More changes to the regimen
Yuki is now on his last round of chemotherapy, and soon we’ll know if all this was any help in extending his life. We are anxious to know if all these treatments will give us more time with our beloved pet, but they also made us realize that every moment with our dogs is a gift and that their presence in our life, and the affect they have on our lives, should never be take for granted.
Rounds 1 and 2 of the chemo never changed from the original plan set up in the beginning, Vincristine, Cytoxan, Vincristine again, and finally Doxorubicin. Starting with Round 3, changes began to appear due to concerns with Yuki’s health and a week he would miss the regularly scheduled chemo due to us traveling. As mentioned before, there was a change in Yuki’s liver numbers (bilirubin) and the Oncologist began to worry this might be caused by the chemo. It was his decision then to lower the dosage of Vincristine on the first week of Round 3. On the second week he was going to hold off on the Cytoxan and give Yuki a week off when the liver values were high again the morning of testing. When they tested again in the afternoon, the values were better so he went ahead with the Cytoxan. The next week, instead of Vincristine he decided to do another ELSPAR injection as we were going to be traveling the following week and Yuki would miss his Doxorubicin appt. and instead have an off week one week early.
All this is to say that when starting this last round, the Oncologist made another change. Over the last 4 months, whether due to the chemo or just progressive deterioration that would have occurred anyway, Yuki’s back end and hips have gotten really bad. He barely puts any weight on one foot anymore, and his back legs shake terribly when he’s standing. He’s also stopped coming upstairs at night when it’s bedtime. Yuki’s currently on Tramadol and Gabapentin for his leg / hip pain and the Dr. gave us an RX for Carprofin if things continue to get worse. Anyway, since this is happening the Dr. made a change to the chemo treatment. Instead of administering Vincristine, he administered Vinblastine this time. The Dr. says that Vincristine can have detrimental affects on the nerve endings and might be contributing to Yuki’s lameness. Vinblastine has less of this problem but (and there’s always a “but”) it can minimize the output of white blood cells from the bone marrow. So we have to put Yuki on Clindamycin, an anti-biotic, for a while to help his body fight infection until the white blood cell production recovers from the Vinblastine.
At this point, we assume the rest of this round will be the same except for week 3 when the Dr will probably do a Vinblastine treatment again.