The dreaded pathology report….

Last night Rio’s oncologist called with the pathology results.  As I already half expected, the results are less than great.  Since her cancer has resurfaced post-chemo, we knew going in that it was likely to be a more aggressive version of the disease.  Also since it was in the region of a lymph node we knew there was every likelihood that it could be in those tissues as well.  Continue reading

One week and counting…

It’s a week ago today that Rio had her surgery.  She’s making excellent progress, and is adjusting very quickly to being a tripawd.  Most of the bruising around the surgical area is gone or has turned a hazy yellow-brown color.  She does still have some purple spots on her chest and belly, but they too are fading and are nowhere near as angry-looking as the first few days.  Yesterday, she managed to sneak off into the other room and licked a spot raw along her staples.  She’s got these weird little blister-like areas along the sutures, and I think one of them must have ruptured.  She had some rejection issues with the material they used to stitch up the inside layers of muscle and such with her last surgery, too, so I’m thinking that’s probably what’s behind the problem. Continue reading

Day 5

Rio has been on a roll today.  She’s getting used to the leg being gone, although occasionally it looks like she starts to put her weight on it, and then remembers it’s not there.  We went for a tiny walkie up the driveway this afternoon.  It was only about 100 feet up the drive, but she practically raced back to the house.  I was running along behind her telling her to slow down (mostly so I wouldn’t trip and fall).  She followed me around the house and jumped off the couch a few times.  I can’t believe how agile she is.  And she’s definitely gaining confidence with every trip between rooms. Continue reading

Four days later….

It’s been four days since the big surgery.  Rio’s aready-massive bruising has spread and covers her entire undercarriage, from between her front legs, down over her belly and up around above her tail.  Side to side, it covers the outside of the left hip, across her amputation site, down to her knee on the other side.  I’ve been doing lots of hot and cold packs, and the swelling and fluid build up has subsided quite a bit, but it’s still quite a sight.  She doesn’t seem to be bothered by it though, so I’m taking my cues from her. Continue reading

She’s home

Rio was released from the hospital yesterday.  They ended up keeping her an extra day because she hadn’t urinated on her own.  Initially, they thought it could be residual numbness from the epidural, but she was just being a stinker: “I’m only going potty for my momma.”  The doctor finally called us and said that we could come get her, that she probably was just being nervous, and maybe she’d go on her own if she was at home or with me.  We arrived at the hospital, and I took her outside for one last try before they released her, and she made a LAKE! Continue reading

Road to recovery — Part I

Rio underwent the amputation surgery yesterday, February 8.   I’d been having a really hard time with the idea of her losing her leg, and I wasn’t positive even as we went to our appointment with the surgeon if I was going to go through with it.  I’d been trying to think about it from the angle of “if it was elsewhere on her body, what would I do?”.  If it was on her back or her haunches or some other easily operable spot, the surgery would have been scheduled within hours of the diagnosis, so what was my problem?  The surgery was imperative if she was going to survive this particular tumor. Continue reading

The next step

I have yet again grilled my oncologist and regular veterinarian ad nauseum about the pros and cons of the entire spectrum of treatment routes and their respective prognoses, and have gone ahead and scheduled Rio’s surgery for next Tuesday, Feb. 8.  Now I just have to stay busy and try not think about it too much between now and then…and remember to breathe when I do….

On a separate but related note, does anyone here have any firsthand knowledge of some of the holistic/naturopathic formulas on the market, specifically K9 Immunity, Transfer Factor or other similar?  Are they as effective as the websites they are sold on would have me believe?

Say it ain’t so….

My best girl, Rio (aka, The Woo), is almost 11.  I adopted her from the Humane Society when she was just 6 weeks old.  From the very beginning, we were soulmates, best buddies, inseparable.

We were told she was German Shepherd/Lab mix when we got her, but according to a recent DNA test, Rio is a German Shepherd/Whippet/Harrier/Pug/Mix. Continue reading