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  #91  
Old February 24th, 2011, 08:27 PM
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It's tough to watch, I know. He's still eating well, though? That's always a good sign.

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!"

Hang in there, dbg You're doing a great job with him!
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  #92  
Old February 24th, 2011, 09:32 PM
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Thanks Hazel I know about those pee pads, I wish he'd use them but absolutely no dice 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 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
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  #93  
Old February 24th, 2011, 10:02 PM
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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 ). 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.
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  #94  
Old February 25th, 2011, 07:22 AM
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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
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  #95  
Old February 25th, 2011, 07:26 AM
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I am glad he is keeping strong . Hopefully he will still have many more months with you
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  #96  
Old February 25th, 2011, 11:40 AM
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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, (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!
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  #97  
Old February 25th, 2011, 11:51 AM
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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:
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  #98  
Old February 25th, 2011, 12:02 PM
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Really cute pic dbg10 you are both such troopers....Raggs is blessed to have you as his caregiver
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  #99  
Old February 25th, 2011, 12:03 PM
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Awww, what a sweet picture of them.
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  #100  
Old February 25th, 2011, 12:38 PM
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They look pretty relaxed in that shot, dbg Glad Smokey and Raggs are such good buddies now!
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  #101  
Old February 26th, 2011, 01:27 AM
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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
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  #102  
Old February 27th, 2011, 04:08 PM
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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

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 and
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  #103  
Old February 27th, 2011, 04:30 PM
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What a sweet pic,I am sure Smokey is making Raggs feel good
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..
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  #104  
Old February 27th, 2011, 06:03 PM
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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 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.
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  #105  
Old February 27th, 2011, 06:08 PM
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Aw, that is such a cute pic of Raggs and Smokey.

Hope Raggs is doing well today .....sending lots more for you both.
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  #106  
Old February 27th, 2011, 07:47 PM
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He finished his second meal today without incident, so far 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 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?

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
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  #107  
Old February 28th, 2011, 07:33 AM
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dbg,
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
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  #108  
Old February 28th, 2011, 03:15 PM
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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 )

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  #109  
Old February 28th, 2011, 05:08 PM
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Chico2 LOL 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

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
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  #110  
Old February 28th, 2011, 06:51 PM
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I hope he's feeling better again by morning, dbg Maybe just a little tummy bug... Is he still drinking water? Vomiting and diarrhea together can dehydrate a dog pretty quickly....
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  #111  
Old February 28th, 2011, 07:32 PM
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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
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  #112  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 02:40 PM
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How are things going, dbg? Is he still having trouble with the nausea and diarrhea? Hope he's doing better!
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  #113  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 05:24 PM
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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. I am so proud of you and what you have done for this wonderful boy.
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  #114  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 07:19 PM
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I have been reading and my heart goes out to you.

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

You both will be in my prayers.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 07:25 PM
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I keep checking in as well ....hope Raggs is still doing okay.
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  #116  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 07:43 PM
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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
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  #117  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 10:00 AM
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Just wanted you to know you and Raggs are in my thoughts.
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  #118  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 10:10 AM
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Stay strong. You have been so good to Raggs..Go enjoy some quiet time with him. Might just be a bad day
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  #119  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 12:36 PM
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He won't necessarily show much distress if he has an internal bleed, dbg. Often they just slip away very peacefully

But I hope he rallies for you again! I think of you every day even though I don't get to the board to post every day.
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  #120  
Old March 3rd, 2011, 03:50 PM
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Good News! 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.

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.

@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. 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 because I hadn't let everyone know that things had turned bad again.

I appreciate all the kind words and thoughts so much during this awful time 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 You are all
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