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my 7 year old boxer bitch has cancer of the lymphatic system…

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my 7 year old boxer...
my 7 year old boxer bitch has cancer of the lymphatic system my vet has prescribed 5mg prednisolone and 200mg of zitac tablets will this help reduce the size of the tumors?... Read full answer
my 7 year old boxer bitch has cancer of the lymphatic system my vet has prescribed 5mg prednisolone and 200mg of zitac tablets will this help reduce the size of the tumors?
Submitted: 9 years ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
11/12/2009
Dog Veterinarian: Vet help, Veterinarian replied 9 years ago
Vet help
Vet help, Veterinarian
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Experience: 12 yrs experience as a small animal veterinarian; 21 yrs exp. in the animal care field
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Do you know the specific diagnosis? Is it lymphoma or lymphosarcoma?
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Customer reply replied 9 years ago

im not sure i only know that it is aggersive stage she has tumors all around her neck area as well as her chest legs and groin

 

Dog Veterinarian: Vet help, Veterinarian replied 9 years ago
Are the tumors associated with the lymph nodes? Does she have them on either side of her neck, on both sides of the front of her chest, on both sides in her groin, and on both sides of the back of her legs?
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Customer reply replied 9 years ago
yes i think so she has them on both sides of throat, neck,chest,groin and on both of back legs.
Dog Veterinarian: Vet help, Veterinarian replied 9 years ago
This sounds like a type of cancer called lymphoma. The masses are enlarged lymph nodes, as these are the locations of the mandibular, prescapular, inguinal and popliteal lymph nodes.
Of the cancers, lymphoma is one of the ones that responds well to treatment. Having said that, however, the response only puts the pet into remission temporarily. The cancer will return, and other chemotherapy needs to be undertaken to try to keep it at bay again.
These are a few of the chemotherapy protocols available, including information on remission rates and median survival times for each one. Remission rates refers to those animals who become free of detectable disease; remission is usually temporary and the cancer returns but follow-up chemotherapy can put an animal back into remission. The median survival time means that 50% of patients will survive longer than that time, and 50% will survive for a shorter period. It’s a statistical term calculated by arranging the data in increasing order and finding the value in the middle of the sorted data.

With no treatment, the median survival time is about 1 month.

With prednisone therapy alone, about 50% of dogs go into remission but the median survival is about 2 months. Prednisone may cause resistance to other chemotherapy drugs, so it’s best not to use this at the recommended doses if there is a possibility that you’d be interested in following up with other forms of chemotherapy. The dose your dog is on seems low for an adult Boxer.

Prednisone and CCNU- these are both oral medications. I don’t have survival data available but 6 months is usually the norm.

COP protocol- involves the use of chemotherapeutic agents cyclophophamide, vincristine and prednisone
Remission rate is 60- 75% and median survival rate is 6 months.
10- 20% of patients survive for 1 year.

Doxorubicin therapy- given intravenously every 3 weeks
Remission rate is 75- 85%
Median survival time is 6- 9 months.

Protocols containing Doxorubicin and L-asparaginase- there are many. The best success rate has been with 5 drug protocols.
Remission rate is 80- 95%
The 1st remission generally lasts 6- 9 months.
Survival is 1 year, and 25% of dogs can survive for 2 years.

For the more involved protocols, blood work will need to be evaluated periodically (for some it’s weekly, for others every 2- 3 weeks, etc. depending on what drugs are used).
Most dogs do quite well with chemotherapy and do not appear to be as harshly affected as humans receiving chemo. The most common side effects are intestinal upset (vomiting and/ or diarrhea) which usually occurs in the first day or so after the chemo is administered but resolves promptly with supportive care. Dogs rarely lose their fur, but it can occur. The drugs can, however, cause serious problems with the bone marrow or serious, persistent gastrointestinal signs and so patients must be monitored closely and adjustments made if troubles arise.
If you are financially able, I strongly recommend that you consult with a veterinary oncologist. You can ask your veterinarian for a referral. Or if you are in the US, you can visit:
http://www.acvim.org/websites/acvim/index.php?p=228 to find one near you.
I hope the information is helpful as you make your decision in this most difficult of situations.
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Customer reply replied 9 years ago

although gypsy is an adult boxer she is very small and only weights 22kg, she was the runt of a litter of 11, but has an amazing personality. do you now think 5mg of prednisolone is ok for her?

 

Dog Veterinarian: Vet help, Veterinarian replied 9 years ago
If lymphoma is the type of cancer she has, then even at her weight, 5 mg of pred is still too low for her. Legally, I cannot advise you on specific dosages for a pet that I have not seen. This is a conversation you'll need to have with your veterinarian or a veterinary oncologist. Your vet can consult Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook or the Merck Veterinary Manual for the dosages of recommended lymphoma chemotherapy protocols.
Vet help
Vet help, Veterinarian
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Experience: 12 yrs experience as a small animal veterinarian; 21 yrs exp. in the animal care field
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Customer reply replied 9 years ago
ok thank you i really appreciate you have taken the time to reply. i will speak to my vet as soon as possible you have been very helpful
Dog Veterinarian: Vet help, Veterinarian replied 9 years ago
You're welcome. I wish you and your girl the best.
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