Tuesday December 14… Chemo and COLD!

Cody is not liking the cold too much. It was definitely hard to get motivated to get out the door this morning with him to go too Chemo, but we piled in the car and got there just before 10am. Cody is a great well behaved dog, but once he gets into a situation where there is smell overload, other dogs or lots of people he is a bull. He pulls me and loses all resemblance of a trained animal. Today I had my purse and coffee in one arm and his leash in the other and it was difficult to keep him next to me as we walked in the door of the Vet. He was very distracted and kept walking around me to wrap me up in his leash.

There was a woman standing in front of me balling her eyes out. She had a small dog wrapped up in a blanket and was telling another woman that she had been holding him and he lept out of her arms and onto the tile floor. And then he could not get up. She said he “flopped around back and forth and I feel horrible, what if I broke his back? Oh my god how could i live with that? How can HE live with that… oh my god oh my god”. Both the other lady and myself quickly chimed in that the fact that he was moving and his head is fine and he’s alert and looking around is a pretty good sign that he did not break his back. It is probably a sprain or at worst a broken bone. It turns out I was right, i found out a bit later when I asked about him that it was a sprain. Whew! Poor lil guy.

So anyway… we get into a room and they take him to get his CBC, get weighed and cut his nails. He comes back all prancing and happy… He weighs 66lbs! NO WEIGHT LOSS at all since his diagnosis! I am so proud of this fact. That is my biggest worry. His CBC was good… White Cells are 6.17, Reds are 6.67 and his platelets are normal ranged! So happy! This is Cody waiting for Dr Butzer very patiently:

When Dr Butzer came in I filled him in on how Cody is doing. Seems fine and playful, no more eye boogers which is great. BUT the only thing that I have noticed is that he keeps biting and chewing his butt area. If I am out for a while every time I come back his butt is all wet. I have seen him do it but I correct him… so if i am home he hides in another room to do it so I don’t see. Yes he is that smart. I gave him a bath on Saturday with Eucalyptus Dr Brommer’s natural soap (no flea soap ever for him but especially now – no chemicals) thinking that maybe it was fleas but I did not see any at all. I also gave him his Heartworm meds yesterday. I only give him Heartworm now since his diagnosis, no other vaccines at all because of his immune system. Heartworm,… ok because we have mosquitoes here all year round and it also prevents worms. So I tell Dr Butzer all this and that i was also playing with him last night and he did something very odd. I was throwing a toy and when he went to turn to get it he hopped like a bunny with his back left leg held up like it was hurt or he had something stuck to his foot or something. Then he was fine. Hmmmmm….

So we talked about what that could be. Not fleas because Butzer flea combed him the whole time we were talking and saw nothing. We talked about how it could be the chemo just drying his skin out but I looked and did not see any irritation or flaking. And then I asked about anal glands. It was hilarious because Butzer looked at me like i hit the jackpot and said “you know that is exactly what it could be! Sometimes chemo can affect them!” I did not even really know that all dogs have them the way Cocker Spaniels do. My brother has a Cocker and they have to take her once a month to get them drained. Gross. So Butzer says he will drain them.

Now when I say gross… I mean I have actually thought about becoming a Vet Tech since i am out of work right now and having no luck… seems like a great steady job. But that right there makes me rethink that idea. It was one of the grossest things i have witnessed… and it STUNK! OH MY!!!! And THAT my friends… is the smell I have been smelling around the house lately! BINGO! If you have never witnessed this dreaded disgusting task, let me explain it to you here. If you are easily gagged you may want to skip to the next paragraph. On come the latex gloves and out comes the KY Jelly. He grabs a handful of paper towels and some spray of some kind. Then he shows me a book with a diagram of what the anal glands look like and what he is going to do: “So dogs have two glands on either side of their anus and they fill sometimes with liquid. We reach inside and squeeze them to release the liquid through these ducts right here. Can you hold his head for me? This is going to smell.” He gets down on the floor with us and I am holding Cody’s head, he lubes up a finger and I watch Cody’s face. Cody’s eyes get a bit bigger and his ears go back giving him that round head look. Butzer makes a stinky noise and then says “yeah they were kind of full”. I look on the ground right as the smell hits me and see a small puddle of caramel colored liquid. Butzer sprays Cody’s butt and tail with a very strong scented spray and wipes him off, then wipes the floor. Done!

Gee that was fun!

After this Butzer gets the shot of Vincristine for Cody and administers that. Our next visit in two weeks will be another two hour IV drip of the heavy hitter drug. I also got some Heartworm refill and they nicely tested the blood they had drawn for his CBC. So the total today came to $173.00. CBC was $60, Vincristine was $73 and Heartworm meds were $40.00.  This brings the grande total now to:

9/21 – $225.53
9/24 – $12.78
9/27 – $137.80
9/28 – $335.67
10/5 – $65.18
10/12 – $142.37
10/19 – $142.37
10/26 – $61.20
11/2 – $408.22
11/16 – $133.68
11/30 – $108.23
12/3 – $102.27
12/14 – $173.00

Total – $2048.30

So now we are home and Cody is laying on his bed looking out the door with Albert…

And tonight when it is cold out again and I become the pet magnet that I usually am… it will resemble something like this which is our usual evening at home…

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~ by Michelle Sammartino-Zeto on December 14, 2010.

3 Responses to “Tuesday December 14… Chemo and COLD!”

  1. Michelle, hope Cody gets better and is not in pain. And when Cody gets better, hopefully you can fill us in on what’s new in the music world from your prospective.
    Take care

  2. Hi,

    I’ve just been reading about a disturbing act of cruelty (I won’t depress you with it; this internet thing is decidedly a mixed blessing – so many things I would like to un-know) and then – ping! – into my inbox comes an update about Cody and his mum who cares for him so much. What a lovely counterpoint, and the right last thing to read before bed.

    So, sweet dreams to both of you – you look so right for each other, all snuggly in your blankies. (I must say, however, I have precious little sympathy for your “cold snap”! I’m cleaning icicles off my townhouse here in Toronto). But I guess by Florida standards, 32F is absolutely devastating.

    But my German Shep girl LOVES this weather – she snaps to life and rolls in the snow wagging her tail). Cheers, love, best wishes (and tail wags) from all of us.

    • I thought of two things when i read your comment this morning. The first is that for us Floridians (I consider anyone who has lived here in Florida for over ten years a Floridian) who have no tolerance for cold anymore (I am from Pennsylvania originally) when the mercury dips below 75 we are in sweatshirts and jeans. But the true test of how cold it is here right now is that someone on my Facebook friends list posted “even the vacationing Canadians are wearing hats!” HA!

      The other thing that I thought of was when I was in the waiting room of the Vet with Cody yesterday I was pulling him away from all the other dogs that come in or are waiting since he has no immune system. Lord knows what they may be carrying! It must seem funny to all the customers. maybe scary that this big dog is being kept from interacting with all the others. (I look like the mean Mommy because all he does is wag his tail) Is he mean? Does he bite? So this woman is there and the girls behind the counter start to ask how Cody is doing, are you here for Chemo? This woman looks at me and her eyes did that cartoon Bambi welled over sad look and she says “My son’s dog died of cancer a few years ago it was terrible! How old is he?” So I filled her in a bit and she petted him and he kissed her face and wagged his tail and nudged her and corralled her like he does. And suddenly she just looks at me and says she has to go, she is going to cry. And she is… tears in her eyes… and as she rushes for the door she looks back and says she cries at all those SPCA Save the Animals commercials too.

      Your comment about the polar opposite in pet stories made me think about her and how there are such amazing good hearted people out there who are sensitive and caring for animals. And for me right beofre bed we were watching Sports Channel and there was a news story about how wonderful Michael Vick is for now talking to kids about animal abuse when for years he maimed and electrocuted and tortured dogs, and only admitted it after he got caught and lied about it. Now he is a hero because he can play a good game of football. I don’t think I have ever seen news coverage of a hero who saved animals.

      So in a way we had similar nights. After that news story and getting mad at my home town for loving an animal killer, Cody came on the bed and cuddled with me til we both fell asleep.

      Cody wins!

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