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My Tibetan terrier was diagnose with lymphoma. Her lymph…

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Good morning. My Tibetan terrier...
Good morning. My Tibetan terrier was diagnose with lymphoma. Her lymph nods r swollen. She is a little sluggish. She is eating home cooked chicken and sirloin burgers a little at a time and keeping it down. And her bowl movements r not lose. R those good signs as far as how far the cancer has progressed
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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2/3/2013
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian replied 5 years ago
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10,986
Experience: I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Hi, I'm Dr. Deb. I will do my best to assist you today.

I'm sorry about this concern for Scout but I have a few additional questions to ask about her condition:

1. How long ago was she diagnosed with lymphoma?
2. Was she diagnosed with an aspirate of a lymph node or a biopsy?
3. Is she currently taking any drugs?
4. If so, what is she taking?

Thanks for the additional information.
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Yesterday was diagnosed. Thru blood work. We r going for an X-ray and a scan tomorrow morning. She is not on any drugs. I made an appt with oncologist for Wednesday just in case
Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Also scout has lost some weight. About 5 lbs
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian replied 5 years ago

Julie:
Thanks for the information and clarification.

The fact that you have an oncology appointment scheduled is excellent and additional testing is also a very good idea to get an indication whether multiple organ systems are involved. Once this is done, then a more reasonable assessment can be made as to prognosis and possible response to treatment, if you elect this option.

I would love to be able to assure you that because she is still eating, not vomiting and having normal bowel movements that this means the disease hasn't significantly progressed. Unfortunately, this may not be the case. You won't know for sure until additional testing has been done.
Many dogs diagnosed with lymphoma are acting fine...at least in the initial stages of the disease. Most owners are shocked when they learn that their dogs have cancer because they haven't been acting terribly sick, in most cases. Certainly not sick enough to suspect that cancer is the problem. Weight loss would be expected in this disease but then weight loss could be explained by other diseases too.

If you are considering chemotherapy the fact that she has an appetite and that her stools are normal is a good sign, though. Deb

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
What is your opinion on chemotherapy on dogs. I want to do what ever I can to help her. I just want to make sure it's about her and not about me and my family. I do t want her to suffer because we want her here with us
Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Also have u ever hears of k9 immunity. If so do you think there are any benefits
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian replied 5 years ago
Julie:
My personal opinion is that chemotherapy can certainly play a role in treating certain kinds of cancers....and can very effectively treat them. My approach tends to be one of assessing the length of time that can (might?) be achieved by treating a dog in this way and assessing the quality of life as well.

If chemo will only buy a few months, then personally, I wouldn't pursue it.
If my dog were much older, then I would be less like to pursue it either.

But Scout is young at 8 years of age.

70 to 90% of dogs treated for lymphosarcoma by chemotherapy achieve remission and average survival time is one year. Ten to 15 percent of dogs treated for lymphosarcoma survive 2 years or more.
Those are pretty good numbers considering this is cancer. Of course, we don't know which dogs will respond well and which ones won't.
If you elect not to treat her, then survival time is about one to two months or shorter.
Some owners will treat with prednisone alone; survival times are not significantly increased vs. no treatment but the dogs appear to feel better.

But those number will be influenced by whether or not multiple organs are involved.

I have heard of Canine Immunity but have no personal experience with it. My impression is that there are many claims made that are not backed up with proof.

I know this must be very overwhelming for you. I applaud your efforts to gain as much information about the various options as possible. Deb
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Scout is going to the Vet tomorrow morning for an X-ray and scan. If you don't mind I would like to send u the results and get your option
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian replied 5 years ago
Julie:
That would be fine; I will be very interested in hearing the results of her additional tests. Deb
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Is it a bad sign if the lymph nods under scouts jaw and down by her back legs are swollen. Does that mean it spread to all parts of her body
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian replied 5 years ago
Julie:
Usually all of the lymph nodes are swollen with lymphoma if the ones under the neck and back legs are enlarged. These are just the easiest ones for owners to feel.
But there are others located on the front shoulders, under the armpits and in the groin (inner thigh) area.
Enlarged lymph nodes are not necessarily an indication that there has been spread to the liver, lungs, spleen or other internal organs. Deb
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
I guess I'll just wait to see the doctor tomorrow I just hope the can do something to make her feel better. I'll do whatever it takes. Thanks again ill be in touch after the appt tomorrow
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian replied 5 years ago
Julie:
I know that this is difficult ..not having all of the information and worrying and wondering about "what if". Not that it necessarily gets any easier...it doesn't!!! But once you have all of the information, then you can make better informed decisions and will have a better idea of what to expect.
I'll look forward to your continued updates. Deb
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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian replied 5 years ago
Julie:
I'm just following up on our conversation about Scout. What were the results of the additional tests? Deb
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Good morning
Yes she has B cell lymphoma. Which is better then T cell She had her first chemotherapy on Tuesday. It was amazing buy that night she started to go back to her her old self and by the next day she was fully back. She s also taking prednisone. Shae has another chemo treatment on Tuesday We have to figure out a plan. It's very expensive and I want to give her. Her best chance without spending 10 000 dollars. She has been spoiled now. She won't eat dog food only food I cook for her. Is that not good. I'm afraid she s not getting the right nutrition for a dog ? Do u have any knowledge about chemotherapy treatment and what is the adverage treatment or any other tips and help u could give me
Thanks
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian replied 5 years ago

Julie:
Thanks for the update; I'd been wondering what the diagnosis was for Scout.
I'm sure the oncologist provided you with the different treatment options which would have the best results for her. And, I'm also certain that they told you that the median survival time for dogs with this type of cancer is about 1.0-1.5 years if treated with chemo.
Left untreated or treated with pred alone significantly decreases the survival times...often just a few months.

As to diet, if she's only eating people food, then you want to supplement with a daily canine vitamin/mineral tablet since this won't be balanced or nutritious for her, which I suspect you know.

You might also want to consider a prescription cancer diet (available from your vet) which is called N/D which is specifically formulated or dogs and contains very high levels of fatty acids and high protein but low carbohydrate levels. There are also cancer diets available on the internet but they may not be necessarily balanced; if you consider them, I would still use a vitamin/mineral supplement.

There may be some evidence to suggest that they slow progression of some cancers but no actual hard proof since controlled studies haven't been done.

You can try this food but if she doesn't like it, then I would use Welactin or 3V Capsules as fish oil supplements for their anti-oxidant effects.

Probiotics such as Forti Flora may also be helpful to boost the immune system.

There are a number of spices shown to have anti-neoplastic activity that may help . Garlic --Try FRESH minced garlic - about 1 clove per 40 pounds of body weight but be very careful about the dose since garlic can be toxic in high doses.

Garlic may oxidize red blood cells and at high doses can lead to clinically significant anemia, but the benefits, and the fact that the taste can sometimes stimulate appetite, make use of this herb something to consider. A cbc (complete blood count) should be monitored regularly to curtail potential problems before they become serious.

Turmeric, the yellow (and rather mild) spice that gives curry its yellow color, is a strong antioxidant. Turmeric is rather milder tasting than one would expect. Most dogs accept it readily. The dose of turmeric is high, up to one tablespoon daily for large dogs.

Massage and acupuncture may even help; at least Scout will feel better after a treatment....most dogs do.

Please keep me posted if you have a chance. I hope she will be one of the lucky ones who respond well.

Deb

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
She already has some signs of anemia and high red blood count. She also has protein in her urine. So they watching that as well. I will ask the vet about the diet and supplements I'm so happy she feels better but I know she can't be cured and its not forever. I just want her to have quality of life. I'm worried about when she stops the chemo she s going to go right back to her sick ways. I have a son at college. He is just hitting his stride , happy and doing well. I don't want to call him home to say good bye to his dog. I'm trying to do my best to keep her happy healthy thank you for ur help if u can think of anything else or what ur thought r about the enemia the red blood cell and the protein in her urine
Julie
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian replied 5 years ago
Julie:
I'm not sure what you mean by "some signs of anemia" especially since the red blood cell count is high; usually it's low with anemia.
But anemia could be secondary to chronic disease or could possibly reflect bone marrow changes. I don't really have enough information to specifically comment on this condition as it relates to Scout. And, many dogs have small amounts of protein in their urine; I don't get too excited about it if they are concentrating well but much also depends on the degree of the protein that his present.
I definitely wouldn't give her garlic, though, since I wouldn't want to run the risk of causing harm.
As for the diets, I am somewhat uncomfortable when owners use the ones printed on the internet because they usually are not particularly balanced but I'll be curious to know what your oncologist thinks about N/D. I've had several owners use it but in all honesty, I really don't know if it made a difference.
I understand about your desire to provide a good quality of life for her. That really is the priority and well as your son's emotional comfort level. And, at least for now, it sounds as if she is holding her own and doing well...which is a very good thing:)

I will be off my computer for a little while; I'm one of the many people affected by Nemo and I have quite a bit of shoveling to do so the dogs can get outside.
I'll check back in, though, later to see if you have more quesitons or comments. Deb
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
I'm sorry I did mean low red blood count. I'll ask the oncologist about supplements and N/D she does back on Tuesday. I,ll check in then. We got hit by the same storm. A lot of shoveling here to. They did mention that if the enima gets worst a blood transfusion is an option. Like I said I want her with us but I'm only going to put her through so much. And her energy is great so I'm going with that
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian replied 5 years ago
Julie:
Yes, a LOT of shoveling to be done!!!!
I agree with your position that as much as you love her, there are limits to what you will put her through. I know this is a very individualized decision but this is how I approach my dogs as well. To me, quality trumps quantity any day and I treasure every day that they are with me. The time might be shorter when they have a life-threatening illness, but I know they enjoyed each and every minute of it.

I'll await your follow up updates after your Tuesday appointment then. Deb
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Hey Dr Deb
Here is the latest Scout update. She started her treatment today. They were suppose to start Tuesday. Saw another Dr in the practiwe. She heard a heart murmur. Wanted an Eco cardio gram. Because the chemo treatment we r doing is 5 treatments every 3 weeks that type can be a little harsh on the heart. Also she is taking oral chemo between treatments So they did that and the murmur was due to the anemia. I could have done a weekly treatment for 6 months and every three weeks for another 6 months. It just seemed like a lot on Scout not to mention financially she s in great spirits and she s eating. Hope she continues to fell good after this first round. Like I said I want her to have great quality of life if she doesn't, do well I know what I'm going to have to do I just hope I have the strength
to make the right decision
Thanks
Julie
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian replied 5 years ago
Julie:
It sounds to me that things are going reasonably well, under the circumstances, despite the set back with the murmur.
But is also sounds like she's going into chemo with a good attitude, if that makes sense, which is important.
But, one day at a time, as they say. You will always have Scout's best interests at heart and I know you'll always do what is best for her, no matter how hard.

Thanks for the continued updates; I appreciate them:) Give her my best and my continued good wishes. Deb
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