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Did You Use Chemo?

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I wanted to start a new topic because I really want to know how much these chemo drugs will impact Artemis's life.


The one that our cancer doctor said he would use is called bemblastine. He said that dogs usually experience ulcers, lose some hair, and I would assume more suseptible to illness due to the nature of chemo.


Artemis is dealing with pretty advanced mast cell disease. We have the option to remove the tumors and infected lymph nodes and go through chemo. They do not report a full recovery since it's so advanced and really couldn't give a timeline when the next tumor would appear and we would start all over again.


So did you choose chemotherapy when your dog came down with cancer? Did they recover? Did the chemo severly affect their life?


Argo and bridge babies Artemis, Icarus and Iris.

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Guest Hannah

OK so Mono was a kitty, but she had an intestinal tumour.


We decided to try chemo because I just felt she needed the chance. Our vet explained that here in the UK the regulations around animal chemo and human chemo is different, they cannot dose as high for animals so they dont get the side effects that humans do.


As far as Mono was concerned the real down side to chemo was not getting her breakfast on chemo days :lol she was a grumpy old madam and needed a light sedative to send her to play with the fairies while the meds were given otherwise she had a terrible habit of trying to chew through the IV line :rolleyes:


The vet, receptionist, nurses and technicians learnt NOT to have tuna sandwiches on Mono's treatment day or they were subjected to her yelling and screaming at them until they shared with her. she could smell tuna mayo sandwiches from miles away and would sell anybodies soul for a bite :lol :lol


We stopped the chemo after two rounds as it was having no effect at all, but I would have spent many years second guessing myself if she had not tried. I am pretty sure I would have tried with a chance of some mild side effects but not with more severe ones.


Hugs for you and Artemis :grouphug

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I'm only part-way through the chemo with Snickers, and it's osteo and I'm confused about the chemo so I may not be the best feedback, but I chose chemo based on her prognosis, age and quality of life.


It's a really hard decision because you can't ask Artemis what to do. Try to find out what other dog owners have experienced with that particular chemo drug.


OSU is wonderful about getting back to you -- don't hesitate to ask them.



Aero: http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?d=kees+uncatchable; our bridge angel (1/04/02-8/2/07) Snickers; our bridge angel (1/04/02-2/29/08) Cricket; Kanga Roo: oops girl 5/26/07; Doctor Thunder http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?z=P_31Oj&a...&birthland=
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Guest jsk4x

Our 14 year old golden retriever developed mass cell cancer. She rapidly developed a large lump about the size of an egg hanging off her body. We had surgery to remove the tumor, but elected not to go with chemo. We made the decision due to her age and, based on the vet's description, the chemo sounded like it would seriously affect her quality of life. Even before the cancer, she was pretty slow and arthritic. The surgery bought her another 8 months, then the cancer came back with a vengeance and we put her to sleep.

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Mast cell tumors are very different from osteo... I agree with the suggestion to have the Ohio State folks take a look.


The Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and Pepcid (famotidine) are important for Artemis to have with mast cell tumors. (They are chemo in a way-- but very non-toxic). And, you can get generic versions of both--(they can both be given by mouth) -- so it's not going to be very expensive and the side effects are pretty minor. (You can buy liquid versions of both to let you give the appropriate dose, as it may not be any of the standard human dose amounts.)


This is the short version, but mast cells are what rush to the scene when you have an allergic response-- they come to the site and they releae histamine. That's their function. You know the red itchy bump you get where you have a mosquito bite, poison ivy, etc-- those are the effects of histamine relesase. With mast cell tumors, mast cells are the ones that out of control.... so you have the potential for releasing lots of histamine... Benadryl and pepcid block the receptors for histamine and thus, block a lot of the response. You don't want lots of histamine released all over the body-- too much and you get low blood pressure and other problems -- but if can't you avoid the production or release, then you want the released histamine to produce as few other effects as pssible. (pm if you want more detail.) Mast cell tumors can show up as skin bumps-- or they can grow as internal tumors that you never see.


Our Janet had a mast cell tumor removed in 2003. Hers was a grade 1. She's still ok (knock on wood). At that time, I did lots of reading and asking questions about the mast cell tumors-- and I still try to keep up. The use of the histamine receptor blockers makes good sense-- and this is still how human conditions with mast cell problems are treated (just heard a talk on this two weeks ago). There was one family I talked to whose grey had several rounds of surgery for MCT, but when it came back again, they didn't do additional surgery, but the grey was on both benadryl and pepcid and lived several years with a good quality of life after the decision not to do additional surgery. I think they added prednisone as well.


If Janet ever had a(nother) bump that got bigger when she was excited or when we squeezed it, I would put her on diphenhydramine and famotidine (or cimetidine or ranitidine) before we even set up a vet appointment.... so, I would at least get supplies of those and start giving them to her to keep everything settled down while you are checking out the other options.


That doesn't help much with your chemo drug questions... but at least know that's it's a very different game from osteo... she won't have to worry about bones weakened from the osteo and I don't think anything is ever amputated because of mast cell tumors.


I hope this helps a little bit....

Hugs to your girl.



Greyhound Fleece Jackets


Greyhound Pack: Festus, EdWin, and Jethro; Angels Janet, Faster, Blake, Navarre, and Murray.

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