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Monday, July 23, 2007

Treatment notes

Today is Day Four out of the four days this week Watson will receive chemo treatments at home. He is on 20mg of Cytoxan (4 days on/3 days off) and 25mg of Prednisone (1 pill per day for 30 days).

Day One was Friday. Once we reviewed his treatment options and we decided on a course of action, I immediately went to the vet hospital and got his meds. He had his first dose of the drugs at 4:45pm on Friday. Being the first dose, there was no change in his appetite or demeanor. The Pred makes him drink more/pee more, so we have him on a 2-hour rotation outside (including overnights). We've also been alternating between steak and chicken for his diet; Friday was steak day and he didn't seem to mind. =)

Day Two (Saturday), he woke up with a voracious appetite and ate a can of Mighty Dog (blech). Normally, we don't feed him such crap but considering the circumstances, he can have anything he wants. Throughout the day he ate small bits of steak and salmon. His second dose came at 4pm with a heaping plate of chicken. It was on the second day that we noticed that he didn't really want food and just wanted to sleep for the few hours after his meds. The Pred makes him pant alot too, so it was scary to see him lying there and breathing so hard. By 8pm, he was recovered enough to eat his dinner but not well enough to navigate the stairs to get outside. Overnight, we got up twice with him for a pee break, and there was lots of groaning each time he shifted positions or laid down.

Day Three (yesterday), he again woke up with an appetite so another can of the Mighty Dog went down the hatch. He also ate cooked chicken and some dried chicken strips (alot of food, even for him on a good day). Around 11:45am, he was feeling well enough to wander outside with me to sniff the grass while I was pulling weeds from the garden. He could go down the stairs just fine, but slipped on the way up and needed some help. We did some errands in the afternoon and picked up an in-ear thermometer. We'll need to monitor his temp over the next few days to make sure he's not running a fever. Temps in dogs are around 102-103 degrees and Watson registered a 102.9. We administered his third dose and this one seemed to hit him pretty hard. He was literally falling over 30 minutes after his meds, and spent the next several hours not moving a muscle. He had no interest in food or people, and didn't walk outside on his own. I checked on him at 8pm and he looked pretty bad (panting, eyes closed, no response to touch) but by 8:30pm he was up and about on his own. He ate a plate of chicken and even walked outside on his own TWICE within the next hour. He had another snack before bed, and then Rich got up with him twice overnight, each time giving him some water and a snack.

Today is Day Four and I am very nervous about it. I fully expect this dose to kick his ass. He doesn't really have an appetite today, so I have put a call into the vet to see if this is something I should be worried about. In the meantime, I am trying to get some work done. Rich leaves for Seattle tomorrow and is gone for a week, so I am already nerved up about that too. But for now, Watson is asleep in my office with me, and for that I am thankful.

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