First, the good news. Addie is still doing remarkably well. It still amazes us how well she is doing. She does make us coax her a bit on the cottage cheese, but then eats it 100% after she starts. She adores her food/Neoplasene mixture. We are very fortunate on this front.
Shep is hanging in there. He has mostly bad days, but yesterday was a good day for him. Stairs are very difficult for him and he has zero desire to hike/run.
He is very picky about eating and it has been a huge struggle each meal to get him to eat. We hate forcing him, but sometimes we feel we don’t have a choice. Rob did call Dr. Fox at Buck Mountain today to speak with him regarding the situation. Dr. Fox was pretty helpful and dare I say friendly.
Here is a summary of what we discussed:
1. The lumps Shep has developed since early July have gotten only slightly bigger over the past week and some of them seem to be sore to the touch. Dr. Fox told us that the fact that the lumps are only slightly larger probably means that they are inflamed. This is a good indication that the Neoplasene is doing its job.
2. He was surprised and concerned about our holistic vet putting Shep on such a large dosage of Neoplasene (10 cc per day). The fact that Shep is still with us after a week of that high dosage indicates that the cancer on his lungs may not be as bad as we thought. If the cancer had been more widespread in his lungs, then the cancer tissue would have inflamed once the Neoplasene interacted with it and could have caused him great difficulty in breathing and may have been bad enough to suffocate him. We have not noticed any breathing trouble but he does seem to get tired quickly.
3. Shep’s lethargy and unwillingness to eat very much is probably a direct result of the high dosage of Neoplasene. Dr. Fox re-iterated the details of the feeding plan for optimal use of the Neoplasene. We will be adjusting things slightly as opposed to what we do for Addie. Specifically, we will be chopping his food up more finely, will stop feeding the Orijen kibble for now, and will provide a scoop of vanilla ice cream after each meal to help protect the GI tract from the Neoplasene.
4. Dr. Fox also recommended we start Shep on 25 mg of metoclopramide (aka Reglan) twice daily before meals (to help increase appetite). We will begin that regimen tomorrow. We are pretty concerned about this drug as it has some unpleasant side effects.
Shep’s new meal plan:
Meals 2 times per day consisting of:
25mg Reglan 30 minutes prior to dinner
1/2 c. ground meat – cooked
1/2 c. veggies/fruits – cooked
Vanilla ice cream after dinner
We haven’t discussed, but I believe we will still use the Fractionated Pectin as well.
We hope this improves his quality of life. I feel so bad that he cannot do the things he loves – chasing squirrels, running down to see his friend Jack, going on long hikes, etc.