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Recovery + Chemo Questions | Treatment, Recovery and Oncology

Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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Recovery + Chemo Questions
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Forum Posts: 68
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9 December 2018
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24 December 2018 - 10:38 am
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Now that we are finally doing well post-op, I’m starting to wonder about some recovery and chemo-related things. If anyone has any experience, I’d love to hear your stories!

1. Bathing – when did you give your pups their first bath post-op? 

2. First chemo treatment is set for Jan 2. We are doing Doxorubicin (Adriamycin) every 3 weeks for a total of 6 treatments. I’ve read that if they get sick from it, it’s usually 2 or 3 days after the treatment. That doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed, but I just don’t want to be surprised by it. With any chemo, can the illness be long term or is it usually only temporary (if it happens at all)?

3. Boarding – I am supposed to go on a short trip in mid January for a couple days. We normally board Ciara at our vet, but they do not have 24 hour care (they leave the animals at night). Is it safe for her to stay there while undergoing chemo? Is she more at risk at getting sick, even if her vaccines are up to date? Or do I find a 24 hour care location close to my home….OR just try to convince someone to stay with her. My parents are usually great about it, but I don’t know if they are available. 

TIA!

Here and Now


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24 December 2018 - 5:07 pm
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Thanks for the update! Glad to hear Ciara is doing well.

A full bath should be fine once all the sutures are healed and stitches removed. Until then a sponge bath and cleaning wipes should do the trick.

Don’t miss this oncologist interview video discussing chelotherapy and common side effects.

Some vets recommend separating dogs being treated with chemo, only for the risk of contamination via urine or feces. Overnight supervision is always best if boarding during treatment.

Virginia




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24 December 2018 - 8:43 pm
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Glad things are settling  in now.

My Happy Hann6 had four rounds of carboplatin  (osteo), so I’m not sure of potential  side effects, etc woth rhe Doxo. , but maybe that’s  addressed in the link the Admin Guy gave you.

With carboplatin,  if side effects to show up it’s  “usually” around the three to five day mark, but that can vary.  Some dogs are a vit lethargic, or get nauseous  and are off fodmap but.  The Onco can give the dogs Cerenia  for nausea.  The side effects are USUALLY  mild, if at sall, and only last a couple of days.

On rare ocassions,  a dog may have bad reaction to Carbo.  Once stopped, they clear up.  That’s  one thing (with carboplatin  anyway), if there are really bad side effects (infrequently,  but it can happen), you can stop and things return back to normal in several days.

Ideally it  would be great if your parents could stay with her…less stressful, etc.

Have a great Christmas!!!❤

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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26 December 2018 - 10:49 am
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I’m not a vet, but I’m surprised to hear about doxorubicin . . . Carboplatin is the current standard of care for osteo, generally found to be more effective, easier to administer, and with fewer side effects.  It is a little more expensive.

My dogs have taken both, carboplatin for Casey’s osteo, and Doxorubicin for Jet’s hemangiosarcoma.  Jet had more side effects including lethargy, appetite loss, skin darkening, and loss of fur.  He had his last treatment in July or August, and he’s just now growing his whiskers back.  Now fur loss is not a big deal, and appetite loss can be treated, but efficacy . . .

You might just ask your oncologist why doxorubicin rather than carboplatin.

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26 December 2018 - 12:13 pm
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Hi Sara,

I wanted to weigh in on your question about doxorubicin side effects with the HUGE caveat that our dog had a reaction to doxorubicin seen in less than 1% of dogs so please remember that what happened to him is incredibly unlikely to happen to your sweet pup. I’m sharing this only because most of the ER vets and even our oncologist at a highly respected veterinary hospital in Massachusetts were completely useless when this happened. I had to step in and dictate Bear’s treatment after consulting with an expert on rare cases of high grade doxorubicin toxicity. Maybe our experience can help someone else should they end up in the same situation so at the risk of scaring everyone I thought it was worth sharing. 

Anyways, with that said, about two days after his first dose of doxorubicin I noticed Bear didn’t want to eat (he was a total trash compactor throughout his entire 13 month fight with stromal sarcoma so this was highly unusual). He was also salivating a ton and seemed dumpy. Our oncologist recommended giving him Cerenia so I gave that but it didn’t help and by the middle of that night (about 6 hours after I noticed the first symptoms) when he couldn’t settle down to sleep at all and seemed truly tortured we took him to the emergency vet. He had declined so fast they had to carry him in on a stretcher and he was admitted to the ICU with grade 4 gastrointestinal and hematological toxicity. His neutrophil count went down to absolute zero, he was septic, and was having bloody diarrhea and vomiting. It was horrific. His bloodwork was a mess (low hematocrit, liver dysfunction, low platelet count, so bad he was close to a diagnosis of DIC-disseminated intravascular coagulation which one ER vet not so kindly informed me was referred to by vets as “death is coming.”) The ER vet assigned to our case had nothing to offer but to euthanize him. I refused to accept that answer and contacted a researcher at Virginia Tech (Nicholas Dervisis, DVM) who had published a paper about reactions like this and he immediately called me, a total stranger/hysterical dog mom, and advised on what Bear needed to recover. He is the entire reason Bear survived and I cannot say enough about his kindness in helping a stranger. I will forever be grateful to this man. 

It took a blood and platelet transfusion, an injection of Neupogen, and 10 days of care in the ICU but Bear fully recovered. He likely would have recovered sooner had his treating providers recommended the blood transfusion and the Neupogen injection at the start of this mess. 

Again, it is highly unlikely that this type of reaction will happen to your pup. Generally I think most of our pups, mine included, have tolerated treatment way better than we expect! My hope is your pup will too 🙂

– Heather, Paul, and Pee Wee

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27 December 2018 - 2:35 pm
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tlahaye said
I’m not a vet, but I’m surprised to hear about doxorubicin . . . Carboplatin is the current standard of care for osteo, generally found to be more effective, easier to administer, and with fewer side effects.  It is a little more expensive.

My dogs have taken both, carboplatin for Casey’s osteo, and Doxorubicin for Jet’s hemangiosarcoma.  Jet had more side effects including lethargy, appetite loss, skin darkening, and loss of fur.  He had his last treatment in July or August, and he’s just now growing his whiskers back.  Now fur loss is not a big deal, and appetite loss can be treated, but efficacy . . .

You might just ask your oncologist why doxorubicin rather than carboplatin.

  

Ciara doesn’t have osteo, she was diagnosed with Chondrosarcoma….we were going to do the carbo until that diagnosis officially came in.

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27 December 2018 - 2:39 pm
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hls0303 said
Hi Sara,

I wanted to weigh in on your question about doxorubicin side effects with the HUGE caveat that our dog had a reaction to doxorubicin seen in less than 1% of dogs so please remember that what happened to him is incredibly unlikely to happen to your sweet pup. I’m sharing this only because most of the ER vets and even our oncologist at a highly respected veterinary hospital in Massachusetts were completely useless when this happened. I had to step in and dictate Bear’s treatment after consulting with an expert on rare cases of high grade doxorubicin toxicity. Maybe our experience can help someone else should they end up in the same situation so at the risk of scaring everyone I thought it was worth sharing. 

Anyways, with that said, about two days after his first dose of doxorubicin I noticed Bear didn’t want to eat (he was a total trash compactor throughout his entire 13 month fight with stromal sarcoma so this was highly unusual). He was also salivating a ton and seemed dumpy. Our oncologist recommended giving him Cerenia so I gave that but it didn’t help and by the middle of that night (about 6 hours after I noticed the first symptoms) when he couldn’t settle down to sleep at all and seemed truly tortured we took him to the emergency vet. He had declined so fast they had to carry him in on a stretcher and he was admitted to the ICU with grade 4 gastrointestinal and hematological toxicity. His neutrophil count went down to absolute zero, he was septic, and was having bloody diarrhea and vomiting. It was horrific. His bloodwork was a mess (low hematocrit, liver dysfunction, low platelet count, so bad he was close to a diagnosis of DIC-disseminated intravascular coagulation which one ER vet not so kindly informed me was referred to by vets as “death is coming.”) The ER vet assigned to our case had nothing to offer but to euthanize him. I refused to accept that answer and contacted a researcher at Virginia Tech (Nicholas Dervisis, DVM) who had published a paper about reactions like this and he immediately called me, a total stranger/hysterical dog mom, and advised on what Bear needed to recover. He is the entire reason Bear survived and I cannot say enough about his kindness in helping a stranger. I will forever be grateful to this man. 

It took a blood and platelet transfusion, an injection of Neupogen, and 10 days of care in the ICU but Bear fully recovered. He likely would have recovered sooner had his treating providers recommended the blood transfusion and the Neupogen injection at the start of this mess. 

Again, it is highly unlikely that this type of reaction will happen to your pup. Generally I think most of our pups, mine included, have tolerated treatment way better than we expect! My hope is your pup will too 🙂

– Heather, Paul, and Pee Wee

  

Hi Heather. That sounds terrifying, and I’m glad everything worked out. Sounds like folks are not fans of this drug. I will obviously need to press it a bit more with my onco.

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27 December 2018 - 2:45 pm
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She’s doing so well….I would hate for her to take another dramatic dip.

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27 December 2018 - 4:20 pm
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sara87 said

tlahaye said

I’m not a vet, but I’m surprised to hear about doxorubicin . . . Carboplatin is the current standard of care for osteo, generally found to be more effective, easier to administer, and with fewer side effects.  It is a little more expensive.

My dogs have taken both, carboplatin for Casey’s osteo, and Doxorubicin for Jet’s hemangiosarcoma.  Jet had more side effects including lethargy, appetite loss, skin darkening, and loss of fur.  He had his last treatment in July or August, and he’s just now growing his whiskers back.  Now fur loss is not a big deal, and appetite loss can be treated, but efficacy . . .

You might just ask your oncologist why doxorubicin rather than carboplatin.

  

Ciara doesn’t have osteo, she was diagnosed with Chondrosarcoma….we were going to do the carbo until that diagnosis officially came in.

  

I see.  I looked back to see what you were treating, and it must have been before the Chondro diagnosis.  So, back to my key point . . . efficacy.  You need to use what works, just like what works for hemangiosarcoma is doxorubicin.  Jet, Bode and I went to a steeplechase course with 140 fenced acres today.  I walked 1.6 miles, and the dogs must have run 5.  Jet would likely be gone now had our oncologist not known that the right drug for hemangio is doxorubicin, and life is worth some temporary fur loss.

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27 December 2018 - 7:42 pm
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That’s great that both pups are able to do that! 

I’m not entirely sure what to expect, but I don’t want to go in thinking worst case scenario. The oncologist is confident that this is the best drug, but that doesn’t mean I can’t ask her why this drug vs. other ones. I feel like whenever I go in there, I come out swimming in new information that my brain can’t process right away. 

Virginia




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27 December 2018 - 8:06 pm
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That video speaks volumes about how well she is doing!  Love see her so engaged  and seeing that happy tail wag😁

You’ve gained some good jnsight  here  and that better prepares you to ask your Onco informed questions.   She knows your situation  best and can hopefully give you the reassurance  you need

Keep these great videos  coming.  She really is rock these three legs this early on!   Extra treats for such good progress!😎

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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29 December 2018 - 8:19 am
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Our puppo has Chondroblastic Osteosarcoma.  He started with Carbo, then Dox, then we moved to metronomic: Rapamycin (still on this today) and Cyclophosphamide+Piroxicam, now we are on Palladia … jury is WAY OUT on Palladia.  

Just wanted to throw that sequence out there for people are are reviewing the boards for different methods of treatment. 

Best of luck to you and your adorable pup!

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29 December 2018 - 10:42 am
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Thanks! How did your pup do on the Dox?

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1 January 2019 - 5:51 pm
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1st chemo tomorrow….nerves central over here!

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 January 2019 - 6:05 pm
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Oh big day! Try not to worry, it’s not as scary as you think, promise! We learned that when we went to Daisee Dogs chemo session

https://tripawd…..aisee-dog/

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