Category: dogblr

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They were playing in our riding ring and suddenly Bjorn booked it up to the house to find his pickle toy, and brought it back down to Keena to play “keep away”

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An example of some of the meals I’ve made over the months.

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Cause there’s always something.

Woke up to Lola throwing up, turned the light on to discover it was brown liquid that smelled sorta like blood. She was acting like herself and seemed hungry so I gave her a small breakfast which she threw up again so. Vet visit time!

Basically we narrowed it down to an ulcer or possible piece of glass. About a week ago I had put my lunch in a jar to take to work (kitchen Reno’s are fun) and Bjorn knocked it over in my bag on the floor and they both started checking it out so I was worried she maybe ingested a small piece of glass. Which of course doesn’t show up on xrays or ultrasound, she would need to go to a different clinic like 2 hours away for a scope. We decided to give her the ulcer medication and see how she does tonight or tomorrow before proceeding. She’s been acting normal and back to herself all day and has kept dinner down so fingers crossed this is all she needs 😬

Hard to believe he had such a terrible cancer …

Hard to believe he had such a terrible cancer while looking so good

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Kilo 

Kilo 

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Winter riding

Kilo and HSA

I did this on IG and thought I’d do a post on here highlighting the symptoms Kilo had and generally what happened in the hopes that it might help someone else someday. Long post under the cut

In January 2018 after a snowshoe up at the ski resort I noticed Kilo more tired on the drive back than he usually would have been. He was not a snuggly dog so this was new. 

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In the beginning of Feb I was throwing his ball and suddenly he started walking it back, and seemed very tired to the point he wouldn’t chase his ball. No other change but he rested all evening and was back to normal the next day. A couple of days later, his abdomen started getting distended and was squishy/fluid filled.

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I took him to the vet and he has a full exam, fecal, urinalysis, bloodwork etc done. Everything came back looking good except he had some hookworms but nothing worrying. He was dewormed and had an abdomimal ultrasound/xray booked.

He was back to normal, no lethargy or anything apart from one ride in the snow where he fell back as opposed to leading the way like normal. Right before his ultrasound,  his abdomen went back to normal.

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His abdominal ultrasound and xrays came back clear, and he had gone back to normal so we didn’t think a lot of it. He was very active, coming on rides almost every day, up to three rides a day (in the deep snow) with no trouble keeping up. March went by with no issues.

In beginning of April while he was in the car I noticed he was panting in the backseat despite it being cold. Not panting very hard, just enough that I thought it was odd but chalked it up to some stress since I had been in the store. 

A few days later we went for a ride and after he vomited up some water and seemed a bit lethargic again. He would still get up to follow me everywhere, just seemed tired.

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The next week I went out to throw his ball. I only threw it a couple of times before he laid down and couldn’t get back up as seen in the short video below. He was rushed to the vet. Blood looked good, chest xray showed slightly englarged heart. Vet suspected Addisons. Was given Vetmedin and told to monitor him throughout the night. He was fine the next day but had another brief lethargic episode a couple days later. We had to wait a couple weeks to get back in with the ultrasound specialist. During this time he had an ECG done which came back clear. 

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On the way to his echocardiogram he was his regular self, just a bit more quiet. Up until then he was mostly himself, still up for playing but we kept it easy. He had to be sedated for the echo which was really hard on his heart. He was diagnosed with a tumor on his heart (cardiac hemangiosarcoma). Vet told me to make arrangements to put him down or do it that day. I opted to take him home. He was so lethargic they had to wheel him on a gurney out to our car and I had to pick him up to put him on my bed.

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Knowing he could go at any time, I didn’t leave his side over the next two weeks. I took him back to our regular vet for options to keep him comfortable palliatively (if his enlarged abdomen became hard and painful for him it could be drained etc but that was never an issue for him). I also consulted with a holistic vet who put together a package of supplements to include in his food and started him on his cancer diet. We knew there was no cure, but just wanted to keep him comfortable.

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We also got a ramp to use to limit the amount of jumping up/down that could trigger a bleed. Kilo had a few days where he was lethargic, but didn’t seem in pain or uncomfortable.

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His abdomen became distended again as seen above. His ribs were still visible and he was losing weight so you could see ribs yet he had the bigger tummy.

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I kept track of his vitals every day and also kept track of the size of his belly to determine if it was getting worse or not. 

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He was still able to do some of the things he loved such as going to the lake.

May 14th he suffered a bleed at the lake (one minute he was swimming around having fun the next he was collapsed on the beach with pale gums). I rushed him home and gave him an emergency red pill (yuunan baiyao) that helps stop bleeding. Colour returned to his gums but it took an hour or two until he was able to get out of the car. 

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Pale gums from bleed

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He rested that night and had no appetite. The next morning he was very weak, (which is normal after a bleed, it can take time to regain strength). He still got up when he heard me feed Lola or tried to get up when I grabbed my car keys. 

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Kilo passed away the next morning. It’s possible that his tumor suddenly ruptured as he seemed to be doing okay. He was surrounded by family at least and it was very sudden.

HSA is a super aggressive cancer that often shows no signs until they’re dying or already dead. There is nothing you can do really unless you catch it super early, but as it’s cancer in the blood vessels its very hard to prevent it from spreading. Some dogs have lived up to 2+ years with it with very careful management and supplements but with it being on his heart it already made it difficult for his heart to function properly.

I was in denial at first since he was acting like himself 90% of the time. We would spend hours on the trails in the deep snow and he didn’t even falter, so it was hard to comprehend he had this awful cancer. He never had health issues and always was so healthy so it was hard to lose him so young. He was turning 8 the month he died.

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