As 4th of July rolled around again this year we made our annual pilgrimage to Lake Erie and the family cabins. This is a dog friendly cabin campground near Ashtabula Ohio. My 12 year Cody did well except he didn't get enough sleep. :) This is his first outing since losing his B-girl compainion who passed away a couple of months ago at 15 yrs of bladder cancer. Cody was awesome. even though we had a leash on him we almost never had it in our hand. He stuck with us and when we hung around the campfire at night he would make himself comfortable under someone's chair and hang out. Our only incident was when some crazy person shot off a gun and it startled him and he ran off. Since everyone there is dog knowledgable they simply got up and walked in the direction he went and called his name. A minute later after he calmed down he walked back to us and followed us back. He also did well with the 2 ( 2 1/2 yr and almost 5) small children staying in the cabin with us. They've never been around dogs but were very good not to mob him, they would walk up to him calmly and look at an adult and ask if it was ok to pet him. I instructed them were to pet and they respected that. They did not once pull his tail or poke him. He was so tired he slept the entire 3 1/2 hour drive back home.
Thank you everyone for your kind words of sympathy and love. It's been a rough couple of days. My male basenji Cody who was her compainion for 8 yrs as well is greiving. Even though I took him with me when we put her down, he is very lonely. The first day or two he wanted nothing to do with me at all but last night he curled up in my lap and snuggled. It makes it harder that my husband has been out of town on business since early Monday morning, so there will be fresh round of crying tonight with my hubby comes home.
It's with sad heart and many tears that I had to put down my beloved Aurora today. She was diagonised with bladder cancer in Jan. and it had already spread to her spleen. Over the weekend she started passing blood. I took her to the vet today. Vet determined that tumors were causing her to hemmorhage uncontrollably. I got an extra 6 weeks from giving her meds. and enjoyed everyone of those days. The vet was awesome she allowed me to come home get my other basenji male and bring him to the room while Aurora passed. The put her on the floor and we experianced her passing together. I hope it helps him with his greiving process. They were together 8 years. I adopted Aurora through BRAT at the age of 6 yr old. She was 14 1/2 yr old when she passed.
My will miss my sweet angel.
Update on Aurora. We've been on the meds for almost a week now and she is no longer peeing blood and seems to have a little more eneregy. She is eating well and taking her pills with no fuss. I hide most of them in her soft dog food for breakfast and the others she gets in little pieces of cheese. She is very confused and unsteady first thing in the morning having almost no coordination, but I'm going to chalk that up to old age and her arthritis. After about 30 min. she is good to go. It seems to take her a while to fully wake up. I am trying to enjoy every min. I have with her. I have next Monday off and hubby is out of town, so I'm looking forward to some good quality time with her.
I had thought about doing this for a while, but now I know I am going to take lots of pictures of her and I am planning on getting a tattoo of her with her name. I already have several tattoos for other "life" events So I am thinking a good head or profile of her with her name tattoo on my hip. She has some of the best facial expressions. Now to find an artist to do the drawing from the photo.
Talked to my vet and we are going the piroxcam route, but this drug is know to cause stomach ulcers so there will be another drug to help ward off that. Both these drugs have to be specially compounded. Luckily there is a compounding pharmacy in our city so they should be ready tomorrow. Vet says this Rx should give her 6 more months of quality life. Thank you everyone for your understanding and support.
Update, Aurora had her ultrasound today. Results were about what we expected. TCC cancer in her uretha but also found a large tumor in her spleen unrelated to the bladder cancer. Test result have been sent to our regular vet, but the radiological vet said it would not be much longer before she would not be able to pass urine. He commented that she could be catherized. Just wondering has anyone ever heard of long term catherization of a dog with this condition? It doesn't see feasible to me not to mention the daily care, and pain and discomfort for the dog.
At that age, I think treatment is almost cruel when there is little chance of a "cure" and long life. ((hugs)) No one can decide except you but I'd go with the vet's suggestion.
The vast majority of TCC cases are treated with medical therapy, i.e. with drugs. Two different drug protocols are used most often in the standard care for dogs with TCC. The first treatment protocol is to give a drug called piroxicam, or a piroxicam- like drug by itself. Piroxicam is a type of drug called a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug or “NSAID”. NSAIDs block the cyclooxygenase (cox) enzyme, and are also referred to as “cox inhibitors”. Cox inhibitors include piroxicam, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Previcox, Deramaxx, Rimadyl, and others. There is an interesting history behind the use of cox inhibitors for the treatment of TCC in dogs. Veterinarians in the Purdue Comparative Oncology Program became interested in piroxicam several years ago when it was being used for pain relief in dogs with cancer, and unexpected remissions were noted. Two of the first dogs treated (one with metastatic carcinoma, one with undifferentiated sarcoma) had advanced cancer, and these dogs had remission of their cancer when receiving piroxicam, but no other treatment. This has led to numerous studies of piroxicam in animals with cancer at Purdue. In 62 dogs with TCC treated with piroxicam, the tumor went into complete remission in 2 dogs, decreased in size by > 50% in 9 dogs, remained "stable" in size (<50% change) in 35 dogs, and increased in size by > 50% in 16 dogs. The median (“average”) survival was 195 days.
Debra, Thanks for the info. I guess I am not really looking for "treatment" per se, just want to make her as comfortable as possible for as long as I have her. If the NSAID can do that I will be happy. My vet and I have already said we would not take the more aggressive chemo route due to her age and other health factors.