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Crystal suddenly has weakness in her hind legs
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Member Since:
8 January 2012
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16
9 February 2012 - 3:20 pm
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Thank you everyone for the good thoughts.  We went to the vet this morning and received relatively good news.  The oncologist, surgeon and neurologist all looked at her and the great news is that the surgeon didn't find any orthopedic problems and the neurologist didn't find any neurological issues (yay!!!).  They then checked her blood work and her white blood cell count was low and her blood pressure was extremely high (200 when I guess normal is around 120).  The oncologist said that's probably what's causing her to act strange (which she has been off and on for the past few days) and have leg problems.  We were given blood pressure medication and antibiotics and we will check all of this again next week.  I also now feel like I have enough medication to start my own pharmacy.

I'm so relieved that it wasn't one of the worst case scenarios.  I still don't understand how hypertension can cause lameness though. Does anyone have any insight?  They also have no idea what is causing the hypertension and I'm wondering if it's a rare side effect of carboplatin.  Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thank you all again!  It's great to know that she has so many people pulling for her!

Rock Hill, SC
Member Since:
28 November 2011
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9 February 2012 - 4:05 pm
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Wow.  That's alot to take in.  Glad it was good news, though.

It may be the Carbo/low WBC causing the weakness.  Zeus had his third Carbo treatment last Friday and he has also been very week/unstable on his feet.  Just for comparison, here is his history:

-After the first treatment he had one very loose poop but there were no other noticible side effects.

-After the second treatment, he was very lethargic, for two weeks he had looser poops and generally seemed to feel bad.  When we went for his third treatment, his WBC count was too low and we had to postpone for a week.

-He had the third treatment last Friday and that night he threw up his entire dinner.  As of yesterday, he was extremely week and seemed hesitant to even walk far enough to potty.  Then he was up ALL NIGHT last night - seemed nauseaus and could not get comfortable.  Had a hard time moving around like his remaining leg was weak.

After resting all day today, he seems a bit better.  Sorry to be so lengthy, but I thought it was important that they are both having similar symptoms and both have low WBC results.  So, maybe it's the low WBC and not the high blood pressure causing the weakness?

Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11.  A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...
http://zeuspod......pawds.com/

In your heart, where I belong.
Member Since:
9 February 2011
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9 February 2012 - 5:06 pm
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We did not have to make any chemo decisions, so I have no firsthand experience with it, but I know that its effects are cumulative. Needing breaks seems common, and then occasionally I hear of a dog (like Jackie's Abby, I think) that had to stop altogether because the accumulation was just too much to tolerate.

Good news, though, that Crystal has no neuro complications and seems otherwise healthy. At least you know that none of your worst fears are waiting for you.

Shari

From abandoned puppy to Tripawd Warrior Dude, Dakota became one of the 2011 February Furballs due to STS. Our incredibly sweet friend lived with grace and dignity till he impulsively raced over the Bridge on 12-15-12.

Dakota's thoughtful and erudite blog is at http://shari.tr.....pawds.com/

19
9 February 2012 - 5:17 pm
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So glad that you got some good news. I know you must feel very relieved. I will pray that the medication works and Crystal gets back to doing very well. I know the falling is very scary. Poor Crystal. Hope she gets back to feeling better soon. 

San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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9 February 2012 - 5:52 pm
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Glad to hear the relatively good news!

Abby actually didn't have to stop her carbo. (She had to drop her at-home chemo, Palladia, due to not tolerating it, but she did well on the carbo.) She did 6 treatments, spaced 2 weeks apart - but she did have some tiredness after rounds 5 & 6. Nothing super extreme, but she did lay down in the middle of the street on a walk one day (which scared the heck out of me, cuz at the time I didn't realize the chemo had a cumulative effect that was making her so tired). She had some minor tummy problems (threw up some bile) after I think round 4 or 5, but generally tolerated it quite well - but she was very young and strong. So, maybe as Zeus's mom said, the weakness is just from being tired w/the chemo? (Sorry - don't remember how old Crystal is... If she's older, maybe that's it?)

I also don't have any experience with hypertension in dogs. (Only in husbands...) So I'm sorry I can't offer any words of wisdom there!

Hope she is feeling more like her self soon!

Jackie, Angel Abby's mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

Member Since:
8 January 2012
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9 February 2012 - 9:10 pm
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zeuspod said:

Wow.  That's alot to take in.  Glad it was good news, though.

It may be the Carbo/low WBC causing the weakness.  Zeus had his third Carbo treatment last Friday and he has also been very week/unstable on his feet.  Just for comparison, here is his history:

-After the first treatment he had one very loose poop but there were no other noticible side effects.

-After the second treatment, he was very lethargic, for two weeks he had looser poops and generally seemed to feel bad.  When we went for his third treatment, his WBC count was too low and we had to postpone for a week.

-He had the third treatment last Friday and that night he threw up his entire dinner.  As of yesterday, he was extremely week and seemed hesitant to even walk far enough to potty.  Then he was up ALL NIGHT last night - seemed nauseaus and could not get comfortable.  Had a hard time moving around like his remaining leg was weak.

After resting all day today, he seems a bit better.  Sorry to be so lengthy, but I thought it was important that they are both having similar symptoms and both have low WBC results.  So, maybe it's the low WBC and not the high blood pressure causing the weakness?

I'm sorry Zeus hasn't been feeling well because of the chemo but I really appreciate all of this info.  Crystal is experiencing a lot of the same things although she's only had one round of chemo (mainly diarrhea/loose stool).  It's comforting to know that Crystal isn't the only dog in the world experiencing restlessness and weakness, but I wish that both Zeus and Crystal were feeling better.  You're probably right about the low WBC causing the weakness too.  There were so many things going on in my head when the vet was talking so I probably mixed up what she was saying.  If I'm reading correctly, Zeus has only recently started feeling weak.  Do you have any idea how long until they tend to regain their strength?

 

Dakota Dawg, thank you for reminding me that the effects of chemo are cumulative.  I definitely need to remember to talk to the oncologist about this next week.  Her quality of life seems so poor right now and she's only had one round.  It makes me wonder about continuing the chemo...  Ugh well it's too soon to tell now I suppose so I better wait until later to have these thoughts.

 

Oh and yes Crystal is quite the senior dog.  She turned 13 last November.

Sebastopol, CA
Member Since:
11 June 2011
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9 February 2012 - 11:25 pm
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So happy to hear she had the all clear from the specialists. Chemo and WBC is a concern so it's good she is on antibiotics. Wow! 13years! Way to go superstarCrystal!superstar Lylee's 12 years - I loove that the older pups are given a chance to fight and live to tell great stories!

Hugs & wags for a speedy recovery!

Joanne & Lylee

http://lyleegir.....ipawds.com

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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23
10 February 2012 - 12:33 am
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I hope Crystal gets to feeling better soon.  Scary stuff!

 

  Her quality of life seems so poor right now and she's only had one round.  It makes me wonder about continuing the chemo

This is why chemo scares the bajeebies out of me!

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

Rock Hill, SC
Member Since:
28 November 2011
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24
10 February 2012 - 7:32 am
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cbyoung said:

If I'm reading correctly, Zeus has only recently started feeling weak.  Do you have any idea how long until they tend to regain their strength?

Thought you might like to know that Zeus is SOOOO much better today.  He slept all night last night and this morning was back to normal.

From what I have read, it is common for dogs on Carbo to have a crash 3 to 5 days after treatment (that would be about right for this treatment b/c he had chemo last Friday).  Our vet also said it is not unusual for a dog to have at least one treatment that hits them really hard and causes the WBC count to drop so low they have to postpone the next treatment (which would have been what happened on his second treatment).

I have to tell you that, as of yesterday, I was contemplating stopping chemo (or at least trying to make it through one more and do just 4 rounds instead of 6) because of the "quality of life" concerns you mentioned above.  Today, I would rethink that b/c this seems to have been just the expected couple of days of feeling bad before they rebound.  Hopefully...

How is Crystal today?

Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11.  A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...
http://zeuspod......pawds.com/

Member Since:
8 January 2012
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25
10 February 2012 - 8:51 am
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zeuspod said:

Thought you might like to know that Zeus is SOOOO much better today.  He slept all night last night and this morning was back to normal.

From what I have read, it is common for dogs on Carbo to have a crash 3 to 5 days after treatment (that would be about right for this treatment b/c he had chemo last Friday).  Our vet also said it is not unusual for a dog to have at least one treatment that hits them really hard and causes the WBC count to drop so low they have to postpone the next treatment (which would have been what happened on his second treatment).

I have to tell you that, as of yesterday, I was contemplating stopping chemo (or at least trying to make it through one more and do just 4 rounds instead of 6) because of the "quality of life" concerns you mentioned above.  Today, I would rethink that b/c this seems to have been just the expected couple of days of feeling bad before they rebound.  Hopefully...

How is Crystal today?

Yay Zeus!!!  Crystal unfortunately isn't much better today.  She's still having a lot of difficulty standing and her walking is clumsy so I have to sling her.  Crystal's timeline has been completely different from what was expected.  Her diarrhea started the day of treatment, didn't feel hungry the day after treatment (but returned to normal on day 3), had a normal CBC on day 9, started acting strange on day 10 and started having leg issues on day 13.  Hopefully she gets better later today or tomorrow.

Rock Hill, SC
Member Since:
28 November 2011
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26
10 February 2012 - 10:00 am
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cbyoung said:

Crystal's timeline has been completely different from what was expected.  Her diarrhea started the day of treatment, didn't feel hungry the day after treatment (but returned to normal on day 3), had a normal CBC on day 9, started acting strange on day 10 and started having leg issues on day 13.  Hopefully she gets better later today or tomorrow.

Every dog will be different, but if it makes you feel better, her timeline isn't totally abnormal.  I found this article online which offers some great info about Carbo:

http://www.vet......platin.pdf

Our vet has never given us information about the chemo, so I thought this article was quite helpful.  I can tell you that Zeus has reacted a bit differently to each chemo session, so maybe this is just Crystal's turn at having one hard session and the others won't be as bad.  Here's hoping!!!

Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11.  A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...
http://zeuspod......pawds.com/

Member Since:
8 January 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
27
10 February 2012 - 6:04 pm
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zeuspod said:

Every dog will be different, but if it makes you feel better, her timeline isn't totally abnormal.  I found this article online which offers some great info about Carbo:

http://www.vet......platin.pdf

Our vet has never given us information about the chemo, so I thought this article was quite helpful.  I can tell you that Zeus has reacted a bit differently to each chemo session, so maybe this is just Crystal's turn at having one hard session and the others won't be as bad.  Here's hoping!!!

Now that you mention it, I do remember reading that some dogs experience side effects relatively late.  Thanks for the info!  Hopefully she will be back to normal tomorrow.  Since the effects of chemo are cumulative, I wonder if this means that she will have worsening side effects after each subsequent session.  I will ask the vet next week when we go in to check her bloodwork again.  I don't want to make any rash decisions so we'll see how long it takes for her to return back to normal.

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