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Argus Update: Still Going Strong!

May 12, 2011 Fido 2 Comments

Our last appointment with Argus was on March 9. That was the fateful day we learned the cancer had spread and we stopped the conventional treatment. The doctors told us that we could expect somewhere around two months with him. Their advice was to feed him as many hamburgers and ice cream as we can. *sigh* We are definitely being more lenient with the people food he gets, and we have continued with the homemade diet and myriad supplements that are [hopefully] slowing the cancer’s progress.

In April, we met with a “Wise and Wonderful” mobile vet, Dr. Martin, who will likely do the euthanization when the time comes. She came to the house to meet us all and did a full examination on Argus while she was here. Her assessment was this: “If you hadn’t told me Argus was sick, I wouldn’t have guessed it from the exam.” We were thrilled to learn that his lungs sounded good and his heart rate was well within the normal ranges, meaning he’s not in stress or pain.

Since that meeting about a month ago, there have been a couple of setbacks. He has begun coughing, but not every day. He can usually get it under control within a minute and the episodes don’t happen more than twice a day when they happen. He also seems to be in more pain. I think there is another bone tumor in his remaining front paw, based on the way he favors it similarly to what he was doing with the left one. Also, he isn’t interested in walking long distances. He wants to get out of the house, but is happy to sit down quickly in the car and at our destination. He gives stairs a second look before going down them — it may be time for the ramp again. Even so, I don’t believe that my dog is going to drop dead any day now. Maybe it happens that fast, but I don’t feel like he’s on his last leg (ha).

Here’s a day in the life:

6:15 AM – BREAKFAST
1/2 c cottage cheese + 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
4-5 oz homemade dog food with the following mixed in:
1 scoop DiGuPi
1 scoop wheat grass powder
1 teaspoon canine digestive enzymes
A few squirts of fish oil
3 krill oil tablets
10 mg prednisone
A little hot water to mix it all up

10 AM – SNACK
1/2 scoop vanilla ice cream with 4 Apocaps hidden in it

10:30 AM – USPS TREAT FEST
The mail carrier brings him three treats every day. He barks at her incessantly if she tries to get away with anything less than three treats.

1:00 PM – IMMUNITY BOOSTER
1 meat-flavored treat full of immunity-boosting ingredients

4:30 PM – HAPPY HOUR
The family unit heads over to the Bay Trail for a walk and a sniff. Argus isn’t interested in walking long distances these days, but he visibly enjoys sitting down and taking in the scenery.

6:00 PM – DINNER
1/2 c cottage cheese + 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
8 oz homemade dog food with the same mix-ins as at breakfast
12 oz raw meaty bone, like a chicken back or turkey neck

10 PM – BEDTIME SNACK
4 Apocaps, delivered via almond butter

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Kirsten says:

    Thanks for your nice note; I will respond shortly!

    I loved this post about Argus, and I love that he is still hanging in there. And its great that you get to be home and take care of him during this time. I don’t envy your situation — knowing what’s coming down the pike — but I do envy your ability to attend to him, and really, to KNOW what’s coming.

    So damn unfair, and he’s such a beautiful Labbie. Pete and Maddie would be honored to fetch with him.

  2. [...] came back into my vocabulary when Argus was diagnosed with cancer last year. Greg did all kinds of research on how to slow the [...]

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