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Zuzu and The Big Bad C

Zuzus battle with soft tissue sarcoma

Zuzu and The Big Bad C

Post-Op Day 12

June 27th, 2017 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

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Sorry we haven’t updated in a while, things have been a little……stressful(to say the least).

Day 7 post Op my ankle and foot were swollen-like twice the size of normal. I didn’t want to walk on it and because it happened so quickly(slightly swollen at 10am and by 2pm it was twice the size) moms rushed me back to the doctors. They took a look at me and said all was good, that I might have some swelling and puffiness like that but that it was normal and my incision was looking just as it should.I was still having some pain so mommies talked to the doctor and got me some other medicine(tramadol) to help. They “tricked” me with some peanut butter and about an hour and half later I was snoozing and feeling good. Then, suddenly “KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK” I freaked out and jumped up on all fours-that was a bad move.

Mommy answered the door and got rid of the intruder (solicitor) and we settled back down. Since I started having discharge mommy went to clean me up and noticed I had popped a stitch! Called mommy back from work and luckily the doctor was still there so we just barely made it before they closed. They cleaned me up and gave me 4 staples. Heck yes! Now I have bling and piercings!

Day 8 was pretty uneventful, except I kept laying on my stitches and wiggling around. Mom would keep me from laying on it as much as she could, but I would wait until she fell asleep and lay on that side and wiggle and shift.

Day 9 Mommy came to see me before she had to go to work. When they rolled me over to check on things, guess what I did in the middle of the night….yeah, I popped the skin open. Off to the doctors we go. Dr. B takes a good look at things and explain that I had an infection and that I was gonna lose some of the skin in that area-it’s gonna look really bad and freak out my mommies but she wanted to assure us that it was gonna be ok.

Oh and we got the biopsy results. Dr. B says its pretty much best case scenario considering we’re dealing with cancer. Yes, it is definitely a soft tissue sarcoma but rather than the original dx of fibrosarcoma, the lab says its coming back as a nerve sheath tumor. Great news as this type doesn’t spread and is very slow to regrow. Dr. B thinks I have a great chance at outliving any regrowth. She got great margins around the tumor, but her deep margins weren’t quite as clean as they would have liked, so there is a greater chance of regrowth, but that is typically very slow going and if it does come back we’ll get it when its small so we can get better margins and have better closure.

So we got some antibiotics and went home. Within a couple of hours I bent my leg and popped even more. Things were looking grim and I was worrying my mommy. She was trying very very hard not to let me see she was upset, but I could tell she was really upset and I was in a lot of pain, which wasn’t helping in any way.

Between the pain, the infection, missing home and just overall feeling like crap I was acting pretty depressed. Moms said the sparkle was gone and when Mommy N got home from work she was super worried too.

Mommies decided that maybe we should move upstairs for the weekend as a trial period. So while mommy N watched me, Mommy A moved all my stuff back upstairs and got things set up in the living room for me. Pillows, toys, bone, water-she thought of it all.

They still wouldn’t let me do the stairs, so mommy A carried me part of the way, then mommy N took over (30 total stairs with a 48lb dog is a lot apparently). We laid in the living room for a while and I was starting to feel a lot better. My sparkle was already starting to come back according to moms. I wanted both moms there with me while I slept so Mommy N took the couch and Mommy A slept on the floor with me.

Day 10….oh day 10…..

Mommies put my awesome harness on and decided to take me downstairs to go potty. Within a few steps my ouchie touched mommy’s leg and “pop pop” out go two of my staples. Well shoot…….off to the docs, again. Oh and on the way two more stitches popped in the car. Before they took me downstairs mommies said my leg was looking utterly gross. Mommy A is used to medical stuff and cleaning wounds but this was too much for her to handle-even though the night before she did a really good job cleaning it out. I was such a good patient that I just fell asleep while she did it.

So, Dr. B wasn’t there, but Dr. M was. She was very good at explaining everything to my moms and answering all their questions. She even said she wished she were my moms dog (I don’t think so-this is a solo pup family!) after they were explaining everything they’ve been doing for me. So, Dr. M comes out and tells them its pretty bad-the infection is real nasty and there’s nothing they can do to close things up, we’re just gonna have to wait on the body to start healing itself (pretty scary concept to moms since the open wound was now approximately the size of a half dollar and with every bend more tissue would protrude). Moms had been using neosporin at home but they said it wasn’t really making a difference. Everything was green and pus filled still.

Instead of using triple antibiotic ointment on my wound they covered it with something called “manuka honey”, it smelt pretty yummy but they wouldn’t let me lick it. I guess this stuff has antibiotic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties and is a little bit of a pain reliever. While they cleaned and applied the honey I was so still that Dr. M had to have to techs double check I was still breathing! They couldn’t believe what a good dog I was being. Dr. M was really surprised when moms told her what a shy pup I am. I’ve got them all fooled-yes I’m a sweet girl, but they don’t realize what a punk I can be too. I’ll make sure to show them when I’m feeling better!

They wrapped my leg up, said that would help me to stop bending it and keep the wound covered-hopefully that’ll aid in healing.

I was really feeling pretty bad that day. I threw up a bunch of water and some peanut butter. Moms called the vet and they said to switch me to a bland diet of boiled rice and chicken and to discontinue my pain meds. If I threw up my antibiotic to discontinue that for 24 hours. Luckily, I kept my medicine down, but man, oh man I was in pain. I stopped drinking any water and had really dark(almost brown) urine so mommy started making me rice and chicken soup. 1/4 c. rice, 1/4 c. chicken 1/4 c. water. I gobbled that down like a champ. I still wasn’t getting enough water so mommy decided to “spike” my water with some shredded chicken. Every 2 hours I had one piece (about 1cmx2cm) of chicken shredded and put into a 1/2 c. of water. This is an amazing trick. I didn’t want to drink anything, but this was too tempting to pass up.

Mommy N’s dad came over and built me that potty patch thing they were talking about. Its a stripped out bed frame(from a box spring mattress), cut in half then covered with heavy duty vinyl and filled with soil and topped off with fresh sod. Moms took me out to use it and I really don’t understand what they want from me…..but then Copper and Tracy(my neighbor and her human) came up the stairs and Copper started to smell it so I peed on it right away. Oh My Gosh…..Moms went crazy with celebration. I guess they want me to pee on it, cuz they keep pouring my pee on it, but I would rather go downstairs.

Day 11 was pretty uneventful. They switched me off the peanut butter and started giving me this cheese stuff. Its yummy so I gobble it down. Oh, they tried to wrap my medicine in rice-yeah, that didn’t work. I chewed it and spit out the pill, but they had the cheese so I still got the medicine I needed.

Mommy A desperately needed a break so she went to do laundry(oh, what a break!) while Mommy N stayed home and cuddled with me.

Overnight was rough-I woke up at 2am, whining and crying. I hurt and was really uncomfortable. Moms called to see if there was someone on call so I could resume my pain meds since I hadn’t thrown up or had any issues. Unfortunately, no one was available until 7am. Mommy A tried everything she could think of, including taking me out to the potty patch. I don’t like it and didn’t want to use it so I just laid down. We came back inside and I still wouldn’t settle down and mommy N woke up. She tried to soothe me and it was of no use-I was just inconsolable. Mommy A decided to try the potty route again only this time she did it the right way and took me downstairs. Finally. I peed, a lot and it was back to a normal color.  I was able to settle down enough to fall asleep around 5am.

Day 12 has gone pretty well! Moms called the vet’s and told them what was going on, including that I had about an inch of slippage on my bandage. The goal was to make it til Tuesday(tomorrow) and have a re-wrap done then, but since it had slipped that much they said to bring me in and drop me off. Mom’s took me in and I stayed there for about 6 hours. This was kinda a blessing for Mommy A as she really, really needed some sleep where she wasn’t completely on edge the entire time.

So guess what-after only 2 days of having my honey spread and leg wrapped we are seeing significant improvement! They called Mommy when it was time to pick me up and told her the great news-there was no visible sign of infection! The skin has sealed down around the wound and skin granulation (1st step in healing) has begun!!!!! All this after only 2 days! That honey is some miracle worker! They reapplied the honey and did a lighter bandage. I’ll keep this one on for 2 to 3 days and then we’ll go again. The techs are gonna teach Moms how to wrap it at home so we don’t have to keep going in every few days, even though I really like the people there.

Dr. B is really impressed with how its progressing, and although I wont be getting my stitches out Wednesday like I was supposed to she’s really happy with how things are looking considering my complications.

Moms have been reassured, by everyone from receptionists to techs to the docs that they’ve been doing a great job and that sometimes these things just happen and that even they freak out when it’s their own pets so not to worry that we’re bothering them too much and to call anytime we have any questions or concerns. Moms keep saying that I caught their bad luck with medical stuff, but that it’s still really hard not to feel guilty and like they’re causing it.

I guess I’m still in the woods, but I’m starting to see open land. They say as long as I can keep this infection under control and keep my leg covered and try not to bend it things should go really well.


foot and ankle swelling 

feeling good with tramadol

The original bandage

Just a girl and her ball

The Princess on her throne(the couch)

bandage 2.0



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Post-Op Day 5

June 19th, 2017 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

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Things have been going pretty good, even if they won’t let me in my house. I don’t get it…They always tell me I’m not allowed in any of the other doors, now suddenly we’re staying at someone else’s house. Are we moving? Is this home now? I mean, I guess it’s alright if it is, but our house was perfectly fine. Plus, I don’t have a cave here. I had 3 at home. Also, I have to share attention. Hello, I’m a princess, it’s supposed to be all about me!

I have been getting some yummy treats. Still getting peanut butter twice a day(yes, they’re still “tricking” me with medicine in it) and I’ve totally tricked mom into putting special stuff on my food in the morning. I just let it sit there for a while and pretend I don’t want it, then she gets a can from the fridge and pours brown water on it. It kinda smells like steak, I wonder what it is-whatever it is I like it! I do have to share peanut butter (and today salmon jerky!) with Sally. I know mom gives me more, but still….

Saturday(3 days post op) moms noticed some puffiness around my ankle so they took me back in. I was a little worried about going in there, considering what happened last time, but mom’s said they weren’t gonna do that again so in I went… They poked me a little, and felt around my leg like moms kept doing at home. Then they put something called a laser on it. I guess it’s supposed to help with the bruising and inflammation. I didn’t mind that, it didn’t hurt one bit and I was only away from mommies for a few minutes, then we left and came home.

comin’ home from the vets after laser treatment

My leg is feeling ok. Kinda hurts a little still-feels pretty stiff most the time, even though I can bend it now. It was way too weird/painful to bend at first so I just kept it straight for a few days. Moms keep going all crazy and getting happy every time I go to the bathroom-like I haven’t done this for my whole life or anything. Weirdos. They won’t let me run-or walk fast-or prance-or jump. Oh, and the couch? Well apparently that’s off limits here too…..geez, maybe it’s not alright if this is our new house. I don’t like that I’m not allowed to lay on my right side either. Moms say it’s making things ooze and we have to be careful, but it feels good to lay on it so I don’t get what the problem is. Plus, I heard the vet tech say it was ok when mom asked…

I’m ready to go frolic around the park and then go to my den(kennel) and go to sleep, but moms say it’ll be about 2 weeks before that’s gonna happen. How long is 2 weeks exactly?

my new toy grandma got for me

chillin in my shorts

standing guard


graphic pics below









post-op day 2


post-op day 4

post-op day 5


Post-Op Day 1

June 16th, 2017 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

Last night was a little rough. We did not get much sleep.

Around 1am all the hospital meds started wearing off and I got really, really anxious. The way my leg felt was not normal so I started whining to let moms know how unhappy I was. Mommy Ashley was trying very very hard to keep me comforted-petting me when I wanted it, leaving me alone when I shooed her off, offering food, water and treats. Even gave me a new toy to play with. I even stole mommy’s sleeping spot, thinking maybe it was more comfy than on my pillow. None of it was enough so I started whining louder and louder. Mommy Noelle was sleeping on the couch and that wasn’t acceptable. She should be awake with us!

Finally, she woke up as I got really loud. She started giving me love-awesome, exactly what I was after. I calmed down some as long as mommy Noelle kept petting me. Mommy Ashley decided that she would try and get a little bit of sleep since other mommy was awake now. Haha, I didn’t agree. I would whine and get up just enough to keep her on edge and from falling asleep-goal accomplished! If I wasn’t comfortable and couldn’t sleep, well I didn’t think they should either! It’s only fair since they let this happen, right?

I finally went out to pee around 3:30am(I did pee at the vets after surgery too) I still wasn’t ready to really put weight on my leg, so I just held it up and pretended I was a tripawd. It was a little difficult at first, but then I got the hang of it and was doing pretty well, but I tripped over a weed and came close to falling in the dirt on my incision. I’m glad mommy A was there to catch me before I fell all the way over, I’m pretty sure that would have really hurt!

The next few hours were a bit of a blur to everyone since we all needed sleep. I went and peed again, this time putting a little bit of weight on my leg. Ate my breakfast and got some yummy peanut butter. Oh-lets talk about the peanut butter. I know its not just peanut butter. I saw you put that pill in it, I can smell it through the peanut butter and you’re really not tricking anyone, just to be clear. I just like the peanut butter and the meds don’t make it taste too weird so I gobble it down.

Most of the day was pretty uneventful. Mommy A had some doc appts so it was just me and mommy N for a while. I was being so good at not licking (they took the cone off since they were watching me like a hawk) that mommy thought she could trust me for a minute to run to the bathroom. Ha! Was she wrong! She came back and I got yelled at cuz I was licking my stitches. I don’t know what the big deal is, I was just cleaning it up, but then mommy put the cone back on and told me I had to wear it so I wouldn’t lick. When mommy A got home they decided to switch to the boxer shorts-its a two mommy job to get those on me. I’m so glad no one got a picture of me in those shorts, I know everyone would make fun of me. Dogs don’t wear shorts, humans! I don’t know who came up with this idea of clothes for dogs but really-we have built in clothing, its called fur people!

As the day went on I was putting more and more weight on my leg and doing a lot better, even though mommies wouldn’t let me do much walking around. Every time I went out to pee I would try to go over to the stairs to go home, but they won’t let me do the stairs. They said we have to stay here til my stitches come out in 14 days. Yeah, I guess that’s ok. I like it here with Amy and Sally.

Next question-why is everyone staring at me when I pee and poo? Never have I seen my mommies be so excited for me to poop. Squatting is still really hard, cuz bending my knee hurts still. Usually I like the get really close to the ground so nothing splashes me. Not the case right now-I don’t like it, so I’m not going very often, but if I really have to go, I will.

Everything is going pretty smoothly. I’m eating, drinking, peeing, pooping and even doing a little bit of playing.

I stole mommy’s spot!

laying on mommy’s arm

ahhh, good scratches!

sleepy time cuddles

look how they shaved my leg!

Suture Pics below







got some good bruising going on

no new seepage or bleeding, even after my impromptu cleaning session


Ashley here:

There’s a very tiny bit of swelling, but it hasn’t increased at all since being picked up and we’re keeping a close eye on it and taking pictures daily for comparison. The incision looks and feels pretty good. There’s only one spot that she has a reaction to when checking-it’s an area that’s really bruised but isn’t swollen or warm to the touch. There are two spots(where the swelling is) that are very slightly warmer than the rest of the area. Its almost indecipherable upon touch and has been that way since we brought her home. (I felt the incision as soon as we got her inside so I would have a point of reference-not feeling directly on top of the incision, but rather use the back of my finger to gently feel next to the incision for warmth and swelling).

She’s really doing great. She is resting a little more than usual and still hesitant to put full weight on the leg(this gets better throughout the day-thinking she’s getting sore and stiff from so little activity), but even this has improved dramatically since coming home.



Operation Day!

June 16th, 2017 · No Comments · Uncategorized

I had my operation 2 days ago, but my lazy moms are just now getting around to helping me update everyone.

So, as you probably know, the plan was to go in, cut away that nasty lump and then take a flap of skin from my belly to cover the wound. Well guess what, I don’t like plans so we changed it up.

Dr. Bausch started the operation and noticed that the lump was a little further down my leg than everyone thought. It wasn’t over my knee joint, it was just below it. Great news!! She was able to get that lump out of there and had enough skin left to get a great closure without the skin flap! I did great with anesthesia and didn’t have any issues so I decided to mess with everyone as I was coming to.

I waited until no one was paying attention and then “hoooooooooowl”! I scared the doc and almost made her fall out of her chair. BOL! Sorry Dr. Bausch. Everyone came over to look at me and I just pretended I had no idea what was going on. I would wait a few minutes, or sometimes even wait until someone new came in and then, “hooooooooooooooowl”! They would come look at me and again I just looked at them like I had no clue. Haha, you humans are so gullible!

Moms came to pick me up and I hobbled out of the kennel to the door. As soon as I saw my mommies I decided I didn’t want to walk anymore, and I slipped and fell on the tile floor. Seriously, why do you guys make things so slippery right after you cut into my leg? How does that make any sense? Anyway, my spill caused my incision to start to bleed a little. Doc came out to look at it and said it was all good, but between the spill and wanting to make my mommies feel bad for me I still wouldn’t walk. I did what they call my “sack of potatoes” routine. A couple of techs came out and helped me to the car. I don’t appreciate their mocking me about being mobile though. They blew my cover! I wanted moms to think I couldn’t walk on my own so I would get extra treats.

We made the short trip home and I still refused to walk. Haha, mom’s had to carry me through the parking lot and down the stairs. Which, because we didn’t have to do the skin flap was sooooo much easier as we were able to use our awesome Get A Grip harness, but I still looked really pitiful.

I was super hungry so ate a little bit of my yummy fishy kibble, wish they would have given me more, I would have gobbled that up!

I mostly slept the rest of the day. Did a little bit of requisite whining-they needed to know how upset I was about them cutting my leg up. Im all shaved and look a little goofy now. Thanks moms…

still feeling those meds

chewing my new toy. Gotta get the squeaker!

Om nom nom

My temporary roommate, Sally. Thanks for sharing your space with me gurly!

Graphic Pics Below!









Day of surgery

As you can see we still had a bit of oozing and bleeding at this point

close up-day of surgery




Groomer Day!

June 10th, 2017 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

We went to Wag N Wash for a spiffy, extra-short haircut before surgery. This way she should be much more manageable than with her usual long coat. With the shorter hair you can also see her tumor really well:

super short haircut – happy dog

hamster butt! and our tumor

short hair is extra great in the summer heat

She is so adorable!!! She looks like a plush dog toy with how fuzzy and rounded she is!.

pre-groomer, cute but dirty dog

I love car-rides!!!