R.I.P. Patch

R.I.P. Patch

January 1, 1997 – May 9, 2008

My beloved Patch has left us to wait for us at The Rainbow Bridge. We had to put him down yesterday evening. We agreed that it was time…that he shouldn’t suffer anymore. His liver enzymes were 850-not sure what that means but I do know they should be around 100. When we went to see him before doing it-he came out wagging his tail: so hard for me because I start to second-guess myself. Then as I am hugging him and talking to him (with his head pushed into my chest) he starts to vomit (just the liquids he had in him from the IV). This is so hard to write-It is Saturday morning and I should be walking him. I can’t seem to write anymore about this right now! I need to work on a eulogy and someday I will write more about the experience we went through while at the vet. It was a good thing considering what we had to do.

Thanks again to all of you for your thoughts, suggestions, prayers, and support! I so adore each and every one here for your love and dedication to your pets! They are our world and our children. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you!

Bless you!

Mad with barklove!

WOOF!

Mere

p.s. Just noticed the date on the pics-need to fix that on my camera-these were taken at the vet on 5-9-08.

Patch has Jaundice

Hello Blog Friends,

So sorry I haven’t been here to respond to comments or to post any Blog Karaoke! I am not in a singing mood right now! This is also me rambling on and I apologize in advance if it doesn’t make sense. It has been a rough night and I also just can’t seem to turn my leaky eyes off right now!

Continue reading

P is for Patch

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Thursday Thirteen #6

This meme is hosted by Carol at Thursday Thirteen

13 Things~Patch Update

(Patch is my 11 year old dalmatian that has been “sick” for the last four months. Please read my Dogs Page to catch up on the history. He went to the Vet last Thursday and this is the update)

  1. Yearly Shots: Patch got his yearly shots
  2. Dental Work: He didn’t get his teeth/mouth cleaned because he had a slight fever and his blood work didn’t look to good.
  3. WBC: His WBC (white blood cell count) was high
  4. Anemic: Patch is anemic at this time-I can see it in him now: white lips & gums
  5. Weight:Patch weighed 58 pounds. He has lost 10 pounds since this started-but the Doc feels he should lose weight to help out the arthritis in his legs & back. The bad part is he has flabby places-lol.
  6. Bath-Nails-Flea & Tick Treatment: Patch did get his bath, nails trimmed, and his Revolution treatment. I told Doc C that I would just purchase Revolution monthly now-since I didn’t know what the future held for Patch . Doc C said this medicine had to be bought in bulk. I said, “hhhhmmmm I guess I could find someone that uses it and pass it on if I needed to”. He said, “I use it”. LOL
  7. Lab Work: Doc C had some more tests ran. He still thinks it could be a tick bourne related disease. He ran a test for canine ehrlichiosis. He said that even if the first test is negative, it is good to do a second test in case the first was a false negative. The biopsy of the lymph node suggested this, but said that correlation of the patient history and other findings ruled this out. Doc C also mentioned Cushings Disease and had more tests sent off for this.
  8. Meds: Doc C put Patch back on Tetracycline and he is now on Etodolac for pain. We also have Tresaderm drops to put on the sores on his ears-they are back. He has shown major improvement (not shaking) until today??
  9. Results: Patch is on the above medicine for 10 days and hopefully the results from all of the lab work will be in this Monday or Tuesday.
  10. Going back: Patch will go back for his dental work (we think this will help in some way-at least clear out all of that bacteria) after his results come back-hopefully.
  11. Walks:Patch has been limping terribly on & off all week.
  12. Car Rides: Patch’s favorite thing. For a week and a half Patch didn’t go for any rides except the one to the V-E-T. 🙂 He finally went for a ride yesterday and today-yippee! 🙂
  13. Price of Vet Visit: $355. Price of Patch’s unconditional love: Priceless!
(For some reason, I haven’t been able to bring myself to do this update sooner and I know I didn’t do a thorough job for myself-jut so much)

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


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Memes: If you like to play, I am hosting two new memes (Scrumptious Sunday & Hump Day Humor) at my other site: Mercedes Rocks. These have finally been added to The Daily Meme! Woohoo! Please come on over and check it out! I would love to have you participate! Thanks!

Blog of the Week: Please visit my Spotlight Blog of the Week. You might be the Blog of the Week one week! )

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Going to the Vet…again

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Patch is going to the Vet again Friday morning. Jedd has to work, so my Dad is coming over after he gets off of work to take Patch to Doc C. I have the honors of going on a Field Trip to the movies to see Horton Hears a Who. This is my list I made for Dad to take to the Doc. I hope I have it all covered. For those of you that don’t know about Patch-he is my 11 year old dalmatian that has been going through some tough times these last four months. You can read my Dogs page to learn more.
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Patch
3-28-08
Needs, problems, & thoughts
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• Yearly Shots
• Teeth & mouth cleaned (horrible breath, drooling, & sores-we have thought this might be part of his problem)
• Is it possible for him to get a bath (no perfume) and nails clipped if needed-Today?
• Has hard time breathing and swallowing. He smacks and makes weird noises with his mouth. Could there be an obstruction in his throat and/or nose?
• Trembles/Shakes-at various times. He also will do this in his sleep and sometimes has a rhythm with his breathing.
• He has been blah for a week and looks like he is miserable.
• Sneezes often-but no blood yet.
• Hasn’t been for a car ride for a week (favorite thing to do, but can’t get into the car)
• Front legs (behind the “knees”)-noticed lumps/swelling of nodes possibly
• Limping (possibly arthritis-or could it be the lymph nodes/lumps behind the legs/knees?)
• Cipro made him sick-not taking it now
• Not taking the nerve meds either (I believe now that it is pain and not nerves)
• Has a knot on the right, back side of his neck
• Ears and Nose bother him and he scratches/ rubs them. (Wants to shake head often, but looks like it is difficult for him-thinking it could be the knot or the ears-not quite sure). I have continuously wondered if he has ear and/or nasal mites. Is there a test that can be done to check for these?
• Sores on body again and he continuously cleans/licks them and other places-creating more bad spots.
• We sometimes wonder if we should have just left him on Prednisone and Tramadol for pain even though we know Prednisone isn’t a good long term thing and Tramadol kind of made him wobbly. We understand arthritis and can handle that, but we feel there are other problems that we wish could be pinpointed.

*Medicine & Drugstore: Please do not copy/steal this post.*

The Price of Vet Visits

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Thursday Thirteen #4

The Price of Vet Visits since 12-03-07

(One or two visits and receipts are misplaced at the moment)

  1. December 3, 2007: $38.00
  2. December 6, 2007: $45.50
  3. December 10, 2007: $289.50
  4. December 17, 2007: $180.00
  5. January 2, 2008: $32.00
  6. January 25, 2008: $6.00
  7. January 31, 2008: $42.00
  8. February, 8, 2008: $156.00
  9. February 19, 2008: $28.00
  10. March 8, 2008: $57.00
  11. March 13, 2008: $41.94
  12. March 18, 2008: $74.29
  13. The total cost of Vet visits: $990.23

The price of a dog’s unconditional love: PRICELESS!

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Patch is my 11 year old dalmatian that has had numerous health problems in the last few months. He was incorrectly diagnosed with lymphoma. We switched Vets and found out through correct diagnosis (biopsy of a lymph node) that he doesn’t have lymphoma. Feel free to visit my Dogs Page to read Patch’s stories during this crazy roller coaster ride we have been on!

The point of this post isn’t really the money. It is the PRICELESS part!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

If you like to play memes, I am hosting two new memes (Scrumptious Sunday & Hump Day Humor) at my other site: Mercedes Rocks. Please come on over and check it out! I would love to have you participate! Thanks!

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Had to Call Old Doc

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Had to Call Old Doc

As I had mentioned in my Sunday Seven Post, Patch has been having the shakes/trembles again. We took him to Doc C last Saturday, but Doc C wasn’t in. We saw Doc M. Anywho, I called New Vet Monday and Ms. C told me that both Docs have discussed Patch and said I could come in for an x-ray if I wanted to. I asked her, “Didn’t Old Doc do an x-ray of Patch’s nose”? She said that he did but they didn’t receive those results and that I would have to pick up the x-ray from Old Doc.

Great. This meant I had to call Old Doc. I called Doc H Monday afternoon. I called and Lady answered the phone. I asked her if Doc H had returned from surgery. She said yes. I told her that I thought he was going to call me back and asked if I could leave a message for him. She put me on hold and got him on the phone. Aaaaahhh.

So Doc H got on the phone. I told him about all of the confusion with the other Vet in his office: Her asking me if it ws B-Cell or T-cell, me calling back to talk to him and being told he wasn’t there, me asking about the B-cell or T-cell, being told other Doc didn’t know and she would have Doc H call me when he returned. Yada Yada.

I explained to him that I felt I had to get another opinion since I was getting questions from there that weren’t being answered and since he wsa out due to his own personal surgery. I told him New Doc did a biopsy of a lymph node and that it wasn’t lymphoma. He told me that they hadn’t done a biopsy of a lymph node (just the fatty tumor-now he explains it-lol) because it was a serious procedure. (Patch’s lymph node biopsy was easier than the fatty tumor biopsy-IMO). I told him that I need the x-ray so New Doc could analyze it. He said that was fine.

He was very nice. I asked him how he was recovering from his surgery and we chit chatted. This was hard. He is a family friend and has been with Patch for almost 10 years. I really didn’t want any hard feelings. He told me to let him know how everything goes and to keep him posted. Whew! Got that over with.

For those of you that may not know what is going on: Feel free to catch up on Patch or find out about Patch’s roller coaster journey by reading my Dog’s Page and reading the posts about Patch.

*I am way behind on replying to comments. This Blog Party and my daily memes are keeping me busy~besides my day to day craziness. I will try to catch up this week!*

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Update on Patch

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SUNDAY SEVEN #3

Update on Patch

(For those of you that don’t know the story: Patch is my 11 year old dalmatian who has been on a roller coaster ride for 3 months with various health issues and we still haven’t quite figured out what is going on. If you would like to catch up on the story, just visit my Dogs Page and read the posts about Patch.)

  1. Patch does not have lymphoma at this time. We are going to a New Vet~Doc C, who is closer to us and is wonderful! He actually biopsied a lymph node (necessary for true diagnosis of lymphoma) and determined it isn’t lymphoma~woohoo!
  2. Patch is not taking prednisone (for swollen lymph nodes) or tramadol (for pain)anymore. He is now on tetracycline for infection. He will be on it for two more weeks.
  3. His lymph nodes are not swollen at this time. He has fatty skin hanging around in weird places~possibly where the nodes were swollen~it looks kinda funny.
  4. Patch has been shaking/trembling again. That is how all of this started. He has been doing this since last Wednesday night. When he does this it is so pitiful because I don’t know what I can do to help him.
  5. We took Patch to the Vet on Saturday. It was snowing out and I wasn’t going to drive, but the lady had an appointment available for after Jedd got off of work. We went there but Doc C wasn’t there~I forgot to mention to her that he has been seeing Doc C. So we saw Doc M. He wasn’t sure what to do or what had been going on. Anywho he gave him a non-steroid shot to see if it would help.
  6. Patch was still shaking last night and today. Last night, I laid in bed with him to try and comfort him. I was going to start reading Dear John by Nicholas Sparks, but I was in a sad mood for Patch and the book started out sad~I had to put it down. I just laid there with Patch rubbing and hugging on him.
  7. I will be contacting Doc C in the morning. I am thinking he might want to keep Patch for a little while and if he does they want Patch there between 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. Jedd works both mornings. I might have to call Dad and have him break away from my Granny for a bit. I sure wish we could pinpoint what is going on. I am going to mention/ask Doc C if we need to do any x-rays or ultrasounds.

I love Patch so much! I am thankful that he has stayed with us through Christmas, New Years, His birthday, Valentine’s Day, and Jedd’s birthday.

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The Results Are In

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Finally~I have received the results of Patch’s biopsy.  For those that don’t know what is going on: Please see my Dogs Page to read posts about Patch and the up and down roller coaster ride we have been on. Patch in Review really sums up this roller coaster ride. I am going to show you the read out from the lab. There are many terms I do not understand and I will link these terms to my Internet research. This is Chinese to me. I hope you can understand this-LOL!

Biopsy

Description: The submitted lymph node is infiltrated by macrophages and the paracortex and medullary cords are expanded by medium to high numbers of plasma cells. Multifocally, infiltrates of low to medium numbers of neutrophils are also present.

Diagnosis: Lymph Node: Lymphadenitis, granulomatous, diffuse, moderate, with multifocal suppurative inflammation.

Comments: The submitted specimens was most consistent with granulomatous lymphadenitis. The cause was not evident. The low numbers of neutrophils might also have supported pyogranulomatous inflammation that is a finding associated with canine ehrlichiosis. Correlation with the patient history and other clinical findings is suggested to rule out that condition. I did not find any neoplastic lymphoid cells, but continued close observation of this patient would be prudent. A fair and good prognosis is suggested.

Also~during more research, I have found that there are numbers of reasons dogs have enlarged lymph nodes~not necessarily lymphoma.  IMO-just like humans. The diagnosis is much better than the first diagnosis we received: lymphoma.  At this point, it IS NOT lymphoma!  Patch is OFF of the Prednisone and has been for almost three weeks.  Doc C and many others said not to give him Ibuprofen anymore. Patch took Ibuprofen for the very first week this sickness started.  Doc also said not to give him Tramadol right now either. Patch has been off of it for a week.  Doc C prescribed an antibiotic, Tetracycline-100mg, to take twice a day for three weeks. I just want to call Old Doc and ask him some questions, but I believe I will leave it alone.  Your thoughts on this?

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers during this wild and crazy journey. We really appreciate it and you mean so much to us! I am still researching this because it is really confusing to me. I will add links when I find more. I would appreciate any feedback or more info anyone has on this diagnosis.

                      

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Crazy Friday

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 Hello! Sorry I haven’t posted this earlier. I fell asleep at 8:30 p.m. and didn’t budge until 12:30 a.m~Yesterday was a very hard day~nervous~school-wild~and Patch coming home. This is an update on Patch (see Dogs Page~Patch~ to read the whole story) and his  biopsy of a lymph node to determine if he REALLY does have lymphoma.

Thursday Night,February 8: First of all~We scheduled Patch’s biopsy for Friday because Jedd was off that morning.  Well~Thursday night he informs me that he has to work Friday morning. Great! He works from 7:00 – 10:00 a.m. (He has the best hours-Store Owner-lol). Patch is supposed to be at the Vet before 10:00 a.m. Jedd says he can get him there by 10:30 a.m. I tell him there are probably reasons why he is supposed to be there before 10:00 a.m. I am wondering what to do. I call Dad (of course-he’s my right hand man) to see what he can do to help me in case I need him.  Luckily he is coming to town Friday morning anyway to see my Granny (she has been in the hospital all week-she’s 91 years old).  Dad says he can help if necessary. I have to call the Vet to see what I need to do.

Friday Morning, February 9:

7:30 a.m.: This is Patch when I left him to go to school. I loved on him for 5 minutes telling him it would be ok and how much I loved him. He never changed positions~or wagged his tail. *sniff* It was like he knew what he was going to do today. I took this with my cell phone~so I could send it to Dad and show fellow teachers at work.  My phone doesn’t take the best pictures or the operator doesn’t know how-lol.

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7:40 a.m.:  Ok~so I am driving to school and call my Dad at to tell him they that I will probably need him (called Vet and no answer~will call back after 8:00 a.m. after I do talk to the Vet) and he starts talking away~I have to cut him off and say I gotta go~school starts now…The beginning of my crazy day!

7:45 a.m.:  I go in school and pick up my kids (supposed to pick up kids at 7:45 a.m.). We go to the classroom and the clock says 7:46 a.m. I am in panic mode because we have announcements and I tell the children doing announcements to drop their things and get in line-panicking thinking we are late. Then I realize we have 5 minutes~or do we?~what time are announcements? I ask a teacher passing by “My mind is blank what time do we  have announcements? 7:55 a.m. I’ve done this every school day for 6 and 1/2 years (minus six days). I am a crazy wreck knowing I have to call Vet in a bit while I am with the kids that I just went delirious on morning routines-aaaahhhh. Plus a child that left on Thursday to go to another school happened to return on Friday for his last day instead of Thursday.  This is great~I have already removed his name from everything. He’s not gonna be happy. I believe I ate a “Bowl of Stupid” this morning. Anywho~announcements~then we go to the restroom.

8:10 a.m.:  I have to stay in the boys’ restroom each time because I have 4 boys and sometimes 2 more that do the most amazing things in there-lol. I ask them to be very quiet as I call patch’s Doc…and they did-WOW! Called Vet and she said it was important that Patch be there before 10:00 a.m. to be sedated and have biopsy before lunch when more appointments arrive. She said to let her know if he had to be late. I called Dad-he didn’t answer-while the boys were being so quiet-oh boy.

8:30 a.m.:  Dad calls while we are in the classroom~children didn’t freeze like they should~wild and crazy this morning. Anywho~I tell Dad I need him to take Patch and I am telling him where the Vet is (that night I realized I  had told him the wrong street) and stumbling on my words-told him to call Jedd if he needed to. Dad texts me in a bit to tell me Patch is at the Vet and he would be ready at 3:30 p.m.

Friday Afternoon: I leave school before the buses leave so I can go home and get Patch’s car and go pick him up. I get to the Vet and I hear him immediately. I tell the lady at the desk that I will get him in the car and then take care of business.  She says that we can do business first and then they will get Patch. Other lady comes out and I tell her “I hear Patch”. She says, “Are you sure, there are a lot of dogs back there. Which one is yours”? I tell her, “The dalmatian”. She says, “Oh, yes your right”. I tell her, “He usually doesn’t bark or even howl that much”. She says, ” Yeah, I believe he started the howling and the rest followed. He was a really good patient”. Then she goes in the back and returns with him. Aaaaahhh~still haven’t taken care of business. I tell the other lady I would be right back.

Getting in the Car: When I took Patch to the car, he tried to jump in and didn’t make it. I was about to go back in and ask the Vet to help me get him in the car when he tried to jump in again. He fell half in and half out and I had to help him in. Aaaahhhh! So I went back in and paid for the visit and waited to speak to the Doc.

Talked to Doc:  Doc came out and told me that Patch was a great dog and patient. He said that in his opinion, if it were lymphoma Patch’s lymph nodes would have enlarged since he had been off of the prednisone for a week.  He informed me of what they did and that the stitches would dissolve. He said to keep Patch on tramadol (he has been taking for pain) and call if I needed anything. We also chit chatted about some of his old school buddies that my Dad is great friends with now. He said the results should be back in about a week and to call in a week if he hasn’t called me.

Drunk Dog: While driving home I kept hearing Patch fall into the seat. I finally looked back and he had decided to sit down and hang his head out of the window. Only took 11 years-lol. When we get home, he jumps out of the car hitting his side on the way out.  Then we walk around the yard so he can go to do his business.  When we come into the house, he stumbles in and about misses the steps going up to the kitchen (2 small steps). This is when I realize that he is “drunk” from the medication.  He walks around and his back legs give in a few times. He runs into his bedroom and tries to jump on his bed and falls off.  He immediately tries again and falls off. Aaaaahhhh. I close all of the bedroom doors so he won’t do this again and he gets on his ottoman after 3 tries and I sit with him so he will not be up and around.

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Patch is doing fine. This post has taken me all day-lol. Went to a wedding shower at my Aunt’s house. Then I went to my Granny’s to see her and my Dad.(she just got out of the hospital). She is catching up on rest since you can’t sleep at a hospital. My Dad is staying with her. While I was there, I got to visit with my Uncle who has cancer. He wasn’t at my Aunt’s either because her husband is sick and my Uncle is taking chemo and doesn’t need to be around sickness. TMI-I know…rambling on and on. Fingers crossed for Patchy Poo!

Patch in Review

SUMMARY OF PATCH

Symptoms~sickness~vet visits~diagnosis’~and my ramblings

(I created this document to take to the New Doc)

  • Thanksgiving 2007: Patch is sick. He begins trembling/shaking (assumed it was pain)
  • VET-Monday, December 3, 2007: Doc H 
    • Said Patch has arthritis/pinched nerve in back
    • Gave him shot for pain and prescribed one 200mg ibuprofen a day
    • (Nose was slightly bleeding but I thought it was where Patch “fixes” his bed with his nose)
    • Monday night and Tuesday: nose is bleeding more and more when Patch sneezes
    • Wednesday: Patch is sneezing violently and blood is spewing out
  • VET-Thursday, December 6, 2007: Doc H was out-saw Doc R
    • She said might be something lodged in his nose or maybe grass seed…possibly a tumor
    • She prescribed Clavamox-said try first because Patch won’t like tests they might have to do
  • Friday, December 7, 2007: Called Doc H to make sure of what to do-Patch wasn’t doing too good. Doc H said to continue Clavamox (powerful meds) and try to tough it out over the weekend and call on Monday. He also said Patch could take two 200 mg ibuprofen a day.
  • VET-Monday, December 10, 2007: Patch still isn’t better and now has sores on his legs/feet where the bones/joints are. He has already been through staph a few times. Doc H at 8:30 a.m.
    • Called Jedd at 10:30 a.m. and Jedd tells me: “Patch has fatty tumors-Doc H said the one on his neck had grown the size of a golf ball. Has to have x-rays, biopsy of fatty tumor, blood work and a scope in his nose”
    • Tests performed that day:
      • Anesthesia injection-telazol
      • X-Ray Basic – what did it show?
      • CBC with differential
      • Histo/Blasto Lab
      • Tick Serology Panel
      • Jedd brings Patch home and he says: Doesn’t look good…he mentioned a mass in his neck. I’m not sure if he meant another mass or the fatty tumor.
      • Doc H prescribed one 20mg prednisone a day along with the clavamox-no more ibuprofen
  • Following few days: Patch seems to be doing better. Nose isn’t bleeding as much. Still having trouble getting around: arthritis? pinched nerve? medications? Sickness? Does he have various health problems all at once? He seems to have a hard time swallowing and breathing
  • Friday, December 14, 2007: Doc H calls at 4:30 p.m. and tells me this
    • Histo/Blasto test negative
    • The “thing” in his nose is a tumor (cancer)
    • Wants Patch to come in on Monday so he can biopsy sores and biopsy the growth on his lymph node (I thought he said lymph node)
    • Surgery in his nose is really not an option-due to the severity and Patch’s age
  • VET-Monday, December 17, 2007: Doc H
    • Biopsy of shoulder/neck area (shaved with incision)
    • Biopsy of sore on foot (bandaged)
    • Continue prednisone
  • Next few days: Patch seems to be doing worse-incision oozing and more sores with bleeding, still sneezing with blood. He mainly sneezes when he goes outside. Isn’t jumping on bed or getting in car (favorite thing to do). Hard time going up and down stairs. Some difficulty breathing and swallowing.
  • Friday, December 21, 2007: I called Doc H and he says:
    • Sores are not cancerous-just don’t know what they are
    • Tumor (is it a tumor, fatty tumor, tumor on lymph node?) on neck is not cancerous and still waiting on another test result on it.
    • Tumor in the nose-can’t really biopsy it-too difficult and shouldn’t put Patch through it
    • Patch has been in a lot of pain-stayed up two nights with him crying in pain-he couldn’t lay down.
    • Doc H called in Tramadol for pain-50 mg pills-can give one or two twice a day-we give one 50mg Tramadol twice a day.
  • Next few days: Patch has diarrhea. Not sure if it is from the sickness, the meds, or the food we switched him to (canned food)-he was having a hard time swallowing hard food. We switched the food again to chewy kibbles and that seemed to fix the problem. Still sneezing with bloody nose. He is jumping on beds now.
    • I called Vet back to see if the last test result came back and lady said results are the same-what does that mean?
    • Thursday, December 27, 2007: still has sores
  • VET-Wednesday, January 2, 3008: Doc H-5th visit in a month
    • Confirmed it was lymphoma
    • We had felt spots in his neck that were growing (lymph nodes)
    • Doc H felt behind legs and in groin area where more lymph nodes are and confirmed growth there too
    • He also felt Patch’s spleen and liver and informed us they are enlarged too: what does that mean? Shouldn’t an X-Ray be performed to diagnose enlarged spleen and liver?
    • Patch has lost 5 pounds in the last month
  • The following week: Patch improves tremendously. No more nose bleeds-sores are healed up-jumps on beds and goes up and down stairs fine-is getting in car and riding now-walks us instead of us walking him-playing with his babies. I am still confused: Why doesn’t Doc H persuade me to seek an oncologist-maybe because of his age. When I research lymphoma there are different types. Patch has enlarged lymph nodes, something wrong with his nose, and skin problems. Are these all related? What does it mean if his spleen and liver are enlarged? Gotta get a second opinion.
  • Thursday, January 17, 2008: Patch can’t poop. He goes out every 15 minutes and gets in position but can’t poop. I was up with him all night doing this. He did vomit once-outside-thought that might help-didn’t.
  • Friday, January 18, 2008: Called Doc H-spoke to a lady-told her about Patch’s no-poop situation.
    • She said to put grease on his food-bacon-vegetable oil.
    • She said Doc H was going to have surgery-two hernias-he would call if he could
    • Doc R-other vet there-called me that afternoon
      • I asked her: Why hasn’t Doc H told me to pursue other treatments? Is it the stage of the disease? Is it because of Patch’s age? Cost?
      • She explained that I could pursue other treatments but there isn’t a cure and treatments can be costly and have side effects too (went into more detail)
      • Then she asks me: Is it B Cell or T Cell? I don’t know. I told her when she found out to let me know.
  • Next few days: Did the vegetable oil and it worked. Patch can poop now. Researched more. Studied prednisone and prednisolone. Should Patch be on prednisolone instead since prednisone can be hard on the liver and his liver is enlarged? Whatever that means? Called Vet back and asked was it B Cell or T cell. The lady said that Doc R looked at the tests and she couldn’t read them (she is the one that asked me about this and put the question in my head). Lady said when Doc H checked in he would look again and let me know. I have not heard from them since.
  • Monday, January 28: Called new vet-Doc C
  • VET-Thursday, January 31, 2008: Doc C-1st visit:
    • No test results of cancer or lymohoma (went into great detail describing the tests and results) We decided to do the following:
    • stop prednisone and take antibiotic-come back in a week to biopsy a lymph node (necessary to truely diagnose lymphoma)
  • Following Week: Patch is snorting more (not really sneezing)-has had a hard time taking pills a couple of times. Wednesday and Thursday: seems to not be feeling so good. Got sick Thursday night.
    • Nose-snorting
    • Some difficulty breathing (throat?)
    • Has a few sores and two dark spots in lower abdomen/groin area
    • What kind of diet should he be on?
    • Breath and teeth look and smell horrible (had them detailed-cleaned last year I believe) possibly medication?
  • Friday, February 8, 2008: Doc C-biopsy of lymph node and any other tests necessary…to be continued

Praying for Patch now~going in the morning to have a biopsy.

*edited 2-10-08: Continuation~See: Crazy Friday

New Doc for Patch

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This is an update about my dalmatian, Patch, who got sick at the end of November.  On January 3 he was diagnosed with lymphoma.  About a week later he miraculously improved. Then we went through a few nights of “I Can’t Poop” and fixed that problem so “I Can Poop“.

Whew! Ok~here goes. 

Monday: I called another Vet in my town.  I told a lady a short version of  Patch’s story and told her I just wanted to have another Doc look at Patch’s test results and explain to me exactly what is going on.  I explained that I wasn’t going to pursue chemo.  She explained to me that they send their tests to the same lab and that they wouldn’t perform the same tests.  I told her I knew that and I didn’t want to put Patch through all of that again (DUH!), but I wanted a second opinion to ease my mind. She told me they would call Patch’s Doc and have them fax over the info. She got my number and said she would call me back.

That afternoon after school I called back to inquire if they had received Patch’s info.  I talked to another lady so I had to go through the same speech.  She also took my info and number and said she would call back.

Wednesday:  I had a short break away from the kids.  I was making copies and had about five minutes left before picking up the kiddies.  I called the new Vet back to see if they had any info for me~surely they have the info by now.  Second lady answered the phone and said she is so glad I called because she somehow misplaced my number.  She was reading info from Patch’s tests results and said “This isn’t cancer…there are no signs of cancer with these results”.  I began to cry a little and told her “Please do not say that, unless you are absolutely sure.  Let the Doc look this over and he can explain this when we come in”.

I made an appointment for the following afternoon for Patch to visit New Doc so he could look at his ears and give me feedback on the info from the previous Doc.  Second Lady wanted me to just drop him off on the a.m. and I could come back that afternoon to pick him up.  I told her “No~Patch had been to the Doc 5 times within 5 weeks and 2 of those times had to stay all day.  I wasn’t gonna just drop him off for the day at a New Doc…not just yet”.

Thursday: I met Jedd and Patch at the New Vet.  Patch went on in-lol~didn’t realize where he was at.  He also went on in the examining room.  After I shut the door behind us (a habit now) is when he realized something was up-hehe.  Anywho New Doc was talking away in medical terms about there are no signs of cancer…I was like-slow down-in english please.  Anywho~I actually got to see pieces of paper (proof of tests) with the results.  New Doc explained to me what everything meant. 

He said there are no signs of cancer and to diagnose lymphoma, you would have to aspirate, or biopsy, a lymph node.  I said “Well, I’m not a docter, but uh-duh~that makes perfect sense”.  I explained to him how things got started with his nose and the bleeding and he explained the possible reasons/causes of this.  He also said that if it was a tumor in Patch’s nose~this wouldn’t be lymphoma~it would possibly be nasal cancer. New Doc explained so much more about these results, but don’t want to babble on too long.

I am dumbfounded with all of this info and I am prodding the doc to suggest to me what to do.  I said “So shouldn’t we biopsy a lymph node”?  He says “if he were my dog I definitely would”.  Thank you~straight up answers!  Of course, the whole time Patch is just wandering around the room and in the back talking away…dragging Jedd around-lol.  I ask Jedd what he thinks~you know Jedd~just there.  He says “I don’t know, whatever you want to do…yada-yada”. 

To make a long story shorter~New Doc says to take Patch off of steroids (prednisone) for a week.  Put him on an antibiotic for a week.  Come back in a week and he will perform a biospy on a lymph node.

My Analysis of the Whole Ordeal:  Why did Previous Doc diagnose Patch with lymphoma? Maybe he is that good~he can just feel the lymph nodes and knows.  Maybe he ruled out all other issues and decided it was lymphoma.  He still may be right~but I have to know for sure!  If this isn’t lymphoma, Patch has been on steroids for almost two months and that can’t be good for him.

I still feel bad for going to a New Doc, but Old Doc is out recovering from hernia surgery and I also need peace of mind knowing I did get a second opinion.

Oh ya~the ear problem~normal for Patch’s age~an autoimmune thing.  I am also gonna get a copy of these results for myself.  We also weighed Patch and he gained 2 pounds~yeah! (Not that it matters for him-little overweight anyway-but we sure didn’t want to lose more right now).

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Fingers crossed for a week! Things that make you go hhhhhmmmmm.

I Can Poop, But…

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Hey All! Thank you for your concern about Patch inI Can’t Poop!Here is an update:

I called the Doc and talked to his wife.  She said to put grease on his food: bacon, vegetable oil…She told me that Doc was going into surgery (HE is having surgery) in a bit: two hernias~probably from lifting animals.  She said if he had time (he was leaving in 30 minutes) he would call back. 

Another Vet there called me later that afternoon.  I asked her the question that had been on my mind:  Why hasn’t Doc told me to pursue other treatments?  Is it because of the stage of the disease, Patch’s age, the cost???  I like to try to analyze things all the time.  She explained that I could pursue further treatments~but there isn’t a cure~and treatments can be costly and have side effects too (she did go into detail).  She also asked me what type of lymphoma is it-B-Cell, T-cell?  I don’t know?  I told her when she found out, to let me know. I really love Doc and trust him, but do I need to see another Vet right now?  I really would like to just sit and talk to another Vet-talk and ask and ask and talk…Anyone? Anyone?

Ok~so I get home and put vegetable oil on Patch’s food.  This helps tremendously! Patch CAN POOP NOW!  BUT, when he gets in “pee” position (he squats now) and he isn’t peeing (when he does pee-he floods-side effect of the meds I think) blood is coming out-not in a stream either.  The blood is thick-phlegm-like.  GREAT!  What do I do now?  Patch has had urinary infections before where he had blood in his urine-do I need an antibiotic or is this disease related?

I have met another friend, Patty, via wvcobere’s blog (my friend that lost her precious Bill two weeks ago) that is going through the same thing.  She has told me about the meds her dog is on.  He is on Prednisolone, Tramadol, Amoxicillin, and Theophylline. At first I thought Patty misspelled prednisone~prednisolone.  NOPE~that’s right.  So I begin to research prednisolone-researching now.  I just came across an article about the side effects of prednisone (the drug Patch is on) and read this:

Prednisone must be converted to prednisolone in the liver. Animals in hepatic failure should receive prednisolone rather than prednisone.  GREAT!  Doc had said at the last visit that Patch’s liver and spleen are enlarged.  I don’t know what this means-if Patch has liver problems or what. Should he be on prednisolone instead?

OK! I am one to talk about too many things at once, talk to myself and answer back, and always asking questions out loud.  I hope I haven’t thoroughly confused everyone now.  Especially with the prednisone and prednisolone-I know I am REALLY confused-aaaaahhhhhh-lol.

Bottom Line: Patch is doing better~pooping now.  Friday night and last night were much more peaceful-sleeping now-both of us.  Thanks again for all of your thoughts and prayers.

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Do you have any ideas, thoughts, or suggestions for me?

I Can’t Poop!

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Patch is having a hard time tonight. 

If you don’t know about Patch and his sickness, you can click on the links to read previous posts to catch you up on the story.

I have been meaning to call the Doc to discuss treatment options for lymphomashould I pursue cancer treatments-yada yada.  Then, as most of you know, Patch started doing so much better (Miracle Patch).

 Anywho~Patch is having a hard time tonight.  I believe he is constipated.  He paces around and wants to go outside.  When we go outside, he squats (hasn’t hiked in awhile) to pee and nothing happens.  Then he squats to poop (since he has been sick, he poops and walks at the same time) and stays in one place, like he used to do-but nothing happens. 

Fifteen minutes later we go through the whole process again…and again…and again…I took him out about 30 minutes ago and he threw up all over the driveway. Thank goodness he made it outside.  He also did the no pee/no poop move.  We went out about 15 minutes ago and he repeated the no pee/poop move. 

Patch is laying down now and seems to feel better-hopefully.  I WILL definitely be calling Doc in the a.m. to discuss what I have wanted to discuss all along, to inform him of his progress, and of course, tell him about tonight.  I so hope he is better in the a.m.~I don’t want to take him to the Doc again-he so hates it now.

Again, I want to thank everyone for your thoughts and prayers! Please keep them coming. 

p.s.  I apologize for not being here as often.  School’s back in session: report cards, testing, meetings…Also have been visiting various relatives that have had various health issues going on.

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Miracle Patch

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Just wanted to update everyone on Patch.  For those of you that don’t know about Patch~he is my 11 year old dalmatian.  Patch got sick about seven weeks ago.  He was diagnosed with lymphoma on January 3, 2008. You can catch up on the history behind this story by clicking those links to his previous stories.

Sickness: So~after Patch’s diagnosis I became an emotional wreck.  Last week Patch has been improving tremendously! When he sneezes there isn’t ANY blood! His sores are healing up quite nicely.  He doesn’t lick his sores or the incision anymore.  His incision has completely healed up~just waiting for the hair to grow back.  He jumps on his bed and sleeps.  He has been jumping on our bed~when Jedd is there.  He still doesn’t sleep on our bed during the day like he used to.

Car Rides:  In the last six weeks, Patch has been to the Doc five times.  This is the only time he has been in the car for car rides.  His car and his daily/sometimes two or three times daily car rides are his favorite thing to do. He seems to have a hard time getting in the car.  We are also worried that he is now associating the car with the Doc~not a good thing. Yesterday, he got in the car without any help (treats). Hopefully he will get in the car this morning to do his normal Sunday morning routine: Go with Jedd to open up the store.

Bath Place: After Patch got into the car I took him to Bath (he wasn’t in need of a bath) because I thought that Miss Bath Lady might want to see him and I thought Patch might want to see his buddies.  When we got there, Patch hesitated about going in…he was trying to decide is this a good place or the Doc’s place?  He decided on the first and went in.  Miss Bath Lady met us and I explained everything that Patch has been going through. Then she took Patch to the back~well for some reason he wouldn’t go to the back so I went with them and when we got behind the door he seemed fine.  It was amazing to see him with cats coming up to him.  He didn’t bother them at all~they were all buddies…whew!  Anywho, I told Miss Bath Lady to call me if things didn’t work out.  Jedd went to pick Patch up after he got off of work and brought him home.  Patch didn’t get a bath~Miss Bath Lady said she couldn’t get him in the tub and she was afraid she was hurting him-he had yelped some.  I felt horrible for putting him through that but after much love and attention Patch forgave me.  I still think it was a good thing because he went for a ride and the ride didn’t end up at Doc’s.

Babies: Patch loves his babies~dog toys.  He isn’t into the plastic/rubber ones but the fleece stuffed animal type.  He hasn’t acknowledged his babies for the last seven weeks.  We assumed that it was because he hasn’t felt good and it might be harder for him to breath with something in his mouth.  Last night I got a baby and squeaked it and Patch took it from me.  He began squeaking it and slinging it around.  This brought joyous tears to my eyes.  He also began running around with his baby and I blocked any furniture for fear of him hitting his head…he is still wobbly/dizzy probably from his medications.

I have more pictures but they are huge and I have to figure out how to downsize them. I want to thank everyone that has been with us through this ordeal. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, kind words, and well wishes.  Please continue to pray for Patch as we journey through this ordeal.  Lymphoma is not a curable disease…we have just been blessed with the medications/prayers/miracles to prolong his life.

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Diagnosis~Lymphoma

                                                                      

This story is a continuation of my dalmatian, Patch and his illness. 

We went to the Doc for the 5th time in a month yesterday.  The Doc confirmed that it is lymphoma.  We had felt spots in his throat that were growing~these are his lymph nodes.  Doc also felt behind his legs and in his groin area where more lymph nodes are and confirmed growth there too.  He also felt Patch’s spleen and liver and informed us they are enlarged. Patch has lost 5 pounds in the last month~doesn’t seem like much but he is eating all of the time-his meds increase his appetite and water intake.

This is so difficult to even type right now.  I have researched lymphoma and found out that Patch is in Stage IV.  I also discovered there are many drugs and treatments out there for dogs with lymphoma.  I have so many questions-aaaahhhhh! I feel that Doc doesn’t pursue further treatment possibly because of Patch’s age, the cost, and how far along the cancer is-I don’t know!  I asked the Doc “When will I know it is time”?  He responded with “Patch will let you know”. 

Patch doesn’t seem that sick~He wags his tail constantly and eats regularly.  I know he isn’t in any pain right now.  He doesn’t tremble or cry in pain anymore-thanks to the current meds.  I just can’t help but think: Should I be doing more?  Do I need a second opinion?  I just want to scream…and all I do now is cry-and cry-and cry.

I have been deciding on a Plan of Action for when the time comes.  Do I bury him?  Do I cremate him and keep the ashes? Do I cremate him and scatter his ashes?  I value other’s opinion on this decision and have talked to some friends and family.  Jedd still won’t tell me his thoughts.  This is really bothering him too.  He and Patch have been together for almost 3 years and they are so close.

I have a friend, wvbocere, I met via WordPress that is going through the same thing.  We really didn’t realize that our “children” are battling the same battle until yesterday.  I believe her dog is further along in his battle and I am seeing our future through her and her baby. I hope she doesn’t mind I do this. Here are the links to her dog’s story:

Reflections on a Dog’s Final Days 

A Difficult Journey

They are in need of thoughts and prayers too.

Thanks to everyone that have sent their thoughts and prayers our way.  We really appreciate it.  It means so much to us!

WOOF!

Patch Gets Sick

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My 11 year old dalmatian, Patch, is sick. A few weeks ago he began this trembling/shaking thing. This can be a sign of pain. So last Monday we took him to the vet and Doc said he has arthritis/pinched nerve in his back. His nose had been bleeding too-I just thought he was arranging his bed with his nose and that was why it was bleeding. Anywho-the Doc gave him a shot for his pain and prescribed 1 ibuprofen a day. Well Monday night and Tuesday his nose began bleeding more. By Wednesday-he was sneezing violently causing his nose to bleed more and also spewing it everywhere. (Thank goodness doggy blood comes out easy) Thursday morning he went to the vet and saw Doc’s daughter who is also a veterinarian (Doc was off on Thursday). She said there might be something lodged in his nose…maybe grass seed. She gave him some meds for his nose and said try this first because Patch won’t like what they might have to do to him. While Patch was at the vet I was researching “Why do dog noses bleed?”? I found out that it could be caused by an obstruction or possibly a tumor. Doc’s daughter also said it might be a tumor and he might have to come back for X-rays. I called Patch’s vet Friday and asked Doc what to do because I worried about him having trouble over the weekend. He told me to tough it out if I could and continue the meds and call Monday. He was very nice about it and knew I was worried-he asked me three times would I be able to handle it through the weekend and let’s see how the powerful meds work. He also said I could give Patch 2 ibuprofen a day. He isn’t better and now I have found sores on his feet-where the bones come out like an ankle…He has already had staph. He is so miserable right now. I am too.

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