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Trifecta Charlie

A Three Legged Greyhound Derp

Bittersweet Symphony

February 19th, 2018 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

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Well, this weekend has been bittersweet.

Friday 2/16/18:

Friday morning I got a call from the doctor, they received the biopsy results. Turns out Charlie had a defined osteosarcoma in the leg.

Biopsy summary:

“Microscopic Interpretation: Osteosarcoma, fibroblastic variant, well differentiated, mildly productive, Kirpenstein grade 1, with acute open fracture. Vascular invasion: negative. An associated lymph node was evaluated and exhibited mild follicular type lymphoid hyperplasia, consistent with resonse to chronic regional antegnic stimulation. In this particular case, this is likely secondary to the neoplasia described above. No evidence of metastatic neoplasia was found in the sections examined in the lymph node.”

At this point I do not think we will be putting him through the Chemo. We have to speak with the oncologist regarding what the course of action will be going forward after we get his incision healing. After doing the research, the Aratana AT-014 osteosarcoma vaccine seems promising providing it will be applicable to his condition. I have to do some further research and reach out the company regarding getting him into the clinical trials.

Apart from the diagnosis, Charlie is doing well. He’s been able to get up by himself and able to hobble around with little support. The sores on his legs are looking better, but the incision is still seeping due to the infection. There hasn’t been much change there. I went and visited him after work, he was a bit out of it. He had just gone for a walk right before I got there which tired him out.

Saturday 2/17/18:

I was hoping to get to sleep in since it was Saturday, but that didn’t happen. Got a call from the vet office – they think Charlie is ready to finally come home. This was a little unexpected since when I spoke with the doctors they thought it would be Monday or Tuesday. Regardless, it’s finally good to have him home! He will need to come back daily for bandage changes. I told them we would be there around 2-3 pm to come get him. We discussed the bill, since upon picking him up we would have to settle the charges. The doctor who’s hospital it is really helped us out. He capped the bill at $12,000  – although it still hurts to look at that number, I was fully expecting the bill to be over $16,000 by the end with all the complications! The staff there has been wonderful with Charlie and I am considering of making them Charlie and Sirius’s primary care vet.

Time to Charlie-proof the house. I ordered 96 sqft of those foam puzzle tile play mats earlier in the week and covered our entire floor with them. Now he can’t slip on the wood flooring! Though knowing this dog he will find a way somehow. I cleaned out the small closet and put the dog food bucket in it and move all the dog’s bowl sets upstairs. I took all the covers off the dog beds and ran those through the wash – which is always a pain in the ass to get back on the bed after.

After setting up the house, we had to run few errands before picking him up- getting some much needed coffee, Moe’s, buying wee-wee pads and a dog ramp – but 2:30 rolled around pretty quickly.

We arrive at the vet, I have the Tripawds recommended Ruffware Webmaster Plus harness in hand and they take it to put on him in the back. We go over the discharge information and what we will be needing to do once we get him home. He’s on a nice cocktail of medication – three broad-spectrum antibiotics, appetite stimulant, Tramadol, and silver sulfadiazine anti-bacterial cream. After moving the car to near the door, they bring him outside and help lift him into the car, which wasn’t all that bad since he’s down like 20 lbs!

[Side bar: Earlier this week I traded in my Honda Civic for the CR-V so it would be easier on him to lay down in the car. I had been leaning towards getting the CR-V for a few months now since my car cannot handle the snow at all and it would be more roomy for the pups. Since my lease was up in

two months anyway and pretty good Presidents Day sales this week, Charlie’s condition just made it easier to pull the trigger!]

Arriving home – he actually realized we were here and got up in the car by himself. We have a grouping on 3 stairs then one on the walkway to our front door which he handled like a champ! Since the house is similar to a split, you have to go either up or down a set of 7 stairs to get to the floor… so up we go. It was more like hauling a flailing 60 pound luggage upstairs. Once upstairs he hobbled around a little and plopped right on his bed. Now the house seems complete.

Sunday 2/18/18:

Got Charlie up around 10am to head to the vet for a bandage change. Of course he decided to poop right in front of the door inside the lobby on the mat…. and then a minute later elsewhere on their floor. He clearly wasn’t done the first time. They said the front paw is looking better but the back incision is about the same though they are seeing a little healthy tissue growth. We are going to take it day by day and determine if we will have to get it surgically fixed later this week. I was able to get him down the stairs, out the door, and into the car by myself. Going down the stairs he is great, its going up the stairs that is going to take a while.

Coming back, he had some visitors who were happy to see him. He on the other hand was zonked. Though, did perk up for all the good treats.

Since having him home he has been sticking his nose up to the kibble, but when it comes to eggs/chicken/rice/good people food its a go. I have to break this habit at some point, but in the meantime I’ve been mixing in the good stuff with the kibble which he has been eating. I think after bringing him home this is the skinniest I’ve seen him since I first got him.

We just got to take everything one day at a time with him, but sine he’s been home he has been making progress!


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Morning Updates 2/15/18

February 15th, 2018 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

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Spoke with Dr. Jared this morning – overall Charlie is doing well! He is completely on oral medications now and they removed the IV line from his front leg. He was able to get up by himself last night. He went for a walk outside for the first time and only needed a little support in the back. Right now we are waiting on the bacteria culture taken from his incision to come in. It hasn’t gotten any better, but hasn’t gotten worse. The doctor thinks we may need to put him under again to remove some necrotic tissue and re-suture the site down the line. We are taking everything one day at a time with him and they think he will be there until early next week.

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Mr. Grumpygills

February 13th, 2018 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

 

Visited Charlie. He’s pretty much back to his normal old man grumpy self!

His appetite returned full force – then again he has been spoiled with all the good food I’ve been bringing over. I made him a nice egg omelette that he quickly devoured in less than a second and most of the cold cuts/boiled chicken I left there he has already gone through. Hopefully he doesn’t get used to the good food. As you can see in the picture, we gave him some of his kibble and he pretty much ate all the add-ins and left the rest…. figures.

The swelling is gone away everywhere except for his front left paw. Hopefully when the IV line comes out it will help alleviate the swelling. They are keeping the IV line in for now just in case, but otherwise he has been moved to all oral medications. They are slowly lowering the pain medications as well to see how he will tolerate it. The doctors believe the incision where they amputated has become infected. Right now he is on three broad-spectrum antibiotics and they re-sutured/wrapped the incision. A bacteria culture was taken, but will be a few days for the results. We are also still waiting on the biopsy results from his leg – hopefully we get those this week.

From what I’ve been told, he has been trying to get up by him self more often now though still hasn’t been able to do it completely. He is still a bit wonky on three legs and needs to have support still when walking. The techs have told me he has been a bit grumpy/snappy when they try to get him up… which I had to explain that is normal Charlie behavior. He hates to be moved at all when he is lying down, so I’m not surprised. If anything I’m more relieved to hear he is doing it (though I don’t think the techs agree with me on that).

I would like to have him home by the end of the week, but it is going to depend on his progress moving on three legs and the situation with the infection. But overall, we are moving on along!

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The Lows and The Highs

February 11th, 2018 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

[Charlie Friday Morning 2/9/2018]

[Charlie Saturday Night 2/10/2018 after human albumin serum transfusion]

Charlie has had some complications post surgery. The vet diagnosed him with edema in his remain rear leg before surgery. Post surgery his front two legs became swollen. They suspected this is the result of a systematic response due to all the trauma he has been through. He received a blood plasma transfusion on Wednesday 2/7/18 earlier in the week as his blood protein levels were low. Friday morning, the swelling spread to his face and the rest of his chest/belly area. The plasma transfusion did not help with his protein levels (low albumin) and the doctors gave him a human albumin serum transfusion Friday afternoon 2/9/18. Since the albumin transfusion Charlie has been on the rebound. The swelling left his face and torso as of Sunday 2/11/18 and swelling has gone down in his legs (though still remains). He has gained his appetite back (hard to resist cold cuts) and his normal color is returning to his skin. Apart from now getting him acclimated with his new leg situation, the doctors suspect that the incision where they amputated his leg is infected. We are waiting on the culture results back to see if we need to change the antibiotics.

Overall I am feeling much better about his condition at this moment than I did on Friday. Saturday night he actually tried to get up by himself (though to no avail).  Things are looking up, but we still have an uphill battle on three legs to win.

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The Beginning

February 10th, 2018 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

Charlie is a 8 Year old 78 lbs. ex-racing greyhound derp. I adopted him in May 2012 and he’s lived on the couch ever since-

On Friday 2/2/2018 Charlie slipped on the wood floor and sustained an external compound fracture in the tibia of his left rear leg. After x-rays, there was a concern that further down the leg (near the ankle) was indicative of bone cancer. We performed the aspirated biopsy the following Sunday and received inconclusive results the following day. There were certain cell types showing up in the sample that should not be there, but they could not confirm if it was cancer. With the possibility of cancer and the complexity to his break we opted to have his leg amputated on Tuesday 2/6/2018.

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