A Bailey Update

Bailey asking to jump up on the foot of my bed–her accustomed spot when I read or write.

The word “cancer” has become part of our vocabulary around here. My husband and kids are aware of the situation now and everyone’s dealing okay–Bailey best of all. She went back to the vet yesterday to get her stitches out and she’s romping around like nothing ever happened. Of course we know there are still trace amounts of cancer under the incision. The vet just couldn’t get cleanly around the mass as it was up against bone. She’s certain it will come back, though the good news is that “soft tissue sarcomas” are only locally invasive at this point. In the meantime, we’re being proactive.

I switched Bailey off dog food (which many websites blame for the high incidence of cancer in dogs) and put her on a recommended diet: raw meat, veggies, yogurt, and fish oil. The absence of carbs supposedly starves the cancer cells while the omega-3’s in the fish oil help fight it. We also put Bailey on an antibiotic that inhibits the ability of cancer cells to form a network of blood vessels. The vet still isn’t holding out a lot of hope that it won’t return, but it certainly can’t hurt. And it makes me feel like I’m doing something positive.

I’ve also made an appointment with a specialist. There is a full veterinary oncology facility in the city about twenty-five minutes from my house. I’ll get an idea of the types of treatments available and their cost. I want to be fully informed before I make any decisions. I just know that I don’t want to lose my dear friend at only five years old. If my husband can justify the expense of a stupid hot tub, I can certainly justify fighting for Bailey.

In case it does come to amputation, I’ve put Bailey on a weigh-down program. She’s a very big dog, weighing in a few ticks over ninety pounds. The vet said her optimal weight is closer to eighty. Since I’m back up to full steam after my surgery, Bailey and I started up our 3 mile a day walking regimen again. I enjoy doing that with her so much. In the past week and a half, we’ve covered about thirty-five miles. Coupled with her new diet and a cut in calories, Bailey was down to an even ninety pounds yesterday. We’re hoping for another four or five pounds by the end of the year.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Β Bailey and I visit the specialist on Friday.

10 thoughts on “A Bailey Update

    1. We should have put her on a diet a long time ago, but she has such a low metabolism it’s hard to get that weight off. That’s a golden retriever thing, I’m told. She never ate much to begin with. Now her calories are really low, poor dog. But she obviously needs it.

  1. I am hearing more and more about people putting their dogs on raw meat/vegetable diets. Actully it’s what they would have eaten in the wild. My brother was told to go all organic because his body is fighting the cancer and it doesn’t need to fight the chemicals and hormones in the his diet. Like that doctors are thinking more wholistically. Think you need to do what your heart says. Laughed at the hot tub — you have a leveage point.

    1. The more contaminated our food becomes, the more organic is catching on. I garden without chemicals and I like knowing we’re cutting a lot of junk out of our diets that way.

      My husband must have though the same thing about the hot tub, because he didn’t say a word when I broke the news. πŸ™‚

      1. Ironiclally my brother bought a large farm and has been in a three-year-cycle of getting his fields accredited for organic farming. His corn field is already. When I learned he had cancer I told him that he will put his focus on the farm and won’t go back to his high-power corporate job. He told me he had already made that decision. His wife has five honey bee hives, chickens and a huge garden with lots of herbs. Think we all need to look at what is in our foods.

  2. Sounds like you are being pro-active! Our family tries to eat organically as much as possible. I try to stay away from milk/meat raised on hormones also. I have heard that some dog foods increase cancer rates in some breeds. Veterinary oncology has come a long way. There are many options for pet owners today that were not available a few short years ago. I LOLed at the hot tub comment πŸ™‚ It’s hard when they don’t understand why they are sick. I feel for you.

    1. Thanks so much Darlene. I really appreciate the nomination, but I’m going to have to decline. There’s just too much going on right now. I was supposed to do a blog hop a week or two ago and it just didn’t happen, so I’m not even going to make promises this time. Amanda in Alberta sounds great though!

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