Abby had her xray today and the GREAT news is that the lameness in her remaining front leg is NOT from the cancer spreading. In fact, her bone not only did NOT looked compromised at all - it looked beautiful (just like her outsides... just like she's been saying all along...). But, there was too much of it. Yeah, too much bone, caused by this apparently rare disease called Hypertrophic Osteopathy (HO). Dr. V. said it's so rare some doctor's might not have known what the problem was, but being an oncologist he has seen it before, since it is thought to be caused by a tumor(s) in the lungs.
So, it was not the best case scenario (which would have been an overuse injury) and it was not the worst case scenario (which would have been bone cancer and more or less game over). It's a rare and unique case - just like our girl.
I've been saying all along that Dr. V. says her lung "mets" are not acting like normal mets. Normally, once the disease metastasizes (when will I learn to spell that word? It takes me 7 tries to get it right each time...) the dog's lungs fill with lots of little mets - or "lung mints" as we sometimes like to call them on Tripawds. But Abby doesn't have lots of little "mints." She's got a coupla biggish ones and a small one. So, I guess her not-normal mets have led us down this not-normal path.
Dr. V. says the pain will sort of wax and wane, so we have the okay again to take her on walks, as long as she seems willing (and she definitely does, at least the last couple of days). She can even go back to the beach. He gave us some piroxicam (an NSAID, so that should help with inflammation) and tramadol (to help control the pain).
He is going to discuss possible treatment options with the rest of the oncologists there at Vet Cancer Group and then we'll talk more later.
The other good news is that the Masitinib (which we've been trying to
get her started on for a while now) should not only help with the tumors
in her lungs, but it should also possibly help w/ the HO. So, Masitinib
here we come again. Hopefully this 3rd time will be the charm!
So... like I said, it's not great news because she is in pain from it, but it's not as bad as the pain from bone cancer would be (which probably explains why she's still been trying to get me to play with her), AND she is not at risk for a fracture - which is a huge relief.
Hopefully we still have a lot more time with our girl. I had been thinking we might be down to our last few days and that she might never get to go to the beach again, but hopefully we'll have her a bit longer and she can go back to Fiesta Island soon (just want to try a few short neighborhood/park walks first and see how they go before turning her loose at the beach).
Thanks everyone for the good thoughts. I'll post more when I know more.
November 30, 2011
March 16, 2011
No, the dog is not doing performance enhancing drugs to win a race. The two parts of that title don't actually relate to one another. Let me 'splain. (Or perhaps, just sum up.)
PILLS: Today Abby had a follow up appointment with Dr. V. at the Vet Cancer Group to see how she was doing on the Palladia. Since she's doing well (only lost 1/2 a pound and has had only mild GI trouble, easily controlled with a couple of doses of Flagyl), we decided to add additional drugs to our cancer-butt-kicking arsenal. As shown in the photo, in order to keep track of her myriad pills, I had to get her one of those things like grandma uses (no offense to anyone out there who is NOT a grandma and uses one of these things... Like, oh, my hubby - not cuz he takes a ton of pills, but cuz we are forgetful...).
The main things we added are: Cytoxan (another low-dose chemo med, but it attacks the tumor differently than how the Palladia does, so it will be a one-two punch to that damn met) and Piroxicam (an NSAID, which apparently helps starve the tumor of the blood supply it feeds off of). To help with side effects, she gets Lasix on the same days as the Cytoxan plus a generic Prilosec each day. The plan is to try this for the next 2 weeks and then Dr. V. will check her blood and see how she's doing. It sounds like a lot, but others I talked to on the BoneCancerDogs Yahoo! group are also doing the every other day Palladia/Cytoxan thing, and apparently their dogs' tummies are handling it all well, so hopefully Abby will too. [I don't know if I mentioned it before, but basically this is called Metronomic Chemotherapy, which they explain quite well here if you want to know more.]
PODIUM: So, on to funner things. First of all, if you've been reading along, you know I entered Abby in the Orvis Cover Dog Contest. Well, as of today (the contest ends March 31) she is squarely on the bottom step of the podium for "Most Unique Voters" all by herself (for a long while she was sharing that last step with another dog). Yes, she's THIRD out of what is now up to a pool of 12,800+ dogs! That's a lotta poochness, and our girl is shining! Thanks to all who Vote(d) for Abby. As I've said (what, like a dozen times now?), one vote = one dollar and all the money goes to the Morris Animal Foundation Canine Cancer Research organization.
PICTURES: In other news, Mike and I went away this weekend with his brother and his brother's wife for a quick visit to Santa Barbara. Abby stayed with her aunt and uncle and her cousin, Lou, as she usually does. Her Aunt Terry took these very cute pics of her, anxiously awaiting the return of her parents. (Which is not to say she doesn't have a great time there, cuz she does... I think the main thing she likes is pestering Lou.)
|"Are they back yet? Thought I heard their car..."|
|Isn't it cute how you can just see Lou's little Shmoo head in the background?|
PEDICURE: In one last bit of fun news, we stopped by her regular vet office today, just to say hi. Everyone there was SO happy to see her, as this is the first time they've seen her since she got her stitches out way back in Nov. Dr. Shaprut, her regular vet, came out to love on her, but I could see him giving her the 'vet-once over' - surreptitiously checking her gums and whatnot. He noticed her back dew claws were getting long, so offered to have a tech cut them for free. He said "Anything for our Abby!" So, we just stopped to say hi, but ended up getting a free pedicure (peticure?) as well.