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Well, crap. Tell me about canine lymphoma

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  • #21
    Simkie, I'm so sorry and I hope the options for treatment are encouraging so you can get some more quality time with your girl.

    I remember a couple of years ago when you spent a holiday night (Thanksgiving?) at the emergency vet with her treating for a nasty pyometra.

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    • #22
      Sorry about the diagnosis Simkie. I lost my beloved IG to lymphoma 3 months ago. Tried every available chemo protocol - he never went into full remission, just partial. His quality of life was good until the last day. I had to let him go when he began to have uncontrollable seizures; the vet theorized the lymphoma had entered his brain. I elected to try the chemo because I was told there is an 80-90% remission rate for lymphoma. It bought him about 5 months and cost thousands. I don't regret trying it - I would have regretted not doing everything possible to save him. I miss him every day. Jingles for you and your girl.

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      • Original Poster

        #23
        Originally posted by Mara View Post
        Simkie, I'm so sorry and I hope the options for treatment are encouraging so you can get some more quality time with your girl.

        I remember a couple of years ago when you spent a holiday night (Thanksgiving?) at the emergency vet with her treating for a nasty pyometra.
        You have a good memory! That was New Years, 2009. In her eleven years, she's really been healthy, barring some weird, off the wall shit. The pyo, a weird benign tumor that was made up of cartilage and bone a couple months ago and a few instances of garbage gastritis when she got into something are really the only notable vet things in her 11 years.

        Bank of Dad, I'd be horribly curious about your son's dog's particular chemo drug course, if you're able to turn up the info.

        The Shadow, I'm so sorry to hear about your Iggy's trials. Poor guy! If I had a wee little dog, I'd have an IG. I'd love to talk with you about his grade when he was diagnosed, b-cell vs t-cell and what drugs you used, if you're willing to have the conversation.

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        • #24
          Simkie, I'd have to more closely read each study to see if there are any caveats to the conclusions. I was taught in school the multi-drug protocol was superior and the gold standard compared to the single agent. I will have to check JVIM too. In the most recent JAVMA there was an article discussing negative prognostic indicators for outcome with dogs with high grade multicentric lymphoma which I find very interesting.
          In general, use of a long-term doxorubicin-containing sequential combination chemotherapy protocol is associated with a decreased risk of relapse and death relative to a non-doxorubicin-containing protocol. Which protocol CSU employs now, I'm not sure, but that is something you definitely will discuss with the oncologist.

          I'm sorry to hear of the diagnosis and the spread. I have though, seen Stage 5a (dogs affected everywhere including bone marrow though not sick) dogs undergo complete remission, however. Again, discussing it with the oncologists will give you a better feel for what you can expect.

          Most of the time chemo involves dropping them off for the day, having an IV put in, and having the infusion done. Anti-nausea medications such as Cerenia or ondansetron are commonly given first thing in the AM and the day after to prevent nausea. Then, you take them home mid or late in the day. Bloodwork is always done prior but can be done at your primary vet's clinic.

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          • #25
            Good luck. I lost one to this about twelve years ago, did not do chemo as he was a dog with "issues" so there was a bit of blessing in it. But it's hard to go through something like this with a special one.
            "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

            Spay and neuter. Please.

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            • #26
              They are now trying out stem cells from the dog's own bone marrow with success: http://www.sandiego6.com/news/local/...2dLcHd-Sw.cspx

              Pretty pricey however and involves radiation. It has been done in humans but there are risks associated.
              “You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” - Wayne Gretsky

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              • #27
                [/quote]The Shadow, I'm so sorry to hear about your Iggy's trials. Poor guy! If I had a wee little dog, I'd have an IG. I'd love to talk with you about his grade when he was diagnosed, b-cell vs t-cell and what drugs you used, if you're willing to have the conversation.[/quote]

                I will gladly answer any questions you have but may have to wait until I am home so I can refer to the 2" thick folder of documents we accumulated!
                I do know that all lymph nodes were involved at the time of diagnosis. The swollen nodes were the first noticeable signs - I thought he just had some sort of infection...
                Last edited by The Shadow; May. 19, 2011, 12:26 PM.

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                • #28
                  To the OP I wish you the best of luck regardless of what decision you make. It is clear that this dog is more than a simply pet but is truly a part of your family. Please keep us updated as you find out more information.

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                  • Original Poster

                    #29
                    I was able to move up Riana's appointment with CSU to Monday.

                    There was a post here that talked about how dogs really don't tolerate chemo--that they are miserable while the infusion is taking place--but it looks like the poster deleted it. Could you send me a PT or post again to the thread? I'd really like your input as well, and need the full picture here.

                    ET, I've seen the bone marrow stuff, but that's just too much for an 11 year old dog to have to go through.

                    Thank you all for your well-wishes. I hope that we're able to make the remainder of Riana's time here comfortable and worth-while, while hopefully extending it...

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                      I was able to move up Riana's appointment with CSU to Monday.

                      There was a post here that talked about how dogs really don't tolerate chemo--that they are miserable while the infusion is taking place--but it looks like the poster deleted it. Could you send me a PT or post again to the thread? I'd really like your input as well, and need the full picture here.
                      ..
                      I've a friend who did several rounds of chemo after her Australian cattle dog was diagnosed with lymphoma. He did well for a couple of years, you wouldn't have known anything was the matter. Sadly, she put him down last week. But he had, IIRC, two more good years with the chemo.
                      I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

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                      • #31
                        Having been there when the dog *actually* gets the chemo infusion, they're no more miserable than they are getting a bag of IV fluids at the vet. They just have to have a catheter put in their vein and sit still while the fluids go in. Can't say I've ever seen them feel uncomfortable from the infusion itself at the time of administration.

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                        • Original Poster

                          #32
                          Originally posted by Pancakes View Post
                          Having been there when the dog *actually* gets the chemo infusion, they're no more miserable than they are getting a bag of IV fluids at the vet. They just have to have a catheter put in their vein and sit still while the fluids go in. Can't say I've ever seen them feel uncomfortable from the infusion itself at the time of administration.
                          Thanks, Pancakes, I appreciate your response. I was surprised with the response, and I was surprised it was deleted. But I do want the full picture, warts and all, so I can make the most informed decision possible.

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                          • #33
                            My lab/pitbull cross was diagnosed with lymphoma when she was 12, a 4 out of 5 on the cancer scale. We chose not to do IV chemo because of her age/cost, but did do the human chemo pills and prednisone. The pills were picked up at a regular pharmacy, and she received 7 of them, every 21 days. The prescription was around $60, and well worth it. She lived another 13 quality months until we had to put her down
                            What you allow is what will continue.

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                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              Originally posted by mht View Post
                              My lab/pitbull cross was diagnosed with lymphoma when she was 12, a 4 out of 5 on the cancer scale. We chose not to do IV chemo because of her age/cost, but did do the human chemo pills and prednisone. The pills were picked up at a regular pharmacy, and she received 7 of them, every 21 days. The prescription was around $60, and well worth it. She lived another 13 quality months until we had to put her down
                              Can you tell me what the chemo drug you used was called? Cytoxan, maybe? Chlorambucil?

                              I'm glad to hear you got a good 13 months.

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                              • #35
                                My dog didn't seem to feel sick after the IV treatments but he did when we tried the pills (Procarbazine I think). He occasionally had decreased appetite but he had always been a picky eater. He otherwise acted like he felt ok.
                                I sat with him during some IV treatments and they didn't seem to bother him at all.
                                The oncologist stressed that the primary concern was always his quality of life. If he ever seemed to feel at all off the treatment was discontinued/changed.
                                You asked about stage at diagnosis - it was noted as "at least IIIa".

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  I give chemo to dogs to treat lymphoma daily.

                                  Many different protocols, but the one with the longest median survival time has been the madison-wisconsin protocol.

                                  I'd say the VAST majority of dogs have little to no side effects of chemo, some that so show nausea are sent home on symptomatic meds (such as an anti diarrhea, anti nausea med for 2 days post chemo). The rare animal will not tolerate chemo well, and the protocol will change. However, unlike people more dogs DONT have side effects than do.

                                  However, lymphoma sucks. And at stage 3a, with mets you likely have been warned that "years" is unlikely. I have known and been attached to dogs that have lived 5+ years with it, and I have known dogs to barely make it to 5 days. Altough a lot depends on staging and remission time, I have also known dogs to have good reponse to their rescue protocols as well. Sounds like you are at a great place where they can help you decide the best course of action for your dog. Its a strange disease, what you expect to happen rarely does... its usually the ones who have "little hope" to pull through the longest

                                  Chemo is a personal choice, after seeing 100's of dogs go through it, I can absolutley say I am 100% for giving chemo a try. I find the side effects of chemo and a lower prednisone dose is kinder for the dogs than a higher dose of pred alone (which makes them very thirsty, hungry and pee a lot!)...however, there is nothing wrong with NOT doing it either. However saying that, I had a cat who was on prednisone treatment for his cancer....couldnt get the cat to the vets for injections it was far too stressful for him. The turd kept kicking for 3 years despite his "3 month" death sentence.

                                  As far as "going through chemo" its NOT the same as people. Dogs show up to the clinic once a week, or once every 2 weeks. They have a blood sample pulled, then if WBC's are ok they get a pill or an IV catheter with quick IV injection (vincristine, vinblastine), or a 30 minute injection (adriamycin, carboplatin). Some also can have IM chemo drugs in their protocol. Voila, done. Nothing more stressful than having a heartworm sample and vaccine done. Chemo doesnt hurt, and its not depressing for them either. Usually the dogs are super happy to come in for their visit and treats! Cats on the otherhand...well....nothing makes a cat happy LOL!

                                  You are aiming to extend a life with chemo, however dogs/cats do not know the difference between an extended life and euthanasia. As long as they are not suffering, neither route is wrong or selfish.

                                  Best of luck with your pup, I hope you get many quality months with him!!!!

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    I feel for you. I had a BC that was diagnosed w/ acute lymphocytic leukemia. We found it by accident. They said we had a 90% chance to buy her 3-4 more years w/ chemo. 10% chance of organ failure w/ chemo. The odds seemed really good so I went for it. Unfortunately, she was the 10%. She had only 2 of the 3 chemo treatments and went into liver failure. Was able to stabilize her enough to get her home. I had her put down about 2 weeks after that. From diagnosis to the end... about 2 months. She was only 5 years old. Broke my heart and I swore I'd never do chemo again. This was back in 2002.

                                    I just lost another BC to cancer just this past October. Another case of "she was fine that night, but sick the next day". Took her in and she had a softball size tumor on her spleen. Since she had never been sick before, I opted for surgery as it looked like the tumor was only on her spleen and contained. They told me about chemo options after removing the tumor/spleen but I already knew I wouldn't do that. But figured I could buy her a little bit of time w/ the surgery. She got through the surgery itself fine but then had complications afterwards. She either had a stroke the day after or the cancer had spread to her brain (she started having heart issues and couldn't walk). So I opted to have her put down. She was almost 11 years old. Found out after the fact that it was malignant and she didn't have much time anyways. So it was probably for the best.

                                    My thoughts are with you...

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      She is getting worse Last night, she had a rough time moving air. I don't think it bothered her much, but it was noisy.

                                      I called CSU this morning to discuss if she needed to be seen today as an emergency or if waiting until tomorrow to see oncology would be best. She's eating and drinking and is not distressed, so they said it was not an emergency situation, but they would see her if I wanted to bring her in. I am monitoring her at home and will call them back if anything changes.

                                      This sucks.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                                        Positive for lymphoma. Bloodwork looks okay at this time. Appointment with CSU next Wednesday--earliest they could get us in. Will get a abdominal/chest film at regular vet tomorrow, as she seems to be very full through the ribs and I want to know what's going on in there.

                                        I still don't know about chemo, but I'll at least talk to them about it.
                                        I'm SO sorry about your dog. I lost my 7 year old Ridgie to Lymphoma last spring, I miss him every single day. We knew he was not right, but lost some time trying to get the right diagnosis, by the time he was diagnosed properly he was stage IV with the cancer involving his liver and spleen. We chose not to do chemo, but did spend his last two months spoiling the living sh*t out of him.
                                        "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

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                                        • Original Poster

                                          #40
                                          Originally posted by chism View Post
                                          I'm SO sorry about your dog. I lost my 7 year old Ridgie to Lymphoma last spring, I miss him every single day. We knew he was not right, but lost some time trying to get the right diagnosis, by the time he was diagnosed properly he was stage IV with the cancer involving his liver and spleen. We chose not to do chemo, but did spend his last two months spoiling the living sh*t out of him.
                                          Yeah, pretty much all of the rules are out the window now. You want up on the couch? Yep, go for it. You want in and out every 6 seconds all afternoon? You got it. This pizza crust looks good? It's yours.

                                          She had a pretty good day after the rough night (although, really, I think the night was rough on ME...her? Not so much.) She spent a lot of it outside, and it was the perfect weather--75, sunny and breezy--and she would go back and forth between sunning herself and stretching out beneath the tree. My good friend came up from Denver to see her (just in case...) and she liked getting to see him.

                                          CSU tomorrow. 10:30 am.

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