nubonics

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Curly Update: Lymphoma Treatment Advice

It's been a while since I last posted on here. It's mainly because things have been going well with Curly, but as of Friday that quickly changed.

On Sunday the 21st, Curly had an upset stomach and was vomiting plus had bloody diarrhea. It didn't clear up by Monday, so we took him to the vet. He was otherwise behaving fine. The vet noticed that his lymph nodes under his neck were larger than normal and recommended having them checked out. He was just at the vet last month and the vet mentioned she would have noticed if his lymph nodes were enlarged then and would have informed us (i.e. the enlarged lymph nodes occured within a month).

We heard back on Friday that the lab suspects he has Lymphoma. A second test (PARR) is in process now to figure out which Lymphoma he has and how aggressive it is. Curly is still acting like himself and his stomach issues cleared up (We thought he got into the Miracle Grow. The vet said it could be that or the lymphoma)

Sadly, we said goodbye to another one of our dogs 7 months ago due to complications with Cushing's Disease, so all of this is a very trying time for us. To make matters even more strained, my husband (who Curly picked as his owner) is currently stationed elsewhere for the next 3 years. My husband, fortunately, is able to come back this weekend to go to the specialist appt with me.

Over the past few days, I've been doing online research about the disease and I'm currently weighing my decision on chemo or no chemo. Even though, I believe we caught this early, I am trying to figure out if it is a selfish decision to have Curly go through Chemo. I understand that there are typically minimal side effects with canines and chemo (definitely not the same as with humans). However, when our other dog passed away 7 months, it was very traumatizing and, if we had a crystal ball, we would have not put him through 3 surgeries prior to his passing.

Does anyone have any experience here with Lymphoma and chemo? Would you do it again?

Curly will be 6 years old on July 7th. For those who are unaware: average life expectancy without chemo is 1-3 months, with is 6-16 months

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NicosMom

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Curly is beautiful. What a difficult decision.. and he's only 6 years old. Personally, I would not do chemo.
 
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nubonics

nubonics

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Curly is beautiful. What a difficult decision.. and he's only 6 years old. Personally, I would not do chemo.
Thank you for the compliment. Curly definitely is a looker, in my humble opinion :)

I do know from experience that chemo has minimal side effects on dogs but I do not have experience with Lymphoma and chemo. With the life expectancy and cost factors, it's definitely a tough decision. What I don't want to happen is, if we do chemo and when the cancer does come back (because it will), the cancer to be worse and more aggressive than it is now.

Not sure if anyone here has experienced the full life cycle of lymphoma, chemo and lymphoma again to weigh in their opinion.

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Annie1991

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My corgi, Lilly developed lymphoma within 1 month and it spread so quickly that the vet said to let her be. She passed 6 weeks later. Mickey - my EB, developed cancer within 1 month as well and it spread to his leg and he passed within 2 weeks. Lilly was 4 and Mickey we think was around 12. Missy my mix has Cushings, which developed within 1 month as well. It seems with our babies anything can spread so quickly that it takes you by surprise. I loved them as much as possible and held them as they passed. Now, to your question about chemo - I would not myself do it, but you follow your heart and do what you feel is best for your baby.
 
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nubonics

nubonics

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My corgi, Lilly developed lymphoma within 1 month and it spread so quickly that the vet said to let her be. She passed 6 weeks later. Mickey - my EB, developed cancer within 1 month as well and it spread to his leg and he passed within 2 weeks. Lilly was 4 and Mickey we think was around 12. Missy my mix has Cushings, which developed within 1 month as well. It seems with our babies anything can spread so quickly that it takes you by surprise. I loved them as much as possible and held them as they passed. Now, to your question about chemo - I would not myself do it, but you follow your heart and do what you feel is best for your baby.
Thank you for sharing your experience. It's definitely a tough decision.

Do you recall if the Lymphoma was B or T?

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nubonics

nubonics

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My corgi, Lilly developed lymphoma within 1 month and it spread so quickly that the vet said to let her be. She passed 6 weeks later. Mickey - my EB, developed cancer within 1 month as well and it spread to his leg and he passed within 2 weeks. Lilly was 4 and Mickey we think was around 12. Missy my mix has Cushings, which developed within 1 month as well. It seems with our babies anything can spread so quickly that it takes you by surprise. I loved them as much as possible and held them as they passed. Now, to your question about chemo - I would not myself do it, but you follow your heart and do what you feel is best for your baby.
BTW, my French bulldog passed away from surgery complications due to his Cushing disease. He had developed Cushing's when he was 7 and passed at 9. Though we had him tested for Cushing's twice, the disease wasn't confirmed until he passed.

Since he was never on meds for Cushing's, one of the things our vet praised us was for giving him a fish oil pill a day as it helped subside inflammation.

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helsonwheels

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Thank you for the compliment. Curly definitely is a looker, in my humble opinion :)

I do know from experience that chemo has minimal side effects on dogs but I do not have experience with Lymphoma and chemo. With the life expectancy and cost factors, it's definitely a tough decision. What I don't want to happen is, if we do chemo and when the cancer does come back (because it will), the cancer to be worse and more aggressive than it is now.

Not sure if anyone here has experienced the full life cycle of lymphoma, chemo and lymphoma again to weigh in their opinion.

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Tough decision but I personally wouldn’t go with chemo. I would go with CBD oil n frankincense oil. But that’s me. Chemo on dog’s does not have the same effect as humans. Easier on dogs. But still, to my eyes still very harsh chemicals.
 

oscarmayer

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Three things to consider...
1. Quality of Life during and after chemo. The one dog(Myra) I treated with chemo for mammary cancer did just fine and she lived for an additional 3 years and passed at 9+. Myra died from complications unrelated to the cancer. IOW, she was cured by the chemo. During the chemo she showed no side effects whatsoever. However, be advised that chemo is delivered based on bloodwork, and not how the patient might feel. Quality of life can get pretty bad for some patients.

2. Cost. How much can one afford and how much will the chemo extend the life of the patient. This is a crap shoot. IMO, 6-16 months is worth a few thousand in treatment. I simply cannot justify(afford) more $ than that. Others cannot afford even that...still others will break the bank for a single day.

3. Extended Lifespan. How much life can be expected is a major factor and should be considered with #1 in mind. Curly is young and otherwise healthy. His diagnosis was rather accidental...caught early as a result I'm thinking. Most dogs in the 6-16 month range are diagnosed after becoming symptomatic...ie, not early. I would expect Curly to be on the favorable end of the "6-16".
I try NEVER to give people false hope and do not think I'm doing that here. Based on what little experience I have with chemo and what you've described here and considering cost, IMO, chemo should be considered.
 
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nubonics

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@oscarmayer

Thank you for your input! I do agree that we did strangely luck out with the timing of the diagnosis. We are still waiting to hear back if it is B or T cell Lymphoma, but if it is the B cell, I'm really leaning towards treatment.

Curly had blood work done during our initial visit to rule out a few things with the gastro issues he was having and all the blood work came back normal, so assuming that the lymphoma is B-cell, he is probably a good candidate.

As far as the cost concern, my husband and I talked about that a bit. We are putting a more bit weight on the quality of life vs cost at this stage. Long story short on my dog that passed away in September - we spent an astronomical amount of money on surgeries because the confidence level of the surgeries succeeding were very high. Even looking back at that moment, I don't care about the money but the fact that we did everything in our power to make him get better but his body just wouldn't heal is what helped me get through that tough time. I do not regret a single dollar I spent but I do regret that he was in a lot of pain before he passed.
 
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nubonics

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[MENTION=15310]helsonwheels[/MENTION] Living in beautiful Colorado has allowed us access easy access to medical grade CBD, which Curly has been on for about 2 years to treat some of his possession aggression (he gets toy aggressive and sometimes if people are over, he will get aggressive towards the other dogs if he doesn't get attention). I know there are theories that CBD/essential oils slows the progress of cancer but there are not enough research/studies to support those findings (I'm really into research because I have been working in pharma market research for 11+ years) .

He has been an otherwise healthy dog, aside from some seasonal skin allergies - every time the vet saw him, she always said that we lucked out with a very healthy EB.

I'm more or less wondering about the after Chemo - when the lymphoma comes back is it worse?
 

Cbrugs

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Re: Curly Update: Lymphoma Treatment Advice

So sorry to hear this. There is a recent thread on here about chemo if you do a search. [MENTION=11639]rjisaterp[/MENTION] is doing chemo now on Jewel.


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nubonics

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Re: Curly Update: Lymphoma Treatment Advice

[MENTION=16619]Cbrugs[/MENTION] I did see that thread (I did a massive search before posting my question [emoji6])

My husband and I did have the wonderful opportunity to meet [MENTION=11639]rjisaterp[/MENTION] in person a few years back. I was very sadden to hear about Jewels

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rjisaterp

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Re: Curly Update: Lymphoma Treatment Advice

Hi Nu, Stu, and my man Curly. Sorry to hear about Curly. Jewel has been on chemo for almost a week and is tolerating g the treatment. Her appetite is good and she still chases the kitty cats. However she sleeps a little more. I will post an update after the oncology visit in a couple of weeks.

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nubonics

nubonics

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Re: Curly Update: Lymphoma Treatment Advice

Hi Nu, Stu, and my man Curly. Sorry to hear about Curly. Jewel has been on chemo for almost a week and is tolerating g the treatment. Her appetite is good and she still chases the kitty cats. However she sleeps a little more. I will post an update after the oncology visit in a couple of weeks.

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Hi Roger,

I'm sorry to hear about Jewel but it's good to hear that the treatment seems to be going well so far. I'm going to be following you like a hawk for updates!

Stu is stationed in Los Angeles now, I decided to stay back in Colorado because the dogs are thriving on the mountain. Stu only has 3 more years until retirement, we can't wait.

Many prayers for your family, you and jewel!

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Annie1991

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BTW, my French bulldog passed away from surgery complications due to his Cushing disease. He had developed Cushing's when he was 7 and passed at 9. Though we had him tested for Cushing's twice, the disease wasn't confirmed until he passed.

Since he was never on meds for Cushing's, one of the things our vet praised us was for giving him a fish oil pill a day as it helped subside inflammation.

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Right now Missy is on heart medicine for an enlarged heart - this has also happened this last month. Her last blood work showed the liver numbers as good, but her little tummy is huge. She has more energy when I do not give her the liver medicine - go figure. Originally she is 5-7 pounds - right now she is 10 pounds. She tries to jump up on the back of the couch, but she isn't able to because of her tummy, so she looks at me to say "okay mom - need a boost here". She and Punk are both 10.
 

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