Today was Arwen’s first chemotherapy dose! We have been waiting for this for weeks. Arwen is 35 days post op, and ideally we wanted to start chemotherapy 2 weeks after her amputation, but had to wait because of the strange wound on her right side. Luckily, that wound has healed great. Keeping T-shirts on Arwen kept her from licking it, and the stitches came out today, as well.
Yesterday, to celebrate her last chemo-free day, we drove Arwen up to the mountain to play in the snow. Arwen has constantly been surprising us with how well she is doing on three legs, and yesterday was no exception. I have been worried about how she would do in the snow. I thought maybe she would slip a lot or lose her balance, but she didn’t at all! She ran around and played and even went through a little deep snow and managed great.
When I picked up Arwen from her chemo appointment, another couple who just had their golden retriever diagnosed with cancer was marveling at how well Arwen was bouncing around as a tripawd. I’m glad she is showing people how quickly pups can adjust to the change.
So Arwen’s chemotherapy schedule is a planned total of 6 doses spread 3 weeks apart, with blood work being done every week in between (the chemo drug is carboplatin). That means Arwen has to go to the vet every week for the next 18 weeks. Arwen has never been a fan of any vet office, but the place she had her amputation surgery she is especially nervous going to now. I feel so bad for her, so I gave her a little bit of cheeseburger in the vet lobby today (my coworkers got Arwen a McDonald’s gift card so I can spoil her with occasional ice cream cones and plain burgers), and will plan to do it every time to try and give her a positive association with the place.
Arwen also had her first physical therapy visit last week. Arwen’s orthopedic doctor recommended it, and the Tripawds foundation has a great set up for helping people with their first visit. The rehab clinic we visited has balance discs and an underwater treadmill, but Arwen hasn’t tried any of those yet. Instead the physical therapist showed us stretches and joint exercises we can do on Arwen legs and hips, and she went over all of Arwen’s bones and joints to make sure all was in good working order (it is). The therapist recommended we add fish oil to Arwen’s diet (we ordered Nutromax Wellactin fish oil and Arwen LOVES it). She also said a carpal/wrist brace for Arwen’s front leg isn’t a bad idea to give her a little added support. We are planning to order one in the coming week.
We are SLOWLY increasing Arwen’s exercise. My husband and I still haven’t taken her further than a half mile, and are still mostly just taking her on walks every other day. We love her so much! We are really hoping she has no side effects from the chemotherapy and can continue being happy.
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