Dane just diagnosed... need guidance.

Discussion in 'Introduce yourself (and your dog)' started by Lomo1967, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. Lomo1967

    Lomo1967 New Member

    Jul 22, 2018
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    My 8 year old Great Dane was just diagnosed with lymphoma this past Wednesday after I found that the lymph nodes under his neck were swollen... once I got him to the vet they found that all his lymph nodes were swollen. About two weeks prior to that, he had two very small mast cell tumors removed.

    Tomorrow we go to the oncologist to see what stage he's in and if he's a candidate for chemo not based only on what stage the cancer is in, but also due to his size, age, and the fact that he has also developed a heart murmur which may be signs of heart issue in addition to the cancer.

    I don't know how to make the right decision.... no treatment? Prednisone? Chemo? I have guilt over which ever I choose, or don't choose. I only care about doing the right thing for him, not for myself.

    How do you KNOW?
  2. Bo's mom

    Bo's mom New Member

    Aug 1, 2018
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    Lomo1967 - These life and death decisions are extremely difficult as you want to do the right thing on behalf of your dog. I have just been through the fact finding stage with our 14 yr old Redbone Coonhound. A few things that I learned about Lymphoma that you may want to discuss with your oncologist:
    - there are 2 types: large and small-intermediate cell lymphomas
    large is more common in dogs while small is in cats; however, either can be in either
    large is much more aggressive and you do need to choose between the chemo and prednisone
    small is responsive to prednisone so you can go with both prednisone and chemo
    it is a different regimen for small vs. large so be sure which one your dog has
    it is possible to have a multiple of type of cancers so be sure of this as well before deciding to use prednisone as steroids do make many chemos less effective.
    Omega-3 (EPA and DHA key) is safe for dogs and as in humans, adds to the effectiveness of chemo
    Chemo for lymphoma is well tolerated and many dogs respond well to it.so do not be scared of it as an option

    If you have made the decision to go the palliative route, I would recommend at least the prednisone. It will keep your dog comfortable (and happy) for the remainder of days. It is not very costly and the vet will work with you to ensure the correct dosing so that you are not creating any more risk than needed.

    You may want to also discuss diet with the oncologist. In humans, cancer loves to feed on sugars. Any carb is ultimately converted to carb/glucose in the body so to keep this low is helpful to humans. Not sure how this works in dogs as I have this question into our oncologist.

    My dog has multiple tumors. One of the largest is on his spleen. Surgery is not an option given his age. One of the concerns I had was that I was warned that there is a risk for one of the nodes to rupture resulting in massive internal bleeding. Again, because of his age and condition, we would not opt for surgery, but I also do not want the dog to suffer. Our vet assured us that if this were to happen, the dog does not suffer and just goes to sleep peacefully.

    I hope this info helps.

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