Relief at last. Trazadone brought us all a night of sleep. I’m amazed how much clearer one can think, how less dramatic things seem and calmer the world feels with sleep.
The next two nights we left the lights and TV on and had two more successful nights of sleep and good days and then … back to our normal routine.
We were hoping for an official consult with the behaviorist this week but chemo finally kicked Grover’s white blood cell’s in the butt. If we didn’t check his blood work we would never know — which is a good thing! Day 7 post chemo his white blood cell (WBC) count was completely normal. Day 9 his WBC, neutrophil and platelet counts were very low. I didn’t know things could change so quickly.
We learned that the chemo (carboplatin) targets rapidly dividing or growing cells, such as neoplastic or cancer cells. But, there are other rapidly dividing cells that are important that also get targeted — such as the bone marrow which makes the white blood cells and platelets. We hope that if the chemo is kicking his white blood cells it’s also kicking the cancer cell butts too!
With low WBCs and neutrophils (which we learned are particularly important for defending our dogs from infection) we need to be careful about limiting Grover’s exposure to potential pathogens or infections. Basically it means we need to avoid strange dogs, avoid going to the hospital unless it’s a real emergency (sadly, including rehab … Grover’s going to be sad he’s missing out on jacuzzi time!) and avoid outside places where he might be tempted to eat or drink things (i.e. the park) until his neutrophils rebound. We are also taking his temperature twice a day to keep a close watch for fevers, which would indicate we need to start antibiotics.
The good news is that there’s plenty of fun that we can have at home now that he is comfortable, happy and (we are all) sleeping well.
A super picture that was sent to me by two amazing vet students as “proof of wellness” from inside the ICU one night when Grover was particularly whining/panting/restless and I panicked he could have had a GDV. We feel very lucky to have them as part of our team — it’s so comforting to know he has such good friends even when I can’t be with him. (Posted with student permission)
Luckily, even though we are “home bound” we can still enjoy the beautiful evenings and last bit of summer. You can tell by the golden hill in the back that wheat harvest is coming soon!
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