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Friday, August 17, 2012

With a heavy heart : (


MAY 2002 - AUGUST 12, 2012 - OUR DAYS TOGETHER

Sadly I am posting that Sunday, August 12, 2012 was Roxy's last day.
Her spiral downhill was rapid and the tough decision to put her to rest was made.
On our last morning we went out for our morning walk and it was very apparent that Roxy did not want to be here anymore. She was extremely bloated and when she  got out of the wagon she tried to urinate, she squatted down but nothing came out. I tried to help her walk a couple more steps and she really resisted. I was able to get her to void some, but it was a small volume. I knew that this was the day. My best guess is that her brain was not talking to her organs the way it should or that the feelings that tell us what to do were diminished. Keep in mind all of her movements were fully assisted.

She had a wonderful day at the park with ice cream and then a bone in ribeye steak for dinner. Then some beef carpaccio and some tasty pastas. We had the people from Choice Home Vet come over and administer the medicine at 7pm. Her last moments were licking ice cream out of  my hand. She then fell asleep and she felt at complete peace. She had a light snore, and it occurred to me that she probably hadn't slept soundly in a very long time.  She felt really happy and at peace. As bad as it was, it was a wonderful moment. She went out happy and content.

The problem wasn't that she couldn't urinate, the problem was that her body was shutting down piece by piece. Her left legs did not know what they were doing, and as hard as she tried, her body was not working. Her sleep was restless and thrashing.

I feel horribly guilty, racking my brain for something else I could have done. It has been confirmed by
her veterinarians that there was nothing that we could have done for a different outcome.
Wednesday I went for a run and about halfway through the run I felt beautiful Roxy running along my side. The happy excited running girl she used to be. The odd thing is that when I left the park I no longer felt her along my side. Roxy stayed at the park : )

Roxy's love stays with me and she worked really hard through these personal struggles. I found a blog that talks about when a dog no longer enjoys their quality of life.   I read this article after she was gone, but it shed some clarity on whether Roxy was enjoying her life as a dog should. She was still content laying her head on my lap, but the physical struggles were hard and I felt that she was very tired from the simple task of (fully assisted) getting out of bed to the sofa. I was fearful that her brain was shutting organs down as well as her  motor function. I am not sure if it was fear or premonition that something global was going to go really bad and she wouldn't have the luxury of having some last moments of enjoyment.

These decisions are extremely  difficult and very personal. We all have our own comfort levels of what we feel is right, and when that decision should be made. We all do our best with what we have.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

We are on day to day process



July was a tough month and I haven't posted because I just did not want to post bad news. I started this blog to help others in the same situation as Roxy and I, so here I am.  I am also posting the MRI report below.

There seems to be a late effect side effect that has injured a part of her brain that was healthy in the previous MRI.

I have since found this article that talks about late effects of Cyberknife that can occur months after the treatment, it states these late effects are rare, but Roxy has a few: brain changes and and a mass in her spleen. She is also having gallblader and liver changes, but that may be due to the steroids she has been on.  I have also found another dog, Farrah, who had Cyberknife and developed another cancer as well. While Cyberknife gave Roxy 4 fabulous months that she would not have had, it is not an easy transition going through the brain changes. She fails the knuckle test on 3 of her 4 paws. Her brain has almost no knowledge of her left rear leg, her left front leg is getting pretty bad, and now the right rear seems to be having problems. Having a 65 lb dog with neurological issues is physically demanding, although my body can now fully lift her when necessary. She cannot balance herself to urinate, and needs support on her left side or she will fall down. Most days I can still entice her to walk some with Plato Duck Treats, but some days her legs just wont work. When this happens she either falls to the side or drops down onto her belly.  I have a fabulous wagon to take her out in, and there is a lot of love from people that we meet. It also seems that her tongue doesn't always work properly.

So how do I feel about Cyberknife? From what I can tell from the blogs of others, dogs seem to have these late effects pretty frequently.  I believed in the science that we could shrink the tumor with little damage to surrounding tissue. I figured that with the brain tumor gone Roxy would likely have other health issues, but I never imagined that there would be brain changes that were not there before that would cause a new set of problems for Roxy. Cyberknife was Feb 24, so we are a little over 5 months out. I believe the Cyberknife caused these brain changes. Immediately after the Cyberknife was when Roxy first started dragging one of her toes on her rear left leg. This was a new symptom that was not present previously.

I also found a couple of stories of dogs who chose the Dr. Pluhar' canine brain tumor clinical trials. Riley seems to be doing great years later, Jake only made it two months.

I guess we never know what we are going to get, I have left the heartache behind and am focusing on the time we still have.

In health to you all.

Anne & Roxy




Roxy's MRI Report

www.avmi.net
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Report
History: Previous cyberknife radiation therapy for suspected meningioma in the left caudal fossa with good initial response. Recent recurrence of symptoms, R/O recurrence vs. other.
Study Parameters: The brain was imaged using the following sequences: Sagittal T1 - 3 mm Sagittal T2 - 3 mm Transverse T2 - 4 mm
Transverse T1 - 4 mm Transverse FLAIR - 4 mm Transverse GRE T2* - 4 mm Transverse T1 post contrast - 4 mm Sagittal T1 post contrast - 3 mm Dorsal T1 post contrast - 4 mm
Comment: This study is compared to the study performed on 02/13/2012.
Findings: There is a single, 1.0 cm x 0.6 cm x 0.6 cm, markedly enhancing, T2 hypointense to isointense extramedullary mass within the left cerebellopontine angle. This mass is smaller on the current study than on the previous study on 02/13/12. The previous detected compression of the adjacent brain stem is reduced and the previously detected vasogenic edema within the adjacent brain stem is resolved on the current study. On the current study, there is a poorly marginated area of mild to moderate somewhat patchy contrast enhancement within the rostral left cerebellar hemisphere surrounded by a larger region of nonenhancing, T2 hyperintense edema. No other areas of abnormal intracranial contrast enhancement are noted. No other intracranial mass effects are appreciated.
Interpretation: This study is consistent with partial response of the presumptive meningioma to the previous radiation therapy with roughly 50% reduction in tumor diameter. Patchy contrast enhancement within the overlying rostral left cerebellar hemisphere and surrounding nonenhancing T2 hyperintensity are most consistent with radiation induced brain injury. Alternative differentials for the new cerebellar lesion including intra parenchymal extension of the previously identified neoplasia vs. infectious/inflammatory etiologies are considered unlikely.

Michael R. Broome, DVM, MS, Dipl. ABVP Jim Hoskinson, DVM, DACVR
3047 Edinger Ave • Tustin • CA • 92780 • Tel: 949-559-7289 • Fax: 949-559-6727 2340 S. Sepulveda Blvd • Los Angeles • CA • 90064 • Tel: 310-477-4453 • Fax: 949-559-6727

What is stereotactic radiosurgery and how is it used?

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a highly precise form of radiation therapy initially developed to treat small brain tumors and functional abnormalities of the brain. The principles of cranial SRS, namely high precision radiation where delivery is accurate to within one to two millimeters, are now being applied to the treatment of body tumors with a procedure known as stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT).
Despite its name, SRS is a non-surgical procedure that delivers precisely-targeted radiation at much higher doses, in only a single or few treatments, as compared to traditional radiation therapy. This treatment is only possible due to the development of highly advanced radiation technologies that permit maximum dose delivery within the target while minimizing dose to the surrounding healthy tissue. The goal is to deliver doses that will destroy the tumor and achieve permanent local control.
SRS and SBRT rely on several technologies:
  • three-dimensional imaging and localization techniques that determine the exact coordinates of the target within the body
  • systems to immobilize and carefully position the patient and maintain the patient position during therapy
  • highly focused gamma-ray or x-ray beams that converge on a tumor or abnormality
  • image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) which uses medical imaging to confirm the location of a tumor immediately before, and in some cases, during the delivery of radiation. IGRT improves the precision and accuracy of the treatment
Three-dimensional imaging, such as CT, MRI, and PET/CT is used to locate the tumor or abnormality within the body and define its exact size and shape. These images also guide the treatment planning—in which beams of radiation are designed to converge on the target area from different angles and planes—as well as the careful positioning of the patient for therapy sessions.
Although SRS commonly refers to a one-day treatment, physicians sometimes recommend multiple stereotactic delivered treatments. This is important for tumors larger than one inch in diameter as the surrounding normal tissue exposed to the single high dose of radiation must be respected and limited, and the volume of normal tissue treated increases proportionally to the tumor size. Delivering the radiation in a few sessions as opposed to one, can improve safety and allow the normal tissue to heal in between treatments. Therefore, fractionating the treatment allows for high doses to still be delivered within the target, while maintaining an acceptable safety profile. This procedure is usually referred to as fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT), and typically refers to the delivery of two to five treatments of focused radiation.
SRS and SBRT are important alternatives to invasive surgery, especially for patients who are unable to undergo surgery and for tumors and abnormalities that are:
  • hard to reach
  • located close to vital organs/anatomic regions
  • subject to movement within the body
SRS is used to treat:
  • many types of brain tumors including:
  • benign and malignant
  • primary and metastatic
  • single and multiple
  • residual tumor cells following surgery
  • intracranial, orbital and base-of-skull tumors
  • arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), a tangle of expanded blood vessels that disrupts normal blood flow in the brain and sometimes bleeds.
  • other neurological conditions like trigeminal neuralgia (a nerve disorder in the face), tremor, etc.
SBRT is currently used and/or being investigated for use in treating malignant or benign small-to-medium size tumors in the body and common disease sites, including the:
  • lung
  • liver
  • abdomen
  • spine
  • prostate
  • head and neck
SRS fundamentally works in the same way as other forms of radiation treatment. It does not actually remove the tumor; rather, it damages the DNA of tumor cells. As a result, these cells lose their ability to reproduce. Following treatment, benign tumors usually shrink over a period of 18 months to two years. Malignant and metastatic tumors may shrink more rapidly, even within a couple of months. When treated with SRS, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) may begin to thicken and close off slowly over a period of several years following treatment. Many tumors will remain stable and inactive without any change. Since the aim is to prevent tumor growth, this is considered a success. In some tumors, like acoustic neuromas, a temporary enlargement may be observed following SRS due to an inflammatory response within the tumor tissue that overtime either stabilizes, or a subsequent tumor regression is observed called pseudoprogression.

What equipment is used?

There are three basic kinds of equipment, each of which uses different instruments and sources of radiation:
  • The Gamma Knife®, which uses 192 or 201 beams of highly focused gamma rays all aiming at the target region. The Gamma Knife is ideal for treating small to medium size intracranial lesions. See the Gamma Knife page for more information.
  • Linear accelerator (LINAC) machines, prevalent throughout the world, deliver high-energy x-rays, also known as photons. The linear accelerator can perform SRS on larger tumors in a single session or during multiple sessions, which is called fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy. Multiple manufacturers make this type of machine, which have brand names such as Novalis Tx™, XKnife™, Axesse™ and CyberKnife®. See the Linear Accelerator page for more information.
  • Proton beam or heavy-charged-particle radiosurgery is in limited use in North America, though the number of centers offering proton therapy has increased dramatically in the last several years. See the Proton Therapy page for more information.

Who will be involved in this procedure and who operates the equipment?

The treatment team is comprised of a number of specialized medical professionals, typically including a radiation oncologist, medical radiation physicist, radiologist, dosimetrist, radiation therapist, and radiation therapy nurse.
  • The radiation oncologist and, in some cases, a neurosurgeon head the treatment team and oversee the treatment; they outline the target(s) to be treated, decide on the appropriate radiation dose, approve the treatment plan, and interpret the results of radiosurgical procedures.
  • A radiologist interprets imaging that identifies the target(s) to be treated in the brain or body.
  • The medical radiation physicist ensures the delivery of the precise dose of radiation.
  • The physicist, or a dosimetrist under the supervision of the physicist, uses special computer software to devise a treatment plan; he or she calculates the exposures and beam configuration to conformally treat the target(s) to the prescribed dose.
  • A highly trained radiation therapist positions the patient on the treatment table and operates the machine from an adjacent protected area. The radiation therapist can observe the patient through a window or on a closed-circuit television and is able to communicate with the patient throughout the procedure. In the case of the Gamma Knife, the neurosurgeon and/or radiation oncologist may help position the patient for treatment and the radiation oncologist may operate the machine.
  • The radiation therapy nurse assesses the patient, provides the patient with information about the treatment, monitors the patient during treatment, and helps answer questions after treatment.
  • A neurologist or neuro-oncologist may participate with the radiation oncologist and neurosurgeon in the multidisciplinary team that considers various treatment options for individual cases and helps decide who may benefit from radiosurgery for lesions in the brain.

How is the procedure performed?

• Stereotactic Radiosurgery Using the Gamma Knife

Gamma Knife radiosurgery involves four phases: placement of the head frame, imaging of the tumor location, computerized dose planning, and radiation delivery.
In the first phase, a nurse will place a small needle in your hand or arm to give you medications and contrast, if needed, for imaging. A neurosurgeon will use local anesthesia to numb two spots on your forehead and two spots on the back of your head. A box-shaped head frame will be attached to your skull using specially designed pins to keep your head from moving within the frame until the treatment session is finished. This lightweight aluminum head frame is also a guiding device that makes sure the Gamma Knife beams are focused exactly where the treatment is needed.
Next, you will be taken to an imaging area where a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan will be performed to show the exact location of the tumor in relation to the head frame. In some cases, a computed tomography (CT) scan may be performed instead of, or in addition to, an MRI scan. If you are having treatment for an arteriovenous malformation, you may also have an angiogram. New developments in Gamma Knife software allow for pre-planning. Therefore, you may have your treatment planning MR images prior to the day of your treatment to improve the efficiency of the treatment process.
During the next phase, you will be able to relax for an hour or two while your treatment team identifies the tumor(s) for treatment and develops a treatment plan using special computer software to optimally irradiate the tumor and minimize dose to surrounding normal tissues.
Next, you will lie down on the Gamma Knife bed and your head frame will be fixed to the machine before beginning treatment. You will be made comfortable with a pillow or wedge-shaped sponge under your knees and a blanket over you. The treatment team will then go to the control area outside the treatment room to begin your treatment. You will be able to talk to your physician through a microphone in the helmet, and a camera will allow the team to see you at all times. The bed you are lying on will move backward into the Gamma Knife machine. You will not feel the treatment and the machine is very quiet. Depending on the Gamma Knife model and the treatment plan, the whole treatment may be performed without interruption or it may be broken up into multiple smaller parts. The total treatment may last less than one hour or up to four hours. A chime will sound when the treatment is complete and the bed will return to its original position. As soon as the treatment is finished, you will sit up and the head frame will be removed. In most cases, you should be able to go home soon afterward.

• Radiosurgery Using the Linear Accelerator

Linear accelerator (LINAC) SRS is similar to the Gamma Knife procedure and its four phases: head frame placement, imaging, computerized dose planning and radiation delivery. LINAC technology is much more common than Gamma Knife technology and has been in practice for a similar length of time. Unlike the Gamma Knife, which remains motionless during the procedure, part of the LINAC machine (called a gantry) rotates around the patient delivering the radiation beams from different angles. Obtaining the MRI before frame placement is also a more routine pre-planning practice with LINAC-based SRS. A CT with the frame in place is also commonly acquired.
When SRS is delivered using CyberKnife, a robotic arm moves the compact LINAC around the patient under image-guidance. The CyberKnife is also based on delivering SRS without an invasive head frame, and a more simple plastic head mask can be used to keep the head from moving during delivery which can improve patient comfort. The development of frameless SRS is possible due to the incorporation of image-guidance in the delivery of treatment. Now, most LINAC based SRS technology is moving towards frameless SRS. The Gamma Knife has also developed frameless technology in order to spare the patient the invasive frame placement procedure. Frameless SRS also allows for fractionated SRS, or SBRT, which again may be an advantage for large tumors or those in particularly critical locations.

• SBRT

SBRT typically consists of one to five treatment sessions delivered over the course of one to two weeks.
For some technologies like the CyberKnife that base image-guidance according to an x-ray based solution, you may be asked to have a fiducial marker placed in or near your tumor for selected cases. However, for most CT based image-guidance technologies, this step is not needed. If a fiducial is required, depending on the location of your tumor, your radiation oncologist may work with a pulmonologist, gastroenterologist or radiologist to have one to four fiducial markers placed near the tumor. Placement of the fiducial marker is almost always an outpatient procedure.
Next, your radiation oncologist will determine the method of aligning your body with the beams from the linear accelerator, which is called a simulation. Immobilization devices are often used to align patients very precisely and make sure they remain still during simulation and treatment. Some of these systems may hold you quite tight; therefore you should tell your physician if you suffer from claustrophobia. After an immobilization device is created for you, a CT scan is performed over the area to be treated. Your physicians may also perform a '4DCT,' where the CT scan obtains information on how your tumor moves while you breathe. This is very common for tumors in the lungs or liver. After the scan is completed, you will be sent home.
The third part of the course is planning. The radiation oncologist will work with a radiation dosimetrist and medical physicist to plan the beam arrangement best suited for your tumor. They may incorporate other imaging techniques, such as MRI or PET/CT. Using specialized software, the team will go through hundreds of different combinations of beams to figure out which would be best for your situation.
Radiation delivery of SBRT is done on a linear accelerator. There are normally no restrictions on eating or drinking, though some patients may take an anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea or anti-anxiety medication prior to the treatment. You will be placed in the immobilization device. X-rays or a CT scan (depending on the mode of image-guidance specific to the LINAC technology) will be taken to line up the beams of radiation with the tumor prior to starting the radiation therapy. The radiation therapist will position you with guidance from the radiation oncologist based on these x-rays. The radiation therapist will then deliver the treatment. Sometimes, x-rays or a CT scan will be taken during the treatment to monitor the position of the tumor. Treatment can take up to one hour or more.

Is there any special preparation needed for the procedure?

SRS and SBRT are usually performed on an outpatient basis. However, be prepared to spend up to a half-day or more at the facility. You will be informed whether you need to have someone accompany you and drive you home afterward.
You may be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before your treatment. You should ask your physician about taking any medications on the day of your treatment and bring those medications with you to the procedure. You should also tell your physician if any of the following apply to you:
  • You are taking medications by mouth or insulin to control diabetes.
  • You are allergic to intravenous contrast material, shellfish, or iodine.
  • You have a pacemaker, artificial heart valve, defibrillator, brain aneurysm clips, implanted pumps or chemotherapy ports, neurostimulators, eye or ear implants, stents, coils or filters.
  • You suffer from claustrophobia.

What will I feel during and after the procedure?

Radiosurgery treatments are similar to having an x-ray. In general you will not be able to see, feel or hear the x-rays. One exception is that some patients who are having treatments to the brain may see flashes of light while the machine is on, even with their eyes closed. There is no pain or discomfort from the actual treatment.
If you experience pain for other reasons, such as back pain or discomfort from the head frame or immobilization device, you should let your doctor or nurse know.
When the head frame is removed, there may be some minor bleeding from the pin sites that will be bandaged. You may experience a headache and can ask for medication to help make you feel more comfortable.
In most cases, radiosurgery and SBRT patients can resume all of their normal activities within one or two days.
Side effects of radiation treatment include problems that occur as a result of the treatment itself as well as from radiation damage to healthy cells in the treatment area.
The number and severity of side effects you experience will depend on the type of radiation and dosage you receive and the part of your body being treated. You should talk to your doctor and nurse about any side effects you experience so they can help you manage them.
Radiation therapy can cause early side effects during or immediately after treatment, and are typically gone within a few weeks. Late side effects can occur months or years later. Common early side effects of radiation therapy include tiredness or fatigue and skin problems. Skin in the treatment area may become more sensitive, red, irritated, or swollen. Other skin changes include dryness, itching, peeling and blistering.
Depending on the area being treated, other early side effects may include:
  • hair loss in the treatment area
  • mouth problems and difficulty swallowing
  • eating and digestion problems
  • diarrhea
  • nausea and vomiting
  • headaches
  • soreness and swelling in the treatment area
  • urinary and bladder changes
Late side effects, which are rare, occur months or years following treatment and are often permanent. They include:
  • brain changes
  • spinal cord changes
  • lung changes
  • kidney changes
  • colon and rectal changes
  • infertility
  • joint changes
  • lymphedema
  • mouth changes
  • secondary cancer
  • fracture of bones
There is a slight risk of developing cancer from radiation therapy. Following radiation treatment for cancer, you should be checked on a regular basis by your radiation oncologist for recurring and new cancers.
Using techniques such as SBRT, the aim is to maximize the cancer-destroying capabilities of radiation treatment while minimizing its effect on healthy tissues to limit the side effects of the treatment itself.

Additional Information and Resources

RTAnswers.org

Stereotactic Radiation Therapy

Others

American Stroke Association
Locate an ACR-accredited provider: To locate a medical imaging or radiation oncology provider in your community, you can search the ACR-accredited facilities database.
Exam costs: The costs for specific medical imaging tests and treatments vary widely across geographic regions. Many—but not all—imaging procedures are covered by insurance. Discuss the fees associated with your medical imaging procedure with your doctor and/or the medical facility staff to get a better understanding of the portions covered by insurance and the possible charges that you will incur.
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This page was reviewed on July 06, 2012



Monday, July 2, 2012

Crap, downturn

How quickly things can change. Just two weeks ago Roxy was happy chasing squirrels, not she is back on the prednisone. Thursday 6/28 Roxy seemed rather tired and Friday 6/29 she started wobbling again. Her back legs seem to really have a hard time listening to her brain. I was out of town for the weekend, but was told she seemed rather good, playing, etc. I picked her up last night and she seemed ok, but tired. This morning when she got out of bed her back legs were very wobbly and when she turned the corner to go out of our bedroom she fell down to a sitting position. I took her for her morning walk and she was very wobbly and seemed quite dizzy. I called Dr. Lyon and Dr. Carlsen and they both suggested that she go back on the prednisone and also see a neurologist. We have an appointment for Thursday morning. I came home from lunch to start her prednisone and she was in bed, it was troublesome to see her raising her head in a wobbly manner, and I noticed her ears had started to drop again. I gave her 10mg of prednisone and went back to work. When I came home she was feeling a little better. I took her for her afternoon walk and she is still quite wobbly with the drunken gait, but more alert than this morning. She ate her dinner and then went to bed. She has been off the prednisone since the end of April - about 2 months. Dr. Lyon said that sometimes the cyberknife results come in waves, so hopefully she will spring back. So sad to see the downturn, but so grateful that for the most part she has been feeling really well for the 18 weeks since the treatment. I am trying not to worry, but my heart is heavy. Sending love to all of my other cyberknife doggies and those who care so deeply for them. I will give an update after the visit with the neurologist. I am guessing another MRI is going to be needed to see what is really going on in her sweet little head.

XO

Monday, June 18, 2012

Roxy is doing great! And prednisone free : )

video
Sorry I haven't posted more recently. Very busy here.
Roxy is about 4 months out of cyberknife treatment and doing fabulous.
Roxy has been successfully off of the prednisone since mid April. She was on the prednisone for about 12 weeks, tapering down slowly.
Roxy had been having some episodes of pottie issues in the house, which I understand Jake is/was having too. She was having constant diarrhea for a bit (she has a history of stress colitis). I wasn't too worried at first, but decided to take her to the vet to learn that she had picked up giahrdia. More importantly Dr. Carlsen did an ultrasound and found that she had sludge in her gallbladder and crystals on her liver. He prescribed her antibiotics (a two or three month regime), which seems to have cleared up this problem. I know some of the other cyberknife dogs have issues with somehow forgetting their house breaking rules.....Roxy has always been very good about not going in the house.
OK, besides the health issues mentioned above Roxy is fabulous! The cyberknife treatment saved her life and gave her joy back. I know she would not still be happily alive today if we did not do this procedure.
I know other people are finding this website by doing searches regarding "dog brain tumor". I hope we help you. It is so sad to watch our dogs when we know they have a brain tumor.
Roxy still has a few moments of confusion, and sometimes in the evenings she has a lazy back foot that scuffs slightly, but over all she is back on track.
Here is a video taken of her last month yapping at the squirrel in the tree.
Keep in mind, when I first realized Roxy had a brain tumor was when she wasn't chasing the squirrels at the park!! She also was not wagging her tail at all. By the way, she was never very good at climbing trees, so her stumble as she falls down is not unusual.
I hope my post helps some of you with your doggies.....it is a heartbreaking time and I feel for you all.
Here is another peculiar thing......Roxy used to always get sort of car sick and have panic attacks when we were in the car. Now she enjoys looking out the window and being in the car. She also stays off the bed during the day.....not that I would use Cyberknife as a training tool : )

Here is the link to Dr. Lyons Cyberknifepet Page 

Friday, April 6, 2012

April 6, 2012 - Still improving, but still on prednisone

Roxy's head tilt is definitely gone. She is still tired sometimes but for the most part is feeling much better. Some days she has more energy than others. She is playful and brings me her toys. The first couple of weeks she did not have interest in her toys at all.

I tried to drop her prednisone down to 5 mg per day, but it seemed that she was stumbling a little more. I will hope to drop the prednisone next Wednesday which will be 7 weeks from the cyberknife treatment. It seems that her rear legs are not as strong as they used to be, and that she is has a very slight drag to her rear paw occasionally. This afternoon we went to the park and she was happy looking for squirrels, although we did not find any. No one would ever know that there was anything happening in her brain.

Liz, thank you for checking in. You are doing wonderful things and I am happy that our paths have crossed.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Head Tilt Going Away!

Yesterday March 2 was our first post op visit with Dr. Lyons. He seemed very pleased with Roxy's progress and especially thrilled that her head tilt seems to be going away. He says this is very unusual and a great sign!! Yippie!!
Roxy seems to be improving, some of her old habits have returned. It is the simple things our dogs do that we appreciate, like licking her lips after dinner, smiling again, chasing skateboarders, and this morning her (not so great habit) barking at dogs on the street returned.
We are visiting Dr. Lyons in 3 weeks, which will be 4 weeks post op. At this time he is planning weaning her off the prednisone for two weeks. Currently she is taking 15mg 1x daily.