Archive for the ‘Bad Days’ category

Bye Bye Palladia….Hello BP Medicine

August 25, 2011

Hi everyone.  I have not posted in a while because there was nothing to report.  We have been enjoying time with Rosie.  Everything was status quo until 2 or 3 weeks ago.

One Sunday evening a couple of weeks ago Rosie started acting extremely anxious pacing the rooms, laying down but not getting comfortable and then walking around and pacing again.  She started digging outside which she did not do previously.  It is not like she was digging with a purpose.  She would dig in one direction and then turn around and dig and throw dirt back in the hole she previously dug.  It was more of an obsessive compulsive type of behavior. 

Our normally laid back lab was acting like an extremely stressed out dog.  I emailed the oncologist and she told me to stop the Palladia for a week.  We did that and Rosie’s behavior went back to normal.  The next week we started Palladia again.  After two treatments I noticed that she seemed more anxious but I wasn’t sure.  We gave her the third treatment that Friday and over the weekend she became much more anxious with shallow breathing, racing heartbeat, and pacing around the house and shaking nervously.  I again emailed the oncologist and she said to stop the Palladia again and we brought her in Wednesday for her regular checkup.

Rosie’s blood pressure was very high.  Everything else appeared normal.   The oncologist thinks this is caused by the Palladia.  High blood pressure is one of the side effects of Palladia.   The oncologist prescribed blood pressure medicine for Rosie.  Right now the Palladia is stopped and we are concentrating on bringing her blood pressure down.  I don’t know if the increase in blood pressure is temporary or not.  It is possible Rosie may have to stay on the blood pressure medicine indefinitely.  She said that it is possible, after the blood pressure is stabilized, to go back on Palladia together with blood pressure medicine.  However, at this time I am leaning toward not going back on Palladia.  Rosie has been on it two years and has gained two years of life because of it.   However, these current side effects have scared me.  I am hoping they are not permanent.  Rosie just started the blood pressure medicine yesterday.  So I still see some anxiety.  We go back next week to have her blood pressure checked again.

If your dog is taking Palladia please talk to your oncologist about checking the dog’s blood pressure.  In humans high blood pressure is called “the silent killer.”  In people it often has no symptoms.    Better safe than sorry to have it checked.

Good luck to everyone and I’ll let you know how Rosie’s check up goes.

Rosie Survives Cancer But Risks Her Life Acting Like A Lab

March 24, 2011

My plan was to update everyone on Rosie’s results from her visit to the oncologist.   Any dog on Palladia has to go back to the oncologist or vet every six weeks for bloodwork,  and other tests, and receive an ultrasound every 12 weeks.  So this was one of Rosie’s 12 week visits in which she had all the tests and ultrasound.  In her oncologists words, her bloodwork, ultrasound, and all other tests were “beautiful.”  Everything was normal.   That was music to my ears.  My husband and I were thrilled to hear that.

How does Rosie celebrate?  She went into the back yard and then dug under the storage shed and crawls under it and then gets stuck.  Her collar came off under there; and she almost didn’t get back out.  My husband had to help pull her out.  Thank goodness she didn’t choke, or get cut, or worse.  She scared us to death.

I have been writing all this time about doing everything we can to save our dog’s life by beating this cancer and then she does this!  But dogs will be dogs; and of course she is a lab.  We will be putting cinder blocks under there to try to prevent her from digging.  If anyone has any other ideas, we welcome suggestions.  Also, one of us will always have to be with her in the backyard.

Hope everything is going well for everyone.  Good luck to all of you.

After One Year Rosie’s Palladia is Stopped (For Now)

September 1, 2010

After receiving Palladia for just over a year, Rosie is going to take a 2-week vacation from it.   This was decided with her oncologist after her latest 6-week check-up.  For the last couple of months Rosie has experienced a vomiting episode every couple of weeks and occasional loose stools.  During the first 10 months on Palladia she never experienced vomiting.

For the first time since she started Palladia Rosie’s lab test came back with an abnormality.  Her albumin (a blood protein) had decreased significantly.  So, the oncologist ordered a urinalysis which showed some protein but not enough to explain the entire protein loss.

The liver tests were normal.   The oncologist thinks that Rosie may be losing protein in her GI tract which may be related to the Palladia.   If so, if the Palladia is not stopped in time, it could cause permanent damage.  Therefore, she wants to take a break from the Palladia and check her again in 2 weeks.

A risk is that stopping the Palladia might allow the mast cell tumor with the 20 out of 10 mitotic index to come back.  That would be very bad.  Rosie has already beaten the odds of her diagnosis.  Initially she was only given 2 or 3 months to live after her diagnosis.  Now she has been doing great for a year.

All of this is hard to believe because if you look at Rosie she looks great!  You would not know she was dealing with something this serious.  Rosie has not acted sick.  She is happy, playful, and will eat as much food as you will give her.  She might get a little vomiting every few weeks but otherwise seemed fine.

So, I hope her blood proteins bounce back.  I would feel horrible if we did not stop the Palladia in time and caused permanent damage.  

We hope and pray that Rosie’s blood proteins will improve and that the cancer stays away.  I’ll post an update in a couple of weeks.

10 Months on Palladia and Now She Starts Vomiting?

July 3, 2010

Yes.  Rosie has been on Palladia for just over 10 months with no side effects.  Only once did she experience vomiting and that was early on when I was trying to change her food.  Therefore, I was quite surprised when her dinner and meds came back up last night.

We don’t know what has caused it.  Is it the:

  • Palladia  (Vomiting is one of the side effects.)
  • Mast Cell Tumor (The cancer itself can cause nausea.)
  • Something she ate (Vomiting occurred shortly after her walk.  Did she eat something outside?  Hubby says he didn’t see her eat anything.)

Of course this happens on a Friday night on a holiday weekend when all the regular vets offices are closed.  So I call the nearest 24-emergency clinic and told them what happened and that she was on palladia….and the girl asked me “what’s Palladia.”  I said never mind and called the 24-emergency clinic located at the oncology office.    They said not to give her any food or water for 6 hours and if she is still having symptoms after that to bring her in.  At 4:00 a.m. the next morning she was still having dry heaves. 

At 7:00 a.m. we went to the nearest regular vet’s office and luckily they have facilities to do testing.  So Rosie was seen by the vet, who was very good, and they ran blood work to try to see if possibly the cancer came back and was causing stomach upset.  Everything was in the normal range.  The white blood cell count was at the very lowest end of the range, but still in the normal range.  The vet said that was to be expected for a dog taking chemo.  They gave her 2 shots for nausea and vomiting and told us not to give her any food until this evening.  Only water for today, and then 1/2 her normal meal this evening along with her Prilosec and Metoclopramide for nausea. 

We are back home now.  Rosie is resting.  I’m wondering what she could have eaten that might have caused it.  I was chopping an onion yesterday.  Possibly did a piece fall on the floor and she ate it without me seeing?  Did she manage to convince DH to give her a Chicken and cheese ravioli last night?  DH says he didn’t.  Did she eat something while out on her walk?   We may never know the answer.   We will keep an eye on her this weekend and check with the oncologist on Tuesday when she is back in the office.

Week 2 – Follow Up with Oncologist – Starting Over

September 8, 2009

Rosie (and what seemed like every other dog in Texas) went to see our oncologist vet this morning for her second weekly follow-up on her Palladia chemo treatments for the Mast Cell Tumor (MCT) cancer.  

Rosie had diarrhea yesterday morning but had not yet gone again before visiting the vet.  Also, Rosie only had 2 Palladia chemo treatments last week instead of 4.  They were stopped due to the diarrhea, which can be a side effect of Palladia chemo.

However, the good news is that Rosie’s blood and kidney function were normal and her incision was healing nicely.

So, the oncologist recommended getting Rosie back on the Palladia chemo at the reduced dose (100 mg instead of 120 mg) every other day starting tomorrow.  However, this time Rosie will receive diarrhea medicine on the days that she receives the chemo treatment.  This is in addition to the three anti-nausea medicines that Rosie takes as well.  These are precautions as the Palladia can cause stomach problems.

To further prevent stomach problems and diarrhea, the vet wanted Rosie to only have her dry dog food that she was eating before starting the chemo.  She didn’t want any changes in food or diet causing diarrhea.   She wants to limit the other variables so she can measure the effects of the Palladia chemo.

She said if Rosie’s diarrhea continues, she will either have to try lowering the dose one more time, or take Rosie off the Palladia chemo altogether and try another chemotherapy.  So I’m hoping the anti-diarrhea medicine works so she can stay on the medicine.  It has worked today anyway.

So, we just keep taking it one day at a time, as the cliche goes.

Hamsters, Ferrets, and Ducks…Oh My!…and a Midget too!

September 7, 2009

It is surprising to me that I write about a dog’s poop and people read it.  It happens. 😉

Well, even though Rosie didn’t take her chemo Friday or Sunday, she had a little diarrhea this morning.   I’ll be interested in what the oncologist recommends when she sees Rosie tomorrow. 

I noticed in the mornings sometimes Rosie licks her lips which according to the oncologist is a sign of an upset stomach.  During the long weekend I’ve tried to feed her every 4 hours or 4 times a day and I think that helps her stomach.  In the afternoon and evening Rosie seemed more energetic and plays with her squeaky toys.  However, today she has slept most of the day until now.  She is playing with her tennis ball. 

Rosie was a happy girl yesterday when she went to the pet store and again put her nose to the glass of the hamster cage, and then looked at me.  Of course, once again I tell her she can’t have a hamster.  Then she quickly went over to the glass cage with the Ferrets and then looked at me.  No, Rosie,  if no hamster, then definitely no ferret.  Of course she once again, found every human being in the store and got them to pet her.   She also met a cute little furry dog named “Midget.”  The name was appropriate.  Those two hit it off well.  Midgets owners were very nice as well.

After that we took Rosie to one of the local parks to go for a walk.  Rosie got excited when she saw the duck pond.  She was so funny.   I tried to upload the video but this web site wants me to pay $60 for an upgrade to play the video.  Therefore, you are just getting a picture instead.  Sorry.

Can I play with the ducks?

Can I play with the ducks?

I’ll post an update after tomorrow’s visit to the oncologist.  I have to bring the labels from the dog food so the vet can determine how much food is appropriate for Rosie.   So, I guess going forward Rosie will be on a doggie diet.

Sunday – Poop Patrol – Uh Oh – No Chemo Today

August 30, 2009

This morning Rosie appeared to feel well.  I gave her the usual round of morning medicines and food and went back to bed. 

At about 9:00 a.m. she wanted to go for a walk and surprisingly it was cooler than I expected outside.  Here in Texas we have been experiencing a heat wave and a drought so the pleasant morning was a nice surprise.

Rosie was energetic and walked / dragged me like she normally does.   When we came back to the house, and in the back yard, I had the poop patrol duty.  While Rosie is on the Palladia chemo we have to watch her poop to make sure that there is no blood, it is not black, and there is no diarrhea.   This morning her poop was green not black and she had diarrhea.  However, so far she still has a good appetite and there is no vomiting.  I reread the Palladia Client Information Sheet and it says we are to stop the Palladia if we see any of those symptoms.  So, no Palladia today.   It is Sunday morning, and Rosie will see the oncologist tomorrow morning so I am going to wait to call the vet until this afternoon and I’m not even sure I’ll get through on Sunday. 

After she came back in the house Rosie seemed to be quieter and not as energetic.   This appears to be the first day that symptoms of Palladia are visible.   I’ve read about others on Palladia where they stop the Palladia for a few days or a week and then start again or adjust the dosage.  We’ll continue to monitor her today and see what the oncologist says tomorrow.