by Joanne Latko
Five year old, Olivia presented to our veterinarian for treatment of an upper respiratory infection by her previous owner. Xray revealed she had ingested elastic hair ties and would need surgical removal. The owner decided not to pursue treatment and opted for euthanasia instead. Fortunately our vet was able to persuade Olivia's owner to relinquish ownership. Our vet explained the situation, offered to perform the necessary surgery and treat her upper respiratory infection and allow us to adopt her. Olivia did well post operatively but continued to have nasal symptoms sneezing and very loud breathing as well as very poor appetite. She just looked sick. We tried another week of different antibiotics without improvement. Our vet suggested taking her to a specialist in internal medicine.Here a nasal flushing and biopsy was performed as well as a cat scan. We were horrified to learn she had nasal lymph oma at only five years old. We were referred to the oncologists who gave us all of our options as well as the pros and cons and risks and benefits. Because Olivia was so young, we opted to treat her lymphoma aggressively as long as she seemed comfortable. We started with sixteen radiation treatments which she tolerated without problem except she lost the fur over the top of her head which grew in tan from her natural dark brown. Secondly, she underwent six months of chemotherapy (Wisconsin CHOP Protocol) Olivia tolerated this as well. The day after treatments she wold be quiet but bounced back a day later. She experienced no vomiting and lost total bout one half pound. Her blood work remained stable.
Outcome to Date Ten months after diagnosis cat scan shows 90% of the nasal tumor is gone, with no sign of active tumor. Olivia is playful, eating well and running around. We are very proactive and will probably repeat scans quarterly. We are very grateful that all of our veterinarians were proactive and did not wait around to see what was going to happen next.
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