Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
I posted on the DK Facebook page a few weeks ago about Rosco going in for surgery for his giant lipoma. 3-ish years ago he started growing a lipoma on his chest that grew to the size of a baseball by 2016. It was only cosmetic, not in the way so we chose to watch and wait. Fast forward to this year and it was HUGE. Hair couldn't even grow to cover it anymore. And our vet wouldn't tell me what to do--I like to have a clear direction for big decisions. So I decided to leave it be.
Well...it was just so huge! But I really wrestled with this decision. He was (is) 12. In my opinion, wasn't likely to have more than a year. He has laryngeal paralysis, his back legs are getting weaker and he often stumbles. Is it right to put him through surgery?
But at the same time I felt a strong sense of shame. Am I being a cheapskate? Shouldn't I do everything to make his life comfy? Wouldn't my fellow DK'ers do it all? I was really torn.
So I took him in for a second opinion. This other vet seemed to think he was in great shape for his age, which surprised me, but it made me think perhaps I had been a little catastrophizing his condition.
Okay, then, this vet thinks he can handle it and he's a healthy guy...let's do it.
So we are 3ish weeks out of surgery and his surgical scars are nicely healed (took off the other two smaller lipomas too). But after surgery, his seizures came back...and got WORSE, both during the seizure and in the aftermath.
Now Rosco's always been the poster child for opportunistic eater. As he's gotten older he also has no shame about it. He'll climb up on a chair to steal what you didn't immediately put away with you 2 feet away. Just a week out of surgery I caught him trying to finish someone's breakfast. He was struggling to climb up and down stairs but was willing to work for food.
As of this week, though he is starting to leave kibble in his bowl.
Yesterday we started him on seizure meds and by dinner I couldn't even get him to finish his kibble with a fried egg mixed in <-- NOT Rosco at all. So if anyone has brilliant ideas for stimulating an appetite...hit me with them!
He continues to randomly fall (could be seizure meds, but also what was starting to happen anyway). He goes between restlessness and wandering the yard aimlessly to being zonked out. He had a surprising moment of almost a play bow with Boca, but then realized he can't actually do more.
As I told a few of you privately, I feel like I am NOT cut out for coping with a senior dog. I feel so helpless and unsure and of course second guessing the whole decision for surgery. But there's no right answer.
Thanks for reading my rambling.
Adina, I dread the day that I get to that point with Bentley. But what Karen said is right on point. You love him and every decision you make is out of love, and he knows that. Hugs and kisses to you and Rosco. xoxoxo
Adina, I too am sorry to hear of Rosco not feeling well, seizures, surgery, etc. What immediately came to mind, was how very fortunate we all are to have had you start DoodleKisses, with Thule and Rosco as your incentive. I remember when I joined, he was just 2 or 3 years old. And now I have a somewhat senior in Murphy, who will be 10 in dec. So many of us who have been together this past decade will be right there with you and having this community to share and get advice from is just invaluable. So thank you again and our flagship doodles Thule and Rosco for starting us all on this wonderful journey together. I know that whatever the outcome, that Rosco is one loved doodle and you and Clark will do the absolute best for him no matter what.
It's hard to to think about how many old time DK doodles have gotten or are getting up there in age. Thanks for your kind words.
My two cents for what it is worth--one of my dogs is on phenobarbital for seizures and it makes her ravenous--so this not eating thing is strange--I would suggest that he is not ready to eat--sometimes the anesthesia gives them issues for days, especially in an older dog--and the seizures can take a while to go away too.
That said, when my Lyric was pregnant years ago, she would not eat much for the first 4 weeks--since they are only pregnant for 9, I had to get some food into her! Bread with peanut butter would work to some extent--and she liked the food that they sell in rolls usually in a fridge in the pet food aisle--called Fresh pet. That might work---get a small one in case he does not like it--it looks like a roll of liverwurst. Good luck!
Hi Ginny, I have heard loss of appetite is a possible side effect. What we think is happening is that his recent seizures hurt his jaw/mouth/teeth...something. Because he has trouble doing more than slurping the baby food. It's only in the last couple days that he's managed to try kibble and he's eating a small amount but then seems to give up on the difficulty of chewing. I did actually by a fresh pet tube of chicken something. That was even too much for him until yesterday. Somehow licking baby food off a plate is working best. He has not had one seizure since starting the meds last week, which I'm hoping is not just luck but really a good fit between him and the medication. I know that typically it takes a while for the meds to fully kick in, so crossing my fingers and toes he's one where it's working immediately.
Sending hugs to Rosco and you.
Just read that Roscoe is on KBr. That is what Thor was on, I took it a short time for other reasons. It tastes terrible and gives dogs and people terrible stomach aches. If he is not on the liquid, ask your vet for the liquid and squirt the approprate amount on a small piece of bagel ( you can also cover it with a little butter, cream cheese or peanut butter to cover the taste and smell better. Thor probably went through a million bagels in his lifetime of KBr. Give it a bit after or way before a meal.
Thinking of you and Rosco tonight Adina. Any update?
He's eating kibble again but the meds side effects of ataxia and sedation really suck in terms of how ability to walk and stand with weak back legs. So spoke with his vet and got permission to reduce dose even though it wasn't high to begin with. So we'll see.
Thanks for the update. Fingers crossed.
I hope the reduction in the medication dosage will make a huge difference! Sending big hugs to you and Rosco!