I spoke to two local vets that I trust and we have decided to hold off on the Prednisone. He is doing well right now, and we are going to give him Rimadyl instead and see if that’s enough to keep the inflammation down. They both felt that there wasn’t any proof that Prednisone helped with his type of tumor and that the risks of the side effects outweighed his quality of life at this point.
We know the cancer is going to keep growing, we know that its just a matter of time .. but for now he is feeling good! He eats, sleeps, plays, acts normal. We go for hikes, he runs around chasing squirrels, jumps for joy when we come home, etc. The only time it seems to hurts him is if he yawns wide or picks up a large toy. Once things start going downhill, I will start on the prednisone to keep him comfortable. The vets I talked to felt it was just pallative at this point, and not going to really cure him or hold off the tumor from growing.
We have weighed all the options and we just really want him to be happy. So we are going to give the Rimadyl a try and see if that’s enough for a while. I am also giving him softened food and raw goats milk. I’ll keep you posted!
Last night we had Nick’s bday dinner and had a few people over afterwards. Rocco was playing with his toys, even chewing on his nylabone!!! Even on the bad side of his mouth. Its after 3 doses of the Rimadyl. I think its helping!! I was so happy when I saw him chewing the bone. I hope this helps him for a while. I am definitely not ready to let go at this time.
So Rimadyl is our drug of choice right now – maybe combined with the raw goats milk he will be good for a long time! Miracles happy all the time 🙂
Just spoke to our regular vet, well, one we have seen in the past for a second opinion. He agrees that maybe we should hold off a bit on the Prednisone. Really Rocco feels pretty good at this point, why add the possibility of the horrible side effects for a tiny bit of benefit. Everything I read – nothing said anything about meningiomas being affected by Prednisone. What it does say is that the tissue surrounding the tumor would be reduced by the Prednisone. I dont know if thats actually a problem for Rocco at the moment.
What the vet said made sense. The Prednisone is given when the dogs are very uncomfortable, having lots of pain, not eating, etc. It makes them hungry, and reduces some of their pain, so they act a little more like themselves, but he says the positive affects are only short term. Once the dog is on Prednisone for long term, the other side effects start to kick in and the dog wont be very happy. I am glad I got the second opinion, he confirmed what I thought.
So right now Rocco is doing well. Yes, his jaw is sore, but we will give him Rimadyl, which is an anti-inflammatory which has no side effects. He had that before, after his surgery and it makes him a little drowsy, but thats it. I can deal with that! Rocco can deal with it, too.
I do understand where the surgeon is coming from and maybe for some dogs its a good thing. I just think for Rocco, right now, its not a good choice. If and when things deteriorate, and he starts having more pain and is more uncomfortable, not eating, etc – then we can start him on the Prednisone. Right now we are just going to continue with what we are doing. Softer foods, raw goats milk, and lots of lovin’.
I am a little leary of the Prednisone. I have been doing a bunch of research and many of the side effects are pretty bad. Rocco is suppose to go on it long-term, for like the rest of his life. Short-term use seems fine, but everything I am reading says that anything longer than a month or so, that’s when the side effects start to show themselves.
Some of the things I have read say their boxers have had these following side effects:
ulcers in their stomachs
panting spells that last for hours
loss of control of their bladder
loss of control of their rear legs
unable to settle down and relax
There were some others, but those really bug me. I don’t want the rest of Rocco’s life to be miserable. I would rather not do the steroids and let him be happy as long as he can be, comfortable, and able to relax and enjoy himself. He had one dose last night. About 2 hours after the dose he passed out and never quite came back to normal until this morning. I dont want that either! So for now – no more Prednisone. I have it, so if we decide to start with it, its available.
So I am going to call our local vet, not the surgeons/specialists office and see what they say. I am going to look into some more holistic approaches, things that will maybe just improve his quality of life. We have started the raw goats milk and he loves it! I also boiled up some chicken for him and will mix that with the wet food, and give him less dry food. He can still eat it fine, but I think the soft food is easier. He likes the crunch, so I will continue to give him a little dry 🙂