Our patient of the month for April 2015 is the beautiful Cody. She is a very sweet German shepherd who is almost 12 years old. Cody first came to VRCC Oncology in March 2013 with a 2-week history of decreased appetite, increased water consumption and urination. Upon physical exam, her peripheral lymph nodes were found to be moderately enlarged. Diagnostic tests showed intra-abdominal lymph node enlargement, intra-thoracic lymph node enlargement, and an elevated blood calcium level. Cytology was performed on a lymph node and was consistent with lymphoma. Flow cytometry was sent off for a formal diagnosis, in the meantime, Cody’s family chose to start IV chemotherapy right away. Flow cytometry results came back with a diagnosis of T-cell lymphoma. Cody went through a MOPP based chemotherapy protocol for 4 months, then followed with a maintenance chemotherapy protocol for another 7 months. She has been in remission now for 2 years. Cody’s family shares their story:
“Cody is our too-smart-for-her-own-good German shepherd who loves chasing tennis balls and begging for popcorn, roast beef, and ginger snap cookies.
We knew something was wrong when Cody’s behavior changed in early 2013. She started drinking a lot of water and needed to go to the bathroom constantly. When we discovered the masses in her groin, we knew she needed to go to the oncology specialist at VRCC.
In the 1990s, our Golden retriever, Scotty, got sick. We’d had good experiences with Dr. Elmslie and VRCC for Scotty, so there was no doubt in our minds that this was where Cody needed to be for expert, compassionate care.
Cody’s first couple of weeks of treatment was a little rough. The side effects from her medicine made her pee all over the house. However, Cody handled her treatment very well. She was very energetic throughout the day and, today, continues to chase her tennis balls and paw at Dad for popcorn.
Every since Cody was a puppy, she has loved the snow. As she gets older (she’ll be 12 in June!), she’s slowing down, but her favorite activity is still bounding through the snow and burying her face in it. She loves to chase squirrels and rabbits when they dare to enter her backyard.
It has been 2 years since Cody started her treatment. She is currently in remission and we are very thankful that she is still active and look forward to her continuing to drench her tennis balls in her outdoor water bowl this summer.”