Red’s Lymphoma – Week 2

As mentioned in last week’s blog post, our dog has canine lymphoma. I talked a bit about his diagnosis and the initial treatment to bring those swollen lymph nodes back down to normal size.

The Elspar was a miracle treatment. And the prednisone (though the side effects were a bit exhausting) worked wonders, too.

However, we just finished week 2 with Red’s second chemo treatment (actually, technically, I think it is considered his 1st chemo treatment because the Elspar wasn’t chemical, it was a protein; but that’s really not so important).

We took him in last Wednesday to Blue Pearl Vet clinic–an amazing place. We dropped him off, kissed his nose and wished our baby luck. Within three hours, Red was ready for pick-up.

The doctors checked him out prior to his treatment and were happy to report that he seemed to be responding beautifully already to the treatments. His next drug was called Vincristine. I had read a bit about it prior to going in and it seemed like it was potentially a hard drug on some dogs. Of course, each pooch is different, but we know Red and he tends to get nauseated very easily. And vincristine is notorious for affecting stomach lining and the gastrointestinal system.

Day 1 on vincristine was wonderful. Red felt no different than usual. He was thrilled to see us. We took him for a long walk that evening. Gave him dinner and some treats. Everything was great. We even were able to taper his prednisone, so he didn’t feel the need to go for a walk every couple of hours any more.

The next day was also pretty good. It wasn’t until Friday that we noticed Red wasn’t feeling well. We woke up Friday morning and despite the warm weather, Red was shivering and seemingly cold. I took his temperature (99.5) which was normal for a dog. So, we covered him with a blanket and kept an eye. He wanted nothing to do with food and we didn’t want to force the issue. The anti-nausea medicine didn’t seem to be helping. He threw up twice on Friday. We were careful to make sure he was drinking fluids (he was), but simply let him rest and kept an eye on his temperature.

He managed to eat a couple hard boiled eggs and a few pieces of our baked salmon which Sean and I made (for ourselves) for dinner.

The next morning, the shivering stopped, but he still had no interest in food. I mixed water with chicken stock and a little bit of pureed pumpkin which he lapped up entirely. And luckily, by Saturday night, he was back to (almost) his normal self. By dinner, he was begging for table scraps, licking his bowl clean and jauntily trotting beside us on his walk.

Sean and I sighed in relief and left for our date night (our first wedding anniversary!) in relaxed, good spirits.

Since Saturday, Red’s been totally fine! Fingers crossed that the next treatment will go smoothly…

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