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Newly diagnosed lymphoma
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Newly diagnosed lymphoma

I have an 8 year old border/corgi mix.  She recently threw up her breakfast one morning this week and I thought I should take her to the vet for a check up since we are going away in a few weeks.  They vet checked her and noticed an enlarged lymph on her neck.  She asked to run a blood test and xrays.  Two hours later I receive a call that she has lymphoma.  Other than vomiting once and this lymph she has shown no other signs.  The xrays show a few enlarged lymphs in her chest.  All peripheral nodes were fine.  Blood work fine, just mildly elevated liver enzymes and calcium.  Liver and spleen looked normal.  They want me to start chemo ASAP.  They sent me to an oncologist who recommed Leukeran and Prednisone (as all I can afford).  They started her on Pred (20mg 2x's a day for 7 days) and said I had a week to decide.  I am so confused and lost by all this!!  I feel like my perfectly healthy dog was just given an expiration date.

I am considering going for a second opinion this week, or should I just start the chemo because the outcome will be the same?  Is there any other infection that can mask itself as lymphoma?  When I asked if the blood work could be wrong, I was told no because the oncologists team did the test.  The pred has already started reducing the lymp in her neck considerably and it has only been 2 1/2 days.  I just can't seem to bring myself to start her on chemo, I just feel that will kill her first.
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Avatar_f_tn
So sorry to hear about your dog.
I know how it feels to get news like that.

We lost our dog 15 months ago to Lymphoma.
We were devastated to say the least- she was a 5 year old Vizsla.

My advise-
Enjoy every moment you have with your girl. And DO NOT feel pressured to spend the money on chemo. Our oncologist said the chemo would put her into remission for 6 months to a year....(20% of dogs go into remission for close to 2 years). I loved our dog more than anything, but could not put her through weekly chemo for 5 months (nor could we afford it). We would have found the money if it would have been a 'cure'- but all you are buying is time.

She lived 3 months after being diagonosed. Every day I told her this fate 'wasn't part of the plan...." And I know she understood me.

I came home one day and her lymph nodes were so swollen- her face looked like she had been stung by a million bees. I promised her she wouldn't suffer.

Your dog does NOT know she is sick. (keep it that way)

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1296965_tn?1279839570
Get you doggie on EVO dog food, my Jasmine has stage 4 on the cusp of stage 5 cancer, they give her 5 more months to live. I give her NO CARBS OR SUGAR they say cancer feeds off of carbs & sugar. So, I am starving it to death so to speak.  I am extending her life as long as I can. I tried chemo for  2 weeks and she got sick - I am not having her spend her last days on earth with me sick. She gets fresh cooked chicken and her EVO Turkey & Chicken dog food, I added missing link- vitamin supplement to her diet which she eats with ricotta cheese. Hope this helps.
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Avatar_f_tn
I gave our dog EVO dog food and my dog had an allergic reaction to it....(just an fyi).
It was horrible to see her scratching like crazy.

I did try the same thing..."no carbs" and made her chicken and beef instead of dog food.
I don't know that it didn't much to deter the cancer, but she sure ate well in her last months.
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1344838_tn?1276368091
Thank you all so much for your posts.  I tried to call another vet, but since she does not see her, she is hesitant to help.  She did refer us to a holisitic vet, and when I called, they were very nice and supportive.  They offered to send a list of foods and supplements to feed her, and if I wanted, they would be happy to see her (acupuncture would be included in the first visit).  I just feel sad and angry and probably every emotion that everyone else has felt.  I look at her and she doesn't look sick, and that is the hardest part for me, knowing that she is going to go down hill.  The oddest thing is the oncologist said that the vomiting had nothing to do with the cancer, just coincidence.  They think she is stage 2 or 3.  So where would I be if I hadn't taken her to the vet that morning?  It was so sad going to the oncologist because someone said it's "cancer day".  All the pets in there had different stages of the disease.

My husband and I are siding with not doing the chemo, yet the vet has already called three times to see when I am starting it.  She is very matter of fact on the phone (and in person) to the point that she makes me cry and when I try to explain that no matter what I do the outcome will be the same, she gets annoyed.  She asked that I come in so she could feel her lymph node for $50. (I would think this would be free considering her diagnosis.)  When I did call back to bring her in, she said she was too busy.

The other thing that bothers me is the prednisone.  It seems to be making her overly anxious the past few days.  I know this is a side effect.  But where she has always been calm and laid back, she is now growling at the kitten especially if food is involved.  She is pacing through the house.  She has also taken to peeing on the floor the past 3 days, which she has never done.  If she is having side effects from the prednisone, I can only imagine the effects of the chemo.

I called my friend to ask her advice and she was shocked because that same day her dog was diagnosed with lymphoma (10 yr old female border collie) and her and her husband were having the same discussion when I called.  And what was really weird is that her other friend called too because her 15 yr old border was just diagnosed with lymphoma also.
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow. This is upsetting to me since the oncologist we went to made me feel like, "why wouldn't you do chemo?" He said lymphoma isn't curable, but it is treatable- (with a great big smile on his face!
I am thinking- he is trying to sugar coat this.

I worried that I would regret not doing chemo. 15 months later with a different perspective- I KNOW I did the right thing for MY dog. She would not have understood chemo, or why she would have had to go through that. Ask your self this question, "are you putting your dog through chemo for her, or you?"

My vet didn't think we should do chemo either. He flat out told us.

Your dog will act fine for 6-12 weeks (likely). We gave Rory a 'light' dose of pred. I didn't want her to be constantly thirsty or bloated....I could not and would not let her suffer. Like I said- My husband and I ENDED her battle with cancer. That was actually the most empowering (yet devastating) part of the whole thing. You are there to protect and care for them-they understand that.

Love you dog and talk to her about how hard this is for you. Later it will help you heal.
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