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My dear Kuvasz Kodi has been diagnosed with osteocarcinoma.

 
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Oct, 2005 09:11 pm
Too dear, too dear... rhrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrm!
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Oct, 2005 12:43 am
Thank you for continuing to post, kuvasz. It must be extraordinarily hard sometimes.

The photograph of your beautiful Kodi with her vet helpers was delightful. Very Happy They look such an friendly, enthusiatic & caring group! I'm glad of that, as Kodi has to see so much of them.
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glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Oct, 2005 10:25 am
Hello Kuvasz,

I hope things are improving for your puppy and she is more comfortable. I'll keep a good thought for her.
Quick update on my dog Sadie, the second opinion recommended surgery. We had to take a big gulp on this one. Wed was the day they operated and repaired 10 discs and removed a lump the size of tennis ball in her neck.
I was able to visit on Thurs and Fri, but they don't allow visitors over the weekend and the doc wants to keep her until Monday. I guess that's for the best, she is getting excellent care and should be stronger when we pick her up on Monday.
On Thursday she seemed reasonably alert, and ate a whole chicken breast for me, and lots of water. Friday, she was able to move her back legs which the Doc is jubilant about. While I visited on Friday, she started to take big ragged breaths and exhale with a groan. I asked the Vet tech to give her something to relax. She has a pain patch on, but she isn't happy and the groaning was more related to stress than pain. She settled down well after that.
They figure it will take 8 weeks for a complete recovery, so the glitterbags are prepping the house to become a recovery area.
I'll check in to see how Kodi is doing and wish you every thing good.
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kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Oct, 2005 10:52 am
glitterbag wrote:
Hello Kuvasz,

I hope things are improving for your puppy and she is more comfortable. I'll keep a good thought for her.
Quick update on my dog Sadie, the second opinion recommended surgery. We had to take a big gulp on this one. Wed was the day they operated and repaired 10 discs and removed a lump the size of tennis ball in her neck.
I was able to visit on Thurs and Fri, but they don't allow visitors over the weekend and the doc wants to keep her until Monday. I guess that's for the best, she is getting excellent care and should be stronger when we pick her up on Monday.
On Thursday she seemed reasonably alert, and ate a whole chicken breast for me, and lots of water. Friday, she was able to move her back legs which the Doc is jubilant about. While I visited on Friday, she started to take big ragged breaths and exhale with a groan. I asked the Vet tech to give her something to relax. She has a pain patch on, but she isn't happy and the groaning was more related to stress than pain. She settled down well after that.
They figure it will take 8 weeks for a complete recovery, so the glitterbags are prepping the house to become a recovery area.
I'll check in to see how Kodi is doing and wish you every thing good.


Gosh that must be hard on you to see her like that. Tramadol is the pain killer of choice according to the vets I talk to about pain managment. the patches do not seem to work on my dogs either.

I bet Sadie is happier now, but will take some time to recover. and as she does i hope she doesn't overdo it when she finds that the pain she normally felt with certain movements is no longer there.

I am amazed that with all that surgery she is coming home so soon. post a pix of your sadie if you can.

Best of luck and all my prayers to the both of you for her swift recovery.
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glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Oct, 2005 01:13 pm
Thank you for the note, Kuvasz. I know you are busy dealing with your own sick dog and I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

It does seem like a short time to be hospitalized, but 10 years ago, I had a bulging disc removed and I was only in the hospital overnight. Surgery around 4 in the afternoon, released at 6 the next morning. The big however, is that people can follow instructions (well, some of us) and dogs will feel better before they actually heal and will attempt to do too much.

We will have to support her back legs with a sling for a while, and the hospital will provide me with extensive instructions for a smart recovery.
I may be repeating myself, but mr glitterbag will take off next week and we will both be tending to her. I am looking forward to 8 weeks of sleeping on the floor to keep the dog still. I have a feeling this probably sounds nuts to some of the readers, but all the glitterbags are big saps for animals.

You are right about the pain, my surgeon told me that the first thing I said in recovery was "my leg doesn't hurt". And for Sadie, even the first day after surgery she was able to hold her head more erect than before the surgery. The surgeon repaired two discs in the neck, two between the shoulder blades, four about mid-back and two closest to the tail.

It looks gruesome, but that's because the poor beast was shaved from the base of her head to the beginning of her tail. The staples look nasty and everything is wiped down with betadine solution.
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Bob Lablob
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 02:30 pm
I got a sister who's damn near got her Lab Retriever on life support. Taking care of your animal is one thing but extending (or creating) it's suffering in order to sooth your own sense of grief and insecurity is a little insulting to the animal. Seeing what's better for the animal than for the owner is always in the animals best interest even if death is the result.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 02:46 pm
It really is awful when pets are alive and in pain.

Luckily, kuvasz and glitterbag, among others, love and respect their companion animals and are taking good care to make sure they are comfortable, not suffering.

I've know kuvasz, and admired the love and care he provides his animals, for many years. He would make no creature suffer unnecessarily. He's one of the best people around.

Our pets tell us when they are hurt - and when we can't help them anymore. It's a painful truth, and kuvasz has faced it - and dealt with it before.
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glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 04:31 pm
Well, as long as we are all letting it hang out, I should remind some of the new folks that both kuvasz and I have both owned many dogs and cats over the years. He is experiencing expectation of an upcoming loss and knows it's only a matter of time, and I doubt seriously he will make his animal suffer. As for me, once I found out what was causing my dog so much pain AND found a surgeon who could correct the problem, I decided to do it. mainly because I have has similar surgery myself and know how much better you feel when the pressure is taken off the spinal cord. Sadie is now able to stand unassisted, can walk with support of slings and gets better every hour. She can bend in positions that were completely impossible for her before and can hold her head erect for the first time in 8 months.

For those of you who worry about the money or the animal's pain, you simply don't know all the details here and I would suggest that you stick to something you enjoy. Unless of course you like to ridicule people who value their pets. So you can relax and worry about your own life, I will know when it's necessary to take the final step.

I understand I think, why some people think this unusual behaviour. It's something they wouldn't do. I don't understand why people collected beanie babies and carted them around like prized possessions. But they liked the little cloth animals and I'm more fond of the flesh and blood type.
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 05:22 pm
To think that an animal patient's condition is necessarily irreversible because it is severe is as absurd to think the same of a human patient on the verge of death. Sometimes they should be let -- or helped -- to go. Sometimes medicine can help.

I hate to think how many animals are put down each year because an owner deems a perfectly reparable condition hopeless and finds a vet who either agrees or is willing to do what they want. I worked with a dog today who was brought in to the shelter a couple of months ago to be put down. About 18 months old, hit by a car, fractured ulna and low-grade septicemia, and they wanted him put down. The biggest problem he's got now is that he doesn't like his splint.

God forbid people with the desire and the means to do something for their animal should try and do it.
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glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 05:36 pm
I agree with patio,
Years ago, close to Christmas, my husband traveled down to NC to be with his mother during quintuple bypass surgery. Two days before surgery he called me at the office to tell me that he and his brother found their step-father dead. He died sometime during the night of an apparent heart attack. He and his brother were heading to the hospital to tell their mother. I picked up my son and left for airport and stayed thru the funeral and surgery for my Mother-in-law. I left for home before my husband did, to get my son back to school and I remember one of the strangest things my co-workers asked me. She asked if "Dad" had been sick, I said no, but he had surgery to correct blockages in his legs about a year ago....and she said "Oh, so it was expected". No, it was not expected, we thought he was doing just fine. The other question asked was "Well has your husband's Mother gotten used to the loss of her husband?". All I could say was "He's only been dead for 10 days".

Anyhow, everybody has different levels of compassion, usually because they have either experienced or never experienced losses like the ones they comment on. And there is that group inbetween, who just don't understand why family members or family pets become so much a fabric of your life.
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flushd
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 07:16 pm
Just sending some warm thoughts kuvacs way.

I can't believe how large your pup is! She's such a beauty. I hope things are well for you and her and the rest of your pack !
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 07:18 pm
<props to the mods>
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kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 08:03 pm
Such kind words. Thanks.

Folks who are really guardians for their pets know when their pet has reached the point where their next day is truly worse than the previous one. and we know that it is our duty to our pets to do what must be done to them. in this way the paradox of life is revealed, that love forces one to do for another that which is worst for the best reason.

sitting in the vet school lobby I met folks; men, women, and children who had as much love and care for their dog, cat or parrot as I did for my Kodi. we all felt a kinship in knowing a part the feelings that the other person had for their own pet. it was a lobby filled with the society of the caring.

I sat with a number of old ladies, and young men, each holding their cat or dog next them them, petting their four legged buddies, asking how they were, that their pet was beautiful (and each was), and how they and their pet were doing. every single one looked at their pet the same way I look at Kodi and began to tell me the story of their pet's life. how old they were, what ailed them, a funny story, a nick name, something special that only they and their pet shared.

I saw more love in that lobby than I have ever seen in the highest cathedral or grandest church I have visited.

I know that I will have to euthanize Kodi in a short period of time. I know that as she looks at me and smiles and it breaks my heart to think of it. but what is worse is that I would not help her out of her pain. that obligation is the most important one; that she does not suffer undue pain. no pet owner who loves their pet wishes that their animal live in pain, that is the antithesis of what love and respect is.

James Joyce once remarked that pornography was the desire to possess art instead of appreciating it as the door art opened to a greater truth.

No pet owner who truly loves their animal wants anything more than what is best for the animal.

The passing of Kodi's sister many years ago taught me my life's lesson. I reflected on this as I held Aja's head in my hands and watched her eyes slowly dull and close for the last time and thought to myself:

"Did I treat you during your life as I now wished I had?"

Deep inside me a voice softly said "Yes," and it eased the pain of her passing because I knew I had honored the commitment we had between us.

I honor that commitment now with Kodi and as long as I see that she choses life, I will be beside her and comfort her.

Kodibear is sitting on the porch right now, as she has for many years, looking at me with her great big smile. she is still here. it is not yet time for her to go. and that smile tells me so.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 08:40 pm
Kuvasz, you are a big help to me, thanks. Kodi is a lucky girl.
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glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 12:19 pm
Kuvasz, I think you write beautifully about your lovely Kodi. I wish I were half as talented.
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kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 01:39 pm
glitterbag wrote:
Kuvasz, I think you write beautifully about your lovely Kodi. I wish I were half as talented.


glitterbug, thanks, but it seems the only talent i have right now is repairng fences Lucky and Dr. j can escape from. each of the last three days, i have left my house before dawn on business and each time I return, they are waiting for me outside the fence with red clay all over their little paws and large holes under my fence in areas next to where I mended the fence from their last escape escapade.
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ehBeth
 
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Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 01:43 pm
kuvasz wrote:
they are waiting for me outside the fence with red clay all over their little paws


and big smiles?
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kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Oct, 2005 06:22 pm
Hello folks.

Kodi has now finished her last radiation therapy treatment and is home again. She has stolen the hearts of the vets and students at UGA. They all called her name when she walked thru the doors there on Wednesday and she was smiling and wagging her tail to greet them.

Her therapy seems to have been successful and she is walking much better now; even better than she was walking before the therapy. The vet said she looked better than the first time he saw her several weeks ago. She appears brighter and more energetic and still has her appetite.

Probably, she still has bone cancer, but the treatment was to mostly arrest it and hopefully slow any metasticization. She will be going on a drug to strengthen her bone structure in a week that will counter the weakening to the leg from the cancer.

Of course, both Luckie and Dr. J escaped this week on Tuesday and did some wildinging thru the neighborhood and did not come back until Wednesday morning. I fixed that with stringing barbed wire 1-2 inches from the bottom of the fence for several hundred yards. The very first time Luckie went to the fence line she hit the barbed wire and yelped, and Dr. J went next to see what was up with Luckie and he too found out about barbed wire!

Still, all in all the pack is back to near normal behavior today and the fact that Kodi is happy and moving better has made the pack happy too. She evn strolled out to the far end of the property exploring today... that made me so damned happy to see her out there walking better.

Tomorrow, I drive to the kuvasz kennel to get a rescue female kuvasz puppy of 5 months. It will be an experience for all of us, and I am taking Monday and Tuesday off to stay around the house to monitor the situation. I have not added a new dog to the pack since March of 2001 when I got Aja and Luckie within 2 weeks of each other (getting Little Bit in 2002 hardly counts in the scheme of things her being so small, she does not affect the pack structure), so a female kuvasz pup will definitely create a disturbance in the Force around here. But all my dogs are gentle sweethearts without any meanness and I think that she will fit in fine as soon as she gains some pack sensibilities... i expect a touch of jealousy from Aja with the new pup but one never knows, Aja is such a sweet dog she might treat her like her own puppy. I know Dr. J, Abba and Luckie will dote over her as a little sister.... as to Kodi, who knows, but I am sure the pup will be able to stay out of her way and anyway, Kodi basically adopted both Abba and Luckie when they came into the pack as puppies.

This will be my fifth kuvasz, so I think by now I have some idea of what to do and expect, but with this breed, one never knows and I am not about to be conceited and lackadaisical about bringing her into the pack and teaching her doggie manners. but on the other hand, I am expecting the pack to show her both love, the ropes, and discipline if she gets out of line.

Thanks all for posting to this thread and looking in on Kodi....and as usual, she got up from her spot on the porch and came in to sit next to me, and just gave out a great big bark.. obviously to say "HELLO TO ALL!"

What a gal!
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Oct, 2005 06:34 pm
Yahoo Kodi!
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kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Oct, 2005 10:42 am
On my way to get the new pup. I'll post a pix of her when I return
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