Message Number: SG126 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2002-07-05 20:02:18 UTC
Subject: RE: Lymphoma Treatment Q's
Message-ID: <11871866.1025899338668.JavaMail.root@scandium>

Dear Trish:

> sable female ferret Merry has been diagnosed with Lymphoma. On 6/17 she
> had a lump & part of her intestine removed. On 6/20 they re-opened the
> incision to check to make sure there wasn't any fluid or problems inside
> (I'm still not quite clear on this).

It might be that they thought there was leakage from the incision in the intestine so thought it best to check it out. I applaud this move, as many vets will not take that step and a leaky anastamosis site may be the end of the ferret.

On 6/21 we brought her home and for
> 10 days administered shots of Fortaz (.5 cc 3 times daily). On 7/1 Merry
> was supposed to start chemo but blood work showed her WBC at 20,000 (instead
> of 10K normal) so we had to delay. The vet told me that she saw something
> that "concerned" her.

I would be also concerned with a 20,000 white count, but remember, some of that is the body cleaning up the surgery. But the use of the injectable antibiotic is not a bad move.

Merry had either an infection, inflammation or a
> possible reoccurance (a lump). We took her home and now administer .13
> cc ammoxicillian & .3 cc prednisone 2 times daily. Merry's next appt.
> is 7/8 for another blood work and begin chemo if possible.

> I would like advice on the following if you could please:
> Should I consult a vet oncologist? What would a vet oncologist do differently?

Really nothing. I think that your vet is doing a very good job here and would not suggest switching at this time.

> I've seen others mention herbal remedies such as Essiac for Lymphoma. Should
> I consider these options instead of prednisone?

No. Herbal and homeopathic remedies may be used as an adjunct to traditional therapies, but not in place of them.

> I wanted to begin Merry's treatment the quickest and best possible way we
> can. If she has an infection or a reoccurance of the cancer already I
> don't want to rush to do the chemo if it will hurt her

Next week should tell the tale - she should be sufficiently healed from the surgery to begin chemotherapy. REmember, however, that the long-term prognosis, even with chemotherapy for lymphoma patients is not a good one, so don't be disheartened if the chemotherapy is not successful. All you can do (as it appears that you are doing) is give it your best shot now, so there won't be any questions or guilt later on.

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams,d VM