Everyone meet Ice! Ice is a 5-year-old English Bulldog. Mom and Dad tell me that “Ice has broken the stereotype that bulldogs are lazy. He is playful and active, requiring much more than the breed data stated 20 minutes of exercise a day.” Mom also tells me, “we’ve trained him to wave with his white paw, it’s one of his favourite things to do”.
At first glance, Ice looks like a very happy, healthy and handsome little man with a certain “joie de vivre”; however, what you can’t tell, is that Ice is currently undergoing Chemotherapy treatment.
Ice was diagnosed with Peripheral Lymphadenopathy late November. Peripheral Lymphopathy, is a lymphoma that affects all lymph nodes. Ice was diagnosed in the early stages; therefore, he has not experienced any secondary complications of the disease. His age, attitude and his amazing owners have made his Chemotherapy treatment practically textbook perfect.
“The decision to give this ‘puppy like’ almost5-year-old bulldog chemotherapy was the right one for us.” Once mom and dad decided to go ahead with the treatment they never looked back!
The important thing to remember during the course of this type of treatment is the quality of life. If at any time during the treatment the owners and the treating Doctor agree the dog’s quality of life is affected, treatment can cease. There are NO obligations to complete the course of the treatment. We conduct weekly checkups to allow us to evaluate the patient as well as run a CBC (complete blood count) to ensure the health of their blood cells. These key components as well as the owner’s feedback, allow DVM to determine the efficacy of the treatment as well as evaluate the quality of life.
Here is an example of the treatment protocol we use at the Riverview Animal Hospital:
Chemotherapy treatment includes the use of 4 different drugs. These drugs are rotated in 44-week cycles over the course of 5 months. This might seem like a lot, but given in lower doses it minimizes the side effects and maximizes the efficacy by targeting different sites of the tumour cells.
Unfortunately, not all patients are ideal candidates for the treatment. Ice has been responding extremely well to the Chemo and mom and dad are happy to report that “since beginning chemo, he has continued to be very active and happy. So far Ice has tolerated the treatments like a warrior.”
This happy man is definitely a warrior in the eyes of each of our staff members. White paw high five Ice!!
Written by Monique, RVT