***Gross picture and discussion warning!***
It really has
been a rollercoaster few days.
The swelling on Indy's leg started up again last weekend. He started on tramadol Monday for the pain because he was limping quite a bit and not using his leg at all when he woke up in the morning. On Wednesday, the doc and techs and I all talked and he was started on dexamethasone instead of the prednisone because dex has less side effects. So far, so good. No major problems with excessive appetite or drinking, but he is peeing a bit more than usual.
The wound on his leg has been oozing quite a bit since last weekend, but he was checked every day and no sign of infection was found. The wound would crust over and dry out then break open, over and over again. The doc started Indy on carrasyn gel to help protect the wounded area, but keep it a bit moist so it would stop splitting open. The ooze and the gel combined to make a rather thick scab and it mostly stopped breaking open to ooze more.
Last night, Indy jumped up out of his dog bed and somehow snagged the scab on the fleece cover -- the entire scab tore off and he was bleeding quite a bit. As I was cleaning him up and trimming off the bits of hanging scab, I put pressure on the bottom part of the wound and a lovely ooze of pale yellow green came out. Yea, infection! I called the onco vet immediately and Karen (the amazing radiation specialist tech) called in an antibiotic script at Dr Blabs' office which I picked up and started him on today. It's Baytril for the next week and hopefully that will take care of it.Warning! Pics below are pretty gross!
When he started radiation April 6
Around April 17
Yesterday after the scab was ripped off
We only went M-Tu-W this week and now he has a nice four-day break before he begins his last full week on Monday. Hopefully that will give him time to heal up a bit and give the antibiotic time to work. I'm very much hoping that the infection is clear enough that it won't delay his last five treatments.
All that has happened to him so far (the burn growing larger, the pain, the infection risk, etc) was explained to me and was expected. But it's still hard to see him go through this. I have to keep telling myself that this cancer is a CURABLE cancer and the couple of months of discomfort are worth having him around for many more years.
On a much
lighter note, Dr Blabs went with us last Friday and got to view Indy's radiation treatment, then we both went on a tour of the facility. I was mightily impressed. Everyone is very
We got to see the radiation and chemo areas, the digital x-ray machine (COOL!), the surgery and emergency rooms, the MRI and CAT Scan, and even the hydrotherapy room and hyperbaric chamber! Karen (the amazing radiation specialist tech) told us about a dog that was having problems healing a very large abdominal wound. Traditional methods like bandage changing and treatments weren't working, so they started the dog on hyperbaric treatments -- the dog has only had three treatments so far, but is already growing healthy granulation tissue.
The Compassionate Care Center is a wonderful idea and I hope more people utilize it in the future. You get a private room to stay with your pet overnight as s/he is recovering from surgery or getting chemo treatments or whatever other procedure is necessary. There is a bed for your pet and a large recliner for you to sleep in, you get a sink in the room and the bathroom is right down the hallway, plus there is always at least one nurse on staff for any emergencies or any questions. The entire facility is open with doctors on staff 24/7/365. The only drawback to the CCC is the price -- I believe it's about $200 per night. To me, that is worth the peace-of-mind you get by staying with your pet during the worst of health crises, but I can understand why some folks would be hesitant to use the CCC.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the entire facility to anyone who needs it.
Never make someone a priority in your life when that someone treats you like an option.