Help with multiple abscesses

Josephine
Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Thu Jun 17, 2004 11:50 pm


If she's really got gastric stasis, the fluids should help. You should try to get at least 30 mls in tonight, though.

Reglan would be a good idea. It all depends on whether or not you want to battle it out with an emergency vet for it. It might be a good idea, but I'm not where you are.

I still think force feeding is a good idea. If her stomach is full of gas, Reglan may be the only way to go.

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AliceMcmallis
Supporter in '08

Post   » Thu Jun 17, 2004 11:54 pm


Crap, I only saw Erin's last post, sorry.

I've given her about 15 ccs of CC mix since I got home, plus about that of water (she's still urinating), plus she had a very small handful of grass, a few stalks of hay, and a leaf of red leaf lettuce.

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AliceMcmallis
Supporter in '08

Post   » Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:16 am


Okay I just managed to get 20 more ccs of fluids into her. I will hand feed more. Hopefully the vet will call me back soon. The woman at the emergency answer service said he's being paged.

I have to log off soon so they can call me here, I've not enough time on my cell phone for them to call me back.

Thanks for everyone's help. Wish us luck.

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Fri Jun 18, 2004 9:50 am


Good morning Alice. I hope you have some hopeful news.

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AliceMcmallis
Supporter in '08

Post   » Fri Jun 18, 2004 2:50 pm


Okay I've got good news and bad news. The good news is Rosie got some cisapride from the vet this morning, and we just got two big clumps of poos about an hour ago, whereupon she ate a small handful of greens.

The vet said she looked pretty good considering, very alert and hydrated, etc. I'm just about to feed her some more, and I'm thinking of giving her a bit more fluids just in case (gave her 23 ccs this morning). Not sure if this is a good idea?

Bad news is the pathology came back, she's got lymphosarcoma. After I get back from feeding her, I'm going to do some research about it. I believe I saw Mel had written a chemotherapy protocol for this.

The one vet said he didn't have experience with this in guinea pigs, and that there isn't much info out there (with regard to pigs). But there is a protocol for cats and dogs, and we can try that. He wants me to call him and discuss my findings with him so we can move forward quickly, as the lumps are growing fast. He mentioned three drugs in particular, I believe two are oral, and one is to be injected once a week. I didn't get the spelling on them, so I'll search around, see if anything comes up that looks similar.

He faxed the pathology report to the other, more experienced vet as well, and she's going to call me back tonight to discuss treatment options.

For now, should I begin her on prednisone? I have some at home if it's recommended I start her on it tonight (I'm at my rescue friend's house, didn't think to bring it with me). Also, should I continue the antibiotics? Which antibiotics are commonly used in combination with prednisone?

Is there a general estimate of how quickly this moves, or is it case by case? I want to start planning for eventualities. I don't want to her suffer at all.

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Fri Jun 18, 2004 3:44 pm


Oh, boy Alice. That's some news. Have you tried emailing mel or Josephine or pinta about this? Best of luck to you and Rosie. I hope she's feeling a bit better today. I can't help except to send good thoughts your way.

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salana
GL is Just Peachy

Post   » Fri Jun 18, 2004 4:24 pm


Oh geeze. You would think it's contagious over the internet, the number of pigs that have it. I was hoping it would just be a lymph node infection, not cancer.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Jun 18, 2004 4:35 pm


I'm sorry, Alice. Mel wrote up her protocol and put it in the reference forum (I think).

Evangeline

Post   » Fri Jun 18, 2004 4:41 pm


I'm very sorry, Alice. I have no experience with it, so I can't help, but I'm thinking good thoughts for you.

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AliceMcmallis
Supporter in '08

Post   » Fri Jun 18, 2004 4:47 pm


I've done a bit of research, and have seen the chemotherapy protocol thread in the Reference forum. I'm wondering if there are any side affects to the cyclophosphamide? Has anyone heard of any specific success stories with this protocol? If so, how exactly does it work out? Does the cancer go into remission, or does the drug just hold it at bay and give the pig more time, and if so how much time or how long a remission?

How exactly does the prednisone work to help the patient? I've read that it can increase their time, or make their remaining time more comfortable, but how is this achieved?

I don't have any bloodwork for Rosie as of yet. Is it very stressful for them to have this done? I'm just worried that the constant injections, blood being drawn, etc. will make her remaining time miserable.

I've read that Julian's protocol (posted in the Reference thread) can help the pig remain alive for up to two years, but I can't find any actual dosing information. Does anyone have any further information on this? Is there any information on which one has been proven to be more effective, the leukeran or the cyclo?

Okay, sorry for so many questions. If there's a chance that I can actually give Rosie months instead of weeks with us, comfortably, I want to do whatever I can. Is there any idea of the cost of the two treatments? If I could possibly get two more years with her out of this, I'd be willing to sell my car! On the other hand, I don't want to invest thousands of dollars only to have her be in pain or discomfort for another month.

Must log off now, will be back on tonight. Hopefully someone can answer my questions in the meantime. Thanks for everyone's support. I've also emailed these questions to Mel, Josephine, and Pinta in case they miss my posts here.

pinta

Post   » Fri Jun 18, 2004 6:24 pm


Sorry, no input for you. The one time we tried chemotherapy was years ago and the protocols have all changed since then.

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SusieQ
Scrapbook Addict

Post   » Fri Jun 18, 2004 10:34 pm


I'm really sorry. Is it curable?

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swannie
For the love of pigs!

Post   » Fri Jun 18, 2004 10:43 pm


When we discussed chemotherapy as a possible option for Flo, Steve and I decided it would be just too stressful for her. It's can be a really draining experience and from what I gather, it doesn't have a good success rate in pigs.

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AliceMcmallis
Supporter in '08

Post   » Fri Jun 18, 2004 10:46 pm


This is what I'm unsure of Susie, how much of a chance I should hope for. From my earlier conversation with the one vet, he suggested that with cats and dogs the end result of treatment can be promising. I'm so hoping that it will be this way with Rosie.

I'm sure I've mentioned it before somewhere, but Rosie is my first guinea pig, I've had her for over four years. I don't know how I'll manage without her, we've been through so much together.

Anyway, don't want to get too maudlin about the situation, it's best to focus on what can be done to help her.

Have to log off again, will be back on tomorrow morning. Thank goodness for other people with computers who are willing to lend them to me. I was able to get a lot of information to discuss with the vets tomorrow.

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salana
GL is Just Peachy

Post   » Fri Jun 18, 2004 10:47 pm


They told me, with Doom, that the pred would make the tumors grow more slowly and had about a 10% chance of making them shrink--it had to do with how old the cancer cells were, and if there were a lot of young ones, the pred would kill them. At least, that's how I remember it. It also, since it's a steroid, reduces inflammation and pain. When Doom didn't overexert himself (his main problem was a tumor pressing on his trachea, heart, and lungs) he seemed like he didn't feel too bad, right up until a couple of days before he had to be put to sleep. He chased Cuddles around once or twice, he ate what he could get enough breath to eat, he talked on the phone until he couldn't breathe enough to talk, he enjoyed being cuddled and grazing in the yard.

He had lymphoma and leukemia, but it really seemed like the most bothersome things to him were not the cancers themselves, but the location of one specific tumor, that interfered with his breathing. If his lumps had all been in his neck, he would certainly have been happier and more normal, and might have lived longer than 3 weeks after diagnosis.

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AliceMcmallis
Supporter in '08

Post   » Fri Jun 18, 2004 10:54 pm


Thanks for that input Swannie, I certainly don't want to put Rosie through anything that will make her remaining time with me unhappy.

Salana, before her surgery Rosie was acting completely normal. She was eating normally, not losing any weight, was very active and alert, and just seemed generally happy. I'm wondering how long she can live like that once she gets past her recovery period from the lump removal. Your information is very helpful, thank you so much.

Maybe since the largest one under her chin was removed, she'll have a bit longer than I imagined, even without the chemo?

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swannie
For the love of pigs!

Post   » Fri Jun 18, 2004 10:59 pm


Flo was asymptomatic, aside from the occasional soft poop and the enlarged lymph nodes, for nearly a month. And I'm sure her lymph nodes must have started to become enlarged before we even noticed them. She was acting normally and eating normally, and was her usual bright self.

She took a sudden and drastic turn for the worse on Sunday, and we had her put to sleep on Monday.

I hope Rosie has lots of good days left in her. Keep a close eye on her and give her lots of love and favorite veggies in the meantime.

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salana
GL is Just Peachy

Post   » Fri Jun 18, 2004 11:04 pm


I don't know about the effects of chemo. But it seems like the worst threats to her health apart from chemo would be a) metastasis of the cancer to somewhere that it would cause pain or impair functioning, or b) secondary infection from a compromised immune system (lymph node craziness and steroids both being factors in this). I hope, whatever you choose, that she stays happy for a good long time and that you have that time to love her.

Josephine
Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Fri Jun 18, 2004 11:47 pm


Unfortunately, all of the info we have is fairly new and largely anecdotal. Julian's protocol was from some really great Oncology Vet, so that's the one I'd personally try first. I do know of people who have had success with that one (response on blood work and fairly good activity). The average survival rate is quite variable, but I have yet to hear of one living longer than 6 weeks. Thankfully, I have not yet had to deal with lymphosarc. My experience in this area is limited, but I have seen this protocol used for lymphosarc.

The main side effects of most chemo drugs are nausea, gastroenteritis, bone marrow supression (where blood cells are made) and diarrhea. After the first week or two (when the protocol is kicking the cancer's butt), the patient usually becomes more bright if he/she was depressed prior to treatment. From what I hear, the cavies seem to tolerate it as well as other species. Pretty much chemo drugs and steroids both suppress the immune system and slow/stop cancer growth. Cancer cells are like young cells and tend to rapidly divide and multiply. The drugs interfere with this process.

Josephine
Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Sat Jun 19, 2004 12:05 am


Predisone 0.1 cc by mouth daily
Leukeran ( cancer drug) 1/4 tablet every other day. orally ( MUST wear gloves!!!!)
Baytril 0.5 cc once a day orally
Vitamin K 0.15 cc SQ every other day
Lasix 0.02cc SQ every other day

O.K. I can attempt to reconstruct dosages based on drug availability...

Prednisone (is trickier usually 1 mg/ml, 3 mg/ml, 5 mg/ml, the highest concentration seems the closest since 0.1 ml would be about 0.5 mg, which is a standard cavy dose)

Leukeran (comes in 2 mg tabs, 1/4= 0.5 mg)

Baytril (I know it was the 22.7 mg/ml, 0.5 ml=11.35 mg)

Vitamin K (assuming it's K1, the only RX vitamin K, usually 10 mg/ml=1.5 mg, which seems reasonable given other Vitamin K doses)

Lasix (usually 50 mg/ml, 0.02 ml=1 mg, reasonable)

I bet this is about a kg pig...

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