Lymphoma Diagnosis

Hi everyone! It's been a while since I've been on the site as things have been going well with Teddy for the most part and, for some reason, I stopped getting email notifications from any ongoing discussions between members (???). Anyway, we've had a rough week. After multiple doctor's appointments trying to get to the bottom of Teddy's coughing, heavy breathing, and weird lumps that we thought at first were benign lipomas, Teddy visited a specialist and we received a lymphoma diagnosis this week. Of course, we are absolutely devastated as he is just under 7 years old, the love of our lives, and we thought we'd have him for much longer. The oncologist has recommended chemo (Wisconsin protocol) but we are really struggling with next steps. He is currently on prednisone while we decide what to do and was given elspar at the specialist visit on Monday. He doesn't do well on the pred (GI issues and lethargic) so after 3 days of full dosing I am going to half dose to taper him off it. I hate the idea of putting more chemicals into his body and really want him to have quality of life. We've been thinking about just going the holistic/natural route instead of chemo. Has anyone been through this and have advice/insight for us? Thank you so much.

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  • Jarka - how is Monty doing? Did the procedure go well?

  • Hi Jarka! How is Monty doing on his new meds? I hope he fares better on the pred than Teddy did. He's doing pretty well now though since we reduced his dose. How are his back legs doing? I can understand wanting to wait until after his oncology recheck to address the cyst, but maybe since the vet said it's a pretty easy procedure might be worth considering? I know how hard it is to see them in cones - I could barely stand it when Teddy was in a cone after being neutered. They're just so pathetic :( Luckily we were able to move the trip to the Spring so at least we have something to look forward to. I did ask/research the Tanovea, but we'd kind of already made the decision to not do anymore chemo. Wish it had been available when we started though - sounds like it's a bit easier than the CHOP protocol. Yes, we've had new puppy (Oliver) for almost 1 month now and they still aren't the best of friends. Of course, Ollie loves him and wants to play but Teddy wants nothing to do with him. It breaks my heart and I worry I made the wrong decision to bring a puppy home during Teddy's final few months. Hindsight is 20/20 though I guess. I know it will be easier to have the puppy though when Teddy finally goes. It's just all so hard. I'm glad you guys are doing well - keep me posted!

    • Yeah, I did not know Monty was sick when we got Archie puppy (just a couple of months after we lost Monty's younger brother to Hemangiosarcoma). I knew Monty loved plaing with his brother so I did not want him to be alone, so we got Archie. And a couple of months later Monty was diagnosed with Lymphoma. Had I known he was sick, I don't think we would have gotten the puppy. 

      So after talking to our oncologist again about Monty's cyst, I scheduled the removal for next Friday. The oncologist will give him a check-up the day before to make sure he is still doing well. It's still nerve wracking. But hopefully, the procedure will go well and Monty won't have to be obsessed about the bleeding wound. Still no idea why his back leg are weaker, but it might just come with the age. 

      I will keep you posted. Sending hugs to all!

  • Hi Jarka! Thank you so much for this and for reaching out. We did tell the doc initially that we didn't want to do anymore chemo so that's how he ended up on the prednisone. We ended up not going on the trip - just didn't think Teddy would be up for it. We halved the pred dose as he wasn't doing well on it at all. We are going back to the vet today for his 'quality of life' recheck. We are so torn about keeping him on the pred. He still loves car rides, the pool, and visitors, but other than that he is an eating machine, is really restless, and just isn't himself. Thinking it may be better to have the Teddy we know and love for less time than keep him on the pred. We also brough home a new puppy 2 weeks ago. Of course, Oliver loves Teddy but Teddy really wants nothing to do with him. We are trying to maintain treating Teddy like the king of the house but you know how it is with puppies - they take a lot of time/focus. It's been rough! How are you and Monty doing?

    • Oh, I did not know you got a puppy. I can totally understand Teddy's attitude toward him. We had the same happen.

      Interestingly enough, the vet just started Monty on Prednisone and Gabapentin. I've noticed a weakness in his back legs. The ortho vet did not find anything wrong with his legs or hips so we saw a neurologist on Saturday. The weakness is not as horrible that it would warranty an MRI to really figure out what's going on. So that's why he put Monty on the meds. I know he was on Prednisone for a little bit during chemo, but I really don't remember how he reacted to it. I guess we will see. His next oncology checkup isn't until middle of November. He also has a big cyst on his side that keeps rupturing, so he is basically living in a soft cone, which breaks my heart. The only way to remove it is to put him under anesthesia. I have been avoiding it for the longest time, but it really is a nuisance to him, so I'm contemplating doing the procedure. I just don't know whether I should wait until his oncology appointment or do it before. It just scares me to put him through the procedure, even if the vets say it's a pretty quick one.

      Sorry you could not go on your trip, but I do understand your concern for Teddy's well-being. What did the vet say? Did you ask about the Tanovea drug?

       

  • How did the trip go, Nicole? How is Teddy?

    I just wanted to share this with you: FDA fully approved a drug to treat Lymphoma in dogs. Here is a link to the video:

    https://youtu.be/IrRX3a10jgI

    Jarka

     

  • Really appreciate the insight and prayers, Jarka - there's something very comforting about being able to talk to someone who's been through the same thing. I'll definitely keep you posted. It is SO hard to see them slow down and be unwell. No matter how long we have with them, it's just never enough. They bring so much joy though, that's for sure. Best of luck with Monty's ortho appt - hopefully it's nothing too serious. 

  • Oh Nicole, that is so heartbreaking!!! I'm so sorry it came back so fast for Teddy. Hope he adjusts to the prednisone. I know you had the trip planned. That's hard. He might still enjoy going with you and just resting near you. 

    Monty is doing okay, I notice some weakness in his back legs. Not sure what's causing it, other than age. I just set up an appointment for him with an ortho vet. It's just so hard to see our babies slow down and get weaker. At least Monty has the age for that. Not Teddy. 

    Please, keep me posted. Sending strength and hugs!

    Jarka

  • Hi Jarka - I'm hoping you get this as I'm not sure why notifications aren't working. How is Monty? On Tuesday, we noticed some lumps under Teddy's chin and the doc confirmed yesterday that he is out of remission. We are, of course, devastated and so bummed that it's only been 6 weeks since chemo ended. He's on prednisone and she's given him a few months. Today is the 2nd day and he's very quiet. He's done pretty well on the pred in the past so I'm hoping his system adjusts. We've had a big road trip planned up north since the beginning of the year next week that we are now torn on whether to take. He loves the car, adventures, and meeting people, but just not sure he'd be up to it. We're also supposed to potentially bring home a new puppy beginning of September. This is so tough :(

  • Hi Nicole, just checking in on Teddy. Monty had his re-check yesterday and is still in remission. It's been a year since he finished the chemo regiment. Hope Teddy is feeling well.

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