Sunday, 13 December 2015

Unsupported walks and night time games.

Blue has been doing well since our last blog, progress is small, but progress is progress.

There have been no ill-effects with the Chemotherapy, and the fur is growing back slowly, the spirit that Blue has shown confirms our decision to go through this route is most welcome from Blue.

Generally there has been a day on day improvement, so much so, that yesterday, Blue rested a little more than recent days, maybe he had over done it, maybe this would be the pattern of his activity levels, maybe there is something else going on inside of him.

We will continue to take one day at a time, not look towards the future, living for today.
Each morning as the curtains are drawn back we get the chance to wonder the dawn of a new day to share with Blue and realise how lucky we are to have each other.

The improvement has seen Blue not require the use of his support sling, for the last week, walk more comfortably to the park, and even have a short walk in the park, the equivalent of about half a mile in total. All at his pace and in the direction he chooses. We are very guarded about being in the park because of other dogs, most naturally give a wide berth to German Shepherds, but not all. Blue is very switched on in his mind and senses, once he is aware of another dog in the park, he will be fully focused, so we do have to also guard Blue against Blue.

He has also made the excursion to the local cemetery, a place he has walked daily in the past, but not since his treatment started.

His medication has now seen an end to the anti-biotic Therios, it has done a good job of helping fight off any infections

His daily dosage of medication is continuing with Tramadol, Gabapentin and Metacam along with the herbal Chinese product Yunnan Baiyao.

Blue is due his next Chemotherapy session on Tuesday, which will see him also take Cerenia in tablet form prior to and after the session. 
Blue will require 10 Acepromazine to partly sedate him ahead of his visit.

The many forms of tablet he is taking, go down with very little fuss, the only issue is if one splits and discharges the contents onto his food, then even the most appealing sausage has to be offered a few times before consumption.

Tuesday he will have a short stay for his treatment, where they will also undergo the removal of the stitches associated with his port placement. All being well this will enable Blue to return to his weekly Wednesday swim sessions at Aquadoggies, fingers crossed.

Sue continues to sleep downstairs in the week with Blue, where they both sleep through the night.

Friday and Saturday are my usual nights for taking a turn on the put me up.

Friday took us by surprise, I was busy cleaning my teeth, Sue was getting the duvet stuff ready, and who should appear upstairs, Blue, for the first time he had found the will and energy to climb the stairs, not only that, but after wandering around the upstairs rooms checking things out, he went into our bedroom and jumped straight on the bed,  circled a few times and landed with a contented grunt. Looks like we are all sharing the same bed for the night.

15 minutes into the night, Blue made it clear he wanted to go downstairs, so Fridays sleeping arrangements were to return to those that had gone before.

After we had settled for a short while Blue wanted to go out the back, to do his business, oh no to play football !! 

We played for a little bit, and I thought it would be a nice moment to capture, and went indoors and got the camera.

Eventually he had enough, and with the temptation of a food treat, we were back in doors to do what normal beings do at night, go to sleep.

Yesterday did see Blue be a bit more reluctant to raise from a slumber, but perhaps the clue was in the story above, lack of sleep in the night.

Those are the moments that will one day be cherished, it is still very heartwarming the support and understanding we get regarding Blue, neighbours stunned by our news always ask how he is, sometimes a knock on the door, presents us with a chance to update a concerned neighbour who had not seen him for a few days. Work colleagues keen to hear his progress, and how he is.

We are also pleased to have prompt settlements from the Pet Insurance, this enables us to continue supporting Blue, money is not everything, but it can open doors and provide opportunities. Some of the costs which must be paid for up front can quickly deplete resources. It does show the true value of Pet Insurance, and using a good reputable company, we chose ours wisely, do your homework and make your choice the right one

We have decided this year will be a Blue Christmas, Blue themed and focused on Blue. 

Yesterday we did the Christmas food shop, the main item was the turkey for Blue, if I am good perhaps Sue and Blue will let me have a slice for my Christmas lunch!!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Blue has some medical days out.

Wow where does the time go? In our case oh so quickly, and as we have become accustomed, a microscopic world with little focus away from Blue.

Blue underwent his Chemotherapy last week, had a port fitted, without an overnight stay, all of us very happy to not be parted for too long. Today Blue was back for his blood tests, and results were given before we left.

Blue has normal white blood cell levels, but red blood cells are well down, last week were 39.4% today only 27%

That was the summary, now for the detail;-
Last Tuesday Blue was booked in at Fitzpatrick Referrals to undergo a procedure, which would incorporate the placement of a port into his leg which would have a line directly into a vein. This would be how Chemotherapy would be administered and also to obtain blood samples as and when required.
Once again Blue resisted sedation, but was a bit weaker, and was soon leaving the consultation room with Laurent, Senior Surgeon of Oncology and Soft Tissue, as they walked across reception, Blue must have thought we were following, but we were heading in the opposite direction towards the reception desk to conclude the necessary paperwork.

As we glanced back, before they walked through the open door, Blue looked back directly at us, an expression that words could not describe, filled us with emotion that could only escape through the corner of the eyes, all the moisture left our throats, this is tough.

We returned home, and both went to work, tonight was going to feel empty at home.

Later in the afternoon, news came through, Blue had come through the procedure, and they would keep an eye on him to ensure there were no adverse reactions.

6:30 in the evening the call came though, Blue was up to being discharged if we would like to collect him, he would be ready for discharge at 8:15, we were there at 8:05

Blue was brought willingly through those same doors, that he had exited this morning, joyfully and as eager as a puppy as soon as he see us. We went with the Nurse into the consultancy room, where once again the line was removed, but with a bit more co-operation from Blue, and a lot less blood spillage.
The fur that had been growing back, had once again been removed, along with the stitches, and new ones to secure the opening around the port.

After a drive back home we entered our front door at 10:00pm a long eventful day for Blue was now behind him, once again a model dog and a model patient, back home for plenty of cuddles.

Blue no longer has bad days, he only has better days and good days.

The weekend has seen Blue vary with his appetite for exercise, but he has been taken to the park for a short walk. He has even had a couple of trips out to the grounds of the local University. Some parts unaided other times with his sling for support.

The Chemotherapy comes with some issues, one of which is that any wee or poo in the days soon after therapy should not be licked. So hygiene is important.

Whilst Blue has been more mobile, he has an issue when weeing, he stands with his right leg further back for balance, with his stitches the direction of his wee goes straight towards his front leg. We came up with a plan, a plastic storage box lid, acting as a splash shield. We must look a peculiar sight, but it does the job, and hurts no one.

Medication has been a challenge, at one point a tablet was crushed mixed with water and Sue literally wrestled with Blue in a headlock and squirted the contents of the syringe down the back of Blue's throat. This was not agreeable for any of us, the answer laid in a tin of sardines, we had found Blue's passionate food, too tasty to resist and too tasty to be spoilt by tablets, everyones a winner.

Todays visit;
Blue had an afternoon appointment to have a blood test carried out. This time he was given sedatives before hand, Sue had to give him 10 yes TEN tablets 2 hours before his consultation.

We arrived in good time, were shown directly into the consultation room, the tablets were having the desired effect, as the reception lady held the door open Blue had a cursory sniff, and no more, he was entering the "dozy zone" we were offered and accepted coffee, and took the opportunity to have a weight check, Blue tipped the electronic scales at 48.7 kg
By the time Laurent came in to commence, the old Blue was there but in a much more subdued manner, with a laid back high pitched attempt at a bark.
We held Blues head steady while the blood sample was removed via the port, Blue was co-operating as best he could.
Ten minutes passed and the results were back, a bit of a mixed bag really, some good, some could be better, Sue had a long list of questions, each one answered fully and comprehensively by Laurent.

Laurent said that someone else wanted to see Blue, Dr Kelvin Kow, Senior Consultant Medical Oncology, whom Sue had spoke on the phone with the other day. Between the both, they gave us everything we needed to understand how Blue is doing, and how things may get. Not all good but again some better.

The same surgeon that had carried out a life threatening procedure, answered all our queries in a clear and concise manner, shook hands with such warm friendship, took the coffee cup and saucer from my hand, and left the room, how humble a gesture I have not witnessed before.

Blue could not be in any better hands, talking of Blue, he was now deep in the zone, consultation over we had to get this little fella through the building, across the car park, and he was as drunk as a lord.

Below are a few pictures that sum up part of Blue's day

The Staff have been truly great and a credit to their profession, when asked if it can be a heartbreaking place to work, yes it can but, you must look at each one as a gift and enjoy them

Today as I was driving back, Blue came into the former bracket, but I would use the word "talent"

Talent is something that is learnt and earned. Blue is a special talent that has faced some tough challenges through a life that other dogs could only dream of, his paws have trod where mountaineers walk, where fishes swim in seas, brooks, burns, lakes and lochs, pools and puddles, where cows graze, where deer and sheep graze,  sand and pebbles have been no match for paws or peat bogs not too soft for the spread of his paws, he has the look of a friend and a gaze to melt the hardest of hearts.

Who knows what this talent will achieve next......................

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Living for today; The only way;

Last Saturday we took Blue out for a trip in the car, to give him a different perspective, and to see the world around him.

Just after returning the phone rang, that phone call was one we were expecting, but not the news we wanted.

Blue's results were in regarding the mass removed from his abdomen, it is an aggressive cancer that is incurable, Blue was given 3-9 months to live.

Our world had just collapsed, Blue had sensed something had disturbed us, came over to where I sat on the floor laid down and rested his head in my lap, allowing us to comfort each other. How do you come to terms with a bombshell like that?

Blue will continue to receive our love and devotion until the time arrives for our goodbyes to be said, we are all fully committed, to do what is best for Blue.

Holidays to Scotland in May, have now been abandoned, we will more likely go to the New Forest in Hampshire instead, around about January, this will be as long as Blue is up to it.

Medical stuff
Blue has Hemangiosarcoma, which is a cancer that takes different forms in many breeds of dog, also cats. It is not rare especially in large breeds of deep chested dogs, normally found but not exclusively in dogs between 6 - 12 years old. Breeds affected more commonly are German Shepherds,Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and mainly in male dogs.

In Blue's case, his has got into the blood, leg muscle and part of his nervous system, removing the mass will play no better or worse effects in terms of longevity of life.

On Tuesday Blue must return to the Oncology and Soft Tissue hospital in Guildford, where they will be removing his stitches. We have elected for Blue to have Chemotherapy, which will also be administered on Tuesday. To aid further administration of the treatment Blue will have a port fitted just under the skin, which will deliver the medicine directly into a vein. Normally it is fitted up near the neckline, but in Blue's case his will be inserted in his hind leg. No medical reason for doing this, just simply Blue will resist co-operation and handling by strangers, so if you like, put it as far away from his teeth for the safety of others, that's our Blue.

He will be dropped off on Tuesday morning at 7:30 where he will be booked in for treatment, and overnight observation, we will collect him on Wednesday.

It has taken a week for this to truly sink in and come to terms with, Blue Sue and me are now mentally strong to take this path side by side until we reach the inevitable end.

When Blue gives us the signal, we will do the right thing for him, no matter how hard that decision will be, it is about all of us.


  • Metacam - liquid on food
  • Gabapentin - capsules
  • Tramadol - capsules

Twitter and Google plus
We have finally shared this dilemma that faces Blue on Twitter and Goggle+ and the support has been so heart warming, Blue even received a box of gifts, one of which is a monkey that keeps him comforted in his crate "Monkey-Crate-Mate" seen here as a shoulder to lean on

A comforting comment was sent via a direct message to Sue. 

"Blue only lives for today, he has no plans for tomorrow"

We have drawn a lot of strength and perspective from that, and will continue to do so. We know there are divided opinions about Chemotherapy, while Blue shows an appetite for life, we will explore all avenues.

Blue now never sleeps alone downstairs, and it would be too difficult for him to safely negotiate the stairs, weeknights he has Sue for company, weekends it is my turn to sleep on the put-me-up, there is never normally more than four hours sleep, as soon as Blue stirs we have been taken him out to the garden for a wee, and he duly obliges, even though sometimes it is a splash and a dash.

Each day we have been taking Blue across the road to do his business on some openland, each day he longingly looks up the road towards the park.

This morning he got his wish, me holding his rope lead, Sue supporting his back legs with a sling, we went to the park, where unaided but still on a lead he got to sniff and stroll around the park for 5 or so minutes, his expression said it all. When he sat down to admire and survey his kingdom, we knew the time was right to to head back; We are now like the proverbial pantomime horse, we all three walk together attached and in unison.

Breakfast was eaten once again with no fuss, and tablets went down a treat, Blue is now resting in his crate, which he sees as his space, his comfort area.

We have not put our life on hold, and will not grieve until Blue has passed over the rainbow bridge, that day will be hard enough, but we will draw strength from those days past, and the new memories we continue to make.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Home sweet home

Only 4 days have passed since we collected Blue, and brought him home. Each day is all about Blue, and will be for some time yet to come.

Each day he has become more settled, and his recovery has been helped by the way in which he accepts support,  and works with us.

It is amusing the will power he has, as I write this blog he has herded Sue into the room with me and then settled under the dining table.

Blue is eating and resting, as he should be, exercise is limited to short walks into the garden, supported with a sling, and attached to his rope lead. Once in the morning and once in the evening, we venture across the road to some grassed area, where he likes to do his business, which has been nice and healthy.

Our strategy with Blue when he was first home was to get him into the garden every two hours through the night, to ensure his bladder did not get overfull, that now has already extended to four hours.

Blue remains in his crate at night, wearing his "Procone" a softer version of the buster collar, much more user friendly. Sue sleeps down stairs on an emergency guest bed with one eye on Blue through the night.

Blue only occasionally bears any weight on his rear right leg, though the Specialist did advise, it could be a month or so before he began to use it. At the moment he uses it to balance only, often on tip-toes, and occasionally when doing a bunny hop while walking.

Medication has been a bit of a challenge, especially the antibiotic one, a large pink tablet, that is supposed to be palatable, but not according to Blue. We have tried numerous ways, but he was not taking it, and it was getting more difficult. A lady at work suggested, crushing the tablet mixing it with water and firing down the back of his throat with a syringe, some how I thought no that is not a good idea. However the crushing of the tablet and putting it in yogurt might be a happy alternative, still Blue was not convinced.

This morning we tried to grind the tablet with a rolling pin and bowl, with slightly more success.

Medication twice daily

So for £5 we have invested in a pestle & mortar, ground the tablet to a finer powder mixed in with his main meal and hey presto down the hatch it went without too much fuss.

That is also one of the great things about sharing, and caring, people at work ask how Blue is on a daily basis, and whatever your facing as a challenge, they suggest ways to try and help.

We have no results yet, and live very much one day at a time, I thought it would be nice to share the little milestones Blue has achieved so far.

The scar is significant, but looking clean and healthy, and Blue likes to preserve his modesty, so here he is resting, by the dining room table.

The benefits of crate rest can not be underestimated, the benefit of crate training and the calmness it brings pay huge dividends in circumstances such as Blue is facing.

This path that we walk with Blue has a long way to go,  but each twist and turn along the way, will be met head on together. 

A close friend "Anne" has been very supportive, helping out with Blue, one of a very small privileged few that can get close to Blue, but that might be because she has a female Pug called Daisy, who Blue has a soft spot for. 

Many thanks goes out from Blue, Sue and me for the support, and that is also extended across to America, where "Ash" lives, whom I spoke with on the phone on Sunday. The power of the internet never fails to astound me.

Blue has a growing "Twitter" and internet family that care very much about him and are very supportive, they know who they are and the three of us are eternally grateful; 

@Rod1871 @Bluesmummy @BluetheGSD 

Thank you all 

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Surgery, fear, anxiety, support all in a week.

Today Blue sits safely at home after a traumatic week, that has been who knows how long in the making.

First and foremost it has been without doubt a rollercoaster ride of emotions for all of us, just a couple of days ago, Blue was on the operating table, where a potentially life threatening decision was made, and some of Blues greatest battles for life began.

What every pet owner, has to do is what is right for their pet and them, what every pet owner may not have is the opportunity to take that ultimate decision.

How the week unfolded:
Blue had been on medication, which was increased following a rapid decline in his mobility

Blue was taken to Fitzpatrick Referral's in Eashing, Surrey. He was to have a further assessment with Ricardo, after a brief assessment which culminated in Blue being walked down a corridor crying in pain, as he was assessed by the Staff confirmed a rapid deterioration in Blue's health. We sat in the consulting room where we could hear his cries, he was in absolute agony.
Ricardo moved many things, most of which were behind the scenes, but somehow, he had arranged for Blue to be visited by an Oncologist, at the same time as he would undergo further scans. The rapid deterioration could only be the mass in his abdomen. As the practice was so busy, there were no large kennels available. We took Blue out to the car to wait, the wait was not long, Blue would have to be admitted, but co-operation is not there even if the help was in his best interest.
As Blue could no longer support his own hind legs, we used a support sling, buster collar, and sedatives to prepare him for his entry into the kennels. For all of that he stood stock still refusing to move, my wife Sue suggested I walked ahead so Blue would follow, which he duly did.
We left Blue in the hands of the experts, who were going to carry out the scan and take a biopsy of the mass.
Initially the mass was an incidental find, but spinal surgery would not proceed until the dynamics of the mass had been established.

Blues results were that the mass had grown, and there was a concern a biopsy may cause significant issues. The decision was that the Senior consultants would discuss Blues complex case the next day, as these exploratory tests had gone late into the evening, and all present wanted to review Blues case with others and without fatigue. This was confirmed to us at 10:15 pm 12hrs after he had been taken for his consultation.

Sue received a call to say that a decision was made that Blue needed to attend the Oncology and Soft Tissue Centre in Guilford. Because Blue was not co-operating, they asked if we could transfer Blue, for him to be assessed on Thursday morning first thing. We obviously said yes.

Blue was brought out of the kennels across the waiting room, bounding eagerly with his front legs while the nurses were trying to support and restrain him, he was pleased to see us.

We needed to travel along back roads due to major traffic jam heading up the A3 into Guilford, but we arrived at a brand spanking new state of the art building.

Welcomed, booked in, admiring comments of Blue, a cup of coffee, and we waited to be called.

One of the team called us into the consultation room; where all aspects relating to Blue were discussed ahead of the consultation with the Surgical Consultant, Laurent Findji examined the notes and Blue. Blue still not co-operating even with sedation, but  Laurent found enough for him to make his prognosis, surgery was required, and required today.
Blue was taken to the prep room for surgery, but not without christening the reception area, he started to wee, and not until he reached the other end did he finally stop weeing. Everyone was amazed that amount of fluid could come from one dog. The Staff were brilliant, it was no problem, they just cleared up behind him, no fuss, no bother.

We arrived home and sat and waited for the phone call, because even with all the scans carried out, they were still unaware of what the situation would be once Blue was opened up.

We got that call, late in the afternoon, the mass was significant and was attached to muscle and pressing on his spine and vital organs. Laurent gave us the options, close Blue back up and try to treat with Chemo and radio therapy, or remove as much as possible.
We advised Laurent our decision was for him to proceed to remove the mass, even though he could lose Blue on the operating table. Without doubt that decision could only come from the heart, but we owed Blue the chance for quality of life, we made our decision and began the long wait.

Neither of us are truly religious but in our own way we prayed for Blue to come through. All the moisture left our throats and formed tracks of tears down our faces, very few breaths were taken, we were in suspended animation in the darkest of tunnels, pressure pushing in from all around.

The phone call came; Blue had survived surgery, but had significant blood loss due to the tumour being removed from his abdomen, he was having a blood transfusion, he was not out of the woods yet.

At ten that evening, we were informed that Blue was stable and comfortable and the next twelve hours were crucial, to ensure that there is no internal bleeding.

Sue called the practice, and was informed Blue was fine, recovering post surgery. Our prayers were answered, Blue had overcome life threatening surgery, a blood transfusion, he now needed to rest, take on fluids and nutrition.

Blue had gone into lock down, he was being difficult and unco-operative. He would not allow staff to get close, he was weeing on his bed, but worst of all refusing to take food.
We had previously said that if we were needed we were only an hours drive away, and would assist in any way possible. They said perhaps a visit by us would encourage Blue to eat, so we set off for a 12:30 appointment.

We were ushered into a consultation room where we would wait for them to fetch Blue. They came back empty handed, Blue was refusing to move, could his Mum and Dad go to him?

As we approached a concern was that he would get over excited and do himself some harm. Blue came out of his area, not excitedly, but some recognition was there.

Well we sat with Blue,  our Blue, who had overcome some huge hurdles, what could we do. The best thing we could do was comfort him, through this comfort and acceptance, he eat his first morsel of food since 8:00pm on Wednesday; cooked turkey pieces were offered and accepted, sausage pieces were offered and declined, we stuck with the turkey.

Blues best interests were paramount and the decision was agreed, Blue would come home with us where we could give him the care and comfort to help him, the Nurse talked us all through the medication Blue required, restrictions and expectations.

The next challenge was to remove the lines and canulars attached to his front paws.

These were not removed without a struggle, Blue fought us all the way on removing these, the room looked like a murder scene before we were done.

Blue was taken to the car, and enjoyed an incident free journey home.

Last night was great to have Blue back home, and our joy was shared on Twitter;

This is a new chapter in Blues life, which we will continue to share his progress, he has a long road to recovery, as there are still lots of unknowns;

  • Is the tumour Benign or malignant
  • Is Chemo required
  • Are wounds going to heal without infection
  • Is spinal surgery still required
  • Will he use his back leg unaided
None of the above can be answered now, some may take weeks or months to be answered, we only know that those who prayed for Blue, helped him through these first vital steps.

Our special dog, has become a bit more special.

I can not end this blog without a big thank you to all those that have cared for or cared about Blue
but today I want to give some special thanks to all the staff at

and for the vital blood; 

Blue awaits his "Blue badge" to share that he is a recipient of blood from the PetBloodBank and would like to make others aware of this vital service.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Extra pain relief kicks in

Tramadol; added to the Gabapentin & Metacam gave Blue some much needed pain relief last night, though it took most of the evening to kick in.

Blue has created a wide audience who have been interested in his progress, so for that reason, rather than keeping people posted on his twitter account (Bluethegsd) through this blog we can chart his progress for others to follow, and read older posts.

Yesterday evening he was in a lot of discomfort, a few times he looked as if he was going to be physically sick, but once out in the garden, he was content to lay there, so for a while, he laid on the lawn in comfort, so there he stayed until he was ready to move.

Although people have a look of concern when you say about Blue being in a crate, it really is so beneficial for him, it is the best advice we have ever had, crate training as a pup has now been very useful to help him gain some comfort and switch off.

The crate to Blue is like an old pair of slippers, (except he does not chew it), anyone who is considering a dog, could do a lot worse than crate train their dog. We have loaned Blue's crate out to a fellow German Shepherd called Max and a Pug called Daisy, both owners were amazed at the benefits.

Back to Blue.

Yesterday saw Blue at times lifting his hind right leg to take the weight off, and at times he would be dragging it behind him, when sitting some times he leaves it outstretched to the side at an odd awkward looking angle.

Sue is constantly in dialogue with the Veterinary Consultant Ricardo, at Fitzpatrick Referrals through phone calls and emails. 

The complexity of Blue's case has delayed any decision on what to do next, would the mass be the primary concern or the spine, what would be the implications of dealing with one and not the other, could both be dealt with in unison, at the moment there has been the MRI and two CT scans to gather information. The overriding concern is that they are keen not to go in blind, it is highly likely that our little soldier is going to need some form of surgery before he is pain free.

Ricardo has said that keeping Blue at home on pain relief will be a lot less stressful than him staying at the Vets, which we are in agreement with.

Blue has been moulting a lot, this could be his summer coat is being shed, to be replaced with his winter coat, or it could be related to the stress and discomfort he is feeling.

As I write this, Blue has taken up a cosy spot, a bit of crate-free relaxation.

Friday, 30 October 2015

More pain relief needed

Blue had a very very restless day and night yesterday. Unable to settle throughout the evening he was constantly up and looking for somewhere to settle.

He was out in the night, looking like he wanted to be sick, but ended up just laying on the lawn in the pouring rain. Attempting to lead him back indoors he refused to get up, the only way to move him was to abandon him in the garden and encourage him with a treat from the kitchen.

Sue slept downstairs with him, but by all accounts he continued to remain unsettled, eventually exhaustion got the better of him. At 5.30 am Sue took him out to do his business, and returned without any incident,this being no more than 15 minutes out of the door and back.

Sue had managed to arrange a shorter working day, so that she could contact Fitzpatrick Referrals to get some advice.  They have arranged for the local vet to supply stronger pain relief medication, which Sue can obtain from our local vets.

The prognosis is proving very difficult due to the complexity of the images created by the scans, but we have been assured that he is not being forgotten, they need to make the right decisions before committing to any operations, it is the difficulty of the symptoms could be caused by the mass within him or the condition of his spine impacting on his spinal cord or a combination of both.

It is very hard watching Blue in such discomfort, we hope that they can make a decision without too much more delay.

Blue is now less mobile and in more discomfort than he was four weeks ago.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Ignore if you are a responsible dog owner

Today following the vets advice, we increased Blues walk, as he has been responding well to his rest.

We took him for a walk in the local park, where he often frequents, and probably has enjoyed a little less than he would have liked.

Walking through the park past the busy five a-side enclosed area two young lads exclaimed their admiration for German Shepherds, and asked if they could stroke him. I explained that Blue had not been very well, and would not welcome them getting too close, they politely accepted, and went back to playing football, saying perhaps we can when he is feeling better.

We carried on with our walk admiring how polite they were, and Blue also gave a bark of approval, at least that is how he seemed.

As we walked around the park, giving other dog walkers a wide berth, all was going well, until a small fluffy white dog began to approach. It stopped a fair distance away, but we made sure Blue kept   himself to himself , but this little ball of fluff had other ideas. Blue was like a magnet, the star attraction that needed a closer look.

So there we are stood stock still, and making it clear, we were not there to play, but the other dog could not resist, now Blue had some ground to defend, first the barking, then the spinning and trying to get off lead, and what was the other owners response, softly calling "Bella" to come repeatedly for a good couple of minutes, finally Bella realised Blue was not up for playing returned to her owner, now some considerable distance away.

Blue settled and ended up with a shorter walk, and sure enough, half hour later, when he was called for his dinner, he slowly got up with a distinct discomfort in his hind leg, so the four weeks he had been resting, had just been undone, because of an owner that failed to recognise their little yappy dog was bothering a dog who was not well, and it's owners were desperately trying to keep him calm.

Blue may look a big strong brute on the outside, but he is a soft sensitive soul who is in a lot of discomfort, all he wanted was some quiet me time out with us.

The saddest part, he has now had to return to his crate for some enforced rest. 

We really do need the vets to get in touch soon, this waiting is very tough on Blue.

Monday, 26 October 2015

News is news

The day arrived, an incident free journey see us safely arrive on time for our 8:30 appointment.

The calm before the storm as they say, this sun drenched waiting room would soon be the hive of activity, and sure enough as others began to arrive, we were called in by Ricardo for Blue's check up.

We reported how Blue had been very well behaved with his crate rest, limited exercise and taking his medication. It was also pleasing to report that Blue seemed more stable on his hind legs than before our previous visit.

Ricardo explained that today he was more concerned now with assessing the "mass" that had shown up, the CT scan would be a quicker process than our previous visit, because it was more specific and targeted.

Blue had been vocal, but no more than usual, now was time for the sedative, which would take the edge off his anxiety, enough to put a catheter in, for the anaesthetic.

With a bit of positioning and some enforced hugs from me and Sue, Blue was injected, we now had to wait for it to take effect, this gave Ricardo a chance to go and prep the team ahead of Blue's arrival.

Blue resists the sedative, but gives a false impression it is working, as soon as the vet team re-enter the room some 25 minutes later, he is immediately up on the defence. But this time we worked quickly and effectively and within five minutes, he had been shaved, catheter fitted, we just had to wait for it to take effect. Although his hind quarters went down fairly quickly, the head and chest stayed very erect. More anaesthetic was given and gradually he succumbed. 

Scooped up into the arms of the veterinary team, he was carried like a sleeping baby out of the room.

Less than an hour had passed, when Ricardo, summoned us across a now packed waiting room, to say the CT scan was all done, he would check out the results, he suggested that Blue was not brought through the waiting room, so we moved our car to the rear of the practice, so that Blue could be brought out through the side exit and into the car, in their words he was easier to handle while the drugs were keeping him sedated.

It was a strange sight to see him come round the building, pulling although he did not know where he was going, to greet someone who may look vaguely familiar, Sue and me.

Blue was lifted into the back of the car, where we would wait with him until Ricardo came out to see us. Even the veterinary nurse took a few longing looks, Blue was being his most adorable.

Results; The reason for our visit.

I was hoping to be writing how good everything was, but there remains a lot of uncertainty. The results revealed no reduction in the mass which lays inside him. It is believed that the pressure on his spine is not his major concern, as he is coping well with mobility and bodily functions. 
At this moment in time there is no explanation or prognosis for this mass, therefore Blue's case is to be discussed with the "Oncology and Soft Tissue-team"  also in Guildford 

The word "Oncology" is the science of mass, tumours, within the body, at this moment no one knows what is the make up of Blue's mass. There is no point in jumping to conclusions or dismissing the presence of a form of malignant or benign tumour. Only time and more tests will give that answer.

Each and every day has always been precious, today that just ramped up a little more.

We will do all we can to make him happy, and see our way through what ever comes....

We now wait for a phone call .................

Blue as always blow a raspberry when the camera is pointed at him.


Sunday, 25 October 2015

Tomorrow is a huge important day

Tomorrow Blue returns to Fitzpatrick Referrals, at Godalming in Surrey, and it will be one of the biggest days of judgement that he has had to face for many a long time. 

Blue has completed the course of medication prescribed, he has had four weeks of being without any serious exercise, and for the most part lived in his crate. All as was advised by the vet.

I say for the most part, to expect him to remain crate bound for four weeks is unrealistic, therefore because Blue has been a model patient this last week he has spent longer outside of his crate, but he has still not gone anywhere without being on a lead. Last night for only the second night did he come up to the bedroom with us. Without fail we have taken it in turns to sleep downstairs with Blue, since his enforced stay in the crate.

Tomorrow is the long awaited return for the CT scan and MRI scan, the results of which will form the way forward for him. We will need to know if the"mass" in his body, that was detected has subsided or got worse, and or if the anomalies with his spine have altered.

There are the main two questions, and until Blue has been sedated and scanned, nobody knows what the next step is for Blue. Sedation won't come easy, as Blue has a deep fear of the vets, not surprisingly, since what he has gone through over the years.

So how is he?
Blue seems to be quite content within himself, he remains bright and alert, though still a little unstable on his hind legs. He has no loss of appetite and all his bodily functions are normal and healthy.

This is what Blue has in front of him for the next 24 hours;
  • By 5:00 pm he will have his afternoon walk, about 10 minutes.
  • By 8:00 pm his final meal of the day along with his final medication
  • After his meal there will be no food treats until he is back from Surrey the next day
  • By 7:00 am in the morning Blue will have been out for his dawn walk and constitutionals
  • At 7:00 am we will all get in the car and travel the 40+ miles to Godalming
  • At 8:30 am we are scheduled for Blues return consultation
  • Some short time after Blue will be under sedation for his scans
We then have the anxiety of waiting and worrying, hoping, fearing, praying that the odds are balanced in Blues favour.

It is without doubt tomorrow is going to be very emotional and soul searching, we must expect to have to make some tough decisions if the long term prognosis depends on it.

What ever way things go tomorrow we will do the best and right thing for Blue, he has given us so much, we have to give him all we have.

"Come on you Blue's"

Blue is going through this because a car driver failed to concentrate and stop before hitting the back of our car. We know it could've been much worse and the car took the brunt of the impact, written-off officially last week by the insurers, and it takes a lot to write-off a Land Rover Freelander2.

Blue's symptoms took 24 hours to show up; He had looked fine and without injury at the time of the impact, if only they could talk!!