T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Saddest Act Award

We've had a rough week and it's only Wednesday.

First, Thomas has a cold which has exacerbated his asthma - he's now back on all his asthma meds - a hour total of breathing treatments per day. And he's been having the morning coughing spells too. Poor guy. This exacerbation does not seem as bad as the one last fall - it went on for 8 weeks total!

Of course, it is impossible for me not to get any virus Thomas contracts. Thus, I, too, have a cold virus - body aches, congestion, a VERY sore throat, and only a 100 degree F temperature. But I'm fine.

Skip is fighting the cold too and continues to go to work - don't worry, he doesn't have the fever. And he's been helping with Thomas as much as possible - doing the nebulizer breathing treatments. Plus, he had to run our dog to the vet and out to the boondocks to pick up our half a beef. (I'll be posting photos of all my meat and pantry supplies - we've been working hard on food storage.) Running all those errands I would normally do when there is not a sick child and recuperating dog to nurse.

However, I think Sydney, our black Lab, wins the "Saddest Act" award.

Look at that sweet sad face

What is the "Saddest Act" award? I got the idea from a favorite movie "Notting Hill". If you view the video clip below you'll understand better. But basically the winner is whoever has the saddest story.

Our black Lab, Sydney, has lupoid onychodystrophy. She's on three different kinds of medications which she takes twice daily (Tetracycline, niacinamide, fatty acids). One of symptoms is that her toe nails get brittle and fall off. Because of this we are always checking her feet. Last week I noticed one of her nails was looking more bizarre than usual. Since she has had one toe removed already because of early cancer - lupoid onychodystrophy and the cancer are unrelated - we thought it was either an exacerbation of her LO or more cancer.

Our wonderful veterinarian confirmed last week that the growth on her nail was cancer and it had already invaded the bone so half her hind paw would have to be removed. She went in yesterday and had the amputation, a chest x-ray, and another spot on her front paw biopsied.

Here you can see the white bandage on her hind paw is the amputated one. The green bandage on her front paw is actually from her IV site. You cannot see the stitch on her other paw from the biopsy.

Of course, it also had to rain last night so we had to re-bandage the paw after she went out for an elimination break. Luckily, I keep a pretty good stockpile of first aid supplies on hand - in line with my survivalist tendencies. (By the way, I am working on a standard first aid pack and when I complete it I will share with you.) And I've had a little more than basic first aid training - I wrapped it up like I would a child's IV site!

The good news - the chest x-ray was clean as was the other biopsied site. We have not received the pathology for the amputated paw but it was pretty clearly cancer - I am guessing squamous cell carcinoma. If she did not have the LO we would not have spotted the first cancer nor the second because people generally don't look that carefully at their dogs' paws.

Tomorrow she goes back for a re-check and bandage change. In the mean time, she gets two different pain meds around the clock and antibiotics twice daily, in addition to her LO meds.

There you have it - the Saddest Act Award - bestowed upon Sydney the Lab.

Feel better soon, Girl.


Caitlin said...

I am so sorry for your rough week!! That is a bummer! Let me know if there is anything at all that I can do!

shell said...

I am glad to hear the Sydney's other tests were clean. I hope it is a quick recovery for her. And, I hope you and Thomas start feeling better soon too...