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27 Jun 2017, 6:33am
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Day 7 Post-Op – First Day Out & About

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We made it one week – woot woot!

Skyla had a quick appointment with our regular (holistic) vet today. She was so excited to go for a car ride and have a change of scenery. I couldn’t believe how smoothly she jumped into my car! To celebrate, we went to the Starbucks drive-thru for a little Puppachino treat. Breaking the rules, for sure!

It has been a heat wave here in Central Oregon, and between a lack of AC and that thick cotton bandage, she’s been a hot tamale. We can’t wait to cut that thing off! Tomorrow we head in for a recheck with the surgeon and it should be time to take it off. I’m nervous but looking forward to finally seeing the incision. I got a little peak underneath the bandage and it’s looking really good, from what I can tell.

Skye’s Fentanyl patch came off Friday, but her pain seems to be well-controlled. She’s been eating well, taking her meds better than last week, and she has stopped whining/crying. She does seem uncomfortable at times, and will continue to readjust her positioning until she finds the best way to sleep. I’ve noticed her laying on her “amp side” more and more, so I’m taking that as a sign that it’s not as painful as before.

Her endurance is getting better and better too! She takes less breaks, and ventures further from the house every day. I can’t wait until we get the point where we can take short walks and maybe even easy hikes in the future. Trail Boss deserves to get back to the dirt!

The past few days, she has seemed a bit more depressed/quiet. I can’t tell if she is just really wore out, or if she’s bored/discontent. She doesn’t seem to want to do much except for sleep. Her vet visit today seemed to wear her out SO much. I guess it’ll just take time for these seemingly minor events to not take a toll. I’m comforted knowing this seems to be pretty normal post-op. Any feedback on how long it might take to see her want to play, walk around on her own, etc. is much appreciated!

Jerry had expressed curiosity re: her Vitamin A&D injection today. That reminded me that I never gave the run down on the food/supplement regimen we have her on! We have opted not to do chemo for a number of reasons, mainly because I believe in empowering her body as much as possible and aiming for optimum wellness more than ever before. Here’s what we are currently doing:

  • Raw food – poultry/fish formulas from Northwest Naturals Raw
  • Nordic Naturals Omega Pet fish oil – high amount of omegas
  • Hoxsey formula – herbal cancer-fighting blend, highly recommended in holistic world
  • Golden paste – turmeric/coconut oil/black pepper – she’s currently disgusted by it, so we ordered a silicone coffee bean mold to try to freeze little “beans” of it, maybe she’ll tolerate it better!
  • Bixbi Immunity – mushroom blend
  • Herbsmith Sound Dog Viscosity powder – joint supplement (she’s been on it for several years)
  • Pet Releaf CBD Hemp Oil – amazing for it’s anti-cancer properties, pain relief
  • Answers Pet Food Fermented Fish Stock – smells as nasty as it sounds, but she loves it; we give her the Hoxsey formula in this to mask the taste. So good for them!
  • Snacks include raw goat’s milk from Answers, raw meaty bones, frozen bones stuffed with canned food, freeze-dried meat treats
  • Vitamin A&D injection every 4 weeks – helps promote healthy cells = less neoplastic cell growth

I clearly love this dog, haha! It costs a small fortune, but I’m fortunate enough to work at a natural pet foods store part-time where I receive a discount. We may not be doing chemo, but she’s on a natural “chemo” regimen! If anyone has any questions about any of these items, or has any suggestions, we are all ears.

Thanks for reading; we’ll update tomorrow about how our recheck appointment went. In the meantime, have a wonderful week, friends and Tripawds!

XOXO,

Rae & Skyla


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24 Jun 2017, 3:45am
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Day 4 Post-Op – Skyla is TOUGH!

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Hello friends!

We are now on day 4 post-op. I’m feel really optimistic right now! Skyla has been absolutely amazing. The past few days we have seen significant improvement in her mobility every time we go out. She’s figured out how to readjust herself in her bed when she gets uncomfortable, and getting up and down the steps isn’t such a big deal anymore. She wears out quickly, of course, but that’s to be expected. We’ve been using a light bed as a “rest stop” when we are out for a potty break and she seems to get shaky. Since the area surrounding our home is all gravel, the pad helps give her a comfortable place to sit or lay down and catch her breath.

Even just today, she seems stronger every time she gets up. They really figure out how to operate very quickly on 3! I still follow her around with her make-shift sling just in case she gets weak or trips, but that’s just the paranoid mom in me. This girl is rocking! She surprised me by coming out of the house, down the three steps, and over to a visitor, all without assistance! TRIPAWD POWER!

Our biggest concerns have been the lack of a poop, and a much more picky appetite than usual. We JUST got the poop taken care of – woot woot! – and I’m hoping that will help her feel better and in turn, ramp up her appetite. She’s usually a ravenous lady, so to see her do anything but devour all food in front of her is concerning. After too many nasty Tramadol pills hidden in food, I think she’s just really, really onto me. We missed a few pills today. She seems fairly comfortable though, so I’m trying not to stress about it.

Her bandage removal is now on Tuesday. I’m nervous but excited for that to happen! She’ll also get a field trip to our regular vet on Monday for a Vitamin A&D injection (part of her cancer fighting regimen). Until then, we are hoping for a positive weekend ahead. Best wishes to ya’ll for a wonderful weekend as well!

XOXO,

Rae & Skyla

22 Jun 2017, 3:37am
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Day 2 Post-Op – How Good It Is To Have Her Home!

Happy Wednesday!

Yesterday was Skyla’s first day home, and what a change she went through already!

The first half of the day, as I reported, she was very drugged and sleepy. Once the afternoon rolled around and the anesthesia and Morphine wore off, it was a whole different story. She became very restless and agitated, but after a much-needed (outside – yay!) pee, she settled back in and got some quality rest.

A full belly and evening pain meds set us up for a pretty darn good overnight, all things considered. I was concerned that she wouldn’t relieve herself before bedtime, but this lady held it allllll the way through. I think she was too tired to make the effort, but too aware to use the potty pad inside. We were awake a few times in the night, needing some readjusting and comfort, but otherwise we both slept right on through. I, of course, slept right next to her on the floor. We all do that, right?! It just seems like a given when you’re in love with your pooch.

Today we saw a huge improvement in both her ability and willingness to walk. I’ve been assisting with a fleece scarf around her front end, and my boyfriend Andre started off by assisting her backend with a towel. As I’m writing, we are now only using the scarf, and just as a fall back, really. She is determined! She is taking on the steps going inside and out so well, it blows my mind. Down is a bit trickier than up. She says it still “ain’t no thang”.¬†She even sat up on her own to greet me when I arrived home!

Skyla is so true to the Rottweiler personality: loyal, strong, determined.

This whole experience has been a roller coaster, as I’m sure so many can relate. I was a mess of tears dropping her off for surgery. Between the support that we’ve had and feeling her strength pass on to me, I’m feeling far more optimistic and confident than I ever imagined I would this early on. It’s all up from here.

More updates to come soon! Much love to all our friends! XOXO!

Rae & Skyla

20 Jun 2017, 4:30pm
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Skyla’s Surgery Day Arrived!

Hello friends!

I’ve been pretty quiet on here lately, and I apologize for taking so long to update. I think my anxiety about the upcoming surgery was getting to me. I was ready to get it behind us!

Skyla had her leg amputated yesterday, June 19th. The surgery went smoothly, no complications whatsoever. We had a wonderful team to work with, and it was clear they took very good care of her. I was able to visit with her in the evening, and although she was heavily drugged, she definitely knew I was there and tried to keep her eyes open just a peak. We transferred her to the emergency hospital for overnight care and fluids. It was incredibly hard to leave her again, but I just wouldn’t be able to keep her as comfortable as they were.

This morning, Skyla got to come HOME! She even hobbled on three legs a short stretch, with lots of assistance. She seems exhausted, and I’m sure her legs seem to weigh a thousand pounds with all the medication and fluid pumping through her. We have been using her Ruffwear Urban Sprawl bed as her stretcher, and it seems to be about as comfortable as it gets for getting moved around. We set her up on the deck for a short while. The cool summer air felt amazing. She was very hot with her bandage on, so I figured a nice breeze would be refreshing!

She ate readily, took her medications, and went back to snoozing. Although I’m nervous about getting her outside and moving around over the next few days, I have no doubt that she’ll be hopping around freely in no time.

We have felt so loved from friends, family, and the incredible Tripawd community. Thanks for listening and supporting us through it all.

Lots of love,

Rae & Skyla

1 Jun 2017, 12:56am
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Woof Woof from Skyla

Woof woof!

My name is Rae, and my best friend is Skyla. She is a 10 year old Rottweiler mix. We live in beautiful Bend, OR. We find ourselves here on the Tripawds website like many others: we recently got the terrible news that sweet Skye has bone cancer. Her front leg amputation is scheduled for June 19th (which happens to be my birthday, of all days). Before we get to that, I’d love to share a little about our friendship thus far.

When I was 16 years old, I was a volunteer at a local humane society. I was pretty excited about finding a new dog companion. While I was really looking for a puppy, I was pulled in by a litter of pups that had been born right at the shelter. I was even more weakened by the fact that they appeared to be Rottweiler mixes. Growing up, I became Rottweiler OBSESSED, thanks to a Rottie who lived across the alley from me. He wasn’t a very social one (outdoor dog who just stayed in his kennel 24/7), but he was so beautiful and strong. Many years later, I had a chance to raise one of my own. There were just two girls left by the time I applied, and the one we brought home had actually already been adopted and then returned when she was 10 weeks old. The reason? They said she wasn’t potty trained, and she growled at their kids while playing. My eyes rolled. This pup made so much eye contact, it was piercing. She was very focused from such a young age.

The rest is history. This dog is my LIFE.

My social media post on Skyla’s 10th birthday is a great summary of our time together:

“It’s hard to believe Skyla is turning 10 today. I’ve been dreading the days of the double digits, knowing full well she’s in her senior years. I brought her home from the shelter when she was 10 weeks old, and in the time this dog and I have been together, she has…
Traveled to 13 states, and lived in 3.
Lived in 11 different homes.
Hiked hundreds of miles of trails.
Seen the gulf coast and pacific coast.
Been “big sister” to 9 foster dogs and countless client pets.
Been my tear catcher through the loss of my mother, two grandparents, a friend, and two pets.
Never left my side through my pregnancy.
Transformed from a fearful young dog to a confident, friendly lady.
She has been the most loyal friend I could ever ask for, and I’m so grateful for all that she has done with and for me. I can only hope for many more years ahead. Happy GOLDEN Birthday, Skyla!”

Since that post, which was August 10th, 2016, we’ve hiked many more miles, climbed to the tops of mountains, and made many new friends along the way. Skyla then started slowing down a bit this past winter, but that’s to be expected at her age.

About a month ago, in early May 2017, Skye got to the point where we weren’t able to do what we could do the week before. She seemed tired. Her spirit wasn’t as bright. She seemed a bit grouchy. She looked stiff. And out of nowhere, a limp. Her front left leg. We hadn’t gone for any hikes or even walks, or anything I could think of that would cause it. I’ve worked in the pet industry for 13 years, veterinary for a number of those, and I couldn’t quite suffocate the thought of bone cancer when it came to mind. I gave her rest and waited. One day it would almost disappear, the next it was worse than ever. We made a vet appointment for radiographs. Unfortunately, our regular vet doesn’t have those capabilities so we had to go to one he recommended instead. On the drive there, I almost laughed out loud at myself for being such a hypochondriac. I thought the veterinary medicine industry had ruined me, making me think the worst. When the vet came back in with the image, I just knew. And he knew I knew. I could see the discomfort he had while confirming it out loud. We were sent home with pain meds and a grave prognosis about how little time we may have together.

It took me about a day to let the emotion pour out. After that, my protective instincts kicked in and I was on a mission. I would do ANYTHING for this dog. Working with our regular vet (an amazing integrative vet who favors the eastern medicine world), we have her on a plethora of supplements and diet changes. We discussed amputation, and he believes she is a good candidate. We also went back to the initial diagnosing vet for chest radiographs and a fungal titer test, just in case. Luckily, her lungs look great at this point, as well as her other leg. Although we are still waiting on her titer test results, we are pushing forward knowing it is most likely not fungal and indeed osteosarcoma. Her amputation is scheduled for about three weeks away.

I’ll post our current supplement plan soon! In the meantime, I’m spending lots of time reading about other Tripawds and trying to get as prepared as possible physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is a huge comfort to know this community is so supportive and knowledgeable. I’m forever grateful for all of these resources!

Thank you for taking the time to get to know us!

Much love,

Rae & Skyla


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