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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
This is my first time here. My 11 yr old Basset Charlie was diganoised with lymphoma about 3 weeks ago. Options were do chemo or steriods. Previous experence with steriods weren't good, and proved to be the same this time. The only hope we have is it really isn't lymphoma as the needle biopsy wasn't conclusive and they wanted to do surgery, but my husband would not allow them to do this. We had another basset with liver cancer and we did surgery and everything possible to save her she was only 3 years old and a week after surgery she died it was very painful for my husband(and the whole family) and he feels if we hadn't let them do surgery she would have lived a while longer than a week.
So now here is our Charlie he seems fine he has summer allergies. Has had for 6 years now.
He was less mobile this winter having a hard time coming up the steps, so he has a ramp now. He has had a few other problems old age gets us all. My husband doesn't want to do chemo, so I agreed to wait and see. I was wondering if anyone else here could advise on what we should watch for. I have days I want to run him to the vet and say do the surgery remove part of the lymphnodes and tell us for sure, but then I know we won't put him through chemo so why. My husband wants to do what is right for Charlie not what is right for us.
We went out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary 28 years and we spent the whole time discussing our 5 pets. My husband commented not once did we bring up our son and daughter their not children anymore but our pets are now.
I know some here will think we are wrong to not to do chemo, but this is something we have agonized over, it wasn't a desicion made lightly we love Charlie with all of our hearts and I have sat and prayed over him, and I want to have faith that it is just his allergies causing the enlarged lynphnodes, but I know it probably is not. Sorry this is so long. Steph
 

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Steph, I have no experience with the disease you are dealing with, but just wanted to say don't let anyone make you feel guilty about not doing chemo. If you have visited the General Discussion Forum, you may have read I just lost my 11 yr old Basset Sadie to hemangiosarcoma. Her treatment would have only given her a few more months. I chose not to treat because I did not want to put her through the trauma of major surgery and chemo. Even though my decision caused Sadie to leave me much sooner, I am at peace with my decision & know it was right. Our last days together were something I will always treasure. Do what you & your husband feel is right for you both & Charlie. During Sadie's ordeal, everyone kept telling me to follow my heart & do what I felt was right. All the decisions I made were accompanied with thoughts of what if.. But now that is over, I realize I did make all the right decisions, & am glad they were MY decisions. My thoughts are with you, your husband & Charlie.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
HI
I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for the reply. It is really a hard decision to make. We did try with our other Basset and it was very painful for her in the last week and I know my husband blamed himself for putting her through it.
It is such a hard thing, and yet I couldn't imagine my life without my dogs.
Steph
 

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Speedy is 12 1/2 so I know everyday it gets closer. I have always told myself it will come down to "quality of life". That will guide my decisions. Don't know if that helps, but our prayers are with you. Speedy
 

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Hi, by now you might have read my post on my beloved Rosie losing her batttle with lymphoma June 7th. We did put Rosie on chemo and it was very costly to do so but it gave us five extra months with her.

Her problems started in November, 2006. We had the same trouble getting a definite answer to two neele aspirations as you did. Her regular vet, in my opinion, did not seem to be in any any hurry on reaching a diagnosis. Her breathing got so bad we had to take her to the Univ. of Ga. Teach School.

This is definitely a personal choice. As I said, we chose to take a chance on chemo. She had no bad side effects from the chemo except being a little tired for the rest of the day. She came out of remission the last part of April and went back into remission for 2 weeks. We decided at this point to stop chemo. My grief is unconsolable. I cannot image a life without her.

Do what is right for you and Sadie. Nobody can make the decision for you. Unfortunately, the outcome will be the same without or without chemo.

I'm thinking of you and Sadie and hope and pray for the best.

Sandra
 

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I should have told you that if it does turn out to be lymphoma, please, feel free to send me as many emails as you want if you have any questions at all. If you want honesty I will do my best to tell you. Over the last 5 months I met on line two wonderful women who have become my friends because there babies also had lymphoma. Without them I could not have made it through this week. We also stayed in constant contact during all of the chemo sessions and anything else that was going on in our puppies lives. Between the three of us we probably would have an answer for you.

Rosie was the first to go but I will still be here for my friends.

You can send me a private email if you would want to.

Sandra
 

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Sorry to you who have had to deal with lymphoma. :cry: Every dog is different in how it responds.to various treatment modalities. My vet kept one old basset with lymphoma allive, with good quality of life, for two years on prednisone. I personally wouldn't put an 11 year old thru a course of chemo though certainly would use steroids. BTW I had a basset with what my vet thought was lymphoma based on his symptoms and swollen lymph nodes. I wouldn't let her biopsy because of his age and that it wouldn't change what I would do for treatment if it was lymphoma. I don't remember exactly what we used, I think antibiotic and some prednisone and it cleared up. My vet said it must have been some allergic response.

I think it's great to be supportive to one another but beware of comparing treatments, etc because all variables are seldom the same. Your best source for information and advise should be your veterinarian. If that's not the case then I would find a new vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi
We tried the predisone but his legs were giving out on him from the predisone. We had given him predisone for his allergies a couple years ago and it really bothered him then. We thought we would give it a try again sense lymphoma is so serious we thought we would at least try, but it really bothered him. And he was only getting 1/2 a 20 mg tablet. I wanted to try antibotics sense he has these allergy I thought maybe there is an under lying infection, but the vet was like no this is lymphoma and it won't help. So with out a precription we can't do it. I may find another vet to see him. It just seems like if it isn't lymphoma we are letting him suffer from something else we could be treating. I am not very happy with my vet. I may call around tomorrow. I know a lady who's husband is a vet maybe he would check him out for me. His practice isn't very close they live in another town, but it might be worth it. The lymphnodes in his neck are really large but he isn't having trouble eating or breathing. He doesn't have any problem other than his arthritis and itchy chest from his allergic reaction to some grass or weed in our yard. I may take him to my sisters in Michigan where I am orginally from and have our old vet check him out. I have to go there to stay with my mother for a month.
Thanks for all the support
Steph
 

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i would get a second Vet to look at your dog for sure. if he says the same thing ...lymphoma. i don't think i would do the chemo,unless the dog is still active and not having any other physical problems,than i would think about. had something like this happen and we only got 4 more months with Raider. and other than the Cancer he was was in great shape and hunted right up until a week b/4 we found out he had it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi
I called my vet and left a message asking her to call me. It makes me nervous dealing with her and I don't know why she is very nice. But when I asked about antibotics before or just checking for something causing the enlarged lymphnodes she didn't want to she said it wouldn't help she was sure it was lymphoma even though I have a copy of the test results that say it wasn't possitive. I noticed today Charlie was shaking his head I don't know if it is the lymphnodes or his ears. I am thinking of taking him in and having them do x rays to see if there is cancer in his lungs she said it would progress to his lungs. It is just awful being in this state of limbo. But doing a surgerical biopsy isn't an option. So we have put ourselves in this place. I am just having a hard time dealing with it.
Thanks for letting me vent.
Steph
 

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By refusing the lymph node biopsy, which should be a comparatively minor surgical procedure, you've tied your vet's hands, as far as making a diagnosis and treating your dog. And now you're sending mixed messages--you refuse a small biopsy that would likely yield a definitive diagnosis, you're not willing to treat, but you seem to be blaming your vet?

If it were my dog, I wouldn't hesitate to have the biopsy, and if the dog were otherwise active and alert, I'd likely try a cycle or two of chemo to see how she tolerated it. Dogs generally tolerate chemo better than do humans.

Not saying that you *should* agree to either the biopsy or chemo--that's definitely your decision to make...just that it seems your vet is being treated unfairly.
 

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Hi
The vet called me back and we are going to try the antibotics for the skin to see if there is an underlying infection from his allegies. She doesn't think it will help with the lymph nodes but she agrees it won't hurt. I know she is humoring me but I will take it. I mentioned tying her hands without the surgical biopsy and she said no it was okay she has other patients in the same situation and are just trying the steriods to help. She says 4 to 6 months with steriods and maybe a year to 18 months with chemo. Steph
 

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Betsy's right a surgical biopsy is necessary for a definitive diagnosis and it's not major surgery. In my post I said I declined the biopsy at my vet's suggestion because of his age, meaning I wasn't going to do any chemotherapy at his advanced age. My vet certainly wasn't in agreement with my decison but supported my right to make that choice.

Again it's fine to tell what we did with our own dogs but you should make your decisions based on discussions with your veterinarian not by a person's experience related here on Cyberhound.
 

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I didn't mean that not biopsying and not treating were unfair to the vet--I meant that bitching about her on this forum, given these limitations, was unfair.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I don't think I was bitching about the vet I was venting my frustrations of this disease. I did ask to have blood work done to rule out other possiblities and she is just very set that it is lymphoma she said running blood work would be a waste of time. I don't want to do surgery to biopsy the lymph nodes if we aren't going to do chemo. But I would like to rule out other possiblities. The vet has her mind set on what she believes. I think I have the right to question whether this is right without putting my dog through any more than needs be. I like my vet, but I don't agree with her. I am sure she doesn't agree with me, and it isn't the first time. But sense I have obvouisly offended you. I will refrain from venting any more.
 

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Even if prednisone hasn't been tolerated well in the past, you might want to try a few weeks of it. If the lymph glands go down, then it's inflammatory in nature. Then if they don't shrink, I'd do the biopsy route.

I have been dealing with swollen lymph glands and my rheumatologist has been testing me for lymphoma so I'm kind of familair with all of this stuff even tho I'm human and you're refering to basset stuff.

Take care,
Ruby's servant
 
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