Positive for heartworms?: 

GRR Number: 14-101

Age: 12+

Sponsored by:  Velvet is sponsored by Anonymous

Velvet, age 9, was found in an abandoned house along with a male Golden.  Both dogs were bonded so we placed them together in their forever home.  Velvet was welcomed into her foster home as a ‘hospice puppy’ – diagnosed with metastatic cancer and given 3-6 months to live.  Twenty months later, this incredibly gently, sweet, scrappy Golden is alive, well, happy and enriching her foster mom’s life.  She remains very close to her bonded sibling Golden.  Velvet knows each day is special so she makes the most of every day.

Velvet is a Permanent Foster due to mast cell cancer.

Velvet is still alive and is doing well, relatively speaking.  She has severe arthritis in both hips and in the knees of her hind legs.  You can actually hear the crepitus (crunching) when she lays down.  She is on Carprofen, Tramadol, Amantadine and a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement.  She is also getting Laser treatment to her hips every 1-2 weeks for pain control.  The vet has said she could break her hips jumping from the couch or from the car, but the couch is her favorite spot and there is no stopping her from getting up there (and the soft, squishy warm leather probably feels really good.  I know this sounds like she is in terrible condition, but she’s not - as long as her pain is controlled, she is a happy dog.
She also had surgery a few months ago to remove the primary tumor from her leg.  The vet had always recommended against removal, as he thought it would be difficult to close the wound, and was afraid its removal would cause the other tumor on her chest to grow (the tumor can contain a tumor-suppressing gene).  Unfortunately, I came home one day to find that she had finally, after more than 5 years, licked it open.  With no skin or normal tissue to heal, the vet said I either had to keep her permanently cone-headed or risk the surgery.  Permanent cone-head was an unacceptable option for her quality of life, so I opted for surgery. She actually did well.  The wound was initially open a couple inches, but it slowly filled in while I waited for an appt for a second surgery for a skin graft - so the second surgery was not needed.  She still has a small tumor on her chest, but it hasn’t grown.
She has been my “hospice puppy” (I am an oncology nurse) for 6 years now and is still plugging along.  She is getting whiter by the day, and can only go for a 1-2 block walk now (though she wants to go further).  She is now getting hard of hearing (or maybe just ignoring me when she doesn’t want to listen) and I think her vision isn’t as good, but is still such a sweet, gentle dog.  I think she will die of old age before the cancer gets her.  She was given 3-6 months to live when she was rescued, and it was 6 years over Labor Day weekend.  I worry every time I leave that I will come home to find she has died...but she’s always there waiting to greet me.
Her son, Dante, a GRR adoption, is doing great, although he also has some chronic health problems from the conditions from which he was rescued.  He’s had to have a few teeth removed from wear from chronic flea infestation, and recently had to have 1 toe amputated from some prior injury that caused Inflammation and bone deformity, with increasing pain.  I worry how he will cope without her, as they are very bonded and both of them get frantic when they are separated....but I’ve had that worry for 6 years and they are still together."


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