Day 63: A little of this, a little of that


What a few days it’s been. Dogs aren’t supposed to get sick right after chemo, but, as Dr. Mason said, Roo is a Bubble Girl, as in the Bubble Boy on Seinfeld. Everything drug bothers her.

She hobbled into the clinic for the Elspar chemo on Friday. Her leg injury wasn’t improved since her visit the day before, but she had to go, and in she went. I made a mistake when we came out. Next to the animal hospital there’s a little woody area with the scents of a million dogs, and Roo likes to go there. But, with her leg injury I hustled her into the car. Big mistake, because when we got back to the camper, she decided she didn’t want to go after all, and she wouldn’t leave the camper again until the next day. That meant that if the chemo was going to trouble her gut, as some of the treatments have in the past, she would be starting on a full tank. Hardly ideal. But once Roo makes her mind up about something, that’s it, and she decided to put everything on hold.

By Saturday, she was starting to feel nauseous and get indigestion. She didn’t want to go out but ultimately had to. Her leg was stiff and painful – but improving, which was a more of a relief than I know how to communicate. 

Bad news, though. When she finally pooped, it was soft. Not diarrhea, but worrisome. She was going to have to start immediately on metronidazole, an antibiotic to fight diarrhea. She also didn’t show much interest in food, and inappetence in a cancer dog is a bad thing. For that, another pill, mirtazipine. I could only hope that the load of medications piled on top of the chemo would help her feel better instead of worse.

After she pooped she lay down n the grass and I gave her a long makeover with a slicker brush, which she loved. Roo is a hunter and a field and stream dog. Even though she gets rinsed, dried and brushed every day, her coat had some catching up to do. I brushed her for about an hour. The amount of hair that came out was spectacular. I don’t think it’s from the chemo.

Saturday was the worst of it. I cooked her ground turkey and rice with mushed pumpkin and beef broth and she ate some of that. Later in the day she ate a few cookies and soft jerky treats, but she was upset and obviously a little chemo sick. Her meds (rimadyl, omeprazole, Cerenia, Zofran and Pepto Bismal as well as the aforementioned mirtazipine and metronidazole) gave her some relief, and by Saturday night, she managed some sleep. 

This morning, Sunday, she went out and was feeling better. She was still a little wobbly and her leg was still hurting, but it was much better. At the moment, I’m probably most grateful for that. To be honest, that leg injury had cast a pall over her prospects, or, at least, over the way I viewed them. Now that the assumed soft tissue injury appears to be the culprit, judging by how fast it’s improving, she’ll be in better shape for her next chemo on Tuesday.

Roo needs a lot of attention when she’s not feeling well. She wakes up constantly and looks at me with a dejected stare until I get down on the floor with her and hold her and tell her things.

“Look how soft your fur is, now Chig,” I tell her, proud of the transformation I had brought about by brushing her for so long. “You look just like a little rabbit. Some little rabbit is going to see you and mistake you for her mommy and hop right up to you and then you will catch that little rabbit and how sorry I feel for that poor little rabbit, Chig.”

She likes the subject and slings her arm over my neck to get me to stay on the floor telling her things. When I do, I leave out the part about having to get dosed with doxorubicin on Tuesday. I have a feeling that would ruin it all for her.

We’ve got one hell of a week coming up.