Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Brat Pack Update

Maryann here.  The Brats will be taking back control soon.

First, I'm SO excited about our new blog layout that we owe two of our great friends HUGE for...but don't want it to be lost in this post.  Soooo...it's coming soon. We can't thank you enough.

What I did NOT want to do is kick off our return to blogging with a negative post, but I don't know how else to go about this so here I am.  Today we had a three hour vet appointment here at the house, we now have a great vet who makes house calls.  It's a lot less stress on the seniors so it works out perfectly.

I guess first though I should make an announcement for those of you not on my Facebook...we have had a new pack member since December!  His name is Otis and he's a rescued Dogue de Bordeaux.  I'll post his story and pics soon, but suffice it to say he's a great addition and I love him to pieces. (You can see his pic on our side menu)

So here's a breakdown of what's going on here in the Brat House...

Rulon (79 lbs)
Great report, just had necessary vaccinations and we made a group attempt to trim his nails.  It looks like he's doomed to sedation for any further nail clippings.  Other than that he's his usual happy self.  :)  Thank DOG.

Otis (approx 120 lbs)
Big boy Otis has had an incontinence problem since I adopted him.  He's been on meds that have helped some but he's still having a lot of issues at night so he's going to start a higher dose of Phenylpropanolamine to see if it helps.  If it doesn't then we'll have to go from there, in the meantime he's wearing a diaper at night...yes, a diaper.

He has a hernia that is pretty prominent that will need to be removed relatively soon.  In addition, his two upper canines have actually grown back towards the back/roof of his mouth, almost like they are growing into the roof/upper gum line.  It's hard to explain, but I'll post a picture.  This is causing food and anything else to get caught in the tiny area left between his canines and roof and will lead to all kinds of other health issues. It's apparently not going to be an easy job to get them out and once she started talking about having to drill into the upper mouth area I zoned out. His mouth is pretty much a poster child of bad breeding. SOOOO...he will be having one surgery to remove the canines and the hernia at the same time.  If the meds do not solve the incontinence problem then I'm guessing we'll also be addressing that during surgery as well.

Bear (107 lbs)
My big sweet Bear has been having some joint issues lately, having a hard time getting up and moving around at times but nothing horrible.  He did roll off my (very high) bed last night and landed hard on his hind end so I know that was hurting him today.  Long story short, he's got arthritis problems and he's really slowing down.  He's starting a new medicine regime tomorrow which includes Tramadol and Meloxicam multiple times a day.

He has a few different fatty cysts throughout that weren't a big concern, but I found another lump yesterday that I just had a bad feeling about.  We did needle aspiration today and it just doesn't look good.  I am supposed to apply a hot compress four times a day for the issue at the top of the skin and will wait on word on the tumor below the surface.  I just have a gut feeling and it's not good.  If it's Cancer we'll have immediate surgery to remove the area and I don't know what will happen from there depending on what they find.  In the meantime he will also be on two weeks of Cephalexin to clear up any infection he has going on and will recheck the surface in two weeks.

Millie (17 lbs)
When I adopted Millie about 4 years ago the people who dumped her said she was 17.  As time has gone on I've been less inclined to believe that since she's still around but the vet today said she easily believes she is 20+ years old.  Ironically, her heart sounded great so that was good news.

She is pretty much full of cysts/tumors and due to her age I'm choosing not to address any of them.  The real problem is that she has quite a bit of arthritis in her back/along spine plus her legs which is causing her pain.  She screams if you pick her up or if anything is coming towards her that she can't get away from. So she's starting a regime of Tramadol and Rimadyl twice a day to help her with the pain.  As expected in a dog her age, her teeth are in poor shape but she's just too old to sedate her for any kind of surgery or cleaning.  However, this can be causing infection in other organs so she is starting on Clavamox to hopefully fend off any further infections anywhere.  Fingers are crossed. I find hope in that she still plays with Rulon a few minutes a day.

On top of the above...her persistent cough that she has had since I adopted her has become increasingly worse.  Since her heart sounds great she's leaning more towards it being a collapsing trachea issue.  SO in hopes of controlling her cough and giving her trachea and such a break, she's starting Hydrocodone syrup twice a day.  She will be on this for the remainder of her life to help control this problem.

Samantha (70 something lbs, she wouldn't hold still)
I dread writing this.
Samantha has advanced bone cancer in her back leg.  At her age and in her condition I (and the vet) do not think it would be fair or smart to put her through amputation and chemo.  It's not an easy decision but I just don't think it's the right thing to do for her situation.  Maybe I'm wrong, I don't know but I'm just trying to do what is best for her quality of life.  So we are going to manage her pain as best as possible for as long as she is comfortable and happy.  She is going to start a hefty mix of Tramadol and Meloxicam tomorrow and hopefully that will make her more comfortable.  I guess I'll just take it day by day.

She also has another ear issue so we're starting TrizUltra Keto as well.

Dot (she won't let me post her weight)
THANKFULLY all of Dot's cysts around her abdomen are just fatty harmless cysts.  Huge, but harmless.  Unfortunately she does have two spots on her front legs that could very well be bone cancer and if so I will take the same course as Samantha.  Waiting on more info but again, I have a gut feeling and it's not good.  Her arthritis is bad and she's having a hard time moving around, getting up, etc.  She can NOT have Rimadyl as she almost died from it earlier in life.  So she's starting a mix of Tramadol and Meloxicam so hopefully that will make her more comfortable.  Her spirits are good, but her body just can't keep up. :(


I guess in a nutshell I am going to choose quality of life over quantity.  I still look back on the last three years of Thrawn's life and a part of me hates myself for putting himself through it because I couldn't let go.  I flat out asked THE question today about my four seniors.  She feels maybe six months for Samantha, very doubtful for longer than that.  With the other three my best hope is probably 1-2 years at most in a best case scenario.

I really don't know what to say about it all.  I knew the situation I was getting into when I adopted each one of these dogs, I knew that having 4 seniors here was eventually going to be a very hard situation.  It just always seemed far off but here it is staring me in the face.  I am thankful that I brought Otis in for Rulon, they've become the best of friends and to face facts at some point in the not too far future they'll be the last of the pack left.

It's funny, when Tucker and Dakota died suddenly I said I was at least happy that it wasn't some long drawn out process for them.  Now I'm in the opposite situation with four of the Brats, it's just looming "someday" soon.  I know "someday" comes for everyone, but I guess I just would have rather lived in denial.  Not very adult of me I know.

I guess the new rules of the house here is anything goes...treats, toys, exciting food, outings, whatever makes these guys happy for as long as they have left with me is what will happen.  I am thankful I have this blog as a living scrapbook of their lives, I just wish I hadn't missed the last six months.  Hopefully our friends will stick around with us as we work on blogging again on a regular basis.

Thanks to everyone again for being the best of friends to us all.


Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Khyra's Mom here -

Quality over quantity any day -

It is our belief here -

We always say they will let us know -

So we listen -

And in the mean time, love them for all they are worth - and then some!

Khyra and Phyll

Sophie Brador said...

Brats! You guys have an awesome life and for as long as you are around, it will continue to be awesome. Love you all.


P.S. But esp Bear and um, I am kind of in love with that Otis dude too.

Lacy said...

w00fs, wow, thats a lot to take in..and very scary...Four seniors, wow...i think like Khyra, when its time they will let u know...we love u and are here for u ...

b safe,

Asta said...

How wondewful to see all of you back hewe in bloggie land!!1 Auntie MawyAnn
You have always given them all youw love and I know you will do whatevew will make evewy moment of theiw lives happy and comfowtable.
I can't think of anyone mowe capable to give them the quality of life that is the only thing impawtant. I don't know if you know ow not, but that's what mattews to us doggies. The wondewfulness, not the length.
Youw life togethew is full of love and fun.
I'm sowwy fow all youw wowwy auntie Mawyann. We love you and admiwe you fow giving all the bwats heav en on eawf!
Thank you!!!!!!
smoochie kisses

Baby Rocket Dog and Hootie said...

Wow. A lot to handle, but you sound like you are prepared. Your 4 oldsters are very lucky to be able to live out their life with you and each other too.
Sending soothng smooches,
BabyRocketDog and Hootie
(& Cassie,the human)

Bren said...

our mummy agrees with you, quality over quantity here too, We were not sure what that meant so mummy explained that is all about lots of loving and fun... fun sounds good.

~ SnP and their mum Bren Freeland Mundy from Fb

Lorenza said...

I am very happy to know you will be blogging again!
FB is something we don't do well.
We agree with you. Quality over quantity.
We know you are doing what is best for them... and they know that too!
Take care
Kisses and hugs

Ruby Bleu said...

LOVE the new blog design!!! as for everything else, I have no doubt you will do what is right by the Brats. And always know we are here standing right beside you through it all.

Lots of Love and Licks...
Michele & Ruby

roughseasinthemed said...

Another vote for quality of life here too.

I was surprised when Pippa had tick disease how effective his NSAID was at pain relief. It was Previcox (firoxicob) and like some of your stuff is a Cox-2 inhibitor. So fingers crossed that the meds take away the pain for all your oldies.

I like the new look. It looks very clean and will really show off all those latest pix that you WILL be posting soon :)

Katherine (and Pippa)

Gus said...

Weighing in here on the Quality side of the issue too. And we know that they are all well loved, well fed and well cared for. Truly; that and a few walks and romps are the best! Kudos to Miss Millie, a true survivor! Teka says she hopes she is just as beautiful at 140!


Raising Addie said...

That sure is a lot to take in all at once. We can't even imagine how you must feel right now. Quality of life is the best way to go. It always scares us so much when we hear it but it is what's best for the pups. Happy and enjoying life for as long as possible. Keep your chin up and let us know if you need anything.

BIG hugs to all of you!

Lots of Luv & Kisses
Addie, Lucie and Hailey

Fred said...

Thanks for the pupdate!

Painter Pack said...

We have to agree with Khyra. Although the loss will be painful for us-humans-we have to do what is best for the ones we love. I am praying for your sweet Brats. And for you.


Daisy Dog said...

We have missed you! Thanks you for the update on all the Brats. youa re doing the right thing, and giving those seniors a loving home to be in during those hard times.

MJ's doghouse said...

wow we have sooooooo missed your blog....otis makes mjs lady parts tingle....anyhow on to more serious note....you are amazing...your pups are so lucky to own you....it is soo hard to find anyone to adopt seniors...but here is what i need to knwo...we live in canada..(the yukon right now) but what i want to know is all this medication is so expensive here....do you know of any place you can get meloxicam..i mean mj is worth every penny...but we just dont have that many pennys...lol..she has bad arthritis...and i just worry about her all the time...anyhow...i am so happy you are back blogging...your dogs are so lucky to have you...

Puppy Dog Tales said...

We have read your blog for a long time, but never commented. Sissy feels bad because she's been reading since before Thrawn passed.

We know Maryann has always had her dogs best interests at heart. and Quality over quanity is a good idea. And We know you are doing the best you can for your beloved furkids.

THe lamb tails Pack

Jasmine, BamBam and Eski said...

Maryann, you're such a gem.
we know it's definitely not easy to cope with all of these - stay strong! *thinking of you & the brats*

The Brat Pack said...

MJ...we left a msg on your blog, but tell your Mom to email our Mom at izzarelli@gmail.com!

Texas The Doxie said...

Glad to see you guys posting again! Wow you guys are going through a lot, but we're glad these dogs have you!! :)

Lisa said...

Glad to see you back. Welcome to the pack, Otis!

I'm somsorry you're having to deal with major health issues and limited time with so much of the pack. Enjoy what time you have. I know you'll do the right thing for all of them.

Kirby, CGC said...

Glad to read your posts again...A BIG welcome to Otis, gotta love that smile!

The pack is lucky to have you, you have chosen to give them the best quality life that you can. When others gave up on them, you didn't!

Kirby's mom