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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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2 Comments so far ↓

  • misterrustybucket

    Zuzu and Mommies-
    Dang you all have had a rough, very rough week. I’m so sorry that you have had so much trouble but so glad to know what great care Zuzu is getting and very impressed with how well the manuka honey has worked, that’s amazing. I can’t believe what a serious potty patch you have that was no small undertaking! You are working so hard and I’m sure you are exhausted. Thank goodness Zuzu has you, what a sweet loving family. I hope Zuzu continues to get better and that you can all get some sleep.
    ❤️ Amy & Rusty

  • jerry

    Hey pretty girl, we’re so happy you’re almost out of the woods! It’s been a long road but you’re getting there. I’m so thrilled the honey is doing wonders for the healing. YAY for your pawesome vet and your pawesome, patient and loving people too. You got it good my dear, you’ll be all healed up in no time. Hope you have a great week!

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