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  #211  
Old April 15th, 2011, 11:20 AM
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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

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
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  #212  
Old April 15th, 2011, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbg10 View Post
Just thought it was time to post an update again 5 more days and we will be at the 4 month mark


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.

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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.
And they do love their routine! 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!

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! Sending more and well wishes!
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  #213  
Old April 15th, 2011, 02:46 PM
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Thanks Hazel I was also thinking of a sweat shirt because I have lots of them I've outgrown 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
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Last edited by dbg10; April 15th, 2011 at 03:19 PM.
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  #214  
Old April 15th, 2011, 03:44 PM
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Ugh. Taxes

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

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?

I don't know...I don't sew much, either. 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?
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  #215  
Old April 15th, 2011, 08:31 PM
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Thanks for the ideas hazel. 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.
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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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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
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  #216  
Old April 15th, 2011, 09:39 PM
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  #217  
Old April 15th, 2011, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by dbg10 View Post
Yes he does but I keep missing the really good pics when Smokey is kissing or grooming Raggs.
Now that would be a wonderful pic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbg10 View Post
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... I'm not much of a clothes designer...


Quote:
Originally Posted by dbg10 View Post
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 ...even though my stitching was pretty crooked 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!

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?

Ya, I know...hazel is definitely not a clothes designer!
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  #218  
Old April 17th, 2011, 01:32 PM
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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 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
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  #219  
Old April 17th, 2011, 01:54 PM
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Further back than I thought from the prior pic... That's a hard place to keep covered.

Do you know for sure if these two tumors are actually part of the hemangiosarcoma or just fatty tumors?
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  #220  
Old April 17th, 2011, 05:53 PM
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Thanks hazel. There is a picture of a dogs anatomy I found here 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. 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
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  #221  
Old April 17th, 2011, 09:57 PM
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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.
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  #222  
Old April 18th, 2011, 10:13 AM
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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
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  #223  
Old April 19th, 2011, 09:17 PM
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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.
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  #224  
Old April 19th, 2011, 10:26 PM
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62!!!! Here I was thinking that he was smaller than my crew and he outweighs all but one of them. He looks smaller in his pics.

Good luck with the clothes redesign. And the taxes! And give Raggs a big hug from me, pls!!
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Old April 20th, 2011, 03:47 PM
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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.
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  #226  
Old April 20th, 2011, 10:33 PM
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Poor thing with the bumps. But a very good looking furbaby...
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  #227  
Old April 21st, 2011, 02:23 PM
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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.
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Old April 21st, 2011, 02:40 PM
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Still keeping up with Raggs' thread. I am sending up lots of for this fighter. What a boy!!
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 09:51 PM
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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.

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 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!
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Old April 25th, 2011, 08:52 PM
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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.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 08:58 PM
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If you have enough to spare for WI, we could use a little warmth, too, ScottieDog!

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

Were you able to find Raggs a Thundershirt, dbg?
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Old May 1st, 2011, 02:31 PM
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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 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 I'll let you know how the Thundershirt works out.
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Old May 1st, 2011, 04:29 PM
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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.
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Old May 1st, 2011, 05:03 PM
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Yay that the skin over the tumor is healing!! 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.

I hope it stays cooler for Raggs!
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Old May 1st, 2011, 11:36 PM
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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.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chico2 View Post
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.
A link to the Thundershirt 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 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.
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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

Thanks again for everything I know all the good thoughts and prayers coming his way have given him a much longer life than he would have had
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Old May 4th, 2011, 04:26 PM
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That the shirt will be good for Raggs and for more good days,than bad
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Old May 4th, 2011, 06:09 PM
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Hope he can rally again! He's such a fighter! And you're doing such a good job with him!

It is spring...around here that's the time for urpsing up bile and getting odd and unexplained bouts of diarrhea. 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!
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Old May 7th, 2011, 11:24 AM
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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 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.

Thanks everyone! I promise to post asap with the pics.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 11:38 AM
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Dbg10, just wanted to let you know that I've been reading your updates and often think of you and Raggs .
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