Dobson
Male
Labrador Retriever
81 lbs.
Mast Cell
October 14, 2006
7 years
June 29, 2015
8.5 years
Not Sure
604 days
December 2, 2013
Dobson's public profile :
http://www.fightdogcancer.com/dogs/461-dobson-labrador-retriever-Mast%20Cell
Dobson's story

DECEMBER 2, 2013: Dobson is our 7 year old neutered male yellow Labrador Retriever. We got him as a puppy, and he has been healthy his entire life. This past summer (2013), we noticed a small sore on the skin of his throat. At first it looked like a puncture, then it seemed to heal up, then it became a lump that oozed blood a bit. We took him to our regular vet in October 2013 to have it looked at. The lump was about the size of a pea, or a little bigger. The vet X-rayed his chest and abdomen (both were clear) and on November 2, 2013, she surgically removed the lump and got good margins around it. Diagnosis was a Grade III mast cell tumor.

She referred us to a veterinary cancer center in Portland, OR. Dobson started chemo on November 20, 2013. We are going with the oncologist's recommendation of chemotherapy -- Vinblastine (IV) every 3 weeks for 6 treatments, with each treatment followed 10 days later by a course of Cytoxan and Lasix (pills). Plus a supplement powder called Onco Support sprinkled on his food. We also had an ultrasound and fine needle aspiration of his spleen and liver, which showed no sign of the cancer spreading. And we transitioned him to Blue Buffalo Wilderness salmon recipe kibble, which is higher in protein and fat than the kibble he had been on and is also grain-free. He made the switch with no problem. He has also been on Temaril-P (contains prednisone) and Benadryl for several years to address itchy ears, etc. These can also help treat his MCT cancer (diagnosed last fall).

DECEMBER 2, 2013: As of this writing, Dobson has had his first Vinblastine treatment and is finishing his first course of Cytoxan and Lasix. He became a little restless after we started the Cytoxan, with the restlessness coming mostly at night. A Thundershirt and Pepcid AC seem to help with this. He hasn't had any other issues, and no side effects from the chemo.

FEBRUARY 10, 2014. I'm glad to see the Fight Dog Cancer website back up! Dobson has been doing great. No side effects from the chemo, and no new lumps have been found. He has a couple more IV Vinblastine and oral Cytoxan treatments coming up, then we'll discuss whether to change or discontinue chemo meds. Folks might notice that I changed Dobson's profile photo. I'm not much of a photographer, and the old photo made him look skinny. The new photo shows Dobson (in the rear) with his brother Caddis (in front), wet fur from playing in their baby pool last summer.

MARCH 6, 2014. It's now 4 months since the MCT tumor was removed from the skin folds under his neck. Dobson received his 6th dose of IV Vinblastine today and will start his 6th course of Cytoxan pills 10 days from now. He's still doing well and has had no new lumps. We'll have complete bloodwork and a urinalysis done in about a week and are considering starting him on a different oral chemotherapy drug. No decision until the oncologist sees the bloodwork.

APRIL 8, 2014. Dobson's oncologist says that there have been no new MCT lumps and there's no sign of the cancer spreading, so we can say he's "in remission!" He is done with Vinblastine and Cytoxan and is now on Chlorambucil. If things go well, he'll probably be on Chlorambucil for the next year or so. Bloodwork is good. He'll have an ultrasound in May or June, which will be six months from his last ultrasound. He is feeling good and still has a normal energy level. The vet and I are very happy. :)

APRIL 22, 2014. At this writing, he's been on oral Chlorambucil once every day for two and a half weeks. No side effects as far as I can tell, and his blood work is mid-range of normal. He may even be getting stronger because he sure is pulling me along at the other end of the leash these days. (Maybe I should ask the vet if that's normal? LOL) There is a compounding pharmacy here in our local area that makes up the capsules specifically for him. I think the dose is based on his weight. So that makes me even more confident about the treatment. He is also still on Temaril-P (for itchiness and it also has prednisone in it) gabapentin (he had pain in the past from a ruptured disk), Benadryl (for itchiness allergies), Onco Support powder (cancer supplement), grain-free kibble (Blue Buffalo Wilderness) and grain-free treats. He has lost a few pounds, which was one of our goals, and now is at ideal weight. I think the weight loss may be due to switching to homemade dog treats that are smaller and probably less fat than the treats we bought at the pet store. All in all, he's doing great.

JULY 17, 2014. He's still doing great. He's still on Chlorambucil (one capsule once a day) and the other meds I mentioned in my April 22 update. No side effects as far as we can tell. He went in this week for blood work and a check-up. He has a fatty lump on one thigh but the oncologist aspirated it and it's fine. Dobson enjoyed riding to his vet appts in my Miata with the top down and splashed around in the kiddie pool when he got home. He's a happy guy.

SEPT 2, 2014: As of today, it has been 10 months since Dobson's surgery to remove the one Mast Cell Tumor that he had. He will have bloodwork and a check-up next week, and an ultrasound in November. He's still doing well on Chlorambucil.

SEPT 12, 2014: Checkup and blood work came out great. One fatty lump, which the vet aspirated and confirmed was just fat. Yay!

NOVEMBER 5, 2014: This week Dobson celebrated the one-year anniversary of the surgery that removed the Mast Cell Tumor. So far, no sign of new tumors, just that one. He has an ultrasound and biopsy of the spleen in two weeks to see if the cancer has spread. Hopefully they'll say he's still in remission. Fingers and paws crossed.

NOVEMBER 21, 2014: Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Dobson starting chemo. He is still taking a Chlorambucil capsule once a day, in addition to Benadryl twice a day, Temaril-P once a day, gabapentin for an old back injury (unrelated to cancer), and Onco Support sprinkled on his breakfast kibble. He had an ultrasound and a biopsy of the spleen yesterday, which we are now doing every six months, and an exam to check for lumps. The results of the biopsy came in today and his spleen is still clear. The veterinary oncologist says he's still in remission. No sign of new Mast Cell Tumors or spread of the disease. This is going to be a happy Thanksgiving this year!

JANUARY 22, 2015: Dobson is still going strong and still in remission. No new lumps. He had a checkup at the onco vet today, and it went well. His blood work showed that his platelet count appears to be at the low end of normal. So when he goes back in two months, they'll want to see if his platelet count has gotten lower. She said low platelets can be caused by Chlorambucil. He has been on Chlorambucil for the past 9 months. He is staying on Chlorambucil at least until we see the blood work in March.

MARCH 22, 2015: We went in for a 2-month checkup and CBC bloodwork. Dobson is anemic; his red blood cell count has dropped significantly since his last CBC 2 months ago, and his platelet count is lower, too. This could be due to long term use of Chlorambucil (the generic for Leukeran), which he has been on for nearly a year, or it could be due to MCT cancer. Looking back at my notes, I see that when we started using Chlorambucil in April 2014, the onco vet said he could take it indefinitely unless he has problems with it (such as lethargy, decreased appetite, and low blood cell counts). And she also said we might want to consider discontinuing it after 12-18 months to see if he's "in the clear", and to think about whether the risk of continuing the drug would outweigh the benefit. At this point, it looks as if he is having blood cell problems but we're not sure of the cause. So we will discontinue the Chlorambucil for 2 weeks and have his blood rechecked at that time. Then we'll discuss what to do next.

MARCH 23, 2015: I talked with the other onco vet (in the same practice) today. She said we could lower the dose of Chlorambucil but the best course is to take a break from Chlorambucil for one or two months, to give his bone marrow time to recover. While his platelets are low, the bigger concern is the drop in his red blood cell count. His iron is good, and the type of anemia he has is not due to low iron. (I didn't think to ask her the name of his type of anemia.) I asked about any recommendations for dietary changes or supplements, and she said a well-balanced diet is best and maybe a little more protein than what he's currently getting. The main thing he needs is time to recover. I'll take him in for a CBC blood count in 2 weeks and we'll see where we go after we see the results.

APRIL 4, 2015: It's two weeks since he went off Chlorambucil. We went back today for a blood receheck and exam. The bloodwork is improving re: red cells and bone marrow. So I assume the anemia is related to long-term use of Chlorambucil. His weight is good, and stable. He has a couple of lymph nodes near his jaw that are larger than on the other side, so the onco vet sent samples to the lab. She's concerned because the mast cell tumor that was removed in Nov 2013 was in the throat area and was a Grade III. When the results come back we'll make a plan for treatment. Meanwhile, I have started adding cooked turkey to his diet.

APRIL 9, 2015: Dobson had an abdominal ultrasound, fine needle aspiration of the spleen, and chest X-ray today. The results aren't all in yet, but we do know that the lymph node that was aspirated on April 4 had MCT cells in it. We're planning to have surgery soon to remove the affected lymph node and will consider putting him back on chemotherapy, possibly a Vinblastine-Cytoxan regimen like he had in 2013-14 that seemed to work so well for him. He's in good spirits, loves his walks (though he starts to pant at about the 3/4 mile point), and is behaving normally. We'll switch to using a harness on walks to avoid putting pressure on the submandibular lymph node, which is by his jaw below his ear.

APRIL 13, 2015: Good news. The ultrasound results are in. It was "unremarkable" and the spleen, liver, kidneys, gall bladder, etc. are all normal. Aspiration of the spleen did not show spread of the cancer. So it seems that the only place it has spread is to that one submandibular lymph node. We have scheduled a consult with a surgeon for April 20 and plan to have the lymph node removed on April 21.

APRIL 23-24, 2015: Dobson's lymph node surgery was canceled this week because his anemia has gotten worse. His red blood cell count has been down lately and then it went down significantly between his pre-op blood draw on Monday and a follow-up blood draw on Tuesday before they were to put him under. On the advice of his surgeon and his onco vet, I took him to the Dove Lewis emergency vet hospital in Portland, which has the best capacity around here to do blood transfusions. The ER vet tested his packed RBC count at under 14. That's low. Over the course of Tuesday afternoon and overnight, he received transfusions of 2 units of RBCs, which brought his packed RBC number up to the mid-30s. After bringing his number up, he could be anesthetized for a bone marrow biopsy to try to identify what's causing the anemia. The ER hospital called in a mobile internist to do the biopsy and consult on possible causes of such a sudden drop in his RBCs. Bone marrow issues are likely the reason for a gradual change in anemia, and they think he may have a GI bleed that caused the sudden drop in RBC count. A GI bleed or ulcer can occur if MCT cells release histamine in the body and receptors in the stomach go into action in response to the histamine. He came home Wednesday evening and is doing okay. We're waiting for lab results and have him on some new meds (in addition to his regular meds) to reduce stomach acid and coat the stomach in case he has an ulcer/GI bleed, as well as a few days' supply of pain meds to help with pain he may be experiencing from the bone marrow biopsy. We're keeping a close eye on him, checking the color of his gums, and keeping to the med schedule. Once the lab results are in and once we see if the RBC count stays up over the next few days, we'll make a plan with the surgeon and onco vet. The results of the bone marrow biopsy showed no sign of cancer spreading to the bone marrow. We're having various blood tests done over the next few days. Not sure if the lymph node surgery will be rescheduled -- it probably will, since we know the node has MCT cells in it -- but we won't put him through it unless the benefit will outweigh the discomfort of recovery from surgery. Not sure about doing chemo again but we'll see what the onco vet says and will ask her if it will address the MCT issue without adversely affecting his bone marrow and RBCs. Maintaining his quality of life is our primary goal.

Dobson is a great dog. The vets have all called him "tough" and have been amazed that he looks as good as he does with his blood count being so low. While he certainly is tough, he also still smiles, vigerously wags his tail when we come home, and jumps in bed every morning for a little snuggle time before the day needs to start. It's hard to believe that there is anything going on that would slow this guy down.

APRIL 30, 2015: Dobson's bloodwork (red blood cell count) has been holding steady this week after the transfusions, so he was able to have his surgery today. The lymph node that was aspirated and had MCT cells in it a few weeks ago seemed enlarged at that time but was quite small today. It's likely that the node was getting larger and smaller the way skin MCTs do, getting big or irritated, then releasing histamine and then reducing in size. The salivary gland next to the lymph node was a lot larger than the one on the other side. So the surgeon removed both the lymph node and the salivary gland and sent them off to be assessed. We'll get the histopathology results in about a week. Dobson was kind of woozy when he got home but is more alert now. He also lets us put a cold pack on the incision to control any swelling that may occur. We're relieved that the surgery went so well, and we're all happy that he's home.

MAY 13, 2015: It's two weeks after his lymph node and salivary gland removal. Tests showed MCT cells in the lymph node but salivary gland was cancer-free. The incision healed up well. We started him on IV Vinblastine today and will follow with Cytoxan and Lasix pills 9 days from now. It will be an 18 week course: 6 Vinblastine treatments and 6 rounds of Cytoxan and Lasix, repeating every 3 weeks. This is the protocol he was on when he was first diagnosed a year and a half ago, and it seemed to work well for him. Ther vets can't figure out for sure what caused his red blood cell count to drop so dramatically a few weeks ago. It may be that he has a GI bleed or ulceration but he doesn't show the typical outward signs of a GI bleed. We'll continue giving him Sucralfate (Carafate) and Prilosec OTC to protect his stomach and reduce acid. His blood cell counts are pretty good, RBCs a little lower than they were after the transfusions, so we'll keep an eye on his bloodwork, too. He's feeling good, and though his energy level is fluctuating a bit, he still makes me work to keep up with him on walks.

MAY 29, 2015: We've been worried lately because Dobson has had loose stools, been kind of lethargic or "punky", hasn't wanted to get out of bed in the morning a couple of times, and his red blood cell counts are going down. A fecal test showed he has Giardia. Thank goodness! I can deal with Giardia, and we have him on antibiotics and a dewormer now. These won't address the blood issues, but at least he seems to be feeling better!

JUNE 7, 2015: We were afraid last week that we would lose Dobson. He was lethargic, didn't want to eat or take his pills, his gums were pale, and he still had loose stools. A trip to his regular vet found that his red blood cells packed cell volume (RBC PCV) was 16. So we took him to the emergency vet hospital, where he had an ultrasound of his GI tract to look for a bleed, and was given a transfusion of RBCs. The ultrasound was normal. The transfusion raised his PCV to 22%. But then he developed a high fever (106 F). With our consent, of course, they gave him an injection of the steroid dexamethasone sodium phosphate, which brought down his temperature. The PCV dropped to 16.6%, a delayed reaction to the transfusion in which his body attacked and destroyed the transfused RBCs.

The fever and RBC loss were scary. But the reaction, and his response to the steroid injection, gave support to the theory that the reduction in RBCs he has been experiencing over the past couple of months may be due to IMHA -- Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia -- and if that's what it is, there's a way to treat it. He has not shown the classic signs and symptoms of IMHA, and all of the vets who have seen him over the past 2 months have been working hard to try to figure out what's wrong.

Using steroids may allow his body to create and grow RBCs to maturity on his own, or at least be less inclined to destroy them. We know from the bone marrow biopsy a month or so ago that his marrow was/is producing RBCs, and they are most likely being destroyed in the bloodstream, not in the bone marrow. His RBC count was still low (eventually got up to 23% but then dropped again to 16%), so it was decided to give him 2 more transfusions of RBCs and more steroids. And some blood tests were ordered. RBC went up to 26%, and no reaction to these transfusions.

He was in the emergency hospital for 2 full days and nights. He's home now, taking oral Prednisone in an immunosuppressive dose (the Temaril-P he used to be on has been discontinued), as well as stomach-protecting meds he started on a month or two ago, and the other meds he has been on for a long time. (We also finished out the course of antibiotics and panacur for the Giardia.)

I took him to the onco vet the day after he got out of the hospital, and his RBC PCV was 42%! They had to check it twice! The only explanation we have at this time is that the steroids must be working and he must be generating his own RBCs. He's feeling better, and able to handle longer walks, and his gums are much pinker than they were before the transfusions. We'll take him in weekly for blood counts (more often if needed). The current plan is to keep him on this dosage of Prednisone for about a month (estimate) then reduce the dosage. Getting the anemia under control is the oncologist's highest priority (and ours). Then we'll likely resume chemo to deal with the Mast Cell disease that showed back up in his lymph node in April (the node has since been removed.) The Prednisone makes him thirsty so he drinks more often and has to go out to pee more often, but we can certainly live with that! We feel like we've got our dog back -- after almost losing him.

JUNE 29, 2015: We said good-bye to Dobson today. For the past few weeks he has been dealing with decreasing red blood cell counts probably due to IMHA (immune mediated hemalytic anemia), along with muscle wasting and increasing weakness, decreasing energy level, a boney appearance, and persistent diarrhea. The boniness, muscle loss, and weakness are a result of prednisone, which he was taking to try to prevent his body from destroying the red blood cells (IMHA). The vets and we were hoping to reduce or discontinue the prednisone altogether but there would have to be another immunosuppressant drug in place at an effective dose before he could be weaned off the prednisone, and he just ran out of time. The diarrhea may have impacted his ability to absorb meds, rendering them less effective. There was no evidence of Mast Cell cancer after the lymph node was removed a couple of months ago, but I can't say that his cancer history didn't contribute to his present condition, so I am listing his cause of death as "not sure" instead of "yes" or "no." His appetite was up and down, he had a hard time accepting/taking his meds, he was restless and couldn't get comfortable, he panted, he didn't have the energy to take walks other than very short ones. He lost interest in playing with toys and fetching a ball, things he loved doing his entire life. Overall he was having a very hard time and wasn't his normal self, especially on the last day. We decided to have him put to sleep while he still had some enjoyment in life and not wait until he was in pain or having difficulty breathing. A mobile pet euthanasia veterinarian came to our house today and helped us and Dobson's brother say good-bye to Dobson. RIP, Dobby Wobby. When you group members read this, give an extra hug to your pets, family and friends today. Thanks, all of you in this group, for your support and encouragement. -- Eann & Dobson's family

Cancer fighting tip from Dobson's owner Eann R.

Consult with a veterinary oncologist. Make that person part of your dog's team. A vet cancer specialist can help you learn more about your dog's specific case of cancer. He or she can be a resource to discuss treatment options, dietary changes that can help fight the cancer, supplements, and the like. Don't assume that an oncologist is going to try to talk you into chemotherapy or other Western medicine. But don't dismiss those treatments without learning about them. And whatever treatment(s) you choose, the oncologist can help you know what to expect, what to look for in signs and symptoms, and what you can do to make your dog more comfortable. Check with your vet before you make changes to diet or add supplements, etc. -- to be sure they won't interfere with meds or cause other unintended problems.

Dobson's treatment
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Natural > Diet >

Dry Kibble
Home prepared (cooked)
Canned

Natural > Vitamins/Supplements/Minerals/Herbs (Chinese and Western) >

Probiotics
Fish oil
L-arginine
L-Glutamine
Milk thistle
Vitamin E
Vitamin A
Mushrooms
Vitamin B12

Conventional >

Surgery
Chemotherapy
Steroids
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  • Img_7384_small
    Zac's owner Eann, I see that you are one of, if not -the- most active member of this website for the past 6-7 months. I just wanted to thank you again, and give the memory of Dobson a beagly howl of greeting. I think a lot of us find posting on the site to be cathartic, but I imagine most find coming back here after the fur-kids move on an uphill struggle of memories...
    9 months ago on Dobson's wall
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      Dobson's owner Yes, Istill check in to see if I can be of support to folks. Back when I was dealing with Dobson's cancer, there was a lot more back-and-forth exchange of ideas and experiences between members than there has been in recent months. I hope this group is helpful to you. As you read the stories and the postings, remember that every dog is different. What did or didn't work for one dog may go entirely different for another dog. You know your dog best. I think you mentioned insurance in one of your posts. We haven't had pet insurance. We were able to get a credit card called Care Credit, which gave us 6 months (sometimes longer) interest free to repay them for vet bills. That has been helpful to us when our dogs have had surgery or other procedures done. Best wishes to you. Let me know if there's something I can do to help. -- Eann
      9 months ago on Dobson's wall
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    Gracie Jo's owner I'm glad to read Dobson is doing well! It's scary enough when we don't know what's wrong, let alone when they are in recovery and/or treatment; best wishes that he begins to feel much better soon :)
    over 2 years ago on Dobson's wall
  • 6_mos_after_small
    Bentley's owner Eann, so glad to hear that Dobson has come through the most recent challenge. Cancer is just never really over. We'll always need be on guard for them. We'll be thinking of you and hoping for good test results. Kelly and Bentley
    over 2 years ago on Dobson's wall
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    Dobson's owner Hi, group, I have added some updates to Dobson's profile/story page, if you want to check them out. He had surgery yesterday to remove a lymph node that showed Mast Cell Tumor cells when it was aspirated a couple of weeks ago. We had a bit of a scare because his red blood cell counts dropped dramatically last week, so he had 2 transfusions of red blood cells and is now on Prilosec OTC to protect his stomach from acid/histamine and sucralfate (Carafate) to coat the stomach to help any bleeds heal up. The surgery went well and he is doing well in his recovery. We should get the test results from the lymph node and adjacent salivary gland (which was also removed) next week. -- Eann & Dobson
    over 2 years ago on Dobson's wall
    • Chkee1_thumbnail
      Cherokee's owner Wow, I've just read your updates. What an amazing dog your Dobson is. You are doing so well. Keep it up Dobson. You are a real battler. Hats off to you both. Sending good vibes your way and thank you for the encouragement you are sending to me and Cherokee. Blessings. Gail & Cherokee.
      over 2 years ago on Dobson's wall
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    Bailey's owner I've not been on in forever. How are you doing?
    over 2 years ago on Dobson's wall
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      Dobson's owner Hi, Carrie, Dobson is still doing great. His last ultrasound in November was clear, and he has a regular checkup with his onco vet in a couple of weeks. It's so nice to hear from you. Do take care and let me (us) know how you're doing. I hope you're doing well. -- Eann & Dobson
      over 2 years ago on Dobson's wall
  • 970756_651981971265_1888568431_n_small
    Lucy's owner I'm afraid that our sweet little Lucy girl is starting to lose this fight. After 19 months, she is starting to slow down. Her lymph nodes are very swollen and we have decided not to go forth with any more treatment. She is comfortable and still eating but it is only a matter of time now. Please continue to pray for our little girl. Hope you guys are doing well. xoxo Lauren
    over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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      Dobson's owner Hi, Lauren, I'm sorry to hear that your little Lucy isn't doing well. She is such a sweetheart. You and she have gone through a lot together, and you have helped her live a lot longer than her original prognosis. You've been a great advocate for her. I understand not wanting to do a bunch of treatment at this point. I'm glad she's comfortable and is still eating, and I hope she's still having happy moments from time to time. I'll be thinking about you and sending healing thoughts. Please give her a rub on the head for me. She sure is a beautiful Beagle. You're welcome to email me directly if you wish, at eann.deb@gmail.com. Oh, and you asked about Dobson. He goes in for a checkup this Thursday. As far as I can tell, he's still in remission. Fingers and paws crossed. It's been 10 months since his surgery. He 's feeling good. Keep in touch. xoxo Eann & Dobson
      over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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    Bailey's owner Hi Eann and Dobson! How are you guys doing? Bailey is doing well though we've had to make some age and dental related changes. So far, the cancer appears not to have returned as his blood work is better than ever. Thinking about you guys!
    over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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      Dobson's owner I'm so glad to hear thatBailey is doing well! Dobson's doing well, too. I take him in to the oncologist in a couple of weeks for blood work and a checkup. So far, he's doing great, over 8 months since his surgery. He loves playing in the kiddie pool on a hot day! Give Bailey a biscuit and a scratch on the ears for us. Eann & Dobson
      over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
  • 970756_651981971265_1888568431_n_small
    Lucy's owner Hi guys! How are you doing? I've been meaning to write but have been really busy. How is Dobson doing? I'm afraid Lucy stopped responding to treatment at the end of May. The news hit us pretty hard. The doctors told us that we could give the adriamycin another shot but since Lucy had already been exposed to the drug we couldn't give her too many doses. Our other option was to try another form of chemo which the doctor felt Lucy had about a 30% chance of doing well with. We opted for another does of adriamycin and that seemed to stop the cancer from progressing any further. We brought her back for another dose two weeks later and the drug has continued to keep the cancer in check for right now. Lucy is still eating and is still super energetic so we are just keeping our fingers crossed at this point. Hope you guys are doing well!
    over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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      Dobson's owner Hi! I haven't been able to access the website. Dobson's doing well. Thanks for asking. I'm glad Lucy is feeling well, and I hope the meds keeps working. I'm sorry you're going through this. Stay strong. Eann & Dobson
      over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
  • Luna_entryway_small
    Luna's owner Hi Eann- I lost your email in a scheduled clean up. Can you email me again at amyechacon@hotmail.com? Thanks!
    over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
  • Jack_small
    Jack's owner Just checking in on Dobson...How are things going? Jack started chemo yesterday and seems to be doing just fine. He needs to go on a diet, he's gained a pound in past few weeks. I'd like to blame the prednisone, but I'm sure I've been spoiling him with treats a little too much. I know it's not good for him, so I will stop. :( Keeping you guys in our thoughts and prayers ~ Jen and Jack
    over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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      Dobson's owner Ha! Sounds like you might want to cut back on the treats, Girl! LOL. Yeah, they look at you and I swear they know how any treats are in the jar. My guys have been getting more treats from me, too, since Dobson got his diagnosis. Those big brown eyes, you know. :) We used to feed them meals twice a day (breakfast and supper) and now I divide their supper up into two meals so now they're fed three times a day. I'm not sure if it helps, but it seems like maybe they aren't as hungry overnight. They still get me up in the night to go out, but they've been doing that for years, and it seems like it's not as often now. I wanted Dobson to lose a few pounds so I cut back on his kibble a little bit after I switched him to grain-free. Now that he is at "ideal weight" I have increased his kibble a little bit. The grain-free kibble is higher in protein than his former food and it might be lower in calories, or just more efficient in nutrition. Dobson has been on Temaril-P (it has prednisone in it) and also benadryl for years for itching, and the dosage hasn't changed, so his weight change wouldn't be related to that. I couldn't say what's causing Jack's weight gain, though. Could be the treats or a combination of factors. I feed my guys their pills using peanut butter, which they like. I keep the PB in the fridge so it's not too gooey for dispensing pills. Pumpkin's owner and I were exchanging recipes for grain-free dog treats a month or so ago on Pumpkin's wall. I find it fun to bake dog treats, and it's kind of a special thing I can do for them. Plus it's cheaper than buying grain-free treats at the store. I buy them chicken jerky at the pet store. So they still get treats but the ones I bake are smaller than the store-bought ones and probably lower in calories. I also give them little bits of steamed kale from time to time. So how is our buddy Jack doing today? Sounds like the chemo is going smoothly with no side effects. Dobson had some nausea a few times (maybe 3 times over a 6 month period). Drooling and acting a little depressed, so I assume I was nausea. My vet said I could give him Pepcid AC, which I did and it seemed to make him feel better. But Dobson weighs 85 lb and I have no idea how tiny you'd have to chop up a Pepcid to make it safe for a little guy like Jack. What kind of chemo is Jack on? I wonder if it's one of the drugs Dobson has been on. I'm glad Jack seems to be doing well. Dobson is doing great. He is on his third type of chemo (that was the plan going in, not due to any issues) and is doing great. He just passed the 6 month anniversary of his MCT surgery and will go in next week for a check-up ultrasound and aspiration of spleen and liver. Now that he is not on IV chemo (which was stronger than the pills he's on now) he has gotten stronger on his walks, pulling me down the street like he used to. Makes me wish I had tried harder to teach him how to walk nicely on a leash back when he was a puppy. :) Hang in there. Give Jack a little treat (just one -- or maybe two) and a scratch behind the ears and tell him we're thinking about him. Wishing you the best. Eann & Dobson
      over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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    Lucy's owner Hey guys how are you doing? Lucy was just back at Penn yesterday for her Chemo. We thought that we were going to be able to cut back to every other week but the doctor wants to continue with weekly treatments for now. How has Dobson been doing with the new drug? We'll continue to keep our paws crossed for you over here! -Lucy & Lauren <3
    over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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      Dobson's owner Dobson is doing great. He's on daily Chlorambucil (same as Leukeran) now. Has been for about a month. The capsules are made up by a local compounding pharmacy following Dobson's oncologist's orders, so they are custom made for him. I think the dosage is based on his body weight but there may be other factors as well. He has lost a few pounds (now he is at ideal weight) so I have increased his food a little bit to keep his weight where it is. No new lumps. No side effects from the chemo. The oncologist says he's in remission but we're keeping an eye on him. I hope Lucy is feeling as good as Dobson is! Give her a tummy rub for me! --Eann & Dobson
      over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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      Dobson's owner Hey, Lauren, has Lucy gotten stronger since she started the Leukeran? Dobson is pulling on his leash more since he started the Chlorambucil. Maybe it's a coincidence, maybe it's the spring flowers. But he has gotten a lot harder to take on walks lately. He never has been a loose leash kind of guy, though. I was just wondering if you've experienced this with Lucy, too. --Eann & Dobson
      over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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    Bailey's owner Go Dobson! You're doing great! It's wonderful to read stories of survival. Keep the updates coming. God bless! Carrie and Bailey
    over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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    Lucy's owner Hey! Great to hear from you guys! I was actually just thinking about you the other day. I am SO happy to hear that Dobson is doing well. Lucy has been doing really good with the Luekeran. Since we've switched from the Cytoxan, she has had zero side effects. She is also on prednisone so that has her all sorts of energetic and hungry. But for the most part she has been a pretty normal beagle. After next week the doctor said that we can start cutting back on her treatments to once every other week. Which we are really excited about! Keep us updated!! -Lauren & Lucy <3
    over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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      Dobson's owner That sounds great, and helps me have confidence that the Chlorambucil (Leukeran) can work for Dobson. He starts the new drug tomorrow. He didn't have side effects with Vinblastine or Cytoxan, so hopefully won't with this drug either. He has been on Temaril P, which contains prednisone, for a long time. But he's a Lab, and they eat everything, so I don't know if it has affected his appetite or not. :) Glad to hear Lucy is energetic and acting like a normal Beagle. She's a cute pup. --Eann & Dobson
      over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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    Abbee's owner How is Mr Dobson doing today? I hope all is well! Just thinking of you both...
    over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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      Dobson's owner He's doing great! Thanks for asking. I'm going to bake another batch of grain-free dog treats for him this evening, so his day will get even better. :) I'm hoping for the day when the vet tells me he's cancer-free. I'm still smiling over the news you and Abbee got this week. Give her (and her little brother) a scratch behind the ears for me. And pour yourselves a beverage to celebrate. :) Eann & Dobson
      over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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    Rudy's owner sorry, I posted an answer to your post on onco support on Remmie's wall!
    over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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    Lucy's owner Hi Eann, I took Lucy back to Penn this past Tuesday for her chemo and they re-checked her urine. It was clear but they decided that it would be better to keep her on the Luekeran since they believe that the Cytoxan was causing the blood to be in her urine. They were afraid of her having problems again if she went back on the Cytoxan and if she did, the damage would be irreversible. She has been tolerating the new medicine well. They also cut back her prednisone dosage this week from 3/4 to 1/2 of a tablet. We're happy about this because she has just been a crazy girl wanting to eat and go potty ALL of the time. The whole reason Lucy went off of the Cytoxan was after we noticed that she was straining to go to the bathroom one morning, almost like she had a UTI. So, we told the vet when we took her that Tuesday and they decided to test her urine. Sure enough there was blood in it, but it did not come back as a UTI so they're pretty sure it was a side affect of the Cytoxan. Thank you for the Cranberry Comfort recommendation I will definitely check that out! ~Lauren
    over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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      Dobson's owner Thanks. We'll have them check a fresh urine sample later this week when I take Dobson in for blood work. I don't think his urine has been checked this whole time since he started Vinblastine and Cytoxan 4 months ago. Unless it's part of t he check-ups the oncologist has been doing. He takes Lasix when he's onCytoxan and for a few days afterward. That's supposed to help prevent urinary problems. -- Eann
      over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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    Lucy's owner Thank you SO much for your post! Lucy is our pride and joy and we have been doing everything we can to keep her happy and healthy. Unfortunately she has been off of the Cytoxan for the past two weeks due to blood in her urine. They have been keeping a close watch on her and in the meantime she has still been able to receive Vincristine and they've put her on a different drug called Luekeran. It works just as well as the Cytoxan but is extremely expensive. We have to take her tomorrow to receive her chemo and we're hoping that her urine is clear. I'm glad to hear Dobson has been doing well. We will certainly keep you both in our thoughts and prayers. Wag strong! :) --Lauren & Lucy
    over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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      Dobson's owner I used to live outside of Philadelphia. The University of Pennsylvania seemed to have a great reputation. Sounds like you have great resources. Best wishes for the new meds. Keep in touch. Eann & Dobson
      over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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    Ginger's owner I'm glad to hear you have a handle on Dobson's protocol. Are you in Portland? I'm in NW Portland! Let me know if I can help. I have had much success working with natural solutions and diet, even if you go with chemo (which I see you are). Regardless, keep us posted. We're here for you. ~ Rosemary@RosemarysSolutions.com
    over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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      Dobson's owner Thanks, Rosemary. The information you have on your website might be helpful for Dobson. I'll consult with his oncologist. I appreciate your offer -- thanks. Eann & Dobson
      over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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      Ginger's owner of course! You didn't say... are you in Portland?
      over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall
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      Dobson's owner Oops! I didn't answer that, did I? We live in Tigard, south of Portland, Oregon.
      over 3 years ago on Dobson's wall