Sunday, October 30, 2011

Max's Eye 10-30-11

Max's right eye (on your left) has a bulging pink thing

Closer look at the pussy ping swelling on Max's eye
I know it's been a while since I updated Max's blog. The good news is he's doing fantastic!
To follow up on his eye situation, I took him to the eye doctor on Fri. (Did you know you can't call an eye doctor down here directly and make an appointment? You need to go to get your regular vet to refer you?) Anyway, the eye doctor took a look at his eye and stuck some strips of paper in his eye and then showed me how much moisture came out of each eye. The good eye - his left eye read 18 and the bad eye read 8.  He pointed out when your eye hurts you usually produce more tears but in Max's case he was producing less. He then told me that with any kind of radiation they commonly see "dry eye" as he put it, and the tear glands dry up or stop working. He said the fact that Max had radiation on his head makes him 99% sure that that is what is going on. Where Max has the attrophe above his right eye, is where he said the tear glands are generally found. He looked at a few more things and then said, "yup that's it. Dry eye."
I then got a quick lesson on the irrigation system of the eye and he told me that because Max's eye was dry, the abraision from when he fell wasn't able to heal because the surface of his cornea was dry and bumpy vs. smooth and lubricated.

The end result is that Max was prescribed eye drops that he gets 3 times a day and an ointment that has some antibiotic and bacterial properties as well as anti-swelling properties that he gets 2 times a day.  He said in a few days his eye would start to look better but it would be a while until it was back to normal, but it should go back to normal, and wanted to see him again in 3-4 weeks.

It's been 2.5 days and I'm starting to see his eye being a little more clear and definitely more lubricated. He's started to rub his eye after I put the ointment in but all in all he's tolerating it pretty well. I also think he's starting to be able to see a little better as of tonight.

As for Max's over all progress, he is doing FANTASTIC!  He's had a ton of energy, he's no longer super lethargic, in fact I think he's been getting bored hanging out at home so much. This morning I took him and his brother Buster up to the park to see how he'd do and he walked a good 3/4 of a mile and was ready to keep going! We explored the playground, he stuck his head in a bush and apparently caught the scent of some critter, but I thought it wasn't a good place for his eye so we had a little battle of wills to get his head out of the bush, then he discovered where the park workers had tossed bread on the ground for the birds and deer and he and Buster tried to gobble up as much as possible (nope.. that's not on his diet at all). Then he decided he wanted to walk the mile path down to the water. We got about 1/4 of the way down there and I decided that wasn't going to be a good idea, just in case something happened. So.. we wandered around the field, sniffed for critters (yet managed to avoid the possum arm that some other larger critter had ripped off and left in the field - yes kind of gross and I feel bad for the possum, but also am a little worried about what critter in the woods down the road is ripping arms out of possum).

Friday after Max's eye appointment we took a pitstop at PetCo (where the pets go) and Max was very excited to explore and search for fallen food, and play with the critters behind the glass (fish, ferrets, guineapigs, mice). He had a very active day and did really well!

He also can hear, all be it selective hearing, he definitely can hear when he wants to. I also caught him attempting to climb up on the kitchen table to finish off my salad a little while ago. We've reduced his prednisone down to 10mg  every other day (we did increase it back up to every day early last week because he had started to lose his hearing again).  Max is back to leading the barking when someone comes home, or there's someone out front and he sees or hears them. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This AM found Max on top of my bed, and then the counter helping himself to some cat food... I managed to catch the tail end of the mayhem at hour house when the garbage trucks come.. He's right there with the rest of the pack barking at them!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Max's quivering eye. 10-23-11

This is a video of Max's right eye twitching. I don't know if it's anything to be alarmed about, but it doesn't seem normal. His hearing is back so that's improvement, but this eye lid is twitching if you watch the eye lash line.. Almost like his eye lashes are vibrating back and forth. This video was taken right after Max sprinted (I'm not kidding) from one side of the house to the other and ran around the house barking because I had just pulled in the driveway. It clearly doesn't bother him.. or Cat food in the cat bed is just too much to resist.  Incidentally, it's only vibrating on his right eye. This is the eye he fell on in the driveway and got gravel on before he went up for CK so it may be related to that.. I'm just not sure.

His energy level has been high all day. (Temps outside are in the high 50's low 60's - it finally cooled off and fall is here) He's been very alert all day and again, he can hear again today.   I'm not sure if this is how recovery goes from CK... I guess it's possible that the tumors can be reabsorbed in different areas and maybe push and swell in others?  I wish we were closer to the neurologist!

10-23-11 Max goes for a walk

As I may have mentioned in a previous post, Max had regained his hearing after Cyberknife for a week or so and as we reduced his prednisone dose his hearing started to disappear. I emailed with his neurologist about this and he suggested that we not lower his dose any further than 10mg every other day and if I saw any other signs or symptoms of brain swell to bump his dose up to the previous level.

Max takes the lead on our walk!
I thought that since he used to be able to hear I'd like to see if keeping him on 10mg / day would help him regain his hearing.. Well.. it took about 3 days but he can hear again.  He has a follow up appointment scheduled for Nov 1.

Another thing that I've noticed with Max is that he is interacting more! He started interacting more even with the reduced prednisone level, so I think he's feeling better overall.

Sniffing logs and seeing who's been there before!
Today when I pulled out the leashes Max came over and wagged his tail and wanted his collar put on. Then he actually went to the car and wanted to get inside to go to the park and go for a walk!  When we got to the park he jumped right up in the car and even wanted to jump out of the back of the car on his own!  He immediately left his mark on a tree and then took the short cut through some bushes to the path in the woods. He stood there for a few seconds to decide which way to go and then led the other 2 dogs into the woods for a walk!  He stopped to sniff, left
Wait a second.. the world is spinning!
 his mark and was trying to lead everyone while I was trying to keep everyone going at a snails pace. I didn't want him to over do it.  After a few minutes he stopped and stood still for a bit, then kept going and went and sniffed a few things.. then stopped again while everyone used a tree to mark. I went over to snap a few photos of his face and noticed (at least) his right eye was circling a bit. I hadn't seen this in a LONG time. His eye brows were fine, no twitching - but he definitely had the spins.  I let him stay still for a bit and he just lay down. I let him lie down for a
Max's right eye was vibrating
couple of minutes and then decided it was probably a better idea to pick him up and bring him home and get him his prednisone dose for the day (he was due in an hour and a half anyway).  He lay down in the car, got up, looked for water, and lay down. When we got home, he immediately jumped up and wanted to jump out of the car!  I didn't let him. His eye had stopped spinning, but he still got his dose of prednisone anyway and I let him rest. Any time the other dogs would bark at deer or other dogs in the neighborhood he'd jump up too and run to the door to see what was going on (hearing is definitely back!)
Max needed a little rest.

We can always second guess ourselves - maybe it was the car ride that got him dizzy, or he hasn't done too much quick movement in a while so that made him dizzy, or he pushed it trying to be the leader. I didn't really give him a lot of time to try and recover and "see what happens next" before I scooped him up and we came home.  Better safe than sorry.   We'll probably try again another day

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Spring Is Back!

Max has his spring back in his step!  We went out to run errands and came home with a few toys for the dogs.. some stuffed animals to shred, a few squeaky balls and a laser pointer (sorry Buster, no treats).  Max actually grabbed one of the stuffed animals and pulled it away, and then saw the laser pointer!  He hasn't played in over a month and a half at least!  This is great!

Dr. Burzynski - The Movie

I thought it might be important to post information about what Dr. Burzynski is doing. While Dr. Burzynski works specifically on humans, what he does can be applied to dogs. Unfortunately we need research facilities to research the correct numbers of different and normal levels of specific proteins / antiplasteons in each breed of dog. I have had the pleasure of speaking directly with Dr. Burzynski with our veterinary oncologist about this. If anyone is interested in helping please let me know!  This would be an amazing advance in the veterinary world.. wouldn't it?!  
This is an AMAZING VIDEO please watch!

Dr. Burzynski - The Movie

Friday, October 21, 2011


What a great surprise we received today from everyone at the Animal Specialty Center in Yonkers!! Max and I need to work out a deal.. anything with chocolate is MINE... and he can have anything without chocolate!  Nothing beats an Edible Arrangement! Especially, one with cantaloupe says Max!

THANK YOU everyone else at ASC!  You guys are the best!!!

Max inspecting our wonderful gift from ASC!




Thursday, October 20, 2011

10-20-11 - 20 days since CK update

As I write this.. Max is currently in the cat bed trying digging through the cats blanket and flipping his catnip toys around looking for food... He's been doing all sorts of stuff today when he's not completely zonked out. He has 2 speeds today.. GO and SLEEP SOUNDLY.  Yesterday was Max's first day without any prednisone. He is weaning down to 10mg every other day.  I was a little nervous but he's doing great. No eye twitching, no head tilting, no circling, both eyes are blinking together.  He's a little wobbly - almost like he's light-headed, but I suppose if I had some tumors in my brain "vaporized" I might be a little light-headed too.  That's also supposed to be a side effect of his anti-seizure medicine too.  (He is taking 100mg one time/ day currently.  He was originally prescribed 200mg 2x day, but he had completely lost his appetite, and wasn't himself at all. (Max had never had a seizure before CK, and has only had 1 since, and it lasted about 1 minute and 20 seconds. That's not to say we're out of the danger zone by any means.  When he did have the seizure it was after we went for a walk and was within the first week after cyberknife so may have been too soon.  One thing I did notice when he had the seizure was that the tip of his tongue was a very deep red and the rest of his tongue was a light pink. I'd never seen that color in anyone's tongue before. For those who know Chinese Medicine, they know that a lot of the diagnosis is done by the tongue. I mentioned the colors to our holistic vet here and she said that it was an interesting observation because the tip of the tongue is tied to the "Mansion" or the brain / heart.. and obviously the red means heat - so essentially the brain was overheating... and it shorted out and he had a seizure.  So anytime I see what could possibly look like that color scheme he will get a seizure pill. )

So.. back to today... Max slept really soundly last night and most of the morning. I can tell he's getting a little bored but he doesn't seem to want to leave the house. He will come out and sit in the driveway, but he won't get in the car if I want to take him for a ride to the park. He will sit in the garage if I try to take him for a walk up the road with the rest of the gang and eventually just go back in the house... so I think he may know his limits, or he may be worried something will happen when he's away from home.  He has the energy to run all over the front yard looking for me though. I also caught him exploring the woodpile today, and he even ran all the way around the house and up a flight of 12 stairs onto the back deck looking for me.. This wasn't a walk - it was a RUN! He had to go potty after dinner and then decided to walk across the street and look in the woods, but when I tried to get him to walk up the street, he ran all the way back down the driveway and into the garage.. yes ran - not walked!  I went into the front yard and he followed me around in there while I cleaned up.. Then he's been very alert and active all evening!  Maybe it's the cooler weather? (high today in the mid 60's). He barked and ran up to us wagging his tail with the rest of the dogs when we came home from dinner and pushed his way up to get a hug and snuggle!

He still can't hear very well and I"m not sure his sight is 100% (he ran into the sliding glass door) and he still can be a little wobbly - like he's drunk and walking - on occasion - but not all the time.    But he's still doing well, and his nose is working extremely well, and he's happy and I'm seeing a consistency  that we weren't seeing before CK.  I'm looking forward to when Max is not so tired, but all the humans who I've heard from who have had CK say they are exhausted for a few months after... so I'm sure this is all normal.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

18 days after his last cyberknife treatment - Max: Will Perform For Food!

What a clown! It's been 18 days since Max's last Cyberknife treatment and we couldn't be any more pleased!  He's a complete goof ball as you can see here!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Guess who went for a walk today!

Guess who went for a walk today!  You guessed it! MAX!  We went up to the woods and he walked a whole 1/2 a mile on the short trail!  It was a slow walk at first. He wanted to take in all the kids at the playground and the people playing volley ball. Actually I think that was extremely overwhelming for him.  He kept taking 2 steps and then stopped and tried to take it all in - kids laughing, squeeling, swinging on swings, sliding down slides, making sand castles, baby crying, bicyclists, people playing basket ball, and volley ball, and a goth wedding... (yup... all sorts of people dressed in black and red for the wedding coming by and saying hi to him on their way out).  Once we got past the playground, he was a pup on a mission... or gravity took over.. or a little of both and he was pulling me down the hill.  He LOVES to go all the way to the bottom of the hill and walk on the fishing dock and bark at the fish and things floating by.. but not today. He pooped, then got to the picnic shelter and decided it was time for a nap.  We hung out there for about 20 minutes and then started through the woods back to the car.  Not as many people, but lots of smells (his nose is working again), he spotted some birds and squirrels but opted not to go after them, smelled some plants too. I was trying to walk really slow so he would go slow, but Max would have none of that, however he'd stop every 20 ft or so. He was a bit wobbly - like he was drunk.   Maybe a little light-headed?  But once we got going in the woods, he wanted to keep going and didn't want to take the short cut to the parking lot. In fact when we got to the end of the trail he made a left and wanted to do it again.  At that point we ran into Sarah - a yellow Lab who came over to say hi so he had some time to rest while the people chatted.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chinese Herbs, Alternatives & Diet

Max at Vet getting acupuncture 10-13-11
I didn't get into much detail earlier on about the chinese herbs that Max has been on and is continuing to be on, but for those interested in alternatives, including Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, etc. I thought I'd include a little more detail for you.

After Max was first diagnosed, we went to our holistic vets (Veterinary Holistic Care in Bethesda MD where we see Dr. Kitty Raichura, and Dr. Tracy Lord, who practices in Richmond and Williamsburg VA. ) Here's what we did (It's important to note that I didn't give him all of this stuff every day - only when I felt like he needed it. He did get items 2-7 daily)

  1. Weekly Acupuncture to help strengthen his energy and immune system 
  2. MilkThistle 2-3 capules daily to help support his liver and kidneys while on Prednisone
  3. Astragalus (we used both capsules and Chinese Flower brand formula depending on what he'd eat) to help strengthen his immune system
  4. Stasis of the Mansion of the Mind (Chinese Herb prescribed to help move energy / chi  in his mind and help clear any dieing tumor cells
  5. Wei Chi Booster - to help increase his energy
  6. CAS suppliements for Dogs - to help boost his immune system
  7. Tumeric sprinkled on his food to help his immune system and reduce swelling (Tumeric is a natural killer (NK) agent)
  8. IP6
  9. Poly MVA
  10. Homeopathic mixture that was custom made for him by Dr. Lord to help with his specific symptoms
 I stopped everything except for the Milk Thistle and Astragalus when he went in to the hospital.  We started him back up on Stasis of the Mansion of the Mind and Wei Chi Booster 2 weeks after his last CK therapy.

We also started to use a Natural Hydrocortisone pill that we weaned him on to to replace the prednisone he was on.  The Natural Hydrocortisone is soy-based and I do not feel it is nearly as strong as the prednisone. For every 10mg of prednisone he was on, he took 20mg of the natural hydrocortisone.  Sometimes I felt like he needed more.  We did get him down to 5mg of prednosone every 4 days and 20mg of natural hydrocortisone ever other day before he went down hill after chasing that squirrel. I've heard different doctors thinking different things about it so if this is something you are considering weigh all the options and facts with your vet. The positive is that the soy-based natural hydrocortisone won't mess with liver and kidney functions as much as the prednisone does, in my opinion through, and I have no medical background, I think the prednisone is more effective, but that doesn't mean you can't use them together or that the natural hydrocortisone may not work better for another patient who isn't as advanced as Max was.  I think it's very important to remember that every patient is unique and I am just letting you know what we did and what worked for us as well as what options you may have and may want to discuss with your vet.

We have had a lot of success treating our pets with homeopathic methods, Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture and alternative therapies including ozone therapy for other kinds of cancers.

Max has been on an anti-cancer diet most of his life which is probably why he doesn't have any sign of cancer anywhere in his body. Meningiomas are benign masses.

His typical meals include:

  1. Grilled Chicken usually - sometimes steak (1x every other week)
  2. Fresh Veggies or a 1/2 cup of Honest Kitchen Brand Freeze Dried Veggies (Preference)
  3. Scoop of organic canned pumpkin
He has been completely grain free since he came to live with us when he was 11.

He loves to eat frozen broccoli as treats, or cantaloupe, blueberries, apples, carrots, cucumbers, or other veggies. The dogs also get frozen raw bones with the marrow inside. I usually keep them frozen because they last longer, are less messy, and keep them cool in the summer. I'll also refill the raw bones with organic salt free, sugar free peanut butter and freeze them too.  The dogs also love roasted turkey, and salmon which they occassionally get.  We have very rarely ever bought and fed our dogs commercial dog food and when we have it's been either The Honest Kitchen or B.G. (Before Grain) products.

Protecting his turf

Just 2 weeks since we got home from NY and 2 weeks and 1 day after Max's final cyberknife treatment, he ran right out the front door, across the front yard and barked at the strange people coming out of the woods with the rest of our dogs... as you can see he's pretty much back to his normal self!  I'd say his vision is a little bit off from falling in the gravel and injuring his eye when his balance was really bad 3 weeks ago - he was a little surprised to see me at the front door, but aside from that - he's completely normal, barking, hearing, interacting, playing and protecting the house!  (Max is the little yellow dot in the distance.. in the sun... in the middle of the video in the beginning)

It's great to see!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Take that to the Bank Max says!

On 10-9-11 Max joined me in running errands!  He had a nice trip tot he Bank where he met everyone, eavesdropped on people's personal financial conversations by slipping into offices, and examined the inner workings of the copy machine.  He was given 2 biscuits and bowl of water and enjoyed his trip!

We met a woman who's son's dog had had cyberknife treatments too! She said it had been over a year and everything was great with his dog! She was so excited to meet us that she called her son while she was waiting for her banker to let him know she met another dog who had had cyberknife treatments too!

There was another couple in the bank who's dog was also a patient of Dr. Bush's at Bush Veterinary Neurology Center !  Small world!


This report just in....SQUIRRELS IN THE BACK YARD! 
Max and Buster #2 went out to go potty... #2 saw a squirrel scurry up a tree and with a leap and a bound he was at the foot of the tree barking. Max saw #2's feet leave the ground and next thing I knew he was leaping and bounding and just about to jump off the wall down into the woods when he THANKFULLY heard me yell "MAAAAAAAAXXXXXXX", stopped turned around and gave me one of those "What did I do now?" looks...

I believe it will be a few more weeks before Max will be squirreling.. That's how we ended up in our last downward spiral. I prefer that not to happen again.

10-13-11 Seems to be Totally back to normal!

Today is Thursday 10-13-11, not even 2 full weeks after Max finished his cyberknife treatments and he appears to be totally back to normal! I woke up this morning to Max in his dog bed next to me watching me sleep like he used to!

He spent the entire night there!  Since we've been home he's been sleeping out in the hall by himself, which is totally not like him. He has always been the dog who would never let me out of his sight!

He did get up 3 times last night to go out, but made sure he woke me up to let him out each time. Both eyes are very clear! He even jumped over his brother Buster who was snoring in the middle of the floor to get out of the bedroom!

This morning he actually ate some dog food (not that we normally feed him dog food, but it makes it a whole lot easier to get his pills down with mushy dog food.  He actually was excited about it! 

 Once I slipped his milkthistle and astragalus capsules in his dog food he became a little more leary of it... He ate one capsule but not the other and I can't tell which so I'll have to try again. I definitely am beginning to think his lack of appetite may have been him not wanting to feel drunk with the anti-seizure medication.

After he finished his breakfast he went and did his rounds trying to steal everyone else's food. I did catch him chowing on Rex's raw food.. not so sure I want Max eating raw yet.. maybe when he's completely off the prednisone and his immunity is
back to normal, but it's good to see he's interested in it again!

Last night he even snuggled up with Buttercup (his sister) and lay down with his head on my foot, he's interacting more and more with everyone!

When he went potty after breakfast he decided he was going to be super man and ran and skipped a step coming back up into the house... He's definitely MUCH more stable on his feet. I don't see any unsteadiness or wobbling any more! No twitching, no head tilting, no leaning, no circling and his eyes are both blinking at the same time!  I LOVE IT!  I'm very hopeful he keeps improving from here!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Wild man is back!

So... after a few days of Max sleeping 22 out of 24 hours and not being interesting in food, I decided to see what would happen if I completely took him off of his anti-seizure medication for 24 hours.  Possibly not the wisest idea in the world, but Max never had a seizure prior to cyberknife, and only had one seizure since that was just over 1 minute.

The results of my experiment were that Max ate a salad, lettuce and all! a bag of frozen broccoli (one of his favorite things), 1/2 of a roaster that he split with the cat, 1/2 of a chicken breast, some more curried chicken, he took a long walk outside around the house and then up and down the driveway, he started to follow spoken commands again (like go potty), and both eyes started to blink at the same time (prior it had been looking like he was just alternating eyes and winking at you!). He also decided it was a good idea to go into cahoots with the beagle and try and steal the cat's chicken by flipping him off his bed, then he tried to get into the cat's bed and steal more chicken.. and got himself swatted, but still he remained undeterred...   The old Max is back!

Then I thought it might be a good idea to put him back on his anti-seizure meds and he's not very happy with me at the moment. I wonder if there's something that he can take where he can be more himself.  It may be better that he's not pushing the limits at the moment, but I can assure you, when not on anti-seizure meds.. he is 100% the old Max. 3 weeks ago he couldn't even hold his head up.. now he's getting into trouble!

He's down from 40mg of prednisone to 10mg too! I know we still have a long road ahead of us, and he's doing amazingly well!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Curried Chicken... ???

I just don't know what to say!  Max (and our kidney failure cat) are both on hunger strikes tonight. Max will only eat curried chicken and he goes NUTS for it! I'm not sure how good it is, since I didn't make it.. I know the chicken is good for him and the tumeric is good for him but not so sure about the mayo or curry... Who's ever heard of a dog who loves curried chicken?!

Today is the first day since Cyberknife that we started to wean Max off the prednisone. He is now down to 10mg a day. When he went into the hospital he was on 40mg / day.  It's all very amazing!  Of course he spent the whole day sleeping, much more than he normally has been. He's been dreaming quite a bit too today, lots of chasing things, and barking in his sleep.

He got up a few times today to go potty and see how his new fenced in yard was coming along.  He even walked all the way across the front yard and around the corner of the house - he didn't follow me in the woods though, thought it might be best to lay down in the dirt and just watch.. not really up for any adventures.  That's the furthest he's wandered around the house in a while. He's bored I can tell, but hasn't really wanted to go anywhere either. Energy is still low  which we expected.. yet he can run through the house and check every room looking for me pretty quickly if he wants to and he'll still jump up and bark with the rest of the animals.  He has a little skip in his step and he tried to hop up over the stairs this am too. He did manage to hop OVER buster earlier today as well.

Some photos from yesterday 10-9-11

Friday, October 7, 2011

Information about Cyber Knife

I've received a few emails asking for more information about the CyberKnife Procedure so I wanted to post a few links for people to check out. I found these helpful.

** There are patient forums out there for humans who have undergone CK, which is interesting because they can put into words what your pet can't. (CK is not just for dogs, there was a cat in there when we were there and I also had heard about a goat who underwent it too!).

The main difference between the animals and the humans is that the animals need to be sedated during their procedures.

We were up in NY for 5 days. Monday was the planning day and they mapped Max's brain using CT and MRI scans and planted gold seeds (inert metal) to help the cyberknife robot triangulate and hit it's target exactly. Then we had Tuesday off, Wed, Thurs, and Fri max had CK treatments and then he was done!

10-7-11 Update

Today mark's one week since Max's Final Cyberknife treatment and all in all he's doing much better than I ever expected, and I"m very happy about that. He had a seizure a few days ago that a little more than a minute, the kind where everything stiffens up and he starts running in place, a little foaming at the mouth, peeing on himself.. and then when he came out of the seizure he threw up. Unlike my other animals when they seize, Max decided that he needed to run a marathon for an hour after. He ran all over the house and our yard, non stop for an hour (and here I was wondering if I had over done it earlier in the day when I took him for a walk!

The neurologist on call prescribed an anti-seizure medication for Max, and this is where we learned that there are absolutely NO 24x7 pharmacies within 30 minutes of our house! Personally I don't think the anti-siezure medication is good for him - at least the one prescribed. He has had heart palpatations since, and has had an upset tummy. I can see him breathing from the lower end of his tummy and it's more labored, he also vomits every 12 hours or so after he is dosed this medication, even on pepcid or zantac. One of the side effects of this medication is to feel drunk and woozy. He's definitely wobbly so I'm guessing that that has something to do with it.

Last night Dr. Bush suggested we try pepcid and boiled chicken and rice for Max to see if that will help him eat.  So this morning that's what I made for him... and it worked.. He at our other dog's breakfast!  (not the chicken and rice). So our next test is to see if it stays down

For anyone who is concerned about cognitive skills and cyber knife. Max is his normal self, a little more tired than normal but that's a normal side effect. In humans I've read that the lethargy can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of years, and I'm sure it depends on where their tumors are, and the medications they are on.  The prednisone itself makes Max really tired. He usually sleeps very soundly for a good 4-5 hours after taking his prednisone dose and then he's his normal self. With the anti-seizure medication he just sleeps all day and night long.

He knows to come and get me when he needs to go to the bathroom, and actually will search the house for me if he can't find me. He still waits in the front window for me when I go out. When he's not on the anti-seizure medication he's more curious and wants to sniff around outside and check and see what the contractors are working on or who is coming to the door.  He still barks and runs to the door and then comes to get me when the door bell rings. Last night he even engaged in a little body slamming with his rottie sister, Buttercup.  But his energy does come in short bursts and that's ok.  He just needs his rest and I"m anticipating that for at least the next month he'll be doing a lot of resting.

At meal time he still comes to the kitchen and examines what everyone else is eating, even if his tummy is too funky to eat. He'll still also herd the shepherd out of the kitchen as well.  Last night I heard him give off a low growl to our beagle when he was thinking of trying to steal Max's food, and a low growl to the cat who wanted to sleep on the same dog bed.  He's working on gaining his strength and getting back to his normal self.

I am not sure but I think loss of appetite may also be a side effect of radiation though too - or I may be getting that confused with chemo, of course the prednisone should be making him eat cardboard.  I"m sure his appetite will eventually make it's way back after we are able to stabilize his tummy.  This happened when he first went on prednisone as well.
(Above - Max had run to the window to see what the dogs were barking about - still not 100% - he'd be the loud one if he was and that tail would be waiving like a flag.. but he's starting to get back into the swing of things a bit)

(Above - Max around 6pm today. Not barking but you can see he's still a part of the pack and still wants to know what's going on and obviously could hear the alarm!)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

10-4-11 Cognitive Skills..

This is a 2 part video.. sorry - Max had to go potty in the middle and he's still a little unstable so I don't let him go down stairs without adult supervision... had to turn the camera off - plus he already dove down a full flight of stairs running outside to chase a deer with his sister, Buttercup.. don't need any more trauma to the head.. you know?!

10-2-11 - 2 days after final CK treatment

I sound like the mother of "Jeffrey" in Bill Cosby's bit about the over protective mother.. anyway - Max attempting to perform some of HIS favorite tricks.. not mine!

10-1-11 - Our 8.5 hour trip back home after a week of Cyber Knife Therapy

Max at a rest stop using the facilities... On the way home, we stopped at the Walt Witman Rest stop in NJ and there were a number of dogs there - it was kind of like the NJ Turnpike dog park for a while! As dog park people start doing.. we talk and a woman asked me why Max was a little wobbly and I explained he had just had Cyber Knife and she got all excited, her neighbor's dog had undergone CK therapy in Yonkers over a year ago and was doing fantastic! That was really good to hear! And of all places.. The Walt Witman NJ Turnpike Dog park!

9-30-11 - after 3 days of Cyber Knife treatments

I was originally planning on taking Max back to the hotel with me each night but he was the last one they Ck'd each day and he was so groggy I thought it might be better to leave him there. Plus the person who administered his anesthesia said if it was her dog she would have had him spend the night just to be on the safe side.. not that the hotel was far.. it was literally 2 minutes from the hotel (Hampton Inn & Suites Yonkers is 2 blocks from the Animal Specialty Center).

The 2nd day when I was checking in to see how Max was doing I ran into another woman who's dog was also undergoing Cyber Knife and she said they took their dog home but he was out of it and had some accidents and they left him at the hospital the 2nd night. He didn't really care where he was so she knew he wouldn't be stressed. Max was the same way.

Everyone at Animal Specialty Center was fantastic!

9-30-11 after the 3rd Cyber Knife therapy - happy to be back with mom.. I think.. but still drugged and drunk - and all he wanted was water!

"How do you turn this thing on? I know water comes out somewhere"

"Ok Fine, you're not going to turn that tub on.. I've seen other dogs do this... crud.. I can't get my head in there... it's too High!!!"

(the lid was shut after this photo was taken to prevent and foul water from being ingested!)


After our adventure at Larchmont Manor Park, and Walters Hot Dogs and mom's trip down memory lane... it was time for Max to take a well earned nap!

However... we made a little trip to the hospital at 5pm for some swelling in Max's nose (one of the gold seeds that had been implanted migrated into his sinus tissue and it was unfortunately getting infected.. - This is totally rare and Max had been on a ton of immune boosters so that may have contributed.. but antibiotics and the infection went down in a day - however he had a good impression of Spuds McKenzie going.. that and his Right side was clearly sheltie.. while his left side was looking more labish... he is half lab / half sheltie after all!

9-27-11 Our day off before Cyber Knife treatments start

These photos posted in reverse order again

On our way to the park!

You mean we're not going to the hospital?!

Alright! Now we're talking! I love to watch things floating in the water.. and no better place to see things floating in the water than the Long Island Sound!

I wish I had a little more energy - I'd bark or try and jump in! I love this rock climbing thing though!

That place is kind of pretty can we go over there?!

I wanna get that stick but I don't have the energy.. oh yeah.. and I'm the only dog in the world who doesn't know how to swim..

Insisting on getting as close to the floating stuff in the water as possible.. and yes.. he did decide to sit in that puddle!!! It was FANTASTIC!

He loves this spot!

I want that duck! (the black spot)

Can we move here?!

9-26-11 - Day 1 - Cyber Knife Planning Day

We must be in good hands!

Max waiting for Dr. Joseph to come in for his first meeting.. and a day of planning. Today was the day that they implanted the gold seeds in Max's head and started the planning of his head for the cyber knife, using the MRI and CT scanner

All done! And surprisingly not too bad after a day of anesthesia - he ate a good meal, was moving around great! Better than he was when he got there!

Dog in motion.. Max could not sit still! He was checking out the hotel room, looking for food, had lots of energy after his planning session despite being anesthetized

More food!

Getting close to that big napkin on the bed again!

Ok... time for a nap!

Now time for a potty break.. digging that great carpet pattern at the hotel!

Ok - I have to go POTTY NOW!! Why is the outside so far! What do you mean I can't pee once we get out of the door from our hotel room?!

9-25-11 A LONG DAY 8.5 hour drive to NY for Cyber Knife

For some reason these photos all loaded in reverse order...

Sunday 9-25-11 was a very very long day!! Max FINALLY was walking and we were able to get him in for Cyber Knife starting Monday 9-26. The beginning of a VERY LONG Journey!

At the hotel after eating dinner - Max needs a napkin... and there's no better napkin than the sheets on a bed right?

Bed time..

Stuck in Traffic on the 8.5 hour drive to NY

Still on the Road... moving right along..

Seriously cat.. could you please hurry up? I have a long trip to NY ahead of me.. I know you have kidney disease and need all the water you can get, but I'm on prednisone and it makes me VERY THIRSTY!