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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, having read so many sad stories in the forums about so many lovely goldens getting cancer, I wondered if anyone has any experience of the drug Palladia to treat histiocytic sarcoma. Our lovely boy Alfie, who is seven and a half has been diagnosed with this awful disease - he is not a lucky boy having had two cruciates bust on him already. Now he faces this awful fight. Lomustine did not work at all - he had a tumour removed from in between his shoulder blades, and on staging we found a tumour on his liver and possibly some liver involvement. Five weeks after his surgery I found another tiny (now 1.4cms) tumour on his front shoulder. This works as a marker for how well the drugs are attacking his cancer.
He has remained well since November when diagnosed and is being treated at Tom Cave's Vet Centre in Somerset, where they are very knowledgeable.
We now have him on Palladia, not usually used for this type of cancer, but it seems to have slowed it down. Has anyone else had any experience of this drug = we know every dog is different but it would be helpful to get a feel for how long we may have left with him :(
 

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So sad to read about your Alfie. :( It is so hard. I have been through the cancer battle with my girl Penny. We tried a variety of conventional and holistic treatments. We did use palladia towards the end with her. I do not remember her having any negative side effects from it. However, I think we started it with her to late. She had way to much radiation done and damage done to her beyond fixing. So the palladia may not have shown its true effects, because we let her go. She did live for 3 1/2 years after her diagnosis though. The thing that is hard, is staying on the schedule and giving them those pills. I will keep Alfie in my thoughts. What a special boy he is to have you.

You can check out Penny's story here. You can see all of the treatments we used with her and such.
http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/cancer-information-golden-retrievers/119632-pennys-story.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your lovely, positive message - your gorgeous dog had such a ghastly form of this awful disease but through your love and care enjoyed her life until the end - you are so right about how dog's teach us to deal with this disease - they take each day as it comes and are happy just to be with you. We are lucky that Alfie hasn't really been ill yet - he is full of beans and as the vet said, he just doesn't know he is ill! He is off his food in the morning after taking the Palladia the night before, which as I am sure you know is very unusual for a golden! Apart from that, he is a bit more sleepy than usual, but still enjoying life. Thank you for sharing Penny's life and experience with cancer - I think your story reflects how many, many of us with these wonderful dogs in our lives feel. x
 

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Have you tried canned food with him? Or even boiled chicken? That may be something he will be interested in!

So happy Penny's story has helped you. We can get more time with our loved ones, and I hope you get lots more with Alfie, like I did with Penny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, we have now tried mixing in some canned wet food which he loves and on the morning after his "nasty" pills, i.e. every other day, I am mixing in some pate - he will then at least eat a little of his food. Just building him up on the days in between the Palladia when he eats normally. Thank you x
 

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I second Lucky Penny's suggestion. When our Wilbur was not doing well, the one thing that he would ALWAYS eat was boiled chicken (I removed the skin and bones, so it was just the meat.) I was often able to sneak a pill into some of the chicken. Of course every dog has their favorites. Sending good thoughts to you and Alfie!
 

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Happy to read that the canned food is helping. It is a game you play between the medication days. Is he maintaining his weight?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Lucky Penny

Yes he is maintaining his weight at present - we are treating him too much on the days between medicine I think!!
At the moment he is having a rest from the Palladia - he had blood in his stool two days ago and the vet suggested we let him have a break - he is also having other side effects, skin is very dry and he looks like he has dandruff, loose watery stool and the nausea after pills etc. But he remains jolly and today is enjoying some lovely sunshine in our garden here in Somerset. Sadly it looks to me like the visible tumour on his shoulder is growing, which probably means the one on his kidney is, too. Nothing, it would seem, can halt this disease - just slow it down. Still wondering if anyone else has side effects with Palladia or any good news? Thanks for kind thoughts x
 

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I am happy to read he is maintaining his weight. To many treats is fine, he deserves it! A break sounds like a good idea. You don't want him to have those side effects and be uncomfortable. I am so sad to read about the tumor growing. It is so hard to be trying so hard and nothing can halt the disease. I am happy to read that he is still jolly and happy enjoying life. That is important. Would love to see a picture of Alfie! :)
 

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For what it's worth, we started adding canned "Hills Prescription Diet, a/d Critical Care" along with his kibble, all of it's grain free. Rookie had lost almost 7 lbs., but has gained 4 of it back. He really likes the Hills, and it's a great place to hide the pills. Best of luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks so much for the continued help and support. I have posted some picscof Alfie on to my album but can't seem to get them on my posts. Hope you can see him Lucky Penny! :) We have madexthe decision to stop treatment as it wasn't working and his visible tumour continues to grow. He was having some bleeding too but that has now cleared up. It is hard not to have any more options. Am still surfing the net looking for a miracle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi I have uploaded some pics to my album but can't seem to get them on my posts! We have stoppedxtreatment as it isn't working. Very hard decision but Alfie is not responding and side effects getting worse. Hard to accept but am still searching the web for another possible treatment. Thanks for your support x
 

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What wonderful pictures of Alfie. Handsome boy he is. Is the second picture a drawing you had done of him? It is very nice! You made the right decision taking him off the treatment if it was not working. How hard it must be to watch him go through this. I am glad he is no longer bleeding. Give him a hug for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My daughter (who is studying Fine Art at Oxford) drew him for me for Christmas. It is a beautiful drawing and perfect likeness.

We are utterly heartbroken - we said goodbye last Thursday to our beautiful boy. He was becoming progressively worse and I was scared he would have a crisis and die in pain or in the night. The vet came to our home and Alfie died in my arms, looking at me, hearing my voice. Thankyou for all the support - it has helped me to come to terms with the decision and I know in the days and weeks to come it will help me to overcome the grief of losing him. x
 

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We all feel and understand your pain and sorrow. Having tried everything you could, you know that your decision was the correct one. Being with your pet at his/her last moment takes a ton of courage, but it makes our loved one's final breath so much easier to take.
 

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I am so sad to read of Alfie's passing. What a wonderful friend he was. Your daughter's drawing should be framed! My heart breaks for you and my thoughts go out to you and your family.
 
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