3rd Treatment Recap and Oncology Visit # 4
Week Three’s treatment went just as Rita’s oncologist, Dr. Risbon, said it might – rough. Not at first though. The first couple of days Margarita ate well and was in good spirits.
At our last visit (Wednesday, April 3), Dr. Risbon warned that Margarita may have the worst week ahead of her in regard to her treatments so far. She noted that the side effects of nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and/or diarrhea could begin in about three to five days after her treatment. Right on cue, three days later – on Friday, Margarita was visibly not feeling well, and not interested in food. We tried all of our normal “tricks”… canned dog food, cream cheese, Spam, rotisserie chicken, cheese, eggs, bread, bacon, sausage… but she wasn’t interested.
By Saturday morning, Margarita was moving very slowly. She had some diarrhea and had mucus in her stool. We called our veterinarian, Dr. Campbell, on Saturday morning to give her an update. She let us know that she could call in an appetite stimulant if she continued not to eat. She also told us to try parmesan cheese sprinkled on the food. Dr. Campbell’s concern was making sure Margarita got back on schedule with eating her prescription diet so that her little system could absorb proteins correctly and assist in the healing process.
Luckily, by Saturday night Rita began to eat a little bit of rotisserie chicken – but nothing else. With a little coaxing (and some parmesan cheese), Rita did eat some of her prescription food. Dr. Campbell called us on Sunday afternoon (I’m telling you – “they don’t make ’em” like her anymore!!) to check on Rita, who had been enjoying some Sunday Morning porch-sittin’, and some afternoon sunbathing.
Monday was a decent day where Margarita ate some food, but still appeared to not be feeling well.
Oncology Visit #4
This week’s visit consisted of meeting with the Oncology nurse, and getting blood work drawn.
Margarita’s CBC revealed a significant neutropenia (the presence of abnormally few white blood cells in the blood, leading to increased susceptibility to infection). In order to prevent infection, Rita was started on an antibiotic:
- SMZ-TMP: 480mg tablets.
- 1.5 tablets to be given once a day until finished
Another CBC will be repeated prior to any further chemotherapy treatments. Margarita is scheduled for a CBC and Ultrasound next week, followed by an appointment with our Oncologist, Dr. Risbon, for continued chemotherapy as long as next week’s test results are acceptable.
This week’s yummy treat was a vanilla soft-serve ice cream cone!
After Margarita enjoyed a few licks, I removed the ice cream and let her enjoy the cone.
Awareness is Power
The greater your awareness, the greater your power.
Awareness is also the greatest agent for change. One in every three dogs will get cancer… One… In…three! Now THAT’s something that needs to change. The more PAWrents know about the facts and preventative measures, the better we will be able to protect our fur-kids and decrease their odds of getting cancer.
Did you know that Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer seen in dogs?
Be your dog’s eyes: Do a cancer check on your dog at least once a month. Lumps and bumps can often be easily seen. But sometimes – like in Margarita’s case – being on the lookout for unusual behaviors and reporting them to your veterinarian is just as important for an early diagnosis and better outcome for your fur-child.
Below are some tips on how to do a canine cancer check on your dog.
Be your dog’s ears and voice: Speak up and share anything you can about a cancer that has directly affected your fur-kid. Get people talking – LISTEN AND LEARN! The more stories that are shared, the more educated we become about cancer. This will result in more awareness raised, more research, and a greater opportunity for us all to take a bite out of canine cancer.
Thank you for joining Margarita in her journey to take a bite out Lymphoma.