Dog surgery | Preparing your home for a recovering dog

Barret

Barret, resting the day before his surgery

I recently found out that a lump on my dog’s leg was actually a form of dog cancer, specifically Hemangiopericytoma, a very aggressive, locally invasive cancer. Talk about devastating news! I did a ton of research and consulted with several vets in my area. All of my sources (books, forums, and vets alike) recommended amputating Barret’s front leg as the only viable option to treat the type of cancer he has.

I do not have words to describe the gambit of emotions those words and this journey in general has brought to the surface. It is really a life changing experience for anyone who has to go through it. I need to take a second here and give a shout out to a wonderful community devoted to 3 legged dogs, Tripawds.com. The founders and members of that community are the only reason I have been able to hold on to my sanity the last few weeks (and probably the coming few weeks too).

Barret had his surgery yesterday and he was supposed to stay at the hospital 2 nights, but because he is such a fighter he has rebounded quickly and we are going to be bringing him home tonight! Good thing I’ve been preparing for this for a few weeks now, I know we’re ready for him.

Many of the items that I purchased or the precautions I’m taking to help my dog recover from surgery will help for any type of dog surgery recovery, so I’d like to share these tips with you.
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Measuring Quality of Life in Your Pet

While I’ve been doing my due diligence and reading everything I can get my hands on about treating canine cancer, I’ve noticed the term “quality of life” comes up a lot. How do you define quality of life? How do you know when your pet’s quality of life has declined to the point that it is time to let them go?

dog cancer survival guide authors

Dr. Dressler & Dr. Ettinger from The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

In my pile of books I did find one (The Dog Cancer Survival Guide) that attempted to define and measure quality of life in dogs. It broke the “quality of life” concept down into bite-sized chunks of the things that we think our pets enjoy. When one or more of these things is compromised because of age, illness or injury, quality of life is diminished. It is up to the individual pawrent to decide when to when to pursue a treatment or euthanize a pet, but this broken down way to quantify the of the quality of life can be useful in making decisions by employing a more scientific and less emotional scale to measure your pet’s true quality of life. It is only intended as a tool to help with decision making, not as a definitive guide of when to help your pet move on.

Dr. Dressler breaks down quality of life into 6 sections: Read More »

Doggie Diets Update: How homemade dog food has improved my dogs’ health

3 dogs

My pack, looking slim, trim and healthy!

Has feeding homemade dog food improved the health of my dogs? If you want the short answer, it is a resounding YES! It has been 3 years since I decided to start making my own dog food… wow, time flies! I thought it was well past time to update everyone on how choosing a high quality dog food has helped my pets become healthier overall.

Just a quick disclaimer: I worked with my veterinarian and did a mountain of research before I decided on a diet that was right for my pets. I encourage you all to talk with your vet before trying home cooked dog food, or at the very least read Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats by Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, PhD.

overweight dog

Barret was overweight and I didn’t even know it!

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

I didn’t know my dogs were overweight until I looked back at some old pictures. I can’t guarantee that your pets will slim down on a home cooked diet. No matter what you feed them, if you overfeed them, they’re still going to be fat. However, part of creating a dog food recipe is determining how many calories your pets should be eating. A combination of reduced caloric intake and eating only fresh whole foods have slimmed my guys down considerably. Read More »

Dog Cancer: What to do when your dog has cancer

Canine Cancer AwarenessHi fellow pet lovers,

Today I am writing about a subject that I hope none of you will ever have to experience:  Canine cancer. If you’ve been following my recent posts (here and here), you’ll remember that my 4 year old mixed breed dog, Barret, had a tumor removed and a biopsy was performed. Unfortunately, last week those results came back positive for the “C” word. His cancer specifically is called Hemangiopericytoma, a type of soft tissue sarcoma.

I never dreamed that I would have to cope with something this emotionally draining so early in my dog’s lives. It happens, and unfortunately either because people are more in-tune with their pets or due to environmental factors it is becoming an all too common epidemic.

I’ll be using That Pet Blog to chronicle my journey, provide insights, and hopefully to help someone else who may be struggling to fight canine cancer.

I thought I had been preparing myself for this diagnosis from the time we found his underarm lump, but I was still devastated to learn my Heart dog had cancer. Now that I have had a week to process, I think that there are a few distinct steps you have to go through in order to make great pet parent decisions. So if you’re reading this because you just received some bad news of your own, start with these simple steps:

  1. Let Yourself Grieve
  2. Be a Strong Pack Leader
  3. Arm Yourself with Information
  4. From Here Out, Make Every Day Count
  5. Make Responsible, Informed Decisions

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Pet Surgery | Products that help with after surgery care

 

Barret wasn't thrilled to come to work with me

Barret a few days after surgery

Hi everyone,

This is a follow-up post about Barret’s tumor removal surgery. You can read more about my struggle with the anxiety of finding a lump and learning that it may or may not be cancer in my previous post.

I dropped Barret off at the vet last Wednesday for his pet surgery. He was happy as a lark as they lead him to the back. I was a nervous wreck. They said they’d call when he woke up. It turned out the surgery that was supposed to be a simple cyst removal turned into a very long and arduous procedure. They ended up keeping him overnight. The minute he was ready to be picked up I was there.

sleepy dog after surgery

Sleeping off his pain medication

I wasn’t prepared to see him all wrapped up in colorful vetrap, but there he was trotting towards me with his usual energy. He was bouncing away trying to give me kisses as the vet explained he needed to stay calm and inactive for the wound in his armpit to heal. He wished me luck and had me make follow up appointments.

After surgery care for my dog was pretty simple, but there were a few items that my doggie first aid kit was lacking and there are a few extra items that I bought or already had that proved to be invaluable during this process and I would like to share those with you so you might be more prepared than I was. Read More »

Choosing the Right Dog Bowl for Your Dog

Choosing a dog bowl

Click to see the full sized graphic on thatpetplace.com

If you’ve recently walked down the dog bowl aisle, you’ll know that there are dozens of different sizes and shapes of dog bowls available to choose from. What you might not know is that the different shapes now available are specifically manufactured to meet the specific needs of different dog breeds and age groups. Here at That Pet Place we’ve put together a handy infographic to help you with choosing the right dog bowl that is the perfect match for your pet! Read More »

How much is too much – What is the real cost of extending our pets’ lives?

Barret

My teenie tiny Barret the day we brought him home

If you’ve been a Pet Blog reader for some time now, you know that I treat all of my pets as if they were two-legged family members. They get home cooked meals, birthday parties, and great veterinary care. Each one of them has worked their way deep into my heart, and life without any one of them just wouldn’t be the same. A medical issue has come to a head recently and left me with some very serious topics to consider: How much is too much to spend to extend a loved one’s life, and what is the true cost emotionally, financially and through the suffering of your beloved pets? Read More »

How to Monitor Your Pets While You’re Away from Home (Infographic)

How many times have you wished you could check in on your pets while you’re at work? Check out this infographic on using your home computer and Skype to keep an eye on your mischievous pets while you’re out and about!

All you need is a computer with a web cam set up in the room where your pet spends his day and a Skype account.

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Get Ready for Spring with a New Weight Loss Program for Pets

we all have some weight to shed, even our petsWe’ve written on numerous occasions about America’s pet obesity epidemic and have provided tips on how to slim and trim your pet. We’re honored to welcome Rainier Fuclan as a guest blogger with a new canine or feline weight loss plan to help our pets lose weight safely.  Rainier Fuclan is a marketing strategist, freelance writer and pet lover! When he’s not busy working you can find him at home playing with his dog Peanut and cat Anya.

Anya

Rainier’s cat Anya, perfectly slim and trim.

Spring is almost upon us, and with the warmer weather comes the realization that some of us will need to take off a few pounds we’ve gained over the winter months. While you’re taking a critical eye to your waistline, now might be a good time to see whether your four-legged friends could afford to shed a few pounds as well. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than 50 percent of cats and dogs are currently overweight, and one-third of those pets are considered obese, or weighing more than 30 percent over what is considered a healthy weight for them.

Having an overweight or obese pet can be more problematic than just having a few extra pounds of pet to love. Pet owners spend millions of dollars annually to treat obesity-related conditions, and aside from the financial strain on a pet owner’s pocketbook, the pets themselves can suffer from conditions such as kidney failure, diabetes, and cancer. Read More »

Do Pet Owners Have Rights?

No dog poop sign outside the NYC Public LibraryAll responsible dog owners know the laws that we need to follow for our pets. We need to have them vaccinated against deadly diseases, we need to have them licensed and spayed or neutered. We know we have to report dangerous dogs and uphold a leash law where required. Most of us also know that we need to pick up our pet’s waste (even if there is no official law in place).

See, my neighborhood has a bit of a poo problem. Some of my dog-walking neighbors neglect to clean up their pets’ waste, even if the deed has been done in the middle of another neighbor’s yard. I know that this is not a problem exclusive to our neighborhood, or even just our city. However, our homeowner’s association has been petitioned to raise the HOA fees for pet owners and to use the extra money to create and maintain a “dog bathroom area” in the community. The petitioner wants pets to use this central area in the neighborhood to do their business and pet owners somehow need to prevent their pets from eliminating elsewhere. Read More »

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