Saturday, May 30, 2009

Something Fun

With Mira's surgery behind us it's time for some fun stuff again. I stumbled upon this website which caters to the very posh dog owner ie. people who have too much money to spend. They have crystal collars and bowls that run in the thousands! But they also have this very cool idea - collar of the month. For $120 you receive a new collar every month! I have to say I am very tempted.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Surgery Pictures


The alien in all it's hideous glory

Closing up

The final product. No too shabby!

Mira thinks this will be the longest 10 days of her life.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Some Good News!

Mira is home! Besides sounding like she has a peg leg on the laminate she is as good as new! Her creatine levels were normal, so no kidney problems. The surgery went well, her heart rate dropped during surgery but they were able to get it back up. I will even have some surgery photos to post because the vet tech involved is my brother's girlfriend and she took some really gross and cool pictures.

Thanks Wendy for watching Mira tonight! And thanks for every one's good thoughts and wishes. We all really appreciate such great support!

Wendy and Mira after surgery.

More Bad News

The new vet just called, they reviewed the bloodwork from Mira's last surgery. Her urea was high then, which is an indicator of kidney disease. I was never told at the time. This could be because the vet who did the last surgery didn't think it was high enough to warrant further investigation. This is where knowledge can play with your psyche.  I know that these tumors grow back in dogs with underlying issues, I know the medication I have been giving Mira for her hip dysplasia is metabolized through the kidney's causing stress on them, and I know that I'm getting the new vet to run the test again. 

Good thoughts, good thoughts........

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Viral Papilloma

I'm posting this in case anyone in cyber land has to go through the same thing I have these last few weeks. I have googled and wikipedia'd this topic quite obsessively. I have read the trials, and studies and lived through it.

Mira is having a tumor (a viral papilloma) removed for the second time. These tumors usually grow in young dogs and usually occur on the face or mouth, but rarely can occur on the feet, in between the pads, as in Mira's case. In healthy dogs the tumors are self limiting and will regress in several months. Recurrence is a sign that there is an underlying autoimmune problem. In Mira's case the vet is not convinced of this as she has been otherwise healthy, shiny coat, etc. We are crossing our fingers and paws. Remember nothing is black and white there are always shades of grey.

They are surgically removing the tumor again but this time they are modifying the procedure with hopes to prevent another recurrence. She will be on a round of zithromax (an antibiotic) and possibly some antiviral cream (Aldara). If it comes back again we will try cryotherapy (freezing) or chemotherapy. There has been some evidence that surgical removal during the growth phase actually stimulates more growth and the study advised postponing surgery until the mass reached it maximum size or started to regress. I'm not sure if this thing can get bigger, but I can't wait any longer as it is impeding her walking. I also read that you can crush the tumor in small sections which stimulates cell death, but this would be very painful and not an option for a dog like Mira. There is also information on manufacturing a vaccine from a section of the tumor but it has lead to cancer in that area later on.

In the end, the chemotherapy was described to me as not a very good option, showing less then positive results. Cryotherapy is relatively obsolete in small animals and they play a guessing game with how long to freeze the area. Too long and the bone can die leading to permanent damage and future surgeries.

The best evidence is with the antibiotic zithromax which has potential to become mainstream therapy, even over surgery. I'm not sure how this works as the tumor is viral and antibiotics work on bacteria, but it was described to me that it was working by a different mechanism to kill the tumor other then antibacterial. It's cheap and non invasive so it can't hurt to try.

I hope that this information is helpful for others who are going through this.

Say good-bye to Mira's little friend

Mira's surgery is tommorow. Please send good vibes our way!

Monday, May 25, 2009

If Dogs Were our Teachers

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.
Take naps. Stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Second Opinion Results

The second opinion wasn't very promising. The tumor needs to be surgically removed, but she recommended that the borders be either infused with chemotherapy or cryotherapy (freezing) to ensure that the entire tumor is eradicated. The problem? No one that I have talked to has done either on a small animal before. The vet admitted that she wouldn't know how much or how long to perform the freezing. To much and the bone can be damaged and require future surgeries, too little and the tumor can grow back. Chemo is expensive, toxic and would require Mira to be in isolation for several days to weeks. Not ideal for a sensitive, nervous dog. So now I have to decide if I should just continue with the surgery at my primary vet, or have the whole operation done at by a vet I just met and essentially let Mira be a guinea pig with highly toxic and/or necrotizing materials.

Decisions, decisions.......

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Second Opinion

Due to Mira's alien growing to the size of a small melon, and an unforeseen scheduling error, I am going to have a second opinion done this morning. She was suppose to have surgery this morning and I'm not very impressed that it has been pushed back to next week. It has grown outside her pad and she walks directly on the tender tumor causing her much pain and discomfort. She is limping by the end of the day.

I am super frustrated because I asked for this to be removed over a month ago and was told it would fall off. Mother's intuition I knew this thing was thriving and would most definitely not fall off and I should have pushed for surgery then. The vet was concerned that there wasn't enough skin to close the incision from the previous surgery, now that it has tripled in size, I wonder where the skin will come from?

Monday, May 18, 2009

It was a valiant effort, but ultimately he was lost in battle.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day Picnic

Mother's Day in the park.

Guess who feeds the dogs? Not Grampa!

You can tell Mira was getting trouble for mooching. Sadie was too but she remains unaffected.

Sadie loves her Grama

Pooped out on the way home.

The Neighbors Dogs

Several months ago I saw the neighbor's child carrying a little puppy that looked like Sadie. The child was no more then 2 and was teetering around and abruptly dropped the puppy to the ground. I guess it survived as I found this in their yard this morning.

Anyone know what kind they are? They are sure cute!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Girlie Shoot

Wendy has added photography to her business and she needed some willing demo's. The girls and I were more then up to the challenge. I'm not sure how helpful Mira and I were but Sadie was a super star!

Wendy sent me 3 CD's of photos - the uncut and the cut. I was so overwhelmed looking through the uncut that I figured Wendy knew was she was doing when she made the cut CD and just used them!

You can check out Wendy's website at

Here are some of my favorites.