Chemo #3 and all’s well

Today we administered Rio’s third round of chemo (CCNU).  She’s been doing really great, although last week’s CBC numbers were considerably lower than when we started.  Dr. Sarah, our oncologist, prescribed Cerenia for vomiting, since she did get sick on the Vinblastine two years ago, but we haven’t needed it so far.  Continue reading


Rio had her first swim therapy this morning.  It went great.  The therapists were really amazed at how well Rio took to the hydrotherapy pool.  They kept saying how impressed they were that she did this well on her first session.  I wasn’t surprised, because she is a very smart and adaptive dog.  I think she was just relieved that nobody was trying to stick her with needles, so she just went with it.  They had an orange and blue Chuck-it ball — her favorite — and she swam to get it and played with it for about 20 minutes of the half hour session.  The ladies massaged her and stretched her and guided her around as she swam, and aside from being a bit nervous and resistant when they were backing her into the pool, she seemed to enjoy it.  So we signed her up for another session next week.

Rio's an excellent patient!

And now she’s completely shot and snoozing on the couch with her sisters.

Chemo Round 2

Today we went for our first dose of Vinblastine.  Rio had some episodes of nausea last time we had Vinblastine (2 years ago), and the doctor gave us some Cerenia in case it happens again this time.  So now we don’t have to go back to the oncologist for another month (fingers crossed).  We go for a CBC next week, then the next chemo is oral, so we’ll just do it here at home.

She’s now sacked out on the couch, exhausted after the long morning at the doctor’s.  But while we were there, we met lots of really tough dogs and the people who love them.  We met a dachshund who was recovering from a broken back, three dogs with repaired knees/legs, an elkhound with transitional cell cancer, and Jetson, another tripawd just like Rio.  He is somewhat of a celebrity to the local tripawd community (or at least to us!).  He was a K-9 cop prior to his diagnosis with osteosarcoma.  You can learn about his story here:  Rio thought he was very handsome, yet managed to not appear starstruck, even though he’s way more striking in “person” than he was on TV!  Because of all of the publicity surrounding his retirement, he got enough donations to cover all of his medical expenses for the rest of his life!


Poopy day….

Today, the weather is vile and Rio isn’t feeling very well.  Her CBC came back with good numbers, but she’s developed a bad case of diarrhea.  She’s pooped so many times I’ve lost count, and she seems completely lethargic.  Temp is normal, though.  A call to the vet hooked us up with some metronidazole, so hopefully that won’t take too long to kick in.  I also picked up some unflavored Pedialyte and mixed it with low sodium beef broth, and she’s been drinking that down when I offer it to her.  I don’t want her to get dehydrated, and she has no interest in just plain water.

On the upside, when the vet checked her leg yesterday, she said she didn’t feel any signs of “laxity” or “crepitus” which sounds promising.  However, she’s still having some difficulty getting around.  The clinic where she is going for her oncology treatments is all specialists, so I’m going to see if I can get the ortho specialist to look at it when we’re in next week.

Happy birthday to me…

Yesterday was my birthday, and the best present of all was a happy Woo.  Her dad sent her in to do a little post-breakfast snuggle wearing a festive ribbon on her harness.  My present was a book of Rio.  Her dad had collected all the great Rio pictures from the day I brought her home to post-surgery, and compiled them into an iPhoto book.  We had made a couple of these books before — one of all of our Halloween party guests, and one for the in-laws 25 wedding anniversary.  Apple really does a nice job, and they’re a great memento without the headache of trying to put together a photo album.  They are hardbound and the pages are glossy, and you can easily add captions and text to the pages as well.  And so the legendary Story of Woo will live on now in print.

Rio has a vet appointment this afternoon.  We’re going to check white blood count and have the doctor take a look at her knee.  She’s been having a bit of difficulty with it — it’s been swollen and at times it simply collapses under her.  Hoping, hoping that it’s just tired from carrying all the load and not something like a torn ligament.

Crazy Woo

Rio is definitely starting to get her old “rock head” back.  We had been limiting the climbs to the second floor to when she was wearing her harness and could be assisted up the steps, but yesterday she decided she was tired of not going upstairs when she felt like it.  Not only did she climb the stairs unassisted and without any permission at all, she did it twice.  I think she thought maybe her dad had food up there that he wanted to share with her.  She also went walkabout in the yard and ran up the driveway a couple of times (our driveway is about 300 feet long) to “greet” the neighbors.  Today, we played a little ball outside with Tosca and Zephyr…  I have to remember to throw low for Rio, because she is used to leaping up for the ball, and she’s fallen a couple of times trying to jump since the surgery.  We’re both learning what she’s capable of, but she seems to want to go at a little faster pace than me!  She is definitely a tough old bird!