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Friday, February 24, 2012

The End

We lost Indy last night.

About a month ago I spoke with vet in California and he informed me that Indy's dose of Neo was half of what it needed to be to hold off this type of cancer. Our vet in Pa called Dr. Fox and he had changed his dose recommendations for certain types of cancers, including the one Indy had.

We were in the process of increasing his meds to where they should have been, but then 3 weeks ago he came down with pancreatitis. At that time they did an ultrasound and chest x-ray and gave us a clean bill of health with no signs of the cancer.

He was off Neo for 8 days while he recovered. In that short amount of time, the cancer took hold and exploded.

After an afternoon of ball playing and seeming perferctly fine, Indy started having trouble walking last night. We rushed him to the ER and they did another ultrasound. They found a fist sized turmor in his abdomen and a small nodual on his lungs. The tumor was bleeding out and they recommended putting him down immediately, so we brought him home and had a vet come here at 9pm last night.

We were so close. We had the right drug and the right support, just the wrong dose and bad timing with his pancreatitis, which were told had nothing to do with anything. Just happens.

I'm regrettful that we didn't remove this tumor as well and start him back on the meds that I know could have saved him, but you can only ask so much from such a wonderful pet. He was supposed to have passed by Thanksgiving, but we got him for a full 7 months to the day. The vets at U PENN are still encouraged with the drug he was on. They told us that they don't get these results with chemo currently and we should be fortuante for the time we did get and we are.

But I can't tell you how hard it is to know what you need to do to get it right and then lose the time to do it. To anyone reading this in our situation - don't stop the meds for any reason no matter how good your pet looks or what the x-rays say.

Learn from our mistake.

I can tell you though that anyone worried about side-effects with oral Neo- there were none. In the 7 months we had him, he maybe had 10 bad days between the intital diagnosis, the pancreatitis and last night. To anyone walking by, he was an energetic and happy dog.


  1. I am so, so sorry to read today about Indy. I applaud you for all the research you did and for going outside the norm and putting him on the neo. If there is a bright side - it is that it was working. That seems obvious.

    Please take comfort in knowing you did everything you could for Indy and gave him 7 additional months that he would not have had. 7 wonderful months.

    I know these time is difficult, but know you did everything you could.


  2. Thank you. They were amazing months and with the cancer coming back so quickly, we wondered if we wouldn't have had three weeks only without neoplasene? We just needed to be on a higher dose. The vet in Value told me this would happen if we didn't increase it. We tried to heed his warning, but the pancreatitus stopped us from being able to react fast enough. He was on just enough to be barely holding it off. He went from clear and clean to gone in 3 weeks! It's just so hard to believe. I really pray that someone learns from our story. We got some amazing photos and some great days and appreciated every extra moment we got and that was all possible because of you and Addis's journal. Thank you from the very bottom of our hearts for giving us the extra days. His quality of life was better in the last 7 months than it had been in the last 2 years. Worth every effort and every penny. Thank you again.

  3. So very sorry you lost your guy. It's the worst thing. I only wish I had known about the Neo treatment when my dog was sick...I didn't and we lost her quickly...almost as soon as we found out what she had...she was gone. I guess the only good thing is that now we know the right things to do.
    RIP Indy.

  4. Hello. I'm so sorry for your loss. I knew all too well how quickly these cancers can take our wonderful friends. I lost my girl (also named Indiana Jones) to hemangiosarcoma. There was no option given to us regarding neoplasm, we were only offered surgery and chemo. We didn't have time for either; she was gone in 19 days. I'm glad you had a bit of extra time, and I'm glad so many have shared their stories so in the future we can all be better prepared should we once again face this illness.
    My heart goes out to all who knew your Indy. ♥

  5. Anonymous29.2.12

    Jennifer, I am so sorry for your loss!
    This reminds me all too well of what we went through with our precious Brandon. He too was doing well until he developed pancreatitis. He had to be taken off his meds for 5 days. During this time his cancer took hold. He passed after a day of playing ball and swimming.
    You and your family are in my prayers!
    RIP sweet Indy!

  6. Anonymous7.3.12

    I'm very sorry that Indy had pancreatitis come out of left field. How frustrating. I found your blog post via a Google search for Neoplasene. My cat has oral squamous cell carcinoma and I heard about Neoplasene, but the vets at Univ of Tennessee will not help me with it. They act like it is quackery. Did the vet at U Penn facilitate your use of it? Could you possibly provide a name so that I can get the vet here to speak with a colleague? I feel I am running out of time and have not found a vet around here with any experience in this. Thanks ... and my condolences to you.

  7. Look up the Animal Wellness Center in Chaddsford, PA. I hope you still have time. The UPenn docs were not interested in administering the NEO but very interested in its results.

  8. I got an email from a blogger in my inbox today, but there's no way to reply and Blogspot won't let me do a new post. Just brings up a blank page - so I hope whoever emailed me sees my response below!
    Hi there!

    Sorry, just not seeing this email. I don't check the site often anymore. With cancer in the mouth and nasal cavity, it will get really nasty with Neo BUT it can save your dogs life. I would encourage you to go out to the Neo website and take a look at the photos and read the stories of other dogs that have been treated with Neo for this type of cancer. The images are quite graphic, but it will prepare you for what you'll face if you chose to go this route. The dogs make a full recovery and while there will be some scars, the puppies don't care. ;)

    It really is an amazing drug, but you have to follow the directions to the letter and you can't back off when things get nasty and they will with topical applications. If your vet decides to go oral, you probably won't see anything. Just don't make our mistake and make sure the does is high enough. Many vets not familiar with NEO with opt for the more "conservative" does and don't ever take your dog off. It's a life long treatment orally. That's why we lost our puppy.

    If you decide to use it (and I would for stage 4 - there aren't many other options besides putting your pet down which is of course very humane) then be aggressive and see it through to the end.

    Here's the link: Look under 1.) Relevant Neoplansene Documents - All are good to read, but Discussions and Case Studies will show you what you're up against and include the picture, so you can make a better decision. You're best bet if you don't want to read the entire document is to simply search for the related words, like "nasal."

    Let me know if I can provide anything else for you. BEST OF LUCK!