Archive for the ‘Treatment Updates’ category

Living Cancer Free and Loving It

September 1, 2012

Hi everyone!  It has been a long time since I have posted anything on here and some have requested an update on Rosie.  She is doing great!  Loving life and still cancer free after three years.

As I work full time and am not posting on the blog as often as I used to, there may be a delay when responding to comments or emails.  I highly recommend joining the Yahoo Canine Cancer support group as they are very active and  supportive.  http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/CanineCancer/

As for Rosie, she does remind me every so often that I do spend too much time on the computer and all work and no play make for a boring Mom and a bored dog.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you battling this disease.  Wishing you only the best.

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Return to the “Old” Normal Life

November 17, 2011

Hi everyone.  Sorry it has been so long to write an update.  Rosie is doing great.  Two years ago when Rosie had been on Palladia for awhile I wrote about our “new normal” life with Rosie on Palladia.  Now I am happy to say we have returned to the “old normal” life as it was before Palladia.  What that means is Rosie is cancer-free (YEAH!) and is no longer on any medication…no Palladia and no blood pressure medicine because there is no sign of cancer and her blood pressure is normal!  The only difference from before is that now she is on a grain free dog food and takes nutritional supplements such as fish oil pills.

We are enjoying life with Rosie and hopefully she will be healthy for a very long time.  If your dog has recently been diagnosed  with mast cell cancer please know there is hope.

We are wishing each of you and your furry four legged kids the very best.

It Worked!

August 31, 2011

Rosie was diagnosed last week with high blood pressure due, they think, to the Palladia chemo drug.  So they took Rosie off of Palladia and put her on blood pressure medicine to bring down her blood pressure.  She went back to the oncologist this week to follow up on her blood pressure and it was normal!  Yeah!  I am so happy that the lowest dosage of blood pressure medicine worked.  She is going to continue on the blood pressure medicine but is not going back on Palladia.  Because of that decision, she will no longer have to take Prilosec, metoclopromide, and benadryl. 

Hopefully, everything can get back to normal and Rosie’s cancer stays away for a LONG time.  I hope everything is going well for all of you.  Good luck to you and God Bless.

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.

Rosie’s Cancer Survival Tail

February 10, 2011

Yeah….Rosie is doing wonderful and no visible cancer!  She had a great check up with her new oncologist.  Her previous oncologist moved out of state.  Her new oncologist said she saw no concernns re: Rosie’s tests and that she was a “sweetie.”  I agree….but of course I’m not biased!  😉

She has been doing much better.  The hind end weakness is only occasional and not very bad.  It has been much better since we stopped the Palladia for a week.  She has been back on it for 6 weeks and we just received another refill for 6 weeks.  She will go back to the oncologist in another six weeks.  That is the life of a dog on Palladia.  You get to see an oncologist every six weeks.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you whose furkids are dealing with the “C” word.  Good luck to all of you.

My Dog has Mast Cell Cancer. Tell Me About Palladia Results and Side Effects

January 31, 2011

I receive this question a lot.  First of all, I am NOT a vet.  I am just a dog owner who has been dealing with mast cell tumors and Palladia treatment for the last year and a half.  So, I will share with you the resources I have gathered so hopefully it will provide you information and save you some time.

My dog has a lump.  Now what?  Go straight to the vet and get it aspirated.  Don’t waste time watching it.  If you are lucky it is only a lipoma and you have peace of mind.  If you receive the bad news that it is a Mast Cell Tumor (MCT) hopefully it is the best case scenario that you have caught it early and your dog lives a long life.

However, if you receive a diagnosis of MCT ask your vet some questions.  What is the grade?  Is it a I, II, or III.  A grade I means they caught it early.  If it is II or III ask your vet what the lab results say about it.  Both of those MAY require additional treatment.   Also, ask what is the Mitotic Index.  You want it to be below 5 out of 10.  That is another measure of aggressiveness and can be correlated to life expectancy.  The higher the index the shorter the life expectancy.  See Dr. Dressler’s article about grades of MCT and Mitotic Index:  http://www.dogcancerblog.com/dog-cancer-decisions-in-the-gray-zone/

Once you have a diagnosis, I recommend going to see a veterinary oncologist.  They have much more experience in dealing with cancer and can tell you about all the treatment options available and recommend which one or combination of treatments they recommend.  Palladia is only one treatment option.  There are different types of chemo, radiation, palladia, and Masivet to name a few.  Talk to your oncologist about all treatment options and which one is best for your dog.  You may decide that no treatment is best for your situation.  Every dog’s situation is different, please discuss it thoroughly with the oncologist.    Here is a link to help you find one:  http://www.acvim.org/websites/acvim/index.php?p=3

Whether or not you decide to get treatment or decide on no treatment at all, I recommend going to visit a holistic vet who can recommend other supplements to support your dog.  Your oncologist might even recommend one.  Here is a link to help you find one:  http://www.holisticvetlist.com/

It is extremely emotional to deal with all of this and try to make the necessary decisions.  Get support for yourself.  Yahoo has a great dog cancer support group at:  http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/CanineCancer/

Since the treatment we chose for Rosie’s situation was Palladia that is what I will discuss.  However, this does NOT mean it is better than other treatments or is right for your dog.  Talk to your oncolgist regarding the treatment for your dog.  It is just the only one I have any experience with.

Palladia affects all dogs differently.  In some it works and in some it doesn’t.   See Dr. Dressler’s articles about Palladia.    http://www.dogcancerblog.com/will-palladia-work/  and  http://www.dogcancerblog.com/first-dog-cancer-drug-fda-approved-but-not-great/.

Some experience side effects the most common being diarrhea and vomiting.  There are others some of which can be severe.   Check out other dog owner’s experience with Palladia who took our survey on this site:   https://rosiesroad.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/305/.  Also, read information from Pfizer about the Palladia at:  http://www.palladia-pi.com/Palladia_PI.pdf.    Sometimes the oncologist may adjust the dosage or temporarily stop the Palladia for a short period of time and then restart it to help relieve the side effects.  Also, they will likely provide supplemental meds to support the Palladia and help avoid side effects.  Still unsure about Palladia, ask your oncologist about a test that can be done to see if your dog has a “mutation” that Palladia successfully treats supposedly “80% of the time.”  That was according to my oncologist.  I don’t have much information on it but it would be worth discussing with your oncologist if you are considering Palladia as a treatment option.

Check out the links on the right side of this blog as there is a lot of information there.  Also read the comments from other dog owners.  My Rosie has been successful on Palladia but not all dogs experience the same success.

Be prepared.  Treating a dog with cancer no matter which treatment option you choose is expensive.  For no interest credit to help pay for it, check out care credit:  http://www.carecredit.com/index.html.   Also, check out the links on the right side of this blog under financial resources if you need other financial assistance.  Several links are listed.

Good luck to you as you research the best treatment options for your furchild.  I hope this information has helped in your research.   My heart goes out to you and I pray that your beloved furchild lives for many more years and brings much happiness to you and your family.