First chemo treatment and stitches out!

Hello all,

Well, after two weeks of babysitting 24/7, sleeping on the couch to make sure he didn’t lick open his sutures, get stuck behind a chair or couch, occasionally hand-feeding him, and generally overanalyzing every sneeze, blink, twitch, or cough, we finally hit a milestone:  the stitches are out and he had his first chemo treatment today.

We had been trying to let him get around more, and let people come visit him.  I was really concerned early last week because he seemed so apathetic.  Then he went 24 hours without drinking anything, and just generally seemed as if he’d given up.  His appetite was fair, at best, hence the hand-feeding. The only thing that seemed to perk him up was letting him outside on his leash, to hop down the sidewalk.  We did this late at night in the darkness, to lessen the possibility of distractions he might suddenly take off after, as well as it was cooler than the high 90’s temps we’ve had most days.

We worried also about his overal body soreness, because he seemed very hesitant laying down and getting up.  Rather stiff and shaky.  At the same time, we tapered him completely off his pain meds.  Not knowing if some of the side effects were from the meds and not the pain, we didn’t give in and administer any more doses. It was so sad to see him so listless.

Then, yesterday, a breakthrough! One of the neighbors came over for tea and to see how he was coming along.  When she came in the front door, he pupped up and ran to her, just like he used to!  Then he actually POUNCED on one of his toys!  This episode lasted less than 10 seconds, but it was REALLY good to see that spark.

So today we loaded him up and drove him to UC Davis for his 3-hour chemo treatment. He is doing really well and even managed for the first time, to beg like he used to!  “Belly Up!” has never been so wonderful!  His appetite seems better than before, as evidenced by the fact that he’s actually begging for food.

We are prepared for the nausea and possible diarrhea (they gave us meds for it when they gave him back to us today), if it happens, but for now we are pretty happy with how good he appears to be feeling.

His next chemo treatment will be in three weeks. He’ll have a total of 6 chemo treatments, with another lung X-ray after the third treatment, to check for metastases.  Lord willing, there will be none. We forgot to ask how much the leg weighed, but I plan on emailing the oncologist about some other questions, and will ask then.  I’ll share what the result is. 🙂

I hope our new Tripawds friends, Fenway, and the others who had their aputations around the same time as Elgin, are doing well too.

Here is a cell-phone pic of Elgin going belly-up for our burritos.


7 thoughts on “First chemo treatment and stitches out!”

  1. Oh Elgin you are such a handsome boy! I’m glad to hear you’ve got your spunk back! That neighbor must be someone realllly special 🙂 Things only get better from here my friend.

    Hey what kind of chemo are you getting?

  2. Hi Gerry,
    Thanks for your compliment, it’s so good to see his spark back! The chemotherapy is Carbapentin. We got good news in that when the pathology report came back, the osteosarcoma had not spread to his lymph nodes. YAY! But we still don’t know what the leg weighed. We do know that he went into this weighing 140lbs and now he weighs 127lbs. Not all of that is leg, but it is a significant drop in weight! I’m sure it is easier on him, the lighter he is. This morning I took him two houses down to visit one of his girlfriends from Browndogs. She was so funny! She very thoroughly sniffed and investigated his incision and of course his privates, but when they walked us back to our house she kept staring at him as he hopped. Then she’d sort of lunge at him playfully as if she was saying “What the heck! Walk right, darn it!” He was perky and energetic, with tail wags and trot-hopped a little too. Then it was back into the house, where I spent about half an hour icing his incision area, because the pattern is that it gets itchy and red when he exerts himself and this brings on the licking.

    1. Oh gosh no problem, people do that all the time!

      Do you mean carboplatin?

      That is a big drop in weight! Well as we’ve found, it’s usually a pawsitive thing when a Tripawd is leaner than most dogs of the same breed/build.

      Elgin is a pretty good dawg to let you ice his incision. I haven’t heard anyone say that movement/exercise causes irritation like that so thanks for sharing that information, that’s good to know.

      Too cute he’s getting to see other dogs now. It’s funny but I think most dogs don’t notice the missing limb, but what they do notice is the movement, just as that gal did. That seems to be all that really puzzles them about a tripawd.

  3. Way to go Elgin! So glad his appetite turned around.
    We hope he doesn’t experience any side effects to the chemo.
    Hunter is on the same drug and so far only experiences a little tiredness on the day of chemo… and we don’t blame him!
    He just had his 5th treatment on the 6th. Chemo days are very exciting days for him. He gets tons of love, attention and treats (which we supply due to his diet).
    We’ll keep Elgin in our prayers so that he continues on the road of recovery with no complications.

  4. So good to hear Elgin’s spirit is returning! Charlie had a few ‘down’ days, and once the staples came out on Monday, he showed some enthusiasm we hadn’t seen in a while.

    I hope Elgin’s chemo side affects are few, and that he keeps feeling good!!

    Love the belly up pics!!

    Hugs from Charlie (and his mom)

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