Sunday, May 22, 2016

Elderly Lady Update

1) We decided to have Booger's tumor removed for the 5th time. She still bounces around like a goat kid, so we figured, why let a leg tumor bring her down? Dr. F. agreed to try his best, although he warned us (again and again) that he'd never be able to remove all of it, and it would always come back. The good things are, the cycle of regrowth seems to be getting longer (5 months last time!), and most importantly Booger is tough and non-mopey. On just the second day after her surgery, she began protesting to her activity restrictions, straining against the leash as I turned her around to truncate her walks.

And she's perfectly capable of jumping on the couch in her cone, which is the most important thing! :) Oh, and the surgery went smoothly. 2 of the 4 observed lumps were actually benign lipomas, not relevant to the cancer... Dr. F. took 'em out. The original lump is not moving. He did mention that it was more difficult work each time, with the earlier scar tissue in his way, as well as he skin thinning in general, just from being an elderly lady. He said that the surgery took 1.5 hours this time, where before it took only 45 minutes. The anesthesia was more stressful on her this time; she came home with diarrhea induced by stress. But it only lasted 24 hours.

Anyway, the upshot is, there will come a time when surgery is no longer an option, so while it is, and while Booger still has quality of life, we decided to do it, and apparently it was the right thing, because she's bouncing around again! :)

And now, the many faces of.. Booger!

2) Autumn's belly was bulging again, which we now know to be a sign of her heart problems acting up. It also makes her appetite lessen. Autumn likes to eat like a savage, so any change from that is generally a bad sign. Dr. F. said it was time to up her Lasix (furosemide) to 50 mg, twice a day. That's up to 2 mgs/kg body weight. Dr. F said there were 4 levels of Lasix dosing--1 mg/kg is where we were before. As the heart continues to weaken, we try to bring up the dosage as little as possible. When we get up to 4 mgs/kg, her kidneys will fail within a few months. But if we don't do this, her heart won't be able to move fluid out of her lungs, and we'll lose her right away. So it's a delicate balance. But like Booger, she still has great quality of life and loveloveloves to take walks with us!

3) At present, our walking routine is:
* Weekday mornings, all 4 of us ladies walk 2 miles together, then we drop the gracious ladies at home, and Starbuck and I sprint 1 mile together. In the evenings, we either repeat our 2-miler, or cut it short and walk 1, depending on how late it is.
* Weekends, all 5 of us (including DL) walk 5 miles together, and all 3 ladies get off-leash time.

Starbuck is off-leash all the time, since she is the magical, mystical, comes-when-she's-called husky!

4) I inventoried berries last night. We have 0.75 a gallon of cranberries, and 1 gallon of blueberries. I made a pie, and cheese empanadas with the extra crust (idea from Rena of this blog's loyal readership!).

Our blueberries are so juicy that the pie is more like cobbler:


Rena said...

Me? Ahhh, yes, Dave likes little empanadas.
Glad the doggies are still going strong and everyone's lucky to have a good doctor.
mmmm, blueberries!

Arvay said...

Yes, you! :) My Dave likes little empanadas, too. Actually, he likes pretty much everything. :)

gina said...

The puppies look good as do the yummies !

mdr said...

blueberries are good for everything, eyes, blood sugar, antioxidant... The price in your case is mosquito bites. As long as AK does not have those mosquito carried diseases, go blueberries.

mdr said...

I never had your blueberry pie, hope one day someday I will have some...

bt said...

There's something very regal and wonderful about your current exercise regime being defined by your elderly ladies' abilities. I love it.

Arvay said...

@bt it's my cross-training! :)

@mdr, I have made you mini pies in the toaster oven! They taste the same!