Owner quick action gives Tipsy a good outlook

Concerned owner's of Tipsy, a six and a half year old Keeshound cross, noticed swollen glands under Tipsy's neck. He had only been in to see us for his regular examination just two months earlier when everything appeared normal. Within just two days of noticing the change Tipsy was brought into see us.

On examination Tipsy’s lymph nodes were all enlarged. Tipsy also had an elevated temperature and a raspy chest but was otherwise clinically normal. The veterinarian felt it was necessary to conduct some further diagnostic tests. Tipsy had a fine needle aspirate, this is when a needle is inserted into the node and a small section of tissue is removed and sent to pathology. This test however does not always come up with a diagnosis and with Tipsy’s results this was the case.

Two days later, Tipsy visited again for further tests. He had chest x-rays to see if there were any lesions in the chest. Then followed by a pre-anaesthetic blood test to see if Tipsy would be able to undergo an anaesthetic safely so the veterinarian could perform surgery. The pre anaesthetic blood test results showed elevated liver enzymes. To ensure a safe surgery, we had to use fluids during surgery and use a gas anaesthetic which is metabolized by the lungs. During surgery we removed one of the enlarged lymph nodes and sent this to the laboratory for histopathology.

We received a definitive diagnosis from this and Tipsy had a “diffuse intermediate high grade (very metastatic) large cell lymphoma”. This means Tipsy had a very nasty tumour, but a tumour that is very responsive to chemotherapy. We referred Tipsy to the oncology specialist straight away to begin chemotherapy. In this short span of 3-4 more days the remainder of Tipsy’ glands had become almost golf ball size and he was finding it extremely hard to breathe.

Dr Ken Wyatt the oncology specialist started Tipsy immediately on a chemotherapeutic regime.

With the regime used to help Tipsy there are often little in the way of side effects. Approximately 20% of patients may suffer from vomiting and diarrhoea, which usually passes. Some patients also suffer from immunosuppression; where the body cannot fight off normal infections as well as it used to. If this is the case we cover with a broad spectrum antibiotic regime. There are also a few other rare side effects that can be noted.

Tipsy’s treatment regime involves 16 visits and chemotherapy sessions. Tipsy had a remarkable response to his first therapy and his orange size lymph nodes were back to normal size within 3 days! This saved his life, he could breathe again and was much more comfortable!!! 

Tipsy is now due for his 3rd visit to Dr Wyatt and is doing very well. He went into remission immediately and ever since has been a happy, bouncy dog again. His parents are very grateful for his new found health.




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