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Russell had four chemo treatments 1 x a week. Then we skipped a week and now we are every other week for 4 x. Tuesday was his first after skipping a week. He is not feeling and has had some diarrhea. For that they gave him Tylan (spel).

Have you ever accidentally tasted that stuff? Ugh! Bitter and you can't get the taste out of your mouth. And the instructions direct one to "sprinkle on food." No way a dog would voluntarily eat ANYTHING with that powder on it. So, I wet a Chee-zit, sprinkled the powder on it and topped with tuna. The powder stuck to the Chee-zit, the Cheez-it stuck to the tuna (and mayo-only). So, down it went. Worked with a Ritz cracker, too. ;-) But, wash, wash, wash your hands so you don't get an inadvertent taste. :shock:

We also have meds for nausea which I gave him this morning.



Oh that stuff is HIDEOUS!!! If you have a formulating pharmacy that your vet works with, they can put it in gel caps, makes it a little easier to get down, but it sounds like you've got a method that works. Plus, you get to spoil the little guy a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
We went with Pets Best insurance. According to the clinic insurance person, IHE, Pets Best and Healthy Paws were the top two. While HP is faster to reimburse (by a couple of days), it does not cover vet exams, consults, etc. Our initial consult with Dr. Szigetvari was $160 with a couple of "partial consults" at $80. Right there is the yearly cost for one dog.

We opted for Accident and Illness on Edward and Fiona and Accident-only for Russell who, of course, has a pre-existing so Illness is out for him.

Had a scare on Monday as Russell was having obvious respiratory distress. Luckily, Tuesday was his chemo. After examining and plainly seeing his respiration, they did an ultrasound. Fluid accumulation so they did a chest tap and removed nearly a teaspoon. X-rayed and compared to those taken two weeks before. No changes. Because of the fluid, doctor decided to change chemo meds and add Prednisone.

So, home with we came with a new chemo protocol: Two pills Monday, Wednesday and Friday for three weeks. Must wear gloves! And a steroid every 24 hours. So we go back on May 7.

Finally found a food combination he will eat...even prefers to straight boiled chicken breast. Half Purina "Bella" and half Iams kibble. The Bella is like pate in texture; similar to Lil Caesars. Hand fed so he doesn't, heaven help us!, get his beard dirty. :)

Have to lock Edward and Fiona outside or they get terribly pushy. Like the cobbler's children have no shoes, the dog trainer's dogs have no manners. :roll:

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and comments. It really helps to share and have a group of people who understand.
 

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I am very glad Russell is in the best of care. A teaspoon of fluid removed? No wonder he was in distress. That is quite a bit for a little guy like Russell. Like I said before he has great care and a Mommy who knows her stuff when it comes to knowing what to do. With the new food I bet he's in seventh heaven having it all to himself. Glad to hear about the insurance also. You know our prayers are still with you all.
 

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I'm glad to hear that Russell is eating well. Hopefully the new chemo regimen will do well for him.


Unfortunately, Katie lost her battle. We put her to sleep on Tuesday, when it became clear after xrays that the mass had started growing into her chest and impeding her airway. I couldn't let my best girl struggle. I'm afraid that I'll be losing Joey soon, as well. His lymph nodes have almost tripled in size, although he's still eating well, I'm noticing a decline in his activity, and while at rest, a lot more respiratory effort.



This has been a very difficult week, and next week isn't looking much better.
 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
First, so sorry about Joey and Katie. It is always so difficult a decision even when you know it's right. May you find comfort in the fond and funny memories Katie and Joey have left you.

And, you are NOT hijacking this thread. I see it as one where anyone can share his or pet's distresses and receive much-needed support. I may even change the title to suggest such or start a "Support" thread for all of us.

Speaking of hijacking, here is Russell hijacking the cat bed. BTW, Russell always drags the blue cushion (near Fiona's Lamb Chop) out before he gets into the bed. :)

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And Fiona asking: "How the heck did he fit in that bed????" (Edward stretched out behind; brown carpeted thing is their sofa ramp.)
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I hate having to put any animal down. Having to make the decision is a terrible thing to have to do, even when we know it is the best thin to do. I lost two beloved cats that we had for over 18 years a few years back. It was one of the hardest thing to have to do. We have so many memories of our kids. And it's funny how those memories effect us every day. Whats even worse is how their siblings feel the loss. Their reactions to being left alone differ, but you know they feel the loss too.

Doing the right thing sometimes really sucks.
 

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First, so sorry about Joey and Katie. It is always so difficult a decision even when you know it's right. May you find comfort in the fond and funny memories Katie and Joey have left you.

And, you are NOT hijacking this thread. I see it as one where anyone can share his or pet's distresses and receive much-needed support. I may even change the title to suggest such or start a "Support" thread for all of us.

Speaking of hijacking, here is Russell hijacking the cat bed. BTW, Russell always drags the blue cushion (near Fiona's Lamb Chop) out before he gets into the bed. :)

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And Fiona asking: "How the heck did he fit in that bed????" (Edward stretched out behind; brown carpeted thing is their sofa ramp.)
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I love your furry crew, they are stinkin' adorable. Those pictures brought a smile.


I'm glad that Russell is hanging in there, and praying that the new chemo routine kicks the cancer's butt.
@Worldsworstusername I'm so sorry about Joey and Katie :'-(

Thank you. They were good pups, and I'm feeling the big hole they left in my heart.


I hate having to put any animal down. Having to make the decision is a terrible thing to have to do, even when we know it is the best thin to do. I lost two beloved cats that we had for over 18 years a few years back. It was one of the hardest thing to have to do. We have so many memories of our kids. And it's funny how those memories effect us every day. Whats even worse is how their siblings feel the loss. Their reactions to being left alone differ, but you know they feel the loss too.

Doing the right thing sometimes really sucks.

My remaining boy Mooshie has been looking for them all weekend. He's never been alone, so this is hard for him to understand. He's being really good, but I'll be taking him to work with me for a while, because I feel bad leaving him alone when he's never been alone before. He's been extra snuggly, which helps me, too.


I really appreciate the support I've received here, you all are good people.
 

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They say time heals all, but it feels like an eternity. We didn't get another cat to replace the two we lost and our third one was the only one for about 5 years. We finally Got Jack about a year ago. He was 8 months old and a real joy in our hearts. Nutmeg on the other hand was not so joyous. She was 15 years old then and really set in her ways. She has finally been able to come to grips with Jack. some times literally. LOL She now accepts he is not leaving. She's an old lady and wont put up with his playfulness very long. But she's doing better. She knows she is the queen and her mommy and daddy will always take up for her.

There are times when I wonder if getting Jack was the right thing to do. And the rest of the time I know it was. We knew Nutmeg would not be here much longer and my wife didn't want to be alone with out having a fir child to snuggle on her lap. Now neither one of us knows what we did with out them.

When an animal looses a friend or mate that they have been around that long they most definitely feel the loss. And they don't understand what has happened. Love them and reassure them every day that they are still with you and you also feel the loss. the comfort you give to each other comes back 10000 fold.
 

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I feel so incredibly lucky that I convinced Gary we (I, really) needed another Shih Tzu. That was back in September. I had been wanting a female as I live with enough testosterone between him, Russell, Edward and Boo. :)

Gary balked but finally relented so we have Fiona. I think my lucky stars every day that when Russell passes, Edward will have Fiona as a companion.

I even let Fiona sleep outside her crate for the last two weeks while Gary was out of town. She'll go back to the crate when Gary gets home. Don't think he'd care for the fact her preferred sleeping position is on the pillow jammed up against one's head. Plays heck with the breathing when one rolls over!
 

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Discussion Starter #33 (Edited)
Sadly, I must report that our little boy lost his battle on Tuesday, April 23. He died quietly in my arms as I was kissing him good-bye and his oncologist and the techs let had tears in their eyes. He was a wonderful, happy little dog and the gap he leaves in our lives is immeasurable.

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I am terribly sorry, for him, for you, your husband and Russell’s packmates. So sorry.
 

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Oh Linda, I am so very sorry for the loss of Russell. I know he was a light in your lives. He will always live on in memories. I know words can't express the sorrow I feel for this loss. Please if there is anything Ginger and I can do just ask.
David
 

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I'm so very sorry to hear of your loss. I know the sorrow you're feeling right now. Take comfort knowing that you were there for him, and that he knew how much you loved him.
 

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Our final post:

When Russell went to chemo it was his team's request that I do something with his topknot. To keep the atmosphere light, I did these two. Top is his "Biker Dude" look. And under it his "Rainbow Unicorn" (note multi-colored bands) or "Punk Dude." The vet holding Russell had recently lost her Shih Tzu, Patches, so Russell was special to her.

The last photo is of the plaque I am sending to his oncologist and two primary techs. One of the techs always said Russell could "rock those bows" and Dr. Szigetvari said he had "swagger." So the plaque on the back will read: "In Memory of Russell. He rocked those bows and kept his swagger until the end."

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OH Linda, the photos and plaque are so very beautiful. Yes Russell does rock his bows. I know in my heart all animals are Gods children too. I hope when I go I will be surrounded by those pets that have gone before me. I'll be glad to have their company for eternity.
 

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I'm not a good one with death, I just generally don't know how to approach it.
The one quality I appreciate in animals is, even when sick, they just keep on moving forward.
I know he will be missed ... and he really did know how to rock those bows.
 
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