I have no idea how it will work with lymphoma, so don't get your hopes up. The veterinarian I was working with at the time told me that it might shrink brain tumours without eliminating them and we worked on the basis of suppressing symptoms which in Lady's case seemed to help. As they say, "your mileage may vary". I just wanted to alert you to possible side effects....
@j-brad Prednisone Is a steroid. It is meant to be take for a short time, usually in high doses tapering to a lower dose and eventually off it. There are many side effects associated with prednisone, mostly when given on a long term basis. Often, though, risk vs benefit, benefit wins. Our first basenji at around 13ish needed to be put on prednisone. You want the least possible dosage that helps the dog. Hers was given every other day. She lived to 16, but she was not being treated for cancer.
@rgk9ruler...Prednisone can shrink the swelling in the lymph glands, and make the dog feel generally better. It is only a bandaid, NOT a cure. I am a pharmacist, so when our Miss Delli-Do got this diagnosis, I did the research, with chemo the best out comes were at best, 18 months. Our gal was 15, and cost did also play into our decision, as well as her quality of life. We decided just comfort measures. She told me when she was ready. Again my heart goes out to you. It’s a tough diagnosis to get.
Today is a week out from the diagnosis. Petting him now always involves checking his chin and neck. At this writing he's fine, the main problem is me.
One of the worst things about being human is being self-aware, knowing that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. (Well, the second point is arguable.) Our pets don't comprehend the finite nature of life, so that's a blessing on them. The joys of a pet's life with you are tempered by the circumstances of the end of it.
I'm the type of guy that cries when I see/hear beauty, or some certain types of pain. (Physically I have a high threshold.)
We must steel ourselves for the inevitable, as dog or cat owners. They're not parrots, you don't have to write them into your will when you die. One must plan for the endgame.
Here's mine. Prednisone for as long as it's useful, as long as he's not suffering. Gonna get the wood and do my own carpentry. Then plot out his favorite spot out back. A day of feasting, then a good dose of gabapentin before bed. Another when we wake, a heavier dose. Whatever it takes to alleviate any pain or stress of the final injection, the final IV. If anyone here has any good suggestions, beyond this, please post. Then, a good rock for me to crawl under.
As I mentioned before, this will be the hardest for me and D'ogee's mama. I'll take one, maybe two days off of work.
There’s a lot of things that a holistic Vet can do to help. We actually wasted time with the surgery. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs were shrinking/healing tumors. If we would have started it earlier Vinnie might still be alive. She was happy and pain free till the very last days.
@j-brad The reason I originally got a basenji, is because of a pure fluke. The reason I got my second and third basenjis, is because the first taught me so much and I can’t imagine living without one.
Basenjis live in the moment, which is something I try to learn from and add to my own philosophy. They enjoy today without worrying too much about tomorrow, much easier for a dog than a human no doubt...but still something to aspire for.
When they go there is no real help or consolation, other than another basenji and even then they will never replace the one you lost. Just doing the best you can is all you can do.
There are no real words to express the loss, they should live much longer.
OK, time for an update. So far so good- tomorrow will be week 3 since the diagnosis. He's now taking fish oil, curcumin (turmeric), and 2 herbal supplements- ashwaganda, and immunikinoko. His lymph nodes under the chin have stayed shrunken since just after we started prednisone. Behavior is normal- he's a mooch pooch/chowhound, so giving all these pills is like a bonanza for him. Plus I work at a fine dining steakhouse, so there's always some top-notch prime beef or other proteins for treats.
Upon learning the diagnosis, I fell hard into a pit of despair. At this writing it feels like my rational mind, emotions, and subconscious are beginning to firm up to face the future. Everything I read and heard said it'd be about a month without treatment, so I'm content with the treatment regimen we're following. Chemo would have been too traumatic for him and for my finances. I've rationalized that in the end, the money I don't spend on his chemo should go into the eventual search for our next buddy. although that's a difficult thought in the present moment.
So, in all we're doing well, holding steady, day by day. Thank you all for your input and kind words/thoughts. Going forward I'll lean on folks, surely, to carry the weight.
Update: So far, so good. He's always thirsty and hungry it seems... gained weight, all from the prednisone. A bit more lethargic, but hey, he IS a hound, and older. With the extra water uptake, he's gained the nickname "Mr. Leaky"... our dogs sleep with us, and we've long kept a waterproof mattress protector on. (D'Ogee's "brother" is a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix, suffers from seizures about once a month.)
Steady on. With the meds we're giving D'Ogee, all he knows is he's getting more treats than ever. Time and tide, que sera sera.
Update. Last night at about 1130 D'Ogee had another seizure. Thankfully it didn't last as long as they have in the past, but it was still horrible. I'd fallen asleep watching TV, and as usual he was on the couch next to me. Not many worse ways to be woken up, AFAIK. Oh well. It is what it is, just gotta deal with things as they come.
@j-brad My first B was diabetic and I remember he had low sugar one night and it was horrible. We brought him back with our emergency sugar syringe that we prepared but it was horrible.
All you can do is your best. It’s tough, the emotions involved are very much like a child in that the instinct is to protect and help them.
If anyone has experience with a prednisone regimen in treating lymphoma, holler. Since the diagnosis on MLK Jr. day, he's gained 4.5#. I'm going to speak with the vet tomorrow to ask if I should pull back on the prednisone- he's eating more than ever and especially drinking more water. One day at a time, I guess.
Sounds normal for prednisone. He will be hungry and he will drink more. Don't free feed, if that's what you are doing. Also, water may be part of the weight gain you see. Certainly talk to your vet. If you are going to cut back on prednisone it has to be in a controlled way, tapering the dose.