Chemo #3 (of 8)

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An update on Mervyn’s progress. He’s in good form, hopping around and generally well. He had his 3rd Chemo today following  another delay with bloods, he had a 10% reduction in the Vinblastine dose to try avoid the impact on his white blood cell count. After his next treatment, he will have 4 more sessions spaced two weeks apart. He’s such a sweetheart and is taking this all in his stride however we can’t help but feel sorry for his loss of exuberance and the way he used to fly around the house at high speed, stealing things and being mischievous. We miss our walks with him and we cant take him out with a low white blood count to minimize risk of infection. Thankfully we have a large garden to explore. We see so many posts and videos of dogs flying around, we wonder how long it will take post op and post chemo to see the energy return? He has lost 3kg understandably (26kg now) and although we are watching his food intake to keep his weight good, we cant help but feel he should be having a little extra😆 to spoil him! We take a trip soon and are very lucky that for the few days, one of the Vet nurses has agreed to mind him in our home, we weren’t happy with him visiting his usual kennels considering all his new needs, maybe next time. Ps his toy is new, his name is Teddy, we removed Teddy’s right leg and stitched him up to empathise with Mervyn 😉

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2nd Chemo for Mervyn

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Merv had his 2nd chemo yesterday (vinblastine). His White Blood Cell Count WBC was 2.8 so good to go. It was 16 days since his first due to low WBC. He had no side effects last time other than tiredness (and low WBC) so fingers crossed it will be similar this time. He is on steroids also along with antacid, antihistamine and they are leaving him on antibiotic for next 7 days to see if this helps with low WBC.  He was in great energetic spirits the last few days so its hard to see him so tired after yesterday and the idea that there are 10 more of these to go is not encouraging but we promised ourselves we will take our cue from Mervyn and if we feel it is something he is not ok with we will stop. We have to be mindful that we are trying to do away with his cancer cells and balance that with his quality of life. Extra time is not as beautiful if Mervyn is not the happiest little dog.

Meet Mervyn

Mervyn lives in Ireland and is 6 years old next month. Mervyn is an amazing dog and is a central part of our family and we love him dearly.

1 month ago, 3 May 2019, he had his right forelimb amputated due to a high grade mast cell tumor in his paw. He is doing really well in his physical recovery but it has been a tough time.

It all happened so fast, we found the lump and were in the vet the following day, test results were back in a few days and in another 2 days his leg was gone.

Thankfully tests so far show it has not spread but Chemotherapy has been recommended which started Monday 20th spanning 12 weeks.

No side effects after first Chemo session with Vinblastine however the 2nd session has been delayed by 2 weeks due to low white blood cell count. He has been on anti-biotics and we re-run bloods tomorrow 4 June.

We are giving careful thought to proceeding with the chemo only if Mervyn doesn’t experience any side effects and we are waiting to see if we can establish prognosis from a proliferation panel test. We are looking at forums re chemo or no chemo and mast cell tumors.

We are very grateful this community exists, it has been an incredible source of support and advice so far and we have downloaded the e books which are extremely helpful.

I’m sharing Mervyn’s story to thank those who have done the same because only for the other incredible dogs who have gone through this and their parents telling their stories, we could not have coped as well as we have done so far.

updates to follow…