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Sat Nov 16, 2013, 06:51 PM

Chemotherapy for dogs.

Does anyone have experience with going this route and would you care to share your experience?

Our vet has referred us to a veterinary oncologist. Any experiences with specialists?

We are just trying to educate ourselves at this point. Thank you very much for your replies.

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Reply Chemotherapy for dogs. (Original post)
femmocrat Nov 2013 OP
ebbie15644 Nov 2013 #1
Curmudgeoness Nov 2013 #2
femmocrat Nov 2013 #4
Curmudgeoness Nov 2013 #7
jtuck004 Nov 2013 #3
femmocrat Nov 2013 #10
TorchTheWitch Nov 2013 #5
femmocrat Nov 2013 #9
TorchTheWitch Nov 2013 #11
sinkingfeeling Nov 2013 #6
femmocrat Nov 2013 #8
meti57b Nov 2013 #12

Response to femmocrat (Original post)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 08:10 PM

1. I personally don't

My Ebony had cancer throughout when we discovered it and we did what we thought was the right thing since she was 14 years old. We did not want her to suffer. I do belong to several dog groups though and they are doing chemo for their dog. The woman who I got my recent puppy from is doing chemo for her dog as the tumor is in his hip and she seems to think it's working.

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Response to femmocrat (Original post)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 12:00 AM

2. I have no experience with chemo,

but I do have experience with specialists. And that experience is that they are very expensive.

I also have not had dogs, but have had 2 cats with cancer. My first questions were about the odds of chemo working for the particular cancers that they had. The odds were not very good, and I chose not to try and put the cats through it. The decision is so complicated, just as it is with humans. Make sure that you get as many answers to any questions before you make the decision to spend the money and put the pet through it.

I do know that there is someone here in the Pets Group who is going through this right now. You may want to look through the posts (it has been recent) to find that poster, if they don't reply to this OP.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 10:56 PM

4. Yes, both the expense and distance to travel are concerns.

I think you are in PA? The vet is on the other side of Pittsburgh from us.... quite a distance and it would be multiple visits.

Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it.

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 09:39 PM

7. Yes, I am in W PA

and live about 75 miles from Pittsburgh. I had to travel down to the Pitt area for a cat, and it was difficult. We have no specialists close to me. Pittsburgh or Akron are the closest, and both are a long way to go.

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Response to femmocrat (Original post)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 08:15 PM

3. That's a hard one.

 


We have never pursued it. We give them a good life as long as we can, even giving up the bed once in a while . But when that diagnosis comes about, and it has twice now, (we foster dogs, so we deal with more than most people) we elected to euthanize them when they became too uncomfortable beyond good pain pills. I now always hold them when they go. I took one in, and it was a miserable experience - before I learned about sedating them beforehand. The other passed away at home, perhaps a combination of a long-time enlarged heart and pain medication.

I have a vet friend who said he would never put his dog through the treatment. And, true to his word, his long-time friend got cancer and he waited until that time came about, then euthanized him. He said the length of time in treatment, their sickness, pain, what your dog actually gets out of it, the cost, etc, all combined to make him less of a believer in that for his own (And most) animals, although he does tell clients to speak with a specialist for their own decision if they have the resources.

On the other hand, I saw several people bringing their dogs, who mostly didn't look miserable, in to Washington State Vet School when we were having knee operations done on two of our dogs, so there are people who go that route.

But I am not the type that looks back and wonders what difference it would have made, or need them to undergo this because I can't make a decision. (It's the only time I drink any more, after it's over - 'cause sometimes it's more than I can stand. But that's just me. It doesn't really help, though, it's just a reflex).

That's such an intensely personal decision, however, so I am just speaking about myself here. Don't read anything else into it, and don't take it as advice. Just look on it as someone else's experience, because you have to live with whatever you do.

We wish you well.

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 09:58 PM

10. Thank you so much.

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Response to femmocrat (Original post)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 04:56 AM

5. have you considered a Yahoo group or other special forum

for people dealing with a pet going through chemo? These groups can be a real God send with loads of information as well as emotional support. I got such an amazing experience joining a Yahoo group when my first dog got diagnosed with sebaceous adenitis and don't know what I would have done without it. There's sure to be several groups online you can join for people with pets going through chemo. These special groups or forums can be just a well spring of help and support.



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Response to TorchTheWitch (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 09:57 PM

9. No... haven't been over there.

Thanks.... I was hoping to get some answers here, I guess.

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 19, 2013, 03:34 AM

11. of course you could get answers here

I just think that an internet group that is specifically for people with pets going through or about to go through chemo would likely give you a better opportunity to get even more specific information from a wide range of people all going through the same thing as well as be able to provide moral support that's also more specific. Of course you could get the same thing here but it would be a lot less information, and though of course this group can always provide moral support for pretty much any pet issue, you'd be likely to get more specific support in a group designed for and populated by people that are all in the same boat as you are.

Just a suggestion for something to look into that could be a great help to you that you may not be able to get enough of just here. Personally, I'd do both this group and a specific internet group geared toward the particular problem I was facing since I'd want as much info and hand holding as I could get.

Best of luck to you and your fur baby that all goes well.


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Response to femmocrat (Original post)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 11:05 AM

6. My dog took oral chemo for a while. What type of cancer is it?

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 09:55 PM

8. It's in his mouth...

squamous cell carcinoma. We had the tumor removed once but the regular vet didn't get it all and wants us to see a specialist for further treatment(s). The percentage of it spreading is low, only 5 %..... so we have a lot to think about. Thanks for your reply.

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Response to femmocrat (Original post)

Tue Nov 19, 2013, 11:23 AM

12. My cat had chemotherapy....

I think it was 2005, I don't remember for sure.

He turned up with a tumor as large as his abdomen. I didn't feel it in early stages because at the time, my cat had decided that my husband was his person. He spent his time sitting and sleeping on my husband's lap.

Our vet did the surgery and removed the tumor, but couldn't remove all of it. We took him to a large veterinary hospital that had a veterinary ocologist for chemotherapy.

Both our own vet and the vet oncologist said we could try the chemo, but there was no way my cat would survive. The chemo started out once a week, then once every two weeks, once a month, etc. Throughout, they kept reminding me that cat would not survive.

To cut the story short and get to the bottom line, .... my cat is alive and well today at 13 years old.

edit to add: the cancer was "lymphosarcoma of the digestive tract".

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