Friday, December 25, 2015

Update on Scout

Scout and Nan at Harbour Town Marina last Saturday
The meeting with the veterinary oncologist instilled new hope for Scout's prognosis. Dr. Daters discussed the options with us and convinced us that surgery to remove the pancreatic tumor would be the most beneficial. He said it would immediately eliminate the symptoms associated with the high insulin and low blood sugar caused by the tumor, namely the partial lameness, lethargy, and occasional confusion. He cautioned that the cancer would return eventually but probably not for a year or two, which for a nearly eight-year-old dog is a considerable length of time added to his lifespan.

Instead of the Sandostatin medication we inquired about for lowering Scout's insulin levels, Dr. Daters recommended Diazoxide. Scout started on it last Tuesday and so far, there is no change in any of his symptoms. He is still taking Prednisone, and we have added the pain reliever Tramadol as a consequence of the groaning he emits when I lift and carry him.

Scout does not appear to be in pain but rather in a state of perpetual frustration. Inside the house, it is almost impossible for him to attain a standing position without assistance because his hind paws slip outward and put him into an awkward frog-like position. He will sometimes use his front paws to slide himself around on the tile and wooden floors, but he gets stuck and whines when he reaches a rug or can't turn around. We have been using a towel as a sling under his belly to lift him to a standing position and walk with him to prevent slips and falls. Outside, there is better friction and Scout can move around more freely, though his back legs are shaky and his back paws are turned in. He does not have the energy for a walk, even to the end of the block, but he enjoys the warmth and stimulation of lying out in the sun.

Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday. It will be less invasive than we first imagined, no more than the equivalent of a spaying procedure. I told Nan I am hoping for a small miracle. It would mean so much to us to have Scout return to his former self, if only for several months or a year. This may be a rationalization but I want to believe that Scout would want to be back to normal as much as we would want it for him.

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