Posted tagged ‘Mast Cell’

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.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROSIE!!

April 30, 2011
It’s Time To Celebrate

 

Happy 11th Birthday Rosie!  You have no idea how excited I am to be able to say that.   Two years ago I don’t think anyone believed she would make it to her 10th birthday much less her 11th birthday.   To have Rosie an additional 2 years has been such a blessing!  Thank you to everyone who has helped with her care.

We hope and pray that we have Rosie with us for a LONG time to come.  She will definitely receive extra treats today.   I pray for everyone’s dogs to be as fortunate as Rosie!  I hope they are happy and healthy for a long time to come!  Give your dogs a hug for Rosie.  Go ahead and send Rosie happy birthday wishes by leaving a comment.

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.

Uncurling the Side Effects of Palladia

January 12, 2011

Rosie’s 1-1/2 week vacation from Palladia ends tonight.  We took her for her 6-week check up a week ago Monday.  Before we left to go to the clinic Rosie was curled up nice and comfy on the sofa and then jumped off.  The problem was that, even though she was standing, her back was still curled in a “C” like she was on the sofa.  It took her a couple of minutes to “uncurl” herself and straighten out.  It scared me to death.  I think she was scared too.  She didn’t know what was happening.    I told the oncologist about it and she said let’s give Rosie a one week break from the Palladia and see if this gets better.

The good news from the visit to the oncologist was that she still showed no signs of cancer!  Yeah!  The bad news is that she had some protein in her urine.  So that was another reason to take a break from the Palladia.

During this week off of Palladia, Rosie’s hind end weakness definitely improved and she had no problems “uncurling” like last week. 

However, Rosie starts the Palladia tonight and I am nervous.  I am hopeful the side effects have subsided.  But we just have to keep a close eye on her.  I talked to the oncologist about what if we stop the Palladia altogether but 2 oncologists were very concerned that her cancer would return quickly since it was so aggressive.  That is the reason I agreed to have Rosie go back on it.

When I expressed my concerns about the side effects of long-term Palladia, the oncologist did tell me about another option I had not heard much about and that was metronomic chemotherapy.  It is a combination of 3 drugs, an antibiotic such as doxycycline, an NSAID such as piroxicam (or other similar drug) and a chemo drug called cyclophosphamide.  It is a lower dose chemotherapy that is not meant to cure cancer but to try to keep it from spreading or keep it from returning (as would be in Rosie’s case).   Dr. Dressler has information about it on his blog at:  http://www.dogcancerblog.com/metronomic-chemotherapy/  and at http://www.dogcancerblog.com/a-new-look-chemotherapy/.

We decided to continue on the Palladia since it has kept the cancer away.  However, if the side effects get worse, we will then need to consider other options.

Lastly, our loss is Arizona’s gain.  Rosie’s oncologist for the last 18 months is leaving the clinic.  She is going to practice in Arizona.  Good luck to you Dr. Endicott.  We wish you well.   I hope you don’t have a need for one, but in case you need a good veterinary oncologist in Arizona, go see Dr. Melissa Endicott.  She is excellent.

Good luck to everyone whose furbaby is fighting this disease, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Progress Update

December 12, 2010

Hi everyone.  It has been a while since we did an update.  Rosie’s last check up with her veterinary oncologist went great.  All her bloodwork and tests were normal so she can continue taking the Palladia.  However, we have to continously watch her so she does not hae nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.  She occasionally will get diarrhea and we give her medicine for that.

Rosie is doing great.  The only sign that I see that she is on Palladia is that she is sometimes slow getting up from laying down.  She has occasional hind end weakness.   When she was off the Palladia for 2 weeks she did not have this symptom.  So I attribute it to the Palladia.  However, it is not serious enough to take her off the Palladia.  But I continue to keep an eye on Rosie in case it gets worse.

I hope and pray for all of your and your precious furkids as they battle their cancer.  Good luck to all of you.

1st Checkup after Restarting Palladia

September 30, 2010

Rosie went back to the oncologist after having restarted Palladia two weeks ago.  All her blood work was normal; and she did not experience any nausea or diarrhea.  She is eating well.

However, her weight dropped 2 lbs in two weeks and the oncologist was concerned about that, but not enough to take her off the Palladia yet.  So, we will bring Rosie in for another check up in another 2 weeks and see how she does.