This is a very slow learning process. Good thing I have a patient dog.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
I went out yesterday fully equipped for the first time to take some pictures using off camera flash. This is what I learned:
- Carrying a lightstand, umbrella and speed-light in one hand and your camera in the other leaves no available hand to pick up poop.
- There is a very small pocket of light that your subject needs to be in. Coulee is fantastic at taking directions but she doesn't know how to move forward 2 steps or back 1 step... we have to work out a targeting system.
- Umbrellas catch the slightest breeze and fall over - a sandbag, or something is definitely needed. As is another arm to carry that with.
- Putting her on something is a great way to get her to be exactly where you need her to be.
- An assistant would really make things go smoother/faster.
- I have a lot more to learn.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Friday, March 13, 2015
We got the results last week - it was a grade 1 tumour that hadn't spread to her lymph node. So it was the best we could have hoped for. We did not get clean margins (as expected) and it has a 12% chance of returning. If that happens, we'll have to decide what to do then. Our options would be to do radiation, remove the tumour again or take the whole leg. We aren't going to worry about it unless it happens.
We went back this week for a bandage change and a recheck on the skin graft. It's looking good. She thinks it is still all alive. :)
For the most part Lacey is doing well. She isn't going too stir crazy, she doesn't pout in the cone and when I take it off, she doesn't lick at her bandages much. The stitches on her flank look fantastic and the ones from her lymph node are also doing OK. She'll be in a cone for about another 1.5 weeks and then we'll get the stitches removed and she'll be able to go back to life as usual.
That's pretty much it. Life is feeling rather dull at the moment!
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
We brought Lacey home yesterday after her operation on Monday. We don't really have much news yet.
Due to the location of the tumour, there was no way we could get clean margins (which is usually the goal of any tumour removal) without taking her entire leg. We still might need to do that, but it will depend on the grade of the tumour. Unfortunately you can't determine the grade of the tumour without removing it, and there was no point in removing it without taking as much as we could. If it is a low grade, it will hopefully be "good enough", at least for now. But because of the location, it means they had to do a skin graft to seal up the area, which made things a little more complicated. They took skin from her thigh and grafted it to her foot and leg. She's gonna have a pretty hairy section if all goes well! :)
They also took the nearest lymph node to determine if it had spread. The node was definitely bigger than usual but that could have just been because it was working overtime to combat the tumour OR it could mean it's spread.
We should have results in a couple of days - hopefully by the end of the week. The only decision we've actually made is that if it is a high grade, and hasn't already spread, we'll take her leg. I was really tempted to do it this time to save her a potential 2nd surgery but they really didn't want to do that if it was a grade 1 tumour. Apparently for dogs that get Mast Cell Tumours repeatedly, they are usually all the same grade. As her first one was a grade 1 tumour we have high hopes that this one will be the same.
We haven't really figured out what we'll do if it has spread and we don't really know all our options yet either. We are taking it one step at a time.
She's already feeling quite a bit better. Yesterday she wasn't barking at anyone but today she not only barked at people in the park, but she picked up her favourite toy too.
Saturday, February 21, 2015
A few months ago we discovered a hard lump on Lacey's back right foot. It looked nothing like the cancerous lump we'd found a few years ago between her toes but it freaked me out regardless. It was small, and hard and deep under the skin layer. The vet wasn't able to get a sample and she suggested we X-ray it to make sure it wasn't a bone spur or anything like that. Her X-rays were clear and we decided they'd try and get another sample the following week (Her anal glands were badly infected so she had to get sedated for a flush and they'd have an easier time getting a sample). They got three samples, sent them off and they all came back as negative. No signs of anything. Yay.
Fast forward to earlier this week when we noticed her lump had ballooned out suddenly. It looked almost like a swollen ankle would, but it was quite firm and she wasn't showing any signs of lameness. So back to the vet for more samples. This time the results weren't as good - there were mast cells in the sample.
Just a few days later and the "swelling" seems to have gone down again and we are back to just the hard lump. We see the oncologist on the 2nd and we are hoping that it will be able to be fixed with a simple removal again. I'm a little worried by how deep it is (Dr. Google isn't helping) but there is nothing we can do in the meantime, so worrying is pointless and I'm vowing to stay off google as much as possible.
Marlin and I both cleared our schedules yesterday afternoon and took the girls to the beach for some happy time. It was good for all of us. We definitely feel more prepared this time.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
It was Family Day yesterday so we got up early and went off to the cold frozen beach. We had a pretty good time. Lacey especially had a blast running around like crazy!
This is the moment Coulee realized that Lacey had a "better" toy. The frisbee got left behind after this.
I didn't even have to say anything other than her name and she glanced around, found the big flat rock and hopped up. :)
This cracked me up. First of all I have no idea what Coulee is doing back there - I have a feeling the toy just popped out of her mouth. And Lacey was just being adorable!
Coulee again being a nut. I was actually trying to photograph Lacey and I saw her do this out of the corner of my eye. No idea.. it's not like she's actually jumping over something.
We play a game at home where we tuck her toy under a foot stool. Even though the stool is small enough that she can move it or lift it, she uses her feet to try and pull the toy out. Sometimes she'll stick the toy under there herself and then try to get it out. This is the first time I've ever seen her do it outside though. She laid down next to the rock and started playing with the ball until it rolled under, then she tried to get it out again. I swear it was deliberate.