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Riley's blog

12 1/2 year old German Shorthair Pointer

Riley's blog

Getting around pretty well

May 3rd, 2017 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

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Riley is now six days post surgery, and getting around very well on her own.  She was quite active yesterday, and moving around the house a fair amount.

Per a suggestion on this blog, I made her a snuffle mat and she has been having fun with it.  I really think this activity is good for her, as she is very excited when we give her the mat.  Sniffing out the buried kibble keeps her occupied for a while, and provides some mental stimulation.  Additionally, I took her out in the stroller today, so she got to experience a little more of the larger world.  This is a bicycle trailer that can also transport two toddlers.  Prior to her surgery, we had several outings in it so that she would be acclimated to the stroller.

Her is a picture of Riley from last week, before her surgery.  She rides in the stroller like the queen she is!

Somehow, Riley has pulled out a staple.  I emailed a photo to the surgeon’s office, and they aren’t too worried, but advised us to keep it under observation.  The swelling in her remaining rear leg has gone down, and belly bruising is much diminished.  So, all in all, we are most pleased with her recovery.

Preliminary pathology report confirms cancer.  The lymph node was clear.  Yay!

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Day three, and bored already

April 30th, 2017 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

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Three days post surgery, and Riley is doing very well.  The bruising on her belly is less than after the prior surgery, and she is fairly ambulatory.  In fact, we are having trouble getting her to stay down.  She wants to cruise through the house, and isn’t settling very well at all.

How do you keep a dog entertained after surgery?  She has started to whine and “talk” a fair amount.  It’s the same vocalizing that she does (and has always done!) to remind us that it’s nearly time for dinner.  Last night she whined and looked pointedly at a toy.  When I brought it to her, she happily gnawed on it for the next ten minutes.  We are creating a monster!  But it’s nice that she is feeling well enough to play with toys.  Prior to her surgery, she largely ignored the same toy, even with peanut butter smeared on it.

There is always the possibility that she is showing pain, although I suspect not.  She is getting either Tramadol or Gabapentin every four hours, round the clock.  I know that her surgery medications are wearing off, but I still don’t think it’s pain.  She is bright looking, and very alert.  More so than last week.  Riley has always been a tremendous chow hound, and if we feed her now, she quiets down.  Even giving her ice appeases her.  I think that she is just bored.  It helped a little to make a cozy nest for her in the kitchen, so that she could supervise dinner preparation.  For years, I have cooked dinner over the top of Riley, and it was probably nice for her to resume the practice.  It doesn’t hurt that I occasionally drop food…

When we take her outside to relieve herself, after doing her business she likes to just hang out and sniff the breeze.  However, she won’t lie down on a rug we have there.  How much of this standing around is too much?  One of us is always beside her, to steady her if needed.

Could really use some ideas for ways to keep Riley happy.  I have a doggie puzzle that I’m going to try next.


Day 2

April 28th, 2017 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

We picked up Riley yesterday.  She hopped out to greet us, and her tail was wagging.  She needs help, but the harness has been very useful.  We can steady her and help her up as needed.  It was surprising how much more alert she was than after surgery in February.  She was looking around expectantly on the ride home, so we fed her some kibble, and she ate it all.  There have been no problems with getting her to relieve herself – she goes when she has to.  We just steady her with the harness during the process.

All in all, this is going better than we had hoped.  The surgeon said that Riley received an injected pain blocker of some sort during the surgery, and that it lasts for three days.  When that wears off, it may be a different story.  For now, though, we are grateful that she has this respite from pain.  Currently, Riley is receiving some sort of medication every four hours.  This should help her stay ahead of any pain.  Setting multiple alarms is a small price to pay for that.

It is wonderful to have her back home.


Surgery is done

April 26th, 2017 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

With some misgivings, we dropped Riley off this morning for her amputation surgery.  It went fine, and she’s cruising on pain medications right now.  We expect an update this evening, and we will bring her home tomorrow.  That is when we discover if we are up to the task of taking care of her!

In some ways, it is a relief to have reached this point.  While we are both heartsick that it was necessary, at least it feels like we are moving forward.  Better days from here, I hope.


Hello Tripawds!

April 23rd, 2017 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

Riley is a 12 1/2 year old German Shorthair Pointer.  She had been having trouble with her knee as far back as August 2016, but x-rays didn’t reveal anything, and it just sort of went away.  She was back at the vet in late January, and there was massive swelling in the knee – so much that it was dislocating.  We took her to a specialist, and they pulled 25ccs of fluid out of the joint.  Lab tests showed nothing except severe swelling.

At this point, we opted for exploratory surgery, with a possible kneecap repair if needed.  The surgeon found “lots and lots” of nodules in the leg, but nothing wrong with the kneecap or Riley’s ACL.  Lab tests on all fifteen biopsies came back showing no cancer.  We were elated, if baffled.  A course of antifungal meds (just in case it was valley fever, also she tested negative for that, too), did nothing.  We were back to square one.  We had some of the slides sent to CSU, and the diagnosis came back with synovial sarcoma/histiocytic sarcoma.  Without amputation, the prognosis is very poor.  So, Riley is scheduled for amputation in a couple of days.  Gulp.