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ushope777
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2 December 2012 - 9:25pm

Considering Chemo...........

12 replies • Last post

................for Otis.

I have been doing a ton of research,and everything I read says chemo is not as hard on dogs as it is on human. For one thing, they give MUCH lower doses in comparison to that would be given to a human. Few dogs get nausea and/or diarhea and this can be controlled through meds. The only side effect I worry about is possible lethargy, but I read where one owner could not even tell her dog was on chemo.

The type of chemo he would be given would be one pill, every three days at home. He would then need check ups at two, four, and six weeks, then every four to six weeks after that, for IDK how long.

I will write a much longer post and give you all the report from the oncology appointment Otis attended on Thursday. I have been trying to wrap my head around all this. Most difficult decision I ever had to make.

Without chemo, with the surgery ONLY:
90%of dogs were alive at six months
and
60% were alive at one year.

This type of cancer is very invasive and fast-growing and it was impossible to get it all, due to the "narrow margins" they had to take it with, due to the sensitive area.

I will update with further details soon, but I am so exhausted today. Thank you to everyone who visited and comments on www.dccfund.org They could not believe how many comments Otis received. I told them he is very "pupular." lol

Has anyone here had experience with or known anyone who had a dog go through chemo? I am trying to read scientific research AND personal accounts, both, to figure out what to do. The prescription is in my purse, and we have to make a decision very soon.

Thank you for all your support, my CL friends! Smile

Hope777

Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of the things, and no good thing ever dies.
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ushope777
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2 December 2012 - 9:31pm
#1

I have been researching all day, and the tears finally came. I was researching and everything just hit me, and I was reading through the tears. For someone who usually cannot cry, even when I want to, it actually felt good.

Going to go walk my baby now, and see if we can find some puppy friends and/or squirrels out there. Smile

Hope777

Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of the things, and no good thing ever dies.
Shawshank Redemption

usLuckyMe
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4 December 2012 - 11:32am
#2

I do not know of anyone who has done this with their pet. I know it's a difficult choice.

usUbetcha
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5 December 2012 - 7:23pm
#3

This is the greatest challenge Hope777 that you can handle with love and compassion. Let there be a miracle for Otis.. Red Rose

Y'all take care.. =^. .^=

ushope777
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5 December 2012 - 7:34pm
#4
Ubetcha wrote:

This is the greatest challenge Hope777 that you can handle with love and compassion. Let there be miracle for Otis.. Red Rose

Thank you, Ubetcha. This is heart wrenching. I talked to someone last night who had to put his dog down, and he said they are just like our children. I know some do not believe that about animals, but I am one who gets so attached. Smile

Hope777

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auCL-Ed
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7 December 2012 - 12:40pm
#5

Geez-us H Christ on a motorbike... you win the scariest thread title of the year award. I thought you had cancer when I first read it before I realised its probably Otis you're referring to.

What are the success rates like for the chemo treatment?

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ushope777
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7 December 2012 - 3:36pm
#6
CL-Ed wrote:

Geez-us H Christ on a motorbike... you win the scariest thread title of the year award. I thought you had cancer when I first read it before I realised its probably Otis you're referring to.

What are the success rates like for the chemo treatment?

Oh, dear. I am so sorry, CL-Ed! I didn't mean to scare you, but your first sentence did make me LOL! Sounds like something my brother would have said, lol.

Anyway, with just surgery, I posted the prognosis in my first message, but with chemo the MEDIAN survival is 2.5 years, so considering Oti's age, he could definitely have a few more summers with quality of life. If the chemo affects his quality of life in any way (excessively sleepy, reduced appetite, low white blood cell count, etc.) we will stop.

What I am most impressed about is the place we decided to go. We had two choices: The University of Minnesota or Blue Pearl (emergency vet and oncology), and even though we were happy with his back surgery at the UofM, we decided to go to Blue Pearl, and this place is the BEST!

They have answered all our questions, and they even have oncologists on call 24/7, including all week ends and holidays, which is so rare. The entire place is carpeted, even the examination rooms, which I have never seen at a vet office before. The place is beautiful, and more the techs and Otis' oncologist are just wonderful, helpful people.

Again, I am sorry for the scare. I figure if any animal can get through this it is Otis. All are individual, but some show no symptoms at all. It is all coming down to quality of life, and believe me, I am more than afraid to give him that first pill, but I have to keep thinking positive. We were going to start today, but due to some red tape, we will be starting him with his first dose on Monday, so keep Otis in your thoughts, everyone.

Hope777

Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of the things, and no good thing ever dies.
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catobleroos
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11 December 2012 - 7:00pm
#7

Is Otis the dog in your avatar pic?

Total cutie. Can you post some more pix of him?

Good luck with the treatment

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ushope777
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11 December 2012 - 8:19pm
#8
tobleroos wrote:

Is Otis the dog in your avatar pic?

Total cutie. Can you post some more pix of him?

Good luck with the treatment

Hi tobeloroos and welcome! I can sure post some more pics of him. Give me a day or two, and I will try to upload a few more pictures. Thanks for the compliment. He sure brings us a ton of JOY! Smile

Hope777

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ushope777
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24 December 2012 - 4:25pm
#9

I just thought I would post a little update on Otis, since I haven't done so for a while. I have to remember to share GOOD news, not just the sad news.

Otis took his fourth chemo treatment on Saturday. He has had absolutely NO side effects so far (and every time I say this, I also say KNOCK ON WOOD!). He has shown NO ill effects from the cancer or the chemo. After recovering in one short week from his surgery, he has been acting just as he was before the surgery.

He has been very playful lately, and he is really looking forward to Santy Paws coming tonight. He is SO sweet and good. He was allowed to open an early present the other day, because a friend sent it home with me. After he opened it, he eyed up the gifts under the tree, kept glancing over there, but he did not even walk toward them or hint that he wanted to open another present, and we all know he wanted to do so! lol!

He was a little naughty the other night. I left the garbage out by the sink, not knowing youngest son was going somewhere, and I went to have a holiday dinner with my dear friends. When I returned home, the trash was torn up, and it looked as if someone vandalized my kitchen. He feels well enough to have a naughty streak now and again.

Santa got him the cutest little toy. It is a Christmas bear, very soft and fuzzy, and on one side it says, "I've been naughty," and on the other side it says, "I've been nice." lol He will open that, along with other gifts, at my brother's house tonight. Otis LOVES opening his own gifts, and there will be more when we return home (the problem is, he thinks they are ALL his, and he wants to help us unwrap ours, too, lol).

Otis will go for his first post chemo oncology appointment on Thursday to make sure his blood levels are fine (white blood cell count) and he will repeat the chest X-ray. The X-ray is what I am most worried about.

Anyway, we are slowly paying back our angel for the surgery, and the DCCFund still has funds for us for the follow-up appointments and more chemo-med refills.

We are SoO grateful to have him with us for another holiday and new year.

Hope777

Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of the things, and no good thing ever dies.
Shawshank Redemption

ushope777
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27 December 2012 - 8:41pm
#10

Reporting on Oti's latest oncology check up today.

Otis has shown absolutely NO side effects from the chemo. His blood test came out fine, his white blood cell count remains normal, and best of all, what the oncologist thought he saw in the lung he now believes it to be a blood vessel and NOT a mass! We are celebrating like crazy, The oncologist and staff at Blue Pearl are amazing.

While we were waiting we saw a Beagle with a cast on its little leg and a Greyhound who had only three legs, but you could tell its owners were very loving and the dog was walking around and acting happy. The amazing spirits and resilience of our pets is just absolutely amazing to me.

Instead of two weeks the oncologist said we don't have to return for four more weeks if all goes well, because Otis is doing so great! My little survivor is so amazing to all of us. We are truly blessed! Smile

Hope777

Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of the things, and no good thing ever dies.
Shawshank Redemption

auCL-Ed
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3 January 2013 - 3:10am
#11

Great to hear hope. Fingers crossed for Otis, lets hope you have a few more Christmas days with him.

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ushope777
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3 January 2013 - 3:15am
#12
CL-Ed wrote:

Great to hear hope. Fingers crossed for Otis, lets hope you have a few more Christmas days with him.

Thank you, CL-Ed! We feel the same exact way. We are cherishing each moment we have with Otis where he has the highest quality of life. We are so grateful for so much and especially the outcome of all this, after such gut wrenching decisions we have had to make throughout this long process. I am already looking forward to spring and summer and long walks and days at the lake with Otis, too. Smile He is so amazing.

Hope777

Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of the things, and no good thing ever dies.
Shawshank Redemption

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