Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday's Followup on Phantom and More

Woo Hoo - look at me - no conehead, no ring, it feels so good.

So about my visit with Dr. B. yesterday.  First of all, he gave me lots of gentle pats and hugs, and even a few cookies.  Then he checked out the evil invader on my tail.  He thought it was looking  a lot better than how the other vet, Dr. H., had described it to him.  So we all agreed that the antibiotics may be helping, not to mention my not licking it.  He gave Mom a bunch of options. 

I will give you a brief rundown now.

1.  Major surgery to totally remove the tumor would mean I would have to undergo anesthesia.  He would have to cut very high up into the tail, close to my rump, to get enough skin to stretch over the large hole made by the removal.  The tail at that point has no extra skin to spare.  The risks of anesthesia and the whole recovery process in an almost 16 year old dog make this option not too viable.

2.  Major surgery to dock my tail - same issues as #1.  So not the best of options either.

I don't like either of those ideas.

3.  Do what Dr. B. called "second intention" surgery to just remove the tumor and leave the wound open. Then I would have to wear the cone or the ring 24/7.   That would also mean a 4-6 week period of hoping the big hole would close itself.  It would have to be bandaged for 3-5 days, then the bandage would need to be changed daily.  Mom would have to clean the area every day, leave it open to the air for a while and then re-bandage. This would go on for about 6 weeks, maybe more.  The procedure would be done with a local dose of lidocaine.  Although this option is a possibility, Dr. B. is not highly in favor of it because once again the risk of infection is quite high.

4.  Last option is for me to wear the cone or ring whenever I am not being closely supervised and leave the tumor alone.  He says the tumor is not causing me any pain, maybe some itchiness, but it is not critical that it be removed.  He and Mom agree that treatment for me is mainly of a palliative nature.  He has ordered some Bitter Orange cream (not the same as the Bitter Apple spray) for Mom to put on my tail to keep me from licking it.  If the bitter stuff works, then I might get longer periods of time without the restrictions of the cone or ring and maybe at some point total freedom.  And he said Mom can increase my tramadol dose if she thinks the ring is making my neck sore.

So what's the plan, Mom?

Weighing all the options, the vet and Mom agreed to go with #4 for now and see how things go.  They ordered the cream for me and it should be here somtime today.  #3 would be the next best option, but all are hoping to avoid this as well.  I know you have all been pulling for me, so can I ask you to keep up the POTP that things work out for me?

I also need to thank my friends. The Sibe Tribe, at Loved is being owned by a husky, for the beautiful card their Mom made for me.

Thank you so much, friends.

Before I wrap things up, I have another favor to ask.  Our kitty pal Savannah has asked a very important question:  Do you believe social media saves lives?  Well, we all do here at The OP Pack, and so we are asking today for help for this sweet boy Cash.

Cash has been through some rough times, but a wonderful human rescued him and now he needs to find him a forever home and quickly!!!  You can read all about him at Savannah's post:

Please try to spread the word about Cash and help in any way you can.

Three happy pups enjoying some outside time with much cooler temps:)

Happy weekend to all!!!

Woos - Phantom, Ciara, and Lightning


Brian said...

We think Option 4 is the best choice for you too pal. We are now on duty 24/7 so at least one of us will be sending you purrs and prayers around the clock.

Reilly-Denny Cowspotdogs said...

we agree with option 4 being the best - Mom went through that whole open wound thing when she was having bad sickies and it was awful - she wouldn't recommend that to anyone or doggie. You and your Mom will jut have to become inseparable so she keep a close watch on you old Mr Blue Eyes :)

Idaho PugRanch said...

Yes #4 sounds like the best choice for you Phantom. You look mighty happy to have that ring off
Mr Bailey, Hazel & Greta

Two French Bulldogs said...

We are liking Option 4 as well. Yes social media is a life saver
Lily & Edward

Marg said...

We are with Brian and think that option #4 sounds the best and just hope that the bitter stuff works well. We just know it will. We are also available 24/7 to send many purrs and a bunch of Hee Haws. We are pulling for you Phantom.

stellaroselong said...

We don't know what bitter orange cream is but mom said when I first came to live wif them they bought a butt load of bitter apple spray for their hands, feet and clothes...guess I was a bit of a handful. We like option 4 also. We are thinking about you Phantom and hope you get to feeling much better. We saw that story about Cash also, I think someone soon will scoop him up and love him forever!!
stella rose

BeadedTail said...

We agree with #4 too and you sure look happy about it! We'll continue sending you lots of purrs Phantom!

We're purring that Cash finds a furever home soon too!

Bella Roxy & Macdui said...

We think #4 is best as well....with jerky.

The first thing we noticed when we saw our reading list was NO Cone! See if you can keep it that way. Paws crossed for you And for your friend who needs a forever home.

Anonymous said...

Some big Woooooooooo's for you, we will act like Huskies tonight and give some Woooos to the good pals next door so they know things are looking up. But we will keep them paws crossed.

The Mad Scots

Linda & Cinnamon said...

Option # 4 would be the less stressful for everyone, plus no more 24/7 cone.
Still keeping our paws crossed that
this too will pass and all will be good soon.
xo Cinnamon

holly and the huskies said...

It sounds better for you Phantom. I hope the meds keep working for you. We are still thinking of you, your Sibe siblings and mom too. We are sending you big husky hugs!

Baby Rocket Dog and Hootie said...

We're keeping our paws crossed for you, dear Phantom. (Mom'll say a prayer) We'll check in with you to make sure all is well.
Smooches from pooches,
BabyRD & HOotie

Alasandra, The Cats and Dogs said...

We has our paws crossed option 4 will work out as it seems the best for you. We will keep you in our purrs and we are so glad you got to ditch the cone. We are purring Cash finds his forever home soon and will share again. We thinks every share helps. <3 you Phantom stay strong.

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

We think that #4 is the Bestest Also. We are conservative here on the hill. We would rather go with the Slow and Steady approach.
We are glad that you are getting some time W/O the
neck pillow...thingy. We pawfer to call it that in place of the OTHER name fur it... We like NECK PILLOW much better..
We have our Paws crossed and are sending you POTP.

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, When I read the first two options of treatment, my heart sank. I'm so glad you decided on option #4, let Phantom enjoy his days in the sunshine and cooler weather without thinking about tomorrow. Sending big hugs to you all.
Noreen & Hunter

SissySees said...

Crossed paws, licks and love... and headed your way!

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Thank you for the update,,,option 4 sounds like a good plan. So we agree with you.
We also hope Cash can find a loving forever home

Casey said...

#4 definitely sounds like the best option. I hope you feel better soon and that this option works. We'll keep our paws crossed for you.

CheerfulMonk said...

I sure hope Option 4 works! I will continue to send best wishes.

Mitch and Molly said...

We like #4 best too. Our paws remain crossed that this option works for you, Phantom!

Love ya lots♥
Mitch and Molly

Anonymous said...

Phantom I'm sure your mom will make the bestest decision for you. I hope it will work and the bitter thingy will help to avoid the licking. I cross my paws for you buddy and send you a giant weim-hug.

Dory and the Mama said...

We think your Mama has made the right choice for sure Phantom, and we are going to keep sending you PoTP x4 for quick healing!!

We also think social media saves lives and will share Cash's pictures on Mama's Facebook-y thing-y!
Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

Chef Sasha said...

Phantom, I just know your Mommy is doing the right thing for you. I am happy that you don't have to wear the ring and hope you can keep it off. You are looking especially handsome today.

Loveys Sasha

Frank The Tank said...

Owwww bless you, sending all the love I can, prayers and power of the paw to you phantom, you look so happy to be cone free in those photos, your Momma will always put your best interests first and she is doing such a wonderful job with you! (and Ciara) I hope you feel better soon! Love and Licks from your honorary woo Frank XxxxxxxxX

Dennis the Vizsla said...

hello phantom its dennis the vizsla dog hay yoo do luk mutch happier withowt the cone or ring of shaym!!! all of us heer both the reel dogs the preetend dogs and the things wot ar not dogs send yoo lots of tail wags and power of the paw!!! ok bye

KB Bear said...

I've had no internet since Wednesday morning so I just caught up on your whole saga Phantom. I am sending POTP. I hope with all my heart that #4 helps!

In a previous post, you asked for ideas - and the only crazy one that I had was a plastic basket muzzle (we use them for our dogs sometimes). The downsides are that you might still try to go after your tail and really irritate it with the plastic basket. Also, the muzzles do make our dogs a little subdued, but less so than a cone. Because they have big openings in the "baskets", there's little risk of vomiting being a problem but it is hard to drink. I would try it for my dog (especially since I already have the muzzles around)...

liparifam said...

I think you are headed in the right direction - good luck! If the bitter orange doesn't work, you might try this: I use it on my dogs'hot spots, and I have recommended it to two other people who swear by it...

liparifam said...

A better link:

The dogs apparently don't like the taste. Of course, the Vet should approve :)

Melon said...

I've definitely been following the story of Phantom's troubles, but I've still been unwell so haven't been up to commenting much.
KB had an interesting idea about a muzzle, I hadn't thought about that, I wonder if that could give Phantom breaks from the neck issues.
Also how effective is conditioning the dog not to mess with wounds? Like if Phantom hates the cone so much, putting it on as soon as he bothers his tail? Has he made that connection?
Poor fellow. Hope things look up soon.

Misaki @ misadventuresofMisaki said...

Paws crossed that #4 works xx

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Hoping for the best of Phantom... these older much history and so many heartstrings!

Sue said...

Oh those tails! We've had lots of tail injuries but so far they've all turned out well. We hope the same for you.

We're expecting cool weather later this week and we can't wait.

FiveSibesMom said...

I think Phantom totally agrees with Option 4 - just look at his big beautiful Sibe smile in that bottom photo! We'd opt for the same Phantom, no licking the tail! Big Husky hugs to you!

PS - did you hear the great news? Cash is on his way to his forever home in RI! :-) Woo!

The Army of Four said...

Option 4 sounds like the very best option for you, handsome Phantom!
If the Bitter Orange doesn't work ... our mom used something for Zim that unfortunately didn't prevent him from licking but she gave it to our vet tech friend and it worked fabulously for her Border Collie. We think the name was "Lick Guard". She heard about it from my niece Cornelia Marie's mom; she had used it for Sitka after a surgery.