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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    64,904

    Default My dog has cancer



    Gretchen the wonder dog has cancer and today was her first chemotherapy treatment for lymphoma.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Copenhagen, Denmark
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    Default

    Do dogs go bald from chemo?

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  3. #3
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    Nov 2003
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    Just barely a young pup at 12 1/2 years old she seems totally fine. We did blood work before having some minor work done and found elevated liver enzymes. Ultrasound found a mass in/near the liver so needle biopsys done which showed the malignant cells. Refered to an area specialist and after meeting with them today I decided to do the first 5 week course of chemotherapy and see how she does. With no treatment, the median lifespan is about a month; with it the median increases to a year, maybe more. Unlike in humans, lymphoma can't be cured in animals but it can be controlled giving them more time. Dogs are said to almost universally respond well to chemo and not have near the side effects that humans do. Quality of life is the biggest issue and from what I am told and can find out, they do pretty well and 80-90% respond positively so I decided to do it. The treatment is pretty much just like people, same or similar drugs and all. Drugs are a mix of injections, IV and pills with one treatment done each week. After the end of the first 5 week series you repeat it for more times. Most dogs go into remission after the first round of chemo and you continue the other 4 to keep bringing it down.

    So far so good. After treatment 1 she seems fine and showing no ill effects. Her appetite is normal so I'm happy with it so far.

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  4. #4

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    Very sad. Hope you're preparing for the worst, Cbear.

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  5. #5
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    Nov 2003
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spasgur View Post
    Do dogs go bald from chemo?
    While possible, its not common like in humans. The usual reactions are more gastroentestinal: nausia, vomiting, diahrrea, tiredness, loss of appetite.

    There can also be an allergic reaction to the drugs you watch out for.

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  6. #6
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    Nov 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by niniendowarrior View Post
    Very sad. Hope you're preparing for the worst, Cbear.
    Yeah, there is no cure, you are only extending their life. My no 1 concern was that it wasnt prlogning her life only for it to be miserable. Both my vet and the specialist said that dogs do pretty well with it and it gets you an extra year, maybe more. Without treatment its 1-2 months max. When I first found out I was just going to keep her comfortable and give whatever meds would keep her pain free and eating. But both vets really made a case that she was early enough along that they felt like she would do well. She showed no outward signs and that is a plus. Usually people find the cancer after the dog has already stopped eating, is lethargic and already well along the way. Lyphoma travels very fast and they go down seemingly in just days. If I can get her another year and its a good year I consider it worth it. If she doesnt tolerate the chemo and is miserable, I will discontinue and just ride out what time is left.

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  7. #7
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    Dec 2010
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    Default

    Beautiful scenery on the picture. You are from Texas right? Isn't the treatment expensive or is there some kind of insurance for pets?

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  8. #8
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    Nov 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by spasgur View Post
    Beautiful scenery on the picture. You are from Texas right? Isn't the treatment expensive or is there some kind of insurance for pets?
    There is pet insurance but I dont have it. Yes, the treatment is expensive and thats often the deciding factor in people not doing it. I decided to do the first series and see how she reacts to it.

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Asspen, CO
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    Default

    That's too bad, I really hope things go as well as possible. I don't know what I'd do if my 13 year old dog got sick like that.

    It's really hard having to deal with situations like this with pets because, as you said, you never really know what's best for the animal. Plus there's the cost which is always prohibitive. It's awesome that you care enough and have the means to get her the proper medical attention.

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Washington, state that is.
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    2,284

    Default

    Sorry to hear it. I find that in general pets dying effect me more than actual people.

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