Our Hound girl Tink was scheduled for mast cell tumor removal surgery in Richmond and the surgeon’s office is right beside the oncology folks, so Zato got an appointment for right after we dropped off Tink.   As awful as this whole thing has been, we have met the nicest, most helpful and caring people, including the kind folks at The Oncology Service.

After a frank discussion of the reality of the situation and an examination of the options as well as Zato, we decided to pursue metronomic therapy consisting of Piroxicam and Cytoxan.  We stopped Zato’s daily Rimadyl, which he was already taking since he’s a little old man :).  We were going to start the Cytoxan Saturday morning and Piroxicam Saturday night, but the little guy was getting stiff, so we decided to start with the Piroxicam on Friday night.  About two hours after taking the pill, we noticed that he was a bit wobbly, but we wrote that off to being stiff.  But by morning he couldn’t walk, and by mid-morning, he couldn’t stand.  Everything else was normal, but as you can imagine we were completely distressed!  So we called Zato’s vet at home, and I can never say enough kind things about him, and after talking to him we decided no more Piroxicam and we would hold off on the Cytoxan and see if we could get him back to a zero point.

Saturday was so awful all day, and we were so afraid we’d have to call Dr. Murdock to come over and let him go, but we held on to the hope that it was just a reaction that would pass.  By Saturday night, just about the time he would be due for another pill, he stood up and by Sunday morning he was walking again.  Phew!

Zato and Tink are pals, and after Tink came home from the hospital two days after her surgery, Zato immediately comforted her as she began her recovery at home.

Tink was still pretty fried from all the heavy duty pain medication (she had a lot of incisions), so later on when Zato knocked the pillows off the sofa as usual, she didn’t move and probably didn’t even notice!

So we are on day 3 of Cytoxan and he seems to be handling it pretty well.  Overall I feel he is ok.  I can’t deny that his breathing is faster than it used to be, but he’s not panting and is still hungry and playful, so that’s good.  We are giving him pills to help with his cough and there seems to be some improvement there.  Now we watch and wait.  Bloodwork in 2 weeks and an evaluation at 4 to see if there is any effect.  In the meantime, I TRY TRY TRY SO HARD to be in the moment.  The weekend’s reprieve reminded me yet again how lucky we are, but also makes me feel like Dale in Flash Gordon, when she was desperately trying to turn the hourglass over to get more time.  Crazy I know, but that’s what popped into my mind. But tonight we have more time, and someone wants to know where his treat is!

Is that a cute face or is that a cute face?!?!