Experiences with Lymphoma? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Experiences with lymphoma, please?

My Max is 3.5 yrs old. He was just diagnosed with low grade lymphoma. His xrays showed no growths, but all his lymph nodes are up. The ones around his throat are huge, but were brought down a bit after a steroid shot. He's easily winded, and tires easily. He doesnt seem to be in pain, although he doesnt respond to commands as quickly as he did about 4 months ago. I am so sad, and so confused as what to do. The vet recommends me to an oncologist. My gut and what Ive read is telling me to put him down. Can anyone share their experiences with this type of cancer? Thank you.

-Celia
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 05:07 PM
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Re: Experiences with lymphoma, please?

Sorry to hear about Max's diagnosis.

The steroid shot wasn't a good idea if you are considering chemo. We had a rescue GSD with low grade lymphoma. It grows slowly and is slower to respond to treatment. He was treated with CCNU and prednisone and lead a very good quality of life until he died of something else I think 9 months or so later. He received 5 or 6 treatments 3 weeks apart and then was off chemo. He was being neuter when they vet discovered the enlarged lymph nodes so I believe this may have exacerbated his condition.

I would suggest meeting with an oncologist and finding out what your options are. How was low grade lymphoma diagnosed? It is a pretty rare form of lymphoma.

My male was diagnosed with b-cell lymphoma a month before his 4th birthday. He had chemo treatments and was in remission for 17 months. We underwent chemo treatments again and he is still in remission (knock wood). There are new drugs now available and may be studies for you to participate in that can have better odds at treating the cancer.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Experiences with lymphoma, please?

She took a biopsy of the nodes around his throat. Yes, she said it was the rarer form. I will be getting a referral for the oncologist. I just got back from a patients house (I do PT homecare) and she said she heard on the news a few days ago about FDA approval for a new cancer tx for dogs. Maybe it's a sign for me to reconsider putting him down. Thank you, GSMom for your quick reply. I will keep everyone updated.

-Celia
Kira (sable) GSD 10/09
Geordi (ferret)
Amanda (MaineCoon)
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 05:49 PM
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Re: Experiences with lymphoma, please?

Please do! I just found this thread. My parent's Aussie/? mix (not a GSD but a large dog) had lymphoma (I will find out what kind). They went through chemo with him which was very successful. He had several more good years (I think at least three or four) before dying at almost 15. My impression is that lymphoma (at least some types) is one of the more treatable forms of canine cancer.

Good luck with your pup!


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Experiences with lymphoma, please?

thank you, pupresq! I would be interested in knowing what kind your parent's aussie mix had.

-Celia
Kira (sable) GSD 10/09
Geordi (ferret)
Amanda (MaineCoon)
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 11:40 PM
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Re: Experiences with lymphoma, please?

I am very sorry to hear about your dog. I think treatment for lymphoma has come a long way. My ex's sheltie had it 10 years ago and he only lived 5 weeks post diagnosis. At the time the chemo was in an experimental phase and caused all kinds of serious side effects. I believe that the chemo is now much better.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2009, 06:26 PM
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Re: Experiences with lymphoma, please?

Okay, I talked to my parents. Turns out I was misremembering a bunch of things - I thought he had lymphoma twice but turns out the first cancer was actually hemangiosarcoma and he got them both older than I was thinking. My mom writes:

Quote:
Quote: Sasquatch was a mixed breed, about 70 pounds, approximately 12 years old in September 2004 when vet discovered abdominal mass preparing him for dentistry. Did surgery immediately, removed enlarged spleen. Biopsy revealed hemangiosarcoma.

Spleen had not ruptured, and ultrasound revealed no metastases but we opted to go ahead with chemo anyway. Was treated with adriamycin plus Zinecard every 2 weeks for total of 6 treatments. He did very well, no side effects, and was back to normal at the end of the treatment.

In March 2006 he developed lymphoma, with multiple enlarged lymph nodes in abdomen and chest. He had IV treatments with vincristine on March 10 and 17, and oral cytoxan for 4 days beginning March 25. The lymph nodes shrank dramatically and he seemed to feel much better.

At that point he would have had adriamycin according to their protocol but because he had been treated with it before, they gave him mitoxantrone instead on March 31. This essentially wiped out his bone marrow, and he developed an infection, for which he was hospitalized April 10-12 and given IV antibiotics. He had a blood transfusion on April 17, and after that improved over the next couple of weeks.

He had vincristine again on April 28, cytoxan on May 5-9, vincristine on May 12, and cytoxan again on May 17-21, and was to have had another 4 days of cytoxan beginning May 31 but began deteriorating markedly about that time. He was hospitalized after collapsing at home on June 4, and was euthanized on June 6.
She is looking for the report that lists the exact kind of lymphoma because she couldn't remember.

The main thing she wanted to pass on was that the first couple of lymphoma treatments went fine and the lymph nodes retreated dramatically, but unfortunately because he had already had his lifetime dose of the chemo they used the first time (it can cause heart damage if given too much) they then treated him with the mitoxantrone, which was the drug that did him in.

So even though his outcome wasn't actually that great, it was the last chemo drug that caused the big problem rather than the lymphoma, which actually responded pretty well to treatment.

She also reminded me that one of the (good) drugs they did give him for the lymphoma was cytoxan, which is the same thing my father had for his lymphoma and which knocked him into remission for more than 10 years. Sasq did fine with that one too.

I will post when I find out what kind he had.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2009, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Experiences with lymphoma, please?

oh, thank you for you and your moms effort! I have gotten the referral, and will call the oncologist tomorrow. I will print your mom's email and bring it with me! If you can tell me the type and grade, that would be awesome!

-Celia
Kira (sable) GSD 10/09
Geordi (ferret)
Amanda (MaineCoon)
RIP
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2009, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Experiences with lymphoma, please?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: BowWowMeowI am very sorry to hear about your dog. I think treatment for lymphoma has come a long way. My ex's sheltie had it 10 years ago and he only lived 5 weeks post diagnosis. At the time the chemo was in an experimental phase and caused all kinds of serious side effects. I believe that the chemo is now much better.
thank you so much, ruth.

-Celia
Kira (sable) GSD 10/09
Geordi (ferret)
Amanda (MaineCoon)
RIP
Max (GSD) (10/05 - 05/10) We love you and miss you.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2009, 12:13 AM
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Re: Experiences with lymphoma, please?

I hope my post didn't come off negatively! At the time we dealt with it the drugs were still experimental but I have met quite a few dogs since then who have gone through the chemo for lymphoma and gone into remission for quite a long time. There is a lot of good information here on supportive therapy for cancer/chemo so if you do go that route be sure to check out the post we made on cancer (at the beginning of this thread).

I am going to ask the mods to make your thread into a separate one, if you don't mind b/c right now it's linked to the cancer thread.

Ruth & the 4 Legged Rescue Gang

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