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Denali Pupdate as of 10/16/2010
Sunday October 17th 2010, 4:00 pm
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Before I give the official update – it took her 3 1/2 months, but . . . SHE’S WALKING AND STANDING LIKE A TRUE TRIPOD!!!  Her endurance is not that great, but she’s using muscles she hasn’t in 3 1/2 months.

I have been having a hard time getting her to eat since around 10/7/2010. I can get her to take a few bites of wet food here and there, but it’s not a full bowl of food. She sniffs it and just turns her nose up. She’s still taking her pills (wrapped in cream cheese) and eating her peanut butter kong and taking other treats and her ‘beef tablet’ flavored pills.   10/14/2010 her box of Honest Kitchen came in and she’s eating that somewhat ok.

Oct 9 she went for chiropractic care again.  The vet shaved a SMALL spot for me to put Capsaicin-P on her hip because he said that’s the only thing that’s really bothering her.  She’s also been put on ‘routine’ chiro maintenance as her back isn’t really getting out of whack too much.

Oct 12 was the first day she stood like a true Tripod, everything with her walking was like it happened overnight.  I went to bring her in and put her “walmart” sling under her, hoisted her up and she started standing.  So I kept the sling under her, but dropped it so she was bearing all her weight.  She went about 10 feet on her own like that.  As of today (10/16) she is standing up proper and hopping more proper.  She’s still getting the hang of it and you can see her legs shaking under her, but she’s getting it and needs to build up her muscles.

Inside the house she seems really tired and just not 100% herself.  I’m not sure if it’s her allergies, just soreness from using muscles she hasn’t used in a long time, the cancer, or a combination.  She lays in her crate, Loki’s crate or the sunporch mostly.  Outside she acts pretty normal.

Denali got a set of wheels!
Monday September 06th 2010, 8:47 am
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I decided it was time for Denali to get a dog wheel chair because she’s been bunny hopping and not very mobile.  That just can’t be all that healthy.

Saturday morning, I packed Denali up and we made our way to the person that makes the wheel chairs about 45 minutes away.  We got there and Denali was happy to meet a new person (she’s such a loving girl and loves meeting new people and new doggies).  After all the meet and greets, the wheel-chair guy went to work.

He got into the dog-wheel-chair business about 7 years ago with his daughter’s French Bulldog and has been making them as a hobby ever since.  Surprisingly – he had a bone cancer dog that passed away about 3 yrs ago and he adopted a new Tripawd named Tucker.  Tucker was hit by a car and had his rear leg all pinned up, but then infection set in and they had to amputate.  Tucker still didn’t walk right, they found fractures in one of his front legs, pinned those all up and then he was the happy dog that Denali and I got to meet.  His accident was around 3 yrs ago as well – the guy who made Denali’s wheel chair wasn’t really looking for another dog when he got Tucker, it just sort of happened.

So anyways, after talking with him and Getting the wheel chair all adjusted for Denali, we took her for a spin.  She tried to do her normal somersault which of course did not go over too well, and she took her first spill.  We helped her out – hooked her back in and we went back to the shop just to add the extra padding to the wheel chair.  After it was completed, Denali got to meet Tucker.  She followed him around, but couldn’t keep up as she hasn’t had exercise for 2 months!  After a few minutes of playtime, we said or thank-yous, paid or bill and went on our merry way.

On our way to the highway, we passed a McDonalds… my car pulled in and Denali ordered herself an ice cream (ok, maybe I had a little bit more to do with it than I admit).  I gave her 1/2 of a plain vanilla sundae and off we went again – the 45 minute trip home.   Denali was so tuckered out when we got home, she slept and didn’t even go out for another potty break (good thing she went before she got in the car for the ride home).  She’s still been a little too tired to take for a walk to the end of the street or to motor around the back yard right now – hopefully later she’ll perk up a little more.

Short clip of Denali motoring around

Friday 8/6/2010 We Met With The Holistic Vet
Tuesday August 10th 2010, 7:41 pm
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Disclaimer: It’s kind of an inside joke, but most holistic doctor’s I call ‘voodoo doctors’ — ok, it’s not really an inside joke: I had a friend who went to a holistic doctor for herself and she would always say that the holistic doctor worked her ‘voodoo magic’ and made her better after seeing the holistic doctor. So after that it became her ‘Voodoo doctor’ and the name kinda sticks. So, I might interchange Voodoo Vet/Holistic Vet and I don’t mean to offend anybody, it’s just become a bad habit. Disclaimer over.

We got there and I realized I forgot Denali’s leash and collar because when our ride got to my house, I wasn’t ready. So my parents loaded Denali up and I got Loki ready and didn’t think to grab a collar and a leash <<mental note: purchase a couple slip leads to keep in all family member vehicles>>. So I borrowed one of their slip leads and got Denali in. The office said they’ve had a couple dogs that walked like Denali that they got moving around.

He went over food and supplement with us. He was THRILLED she was on Acana as Champion Pet Foods is his favorite food company. He recommended I take her off EVO wet and put her on Party Animal (if I can get Party Animal cheaper — otherwise he said it’s ok for her to stay on EVO canned just didn’t like the P&G buyout).

Her list of supplements will be:
6000mg of fish oil daily. Increase to 4000mg now and then increase by 1000 mg every 3 days until I get her to the 6000 mg

1500 mg glucosamine daily
Alfalfa/Yucca as directed – continue tramadol until next appointment

Massage around her spine 10 minutes daily

Chiropractic adjustment today, in 10-14 days and 3 weeks later

Accupuncture, hydrotherapy and other supplements/herbs if needed.

We did ask about Chemo and the vet said it’s a personal choice. He said he has some patients who do it and some that don’t. He said that he doesn’t really know if it helps or not but in most of the dogs he’s seen they MIGHT live 1-3 months longer. I’m torn between Chemo now, so I’m thinking maybe just doing 3 treatments instead of 5 (depending on how well she does). I’m just not sure about it yet.

I think that’s everything we covered. He was very nice and wanted to keep things as inexpensive for me as possible telling me that I could get it at his clinic for X amount or I could get it here for X amount.

Question to Denali’s Blog followers —

Does anybody have any experience with acupuncture ?  If so – what was your experience.

EDIT:  I forgot to add some pictures!!

Happy Denali

Happy Girl

It's So Fluffy!

Denali keeps taking years off my life
Tuesday August 03rd 2010, 7:54 pm
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I can’t help it – I’m a paranoid Pyr-mom!!!  I went to brush Denali’s remaining rear leg and what did I do but feel a lump.  My heart sank big time, so I started running around looking for my phone not sure who to call… I stepped over Loki twice all panicked… then I realized “Loki is a dog… and he has 2 rear legs” and I bent down and felt his legs… he has the same bumps in both legs Denali has — WHEW!  Denali’s “leg bumps” seem bigger, but it could be (and probably is) my imagination – she’s got a vet appointment Friday with her new physical therapist, so I will ask him all about it.  I know, I know – I’m overly paranoid and I can’t stop worrying about the bumps… they’re right above where the dew claws are and anatomy pictures show them there too.

After all this – Loki gave me a heart attack too.  He’s been overly drooly lately and the fur under his chin is drool stained.  I noticed some mats in it so I grabbed my mat breaker brush and went after the mat – well… all the hair came out to reveal red-irritated skin (probably a yeast infection).  I have a few ideas of OTC creams I can try to clean his chin up.

1 Month Ampuversary Yesterday
Monday August 02nd 2010, 6:21 pm
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Denali has been a tripawd now for 1 month 1 day!  She still bunny hops but is getting around better with the whole bunny hopping thing.

On Friday afternoon I went upstairs.  I heard a strange ‘Clunk, thump, thump thump, clunk’ and I came down to see what was going on and Denali was up on 3 stairs.  It’s been her first stair attempt since her surgery!  Saturday around 5:30A I felt a Denali nose poke me on the head to wake me up in her special little way and she asked for help to get on the bed (futon – as I continue to sleep downstairs to be with her).   So I helped her into bed and she was her typical annoying self rolling around to get as much of the futon as possible and sitting and poking me with her paw to try to get more room.  She’s such a funny girl!  This repeated at 5:30A on Sunday too!  It’s so nice to have her on the bed with me.

She’s really a special dog.  She is super friendly and super innocent.  Life has handed her some bad health (even throughout the puppy years) but she continues to love life and holds no grudges – somebody could really learn something from her!!

Happy 1 month ampuversary, baby girl, here’s to many many many more months of living life and loving all things in it!!

Denali met her oncologist today
Wednesday July 14th 2010, 3:47 pm
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Denali had her first appointment with the oncologist today – it wasn’t supposed to be until next week, but they had a cancellation and I jumped in and got her in there!!

The vet was concerned that Denali is not walking proper and just doing a bunny hop.  He did a quick physical exam on her and then sent her to meet with an orthopedic vet for a better consultation.  They said her right hip was causing her pain and her hip on her amputated leg was also causing her pain.  They were concerned about Denali having another mass, hip dysplasia, or arthritis.  Her x-rays showed that her hips are not deep set (which we already knew) and she has very mild arthritis (again, nothing new) and judging from everything there is NO reason she should be bunny hopping and it’s all a mental thing with Denali.

I also told about Denali’s coughing.  She developed a cough on either Friday or Saturday.  They did another chest x-ray and that came back “unremarkable” – very clean again – so there is no reason for her to be coughing like she is!

The oncologist said he sees hundreds of dogs, but none acting like Denali.  I always knew she was special laugh — she also got her stitches out a day early.

On a side note – while we were there we met another Tripawd Pyrenees named Gracie – what are the chances?!  Gracie also has a rear amputation due to cancer and lives probably 10-15 minutes away from me.  Gracie’s mom and I exchanged information so we’ll be in touch and who knows – maybe there will be a Pyrenees Tripawd meet up smiley .

We really liked her new doctor – he was pretty open and honest with us.  He didn’t completely ‘pooh-pooh’ supplements, he said he just didn’t have any data that they work or don’t work – he did say that they won’t hurt her so if I want to try them, go ahead.

Update as of July 11, 2010
Sunday July 11th 2010, 7:53 am
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July 9, 2010 – Osteosarcoma CONFIRMED in Denali

Denali has mostly been sleeping ever since I took her fentinyl patch off.  She’ll want to go out 1-3 times a day for potty breaks.  I’m hoping she’s just healing and this is the medication.  From what I’ve read of other posts, them sleeping a lot after the amputation surgery is pretty normal and it’s just been over a week.

She continues to ‘bunny hop’ and I have not caught her trying to ‘stand’ proper lately.

Update as of 7/6/2010
Tuesday July 06th 2010, 5:20 pm
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Denali is still eating and drinking and hopping.   The vet called to see how she was doing, so I asked him about her little bunny hop.  He advised that most dogs that have their legs amputated have already given up using the leg and had already started building muscle on the ‘good’ leg where Denali had been putting pretty much full weight on her bad leg so her muscles have not built up.  I’m to give her 1-2 months and see what she does.  Today I THOUGHT I saw her trying to stand straight about 3 times though – maybe I’m thinking too much of it.

She’s doing well.  Since her surgery, every morning she gets an active spurt of energy around 3:00am and ‘bounces’ around the house until around 5:30a until she falls asleep again.

We should get the results of her leg biopsy by the end of the week.  My fingers are still crossed that it’s some sort of fluke, but I’m pretty prepared for it to be cancer.  I need to figure out which supplements will work best for her and which ones can be used with chemo and which ones can’t.  So much to learn still!!

Update as of 7/5/2010
Monday July 05th 2010, 3:04 pm
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Denali is still hopping along.  she’s a little more whiny today than she has been.  It’s been pretty hot though and she’s been trying to be more active.

here’s a short video of her hopping

hopping around

Denali’s update – home post surgery
Saturday July 03rd 2010, 5:17 pm
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Denali came home Friday evening.  She’s been whining a bit more than I’d like (of course I’d like for 0 whining).  She’s not getting around as well as she was on the day of surgery and she has quite a bit of bruising on her tummy.  While she’s inside the house – I’m trying to let her figure things out, but helping her when she’s outside.  It’s been a pain trying to keep the bugs away from her incision site too (can’t those darn bugs find somebody’s BBQ to crash?!).

We are dealing with this the best we can and I did see her up and walking like a normal tripawd instead of the little bunny hop that she’s been doing since she’s been home – so I know it’s just a matter of time before she’s back to hopping around like a pro.

I’m trying to stay upbeat and positive around her.  Loki seems to know to get out of her way when she’s trying to move.