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Zeke's through round 1 of chemo
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Forum Posts: 9
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9 February 2009
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12 February 2009 - 9:32 am
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Well, Zeke did really well with his first round of doxorubricin(adriamycin). The doctor was really pleased with how well he handled it. They were originally going to keep him at the hospital until today so they could monitor him but felt he didn't need to stay that long and sent him home yesterday. He was really tired though and slept mostly except for potty time and of course, eating. Smile

I had a couple of questions. For anyone whose dog was put on tramadol for pain management post-op, did you notice a change in breathing? He was breathing really easily yesterday evening and then my husband gave him one of his pain pills, just in case, and his breathing became more of panting. He's also on prednisone , so I don't know if it's the pred or the tramadol causing the panting. He takes the pred every other day and the tramadol is as needed. Also, for wrigley(seanne), why is it they are alternating the chemo between carboplatin and doxorubricin? Our vet never mentioned carboplatin as an option but I've seen it mentioned quite a bit on here.

Please excuse any misspellings of the chemo names, I'm not good with remembering that!

Katie and Zeke

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12 February 2009 - 12:51 pm
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Hi Katie…I'm glad you made it through the first round…it was stressful for me…a breeze for Zeus.

Zeus was on tramadol the first 2 weeks after surgery and I swear, he panted 24/7 for 2 straight weeks. Once we got the staples out and stopped the pain medicine, he stopped panting. Based on my experience, I would guess that Zeke's panting is due to the pain medicine. What does your Vet say about stopping the pain meds? What would be a sign that Zeke gives you that would suggest he needs the tramadol? Maybe stop it for a few days and see how he does? It's so hard to figure it all out – they are so stoic with their pain…it would be SO much easier if they could talk!

Let us know how it goes…

Much Love

Heather and Zeus

Heather and Spirit Zeus - Our life changing journey…from the earth to the heavens…one day at a time…always together

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12 February 2009 - 2:29 pm
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Hi Katie!

Max is also on Tramadol and Prednisone and he pants quite a bit. Max had a previous surgery before the amp(TPLO) that he was only on Tramadol for…he did not pant at all.  For Max its the pred and the vet actually told us that it would be a side effect.

How's Zekes appetite on the pred?? Max would eat 24/7 if I let him!!! He is on it for treatment of Thrombocytopenia and to help keep his platelet count up where it belongs, especially during the chemo.

When we decided to do the chemo with Max (we go to the University of Madison Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Madison, Wi) the oncologist told us about a study they were doing that alternated 2 different types of drugs. I want to say it was carboplatin and doxorubricin, but am not 100% sure. Im sure Seanne will see your post and respond. I know Wrig gets both.

. Max is alway really tired afterwards too, gets nauseated the next day and then is ok until about the 3rd or 4th day. Then he gets a little sick again (sometimes throws up but usually just wont eat much and you can tell he doesnt feel well) and we have to give him his nausea meds. By day 5 he is good to go.

Best of luck to you and Zeke!! So glad he made it through the first round with minimal issues!!

Labby hugs to you guys!

Max and Paula

Paula and Spirit Max

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12 February 2009 - 3:58 pm
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Hi Katie,

Glad to hear that you made it through round one-  That's great.

Wrigley was on Tramadol  for the full 2 weeks of recovery and then after that “as needed” we did one day of “as needed” cause we thought she needed it, but then stopped to see how she did and she was fine off. She did pant quite a bit on the tramadol.

RE: Her treatment plan of alternating the Carboplatin and Doxorubicin. Wrigley's oncologist likes to use  them both because she feels that if there is one cell that is missed by one agent than maybe the other agent will get it.  She even admitted that studies show it really doesn't make a difference she still prefers to do it that way- to get any cell that may not respond to one or the other.

Wrigley is a young dog- will be 4 next month- she had a very large tumor removed from her scapula. Both of these conditions do not lead to good prognosis according to Dr. Sfiligoi( her oncologist). Osteosarcoma tends to be more aggressive in younger dogs and because her tumor was located where it was is not in our favor. So I think she is taking an aggressive approach.

If you've researched the 2 , Doxorubicin tends to have the worse side effects. I was very nervous about this and had several conversations with her doc about it. They don't feel Wrigley should be too affected as her breed ( shep and prob cattle dog mix) are not breeds who tend to have heart trouble, and the dose they administer is so low.

On the Carboplatin Wrigley had no side effects at all- none. On the doxorubicin she had mild diarhea on day 4 and 5 and then on day 10 vomited her breakfast and dinner ( not all of it , but some) . I will discuss that when she goes back next week and see if they are concerned – I think they were pretty mild as far as side effects go. I  have a little calendar/planner that I keep for her so I write down anything out of the ordinary each day as it happens so I don't have to try and remember too much at each visit.

I stopped by my regular vet today ( we now have 3- her old reg vet, the orthopedic vet Dr. Richardson and her oncologist at the VCA vet referral center of Sacramento ). They asked how she was doing and I said great, but I told them I think she is panting a bit more lately. They made the comment that it could be possible that with the drugs' in her system she just “doesn't feel well' and given that they can't say I don't feel well because… they may just get anxious cause “all is not right and they feel it” which may lead to a little panting/nervousness.

Let me know if you have any other questions- feel free to send me an email if you'd like .

Best of luck to you- we hope all continues to go well.

Seanne

Seanne and Angel Wrigley

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12 February 2009 - 4:00 pm
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Marley was on prednisone for her liver in the Fall – she panted a ton! My vet told me it was definitely a side effect of the pred. Also it can make them drink and eat voraciously! 

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12 February 2009 - 4:09 pm
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Thanks Paula and Heather! The vet told us just use the pain meds as needed right now. He is such a trooper it's hard to tell when he's in pain, I wish they could talk so they could let us know!  He's been experiencing some tenderness in his front leg, I expect that will be the case for a bit longer because of his size.  We can tell because if we rub it, he'll groan a bit.  I told my husband (he's at home with him today) to try not giving him anything and see how his breathing is.  Today would be a non pred day anyway, so he would just cut out the tramadol.  So far, he seems to breathing fine.  He tires more easily than before and I'm not too worried about that because I'm sure the chemo has something to do with it.

We know Zeke's good to go if he's eating!  I joke with everyone that if he's conscious, he'll eat.  Laughing  I'm glad to see that his appetite hasn't changed for the worse, at least.  He was passed out yesterday evening but woke right up and was very alert the moment we started getting his food together.  I haven't seen any signs of him feeling nauseated or having any diarrhea but I'll keep an eye out for it in case it hits him late. 

He's taking the pred to keep any arthritis inflamation in his hips to a minimum.  I'm really not a huge fan of pred because it can cause a lot of damage to the organs if used over a long period of time  He already has a smaller than normal liver with some damage from a case of inflammed pancreas.  I'm hoping that fish oil and glucosamine will help with the arthritis and we can get away from the pred but that'll be up to our vet ultimately. 

Thanks for the input!  There's so much out there, it's nice to get others' experience and advice.

Hugs,

Katie and Zeke 

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12 February 2009 - 4:25 pm
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Thanks Seanne! I was just curious because I too am concerned about the doxorubricin. I've been told that rotties tend to not have heart issues so he should be okay for the treatment. His osteo seems to have been caught pretty early and it was in the wrist area. I'm hoping that means he can get through the chemo in fewer rounds than they are calling for. Our vet told us that we can always stop if we think he isn't handling it well.

I'm sorry that Wrigley's diagnosis was not the best case scenario but sounds like she's doing pretty good.  I hope she can continue to do well with her treatments.

It sounds like the panting could be related to either med so we'll just have to test it out and see what happens.  I think I'm going to hold off on giving him anymore tramadol, so then we can see if it definitely is the pred or the combo of both.  Or it could even be the feeling of something not quite right.  There's so much trial and error but we will keep working with him to see what works for him.

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12 February 2009 - 5:28 pm
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Anytime Katie- glad to help. I know I relied so much on this site my first 2 weeks- then my first round of chemo.

Yes, Wrigley is doing great- she's a tough cookie so we are betting on her beating the odds. We are on your same path that if her treatment at any time makes her so sick she can't enjoy life – we will stop and let things just be.

Sounds like you are in good hands. I am sure things will continue to go great for you too.

One thing on the meds. I don't know if Prednisone affects dogs the same as it does humans, but I had to take prednisone about 8 years ago while they tried to figure why I was going deaf in one ear…. anyway it was awful. I was bouncing off the walls I had so much energy. I could not settle. It felt like my skin was crawling all the time- I  am sure if I was a dog I would have been panting heavily too. I also had an appetite that would not quit- no matter how much I ate I was hungry all the time. So I can relate.

Keep us posted. Hope all goes well.

Seanne

Seanne and Angel Wrigley

Here and Now


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12 February 2009 - 7:15 pm
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KatieO said:

For anyone whose dog was put on tramadol for pain management post-op, did you notice a change in breathing?


Jerry was on Tramadol after his surgery and never had any breathing issues. Much later in his cancer care, he was put on Prednisone which caused him to pant quite a bit. Though he was also on Tramdol again at the time so it may have been the combination of the two.

Good question. Thanks for the update!

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12 February 2009 - 8:06 pm
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I've heard that about prednisone .  I've never had to be on it but I do know people who have been.  Some have said it makes them feel better overall, so I guess it depends on the person.  I'm sure that it can cause dogs to feel hot or unsettled, too. 

I'm wondering if it could be a combination of the two meds, also.  I guess the only way to know for sure will be to see how he is tomorrow when he gets his prednisone

Thanks again, everyone!  You all have been a lot of help.   

Hugs,

Katie and Zeke

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