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4 weeks today since amputation

November 24, 2009

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I can’t believe it is 4 weeks today since Barney had his leg amputated. There have been so many highs and lows. Today and yesterday have been quite high. He is coping really well on the three legs and sometimes when you see him running and playing he looks as though he still has four legs. He has been given another chance at life and he really has taken it. He looks really happy lots of tail wags and I really feel that our Barney is back.
Today went to see our vet and had Barney weighed (50kgs) also he had his blood test, ready for his Chemo on Thursday. So we will see what the next lot of Chemo is like, it is Carboplatin this time.
We are off out for our afternoons walk it is very windy and just being to get dark.

Barney can sleep any where.......

Barney can sleep any where.......


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Yet another vets visit for weeping wound

November 21, 2009

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We had another rough day yesterday and that is why I haven’t posted for a couple of days.
Barney’s leg was, as my husband said more than once, “Running like a tap!” The fluid which is serum* was pouring out of 2 gaping wounds both approx 2cm long (see photo). The description of the running tap was absolutely right. We just did not know what to do so again in a panic we went to the vets our appointment wasn’t till 6pm but we couldn’t wait and just went at 4.45pm. Barney sleeps on duvets with covers, so we took one of those to the vets so as not to make the vets floor a swimming pool. The nurse in the practise was very calm when she saw Barney and said “that just serum”, trust me this does not put you mind at rest.
The vet, Jo, saw us in the waiting room, he is really patient with us had a quick look confirmed what Tracey (nurse) had said, he telephoned our orthopaedic surgeon who operated on Barney to see if he should stitch it on not. The surgeon said leave it open. Jo then, in between his other appointments, gently explained to us (again) that this was OK. This is like having a natural drain, having the liquid leave his body in this way was ok, it wasn’t infected (Barney is still on Antibiotics). We kept on asking questions, would he get dehydrated if this continued – no, should we still take him for walks as it seems worse after exercise –yes, is it really yukky stuff as Barney and Fred quite like to lick it if we don’t get there first – no it is supposed to be sterile fluid so won’t harm anyone.
After another 20 mins of reassurance Tracey asked if we would like it cleaned, I had cleaned it in the morning, the fluid is really hard once it dries and it took me ages to get it out his fur. Tracey went to work, she was brilliant and I won’t be frighten of hurting him when I do myself, she was firm but lovely, and rubbed quite hard and Barney just laid there loving all the attention. This was all happening in the waiting room with people in and out for appointments all making a fuss of Barney so he was well happy.
Today he really is like Barney he has had two lovely walks; he has been playing, running and happy. He has even started greeting us like he used to, that is holding our hand in his mouth and walking with us, he is so gentle.
I have just finished my 12th wash load of the day, tumble drier has been going non stop but it looks like Barney is only dripping now – result. I hope the worse is over. Chemo next week! Thanks for reading my blog.
*I have included the definition of this word [Serum: The clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood. Serum differs from plasma, the liquid portion of normal unclotted blood containing the red and white cells and platelets. It is the clot that makes the difference between serum and plasma.]

One of Barneys open wounds where all the fluid was pouring from approx 2cms

One of Barneys open wounds where all the fluid was pouring from approx 2cms


Barney on Video 3 weeks after op

November 19, 2009

This is my first attempt in uploading a video and using the video on my phone. The image isn’t that clear, if anyone can tell me what to do I would appreciate the help. 1st attempt not too bad!
So introducing Barney playing his favourite game of Chasing The Leaves!!


Another Trip To The Vets

November 19, 2009

Another vet’s visit, Barney’s wound although healed up brilliantly has opened up at two ends. It is really weeping and although Barney is on 2 lots of antibiotics it looks really yukky so off to the vet again this morning. After being reassured that the antibiotics will be doing their job and it really isn’t as bad as it look, we came home feeling happier.
The wounds are only surface deep so we are to keep on with tablets and spray with an antiseptic; our vet is very good with all three of us and does put our minds at rest.
The emotion strain looking after a dog like this is an absolutely rollercoaster as I know most of you will appreciate.
We have had a beautiful Autumn/Winter day here, a bit windy which is what Barney loves (for chasing leaves) and he has been out in the garden most of the day chewing a bone and barking to tell our neighbour that BARNEY IS STILL HERE!!
From the window I can see our neighbour chatting to Barney over the fence he is wagging tail and loving the attention.


3 Weeks Post Op and a Bit of a Fright!

November 17, 2009

Barney has had a bit of a set back, this morning I could see his wound weeping (quite a panic!) booked him straight into the vets it is trickling out pink watery liquid. Turns out that if, there is fluid around the site bacteria can easily get a hold. The vet said it looks a little inflamed and poor Barney is running a temperature. I would have thought after 3 weeks that we wouldn’t need to worry about infection as it looks so healed and healthy, but what do I know! So, another two lots of antibiotics and some Rimadyl twice a day.
He looks a little better this afternoon let’s hope the drugs kick in real soon. His next check up is in a week’s time for the wound and blood tests for next round of Chemo.
He has just been out for his afternoon walk and he seems so much better, running, playing and jumping after leaves blowing in the wind – brilliant!
These doggies sure keep you on your toes…..


A good day in the UK!

November 16, 2009

Today has been a pretty good day. The weather started off rainy and windy and miserable, but then the sun came out and Barney was in the garden most of the afternoon chewing a bone. I didn’t get a picture of this but when we walk out to the orchard I took some photos there.
As you can see he has his ruff wear harness on, it doesn’t seem to bother him at all and it is there in case we need it.
He was playing with sticks and his best game is “chase the leaves in the wind”. As it autumn now most of the leaves have already come off the trees so it’s up to us, either have to kick them in the air or throw them or my husband uses his walking stick! Barney waits in real anticipation for the leaves and then runs and jumps (yes jumps) for them. This really is good to watch but worries me silly in case he hurts himself, so far so good. He is enjoying himself and that’s what it’s all about.
It will be three weeks since the operation tomorrow I still sometimes wonder if we have down the right thing but today I know we definitely have, see what tomorrow brings……

Barney waiting for leaves

Barney waiting for leaves


Barney looking smart in his harness

Barney looking smart in his harness


Barney and Fred ~ Doing what dogs do!

Barney and Fred ~ Doing what dogs do!


2 weeks post op ~ 5 days post Chemo

November 11, 2009

I haven’t written for a couple of days. Our days are so up and down. One minute Barney looks green and poorly the next he is up and about. Talk about swings and roundabouts!!
I feel more in control again, I have felt totally “ga ga” recently, and the house is a mess, cooking has gone out the window but as I said I’m feeling better this last couple of days.
Barney is on some anti sickness tablets and I think they seem to be making him feel better.
His scar looks really good and his hair is beginning to grow back.
He is still having trouble with his back there is an itch or “feeling” along his spine that he whips his head round to bite or lick right at the base of his tail. I cannot see anything and when we rub down his spine a look of pure ecstasy comes over him. I have spoken to the vet and he says it might be where his hair growing back or that the nerves in his spine are tingling. He said it should settle down soon. Anyone else out there had anything like this??
We had another restless evening last night but then Barney eventually settled for the night. This morning he didn’t want his breakfast again and was hand fed (playing me??!!) but then he had a lovely play with Fred just like before he was ill, lots of verbals with biting and chewing of Fred face and visa versa , it was great to watch I only hope for more moments like these.

Liz (my daughter) and Brney resting

Liz (my daughter) and Barney resting


Day 10 post op – Day 2 Chemo

November 7, 2009

I am glad to say Barney looks better today, he is still off his food, although he really likes luncheon meat, of course, hand fed and he quite likes being hand fed biscuits.
He still has some fluid around the scar and it does still “flop” about when he walks.
I went out with our other dog Fred this morning and my husband and Barney came and met us at the end. This was the furthest walk he has been since being on three legs and he looked like he was really enjoying himself. He and Fred played for a bit – I tried not to look – and as Pat says it will help him build up his strength and get him back to a normal doggy life. I know he is right but it is really hard to keep my worries in check.
The weather is damp but very bright and Barney is a real outdoors dog and loves nothing more than lying about in the garden or drinking out the pond as you can see!

Just out having a walk

Just out having a walk

Like normal drinking out the pond!

Like normal drinking out the pond!

Barney enjoying the winter sun

Barney enjoying the winter sun


Day 9 post op – Day 1 Chemo

November 5, 2009

Barney went into his first chemo session today he had a blood test yesterday results were good. He had a round of Doxorubincin, it looks like it will be four rounds three weeks apart. Using Doxorubicin today next time Carboplatin and then repeated. We have been warned of anaphylactic shock for today and then maybe sickness, diarrhoea and generally unwell or maybe NO side effects. We will have to see, and to be fair that is what we have been doing all time.
At 6am my husband took both dogs out on the back field and they met their buddies in the dark, Barney and Fred played with Bonnie (a black lab) and Blaze (Springer) for a while and then came home to sleep for quite sometime.
The vets are quoting statistics and are only giving Barney the possibility of a year but he is a young dog and we are really hoping that he will have more of a future than that ~ As long as he is pain free and having fun that is all you can hope for.


Day 8 post Op

November 4, 2009

Barney seems to be getting on really well. He his hopping about quite easily. He does shoot his head right round to the base of his tail and if we rub him quite firmly along his spine a look of pure heaven comes over his face. We are not sure if this is phantom leg pain, fur growing back or what. Other than that swelling is looking good as is the bruising.
We visited the vets this morning for pre chemo blood test, weight and lots and lots of questions. Our regular vet had his day off but the one we saw was really really good. Me and Pat were so anxious about the blood test and how Barney was going to react but absolutley no worries there. We are going to have to be like our dog and not worry about things before they happen, just go with the flow…. and that’s going to be so easy lol!
The vet said that he probably would have had an epidural and there might be some tingling sensation down his spine this will ease with time.
After his little walk this morning and the vets visit Barney is zonked out in doors but in the sunshine.
Chemo tomorrow I will keep you posted.