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 28th, 2009, 11:52 pm

call2arms wrote:What kind of sample was sent to the lab for diagnosis?


She pulled and spun off a sample from the fluid out of his lungs that she got Saturday. The tumor is up between his lungs and she wasn't sure she could dig down into it with a needle. Remember, Vin has a BIG chest and I think in between his lungs is probably a tricky place to get into. We are hoping the lung fluid will be good enough for a diagnosis. The cells were sent off to the U of I.

And not "any vet tech" should manipulate cancer treatment drugs... This stuff is cytotoxic, at least some of it is, in a direct way, and can really be dangerous to handle without care... Some injectable drugs can cause a lot of damage if administered improperly, it's serious business!


There will not be a vet tech doing this. Dr. Blakeley will do it. She really is very hands on and very caring. She is kinda emotionally involved too because she likes Vinny so much. Every single person who works there knows and thinks the world of my Big Boi. He is so stinkin' sweet nobody can resist loving him!

I don't know what chemo drug will be used, but I'll find out and let you all know.
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 CinderDee » July 29th, 2009, 6:17 am

HappyChick wrote:
CinderDee wrote:I used a woman who specializes in canine cancer for help with supplements, homeopathic remedies & food.


Does she have a website? :mrgreen:


Not any more. She stopped working about 6 months ago. :( I can PM you all the ingredients in the powder and where to get them if you like.
I still use the powder in Kate's food 2x per day.

Christine, was it Elspar? I can't remember either. :? (I have a horrible memory these days)

I don't know if you saw the link to Kato's blog. It might make it less scary for you. The posts are pretty short. It just talks about how the treatment affected him, etc.
http://www.katobuzz.blogspot.com/

I'm sure I've forgotten a million things. lol Don't forget you can PM me any time. :hug3:

Give Vincenzo hugs and kisses from us!
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Postby HappyChick » July 29th, 2009, 3:19 pm

Christine, here are the pictures you asked for. I'm posting before and current pictures so you can get a better idea of his normal build and his weight loss because of this sickness. He was actually even a little thinner last weekend than in the pictures I took last night. Eating again has definitely helped. I also hope I can post pictures in the future of a once again healthy Vinny :)

Before:
Image
Image
Image

Last night:
Image
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And a couple of months ago with his "brother" Reno:
Image

Angie and Vinny
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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 29th, 2009, 3:21 pm

He is SUCH a handsome, handsome boy!!! :ogen: :heartbeat:
LOVE the smile... and, of course, you are required *almost by law* to post pics on a regular basis. :|

Any news about his diagnosis?
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » July 29th, 2009, 3:59 pm

He's darling! Vincenzo is the perfect name for him!
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Postby HappyChick » July 29th, 2009, 4:27 pm

Thank you! Nothing on the diagnosis yet. I had a voicemail this morning from Dr B. She got the results of the Leptospirosis titers. I hadn't mentioned it before, but originally when I took Vinny to see her, she thought he had Lepto because of the condition his kidneys were in and other symptoms. His BUN and Creatinine were slightly in the HIGH range and his calcium was very high. She sent off blood to U of I for the Lepto test. This was all before the mass was found on Friday. Vinny spent two days and nights at the vet getting IV fluids to flush his kidneys and started on Doxycycline. He came home Thursday with Doxycycline, Benazapril, and Cerenia. Then Friday I took him back for a check, he was having a lot of difficulty breathing, and that is when she took the xray that showed the mass. We stopped the Doxy and started the Pred.

Anyhow, he tested slightly positive for three types of Lepto. - L. icterohemorrhagia, L. cannicola, and L. autumnalis. The good news is that I checked with his previous vet and the vaccine they gave him had the first two types in it so I think it is normal for him to have antibodies for them. The bad news is that the third one is not given in a vaccine so he picked it up from drinking water outside. We have gotten rid of everything we could see outside that would hold water that he might have drank from. Dr B will call when she can today and we now have to look at putting Vin back on the Doxy and something for nausea. We also need to check his kidney numbers again. I don't know for sure, but when we get the definitive diagnosis on the cancer, I'm thinking we may have to put off starting the Chemo if the kidneys aren't right. I'll talk to Dr B about that too.

Thanks,
Angie and Vinny
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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 29th, 2009, 5:31 pm

Anyhow, he tested slightly positive for three types of Lepto. - L. icterohemorrhagia, L. cannicola, and L. autumnalis. The good news is that I checked with his previous vet and the vaccine they gave him had the first two types in it so I think it is normal for him to have antibodies for them. The bad news is that the third one is not given in a vaccine so he picked it up from drinking water outside.


Ugh... I had no idea... I'm gonna go check my yard for any standing water as well. It's been raining a ton here, so... who knows what the dogs may find out there. :neutral:

Good thoughts are still coming your way... :hug3:
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Postby HappyChick » July 29th, 2009, 5:47 pm

amazincc wrote:
Anyhow, he tested slightly positive for three types of Lepto. - L. icterohemorrhagia, L. cannicola, and L. autumnalis. The good news is that I checked with his previous vet and the vaccine they gave him had the first two types in it so I think it is normal for him to have antibodies for them. The bad news is that the third one is not given in a vaccine so he picked it up from drinking water outside.


Ugh... I had no idea... I'm gonna go check my yard for any standing water as well. It's been raining a ton here, so... who knows what the dogs may find out there. :neutral:

Good thoughts are still coming your way... :hug3:


Yes! Please check your yard. It can also be found in creeks, rivers, ponds, etc. If you Google Lepto you will find out how it's carried. It has something to do with wildlife and their urine. We've had an increase in instances of it in this area because we've had so much rain. We live in a rural town so there is plenty of wildlife around.

As always, thanks for the good thoughts! We need them!
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 madremissy » July 29th, 2009, 10:41 pm

I have no experience to give you just good thoughts for you and Vinny :hug3:
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Postby plebayo » July 30th, 2009, 1:25 am

Oh man, Lepto! On top of everything else!

Vinny is freakin' adorable! He's got the sweetest face ever!
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Postby CinderDee » July 30th, 2009, 8:25 am

Vinny is very handsome! :heartbeat: Sending good thoughts to you both! :goodthoughts:
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Postby HappyChick » July 30th, 2009, 9:14 am

I have question...

Is it normal for a dog who is taking Prednisone to get shaky? I did not want to leave Vinny this morning because when I went to check on him before leaving he was laying on his side in the study (he likes to lay there when it's overcast outside because he thinks it might storm) with kinda the shakes. The shaking was intermittent and he was taking deep breaths (he seemed to be breathing normal before this). It scared me to see him like that. His morning so far was good, he was up and ready to go outside first thing, then ate some breakfast, got his Prednisone, drank some water, laid down in the living room, then later moved to the study. I'm going to be anxious all morning about getting home to him at lunch time which at best is three hours away...

and no word yet from the vet about the test results...
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 Marinepits » July 30th, 2009, 10:36 am

I would call the vet and let her know about his shakiness and breathing. There are all kinds of reasons that dogs shake -- temperature, feeling anxious/scared/excited, some shake from pain, etc -- and the Pred may/may not be contributing to it. I'm more concerned about the shaking along with the deep breathing.

Please let us know how he's doing......
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Postby HappyChick » July 30th, 2009, 11:01 am

Marinepits wrote:I would call the vet and let her know about his shakiness and breathing.


Thank you. I was thinking that too so I did call. I'm again expecting a call back. I'm also starting to wonder about this clinic because when I called this morning I found out that Dr Blakeley never got the message that I had called yesterday! I spoke with Debby, who I think kind of runs the office, and she looked into it and was the one who found out Vinny's chart had not been pulled yesterday and no message given to the Doc. She apologized all over herself, but that doesn't help Vinny any now does it? I'm trying not to be mad as I know they are extremely busy, but come on! I'm calling back there now because I realized I completely forgot to tell Debby about how Vinny was acting this morning. I will update as soon as I have news.

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 BullyLady » July 30th, 2009, 11:20 am

HappyChick wrote:Yes! Please check your yard. It can also be found in creeks, rivers, ponds, etc. If you Google Lepto you will find out how it's carried. It has something to do with wildlife and their urine. We've had an increase in instances of it in this area because we've had so much rain. We live in a rural town so there is plenty of wildlife around.


Lepto is transmitted by an infected animal (deer, raccoon, possum, bear, etc...) that is infected urinating in or around a body of water that is fairly stagnant, the Lepto then breeds in that body of water and pets catch it by drinking from that body of water. So usually only lakes and ponds are a problem, unless you usually have wild animals in your back yard (which I know many people here do!) then your dog probably won't catch it at home. Here it's only recommended that hunting dogs get the Lepto vaccine because no other pet dogs are in enough danger to warrant a vaccine with such a high occurrence of adverse reactions.

HappyChick, I haven't posted on this thread before but I have been keeping up with it and sending you and Vincenzo LOTS of good thoughts!
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Postby HappyChick » July 30th, 2009, 1:36 pm

Bullylady -Thank you for following Vinny's story and for the good thoughts! Thank you also for posting the Lepto information.

O.k. so when I got home for lunch, Vin was barking and full of pi$$ and vinegar! Yay! I was so scared of what I might find when I got here. He also did not have any accidents while he waited for me to get home. He's had trouble with "holding it" lately because he has been drinking so much water. We've been taking him out to go a lot, but there isn't much I can do about work. Vinny is resting comfortably, breathing normal, and no shakes now. I swear worrying about this dog is gonna be the death of me! AND I am STILL waiting to here from the VET!
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 Marinepits » July 30th, 2009, 1:49 pm

Glad to hear he's doing better! :clap:
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Postby Hundilein » July 30th, 2009, 2:24 pm

I'm just catching up after being gone for a few days and wanted to add my good thoughts. Please keep us posted. :hug3:
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Postby HappyChick » July 30th, 2009, 10:31 pm

Dr Blakeley called this afternoon, finally! She actually had a long talk with one of the pathologists (where the lung sample was sent) last night about Vinny's results because she was "ready to pull her hair out" over the results. No diagnosis. There were no identifiable cancer cells in the fluid sample that was sent. I'm not a medical person so I'm sure I will probably say things incorrectly especially with all the information Dr B and I discussed today. We had several options for getting a better sample. So back to the Dr we went. Big bit of good fortune today -- the fluid in Vinny's lungs is drying up quite nicely and not building up quickly like some dogs do, so she was able to locate the mass through xrays and ultrasound and get a great biopsy of the mass! Now I understand that why she didn't go ahead and biopsy the other day. Too much fluid still there to get a good look at the mass and it is really close to his heart, directly above it. Also the fluid should have had cells from the mass in it because of the proximity. She sedated him for the biopsy and used drugs that worked quickly with no ill effects. Vin was wide awake and ready to go shortly after the procedure. He is on Doxycyline again for the Lepto (better to be safe than sorry) along with the other meds I mentioned before. His lepto titers for the l.Autumnalis were 1:100 for those of you who may know about that stuff and this was just the initial blood test. So we still wait...

More good news -- his calcium was PERFECT! right in the middle of normal. Creatinine was down into high normal and BUN was still a little high.

Now, let me tell you about the Vin today. Yes, he gave me quite a scare this morning, but tonight he was like a different dog! When I picked him up after work to take him to the vet, he was fiesty! This is the Vinny that we are used to! He was very alert, much more energy, tail wagging hard enough to beat a man to the ground, and all with that big ole bully smile! I know it's probably just the pred, but now his good times are so much more precious to me.

As to Dr. Blakeley's education...she did receive her degree from the University of Illinois with an emphasis on Oncology. I would say after talking with her about it that Oncology and treating cancer are a "passion" for her. We got really lucky that I switched the dogs to her. When we were getting ready to leave, she took Vinny's face in her hands and said "I love this dog and I don't say that to many dogs". I believe she really wants what is best for him and that makes me feel better.

Thank you all once again for all the good thoughts and positive vibes sent our way!
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 30th, 2009, 10:35 pm

WOOT for a good update!!! :D

And, I must say - I'm startin' to like your vet as well. :) :dance:
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