The Ark

Whatever floats your boat...

Yesterday it seemed Kirb had hours and not weeks.   He went from being perfectly active the day he went to the Vet (walked a good 5 miles) to yesterday, me having to lift him up to stand and setting him down as he tried to lay down.  He was hunched in pain and stiff when he attempted to walk.  He would pant a bit from the pain.  I gave him a dose of Prednisone and today he is back to his normal self, running to the door to be first to greet us, and anxious to have his walk as he pulled Ann's arm out of her shoulder socket.  Right now he just dashed out the dog door because he smells Javelina on the other side of the wall surrounding the back yard.   I am hoping the Predisone will be something I can ease him off with decreasing doses  after a week and a half when  have the pine bark extract which is an anti-inflammatory as well, but does not kill the adrenal gland as Prednisone does.  


We also are giving him Astralagus which is an Ancient Chinese medicine that does much the same as all those synthetic chemo agents with no side effects.  Also it has been shown in studies to have no toxic effects in animals when given in 7 times the dosage normally given to humans.    I am researching both natural remedies, and seeing if there is any indication of cross reactivity, and also with Prednisone.   Diet is pretty much another big factor in all of this.  I have a lot of reading in all of this and little time.   Thankfully the Prednisone is giving me the time to research.


I suspect for a while we can keep Kirby active and happy, and hope that it won't be too much of a roller coaster of good days vs bad days. 


Thanks for all you kind words.  They helped the doggie parents if not the doggie.  I think he takes a queue or two from how we are reacting.  Your words added a little positivity to my interactions with him, and I think that is also helping him.



Views: 23

Comment by Chig on March 24, 2011 at 12:34am

Things are not as bad as they were Monday. 

Still researching everything I can find on the Prednisone and Astragalus and Marine Pine Bark Extracts.

Kirby's comfort and happiness in the remaining days will come first no matter what I discover.  



Comment by JustAnotherUserName on March 24, 2011 at 9:32am
I'm so glad he's rebounded!  Awesome news.  Does the prednisone affect his behavior like it can do in humans?
Comment by NatureJunkie on March 24, 2011 at 6:41pm
Interesting. I had dinner with some fellow rescue volunteers recently and they were talking about the amazing turnarounds they had seen with the administration of Prednisone. It certainly isn't an ideal long-term treatment, but it has the plus of providing immediate comfort and a restored energy level. I'm glad it's going to give you and Kirby some quality days. And you have all my best wishes in finding even better help for him, Chig.
Comment by Chig on March 24, 2011 at 11:36pm



It's a pretty good day today.

Using the prednisone was a tough one.  It essentially was saying no to chemotherapy when I gave it to him.

It does not add any time (still a matter of only weeks), but makes for quality time.  However go beyond a week with prednisone and there are some long term side effects you have to worry about.  So I am going to try to step the dosage down gradually  if possible once I get the alternative anti-inflammatory treatment in place which possibly will increase the amount of time he has.  However if he shows signs of intense pain, then I will have to continue on with the prednisone. 





Comment by SydTheSkeptic on March 24, 2011 at 11:41pm

When humans are diagnosed with stuff, their present state is compounded by fear and anxiety over the unknowns and the future.  Who knows for sure, but dogs at least appear to simply live in the moment no matter what their human friends know about their conditions. 


With that in mind, I think your approach for just making sure each day is filled with as much happiness as possible for the Kirbster is a great one.  He's so lucky to have you guys (I know, I know, you're lucky, too...a given).


Thinkin' 'bout you guys.

Comment by NatureJunkie on March 25, 2011 at 6:45pm

Chig, I would have made the same decision you've made regarding Prednisone vs. chemotherapy. With chemotherapy, my big worry would be this: my dog can't speak to me to let me know when the discomfort caused by the treatment becomes an inadequate trade-off for the extra time. If my dog had a type of cancer that stood a chance of being cured, then I would consider it a worthwhile risk on my dog's behalf. But when extra time is the only benefit, and only a little extra time at that, I would do exactly what you're doing, and go for the best quality of life.


And ditto what Syd said above. Dogs live in the present in a way we humans don't. As long as we can give them happiness in the moment, I believe we're giving them all they want from us. I hope Kirby's moments last as long as possible.

Comment by NatureJunkie on March 25, 2011 at 6:46pm
P.S. I would give anything (well okay, not my right arm, but almost anything) to know what dogs are communicating when they howl like that. I loved the chorus!
Comment by Chig on March 25, 2011 at 8:28pm

You all make me feel better.  I thank you.

Kirb must be feeling close to normal today.  He always has given me a trophy when I arrive home.

Comment by JustAnotherUserName on March 27, 2011 at 1:39pm
Wow...he looks awesome and full of energy!  Whatever you're doing...keep doing it!!
Comment by Trimaddog on March 30, 2011 at 6:37pm

Bruce, Sorry to hear that kirby is not doing the best but from what I've read and seen in the ids she still has quality days left. When I met my wife 14 years ago she had 4 yellow labs and we have enjoyed their love right up to their last days. We recently got a older puppy to go with our other two boys and it keeps us on our toes. Sending positive thoughts!



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