Update – Rose has almost finished chemo

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Hello,  a quick update on beautiful Rose. She is having her sixth and last round of chemo in a few days. Yay! She has been going so well, getting around on three legs (at a suitable speed for a 15 and a half year old dog), even play wrestling other dogs with her one remaining front leg! Due to her age the chemo treatments have been at a reduced strength, but she had a radiograph about a month and a half ago and it was clear, showing no signs of cancer. We are hoping it stays that way and are so glad she is still with us. It is clear now that the right decision was made to amputate her leg.

My learning to get through chemo easier is specific to Rose and her response, but I thought it would be good to share. Rose completely loses her appetite for a few days after each treatment and won’t eat anything at all. She is quite a thin dog who can’t afford to lose much weight and so this is worrisome. After many attempts and different recipes (from great suggestions made here, thank you!) and trying anti-nausea tablets, I ended up accepting that she would simply not eat voluntarily.

On advice of the vet, I purchased a product here in Australia called ‘critical care’. It is mush in a tin and made up of high calorie food such as livers etc. I water this down a bit, put it into a large syringe and gently feed her with the syringe by squirting the food to the back of her mouth. It only takes about five minutes to feed her this way and she accepts it quite well. After a few days, her appetite returns and she eats normally. It was such a relief to arrive at this solution. It removed the main source of worry and stress and prevented her from losing lots of weight. I know that some people would not support force feeding and say it is cruel. I thought about this too, but tried it in desperation and then realised it was completely fine. I would say Rosy’s dislike of being fed by syringe is less than being made to have a bath, and she doesn’t really mind baths that much!

I wish you all well with your own pets. Thank you for all the supportive messages. They were so helpful when at the beginning of this process and not knowing what to expect. I will post a video of Rose soon. xxx


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