Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Entering cancer care
Starman recovered very successfully from his episode of cluster seizures. Started on medication over ten days ago, he has had no seizure activity, and is acting like his old happy, contented self.
HOWEVER...the MRI and spinal tap indicate that something is in his brain, and the veterinary neurologist and oncologist have not been able to determine the exact cause. The test for lymphoma, the most common brain cancer in dogs, came back negative. It may be a more rare cancer ... or it might be an erratic immune system which is causing encehpalitis and swelling in the brain. So they are treating both, in hopes we can hit whatever the problem is.
Yesterday we had our first visit at the Cancer Center, which is adjacent to the Emergency and Specialty Clinic.
I am so impressed with everyone I have met and everything I have observed so far. They are professional and caring, and they do a lot of teaching so the pet owner does not feel lost in the dark. It was explained to me that the focus of chemotherapy in dogs is not to hit the animal so hard that they suffer effects from the chemo. The goal is to give low doses of chemo which shrink the tumor or prevent it from growing, while the dog lives a normal, happy life with no ill effects from the chemo.
So, Star started on his chemo treatment yesterday. I am to watch for side effects, but so far have observed nothing except his normal behavior. He is on the chemo drug, prednisone, an anti-seizure drug, and two antibiotics. We are getting used to being on a strict medication schedule.
Right now, we are taking one day at a time, waiting to see what happens. And so far, I have my sweet dog to hug and love.