Sunday, August 23, 2009

Over the Rainbow Bridge

I am sad to report an end to this blog. Casey passed on recently on August 6th of 2009. He was battling Lymphoma cancer in his intestine. We found out in May that Casey had a tumor in his intestine. We were devastated. After all we had been through with Casey and him being just 9 years old I couldn't fathom that we were losing him. Not now...not ever:*( We of course took him to the best on the East coast to find out what the diagnosis was, the treatment, and the length of time he had left. We went to Tufts in north Grafton, MA. We were greeted by some wonderful people and a fantastic oncologist. But the truth was hard to accept. Cancer was going to take Casey from us. We were told that chemo and/or radiation doesn't effect cancer in the intestines very well. We were told Casey had 2 1/2 months to live. Knowing he already had colitis and IBD in his intestines we knew that chemo would definitely make him a sickly cancer patient. We couldn't allow him to end his life a sickly hospitalized dog. We chose to put him on prednisone and ride out his remaining time. It seemed the prednisone was a miracle at first. Casey improved, gained weight and more importantly stopped vomiting and was eating! We had our boy back although be it for a few short weeks, we wouldn't change those weeks for anything in the world! Losing Casey was one of the hardest things I had ever experienced in my life! I had been through loss of loved ones and loss of a pet before. It is always hard. This time seemed harder as not only were my husband and I losing Casey, but our two little girls were also losing their beloved dog! Casey was their big brother! Our oldest was 7 and the youngest at 4 when he passed. We prepped the girls very well with books and conversations and they seemed to understand at their level the best they could! We were told eventually that Casey's body would become immune to the prednisone. 5 Weeks from the start of it this came true. He lost so much muscle. He was panting and exhausted. The cancer was winning. Finally it was time to let him go:( Calling the vet for the appointment to euthanize Casey was the worst phone call I have ever had to make. I am crying now as I type remembering that morning. They gave us the last appointment of the day so we could have privacy with him and as much time as we needed. My brother came and we made Casey's day as special as possible! We took some fabulous family photos on our lawn! Casey ate some steak off the grill! And we just spent all the time we could patting and loving him.

We said goodbye to Casey later that evening and we pray he is healthy and comfortable in heaven! RIP sweet boy! We love and miss you terribly!

Love Mumma, Daddy, Emmy and Brooke

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Good News

Rainy Day in MA, but....Freedom!

Hi everyone,
Well as many of you know back in October after a romp at the doggy park Casey came up limping. At first it was difficult to see which leg it was. After going through ACL surgery you tend to always look at that surgical leg, but we soon realized it was the left. We took him immediatley to the orthopedic vet whom at that time sedated, manipulated the knee and x-rayed and found nothing. Sent us home for 3 weeks thinking it was a muscle pull or soft tissue injury. After 3 weeks we saw no change and were sadly disapointed thinking it must be the ACL. My gut said it was and I saw the same type of behaviors and limp as round one with the right knee. Well we went back and the ortho said the joint was stable, but felt effusion. He told us it was a partial tear and the plan was to wait until March to schedule surgery as we live in MA and the winters are long and hard! Well with CM and walking we waited. After January I noticed the limp was gone. Weeks continued to pass and come March I just couldn't call to schedule his second would be tplo. With no limp I figured something got better! So we went today to confirm if the knee was still stable. The ortho manipulated the knee and found it is stable and no swelling or nothing. Just like nothing ever happened! We are overjoyed. The truth is he may still have a pull or a tear, but he may never need surgery or maybe in the future. In the mean time he can resume his activities although we are going to not going to resume high risk activities! Ball and walks it is!

Other good news is that Casey has continued to lose weight! He is 94 lbs now! This guy 3 months ago was 105! Ortho and we are exstatic about that. A loss of 10% body weight is a huge help for those knees! So we dodged the surgery bullet! Hopefully forever, but at least for now! Finally Casey can be a dog again! After his tplo last year he was cleared for one and a half months before he came up limping. Poor boy has had nothing but confinement for this that is over! Yeah!

I am glad this blog has helped others. I appreciate your comments that many of you leave! I do this for myself, but if it helps others as well then that is just even better!

Wishing all the pups on Orthodogs a speedy and healthy recovery. If not for that group it would have been a tough year. They have taught me so much! Thank you guys!

Signing off for now...Melissa & Casey!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

And So We Wait...

Well we are longingly waiting for winter to end. The plan was to schedule Casey for TPLO agin this March of 2008 after our winter had subsided. Well during this time we are being careful with Casey, no ball or rough play, but still walking him daily to protect the muscles from atrophy. Well somewhere in January the limping stopped! He has not limped since! I was suppose to call for to schedule his surgery on Feb 1st, but I can't seem to bring myself to schedule it since he is doing fantastic. You would never think he had anything wrong! I am thrilled. Maybe the CM (Conservative Management) is working for him? My husband and I did decide to schedule another ortho consult in March and then if the knee is still showing a postiive drawer sign and effusion then we will schedule with that in mind. So we wait! In the mean time it hasn't been too agonizing for me as the weather has been so intollerable that he isn't missing out on much outside time anyway, but he is miserable! Still getting into things if we don't gate him in our living room. Not sure what that is about except boredom, but not much I can do with mother nature!

So when we learn more I will post again. Thanks to all whom read this and I hope you all find it informative and helpful!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tear Confirmed...

Well depending on how you look at this we are and are not lucky. Lucky to have a diagnosis, but not lucky in that Casey has to have another surgery for a tear in his CCL on the left leg. I guess we knew it was a matter of time anyway.
So after a months of rest nothing changed and my guy was still limping. In fact he got so bored with the confinement he began to behave really badly and we have had to gate him in one room when we are not home to control his acting out. Since he has IBD we need to keep him out of stuff that he may eat that will aggravate this condition. When I reported in to the ortho on the no change in the limp after 2 weeks rest he again suspected a tear that may not be detectable through radio graphs and the drawer sign. He has seen these cases, but said for the behavior issues to let up on the restrictions and in which we may also see maybe the knee tear more and get confirmation of the tear at a later visit. So this pretty much happened. The increase of movement increased the limp, but he was happier! What a trade off huh!
We went back today and without sedation (thankfully) the ortho felt effusion in the knee and diagnosed a partial tear. We decided for now since we are in the dead of a horrible winter that we will wait until early Spring to do surgery. In the mean time we will make him comfortable and try to be careful with him, but also let him be a dog as well. so let up on the confinement a bit, but no running or anything crazy, but stairs to go to bed and leash walks are okay.
I was relieved to have a diagnosis since the not knowing was mind boggling and so scary. On there are so many cases where the not knowing has become something awful and this really is so fixable and he is healthy!
Good new was Casey lost 4 lbs in 4 weeks! So he is at a good weight of 99lbs and we will try to maintain this. Let's hope the knee hangs on with a partial tear until Fall and not become a full tear before then which would require more immediate surgery. Casey is on some great supplements and we now use a ramp for the car and we just are so much more educated this time that I think he will be fine in the interim.
I will be sure to update soon and of course will do so regularly during his next recovery too.

Happy Holidays to you all.

Melissa & Casey :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Good news came to us today! One day before Thanksgiving and we surely have something to be thankful for. Casey does not have a torn ligament in his left knee! We were thrilled to hear this not only does he not need surgery right now, but financially this is great news as we head into the holidays!

We saw our orthopedic vet and he was not able to manipulate Casey's knee in the office due to my big lugs high anxiety and he was stressed! Of course too there was no limping going on, but that was consistent with him from the last tear on the right leg. I remember each visit he never limped and finally I have to video tape him so they could see the limp before he was officially diagnosed! Clever and stoic he can be! My big devil! So since he was not cooperating and was stiff they decided to x-ray and manipulate the leg. The great thing was the ortho had an x-ray from about 6 months ago of both knees that he took and thus gave him something to compare to once he took the new pictures. So after sedation and manipulations our orthopedic said there was no tear. He searched high and low and couldn't find anything. Also aspirated a fatty tumor on his leg just to rule that out and that was fine as well!

Soooo, what is causing the limp??? Well the ortho thinks it must be a muscle issue. He said to rest him for one month and by then he should be back to normal. So he is attached to the leash for potty breaks, and he can walk 10-15 mins a day and he is free to use stairs. This is a cake walk compared to TPLO recovery! So that is our plan and I only pray that is will go away during this recovery and that he will be better!

We have no idea how this happened other than to say it must have been while playing with his buddies at the doggy park. We aren't sure though.

Another issue we learned of while at this office visit was that Casey's weight was up a bit. How on Earth is this happening? He is on 2 cups of kibble a day, a few pieces of boiled chicken the size of quarters, and also some canned pumpkin for added fiber for his IBD. We switched his treats to an eighth of the size he was getting and also now they are the lite formula. I am stumped, but must say I could almost care less as the IBD is under control so a bit of weight means nothing in the grand scheme of things. He was up 1.2 ounces! We joked that the larger plate he has with the 8 screws must count for some of that right? The orthopedic says he carries his weight extremely well and he says he is fine. If we chose to have him lose he said only 5 lbs were needed. We were thrilled with this.

Another great thing that resulted from today is that while Casey was out the orthopedic decided for his own curiosity to x-ray his tplo leg again just to look in on it since we are 8 months out. He said he did this for himself and he did not charge us for this picture. The great news is he said "It is beautiful!" Everything is stable, in place and his muscle looks great! He has never once limped on this leg since he has been recovered. We couldn't be happier with the results of that surgery!

So we are nursing our boy back to health again! He doesn't do well from sedation and cries a lot and gets so out of it. He has been pretty good today but I am excited to see his happy go lucky self tomorrow morning when the sedation is truly gone!

I will post again at the close of our months recovery for you all to learn more! Keep your paws crossed!

Melissa & Casey :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Not again :(

Could it be happening again? Not another knee injury! It is like we are reliving the last 2 years. Casey began limping and of course we obsess now over his right leg since his TPLO surgery, so we immediately assumed it was his right leg. After resting the limp stopped. Once we returned to his "regular activity" the limp returned. Then I began to really observe the limp and discovered this weekend that I actually think it is the left leg! OH NO! You know how they say go with your gut? Well I am and I am all too familiar with this limp and the inconsistencies with it coming and going. My guess right now is that he has a partial tear. No idea how partial it is. So of course here we are on a holiday weekend and the chances of reaching our respected ortho are slim. I am hoping for tomorrow on Monday, but I bet the call will actually happen on Tuesday. Hoping to get him seen in a week or two.

In the mean time we have restricted his activity some what but we are still walking him a bit, but really cut back until I can get him seen. I don't want to completely eliminate his walks and have that muscle begin to get atrophy. I am hoping the knowledge of the past will be and added bonus whether it is another tear or not.

So here we sit and wait. I am unable to prescribe nsaids for pain as he has had a bad reaction in the past to them and having the IBD it may cause issues with that. I was told by the ortho before not to give them unless advised to. Plus our ortho doesn't know about the recent diagnosis of IBD.

I will be sure to update our blog. In the meantime please keep Casey in your thoughts and check back in on our big beloved boy!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Update-October 27, 2007

It has been two months now and this blog originally began as our adventure through TPLO recovery and now has become a blog about Casey the dog as a whole! So to update all our readers...Casey is doing excellent! His colitis is under control for the first time in 7 years! We changed his food over to California Natural which is a hypoallergenic dry food. He is on the lite formula to reduce some weight on him that he accrued prior to and post surgical. He enjoys the food and we have added some home cooked boiled chicken and then switch between canned pumpkin and unsweetened applesauce. He is on supplements as well.

Casey has returned to an active life of two walks a day and recently he has begun play time and socialization at the dog park as well. This he really seems to love! He is a social boy and loves to be with other people or dogs so the dog park is a fun time for our boy!

I will upload some recent photos soon too. I have some great Fall ones amongst the leaves!

Wishing everyone our best and healing to all those post op!