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Bruce's story

sharing Bruce\'s journey through osteosarcoma

Bruce's story

Sweet Baby Bandit

November 11th, 2017 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

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Sweet Baby Bandit, October 15, 2015 – November 8, 2017

I haven’t posted anything in quite awhile, things having been going so well for Bruce that I didn’t want to jinx him. He is currently almost 15 months post amputation and aside from a scare in the spring everything has been going really, really well for him. Unfortunately the same could not be said for Bruce’s best friend and baby sister. We made the very difficult decision to let her go on November 8, we had adopted Bandit at 6 weeks from a nearby Indian reserve after her mother had been shot and killed when the pups were 5 weeks old. Right from the beginning we were concerned about her hind legs, as they didn’t look quite right, all the vet said was “we’ll keep an eye on it”. By 6 months she was having tremors in her hind legs and I thought that her spine looked odd and very arched toward the lumbar area, again the vet said, “she’s still growing, we’ll keep an eye on it”. Bandit never had much of an appetite and in August of this year she began losing weight, she had always been very thin but she was skin and bones, we made another trip to the vet and several tests and several hundred dollars later, we were no further ahead. At that visit to the vet I noticed for the first time that Bandit was standing on the tops of her feet, I pointed it out to the vet and her response was “that’s odd”, nothing more. Within a week her legs were not just having tremors, they were shaking and her gait had changed considerably. At that point I decided we needed to see a different vet, in early September we went and Bandit had an incredibly thorough exam, and the new vet suspected she might have Wobblers Syndrome, and appointment was scheduled with a neurologist at the University of Guelph the following week. The neurologist did not think she had Wobblers, but thought an MRI would be a good idea, they also determined that she was not suffering any pain, she had lost the feeling in her feet and she didn’t have any reflexes in her knees and at this point walking was increasingly difficult for her. We decided against the MRI because we were told that even “if” they could determine what was wrong, they didn’t know if she would be a candidate for spinal surgery, and that is she was they couldn’t reverse the damage already done, that at most they could prevent or slow down her decline. So we spoiled her rotten and when she could no longer walk and it seemed her spark was dimming, we made the decision to let her go. When Bruce was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, my only comfort was that when his time came I would have my sweet, sweet puppy to get me through my grief. Now Bruce and I are helping one another, but he keeps looking for his baby sister, every time I come home, he runs to the back of my jeep, expecting her to get out, and when she doesn’t he runs to the front door and goes inside to look and when he can’t find her, he goes to wait on the porch for her. He still has his buddy Butch, but we are all feeling a huge void without our baby.[/caption]


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4 weeks post surgery

September 29th, 2016 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

Img_1509Bruce had surgery 4 weeks ago yesterday and seems to be well on the road to recovery:)

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Starting Chemo

September 21st, 2016 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

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Bruce started chemo on Monday Sept 19, and so far everything is going well. He was very good at the clinic and endeared himself to the staff. He has not had any noticeable side effects yet, I will be keeping my fingers crossed on that one.
Unfortunately we did lose one of our creatures last Wednesday, we have a small business and for the last 10 years we have had a guard dog, his name was Azore, he was 4 when he came to us, he had been bounced around from home to home for a few years, he did have some quirks and had trouble fitting into a family, but he was a wonderful guard dog and for the last few years has been more of a mascot than a working dog. He had a non cancerous growth on his neck, and last year in early November it had abscessed, it was determined that he was not a good candidate for surgery and so we did what we could to prevent infection and decide to let him live  out his days. In the last year he lost his hearing, some of his sight and was having difficulty walking, and just seemed to be struggling in general, on Monday we called the vet and arranged to take him in on Wednesday, we made sure he had lots of love and his favorite treats in between.  He was a part of our lives for many years, and even though he lived at our shop, he was still family,  it’s never easy to lose them. p10001121

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A day in the sun

September 6th, 2016 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

IMG_1408Just a quick update, Bruce is day 6 post amputation and so far things are going very well. He had a bit of drainage happening the day after surgery, but other than that his incision is healing up nicely and he seems to get around quite well. He seems a little bit whiney today, but not overly much. He had some bruising and swelling initially which has faded quite a bit. He has been enjoying some mostly quiet time with his doggie siblings.

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Diagnoses

August 30th, 2016 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

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We brought Bruce home in March of 2011, he was a nine month old puppy, he was very shy and reserved but also the sweetest and gentlest dog we had ever met. He joined our small family of 3 humans and 1 English Bulldog (Butch) and they became best friends (they are exactly one month apart in age). In late November of 2015 we added a third member to the canine side of the family with a 5 week old orphan Bullmastiff/German Shepherd cross female.

I took Bruce into our vet on August 15, 2016 because he had been limping off and on for a few week, we had checked for any obvious reasons for and couldn’t find any, but in a household with 3 large dogs, sometimes they play and little rough and it’s not entirely uncommon for the occasional minor injury to occur.

Our vet felt that x-rays were in order and diagnosed what she thought was a knee injury. On August 23 we had an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, who immediately upon looking at Bruce’s x-rays, decided he needed more x-rays a little lower on his left rear leg. What he saw there came as complete shock to us, Bruce was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, luckily his chest x-rays appeared clear. But we had some big decision to make. After a lot of talking, and researching and crying, we decided on amputation, followed by chemotherapy.

His surgery is scheduled for August 31, yesterday we went an got him his new harness, and he’s been trying it out, so far he doesn’t seem particularly impressed with it.

 

 

 

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