Can We Cure Lymphoma in Dogs? VLOG 74

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(upbeat music)

- Hi, everyone, I'm Dr. Sue, Cancer Vet.

For my next vlog, I'm super excited

'cause I'm back in the clinic.

So let's see how my patients are doing,

including Pokey, who's out over two years

for her lymphoma.

She's off chemotherapy, and I'm gonna answer a question

that I commonly get, can we cure lymphoma in dogs?

Hey, everybody, welcome to the vlog!

It has definitely been a while

since I've done a vlog like this,

so I thought it would be fun to get back in the clinic

and show you guys my new place.

Some people have asked, "What's going on in your new job?"

So I've been here for a couple of months.

I love love love it, great team.

Super excited to introduce you to Joe and Katie.

All right, everybody, want to introduce you

to the amazing Katie, woop woop.

So Katie's my assistant, you've been working for me

for about. - Two months?

- Two months, so I've been here for three months.

So what do you think?

- Love every minute.

- And she's awesome.

- Learning so much.

- So Katie is a dedicated assistant to our team,

and she's just been awesome.

You've been with the hospital

for a little bit longer, right?

- Yeah, yeah.

I would do surgery.

- All right so I'm gonna put you on the spot.

What has surprised you most about the oncology service?

- I think how much people are willing

to do for their pets, honestly.

- Yeah? - Especially

in their older age, 'cause I didn't know people

were willing to take that good a care of pets

when they're 14, 15, 16.

- [Dr. Sue] We repeated her blood work

'cause of the high cholesterol

and triglycerides on the fasted sample.

We got the big urine and culture,

and then, I'm either gonna see you back

in two to four weeks, but we're gonna wait

for everything to come back

before I can book your appointment.

And her lymph nodes feel great,

so her lymphoma's still in remission.

Two years, four months later, baby girl!

- [Man] Yeah. - [Dr. Sue] That's my sweetie.

- [Man] Yeah, goodies.

- So for the last couple months

I've been at a new place, and it's a great place.

I'm only there two days a week,

but a lot of my patients are still with me,

which is super fantastic.

So this video, the first patient that we're gonna see

is Pokey, the question that you guys are all thinking

when you're watching this video is

"Can we cure lymphoma in dogs?"

And again, this will be, can we cure other cancers, as well.

But I'm gonna focus on lymphoma in dogs

and let's talk about Pokey, 'cause she's a great example.

So Pokey was diagnosed in, two years

and four months ago, so in February of 2017

with multicentric B-cell lymphoma,

so the most common type of lymphoma that we see.

Dad elected to her on CHOP multi-agent chemotherapy,

so that is considered to be the standard of care

and the best chemotherapy protocol that we have.

She went into remission.

She finished her protocol five months later,

like most dogs do.

We also did, at the time, we put her

on a monoclonal antibody that was available

on the market at the time

and that is no longer on the market now

because it was not shown to be effective

for the majority of dogs, which tolerated it very well.

She relapsed four months after finishing chemotherapy,

which is average, so it's what we expect

for the majority of dogs going through chemotherapy,

and I was really disappointed because I expected

with a combination of the monoclonal antibody,

this immunotherapy which would help boost

her immune system to attack the cancer cells

and the chemotherapy would be killing her cancer cells

that she would do better.

And typically, when they relapse, and again,

I have other videos that we'll link up

about when dogs relapse, I tell the owners

that the second remission will be

about half the length of the first.

And this is a really good example.

Pokey's a really good example of why statistics

don't always predict the individual.

So her first remission was average to a little bit short,

so it was only about nine months,

including her chemotherapy.

So five months of chemo, about four months after that,

that's when she relapsed.

So how long should her second have remission been?

About 4 1/2 months, right?

So we went back on the CHOP multi-agent chemotherapy

protocol, and often, when they're done with chemo,

they'll graduate and they'll go off chemo again.

But I had a discussion with dad about maybe keeping her

on maintenance chemotherapy.

And this is not standard for every dog,

and this is where it's great to have an oncologist,

a cancer specialist, and have that discussion,

but we decided to keep her on maintenance chemotherapy,

and we did that for a full year.

She was also on lots of supplements,

so, not for a spoiler alert, but miss Pokey

is still in remission and we are

two years and four months out.

So her second remission has been longer than her first.

So a really good example that statistics

will not predict the individual,

which makes me super excited and super happy.

So let's go back to the question.

Can we cure lymphoma?

When do I call sweet Pokey a cure?

I don't know that we know that answer.

You know, to go back to the overview,

if you're watching this because your dog

was diagnosed with lymphoma, in general,

we don't cure lymphoma in most dogs.

Usually when they're in remission,

and I put that in air quotes

'cause that will something that your cancer specialist

or your veterinarian will say,

there's usually some degree of microscopic cells

still present, and at some point those cells divide

and start to repopulate their lymph nodes.

So at some point her lymphoma will probably relapse,

and that's probably what she'll succumb to,

which is hard, because I love this dog

like she's my own and her dad has become

a dear friend of mine.

While the chemo was getting made,

she just sat on the little mat

and just sat there waiting.

She was like, I know the routine.

She's just perfect, perfect.

All right, guys, our next patient is Lucy.

I love Lucy, "I Love Lucy." (chuckles)

Anyway, Lucy is a five-year-old female spayed Great Dane.

She is just fabulous.

I know, five just seems kind of young

when it comes to cancer, but unfortunately,

large and giant breed dogs, they age more quickly,

and she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma

in the distal radius, so right above the wrist,

and that is one of the most common locations

for osteosarcoma.

I actually, guys, just did a bunch of videos on bone cancer,

so we put a link below, so if you want more information

on bone cancer, I have three new videos

all about bone cancer in dogs, so.

This is a pretty classic age, so five to seven years.

Classic breed, Great Dane, large and giant breed dogs,

classic location, so miss Lucy is coming in today

for her third of six carboplatin treatments.

She's doing pretty well, and we're gonna

run some blood work, give her her chemo.

All right, blood work on Lucy, everything is normal.

And if we're lucky, maybe we'll get to meet dad,

'cause he's super fantastic.

I think he has a couple of Great Danes.

Say bye, Lucy! - She's like all right,

see ya. - She's ready to go.

- Tell her, say bye. - Good girl!

All right, see you in three weeks?

- Yes.

(upbeat music)

- (kisses) You're so handsome.

So Yam is a kitty, this orange boy.

I love orange boys.

He was just diagnosed last week

by our internist, Dr. Whitney,

with large cell gastrointestinal lymphoma

of the small intestines.

Yam's symptoms were weight loss and diarrhea.

And he actually had really stinky diarrhea

two times during the exam room.

Other common symptoms of gastrointestinal lymphoma

in kitties can also be poor appetite to anorexia

and vomiting, and sometimes they'll have all of those

and sometimes they'll just have one or two of those.

And they could just have one, it could just be weight loss,

which can be confusing.

Anyway, their other kitty, which I didn't get his name,

oh yes I did, Mickey, was just diagnosed

with small cell lymphoma, and the big difference

with small cell or low-grade lymphoma

is that's treated with steroids and oral chemotherapy

called Leukeran or chlorambucil.

And he's doing really well and he's gaining weight,

and his symptoms have resolved,

and they really were hoping and excited that Yam

could be treated that way.

Unfortunately, he can't, and the best treatment

for high-grade or large cell lymphoma

is injectable chemotherapy.

So that's we started this week with Yam.

If you're looking for more information on lymphoma,

again, we have lots of videos,

so you're going to wanna check out the lymphoma playlist.

I think I also have a, one of my lectures from Norway,

from a couple of months ago

is all about kitty gastrointestinal lymphoma,

and I talk about both low-grade and high-grade,

I have a Q&A that we just did a couple of months ago,

so lots of information, lots of resources.

So he's getting his first chemo.

We're starting with Elspar.

He'll come back next week for vincristine.

Hopefully we'll get that diarrhea under control.

In addition to his steroids, I'm adding a probiotic

and diarrhea medication, metronidazole.

And also gonna be testing him for something called

maldigestion profile, see if he needs

some B12 supplementation,

'cause that will often be abnormal

in kitties with either high-grade or low-grade lymphoma

and supplementation can be really helpful.

CBC looks good on Yam, actually looks great.

Look at that, like no error messages, perfect.

Whoo, boring blood work, I like it.

All right, I'm gonna write out chemo orders.

You want to premed with eight milligrams of Benadryl?

- Yep.

- My day is officially complete.

I can get out of my work clothes into my comfy clothes.

I hope you enjoy the vlog.

It's fun to be back in the clinic,

or at least share what's going on in my world with you.

If you enjoyed this, please comment, share, let me know.

Thanks for watching so much.

It's always a pleasure to help you

through the horrible journey of cancer,

and I appreciate you being here.

(upbeat music)