8/7/15: Well, we started Oona (PA-17) on her chemo treatment for lymphoma today. She started showing symptoms of her condition worsening– sleeping a lot more, reduced appetite, throwing up bile, and softer stools. Blood tests confirmed that her lymphocyte count had increased significantly this past month. The rest of the blood work was fine. The oncologist confirmed that there was no other underlying problem such as a UTI and said it was time to start her on medications. She is now on 20 mg of prednisone once a day for 7 days, 4 mg ondansetron once or twice a day as needed for nausea, vomiting, or decreased appetite, 20 mg pepcid (famotidine) twice a day to counter stomach irritation from the prednisone, and 4.8 mg capsule of chlorambucil (Leukeran) daily for 2 weeks, then a reduced dosage of 2.4 mg capsule daily for the next 2 weeks. I have to wear gloves when giving Oona the chlorambucil capsule. We go back to the oncologist in 3 weeks for a followup. I have my fingers crossed that Oona does fine with no, or few, side effects from the regimen. She ate all her dinner tonight, which is a good thing.
4/24/15: Finished all the tests, including sonogram of thorax and abdomen, last week and had a firm diagnosis of T-zone lymphoma. Saw Dr. Manley, veterinary oncologist, at Leesburg veterinary LifeCenter yesterday. She measured each of the lymph glands and took another blood sample. Apparently, Oona is in better condition than what I expected. She is in an early stage. Her lymphocytes were at 16,000. We went over all the possibilities of what could happen and treatment options. The blood results came back today and the lymphocyte count had actually gone down a little. Bottom line, she will be watched and a blood test taken monthly. We go back in 3 weeks. Treatment of Leukeran and possibly Prednisone won’t start until the lymphocyte count nears 30,000 or she shows symptoms of complications. She could go years without the count reaching 30,000. Once she starts on chemotherapy, she will likely stay on it for the rest of her life. Treatment is by pill at home and she should have no side effects. I have an appointment with Oona’s cardiologist on Tuesday to have then do a new ekg, etc., to see if there has been deterioration in her heart condition and make sure she can take Prednisone. Prednisone kills lymphocytes but can cause problems for dogs with cardiac problems.
9/9/13: From Tamara: During last year’s rescue effort, Oona and her PA-DE compadres captured the hearts of thousands of people around the world. So it was a special delight at PVSC’s annual “Sammypalooza” to witness Oona having a great time being paddled around the Chesapeake Bay, leaping into the water and socializing with other sammies. Oona’s mom/adopter, Jan Lynch, was running the “Barn Hunt” so Sammypalooza host Brenda Mantz took Oona around and gave her a personal tour of the beach. Keeping a close eye on Oona was her new sister, Charlotte (18 months) who has been a favorite playmate of Oona’s since she came to live with Jan last November. These inflatable boats (Sevylor Colorado) are perfect for dogs (and are impervious to dog toenails). Oona’s a sammy seafarer now! Pictures below.
12/17/12: Here is a picture of Oona, PA-17 on her first big outing. She went to the Washington DC to participate with about 20 other Sammies in the Potomac Valley Samoyed Club’s annual holiday walk at the Capitol. She had lots of attention from adults and children alike and had a good time. At 8 yrs of age she was in the middle range of ages, which ranged from 7 months to 14 1/2 years of age.
11/26/12: Oona went to the vet today for a followup and for bloodwork in preparation for her spay surgery. Because she does have some heart issues, special procedures will be followed. She will have her surgery this Friday. In addition to the spay, she will have her teeth cleaned, ears cleaned (remnant debris from the now-dead-mites still deep in the ear canal), skin tag removed and small hernia repaired. She should be able to come home the same day. Tam, Brenda and I took her to Barks ‘N Bubbles yesterday for a good bath and grooming. She tolerated the bath, did not like the blower. She looked absolutely adorable afterwards. Tam did a little video of her during and after her bath which she will post shortly. She is a great little Sammy. She weighs 38 lbs. She is very active and loves my Harry, Miss Maggie, and Charlotte. They play, play, play, and run, run, run in the back yard. She’s very strong. Obviously very good hips and legs. No sign of arthritis. She jumps into the back of my Flex into the crate without a problem. Hard to believe she is 8 years old. She’s not so thrilled with my diva, Irish. I think Oona would like to be alpha bitch and that is not going to happen as long as Irish is around. I would love to keep her but I have four dogs (max in this county for the size of my property). Also, she needs a home where she can be the spoiled girl. I would like it to have another dog or dogs that she can play with and be buddies with. I think she would do very well at obedience or agility, she is very attentive and very athletic. Smart girl too. She gets along fine with my cats (they basically ignore each other) so a home that has cats would not be a problem. She is now pretty much housebroken. She really only barks if she is unhappy (such as being put in a crate and separated from the other dogs). She is on a potty schedule with the other dogs and can hold it if necessary. I rarely crate her now. I can leave her in the family room for hours with the other dogs and not worry about her destroying anything. She eats with the other dogs without a problem. No food aggression. She now likes treats. I don’t think she’d ever had any before. If you are looking for a great little Sammy, please go to the Mid-Atlantic Samoyed Rescue site, www.samrescue.com and fill out an application for her. You can certainly meet her if you are in the Wash, DC area. All she wants for Christmas is her own forever home. If you want to be her Santa, please let us know.
12/12/12: Oona looks happy in her new home.
12/10/12: Took Oona to the vet today for a followup to her surgery. Vet said she is doing great. Spay and hernia sutures have healed, her gums have healed from the 5 extractions, her ears are clean (no more mites, yeah!) and she had the staples on her forehead removed. Now we just need to clear up her Lyme disease and anaplasmosis). She will continue on her Doxycycline for another couple of weeks. Then we wait 30 days and then go back for a blood test to see if she is clear.
She is one happy girl. She has found her place in the pack and loves to play with Charlotte and Maggie. She loves her food. She likes everything. She had rabbit tonight for the first time in addition to her kibble. She ate it all. She comes when called and sits with the other dogs for her cookie every morning. Looks like she is house-trained, she hasn’t had an accident in over a week. She likes to ride in the car and is being introduced to all the sounds of the suburbs. She didn’t like the sound of a truck’s air brakes this morning, but she didn’t panic. I plan on taking her on the PVSC Holiday Walk on Capitol Hill so everyone can see how far she has come from that frightened, ill, and dirty little girl with her head and tail held low to the smiling, healthy, beautiful, social little girl with her head and tail held high she is today
12/5/12: Two new videos on YouTube: HERE and HERE
11/17/12: Oona’s Great Escape! Oona decided to run to the C&O Canal today at the PVSC scootering clinic. She slipped her collar.
She wasn’t running away, just wanted to have a good time. A bath next week is also in the plans.
Tam Somerville and Jeff McKee caught her and brought her back up the hill.
11/15/12: Saw the veterinary cardiologist today. Oona rode shotgun in the passenger seat watching the world. Such a good girl. The vet listened to her heart then performed an echocardiogram. I was able to watch and have the Dr. show me the problems. In layman’s terms she has a mildly leaky aortic valve, a small hole between the left and right ventricles, and mild congenital narrowing of the pulmonic valve resulting in an increased work load on the right ventricle. Bottom line though is that her heart is of normal size, no cardiac medications are recommended at this time and she can continue mild to moderate activity but must avoid vigorous activity in hot/humid weather. Probably no scootering, bikejoring, or sledding in her future but otherwise she can do anything any other Sammy can do. Will talk to my vet about scheduling Oona for spay surgery, teeth cleaning, hernia repair and skin tag removal. Will probably wait a couple of weeks until all the current problems are cleared up. The Dr. has sent my vet detailed instructions for the spay surgery. For those medical techies out there, below is the report she gave me:
Mild congenital valvular pulmonic stenosis (PS), Very small ventricular septal defect, No evidence of right ventricular hypertrophy, Trace pulmonic valve insufficiency, Moderate aortic regurgitation, Normal left heart size and function
No cardiac medications recommended at this time. Continue with monthly heart worm and flea/tick control as prescribed by primary care veterinarian.
Diet and Activity: Continue mild to moderate activity, avoid vigorous activity in the hot/humid weather. Continue normal, high-quality diet. Avoid salty snacks and treats.
At Home Monitoring:
Oona is currently at low risk for clinical signs of her heart defect. However, please monitor for signs of cough, respiratory difficulty, exercise intolerance, weakness, lethargy, fainting, increasing abdominal sie, etc. If you note any of these symptoms, please notify office or primary vet as these symptoms may indicate worsening of Oona’s congenital heart defect.
Dental health is important to prevent tartar as a source of infection for the pulmonic valves of the heart and for overall health. Discuss with primary vet how frequently dental cleanings may be required for Oona. Discuss home dental care practices with primary vet. Ideally brushing Oona’s teeth to aid in the prevention of tartar.
Future Anesthesia Fluid Recommendations:
We would expect Oona to tolerate general anesthesia, if needed, with acceptable preoperative bloodwork, and a balanced anesthetic regiment. During anesthesia, we would recommend careful monitoring of ECG, blood presssure, and pulse oximetry and surgical fluid rate. There is some risk associated with all anesthetic events.
We recommend avoiding medications with tachycardia as a side effect, such as ketamine, telazol and glycopyrrolate. Cleared for low dose atropine if needed for intraprocedure bradycardia. Please avoid medications resulting in significant alterations in blood pressure such as acepromazine and Domitor.
We recommend intravenous or intramuscular antibiotics 30-60 minutes prior to all wound repairs, dental and surgical procedures to prevent sepsis and possible infections of the pulmonic valve.
Oona’s defect mildly increases her risk for valve infections (endocarditis). Any infections (skin, ear, urinary, etc.) should be treated promptly.
We predict that Oona should tolerate cautious intravenous or subcutaneous fluid therapy, if required, in the future.
Avoid immunosupressive doses of corticosteroids (prednisone) in the future, however standard anti-inflammatory doses of corticosteroids should be well tolerated–contact our office with any questions/concerns.
Recheck with primary veterinarian as needed.
Recheck with our office in 12 months for follow up consultation/examination, blood pressure, and echocardiogram. Contact us sooner if any problems or symptoms indicative of worsening heart disease.
11/12/12: Janice took Oona to her veterinarian for a thorough examination and determination as to whether or not she could be spayed due to a heart murmur.
Oona was found to have 2 tick-borne diseases, Lyme and Anaplasmosis (no heart worm though), ear mites, and Coccidia. Her vet confirmed the heart murmur so I will be taking her to a veterinary cardiologist for an echocardiogram and determination if her heart can withstand surgery. If she can, she will be spayed, a large skin tag removed, a small hernia repaired and her teeth cleaned. I will make the appointment tomorrow. In the meantime, her ears were treated with MilbeMite, and I’m starting her on Tresaderm ear solution twice daily until gone, Albon daily until gone for the Coccidia, and Doxycycline for the Lyme and Anaplasmosis. She will go back after the Albon is gone to be tested to make sure that the Coccidia is gone, and two months after the Doxycylcline for a test to see if the tick-borne diseases are gone.
I was surprised she had ear mites, as she has not been digging at her ears nor did she object when the groomer cleaned her ears yesterday. She swapped her ear canals and came up with more brown gunk that the groomer could not reach. My vet showed me the mites under the microscope. They look like translucent ticks and were moving around vigorously on the slide. So even if she had been treated by SPCA, they weren’t totally gone, or she had been reinfested (which can easily happen according to the vet).
I now need to keep Oona separate from my other dogs until we are sure the mites are gone. I’ve already been taking her to a separate area to potty her in case she had Coccidia so my dogs wouldn’t pick it up. Guess I’ll continue to do so until she tests clear.
She was such a good girl while at the vets.
Click Here for a video of Oona