December 13, 2011

More on Abby's H.O.

Last time I posted that we'd found out Abby has Hypertrophic Osteopathy, or HO. I since learned a bit more about it - like that it usually ends up being the reason a dog ends up earning his/her wings. There's no cure (unless you can control the lung mets) and the pain will eventually get to be too much. Some dogs only last ~two months once the disease is diagnosed. Even in the face of all that, we are still feeling... I don't know that happy is exactly the right word... but considering that we really thought we were going to be putting her to sleep shortly after Thanksgiving, we feel lucky to have extra time with her.

It's strange because even though it's a rare disease, it is not all that rare in dogs with lung mets - especially females for some reason. So since Abby was diagnosed, I found out that 3 of my Facebook friends have dealt with/are dealing with it. One of the ladies lost her dog to H.O. years ago. Another is currently dealing with and it's been a good support to have someone to talk to about it. The final friend (I saved the best for last...) still has her dog, Lily, with her 3 YEARS post-diagnosis. Her dog had 2 lung mets, so sort of similar to Abby with her 3 (remember that I've said most dogs have many mets - little spots all over the lungs; it's not really normal to only have a few, especially after all this time). Well, one of Lily's mets disappeared. (!!) Her oncologists call her The Miracle Dog. She had surgery to have the remaining met removed (they'll only do the operation if there is a Lone Met), and that was three years ago and Lily is now in remission for both the bone cancer and the H.O. Incredible.

I know we are not likely to get a miracle - but, hey, it could happen. Or the masitinib (which we are still slowly trying to get her accustomed to) could work some magic on those dastardly lung mets. Or the artemisinin (which we have added back in with an additional supplement to aid absorption) might work. You never know. We are not giving up the fight.

Cancer, you are a bastard and you don't play fair, but we are not going to let you roll all over us. Nertz to you, Cancer. 

To show that Abby is saying Nertz to Cancer, I've included lots of pics of the things we've done SINCE the HO diagnosis. She's still got a lot of spunk!
She still chases lizards in the yard...

...and bugs...
She still VERY MUCH ENJOYS a Flying Dutchman (and still counter-surfs)

She still plays with Barney.

She still loves to smell the ocean

She still chases birds at Fiesta Island...

...and plays with her friends there...

...and is still a very happy girl!

We have definitely seen the pain wax and wan. Even though her legs look a little strange and swollen, she still wants to get out there on them, and I think Dr. V is right that moving around helps with the pain. We still have more items in our arsenal - for one thing she just started a new pain pill (gabapentin) and that seems to be helping. There is also a shot which she could get (pamidronate) if the pain starts to get really bad. I talked to Dr. V. about it and we are going to keep that in reserve until she really needs it. Apparently some dogs don't react much to it, but the ones that do show a marked improvement, and it can last weeks or even a month.

Here's hoping for a Christmas Miracle for our pup. (Or just that the drugs will work!) Hope you all are enjoying this hectic holiday season. Be merry, like Abby!


  1. So glad to hear that Abby is doing well and enjoying life. I hope she is a Miracle Pup, just like your friend's pup!

    Sue and Nova

  2. I hope she's a Miracle Pup too! It's nice to see she's still up to her usual tricks!

    Jenna & Finchy

  3. I also hope Abby get's a Christmas miracle.

    I took gabapentin for my neuralgia. It's the drug that made me so stupid and sleepy, I deleted 4 hours worth of work. So I quit taking it. Guess it wouldn't be a bad thing if it made Abby take it more easy!

  4. Oh, I didn't realize it was gabapentin that made you so loopy. Abby doesn't want to accidentally lose 4 hours of her work!

  5. This notices make me feel so bad =(
    But i don't want to feel like that for so long, cuz Abby needs all the good thoughs and hope that she can receive, and see her pictures of happiness makes me feel happy again.
    She will go through this well, she's very strong :D


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