Your veterinarian may need to refer you to a veterinary oncologist for the latest information regarding treatment of this disease. Your dog may be hospitalized if there are high levels of urea - waste products and calcium in the blood. Also, if there is a bleeding disorder, or a significant bacterial infection, hospitalization may be required. A blood-cleansing procedure may be used, or blood may be withdrawn and replaced with an equal volume of fluids.
If possible, radiation therapy may be used on isolated areas, with the goal of curing the disease, or only to control signs and improve your dog’s condition. If there is a concurrent bacterial infection, it will be treated aggressively with antibiotics.
If your dog is being treated with radiation or chemical therapy, it will also need to be guarded against opportunistic infections that can result from the expected lowered immune response (known as immune compromised – a result of the treatment that is used to stop the growth of cancerous cells in the body). You will need to take care to prevent bacterial infections from occurring, such as those caused by puncture wounds from dog or cat fights. Dietary changes will be necessary if your dog is in kidney failure. Affected areas that are nonresponsive to chemotherapy, or single, solitary lesions may be removed surgically.
Living and Management
Your veterinarian will want to do a complete blood count and platelet count weekly for at least four weeks to assess bone-marrow response to the chemotherapeutic drugs. Blood tests with abnormal results will be repeated monthly to evaluate response to the treatment.
Protein analyses of the blood will be done monthly for several months until normal protein patterns are obtained. Once protein patterns have stabilized, monitoring will be periodically performed for signs of relapse. Abnormal skeletal X-rays should be repeated monthly every other month until they appear normal, and to evaluate your dog’s response to treatment.
Chemotherapy is intended to improve your dog’s condition, not to cure the multiple myeloma, but long remissions are possible. Relapse is an expected occurrence. The drugs that are being used will determine the side effects. Your veterinarian will go over what to expect, based on the types of drugs that are prescribed for treatment. Most patients develop mild low white-blood cell counts (leukopenia) during chemotherapy.
Term used to refer to an animal that is one of the recognized, pure breeds
Protein found in the urine
A cell that aids in clotting
A treatment of certain neoplasms that is administered using an x ray
The product of protein being metabolized; can be found in blood or urine.
A bone in the spinal column
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
The ability to create a disease where a disease might not normally be found, usually due to an ill timed or unlikely weakness
The layer of the eye that is charged with receiving and processing images
A type of tumor made up of certain cells in the bone marrow
A type of antibody in the plasma; there are five of them
Extreme loss of blood
The digestive tract containing the stomach and intestine
The colored layer around the pupil
The condition of being drowsy, listless, or weak
Something that becomes worse or life threatening as it spreads
A decrease in the number of white blood cells (abnormal)
A protein in the body that is designed to fight disease; antibodies are brought on by the presence of certain antigens in the system.