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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Poodle lovers,

As I put in a previous thread, almost a year ago, my then 5-year-old spoo Kepler started showing symptoms of what was later diagnosed as multiple myeloma. Initially he was lethargic and more ornery. We thought it was because we took a 3 week vacation in Sept 2019, and he was left with an unfamiliar babysitter. Then, in November, 2019, he started bleeding from his mouth. Soon we took him to the vet and insisted on bloodwork. The blood work showed high IgG, low IgA, and anemia among other blood marker issues. Further testing including electrophoresis pointed to Multiple Myeloma. Also his spleen and liver were enlarged. We saw a cancer specialist, who conducted more biopsies, which left him very weak. We thought we were going to lose him in a few weeks or maybe months. We put him on prednisone immediately, but declined chemotherapy. Then, as time passed, since we did not like the behavioral changes on pred, we slowly weaned him off over many months. As of the end of August, he is on no pred at all, but for most of the summer he was getting half a pill every other day. We also have been giving him Turkey Tail mushroom powder since Dec., 2019.

Now the weird part -- on his most recent blood test, last June, his blood levels were significantly better in all areas EXCEPT what seemed to be liver damage from the pred. Now that he is off pred, he is much more energetic -- at times running around like a puppy. He is not acting like a sick dog at all.

Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? Could he, perhaps, not have had cancer? We stopped taking him for bloodwork every month as it seemed a waste of money and time.

I should also mention -- he used to be on an all raw diet. Now he is mostly on kibble, as the doctor thought with his immune system compromised the raw diet might not be safe for him.

Would love thoughts from you folks. Thanks.
 

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I say just celebrate & enjoy. I'm happy for you.

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...As of the end of August, he is on no pred at all, but for most of the summer he was getting half a pill every other day. We also have been giving him Turkey Tail mushroom powder since Dec., 2019. Now the weird part -- on his most recent blood test, last June, his blood levels were significantly better in all areas EXCEPT what seemed to be liver damage from the pred. Now that he is off pred, he is much more energetic -- at times running around like a puppy. He is not acting like a sick dog at all...
This is a cause for celebration! I was curious, googled, and read about Turkey Tail Mushroom Uses for dogs in Dogs Naturally. Is this the brand you used? I'm saving this link in case I ever need it.

Your dog's recovery is amazing and exciting, b/c his lab tests and diagnosis were grim. I read an article where it helps people too, here.
 

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I was thinking about the Turkey tail mushroom supplement for my Giant. IP 6 is another for dogs dealing with cancer

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
First, you should know my husband and I are scientists, so we would not want others to think we were touting the TT as a miracle cure. We decided to use it because it was relatively low cost, didn’t seem to have any negative side effects, and had a chance to work. My brother-in-law had suggested it as it apparently saved their much older German Shepard from another type of cancer. She eventually died at 15 — blind and unable to walk from arthritis, but no cancer. they had used a much more expensive TT prescribed by Penn Vet as part of a research study.

We get our TT from 4-leaf rover, and use 1/16 teaspoon 2x a day disolved in water and offered with food, 12 hours apart. https://fourleafrover.com

We hypothesized the following possibilities as to why Kepler is currently better.

  1. He never had cancer. Perhaps he had a tick-borne illness. We convinced the vet to give us a month of antibiotic, lest this was a rare form of lymes disease or a similar disorder. We have loads of ticks in our yard — with definite cases of people getting Lyme from being on our property. It is because I have hundreds of rare plants, shrubs and trees in a relatively small yard.
  2. Another possibility is that he had cancer and the pred put him in remission.
  3. A third possibly is he really did have cancer and the TT put him onto remission.
The scary part for me is that the doctors did not encourage us to reduce the pred. We did that against doctors orders. Yet, if we had kept him on a high level of pred — they started him at 30 mg a day— I truly believe he would be much sicker today, just from steroidal side effects.
 

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Whatever the reason, it’s a wonderful outcome and worth celebrating. You made wise choices in treatment too.

As a scientist who has worked in cancer Research you can add spontaneous remission unrelated to treatment. When pathologists do autopsies, especially on older people, they often find cancers that have gotten walled off, stopped growing, shrunk, lost blood supply etc. Most of these are cancers the people were unaware of, not treated etc. Sometimes it’s someone who refused treatment.

Of course if you get diagnosed with cancer you can’t assume you’ll be the rare lucky one and have spontaneous remission.
 

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The scary part for me is that the doctors did not encourage us to reduce the pred. We did that against doctors orders. Yet, if we had kept him on a high level of pred — they started him at 30 mg a day— I truly believe he would be much sicker today, just from steroidal side effects.
Was their aggressive approach with the prednisone based on the assumption his condition was terminal?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Was their aggressive approach with the prednisone based on the assumption his condition was terminal?
Yes, it was, and presumably still is, the assumption that he is terminal. We were told that if we used the chemo, he may have 2 years, and without chemo we may have about 9 months.
 
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