Gracie & CBD Oil

A few days ago, I started Gracie, who is now 13 years old, on CBD hemp oil in hopes of improving her mobility. Last night, she lept off the porch & ran after a critter she smelled in the woods, like a younger version of herself.

I don’t really want her disappearing into the woods at night like that, but I think the CBD oil is working.

Bert’s followup visit

We paid a visit to the vet’s office this morning for a follow-up to Bert’s jaw surgery. I had hoped to have the stitches removed, but decided to leave them in for a while longer to allow the front of his jaw to heal more.

Bert has lost 3 pounds over the last 10 days since surgery.  He is still struggling to eat & drink on his own, so I’ve been syringe feeding him.

I got a good look at his mouth and tongue and it is clear that his tongue is in great shape. The vet believes Bert should be able to lick & lap food & water into his mouth, but Bert is accustomed to having the support of his front lower jaw that is no longer there to help him. It looks like I’ll have to continue using the syringe to water and feed him for the foreseeable future.

One year with Raven

Today marks a year since I brought Raven home. She’s a great dog, so smart and so happy all of the time. Gracie has been a great calming presence to her & likes her company. Raven tries to herd Ernie (the cat) not so successfully. Ernie likes the attention most of the time. Bert, my sick kitty, is finally coming around, although that may be more because he’s sick and not so much because he’s accepted her presence. Raven loves them all and is delighted to be part of the pack.

My sweet Bert

My sweet kitty Bert has had some health issues lately and we’ve gotten to know our veterinarian pretty well since he’s made many trips for care in the last few months.

The vet performed some exploratory surgery on his bottom lip and chin 10 days ago and sent some tissue samples off to UGA for examination. We got the word on Thursday that the tissue was malignant carcinoma.

When the vet operated on him, he removed all of the suspicious tissue that he could see, so we are hopeful that he got it all and that Bert will live several more years. Bert is not as handsome now as he is in this picture above, but he is still just as sweet as ever. <3

Here’s a picture of what his lip and chin looked like before surgery.

UPDATE: 2/22/2018

Got really terrible confirmation today when I took Bert in for a final check up from his cancer surgery…..I noticed on Sunday night that his mouth didn’t look right and woke up Monday morning crying with the realization that the cancer was back. The vet confirmed it in today’s visit.

So now I must explore some options…..If anyone who reads this has had a pet with cancer, I would love to hear about your experience.

I will be taking Bert in for an oncology consult with a cancer expert, hopefully, next week and will go from there…..

Needless to say I am sick about this latest development. Right now, Bert is happy, eating well, and feeling pretty good, so it’s really hard to think about what is going to happen to him in the future. I just can’t bear to think about watching this beautiful, happy boy succumb to cancer.

UPDATE: 2/27/2018

I scheduled an appointment with a cancer specialist for Bert for this coming Thursday, but over the weekend, the tumor on his lip grew quite a lot.

Last week, when I discussed options for Bert with the veterinarian, I was given 3 options: a more invasive surgery, chemotherapy, and to do nothing. I had hoped to explore the veracity of chemo and then make a decision, but, given how fast the tumor is growing, I am concerned that the window for a surgical solution is closing rapidly, so I called the vet yesterday morning and told him that I thought we should pursue the surgical option as soon as possible.

So this morning I dropped Bert off at the vet’s office and sometime today he will be operated on again. This time the vet will remove part of his lower jaw (partial mandibulectomy) in the hopes of removing the cancer.

UPDATE: 2/27/2018 Post Surgery

The vet called me after surgery to let me know that Bert was okay.  He texted me a few pictures.

UPDATE: 2/28/2018

Bert got through surgery okay, but stayed overnight at the vet’s office. He is home now and appears to be hungry, but is having some difficulty eating. He has to learn a new technique for eating….

UPDATE: 3/01/201

Bert is struggling to eat, but he seems to be doing okay. His tongue hangs out of his mouth and he doesn’t have much of a lower jaw so when he tries to eat his tongue gets in the way. I have been syringing water & watered down food into him. It’s a very messy business and stressful for both of us.

So far, I think I’ve managed to get his meds in him and keep him hydrated, but haven’t gotten much food in him.

Tonight we wrapped him in a towel & Mark held him tightly. I was able to put some soft food on my finger & get it in his mouth. That was a little encouraging & tomorrow we will try to get more food into him.

Click here for next update –>

Milo crossed the Rainbow Bridge today

Best friends come in many shapes & sizes
This one in the shape of a scruffy little terrier

By all accounts a wanderer,
When I eyed him trotting down the road
On a cold Spring evening almost 10 years ago.

He was a social friendly guy who had never met a stranger
A loyal devoted buddy to anyone who needed a friend.
Even after He’d settled into his new digs he’d wander,
Following his nose in his paripatetic fashion to find some new interesting adventure
 

Over the years he moved a little slower & stiffer,
his handsome brown mask lightened to white,
and his wanderings became infrequent…

He enjoyed the comfort of a warm bed, a regular mealtime, and the occasional treat

 But mostly he just loved walking with his best friend
…and keeping his human company
and today as he crosses over the rainbow bridge, our hearts are sad and our tears are fresh

So long dear one….happy travels.

Out walking Gracie this evening, going the route we’ve walked hundreds of times, and Gracie got attacked by a boxer we’d never seen before.

I tried kicking the dog, yelling at the dog and then I picked up the biggest, heaviest stick I could find to bash him, but lucky for that dog (and for me) he decided to walk away. That dog could have killed Gracie & at one point he made eye contact with me as if to say “You’re next!”

I wasn’t particularly afraid of him, but I felt so helpless and I was afraid he’d hurt my Gracie! Thankfully, Gracie wasn’t hurt, at least I can’t find any wounds on her, but I’m still so upset by this. Next time I’ll be better prepared with pepper spray and a worthy stick and I won’t hesitate to use them if I see that dog again. I’m just glad I didn’t have Milo with me because I’m certain that dog would have killed Milo.