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Old August 12th, 2009, 08:31 PM
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Mast Cell Tumor

Lodi, my 11 1/2 year old dachshund mix, was diagnosed on June 29th with a Grade III mast cell tumor. This all happened so fast. On June 3rd I noticed a growth the size of a small marble in her lower left abdomen. To make a long story short I am skipping all the details about the vet visits (which is another story in itself ) and by June 19th the tumor was the size of a ping-pong ball with "bruising" all over her tummy. On June 22nd, the tumor was removed with the diagnosis a week later. I have decided not to take any other measures (chemo, radiation) because of the very short term outcomes promised and I believe in quality over quantity plus on the way home from getting the tumor removed, I promised Lodi that she did not have to have any more surgeries or medical procedures done. She is on prednisone and Tagamet to keep her comfortable and she is doing very well.
I know some of the signs I need to be watching for that will signal when I must help her to Rainbow Bridge. I know that she will stop eating, may get diarrhea and vomiting but I want to know more. She has been drinking more water due to the prednisone and last night she peed the bed (all four dogs sleep with me). I woke up with my nightgown wet and my first thought was that she had died. She was fine, thank goodness, but seemed unconcerned that she was laying in urine. I was wondering if peeing the bed is part of the cancer (I hate that word!) or due to the prednisone. I would like to hear about other's experiences with this disease. I am devastated by the thought of losing her - I always thought she would die of old age.
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Old August 12th, 2009, 08:45 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Likely the peeing was due to the pred. It's a common side effect.

We don't currently have a dog on pred, but we have a few that are suffering from spay incontinence that occasionally break through the meds and 'leak'. We have what are called "oops pads" on our beds--they're waterproof, but have a soft side for the dogs to lie on. We also have waterproof mattress pads on our beds--that way if they miss the oops pad, all we have to do is deodorize and wash the bedding, not deodorize the mattress, as well. It will at least make things a little easier and cut down on your laundry load...

I haven't had any experience with mast cell tumors, so have no specific advice. There are a lot of people on the board who have experience with cancers, in general, though, and may have more advice for you.

Meanwhile, many of us have lost a pet and we're here if you need to rant, cry, reminisce, ask questions, or just need a hug.
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Old August 12th, 2009, 09:03 PM
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Thanks Hazel. I am so worried that I will miss some sign that I need to know about.
Being the logical person that I am, I bought a plastic mattress protector when Lodi was diagnosed because I figured she would be having accidents and I can't not let her sleep with me. I am going to start letting her out to potty when I get up in the middle of the night (every single night ) to go to the bathroom. Now to just get her out of bed without the others racing to the door!
Where do you find the "oops pads"?
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Old August 12th, 2009, 09:49 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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We ordered ours through a catalog...but a lot of pet supply stores have them. Sometimes they're called incontinence pads or something similar... I have a rather balky connection tonight, but let me see if I can find a link... brb
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Old August 12th, 2009, 10:01 PM
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My connection isn't stable enough to do any searching (I'm on dial-up going through crappy telephone lines. )

However, if you go to a pet supply site, like Drs Foster and Smith or PetSmart or PetCo and do a search on 'incontinence', I'll bet you'll find some similar products!
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Old August 13th, 2009, 08:34 AM
Helene4 Helene4 is offline
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I'm so sorry you are going through this Yes the peeing is a side effect of prednisone because the dog drinks a lot more. My dog Kalou was on it for some time and when she first started taking it she asked to go outside to pee several times during the night. She never urinated in her sleep or in the house; she would always wake me up just by staring at me while I slept! Later on when the dose was gradually lowered, it wasn't as bad.

I agree with you: the quality of Lodi's life is the most important thing.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 10:25 AM
ScottieDog ScottieDog is offline
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First, I want to let you know I am so sorry that your beloved Lodi is facing this awful disease. It is difficult caring for a critically ill pet.

I faced urination issues with a dog who had recurrent urinary tract infections, suspected bladder cancer and finally kidney failure. I found the waterproof baby changing pads and waterproof baby crib mattress covers (unfitted without elastic if you can find them) to be so helpful. I found these at Walmart, Kmart and Target type stores, but baby stores would have them as well. These are soft, waterproof and washable. After my dog's bladder surgery, I put these under her zippered bed cover and even placed them over her bed with a soft towel on top. Her pain medications made her sleep so soundly, she would urinate on herself. She had bad knees and I couldn't let her on the bed--but I so understand--we pulled a mattress off the bed and slept in the floor with her. Another option is a doggie diaper with a sanitary napkin in it to catch the urine. For the "oops" times, I also found that Simple Solution cleaned the stains and odors. It can also be used in the laundry when you wash bedding.

I hope you have more quality time. Sending you my best.

The pads look similar to this, but come in larger sizes:
http://www.target.com/Jumbo-Waterpro...%20pads&page=1
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Old August 13th, 2009, 10:47 AM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Oh, that's a great idea, ScottieDog! I have a few that need replacing--I think I'll see if I can find some!
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Old August 13th, 2009, 01:31 PM
ScottieDog ScottieDog is offline
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Glad to help Hazel. Sadly, due to Tipper's health battles, we know pee at my house. One more thing about these pads, they work great to cover the car seats if your dog rides in a harness, or for transport following surgery :sad:.

And to Lodi's girl. Never second guess your decision not to aggressively treat. When my little girl was diagnosed with strongly suspected Transitional Cell Carcinoma (bladder cancer) she was started on a medication. I went along with the specialty vet's treatment and didn't ask the questions I should have. Her medication went toxic and caused irreversible kidney failure. Whether your time together is measured in days, weeks or months--cherish every minute. You and your girl are in my thoughts.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 08:15 PM
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Hazel - thank you for the idea! I order quite a bit of stuff from Drs F&S so will look there. I generally hate shopping but love to go to PetCo and Petsmart. The girls love it too but they have to take turns going because four at once quickly becomes a circus.

Helene4 - at Kalou staring at you to wake you up! I am so sorry for your loss Thank you for your support in my decision - what good is six months more for my girl if she can't enjoy life?

ScottieDog - I never thought of baby changing pads! I teared up when you said you pulled the mattress to the floor to sleep beside your dog - oh how we love our dogs. I am sorry for your loss also. Before there was a definite diagnosis for Lodi, I had already decided not to put her through any more than what was necessary to keep her comfortable. If more aggressive treatment would give her several more good years, I would do it in a heartbeat but I refuse to make her miserable for what time she has left.
My purpose is to make her as happy as she can possibly be, and yes, to cherish every moment with her.

And to all of you, thank you so much for your empathy, advice and support. Only dog moms understand and don't get all grossed out when we wake up with dog pee on us!
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