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gwp4me

Struppie's Battle To Stay Alive A Bit Longer

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gwp4me   

k9angel, thanks for the lovely thought of biscuits for Struppie, he was on his anti - cancer diet till recently, now everything goes, to keep him eating. kayla1 and Bindo, thanks for your enquiry about Struppie's wellbeing.

Struppie now has Cushing's Syndrome all over his body (has to cover up to stop him from savaging his skin), plus some Lymphnodes are quite enlarged. Two days ago, he had a hydrobath with insecticidal shampoo at the vet, then chemo, will take Macrolone now every third day - for a fortnight, then maybe stop Cortisone altogether, to improve his skin. :confused: He went for a walk yesterday, but today is flat, will not drink water and is eating very little, but wagging his tail. One more week of work for me, then I will have 5 weeks annual leave, to spend with the dogs. :)

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gwp4me   

Just to let you know that Struppie is still hanging on. He had chemo again last Wednesday, the vet reckons he is still not showing signs that his cancer has spread. We give him the Macrolone/Cortisone only every fourth day now, as his skin integrity is so terribly poor (and very itchy), ideally, it needs dropping altogether, but then the cancer will advance faster.

He is still keen to go for a walk, I think his Cushing's Syndrome is the cause of him being slow and tired when he returns home. He still waggs his tail and has a good appetite, too good to pts, yet. But we are watching him like hawks every day, for signs that he has enough.

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Spoony   

First post, so Hi everyone.

This thread caught my eye as your situation is so similar (just ahead) of my and my by Harvey (A Traditional Chinese Shar-pei).

Glad to see Struppie is still fighting close to 6 months on a second round of chemo! Sad to read the struggles you both are having though.

I’m interested to hear how Struppie handled the first round of treatment and if this time things have been worse? (excuse me if I missed that in the thread)

My Harv had quite advanced Lymphoma in early November last year. His done a 6 month round of chemo, went into remission reasonably early on. As he was fairly advanced initial chemo hit him hard and he got really quite sick at times, lost about 26% of his weight etc. But he got through that and due to improved diet became happier and healthier than ever. Sadly yesterday I learned he has relapsed (5 weeks after final treatment), I’ve picked it up very early (one node) but I’m struggling as no doubt you did youself with what to do now.

Your thread helps a bit, gives hope but at the same time concern. I don’t want to prolong his life only to have him suffer and be sick.

I’ve pretty much decided to re-chemo but only run it dependant on his health. I’m hoping this time being far healthier and fit, earlier that he’ll handle initial chemo like he did later chemo and it won’t bring him down again, but as you no doubt know yourself, these things are a scary lotto.

All the best with Struppie, I might start my own thread on here for harv and toss a few pics up.

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gwp4me   

Hi Spoony, sorry to read about your Harvey's illness, I know the worries you will have to battle through. :(

I never regretted the chemo path I chose for Struppie. So far I won one year of life for him, it's trial and error too for my vet, and she is pleased with the result. Struppie was nearly three weeks off his 6 month long chemo, when the Lymphnodes enlarged again. Attempting rescue, we tried weekly IV Vincristine, and daily Macrolone tablets for a while, now 2nd weekly Vincristine - and Macrolone down to every forth day. Because of longterm/daily Cortisone use, Struppie now also suffers from severe Cushing syndrome, which can only get better if dropping the Cortisone, but the Lymphoma then would race ahead. I read on the internet, Cortisone should be given only every other day, to prevent Cushing's Syndrome. If Struppie is not showing pain - also he is more exhausted now, looks a mess, has fluid in his abdomen, is on fluid tablets, every day he is alive will be a gift to us. Should you have questions, do not hesitate to ask, please. I will be interested to follow your thread, also the occassion is very sad.

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Poor boy, I wish you both well.

Just a heads up on the chemo, fluid in his tummy and slowing down - the same thing happened with Ollie and it was his thyroid - the chemo had effectively stopped it working altogether. He ended up on thyroxine for the rest of his life - not a hassle when I consider that the chemo had him in remission for as long as it did.

Have they checked his thyroid function when they do his full blood counts?

Ollie was also on an anti cancer diet or no sugars, grains etc. But on days when he would not eat, we used to give him a couple of milk arrowroot biscuits in a little warmed milk - it is sweet and creamy and tempted him to have something in his tummy those few times when it was really empty. He would just lap them up (they go pretty soggy).

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gwp4me   

Staffyluv, Struppie's fluid build up seems to be a side effect of Cortisone, for which he gets second daily Frudix tablets. The vet does the blood test for white blood cell count, every fortnight.

http://www.ehow.com/info_8747888_effects-cortisone-canines.html

Struppie was a bit flat for a while, and yesterday, when looking at him, my husband was wiping away his tears.

It was decided to ask the vet for her opinion, and check him out. She thought it could be an infection again, the enlarged lymphnodes are still the same size they were weeks ago - they are still fairly soft, so probably have not got away. So we went ahead with chemo, an antibiotic injection, and 42 antibiotic tablets to take home. Well, we did not expect any miracle, but Struppie was more alert on the way home already, is more interested and happy today, wags his tail more often. He eats a bit now and then, dislikes vegetables and his anti - cancer diet, but the vet says any food will have to do now. Will have to try him on arrowroot biscuits /warm milk, thanks for the tip!!

So now Struppie has made it to 12 months and two weeks, since start of his chemo treatment. I'm counting now. :)

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Bindo   

Hi gwp4me, sorry to hear of Struppie's trials and tribulations. I've been away for nearly a month without much internet (central Aust and Kimberly) and so pleased to come back and read that he is still with us, albeit with his challenges. Will update on Lucy in her own thread, but apart from looking a bit scruffy (son in charge and obviously didn't find the brush!) and some minor issues, she looks good. Take care, best wishes and hugs to you both. :)

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gwp4me   

Hi Bindo, I have been wondering how you and Lucy are going, did not want to intrude. Great that she is doing so well for you, and you could have a good break away. We are always relieved when Struppie bounces back, not ready to lose him yet. He might not look pretty anymore, but if he wags his tail, gets up and walks around, gives you kissies on command, he still wants to be here - we think. Nice to have you back on this forum. :D

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Hello gwp4me and Bindo. Haven't been on DOL much of late, to be honest it's still a bit to fresh and painful as we adjust to life without Kobe. But that said you guys have not been far from my thoughts and I'm very happy to read that despite continued ups and downs gwp4me, Struppie is still here with you, continuing to defy the odds and has bounced back with a happy wag in his tail from the latest challenge.

I agree with you and the vet about the food and anti cancer diet. That was always a huge battle ground with Kobe and if nothing else, I'm very very grateful that the last few weeks with Kobe after ditching the worst parts of the anti cancer diet and introducing the vitamin b shots, his appetite improved dramatically and it was lovely to have calm peaceful mealtimes and the old Kobe back, whinging in the kitchen again looking forward to his meals. They are part of my precious last memories.

Bindo,...great to hear Lucy is also doing well and I look forward to reading her update.

Long may Lucy and Struppie continue to fight the good fight

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gwp4me   

shepherds, you were in my thoughts, too, felt like I was the only one here giving updates. :)

Sometimes it appears Struppie has reached the end of his life, then when he seems a bit more lively, we think he wants to stay with us a bit longer, he wags his tail, wants to go for a walk, does not seem to be in any pain, can't say good bye to him yet. BTW, how is your Levi going??

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Bindo   

Thanks to both of you :) Must be so hard for you Shepherds to pop in here, but we all appreciate the updates and good wishes. I will update Lucy's thread now. :)

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How's Struppie doing gwp4me? Hope the past couple of weeks have been kind and Struppie still has the happy wag in his tail. Have you continued with the chemo and how's his appetite been? Did the antibiotics do the trick and hold?

Levi is doing well thanks. He seems to have come back quite well (fingers crossed) from his geriatric vestibular episode and has since celebrated his 13th birthday :)

I was in at the vets this earlier this week and she handed me a beautifully wrapped gift with a big K on the front and said do not open until you get home. It was a picture frame with Kobe's name down the side and a beautiful poem with a diamanté paw print embedded in the frame and more diamanté 's sprinkled across the poem. It's lovely. We spent a lot of time at the vets particularly as the IV'S took around 2-3 hours each week and she used to spoil him rotten every time we were there, with special privileges and treats to tempt him when his appetite was bad etc, but this gift was completely unexpected and bought me to tears ( yet again). When I rang to thank her, she just said your welcome, he was a very special boy.

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gwp4me   

hi shepherds, pleased your Levi is not causing you any worries anymore. Your vet is unique, I think, what a lovely gift for you to receive in memory of Kobe.

I took the five weeks annual leave, with the intention, to wholly spend it with our dogs/and also to make a decision about Struppie's condition/progression. Now the five sad weeks are coming to an end.

Struppie, who had chemo last Wednesday, has 2x very enlarged lymhnodes in the chest area, 2x enlarged lymphnodes on each side of the throat - causing him to sometimes cough or maybe it's called gagging, hate that loud sound. On the back of both hindlegs, the lymphnodes have not increased too much in size over a period. All lumps are still fairly soft, probably meaning they have not spread? Struppie dislikes most foods now, will not eat in the mornings, we have to handfeed him most of the times. Today he ate 4x Arrowroot biscuits, softened up in milk (thanks stuffyluv for the suggestion), a few pikelets, 2x slices of Emmenthal Cheese, does not like Cheddar Cheese, atm. We try to give him soft foods now, he refuses to take his tablets, even wrapped in his once loved Liverwurst.

His skin is improving with less Cortisone now, his hair is growing back slowly. He has grown white hair around his mouth, and has the looks and movement of a 16 year old dog now. We went for a walk yesterday, he was puffing along the way, and slowed down a lot uphill to the house. He still waggs his tail, barks when alerted, goes outside for a look/walk around, or lay down. He is going downhill, every day we watch for signs of pain or if he had enough.

But we are grateful that we could hang on to him for an extra 13 months. So that sums it up, gives everyone an update on this/his disease. He is getting very close to joining his brother Strolchie in doggy heaven. :(

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No real words of use for you gwp4me, except I'm just so sorry you are having to go through this with your beloved Struppie.

I'm still not convinced they all let us know when it's time, but I do believe when you are in tune with your animal and particularly having spent an intensive time nursing them as you have gwp4me, there does come a point when both your head and heart come together and knows what has to be done.

Be kind to yourself gwp4me and give Struppie a hug from me.

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gwp4me   

This morning Struppie waited/greeted us, with tail wagging, went outside a few times with OH, then ate some cheese, scrambled egg, pikelet, even briefly showed some interest in playing with his mates. Is asleep now. Looks like a reasonable good day for all of us. Yesterday, he enjoyed a walk down the paddock, but did not have much of an appetite all day.

shepherds, will give him a hug from you. He gives out slobby kissies on the cheek, when you want him to.

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gwp4me   

Amazing morning so far, Struppie ate some more brekkie - 3x warmed up Frankfurts, also watches through window for birds. Will make the most of it. :thumbsup:

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k9angel   

Amazing morning so far, Struppie ate some more brekkie - 3x warmed up Frankfurts, also watches through window for birds. Will make the most of it. :thumbsup:

Aww great to hear Gwp4me. :) Please pass on some gentle hugs and kisses from me too. :heart:

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Bindo   

Aw, God love him! After reading his and Strolchie's story in Rainbow Bridge (how terrible for you Gwp4me), you can now understand that he certainly is a fighter.

May he enjoy his days in the sunshine, eating whatever he wants and being generous with his slobbery kisses. Thanks for the lovely photo. Big hugs to you all. :hug:

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gwp4me   

Thanks k9angel and Bindo, will give him hugs and kissies. Struppie, Strolchie and I, had a lot of fun together, I think it shows in the photos, don't wont to give up on Struppie too soon. If he does not eat much one day, he makes up for it next day, I hope. :)

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