Monday, March 30, 2009

A Fraction of a Shade...

... of an improvement - the nodes at the back of Herbie's knees, his popliteal nodes, are softer and smaller. No longer like liquorice torpedoes, but not quite as small as the jelly beans they're supposed to resemble. It's not a big thing, and from the front he still looks like a bull-frog, but it's the first time since we stopped chemo that a node actually got smaller. It might not be much, for 3 and a half weeks of CV247, but it's something.

Holly, on the other hand, is trying to head for extinction as fast as she knows how. I don't know what an electric fence would do to a greyhound, but I don't want to find out. There's a footpath runs across a field near the house, and the owner of the field has fenced the path off with an electric wire (and it's live, I can hear it clicking) to keep a shaggy Shetland pony enclosed. I spent an exhausting walk trying to keep Holly away from the wire, but some kind of deathwish meant she couldn't stay away from it. I was pretty cross with her by the time I came home.

I was tempted, briefly, by the thought of fostering - Greyhound Gap is crammed to the gills again - but given I'm struggling to keep the two I've got alive, I'm probably not ready to foster just yet.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Week 2 and a half

..of CV247. It's been a bad week, Herbie's been reacting badly to something, breathing too rapidly. I stopped all his medications, his breathing went back to normal, and then I tried again. The CV247 is OK, so are the zinc pills, but the mushroom capsules aren't going down well, he went all saggy and limp within 12 hours of re-introducing them.

It's difficult with Herbie, he's sensitive to so many things. I always thought I had a cast-iron dog, he could eat anything without ill-effects (OK, except the entire dish of cauliflower cheese meant to feed four adults - a pint of cheese sauce was probably a bit much), but he was younger then, and now he seems to react to every change.

So, he's no better, but then again his nodes aren't any worse. Given that they'd been growing noticeably, perhaps this is progress. I've bought some wheatgrass and some compost. The first batch is soaking. I don't know if he'll drink wheatgrass juice, but it's something we haven't tried yet. Other people are writing happy optimistic posts about miracle drugs, but we're just standing still here. I suppose there are worse places to be standing. Sigh.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Vodka glasses

... are very useful when it comes to mixing up dog medicines. 10ml of medicine is an inch or so in the bottom of a shot glass, easy to add a tiny scoop of Vitamin C powder, then syringe up and squirt into dog. Don't remember when I last used them for actual real alcohol.

Herbie's stabilised again - he wasn't brilliant last week, but he found the car sponge again on Friday and shredded it, so it can't be all bad here.

The place where it is all bad is over at Ari's - Alfie has gone to the bridge. Run free, Alfie. I'm not sure what happened, but it sounds like every dog-owner's worst nightmare.

Monday, March 09, 2009


Herbie's not great. I think I've discovered CV247 too late. I think "just too late" are the saddest words in the English language (a novelist friend, asked the same question, said "posthumous acclaim". It's the same thing). He's become more plodding, and reluctant to walk downhill, because that means on the way back, he'll have to go uphill. He's still eating, and yesterday evening he was happy that I'd come upstairs to bed, and was rolling on his back, waving his legs in the air (aka roaching). Even so, he's somehow fading.

We'll carry on with the CV247, since it's not supposed to have any side-effects (I tasted it though, it tastes oddly metallic). It's the first time I've tested one of his medicines, but it has been used on humans, and is meant to be safe.

The only spot of light relief has been my father, who kindly offered to fetch a variety of tins of catfood from the supermarket, for my sister's already fussy Maine Coon cat. He announced that he'd got one of everything, even the supermarket's own "Guts in Gravy".

My sister, who is very protective of her cat, rushed off to inspect the tin, while I thought, "That's remarkably honest of them". She came back and said "Were you wearing your glasses?" "No".
"It says 'Cuts in Gravy'. " But it's too late, the damage has been done. Tinned pet food is now known in our family as guts in gravy.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Waiting for the Post

We've had a postal consult with Richard Allport (my own vet had just done a blood test, checked Herbie's weight and manky teeth) and now I'm waiting for Herbie's meds to arrive. His nodes seem to be another notch bigger.

He's currently in disgrace for standing in some poo in the dark, then running upstairs. I've had to sponge poo-ey footprints off the stairs, the rug, his bed... fortunately by the time he reached my bed, his feet were dry. Small mercies.