Meningioma - At a loss - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Meningioma - At a loss

Hi to anyone who's reading this. This is my first post on this site - I came across this site many years ago when I first got my rescue dog. I think I had an account but a) I don't remember the username and b) I think I've since deleted the email account it was attached to. So here I am again, 6 years later.

So here's the story,
Almost two weeks ago, my 6 1/2 year old doberman Ira started limping. We didn't think much of it because every once and a while he'll limp on and off for a day or two and then get better. It didn't seem to bother him other than it made it harder for him to get up on his bed - but he still chased squirrels and jumped off our back deck like always. It was kind of a weird limp. We determined it was in his left front leg. After a week of no improvement we decided to make a vet appointment for this past Wednesday.
Since I was out of town, my sister was going to take him. The morning of, she watched him spot a squirrel in our yard from his bed by the window and when he stood he lurched sideways and nearly fell over. At this she became quite concerned and called our vet, wondering what she should do and if she should come in early, this had never happened before.
The receptionist took note of his symptoms and said she would call back. A few minutes later, our vet called with a referral to the emergency hospital to see the neurologist. Surprised, she took him there for noon.
They looked him over and determined it was /something/ but they didn't know what. Either they could treat symptomatically for a deep ear infection, meningitis .ect or do a MRI. The vet also brought up wobblers as a possibility.
Thank goodness my sister made the right call and got him the approximately two thousand dollar MRI. The results came back a surprise to all of us. An intercranial mass that is most likely a meningioma. The vet was surprised to find it in such a young dog.
He's been prescribed prednisone (steroids) to get the swelling down to reduce his symptoms.
I fell like I've been hit by a train.
Since Wednesday, things have been a whirlwind.
Nights have been pretty sleepless with how much he whines at night and needs to be let out to pee - we're working on this. I've bought some pee pads and I've got family helping me out. The vet also said we could split his dose of prednisone to twice daily instead of once since his symptoms were coming back by 9pm. He's been dribbling pee a bit on his beds/the couch but we're keeping laundry running and putting pee pads under the blankets. He said this is probably from the steroids making him want to pee.
Does anyone have any advice on teaching older dogs how to use pee pads when they've gone outside their entire lives?
I've got a referral to a canine cancer centre for looking into getting radiation treatment but that's not for a week and a half and I don't even know what there going to say - and I dread the estimate they're going to give me, but anything for him.

I guess I'm hoping for support or advice or people who are going through/have gone through the same thing? I just feel lost and anxious and sad. I've never lost a dog before and I feel like I'm losing him too fast and too soon.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 09:32 PM
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I donít have any advice to give, but it sounds like you folks are facing a tough time--Iím so sorry.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2017, 07:27 AM
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I don't have any advice either. So sorry you are going through this with your boy. Hoping someone with experience will chime in.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2017, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you both <3

As a little update: last night was the smoothest one yet. He slept through most of the night and his symptoms didn't appear as bad as they had been the night before, so that leaves me a little hopeful!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2017, 10:25 AM
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so sorry your boy is dealing with this issue.

Hugz to you and Ira.

Have you looked online for any canine cancer support groups?
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2017, 04:27 PM
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I wouldn't even try to teach him to use pee pads. Big dogs and pee pads don't really work (too much volume).

But having had a male who was on a fairly high dose of prednisoe (and other dogs where were on short terms doses of pred) for several years my vets have always split the doses into two a day. Because the pred also makes them drink a lot more water I had the vet help me figure out how much water he needed to have and I would dole it out a cup or two at a time since left with unlimited water he would drain a five gallon bucket in less than a day.

Also the need to pee while on steroids does get better as his system gets used to it.

I use the big round Costco beds and since he often dribbled in his sleep I used a doubled lawn and leaf bag-wrapped it around the interior stuffing bag and anytime he leaked I could remove the outer cover to wash--I'd wipe down the plastic with disinfectant and water--I'd end up washing the cover almost every work day since it was just a little too long for him to wait to get out even when I came home at lunch--nights he was good about waking me up to let him out.

Sorry to hear you guys are going through this--good luck and I'll think good thoughts for you all.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2017, 06:58 PM
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I have no experience with this, but am feeling sorry your boy has to go through this.
Hoping there is a remedy and that he does improve. Please keep us updated as you will be in our thoughts and prayers.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2017, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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I finally figured out how to like posts - and thank you guys so much for the support and thoughts.

dobebug: It's really great to hear from someone who had a dog on prednisone. I had been wondering if his system might sort of get used to it and even things out. Also the neurologist told us we could switch to twice a day so maybe a combo of both is why he's doing better. I've also been giving him antacids (tums), as the vet advised (over two hours after his dose, of course) and I wonder if that helps too - with the problems at night.
And the garbage/yard bag idea is great - definitely going to look into doing that for his bed by the back door! So far I just shoved pee pads between the cushions of the sofa and the blanket that goes over top.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 08:43 PM
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i am saying prayers for your baby to get well. i know the feeling of losing one. mine was 10 and got dcm and lost his back legs cause blood wasnt flowing. its tragic. now my new baby just turned 6 and i just scheduled him for an echo heart test at the specialized hospital. i dont want to find out about dcm with this baby. we dont think about the expenses when we love our pets. good luck with yours and god blessings for him. take care.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, I know I haven't updated in a while.

We went to the cancer centre and they were so lovely to us but once we talked it over there we were looking at 8000, at least, for an average of a year and a half. It would also mean leaving him there 5 days a week for three weeks and being anaesthetised every day. Even then there's a 15% chance it won't work. I talked things over with a lot of friends and family, everyone who would give me an opinion, including his regular vet, and I think we've decided to keep him comfortable for as long as we can.

I think his body is used to the dose of pred he's on now (no more upset tummy, no more waking up in the middle of the night for pees). His signs have almost completely gone away for now. Not sure how long we have left with him, but I'm trying to make the most of every day with him - and now that the weather is getting nice he can go for his swims!
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 11:20 PM
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It’s a tough decision, but I think you know him best, and what treatment would be best for him. It’s hard on you--but his comfort should come first.

I made the same decision with Kip--he was diagnosed with a cancer that we thought was growing very fast. Surgery was an option which might have been curative, but with his age and other physical problems, we chose just to keep him comfortable. The vet helped us decide on treatment and told us he thought it would be a matter of weeks.

That was at the end of August. The growth has slowed down. He’s still with us 7 months later and comfortable I think. So you never know.

Last edited by melbrod; 04-19-2017 at 11:25 PM.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 07:33 AM
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So very sorry. What Mel said!

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dax0402 View Post
So very sorry. What Mel said!
i am so very sorry to hear the update on your boy just keep him comfortable and give him all the love you can. this breed isnt promised to live a long life as we see. i just took my boy to the cardiaologist for his heart testing. it came back negative thank God but you never know when they will get hit with the DCM. god bless your baby
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