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Adventures in Dog Radiation Therapy

My dog got cancer. Here is how radiation went.

Adventures in Dog Radiation Therapy

Session #13 underway

July 19th, 2018 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

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buster just went back for session #13. His intestinal issues were much better yesterday, but then this morning he did a little bit of empty stomach barfing. It was momentarily dramatic as he started making heaving noises in our final minutes at the Airbnb farm, and I had to grab him and get him outside in about 20 seconds so he didn’t puke all over a rug.  Made it outside with basically no seconds to spare.

Again, no way to know if this is side effects, or empty stomach nausea, or just a regular episodic stomach upset.

there still are no other real side effects. His energy in the afternoons and evenings is good, and I’m not really seeing any evidence of burns yet at the radiation site. I’m not sure if the pinkness I’ve seen really is anything, although this is still highly likely to emerge.


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Session #11 is done

July 17th, 2018 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

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We are cranking through these 18 sessions and Buster is still going strong.  I am getting tired of this routine, it feels like a very bad Groundhog Day to be back in the vet every morning, but then I remind myself I’m lucky to be able to do this for my dog and I’m lucky he seems to be tolerating treatment quite well.

still no visible radiation burns although it is possible some of the skin is a little pink.  Mood and energy still good.  There is a yellow lab visiting the farm I’m staying at and Buster did a lot of running around with her last night. He seemed very happy!

Unfortunately, Buster ended up having pretty significant intestinal distress after bedtime last night (diarrhea), and I had to take him out about every 1.25 hours from 1 a.m. onward.  that wasn’t fun.  he’s doing much better today and they gave him extra hydration at his morning radiation session today — including the subcutaneous hydration that makes him look like he has a small camel hump.  he’d had that once before and it is pretty weird looking.

We don’t know if his stomach issues were side effects, or could be because I gave him a brand of jerky yesterday I hadn’t give him before.  I’ll be steering clear of new treats at this point until we get safely past radiation.

Tomorrow will be my last day and night at the farm before completing the last sessions by just driving back and and forth from my house in DC to the treatment center in Virginia.  Not quite the home stretch yet, but getting there!


District dog

July 15th, 2018 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Buster enjoyed a walk at the Potomac this morning. Energy good. Mood good. No coughing since Friday. Getting ready to head back out to virginia for week three this evening! This will be the last week we do in Virginia, the rest will be driving back and forth.


Week Two is Done!

July 14th, 2018 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

so, today I finally hit the halfway point in Buster’s 18 sessions of radiation. I knew this was going to be a slog and it really is. Going to the vet every day and having my pup put under anesthesia every day is not the best time for me or for him. Also, I have now heard him twice do kind of a weird cough I’ve never heard before, because he’s being intubated every day and that can start to irritate his throat a bit. They did warn me about this, and so far it hasn’t been bad at all.

i may finally be starting to see the slightest redness at the radiation site, I’ve been in a little bit of denial about that, but he is likely to get a pretty significant burn there which is likely to start showing up pretty soon.

but so far, Buster is still doing very well. Groggy and a little anesthesia drunk for a short while after he gets released to me. His eyes also look a little slimy when they bring him out, because they put a lubricant on them so they don’t dry out because they don’t fully close while he’s in anesthesia.  but then good energy and mood the rest of the day. He still likes the farm. We’re back at my house tonight and he seems happy in his spot on the couch.

9 sessions down and 9 to go!



Same dog

July 11th, 2018 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

In between Buster’s amputation and our “move” out to Virginia for radiation, I gave Buster one day at daycare to say hi to his buddies there as his new three legged self.  He’s gone to the same daycare for nearly 8 years because he’s spoiled rotten.  I was nervous about how he’d do, but when I picked him up at the end of the day and asked how he did, what I got was, “Same dog!”

He did just fine.

He’s still doing fine even going through radiation, at least so far.  This morning was Session #6.  When I brought him back to the farm after he was done so I could get logged in and get to work on my laptop, he did more whining than usual, and seemed uncomfortable for a while.  But I gave him a few good short walks and then one longer one where I let him off leash and threw his tennis ball for him.  It was the first time I’d done real off-leash-fetch with him in a while since I don’t have a big yard at home.  And he did great.  He ran.  He wagged his tail and did a play pose to make me chase him.  He had a good afternoon.

Same dog.