We got very bad news about Vincenzo

Here is where we can discuss canine cancers and treatment options to create a support system for those dealing with the disease.

Postby HappyChick » July 25th, 2009, 8:14 pm

Hi Everyone,
I haven't posted here in quite awhile, but I've lurked around a bit and still use this forum as a good source of information. Well today I decided I need to ask for advice. Vinny has cancer. He just turned 4 years old on July 22 and we found a mass in his chest yesterday. The Vet believes it's Lymphoma. We are absolutely devastated by this news. He has lost so much weight so fast and the last full meal he ate was last Sunday. I looked at a couple of threads that gave me some hope. We've pretty much decided to start Prednisone for his kidneys which are in distress and Chemo once we get a definitive diagnosis. Dr. Blakeley said Chemo will only buy him some time and if it goes into remission we don't know how long that will last. She mentioned a year. What have you all experienced in similar situations? Generally, what side effects do you see with the Chemo? Any suggestions on foods he might be persuaded to eat? I guess I'm really looking for some hope here, no guarantees of course, but I can't stop crying and I feel pretty hopeless right now. Insight would be very much appreciated. Thank you.
Angie & crew

http://www.epitome-dog-rescue.org

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » July 25th, 2009, 8:23 pm

I have no insight, but wanted to offer you my condolences and a hug. :hug3:

I'll keep my fingers crossed for Vincenzo.
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Postby katiek0417 » July 25th, 2009, 8:26 pm

I have nothing to offer either. However, I, too, would like to offer my best wishes...
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Postby madremissy » July 25th, 2009, 8:40 pm

:hug3:
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Postby cheekymunkee » July 25th, 2009, 8:41 pm

I am so sorry. I have no experience either but there are some members here who do. Best of luck to you both
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Postby TheRedQueen » July 25th, 2009, 8:43 pm

:hug3: :sad2:
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Postby Pit♥bull » July 25th, 2009, 8:59 pm

Vinny....Good thoughts coming your way from EVERYONE. :)
:goodthoughts: :goodthoughts: :goodthoughts: :goodthoughts:
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Postby hugapitbull » July 25th, 2009, 9:11 pm

Our cancer experience is with osteosarcoma, so I'm not sure how much the info I have will inter-relate. Trouble had 5 rounds of chemo. She had very few side effects - some nausea for the first 6 - 12 hours and really tired for a day or so, but nothing major - if it had been major we would not have continued.

Not sure location wise what options you have for treatment. Our closest specialty center was 2 hours and the the closest veterinary school is 3 hours. Our vet agreed to consult with the vet school staff and give the chemo here. If you have the option of great care close, by all means take it. I didn't want to see a sick older dog have to make a 4 - 6 hour round trip for treatment and then be that far away if there were complications.

The thing I learned that helped us the most was live one day at a time and make each decision you are faced with based on what is best for Vincenzo. The other thing I learned from a great group of folks is there are no wrong choices. Some folks wouldn't make the same decision as you, but they don't have your set of circumstances.

I certainly understand how you are feeling right now. Hang in there, there are lots of great folks here who will gladly stand behind you. I am so sorry you have to face this and have my fingers crossed that all will be well for you and Vincenzo.
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Postby plebayo » July 25th, 2009, 9:16 pm

Treat it. That is of course, if you have the means to, and Vinny is doing well otherwise right now.

We had a 4 year old Australian Shepherd Diagnosed with Lymphoma, I don't know that it is/was in his chest, but he is 8 years old now. He was in remission for the past 3.5 years, the cancer came back, another round of chemo and it seemed to go back into remission, then his lymph nodes became swollen again, a course of prednisone took the swelling down however it really messes him up mentally/physically, they went to an oncologist and it sounds like he will be getting some kind of chemo treatment every 3 weeks for the rest of his life, however long that may be. He's done fabulous. The chemo has made him ill in the past, requiring fluids and anti-vomiting medication, but he has done really well.

I know I read on a pet memorial site, someone treated their dog with prednisone only for his lymphoma and got 9mos out of the treatment.

If his breathing is holding out okay, I would seek treatment. There are tons of drugs out there to help with appetite, there is pain medication of the dog is painful, and there is tons of good protocol for chemo. Lymphoma is the most treatable cancer in dogs. I guess... for me given his age, I would give it a shot. Even if it only bought you a little more time, a little more time is something. I am so sorry you have to go through this, especially because your boy is so young.
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Postby Patch O' Pits » July 25th, 2009, 9:41 pm

Hugs and prayers!
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Postby HappyChick » July 25th, 2009, 9:59 pm

**Thank you so much everyone for the goods thoughts, kind words, and hugs.**

Hugapitbull - Luckily, our Vet is able and experienced with Chemo so he would receive treatments here, just 4 blocks from our house. Thank you for letting me know there are no wrong choices. We've sure had to make a lot of choices already. I hope Trouble is still doing well.

Plebayo - I'm so glad to read that your 4 year old dog had 3.5 years of remission. That definitely gives me hope. What was his quality of life while in remission? It was rather strange that none of Vinny's outer lymph glands seem to be swollen, just the ones in his chest, but we don't know 100% yet that it's Lymphoma. Vin's breathing is doing fine at the moment, but that is because Dr. Blakeley drained over 2 liters of fluid out of his lungs yesterday and about 1/3 of that much today, part of today's was some she knew she didn't get yesterday. I hope your boy will be o.k.
Angie & crew

http://www.epitome-dog-rescue.org

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby Malli » July 26th, 2009, 1:08 am

Cancer is an awful disease, I too offer my good thoughts and sympathies.
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Postby pocketpit » July 26th, 2009, 1:29 pm

The only thing universal and consisent with cancer is that it SUCKS!

Every patient and type of cancer is different so your experience could be very different from anyone else's. My dog Brooks was diagnosed with Lymphoma and crashed super quickly. I opted for chemo and had 14 wonderful more months with her. She had almost no side effects (other than her whiskers fell out) and felt so good that she was still instigating fights with the other dogs in the household. I never once had to hospitalize her for vomiting or diarrhea nor did I have to treat her at home for it.
I urge anyone who's able to pursue chemo to at least give it a try. You can always opt to stop it if you feel your dog is not being helped. In the end what it all boils down to is quality of life, not necessarily quantity.

My household will be thinking good thoughts for you and Vincenzo :groupHug:
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Postby plebayo » July 26th, 2009, 5:46 pm

Plebayo - I'm so glad to read that your 4 year old dog had 3.5 years of remission. That definitely gives me hope. What was his quality of life while in remission? It was rather strange that none of Vinny's outer lymph glands seem to be swollen, just the ones in his chest, but we don't know 100% yet that it's Lymphoma. Vin's breathing is doing fine at the moment, but that is because Dr. Blakeley drained over 2 liters of fluid out of his lungs yesterday and about 1/3 of that much today, part of today's was some she knew she didn't get yesterday. I hope your boy will be o.k.


Oh with the way I worded it it sounded like he's mine. Hogan belongs to a friend of mine who is also a client at the clinic I work at. Hogan is doing and has been doing really well. With the chemo his coat thinned out quite a bit but when he was in remission he did amazingly, he was never ill, he was able to go back to doggy daycare and maintain life normally. His hair coat grew back in and he acted like he'd never had a problem. When he was doing his chemo he definitely had some good and bad days, on bad days he would be pukey/wouldn't eat and would often come in for some anti-vomiting medication and sub-q fluids. I should add as well when Hogan started treatment I think the prognosis was 9 months or something ridiculous. He's gone well past that which I think shows chemo is worth a try.

I have to second what pocketpit said:
I urge anyone who's able to pursue chemo to at least give it a try. You can always opt to stop it if you feel your dog is not being helped. In the end what it all boils down to is quality of life, not necessarily quantity.


My thoughts are with you, you'll have to keep up updated on what happens/what is decided. :hug3:
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Postby LMM » July 26th, 2009, 8:21 pm

I am so sorry, you have my best wishes *hugs*
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Postby Jenn » July 26th, 2009, 9:22 pm

I'm so sorry :hug3:
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Postby kera09 » July 26th, 2009, 11:28 pm

im so sorry!!!! good thoughts coming from our home!
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Postby CinderDee » July 26th, 2009, 11:59 pm

I'm so sorry to hear about Vinny. :hug3: Lymphoma is not a death sentence and as someone else said, it's one of the better cancers to have as it responds well to treatment.

My boy was diagnosed with Lymphoma in Aug of 2007, had chemo and went into remission until just recently. If I had it to do again I wouldn't change a thing. I've gotten a lot more quality time with Kato and I couldn't be more grateful.
Kato had a tougher time with chemo than some of the other dogs on the forum, but it really wasn't too bad. He had to take meds for nausea and went in once for fluids. All in all he went through the chemo fairly well. He did lose his whiskers and eyelashes and his coat thinned about but that's about it.

My understanding is that carbs feed cancer cells so I would try to either feed raw or one of the grain free foods. I know a lot of people feed Evo, but Kato couldn't tolerate it. He's eating Natural Balance venison and sweet potatoes now and loves it.
I have a recipe for a great powder for his immune system and cancer. If Vinny does have Lymphoma I'd be happy to share it with you.

There are a couple of good Yahoo groups for support. One is canine cancer and the other is lymphoma heart dogs. If he has kidney problems there's also a really good kidney group as well.
Here are the links:
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/K9KidneyDiet/
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/CanineCancer/
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/LymphomaHeartDogs/
I would suggest trying Lymphoma Heart Dogs first so you don't get overwhelmed by all the info.

If you have any questions please feel free to PM me. I know how you're feeling. I felt like my world was falling apart when Kato was diagnosed. There is definitely hope!

Hang in there! I'm keeping you both in my thoughts.

Dee & Kato
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Postby HappyChick » July 27th, 2009, 10:57 am

Dee - Thank you so much for your post! I will check out the links and food suggestions right away. I hope Kato continues to do well.


Vinny is still breathing well and started eating Saturday night. He just eats a little at a time, but I offer him food at frequent intervals. The prednisone seems to be working. After two days of crying about the cancer, I decided (a big part of it is thanks to you all) to stop crying and start fighting. I made him the recipe I found here through Marinepits sticky Integrative Treatment of Canine Cancers and plan to look for supplements today to help Vin's body fight. It's kinda ironic that I was diagnosed with Hasimoto's Thyroiditis and Adrenal fatigue the same week that Vinny got sick because he and I will be on similar diets and supplements! We will both be using a combination of Eastern and Western medicine. I cannot stress enough how much you folks on this forum have helped my state of mind. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Angie & crew

http://www.epitome-dog-rescue.org

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby amazincc » July 27th, 2009, 1:56 pm

I am, too, very sorry to hear about Vinny... :sad2:

If you do a search in the Canine Cancer section under my screen name you can read about Micks battle w/lymphoma.

I still can't bring myself to talk about it much since he passed, but I'll be glad to answer any questions you may have via PM.

Sending nothing but the very best thoughts in your direction... :hug3:
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