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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6 thoughts on “Update – Rose has almost finished chemo”

  1. So wonderful to hear Rose if doing so well! What an amazing “mature” pup she is!!

    Unbelievable! 15 1/2 and still living life ro the fullest…even with chemo!

    So glad you figured out a good way to get nutrition in her. I know it eas upsetting seeing her lose her appetite. I’m glad she returns to normal sfter a few days.

    Really looking forward to more video and pictures! Rose is such an inspiration for seniors! Heck…for ANY age dog!!

    Extra treats and hugs to Rose!!!

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

  2. So happy for you both…she truly is an inspiration for others in this journey we never want to be on. We had to resort to “assisted” feeding for Nitro, especially the first weeks after surgery. I too felt a little guilty making him eat, but I knew he’d feel better with some food in his tummy.

    Keep up the good work, and can’t wait to see the videos!

    Paula and Nitro

  3. Rose you are a rock star, I’m glad that you bounced back. What is this Critical Care stuff? Do you have a link for it? I looked for it on Amazon and couldn’t find it, and here I thought Amazon had everrrrrything!

    Glad to hear things are going great. We can’t wait to see some videos and photos.

  4. Oh and by the way that wasn’t force feeding, you were helping her feel better with some extra tasty food. Totally different scenario, never forget you are as humane and loving and compassionate as can be. You get the Dog Mom of the Year award! 🙂

  5. Thanks everyone! I’m sitting on the couch with Rose now, patting her. She’s such a darling. 🙂 I will take some video on her walk this afternoon.

    Thanks for letting me know that you also used assisted feeding Paula.

    Jerry, the brand I use is this one:

    http://www.amazon.com/Hills-Prescription-Diet-Canine-Feline/dp/B0030U9418

    It is on Amazon after all! 🙂 I found it had to be watered down to allow it to squeeze through the syringe end easily. Rose is about 16 kgs and I feed her two of these per day for about three to four days after chemo.

    Keep up the good work. You are all so supportive.

    Alison, Rose, Tonka and Charlie xx

  6. What an inspawration the lovely Rose is! It is so great to hear how well she is doing as a tripawd senior. And yes, I agree, sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do. If that was the only way to get nutrition into her then so be it.

    Keep on rockin’ it Rose!
    xoxo,
    Codie Rae and the OP

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