Friday, December 27, 2013

Vet Oncology Visit # 1

December 11, 2013

Our first visit to a Veterinarian Oncology Specialist.

It is about a 35 mile drive to their office.  Holding back tears the whole way, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.  The waiting room was the worst.  A very nice woman with a cat took to Audrey right away and engaged me in a conversation...wow, it was difficult to say the words out loud.  Audrey looks so completely vibrant and healthy.

The Vet profiled what they needed to do in the way of testing and then a technician came in with the cost estimate of that day's visit if I agreed to the testing:

Exam                                                            $112.50
Radiograph Thorax                                          $142.00
Radiograph Interpretation                                 $ 75.50
Ultrasound Abdomen                                       $284.00
Ultrasound Interpretation                                  $113.50
Flow Cytometry                                               $358.05
Catheterization IV                                            $ 62.32
Catheter Supplies T-port                                   $ 21.63
Bone Marrow Aspirate                                      $165.50
Bone Marrow Aspirate Supplies                          $  69.50
Bone Marrow Cytology                                      $254.05
CBC + Retic                                                   $  71.00
Hospitalization (outpatient)                               $  49.50
Sedation                                                       $  94.00
L - Asparaginase inj per vial                             $235.26
Prednisone 20 mg. (53 tablets)                         $ 33.90    

Results from these tests:
The thoracic radiographs were normal. The abdominal ultrasound showed enlarged lymph nodes, but the liver and spleen were normal.

The bone marrow was normal.

The type of Lymphoma is MULTICENTRIC

AUDREY is to start on Prednisone - Two tablets by mouth every morning for 14 days, then 1,5 tablets for 14 days, then 1/2 tablet every morning for 7 days.

Side effects of the Prednisone...EXTREME THIRST, did I say EXTREME, I really mean E X T R E M E!!!  That then translates into lots of potty breaks---including during the night....I feel like the mom of a newborn!! AT LEAST twice during the night I have to take her outside.....BTW, I really hate winter....

One of the other Prednisone side effects....HUNGER....eat all the dog food, steal the cat food, beg in front of the frig...HUNGER....this also translates into MORE POTTY BREAKS....of the very stinky variety!

An appointment was made for December 19, 2013 for Vincristine chemotherapy via IV.

What I have learned is that dogs respond to chemo differently than a human. The side effects are not as noticeable; little or no hair loss, little or no vomiting---most of this is related to the fact that the dosage given to a dog is significantly less than that given to a human ... mostly because the drugs are so very expensive and the life of an animal is not valued like a human.