Posted by: Adrianna | July 19, 2010

The good news and bad news update

To sum up, the good news is great and the bad news could probably be worried about later.

The good news: Elliott’s ‘nadir CBC’ — the blood test showing his maximum reaction to the doxorubicin, the strongest of the chemo agents — was excellent.  No anemia, no lowered white blood cell count — it was the CBC of a perfectly healthy dog.  And he definitely got the doxorubicin, and he got the standard (max) dose, so this is great news.  Now that he’s had the three types of chemo and shown decent tolerance, it is very likely that he will do well with the rest of his treatments.

The bad news: The abdominal ultrasound (sonogram) he had last weekend showed that his spleen was still large and mottled-looking.  The ultrasonographer thinks that it isn’t as large as before, and looks a little better, but it is still oversize and abnormal.  This is bad news because some dogs with lymphoma will go into remission everywhere *but* the spleen, and in those cases the spleen needs to be removed as it just serves to harbor the cancer.  Obviously, surgery isn’t ideal in a dog with advanced cancer in the middle of a chemo series, and removal of the spleen can compromise the dog’s ability to tolerate the chemo in general.  So this is bad news.  However, the oncologist wants to wait for a few more treatments before throwing in the towel on the spleen so I am saving this worry for another day.  If the spleen continues to look abnormal they will do some aspirates to look for lymphoma; if the aspirates are positive, the spleen will have to go.

She did say that, apart from this report on the spleen, she would consider Elliott to have achieved his first remission (yes she said ‘first’).   It is also possible that he is in remission and has a remnantly-ugly spleen, but I will save that celebration till it can be confirmed.



  1. still a chance further chemo will shrink spleen more, right? good to read update.
    cleo’s CCNU nadir numbers were good this week too. battle on, compadre!

  2. Glad to see Elliott feeling a bit better. He is a cute little guy. Liked the sweet picture of him and his best kitty bud. Doing Great Elliott Rock on !!!

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