Rusty’s Summer of 2011!

Rusty’s summer was fairly quiet and uneventful, which was a nice change.  Our temps were moderate this year and we were able to get out and do more activities than normal.  Rusty lost interest in swimming at the end of July; Dr. Macy says that this is fairly common for dogs to lose interest as the season progresses.  His remaining leg seems to tire more easily this year and he lets us know when he is tired and does not want to walk anymore.  With the cooler temps his energy level has improved and he now goes for an evening walk in addition to our early morning romp.  He is sleeping more than before and puts himself to bed around 8:30 or 9:00 in the evening.

We went to the Coast at the end of August to celebrate my Mom’s 90th birthday and get away from heat for a few days; Rusty did not handle the travel very well on this trip.  We had the same room at the Inn as we had in our previous trips, but he was still unable to get comfortable.  He was not eating, was very lethargic and we decided to cut the trip short and return home.

Rusty went to see Dr. Macy when we returned from our trip, and he decided to take him off all meds other than Pepcid with his meals.  Rusty was on Cerenia for two weeks to get his digestive system back to normal.  In July, Dr. Macy had put Rusty on Milk Thistle to help with his liver functions; however his stomach is so sensitive after the year of Chemo that he just cannot tolerate any meds at this time. His blood work was pretty much in the normal ranges other than the liver ALT’s are still elevated.

We returned to Dr. Macy at the end of September for his monthly follow-up, his kidney functions were within normal ranges for the first time. However, his liver ALT readings, which have been elevated since January, continued to climb.  With the digestive issues, Rusty has been slowing losing weight this summer; Dr. Macy wants him weighed every two weeks and give him more “groceries” to get his weight up.

Rusty’s run good health continued until mid-October when the vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite returned with a vengeance.  We went to our regular vet, who consulted with Dr. Macy, and they gave him Cerenia for his stomach; he was back to normal in 4 or 5 days.  The six weeks of without any digestive issues was the longest period of “normalcy” since his ordeal began.  Because of the over seeding of our golf courses and greenbelts this time of the year, we had to move to another greenbelt the week that Rusty had his relapse which may have exposed him to a new bug as there are a lot of Coyotes in that area.

We took him in to Dr. Macy two weeks ago for his November follow-up and came away with a mixed bag.  Dr. Macy said that all of his blood work results continued to improve other than the liver.  Unfortunately, in addition to the ALT still going up his AST score jumped out of the normal range for the first time.  Dr. Macy said that this is an indication of liver tissue dying; he is not panicked at this time but very concerned, as Rusty is so happy and active otherwise.  We will go back on the 30th for more extensive liver tests and a possible liver scan if the results have not improved.

We don’t know what the future holds, and Dr. Macy reminded us that it has been 21 months since the amputation and we are still within the 1 to 3 year prognosis.  We are still enjoying every extra day that we have with him!  He has matured into an extremely intelligent, happy and well behaved young man; what a change from those first few weeks when we brought him home.

A couple of weeks ago at the greenbelt, where we take Rusty for his evening adventure, we met his twin!  Her name is Katy and she is from Heather Hale Kennels in Bakersfield; Rusty’s Mom was from Heather Hale, no relationship that we can identify.  Katy is 14 months old and is the same size and color as Rusty; they have the same cut and they look like twins.

Author: ceholli

Retired – Rusty is our first dog because of my allergies, he is a Labradoodle and I have not had any allergy problems with him.

2 thoughts on “Rusty’s Summer of 2011!”

  1. I’m sorry to hear Rusty had a rather “mixed bag” of test results. However, it sounds like he’s a pretty happy guy, just hanging out with Mom & Dad in the desert! Your boy is a true inspiration to others who are suffering the same illness. Please give Rusty some good ear scratches from me, and tell him to keep fighting the good fight!

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