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My dog has stage V Lymphoma
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Grandmaof03 posted:
Oh my...I don't know where to start....my heart is broken..watching my boy be so sick is killing me...and although I started Chemo with him...to this second I am wondering if I did him any favors...

On Sept 3rd I took my 12 year old beagle to the vet...I had been away leaving the care of mikey with my mom...mikey has bad allergys and is on a special diet which I never deviate from...my mom..well..she likes to give him things...like meatloaf, ice cream..potatoes..ect...when I came home I noticed he has dries mucas on his nose,,,,thats when I went to my vet...

Testing indicated he had lymphoma...we tried antibiotics to help with the possible infection and blood work was done showing he was anemic and his white count was also low...

He was not getting any better, so 4 or 5 days later I took him back to the vet and we started high dose steriod and he got a shot of steriod, pepcid for his tummy...got some more test results back yesterday and my primary vet told me that if I was going to treat the cancer instead of making him comfortable I needed to jump on it fast...

Today I saw the oncoligist and started Chemo....and of course a bunch more meds....After the Chemo treatment...the oncloigist reviewed the blood work with me and it was just horrible...

He has only 15% of red blood cells...and his white cells are extreamely low...low enough we put him back on clavamox to ward off infection....

I was hopeful....needless to say...Chemo is a huge financial and emotional comittment....I am on disability...but I sat and worked my numbers and figured I could afford the treatments...

But when I saw his bloodwork my heart sank....I feel like I should not put him through anymore....the poor guy can hardly hold his head up for even a minute..and he has to go out every 2 hours even thru the night....I know if I am sick I don;t even want to walk across the room let alone go out to an outhouse to go to the bathroom...

Can anyone give me any advice and even if no advice maybe some words of encourgement that am doing the right thing

One thing I always said and followed with my pets...make them comfortable and don't do anything to make themfeel worse...I don't know why I feel as though giving mikey chemo will give us 10 more good years....I think that is what I was wishing for..

Even if no one answers...thank you so much for just listening..

God Bless
Colleen
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judyann77 responded:
I guess I;m only writing this to tell you I read your story as I was looking for the cost of cancer treatment for my dog. My dog has not been officially diagnosed with lymphoma but all the symptoms are there. I got him from a shelter - he's a wonderful dog, a great family pet - he's gotten my kids through some really rough times and has been "Mighty Dog" in alot of ways - including playing fetch for hours on end.

After reading most of the stories about giving dogs chemo, you can't really expect a cure. It sounds as though alot of dogs go into remission, but eventually end up not recovering. My dog is only 7 years old. I hate to lose him, but I've got a friend whose wife has breast cancer. I'd rather donate my money to that family to defray their costs and hope she has a miracle. That's my personal testimony. Funny, my daughter's second choice for a name for our dog was "Mikey"....but his name is Roscoe instead. I wish you peace in your decision, whatever it is.
 
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Will Draper, DVM responded:
Grandma- I am so sorry that you are going through this, but all I would say is that I think you're in the right frame of mind. I always tell my clients that quality of life outweighs quantity...and no one knows your boy better than you do. Following his lead and your heart is never a bad thing. All the best to you.
Dr. Will
 
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AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM replied to judyann77's response:
HI Judyann,

Dr. Will responded to Grandma and I will respond to your post.

I appreciate your donating your money to a human with cancer. Thank you. What a noble choice.

No, we only rarely cure cancer forever but we can put the cancer into remission and give our beloved cats and dogs more time with a good quality of life. We are not trying to prolong suffering with chemo, and in fact if the cancer is shrinking but the pet is sick, we will change protocols because our pets live so much shorter lives than we do.

But to have a few extra months if not years to live with a good qualilty of life, if the owner can afford it, is what we as veterinarians, and our partners the veterinary cncologists, are striving for. I have talked to many owners who were really skeptical about chemotherapy but were pleasantly delighted that their pets generally did very well and had very few bad days.

A second opinion with a veterinary oncologist is always a great option.

As Dr. Will said, it is a personal decision but I believe that trying chemotherapy is a good option. We need to diagnose the disease first which sometimes can be difficult, but I practice optomistic veterinary medicine, to save lives and to try what we can as long as the pet is feeling well.

Thank you for your input.

Dr. Sandy
 
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Grandmaof03 replied to Will Draper, DVM's response:
Dr Will and Dr Sandy

Sadly, Mikey passed away this morning at 930...he was in the ICU at the animal hospital...last night he got very very ill he could not find a comfortable position so that he could sleep, he was in respiatory distress, had a fever, admonial distension..and probably a lot of other things that probably no one even knew about..

I am sad..of course but have no regrets of trying to treat him...I feel the oncoligist was really trying to help him and was hoping for a couple of months of "quality life".

My vet told me that he passed very peacefully and I am thankful for that...

Although a cure was never what I expected, remission was what I was looking for just to be with him for a few more weeks.

Thank you both for your responses,,,Your kind words are greatly appreciated...

God Bless
Colleen
 
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judyann77 replied to Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM's response:
Thanks, I appreciate the reply.
 
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BarbieJean1949 responded:
As a former Hospice volunteer, I agree with Dr. Will that quality of life is more important. I have been with so many cancer patients who suffered terribly the entire time they were on chemo and in many cases, their treatments gave them no more than an extra year with a poor quality of life. Based on what I have seen as a Hospice volunteer, if I'm ever diagnosed with cancer--or if my beloved pets are ever diagnosed with it--I'm not going to suffer through chemo, nor would I ever alow a precious pet of mine to suffer through chemo treatments.

My trust is in the Lord: not in chemotherapy.
 
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judyann77 replied to BarbieJean1949's response:
I have two friends, one who had Hodgins Lymphoma, with a tumor wrapped around her aorta, and the other diagnosed with Inflammatory breast cancer...the worst there is....both are now cancer free after following their doctors order of chemo, radiation and in once case surgery, as well as prayer. Its different for everyone. I respect everyone's choices. But there are success stories too!

We had Roscoe put to sleep in January. Even if I had invested in chemo, the prognosis for dogs is not the same as for humans. thanks for the discussion....time to move on!
 
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kossiankov responded:
Hi Collenn!
I am totally understand your situation
My 10 year old Lhasa Apso past away at August 8 of this year
He was diagnosed with lung cancer at July 26th
Doctor look at his blood work and x rays and give me this horrible news
He said that 90% it is cancer and 10% infection.
he said that i have to conceder to bring him to oncologist for chemo treatment or put him asleep.
My wife is the cancer survivor. She had this 10 years ago and now she said that if her cancer will return ,she will never go for this treatment again. That is how horrible you feel under this chemicals.
So we had a long talk about our options and decided that if this is the cancer, there is nothing we can do about it .
I called my vet and tell him to give me strongest antibiotics available and pain medication.
We decided to treat infection and if this will not help then accept the reality.
So, treatment for infection did not help
We could not make the decision to end his life.
His last few days I make him as comfortable as i could.
Pain medication worked really good.
He stop eating and like your friend could not lift up his head
He just was lying on his bed with no movement at all .
For some reason I new that the end is very near and on August 8 ,I picked him up in my arms , walk out to the back yard and sat down under the big tree (his favourite place ).
It was 7 30 AM . I talk to God and ask Him to make this journey as painless as possible for us and especially for Korki and if he had to go ,to make it quick.

I was holding Korki close to my heart and talking to him.
I do not know if He was listening or not ,but He became very come and relaxed. At 8 AM He turn his head and looked me in the eyes with love and gratitude and took his last breath.
.
That is the all story .
Decision to go for treatment is very personal .
Korki was 10 years old and this dogs usually live for 13-14years
For us ,put him under this treatment in this age was not reasonable. Like my vet said ,we probably will not cure him but put cancer in remission for a wile.
That is why we decided to make him as comfortable as possible and accept the faith, and live it to God
You have to do what your heart tells you to do ,but looking on the big picture your friend got great years with you ! Great 12 years. You give joy and love to each other all this time and it is probably His time to go.
Animals have a lot more dignity at the moment of departure then we are -people.
They just want to be left in peace and be close to they masters all the time.
By the instinct given them by the nature, they know when is the time to go. and all what they want is love and warmth of our hearts in they final moments.
I really hope your friend will be better ! really wish you this moment of happiness, but i think it is takes a miracle.
Now we got a new puppy of the same breed and only this help us a little to ease the pain of our loss.
I do not know if my letter help you in any way but i just feel like to share this story with you
God Bless you and your friend
Andrei
 
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lenchik1016 responded:
I am so sorry for your loss i am devastated as my 2 year old lhasa apso was just diagnosed with GI lymphoma. We are going to the oncologist Tues but i do not want to do chemo. We got the biopsy results on his birthday after we noticed bloody stool. My family and i are devastated as Charlie is our baby since we are newly married with no kids hes our baby. I cant do anything but cry all day and cant imagine myself picking a day to put my baby down. Hes still a baby so loved and we have so much more to give him anyone have a very young pup diagnosed ....what should i expect without chemo?
 
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AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM replied to lenchik1016's response:
Hello,

Thank you for writing in as you ask a great question. I am pleased you are going to see the oncologist and make sure you ask them all your questions. Because they should talk to you about Charlie's diagnosis, what treatment options are available, what is the prognosis with each treatment, what would Charlie's quality of life be, and how much the treatments would cost. There are many options for chemotherapy and there are options for palliative care, such as steroids. Charlie is young to have GI lymphoma but it is not impossible. This is a more difficult site for lymphoma in terms of treatment, but the oncologist will help you decide what option to move forward is best for Charlie and yourself. And re. expectations of chemo, a great question again to ask the oncologist. Most oncologists strive to treat the cancer WHILE maintaining the best quality of life possible. Our dogs, even young ones, don't live as long as people and thus we really need them to look and feel good during chemotherapy.
Thank you and your family veterinarian for making the appointment with the oncologist. Whether or not you go on for chemo, I think that specialty consultation will give you peace of mind that you are doing the best for Charlie. Dr. Sandy
 
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jamesg2 replied to lenchik1016's response:
I so feel your pain. My wife and I got married in August of 2000. In October of 2000 we came across an injured German Short Hair in whom the owners no longer wanted. We nursed her back to health, carried her up stairs until she could walk and for 14 years have had her as part of our family. We too have no children and she is our baby too. We just found out that she has stage V lymphoma with about a month or two left. I can barely go a few hours without crying. You are in my prayers and we would appreciate yours.

Sincerely,

James
 
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ilovedarla replied to jamesg2's response:
James,


My heart breaks for your family. I am a single professional with a 12 year old minpin/boston terrier mix named Darla. She was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoma cutaneous form four years ago (stage 1). We underwent surgery and I went 100% holistic with her diet. She gets raw food and 10 supplements with each meal. This lifestyle change (or sheer luck) has worked until now. We are scheduled to have surgery September 24th in the oncology department. I am alone, no family, not many friends, and my best friend in the entire world is having surgery at age 12. She is having a lot of breathing problems recently and I pray it's not the cancer. I worry if she will die on the table. I worry if I am being selfish by trying to extend her life by removing what cancers I can see. I worry if she will be in pain in the end. I worry if I have the strength to say goodbye to her when the time comes. I worry I do not know enough to do this. The situation feels bigger than I can handle. How do I say goodbye to the best thing that has ever happened to me when the time comes? The only thing I know is I hold onto the fact that I am not alone and there must be others out there with the same sadness, fears, and endless love for their dogs. I am not a religious fanatic, but I do believe there is something out there bigger than we are...and I cling to that thought with prayers for guidance. You and your wife and lovely baby are in my prayers. I, too, need your prayers. Sincerely, Jenny


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