs' fur. And having company can be exhausting!! So that could explain his lethargy, too. If that's all it is, then he should be feeling a bit more energetic in a day or two.

I suspect that his molt is because of his illness but I can imagine it is taking a lot out of him. Our previous dogs seemed to be exhausted if they had a large loss of hair, which each did when they were sick. I am just remembering this now.


What does Raggs do when he goes out so many times after his morning meal? Could he just be feeling a little more energetic and wanting to be outside that time of day?
Keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers, as always!

He goes out and wants back in immediately after he pees and seems to pee a lot right after he eats. I guess it's possible that he's not emptying his bladder each time. He doesn't stay out long enough for anything else. During the winter when the snow was on the ground he'd stay out for long periods just to lie in the snow. He loved that weather.

Today was a much better day :thumbs up :D :laughing: He came out to visit first thing this morning and started asking for food at his regular time. He seems much happier and active today so maybe it was having an extra person around that caused him to lie in his bed. Just the difference in his regular routine may have upset him I guess. Weird because I've always found him to love having people around. Thanks everyone, for your support and caring ways :2huggers: I believe it is you that have kept him alive for all this time and I hope to have a few more days/weeks/months with him :grouphug: :highfive: :thankyou:

ScottieDog
March 21st, 2011, 05:58 PM
I'm so glad to hear that today is a better day. Sounds like Raggs still has some strength and lots more love to give. I wanted to send you good wishes yesterday because I knew the significance of the day--3 months.

I know it bothers you to not be able to brush him and keep his coat shiny and glossy, but Raggs doesn't want that stress. After Tipper got sick, I had to syringe-feed her and her little Scottie beard was so matted and tangled. Tipper hated the brush so much. I just resigned myself that I would have to cut her precious beard off. But, she took a turn for the worse.... The day I let her go, I felt so bad sending her off to the Bridge with a matted, tangled coat, shaved belly and paws due to the ultrasound and IVs she needed. But in my heart, I knew that she was restored to all her beauty. And, today it is that beauty I see when I think of her, not the broken body ravaged by her disease and treatments.

You do know that you are an angel on Earth :angel2: and Raggs will always be with you. Keeping you both in my prayers. :pray:

dbg10
March 21st, 2011, 08:32 PM
Thanks for the good wishes Scottiedog :) I know now that last week must have thrown him off but I also think he probably had another bleed because he was so tired and lethargic.

I know what you mean when you talk about Tipper's beard, it is hard to see Raggs all scruffy, but I think that's the way he likes it. In the last couple of weeks he has had a silly grin on his face at times, and he makes me laugh all over again. He was always smiling before but at times now the smile is replaced by his silly grin. It makes me realize he's not in pain, and he's still enjoying life with the cats at times. He hasn't been as vocal with them this past week, but today he was "yelling" at Sam and Smokey. I think I will discourage my friend from staying here for awhile because I honestly think now that something we did while she was here, put him off. It likely was the fact he couldn't lie in his usual place and instead of lying somewhere else, he just went to bed. He's not that strong right now, but he's definitely better than he was yesterday. :)

Thanks again for being there for us :grouphug:

Love4himies
March 21st, 2011, 08:40 PM
Yay for Raggs! :goodvibes::goodvibes: for lots of more good days.:grouphug:

mummummum
March 22nd, 2011, 03:51 AM
Have you tried psyllium capsules to help with the diarrhea?

hazelrunpack
March 22nd, 2011, 12:34 PM
Congratulations on the Three Months Plus One milestone! :highfive: Just shows the exemplary care you're giving Raggs :grouphug:

I think I will discourage my friend from staying here for awhile because I honestly think now that something we did while she was here, put him off.

Not necessarily, though. Just having someone new in the house can be very tiring for a dog--gives them new duties (someone new to keep track of :D) and different routines. It was maybe not anything she did, just the fact that she was there at all that tuckered him out... Still might be a good idea to discourage another stay, but it might not have been anything in particular that she did.

Glad to hear the sweetheart is starting to perk up again some!! :thumbs up

dbg10
March 22nd, 2011, 02:08 PM
Thanks hazel, mummm and L4H last night went much better than the last week. He did only eat one meal but at least he seemed to enjoy that one meal. He doesn't empty the bowl in one sitting now but at least he finishes it all. Last night he wanted to go out after eating a few mouth fulls, then after he'd eaten about 1/2 the bowl. After going out the second time he went to bed without finishing his food. So later when I went to sit in front of the TV I took his food with me and he ate the rest of it. Then he didn't ask to go out again until it was time for bed.

I omitted the Uba Vet, and the new Holistic Blend natural vitamin & mineral liquid which has Barley Grass, Dried Seaweed (19 Different Types) Chlorophyll, Citrus Bioflavinoids, Apple Pectin, Trace Minerals, and Vitamin B Complex in it. I think it may be this supplement that is causing his digestive problems because it was after I started this that he wanted to go out so many times during a meal. I'll add the Uba Vet back in today and see what happens, it's possible that may be the problem according to what I've read.

@mummummum I haven't tried psyllium caps with him because of his reaction to the other herbs and supplements I was using when I first decided on the diet I would give him. I think it is more likely that something I'm adding to his meal, is causing the problem. Because of his weak back end, I am praying it's not the metacam or UbaVet (glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM).

This morning he was bright and smiling, behaving normally. :) :thumbs up After I looked over his belly last night I noticed a few slightly elevated blue-black spots on his skin which I think are probably hematomas, evidence of where he's had the bleeds and the lump in the middle of his abdomen has a few more small blue-black spots on it and it is slightly larger. It is no longer all pink, the way it was before he was diagnosed. :( But he seems to be doing ok, definitely holding his own and much better than last week. :thumbs up

@hazel I expect you are right, because I also found it tiring having someone around 24/7 when I'm not used to it. My friend is a cat person, but is not totally comfortable with dogs and he may have picked up on that too.

Thanks again everyone for all your thoughts and prayers, they have definitely made a difference in his life and mine. :2huggers: :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
March 22nd, 2011, 07:48 PM
This morning he was bright and smiling, behaving normally. :) :thumbs up

Bless his heart!! :lovestruck:

You know the :goodvibes: are heading your way in droves! :grouphug:

rainbow
March 22nd, 2011, 10:58 PM
Raggs is such a little trooper and glad to hear that he is still doing well. :thumbs up

Lots more :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: for it to continue. :grouphug:

dbg10
March 23rd, 2011, 04:46 PM
I had to laugh last night Sam and Raggs had a show down :laughing:. Sam is the 13 1/2 yr old king of the cats. They usually fight over territory and Raggs is somewhat afraid of him probably because Sam planted a claw in his nose at some point. At first we were by the TV and Sam jumped in my lap. He prevented me from handing Raggs's treats to him so Raggs got up went to the other end of the room to pout. I put Sam back on the floor and he lay where Raggs usually lies. Then Raggs came back and chased Sam under the coffee table by getting up really close to Sam's face and barking at him. So this went on for another hour or so with them trading places. Then Raggs got up and headed to bed. When I went in I found Raggs lying with a big smile on his face in a position that blocked Sam's entrance to the bedroom and Sam was lying outside the door in the hall and I swear he was glaring at Raggs. I had to get them both up and out of the bedroom, to clear up this stalemate. :laughing: :laughing:

After what I thought the other day, this really showed me Raggs has a lot of living still to do. I thought all of you would enjoy this exchange after all the support you've given us :grouphug: :grouphug:

Chris21711
March 23rd, 2011, 04:50 PM
Good news to hear that Raggs is feeling feisty :thumbs up

chico2
March 23rd, 2011, 04:59 PM
dbg,that is funny,I can just picture it:laughing:
My Vinnie will lay right across the door-way to my den to prevent Chico from coming in and believe me Vinnie is big enough.

14+kitties
March 23rd, 2011, 05:11 PM
:thumbs up Wonderful!! Raggs is telling you he may be on his way out but he's going to do it with a flourish!! He sure has been!! :cloud9::cloud9::grouphug: Thank you for sharing.

MaxaLisa
March 23rd, 2011, 06:45 PM
What a huge milestone and wonderful to have the extra time with Raggs, I'm so happy to see this. I know he is getting closer, but it sounds like he is still doing well, considering the dire circumstances. What a great gift of time you two have had. ((Hugs and ear scritches))

hazelrunpack
March 23rd, 2011, 07:27 PM
:laughing: I would have loved to see that, dbg! What a hoot! Give Raggs an extra hug for me, and when Raggs isn't looking, sneak in a few lovin's on Sam, too, pls! :D

rainbow
March 23rd, 2011, 07:36 PM
LOL @ Raggs ....that's his way of showing you he's still doing okay. :thumbs up

We have the "showdown" every night here as Logan purposely lies in the doorway to block the others from entering the bedroom. :rolleyes:

rainbow
March 25th, 2011, 07:15 PM
Is Raggs still doing well? :fingerscr :goodvibes: :grouphug:

dbg10
March 25th, 2011, 08:05 PM
He seems to be doing well :thumbs up Today I gave him his first meal and he refused to eat but I know he will eat it later. I then asked him if he wanted to go for a 'car ride' and he shot upright so fast with a big smile on his face that I knew he had been missing his rides. :) In the last few weeks I haven't taken him with us because it has always taken a lot out of him and I have thought he has had a bleed afterwards because he has had to rest so much after each trip.

He got so excited when he saw me getting ready and almost couldn't stand up while I put his coat on. (the rescuer gave me a coat for him when I adopted him). He then ran around again until we took him out to the car. He was so happy to sit in the car and look at all the people at the store. He came home and is now sound asleep on the floor but I'll wake him up for TV time.

Time will tell if this outing causes a relapse but at least he's happy. :thumbs up

One of the reasons I wanted to take him out was he started scratching his ears and rubbing them on the floor and I think I may have to take him to the vet to have his ears cleaned properly. In the meantime I've cleaned them and put some drops in them. I wanted him to have an outing when he wasn't going to the vet. I filled his metacam script again today because the last one I purchased was the small size because he hadn't been well. This time I bought the bigger one because I'm hoping he'll be around for awhile. :fingerscr :)

Thanks everyone I thought you'd like that story about Sam and Raggs - they kept up their games last night too. Sam climbs in my lap and does get his scratch and brush every night even with Raggs objecting. Later in the evening I always put Sam back on the floor so I can play with Raggs. Sam doesn't like it and yowls his displeasure but Raggs needs time too. :)

hazelrunpack
March 25th, 2011, 08:19 PM
Sam and Raggs sound like typical sibs!! :laughing:

Glad to hear that Raggs enjoyed his ride!!! I hope you can get his ears comfy for him soon! We always seem to have more ear trouble in spring as the snow melts and things get damper. Flop ears and dampness don't seem to be a good combination... :rolleyes:

Pass along a big hug from ol' hazel, please!! :D And keep one for yourself :grouphug:

rainbow
March 25th, 2011, 10:59 PM
Thanks for the great update and it sounds like Raggs really appreciated his car ride. :thumbs up

Sending lots of :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: for his continued well being. :grouphug:

dbg10
March 26th, 2011, 08:11 PM
Another good day :thumbs up He wanted 2 meals today and ate the first one at a reasonable hour so they weren't back to back like they have been the last few days.:)

I've found his ears are quite tender so will make a vet appt for him on Monday. I would like to ask her to do more blood work but I think his original results may have been bad because he was so stressed out with it. I'll see when I take him. Also want to get a weight and see how much he's gained.

In the updates, I forgot to mention that Smokey has been all over Raggs, rubbing his body under Raggs's chin and kissing him. Raggs looks away when this happens but doesn't seem to mind now. Sam and he were still at it last night and today. Obviously they both think they're alpha to the pack and the war is continuing :laughing: :laughing:

Thanks everyone for your continued support :2huggers: :grouphug:

14+kitties
March 26th, 2011, 08:15 PM
It always makes me so happy to open this thread and read how well Raggs is doing. I think I've cried quite a few tears over it as well. He is quite the little man, isn't he? What a story. What a fighter. Reminds me so much of my angel and his fight. :angel2:
Keep up the good work Raggs and Mom! You are both extraordinary!! :cloud9:

Love4himies
March 26th, 2011, 08:25 PM
I am so happy for you and Raggs :grouphug: :thumbs up :highfive:.

hazelrunpack
March 27th, 2011, 10:00 AM
Aw, Smokey and Raggs :cloud9:

Sounds like you had a great day! :grouphug:

I hope his ears check out okay! :goodvibes:

ScottieDog
March 27th, 2011, 06:38 PM
Sending lots of hugs for Raggs. Glad his last few days have been good ones.

dbg10
March 31st, 2011, 03:44 PM
Thought I should post an update. Raggs is still doing well though spending a lot of time in bed sleeping. He's still eating later in the evening and often his 2 meals are back to back in fact I've had to add his second meal to his unfinished first meal a couple of times this week. But then he gobbles it up and yesterday wanted more after he finished both meals. :) Have to keep an eye on his weight though he looks like he's gaining and that has made his hind end a little weaker. :(

Sam and he have kept at it every night and last night Sam took a swing at Raggs but didn't connect and Raggs just barked at him so Sam took off . :laughing: Smokey has been insistent on loving up Raggs but Raggs seems to like it now and expects it when he sees Smokey. The other 2 Tiger and Bailey get barked at the minute they start to eat their canned food. (I give them their canned food at night while I'm watching TV on the table beside me because they weren't eating it in their bowls and it is much better for them than the dry I leave out.) Raggs seems to think he should be sharing their food. :laughing:

He has been showing his unique personality this past week. I've been trying to trim the hair on his paws and he has turned it into a game where he jumps up the minute I get ready to cut and runs away, only to come back almost immediately and lie down in front of me again just to start the whole thing over. I've also been trying to de-scruff his fur but that has been another game that I lose. I know he's trying to be alpha, but he is so funny that I can't help but laugh :laugh: and the games he designs are so cute. We have also been for 2 more car rides and hasn't shown any signs of a significant relapse. :thumbs up

I have cleaned his ears every night and put drops in them. He seems comfortable and they are no longer hot, so I haven't taken him to the vet, yet. I check him out every day and will take him if they get hot again or show signs of getting worse.

Just thought I should post an update, so far so good :thumbs up Thanks everyone you are a very caring group :2huggers: :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
April 1st, 2011, 10:52 AM
I had to laugh at the toe-hair trimming routine! :laughing: Grace is like that. On toe-hair trimming day, I just take to carrying the scissors around in my back pocket so I can have them handy when she's napping. She often sleeps on her back, alternating which paw is up, so if I'm patient, I can snag the proper foot and remove the offending toe hair before she can do anything about it! :evil: She always forgives me, though... :o

Glad to hear Raggs is still enjoying life and takin' it to the kitties when they don't share their food! :D :grouphug:

rainbow
April 6th, 2011, 02:11 PM
How is Raggs doing? :fingerscr :grouphug:

dbg10
April 6th, 2011, 06:30 PM
Thanks for asking Rainbow, unfortunately we've added a new symptom and I took him to the vet today. I was going to post last night but it got late and I forgot so I decided to wait until we'd been to the vet. I was a little concerned that she might say he needed to be PTS.

The tumour on his belly is about double the size of what it was in December. It also was all pink and hairless then. It has been progressively getting more dark blue parts, like blood pooling under the skin, about 1/3 is now dark blue.
You can see it in this picture of Raggs (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showpost.php?p=977994&postcount=46)
What I noticed the other day was a very red angry looking area on the bottom of the tumour where it would touch the floor when he's lying down. At the center of the reddened area the skin was wrinkled, As he doesn't lie on his back it is difficult to see except when he's lying on his side, but when I try to look at it, he jumps up so I can't really look at the entire tumour. I knew when I saw this that he had to go to the vet. I was trying to think of a way to put a bandage on it but anything I thought of would stick to his fur around the tumour once he wore it for awhile. I thought of putting a piece of gauze on it and wrapping it with vet wrap but I think he would object to it so I waited until we saw the vet.

She weighed him first and as I thought he'd gained a couple of pounds so I need to cut back on his treats because the weight gain definitely isn't helping the strength in his hind legs. She put him up on the examining table and looked at the tumour. She said it is showing signs of having necrotic (dead) tissue in the center and will start to ooze soon. She suggested I put a bandage inside a T-shirt and put the T-shirt on him with a draw string to keep it over the tumour and protect the area from further contact with the rugs and floors. I haven't tried it yet but I suspect the T-shirt I have that Pepper wore after her surgery, won't be long enough to cover the tumour. So I'll be back to the drawing board to find something to cover it. She checked and cleaned his ears but couldn't find any problems there, took his temperature, clipped his nails and examined his body for new tumours. She said he was nowhere near the point where he would need to be PTS, as long as I understood that the day would inevitably come and I was very happy to hear her say that (you all know that I am well aware that the day will come, hopefully later rather than sooner).

He is tired tonight after his appt at the vet and hasn't eaten yet. He is still eating 2 meals a day and having his treats at night in front of the TV. I'll have to find a way to reduce his food or treat intake so that he loses a couple of pounds. He's still playing games with the cats and Smokey has been loving him up every night. :laughing:

I wish I had the camera with me when Smokey lay down on Ragg's front paws the other night and Raggs just sat there looking at me. It was so cute :) but of course I didn't.:)

If anyone has any suggestions for covering the tumour so it doesn't make the area worse. It looked to me as though he had scraped it on something or rubbed it on the rug. :(

I am concerned that when the area starts oozing it will easily become infected so I'm praying that it will heal now to give him a little more time.:pray:

Thanks everyone :grouphug:

14+kitties
April 6th, 2011, 08:56 PM
:grouphug: for you dbg10. And Raggs - you simply rock!! Hang in there big guy! :cloud9:

rainbow
April 6th, 2011, 10:11 PM
Aww, I'm sorry to hear that his tumour is looking worse :grouphug: ......but, so glad to hear that he is still doing well. :thumbs up

Big hugs to you both :grouphug: and, of course, lots of :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: as well. :grouphug:

ScottieDog
April 6th, 2011, 11:07 PM
I know in an odd way you found comfort in the vet's words that it isn't near time. It is coming, but not now, so that is good. Sorry about the new symptom. It is wonderful Raggs is still eating well.

From the photo (handsome face BTW) it looked like the tumor is behind his forelegs near the chest. Would it be possible to get a very large male dog belly band and wrap it around the chest with the velcro over his back? You could put sanitary pads in the band that would be soft and you could change if the place oozes. I would think you could put some medicated ointment on the pad as well. The other thing I can think of is the thundershirt. It velcros around the body and gives a gentle compression. Of course, given his spleen issues, you would probably want to consult the vet to make sure something like that is safe. I'll be thinking about ideas to protect the area and post again if I can come up with something.

Thank you for the update. I can just see Raggs and his kitty friends with their daily routines. I think of you and Raggs each day. Glad he is holding in there. You are a great momma!

chico2
April 7th, 2011, 07:00 AM
dbg,I am sorry you and Raggs have another new worry,but happy he's still hanging in there...your stories about him and the kitties always puts a smile on my face:lovestruck:
Hopefully you'll find a solution to covering the tumor up,I think Scottie-Dogs idea is a good one..

Lots of:grouphug:,:fingerscr:goodvibes::pray:for you and sweet Raggs:pawprint:

hazelrunpack
April 7th, 2011, 01:19 PM
If it's not one thing, it's another. :grouphug: Did you find a shirt long enough to work for Raggs? :fingerscr

I'm glad the vet found his other vitals were still good, though! :thumbs up But nothing wrong with his ears? Sigh...we've had that with Macie--her ears look great, but she's shaking and scratching them. Normally we treat it with Quadritop or Panalog (the same stuff, only Quadritop is more the generic form of Panalog, I guess, and much cheaper). The vets all tell us that it's safe to use as needed and/or just occasionally to keep down inflammation and it seems to work well for Macie. We treat with Quadritop one day, clean the next, give her a day off and start the cycle again the next day.

dbg10
April 8th, 2011, 01:19 PM
Thanks Scottiedog for the suggestions. Duh I had never heard of a belly band and had to google it to find out what it was. :o I tried the T-shirt I used on Pepper and remembered that after it had been washed it didn't fit her at all and of course I couldn't get it over his head. So I contemplated using kling bandage with vet wrap on top of it but he wasn't particularly co-operative, so I gave up. Today I will be going out to see if I can find anything and a belly band may be just what I'm looking for. Your idea of a sanitary pad is excellent. Yes the tumour is essentially right below his rib cage and above his abdomen. Not sure how they fit so will have to check to make sure he can still pee with it on. I found a place that shows how to make one and that may be the answer. I'll let you all know what I come up with. I just don't want it to get worse when he's lying on the carpet and pulling himself along it to get to a treat which he does every night. I am also not sure if a T-shirt will work as it may not be long enough to cover the tumour. She suggested putting a draw string in it to keep the bandage in place but that could be done with a belly band too. If I could put his coat on upside down that would do the trick but he'd be so excited thinking he was going out he'd never settle down. :laughing:

I expected something to happen with the tumour eventually as it is getting bigger and hangs down a bit more than it did before, almost like it's not as firmly attached to his body. He still is more energetic than he was a few weeks ago, but I do notice he is breathing very rapidly a lot of the time. His gums are not as pale as they have been, which is a good sign. The vet was pleased and surprised that he has lived this long and she didn't want to take more blood work because she said it wouldn't tell us anymore than we already knew. That's the reason she checked his temperature, if it had been elevated it would have indicated infection as well as a tumour. I know if she thought he was ready for the rainbow bridge she wouldn't hesitate to tell me.

hazel I've been using Suralan which is an antibiotic ear drop and my vet said to keep using it when he's rubbing his ears on the floor. It does settle him down for a day or two when I use it, so obviously something in there is irritating him. She found nothing when she cleaned them and told me I must be doing a good job when I cleaned them.

He was really hungry yesterday and demanded 2 full meals and then wanted more later at night which I didn't give him because of his weight. Lately he has been eating one meal later at night with his second meal often added to the first. However, when I do this I often cut back on the rice and just give him the meat and fish as extras.

I posted the funny stories of the cats and Raggs because I wanted to lighten up this thread when he was having good days. :) It amazes me how much he's come to accept his place in the pack since arriving here in January 2010 with no prior experience with cats.

Thanks everyone for your support and suggestions :2huggers: :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
April 8th, 2011, 09:00 PM
He really did settle in nicely, didn't he! :D He sounds like such a fine ol' gent--wish I could meet him!

If you can't find a regular T that will work, what about a night shirt? They tend to be a little longer than a regular T and might even be long enough to work in those draw strings. :fingerscr

Glad to hear he was hungry enough to get demanding yesterday. :D That's always a good sign! :highfive:

ScottieDog
April 8th, 2011, 10:01 PM
I'm so glad that his appetite is good. That makes me happy too along with the images of him playing with his kitty friends.

It is good you didn't know what a belly band is. Having shared my home with my elderly senior male, I learned what these were. My mother made some very cute ones for my little guy and I put the sanitary pads in them. It seemed that if you could get one large enough to fit around the chest, it would work on that end as well, plus the pads would offer cushioning to his ouchie. When we brought Cassie home, she wasn't housetrained. We just got in a habit of taking Mac out when we took her out. We found out that the old guy's bladder just needed 2 or 3 extra walks per day and he was able to get out of the belly bands except if we were gone for a longer time or were visiting. The only time he wore the bands much during his last year was during his vestibular disease episode. I'm happy he was able to get rid of them. I'm glad you haven't faced continence issues with Raggs or any other pets.

I'm also thinking the night shirt is a very good idea. Even a young girl's night gown might give the length you need. Hugs to the sweet old guy and his kitty friends.

dbg10
April 15th, 2011, 11:20 AM
I feel like a failure I haven't found anything that will work to cover the tumour and not slide around, irritating it. :( I tried a belly band that I put velcro straps on to keep it from sliding down but it still slid around.I have now gone back to the drawing board and hope to cut down one of my old T shirts to fit him. I want something that will also cover his front elbows because the areas he had on them from lying on concrete in the boarding kennel are starting to soften and look kind of nasty. The tumour has not started to drain yet, but there is a very angry area right where it would meet the floor when he's lying on his belly. I hope to be able to put something together for him in the next few days.

We have our TV/treat time every night and he waits with the cats until I'm ready. It is fun to watch them all lined up yoweling at me, that's when I finally move. :) I probably shouldn't do that to them but they seem to think it is part of the routine.

He seems ok but his gums are quite pale the last two days and he's sleeping more again. Sam and Raggs seem to have called a halt to their rivalry for the time being, though each does the same thing they were, they aren't playing the games they were. Raggs is still eating but only one meal a day now. He has demanded a car ride 3 times this past week so I know he's still very much involved in his family and not willing to let go yet. I still wonder if he has the correct diagnosis but there is no point in testing further IMHO because he's definitely not a good candidate for surgery and I wouldn't put him through chemo.

Just thought it was time to post an update again :) 5 more days and we will be at the 4 month mark :fingerscr

Though he's still having his off days, there is still good news with this update, he's still with us! thanks everyone for staying with me through this :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
April 15th, 2011, 12:09 PM
Just thought it was time to post an update again :) 5 more days and we will be at the 4 month mark :fingerscr

:goodvibes: :fingerscr :grouphug:

Was thinking about the shirt thing. Do you think he'd be too hot in an old sweatshirt? If it had sleeves, it would buffer his elbows and maybe offer more cushion to his tumor... Not sure if something like that would be long enough, though. :o


We have our TV/treat time every night and he waits with the cats until I'm ready. It is fun to watch them all lined up yoweling at me, that's when I finally move. :) I probably shouldn't do that to them but they seem to think it is part of the routine.

:laughing: And they do love their routine! :D Do you have pics? That'd be fun to see! I think we need to get you a chauffeur hat, too--and a pic of you driving the car with Raggs sitting in luxury in the back seat! :thumbs up

I think about you and Raggs a lot these days! He's so lucky to have come to you! And you're doing an amazing job with him! :2huggers: Sending more :goodvibes: and well wishes!

dbg10
April 15th, 2011, 02:46 PM
Thanks Hazel :2huggers: I was also thinking of a sweat shirt because I have lots of them I've outgrown :laughing: but I think it may be too hot for him with the weather getting warmer. I actually managed to get two new pics of Smokey and Raggs today that I will post. Unfortunately I missed the best of them when Smokey was kissing Raggs. Anyway here they are. I have thought of trying to get pics with the crowd around me when I'm watching TV, will see what I can do. :)

The biggest problem I have with designing something for Raggs to wear to cover the tumour is preventing ridges or seams digging into his skin when he's lying down. Most of the belly bands I've looked at have a binding around the outside and with him moving around all the time or lying on his side I can see that binding breaking down his skin. My vet suggested I put a draw string on the bottom to hold the T-shirt in place but again, is that going to aggravate the tumour or his skin. He loves to wear his coat in the winter and it is made from an old ski jacket with fleece lining and held together with velcro. However, what I need is to make one upside down so the strap goes across his back. I guess with lots of padding it might not cause a problem but then I think is he going to be too hot or even want to wear it all the time. I also thought of sewing a belly band to a T-shirt and have a pocket for a dressing under the tumour. Still haven't designed it completely and unfortunately I haven't sewed in years. Any ideas?

I am trying to get my income tax finished so that's why I haven't been around. Hope all is well with all of you :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
April 15th, 2011, 03:44 PM
Ugh. Taxes :yuck:

Raggs looks so happy in those pics! :lovestruck: Smokey looks pretty happy to be with his buddy, too! :D

Hmmmm...if you can adapt a T-shirt to fit him, I wonder if you could just baste a patch of fleece on the outside in the area of the tumor to give him some extra padding? On the outside of the shirt, over the pocket? How far back along the chest toward the tummy does the tumor extend?

:o I don't know...I don't sew much, either. :o In fact, truth be told, I have trouble sewing on buttons! But instead of a drawstring, what if you just tacked a couple of lengths of cord to either side of the shirt near the waist, then use them to cinch the shirt up a bit and tie the cords over his back to hold the waist in place? That way, there would be no cord constricting across the tumor?

dbg10
April 15th, 2011, 08:31 PM
Thanks for the ideas hazel. :thumbs up I went out today and bought 2 feet of velcro. After we left the fabric store I thought maybe I should try to find some wide elastic that is not too stretchy to put around the bottom of the shirt and the bottom of the sleeves. Not sure if you know what I'm talking about but when I was a little girl (this really shows my age) the bodice of dresses I wore was often shirred with elastic. I was thinking of something similar for Raggs. I still have to go through my ancient wardrobe and find an appropriate shirt to make into a doggy shirt. The one thing I need to be very mindful of is that he will be wearing it all the time so I can't have anything that will dig into him anywhere when he's lying on his side.
Raggs looks so happy in those pics! Smokey looks pretty happy to be with his buddy, too!

Yes he does but I keep missing the really good pics when Smokey is kissing or grooming Raggs. :frustrated:

How far back along the chest toward the tummy does the tumor extend?

The tumour is about the diameter of a baseball but does not stick out as much as a baseball would. I will try to get a picture when he's standing so you can see how far it hangs down. It is right below his rib cage in the center but at times it looks like it has shifted a little to the side, then it moves back. When he was diagnosed the tumour was all pink and hairless. Now it has fairly large areas that are dark blue, like a bad bruise. I assume it is blood pooling in the tumour.

But instead of a drawstring, what if you just tacked a couple of lengths of cord to either side of the shirt near the waist, then use them to cinch the shirt up a bit and tie the cords over his back to hold the waist in place? That way, there would be no cord constricting across the tumor?


The problem with cords of any kind are that when he is lying down or rolling around he will end up on the knot or where the cord is tied. I think velcro or elastic may work better. However, I don't think elastic is the answer either because it will have to stretch quite a bit when I'm putting it on and may not hold the shirt tight enough to keep a dressing, or pad in place. I'd rather have the whole idea in my mind before I start so I don't make a complete mess of it. If whatever I decide works, I may make another one so I can wash it. The beauty of using an old T-shirt is it will be pre-shrunk unlike that T-shirt I bought Pepper that shrunk about 50% when I washed it.

His winter coat is similar to this one that I borrowed from the Petsmart website. The rescuer makes them for all the dogs she takes in. However, his coat is red with an dark orange lining and he loves this coat. Not sure if I will be able to duplicate the colour but I thought if what I make him looks somewhat similar without the heavy quilting or heavy fleece lining then he might adapt to it better. Only time will tell.

Thanks everyone any suggestions will be more than welcome :thumbs up :grouphug:

14+kitties
April 15th, 2011, 09:39 PM
Look at that hugs smile!!! :cloud9::cloud9::grouphug: Amazing!!!

hazelrunpack
April 15th, 2011, 10:16 PM
Yes he does but I keep missing the really good pics when Smokey is kissing or grooming Raggs. :frustrated:

Now that would be a wonderful pic! :cloud9:

Not sure if you know what I'm talking about but when I was a little girl (this really shows my age) the bodice of dresses I wore was often shirred with elastic. I was thinking of something similar for Raggs. I still have to go through my ancient wardrobe and find an appropriate shirt to make into a doggy shirt. The one thing I need to be very mindful of is that he will be wearing it all the time so I can't have anything that will dig into him anywhere when he's lying on his side.

Yep, I think I know exactly what you mean--I had dresses like that, too... Can you still buy tube tops? Would something like that work, or would that be too tight? And I suspect it wouldn't stay around his chest well enough unless you could add some sort of band across the front under his neck to keep it in place... :frustrated: I'm not much of a clothes designer... :o


The problem with cords of any kind are that when he is lying down or rolling around he will end up on the knot or where the cord is tied. I think velcro or elastic may work better. However, I don't think elastic is the answer either because it will have to stretch quite a bit when I'm putting it on and may not hold the shirt tight enough to keep a dressing, or pad in place. I'd rather have the whole idea in my mind before I start so I don't make a complete mess of it.

His winter coat is similar to this one that I borrowed from the Petsmart website. The rescuer makes them for all the dogs she takes in. However, his coat is red with an dark orange lining and he loves this coat. Not sure if I will be able to duplicate the colour but I thought if what I make him looks somewhat similar without the heavy quilting or heavy fleece lining then he might adapt to it better. Only time will tell.


I see what you're saying about the cords... And the elastic. Velcro does sound like it might work the best, as long as it's light enough--too bulky and you'll have the same problem as with the cords... Hmmmmm...

I've made new vests by taking an existing one and using it to make a pattern. It was actually pretty easy :o...even though my stitching was pretty crooked :D And we made some modifications to them--which wasn't very hard, either, since we just added them to the paper pattern.... Do you think a modified version of the coat would work to cover the tumor and hold some sort of dressing in place? That sounds like a really good idea! :highfive:

Or maybe adapt a light-weight fleece vest? Put it on with the zipper to the back and add some velcro in strategic spots to snug it up? :shrug:

:o Ya, I know...hazel is definitely not a clothes designer! :laughing:

dbg10
April 17th, 2011, 01:32 PM
Thanks again hazel. I still haven't dug up a T-shirt or other clothing that might work because I am getting side tracked with everything else. I took a couple of pics of the tumour and post them here. The first shows what it looks like from his back legs looking forward and the second is taken from the opposite direction. It looks like it should hurt like 'H' but it doesn't seem to as he lies on it all the time. So far so good, no relapses of any kind showing and he's been out for a car ride on 4 occasions this week. We no longer walk him because he's much too weak and he always has trouble getting back up the stairs after a walk. In the first picture you can see a second tumour that has been growing for the last few months. It has hair on it and is not nearly as large as the hairless one even though it looks as though it is in the pictire. It is also difficult to tell where it is on his abdomen/chest from these pictures, but the original picture I posted showing size of tumour when diagnosed (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showpost.php?p=977994&postcount=46) shows how much it has changed in the past few months. You couldn't tell that it was hairless either in the original pic. Thanks again for all your help :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
April 17th, 2011, 01:54 PM
Further back than I thought from the prior pic... That's a hard place to keep covered. :frustrated:

Do you know for sure if these two tumors are actually part of the hemangiosarcoma or just fatty tumors?

dbg10
April 17th, 2011, 05:53 PM
Thanks hazel. There is a picture of a dogs anatomy I found here (http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/cliented/anatomy/) that made the lump appear to me as though it was a protrusion from his spleen. When my vet first saw it she did a needle aspiration and when she looked at it under a microscope said it was a fatty tumour, but knowing my vet as I do, she probably wouldn't have wanted to give me bad news that soon as we adopted him. Since that time, she of course has watched it grow and I think it was part of her diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma though she never said that. It started growing about a year ago, if I remember correctly, it appeared in April or May a year ago but she didn't see it until early June. As I said it was pink until after she diagnosed him and then started getting those bruised marks on it in January or so when I thought he was having the 'bleeds'. Each time he has a 'bleed' another dark area appears on it. I wanted to get a pic with him standing so it would be obvious where it was on his body but each time I grab the camera, he disappears around a corner and I haven't been able to get a pic. It is mid way between his front legs and back so I don't think it will be that hard to cover but keeping the cover on it may be a challenge. His penis is between his back legs so there is room to put a band of some description on it. I think that may be why my vet suggested a T-shirt with a draw string. A home made one will definitely be better than one I buy because they always are shorter on the belly side. Someone on ebay makes a belly band with shoulder straps and I hope she won't mind me posting a link to it. The Original Non-Slip Belly Band Wrap (http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290550372237&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT). I thought of asking her to make me one but then decided he probably wouldn't like it because it is so wide and likely too hot. I think a T-shirt would probably be better with some alterations.

I don't know if it's part of the hemangioma or not, but it is getting larger and more bruised looking. My vet said last week that if he could withstand the surgery, that would be the ideal method of dealing with it, but she doesn't think he'd live through the surgery and since it doesn't bother him, it's better to leave well-enough alone.

Thanks again hazel :2huggers:

ScottieDog
April 17th, 2011, 09:57 PM
Glad Raggs has been strong enough to go for his car rides. These things can really brighten up the day--for both of you! I'm sorry the belly band idea didn't work. The tumor is in an odd place to try to cover. I was wondering about a wide ace bandage wrapped around the torso, but I'm betting he would like this as much as my dogs would and it wouldn't stay on long. Thanks for the updates. It always makes me smile to read an update that he has had good days. Keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers.

chico2
April 18th, 2011, 10:13 AM
dbg,Raggs looks a lot smaller than I thought he was,LOVE the pics with him and Smokey,Smokey probably knows his friend is sick:(

dbg10
April 19th, 2011, 09:17 PM
Scottiedog I thought of an ace bandage or wrapping him with vet wrap over a gauze bandage but I think he'll object to it. I found a shirt but now have to see what I can do to it to make it fit properly and protect the lump.

Chico Raggs does look small in that pic of him and Smokey but I think he is larger than you think he is, because of the angle of the pic. He weighs in at 62 lbs and is about the same size as my English Springer was.

He's doing well at present but the lump seems to be getting more bruised looking so I really need to get moving on making a protective shirt for him. I am trying to get my income tax done, it is fairly complicated and I have to refile several years that an accountant made errors with. I will be putting him first though starting tomorrow. :)

Thanks everyone for your suggestions, I'm going to look into a Thundershirt this week before I go ahead with the T-shirt and hope it works.:fingerscr

hazelrunpack
April 19th, 2011, 10:26 PM
62!!!! Here I was thinking that he was smaller than my crew and he outweighs all but one of them. :o He looks smaller in his pics. :D

Good luck with the clothes redesign. :goodvibes: And the taxes! :eek: And give Raggs a big hug from me, pls!!

ScottieDog
April 20th, 2011, 03:47 PM
Regarding the Thundershirt. I didn't know how to measure Cassidy for her shirt, but saw these on display at an agility trial/dog show. I went home and did the measurements and then had to go back. The guide says "Simply measure your dog's chest (torso) just behind the front legs at its largest points." Cass fell between the small and medium, but I opted to go with the medium since Cass has a deep chest, even though she was at the lower end of the weight scale. Good choice because I would never have gotten her into a size smaller. Based on you saying Raggs is 62 pounds:

Large: chest size 24" - 32" weight 40 - 70 pounds
XLarge: chest size 31" - 40" weight 60 - 100 pounds

I'm guessing you don't want the shirt to be too tight, but thought the measuring guide might be helpful, and maybe save you a trip!

I just realized that Raggs is larger than both my dogs put together. Such a big handsome boy. Hugs and kisses to the fuzzy boy.

Shaykeija
April 20th, 2011, 10:33 PM
Poor thing with the bumps. But a very good looking furbaby...

dbg10
April 21st, 2011, 02:23 PM
Thanks Shaykeija yes he is a very good looking guy. :) I am looking into a Thundershirt now as I think it may fit exactly what I want but it may be a little too heavy for him to wear all the time. Will see after I've looked at one later today. :thumbs up :)

14+kitties
April 21st, 2011, 02:40 PM
Still keeping up with Raggs' thread. I am sending up lots of :pray: for this fighter. What a boy!! :cloud9:

dbg10
April 22nd, 2011, 09:51 PM
I didn't get to the store last night and today of course everything is closed so maybe tomorrow I'll find out whether the Thundershirt is the answer to my prayers. :fingerscr

We took him out in the car and Raggs wore his coat. Before taking it off him I was able to determine that the strap under his belly is right over the tumour so I was also able to make some measurements based on the coat. The only measurement I didn't get was between his chin and the tumour which is going to be hard to do unless he's asleep on his side. At least I was able to get some of them so I have a better idea what size I need to make something for him.

Thanks everyone for continuing to follow us on this journey :grouphug: A Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate and a wish for some spring like weather here in these cold parts. :)
I hope you all have a great Spring! :grouphug:

ScottieDog
April 25th, 2011, 08:52 PM
Just checking in and wanting you to know I'm thinking of you and Raggs. Hope your Easter was beautiful. I'm in the Southern US and we already have the warm-getting-hot days. I'll be happy to send you some!

Big hugs to Raggs.

hazelrunpack
April 25th, 2011, 08:58 PM
If you have enough to spare for WI, we could use a little warmth, too, ScottieDog! :D

The Easter Bunny survived the onslaught of the Pack by a hare....er...I mean hair... :o :laughing: I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter celebration :grouphug:

Were you able to find Raggs a Thundershirt, dbg? :fingerscr

dbg10
May 1st, 2011, 02:31 PM
I hope everyone had a nice Easter. It was cold and wet here but a sign a spring. The grass is greening up really fast and will soon need cutting :( Raggs seems happy to have the grass under his feet but misses the snow and the cold weather. I think he does better in cold weather so we'll have to see what happens come the heat. Scottiedog you can keep your heat for as long as possible, all I can say is thank goodness for A/C.

Raggs seems to be holding his own for over a week :fingerscr that it keeps going. I thought he was seizuring in his sleep the other night but none since so I'm hoping he was dreaming that he was chasing a rabbit or something.Other than that he's been doing well. I still haven't made his shirt but I am looking for a Thundershirt which I think will do a really good job. So far no store has had one in stock but I know someone who has one who's willing to give it to Raggs and I should have it by early next week. The excoriated area on the tumour seems to have healed so I don't have the urgency to get it done that I did originally. I finally got my taxes done and sent so now I can focus on little boy Raggs.

Thanks everyone :grouphug: I'll let you know how the Thundershirt works out.

chico2
May 1st, 2011, 04:29 PM
dbg,I am so glad Raggs is still doing ok,can't wait to see what a Thunder-shirt is,hopefully it will make him more comfortable.:pray:

hazelrunpack
May 1st, 2011, 05:03 PM
Yay that the skin over the tumor is healing!! :highfive: And so glad you had a good Easter!

Spring is near here, too--still cool and very wet but hubby, too, is already complaining about having to mow soon! I don't know why, though--he always looks so happy on his lawn tractor. :D

I hope it stays cooler for Raggs! :fingerscr

ScottieDog
May 1st, 2011, 11:36 PM
OK, I've been mowing for a good six weeks. I'd say it isn't fair, but considering you get snow up to your armpits, I won't complain. I'm grateful for the air conditioning too.

I'm glad Raggs is holding his own. And you had a nice Easter.

Give a hug to the sweet boy, and take care.

dbg10
May 4th, 2011, 02:32 PM
dbg,I am so glad Raggs is still doing ok,can't wait to see what a Thunder-shirt is,hopefully it will make him more comfortable.:pray:

A link to the Thundershirt (http://www.thundershirt.com/) It was originally made for anxious dogs to calm them down. I found a link to the site of the person who did the research on it and designed it Thundershirt Review and Information (http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/dogdiseasesconditions/gr/Thundershirt-Antianxiety-Wrap-To-Calm-Dog-Anxiety-And-Phobias.htm) It sounds like a great idea the only thing that is up in the air is whether it will cover his tumour. He isn't an anxious dog at all so I don't know how he's going to react to wearing it all the time. Only time will tell if it fits properly. I'll let you know once I have it.
.
Thanks hazel and Scottiedog for the good wishes for Raggs. He had another bad day yesterday but he's had so many good ones lately, I've been holding my breath waiting for it. He seems better today but his hind end is weak. He's not eating as much as he was but still enjoys his food. He vomited bile in the morning and then had trouble going down the stairs later in the day, followed by diarrhea at night. So I'm hoping he's not going into another bad period. His gums are also quite pale again. Today he is by my side instead of in his bed like yesterday, and seems eager to please. His breathing is rapid, but he seems happy. Smokey has been hovering around him for the last couple of days and I'm sure he knows Raggs isn't feeling well.

I expect to meet the person to get the shirt tomorrow. I'll have to find another place to get one if it does fit and work because I imagine it will get quite dirty when he's outside and I'll have to wash it regularly.Please keep your fingers crossed that the shirt fits and works to help him :fingerscr

Thanks again for everything :grouphug: I know all the good thoughts and prayers coming his way have given him a much longer life than he would have had :)

chico2
May 4th, 2011, 04:26 PM
:fingerscr:fingerscr:fingerscrThat the shirt will be good for Raggs and for more good days,than bad:pray:

hazelrunpack
May 4th, 2011, 06:09 PM
Hope he can rally again! :goodvibes: He's such a fighter! And you're doing such a good job with him! :2huggers:

It is spring...around here that's the time for urpsing up bile and getting odd and unexplained bouts of diarrhea. :fingerscr that's all it is and he'll be back to sassing Smokey again soon.

Good luck with the shirt tomorrow! Hope it fits him well! And of course, we'll need pics of him modeling it if it's the right size! :D

dbg10
May 7th, 2011, 11:24 AM
The thundershirt arrived yesterday and he reacted like he knew what was in the package. Mind you it did come from a home with animals so he may have been smelling them. He sniffed it thoroughly with a big smile on his face, while it was still on my lap. He allowed me to put it on him with no problems at all and liked it as soon as he was wearing it. It covers the tumour very well and he's still wearing it today :thumbs up As you will see when I post some pics. Due to other issues that don't involve Raggs, I have been unable to take any pics of him and may not be able to for a few days :( I will try later today and if I get them I'll post them then.:) It looks like it would help any animal who is anxious. They don't mention the specific material on the website but it's like a stretchy heavyweight Jersey material that may be light enough for him to wear in the hot humid summer we have here. I hope he can anyway if he lasts that long.

He has bounced back a bit from the other day and he showed that most by his reaction to the Thundershirt. He was dancing around after I put it on him. His gums are still very pale but liver has done wonders up until now for him so I hope it continues. :fingerscr

Thanks everyone! :grouphug: I promise to post asap with the pics.

luckypenny
May 7th, 2011, 11:38 AM
Dbg10, just wanted to let you know that I've been reading your updates and often think of you and Raggs :grouphug:.

chico2
May 7th, 2011, 01:01 PM
dbg,I am glad Raggs liked the shirt and it fit right,it must be more comfortable for him,not rubbing the tumor on the floor.
I too think of the two of you a lot,it must be very difficult when bad days happen,but elating when he bounces back.
Raggs still has a lot of spirit in him,wants to make mom feel better,I am sure:cloud9:

hazelrunpack
May 7th, 2011, 01:24 PM
That's great that the shirt works and that he likes it! :highfive: And I'll bet he's looking all dapper dressed in it, too! :flirt: Good luck with the pics! Really looking forward to them. :D

ScottieDog
May 7th, 2011, 11:01 PM
I am so, so happy that the Thundershirt is helping Raggs. Cassie uses hers for thunder fear issues, I can see the calming affects of it. The shirts seem to be well-made and I know Cassidy doesn't mind wearing it.

I hope the shirt is comfortable for Raggs. Sending my best to you both.

dbg10
May 9th, 2011, 03:28 PM
Sorry I still haven't got the pics of him. The reason I haven't been able to do anything is I sprained my knee and ankle last week and because I am disabled it makes it difficult to get around. I definitely will post them asap. Raggs is still doing well but I had to reduce the amount of time he wears the Thundershirt because he got hot in it. So he hasn't been wearing it most of the weekend and I hopefully will be able to get it back on him today. I left it on the edge of the sofa and he keeps going to it and poking it with his nose so he obviously still likes it. :thumbs up I was concerned that after he got so hot he might not want to wear it again.

He is still holding his own today, gums are still pale but he seems happy, though not that energetic. Not sure if I've mentioned this before but when he has these episodes that I think are small bleeds, the tumour hangs down more from his belly. Then after several days, it seems to shrink a bit and be closer to his abdomen when he's standing. The tumour also appears more bruised while it's hanging down, but that may be just my imagination. :( This is where the Thundershirt comes in handy.

Thanks everyone for continuing to send good vibes and think about Raggs and I :2huggers:
I have been tempted to start a new thread instead of continuing with this one but I thought for new people reading the thread there wouldn't be any history in it. I hope that someone may benefit from my experience with his diet as the only treatment for his tumour, whether it is benign or malignant and the things I've done, some that have worked and others that haven't. :)

hazelrunpack
May 9th, 2011, 04:23 PM
I'm glad he likes his shirt so much and that it seems to help when he can wear it. Makes you kind of wish for winter to come back so he wouldn't be so hot. :o

Sorry to hear about your knee and ankle! :grouphug: You really didn't need anything else on your plate! :o Sending :goodvibes: for both of you!

dbg10
May 14th, 2011, 06:55 PM
Just thought I should let you all know that Raggs is recovering after his last 'bleed'. His gums are still quite pale but he's active and wondering why I'm sitting in bed with my foot up instead of watching TV with him. The first couple of days he wouldn;t come in the room with me so I thiink when his previous owner was sick he was kept out. He finally agreed to come in when I bribed him with treats. LOL :laughing: I'll be posting those pics I keep promising as soon as I can get his Thundershirt back on him :shrug: Thanks again for continuing to send us good vibes :goodvibes: :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
May 14th, 2011, 06:56 PM
Is your leg any better? :goodvibes:

Glad to hear that Raggs is!! :thumbs up He's such a trooper, that boy!!!

mikischo
May 15th, 2011, 12:27 PM
I have be watching this thread as well. Sorry to hear about your leg sprain.

Glad to hear the Thundershirt has been working well for Raggs. Sending lots of :pray::pray::goodvibes::goodvibes: for many, many more good days ahead for Raggs.

ScottieDog
May 15th, 2011, 09:34 PM
Sending good thoughts to Raggs and healing wishes for you dbg10! Hope you are feeling better soon.

14+kitties
May 15th, 2011, 09:56 PM
I am so happy Raggs is still doing ok. Sorry you hurt yourself. That sucks! I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out something that would be cooler for Raggs to wear. The weather is getting hot (someday). I'd hate to see that warrior suffering more than he should be with a hot vest.
Raggs - you rock little man. :cloud9: Momma's pretty neat herself!!