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Decision Chemotherapy vs. Other remedies
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Member Since:
27 November 2018
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11 December 2018 - 7:32 pm
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My dog Toby had his leg amputated 2 weeks ago and I just had the follow up with the oncologist.  As of now the pathology report was not conclusive but they are leaning towards osteosarcoma or hemangiosarcoma which is rare to present in the bone but definitely can happen.  

They are running further tests to try to rule out hemangiosarcoma.  The tests they have run on Toby (chest X-ray, lymph node, and abdominal ultrasound have not shown anything yet.  They are recommending 5 doses of doxorubicin (Adriamycin) spaced 3 weeks apart because as of now they aren't sure which sarcoma they are dealing with and that drug is the better treatment if it is hemangiosarcoma but also works for osteosarcoma.  If they find out that it is osteosarcoma they recommend Carboplatin.  They said that if Toby goes through the treatment, he could also get the vaccine.  The vaccine is not given for hemangiosarcoma.  

If we are not comfortable with the injectable chemo, the alternative given was metronomic chemo.  Finally she mentioned that we could add Turkey Tail mushroom and Yunnan Baiyao supplements.  

One thing we did not discuss much about, but she did give me a contact is the homeopathic route.  I know many on these forums have had to make these decisions so I was wondering if you had any feedback in my case.

 Here's my initial thought - add the supplements and wait a bit to see if they can pinpoint which sarcoma type we are dealing with. If it is osteosarcoma, I'm inclined to try chemotherapy but I know my husband does not like the idea.  

If it is hemangiosarcoma, I'm more inclined to try the homeopathic route since the outcome with chemo is not that great.  

Please let me know what your thoughts are.  Thank you so much!

Virginia




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12 December 2018 - 12:36 am
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Quick question.  When do they expect to get the rerun test back?   If it's  in about a week (three weeks after amp), it's  my understanding  that's  still an acceptable timeframe to start chemo.  Then you'll know more about which  route to take,

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

On The Road


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12 December 2018 - 11:15 am
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I love that your oncologist laid out all the options on the table, what a wonderful vet! Who are you working with? I'm nosy 😉

What is it about chemotherapy that your husband isn't thrilled about? Did he talk to the oncologist to address his concerns? The thing about chemo is that you can stop anytime if you don't like the side effects. Animals don't have nearly as horrible a time as humans do, not even close. Most do not have side effects and when they do it's usually just mild GI upset for a day or two.

Metronomic chemotherapy is of course an option, just as taking a nutraceutical or holistic path is. But none of these are shown to be as effective as traditional IV chemotherapy, so that's important to keep in mind. In fact we just interviewed an oncologist who verified with us that many practitioners are now turning away from metronomics because recent studies have shown that it just doesn't work in the vast majority of patients. That came as a surprise to us. Stay tuned in the Tripawds News blog for that interview.

If you do incorporate supplements now, and you pursue chemotherapy, your oncologist will probably advise you to stop the supplements until chemotherapy is over. They do that just in case side effects happen, that way they can pinpoint the cause faster. Waiting for a more definitive diagnosis could save you the expense of adding in supplements that you may just need to stop anyways. 

Is there any way the vets are willing to get another expert opinion from somewhere like Colorado State University? They actually offer this service to anyone, anywhere in the world. And if that's something you want to do, you can do that on your own as well.

Having a firmer diagnosis before doing anything could save you a lot of mental and financial stress in the long run.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
27 November 2018
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12 December 2018 - 1:36 pm
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Thank you both for your feedback.  Toby's oncologist is with Cornell University Veterinary Hospital.  Her name is Dr. Thalheim.  After speaking with my husband we are leaning towards trying a course of chemotherapy and as long as Toby tolerates it well, we will continue with treatments.  I have scheduled for next Tuesday which is 3 weeks post amputation.  I'm hoping that we will have the results of the recent tests by then.  I have a call into the doctor to find out when to begin the supplements.  That's great about the Colorado State service.  I will reach out to them.

On a very happy note, I was outside with Toby today without the leash and when my kids came home Toby ran over to say hi and then ran back to me and jumped up on me.  So he seems to be totally fine on 3 legs and no pain!  

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15 December 2018 - 8:54 pm
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They just got the results back that Toby does not have hermangiosarcoma so they think it is osteosarcoma. Does anyone have information on whether chemotherapy is safe to give a dog when children are in the house?  I’m getting concerned about that. I’m thinking of contacting Dr. Charles Loops. Does anyone have feedback on him?  

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Virginia




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15 December 2018 - 9:35 pm
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That Toby is the cutest thing evvver!!  Each photo has me grinning ear to ear!!!   And I know it made your heart soar when he so happily  and eagerly  greeted you💗💗

You can get the the info regarding safety from your Onco.  That said, yoi'll probably be told  to remove any poop from the yard, not touch it, etc.  Some were given very specific instructions and some, like myself, were given no instructions  expressing caution whatsoever.

Anyway,  others will chime in and jist check with your Onco for yoir own peace of mind.

And keep these precious  pictures coming !

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

On The Road


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16 December 2018 - 10:08 am
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tobyemmet said
...Dr. Charles Loops. Does anyone have feedback on him?

You'll find many posts about Dr Loops and feedback from others who have consulted with him over the years in the Tripawds Nutrition blog .

Please contact your veterinarians regarding any specific questions about the safety of chemotherapy use for pets with children in the household. Oncologists we have interviewed suggest there is no cause for concern, and the only thing to consider is keeping kids away from any dog waste.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
17 December 2018
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17 December 2018 - 6:12 pm
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Hi there and am so sorry to hear about this beautiful boy's diagnosis.  My sweet Quincy has osteo hemangiosarcoma and was diagnosed 4 months ago with hind leg amputation, where the site of the tumor was.  I chose to do 5 rounds of doxyrubicin along with holistic medicine treatment (including turkey tail (Coriolus) along with other chinese herbs).  I also have fed her a raw diet since diagnosis.  She just had her chest scans and abdominal ultrasound and bloodwork last week and she is clear of metastasis.  The oncologist said he has never seen a case in which a dog with osteo hemangiosarcoma has done this well.  So, who knows what works the best, but I know I was willing to try everything I could.  She is starting metronomic therapy this week which is a daily low dose chemo pill since she did well on the first chemo treatment.  There is a lot out there and it's overwhelming but you just have to trust your instinct too.  I hope you find something to help.

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18 December 2018 - 11:09 am
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I'm so happy to hear that Quincy is doing so well.  The results of the screens came back negative for hemangiosarcoma so they are pretty confident it is osteosarcoma.  I am working on changing Toby's diet.  I'll look into raw, but in the mean time I have added more protein in the form of steak and eggs into his food.  I have spoken with Dr. Loops and our oncologist and I have chosen to go the holistic route without chemotherapy.  I am too concerned about the safety of the chemo around the children particularly since the oncologist said that we would need to be careful that Toby doesn't lick us too much etc.  That will be impossible to supervise with the children.  We will be praying that Dr. Loops' remedies will help Toby.  He has some very nice success stories so I will remain hopeful.

On The Road


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18 December 2018 - 5:20 pm
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Whew. At least you know what you're dealing with now. Both cancers suck but osteosarcoma has a better prognosis than hemangio, so at least it's not that.

Glad to hear you are working with Dr. Loops. We've had so much great feedback from others who have gone that route. We'll keep our paws & fingers crossed that Toby enjoys much success too!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Virginia




Member Since:
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18 December 2018 - 7:19 pm
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Glad you are developing  a plan that works for Toby and your family.  It a relief to proceed forward and in a way that will help boost Toby's immune system.

Cheering for that adorable pup!

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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18 December 2018 - 7:33 pm
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Thank you both so much!! These forums have been so amazing and have helped me cope with Toby’s amputation and diagnosis. I can’t say enough about how much better and stronger I feel from this support network. Toby is doing very well. I’ve been taking him on short little walks and he’s pulling me to go running down the block!  I don’t know what the future brings, but for now he is happy and loving the attention he gets. I’m thrilled to be able to keep making memories. My family can’t wait to see him for Christmas. 

On The Road


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18 December 2018 - 10:17 pm
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Go Toby! We are so glad we could be there for you and your people. Your Christmas is going to be pawesome my friend, you are going to get SO spoiled! And you sure deserve it 😉

xoxo

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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