Leo had his 4th chemo treatment today & the last of phase 1. He gets a week off before he starts phase 2, which spreads out treatment to every 2 weeks. He’ll have an oral dose of chemo medication in 2 weeks, & then 2 weeks after that he’ll go get the injected chemo treatment. This cycle will go on for the next 5 months. One new side effect we’ll have to watch for with the oral medication is liver disease. Apparently, it’s a known side effect, so he’ll have labs done every 2 weeks to monitor his liver function.

It will be  nice to spread these vet visits out a bit–for Leo & me. Even though the appointments only take about an hour, with travel time, etc., it ends up being about 2 hours.

With this 1st phase of the chemo protocol, he has shown absolutely no side effects. He’s been great. His weight has maintained–actually this week he added a few ounces on last week’s weight. His white blood cell count has been good–no infections or complications. And today he had a  chest x-ray to check up on a mass that was found in November before he had the surgery to remove the tumor on his leg. The November x-ray showed a small mass in the chest cavity. The problem was that we didn’t have another, older chest x-ray to compare it to. Because mast cell tumors don’t usually progress to the chest cavity, the vet decided we’d just monitor it with x-rays every couple months to monitor its growth. The good news today was that the mass showed no signs of growth. We’re still waiting on the official radiologists read of the x-ray, but the vet said she was fine with what she saw. So, that was a big relief; although, to be honest, I wasn’t worried about it. Something just tells me that it’s not something we have to be worried about; but of course, we are monitoring it.

So, for a dog with cancer & undergoing chemo, he’s doing great. Weird to say, but good to say.

Oh, yeah…today’s vet visit was also a little exciting. As we were getting ready to leave, they were bringing in a lion for x-rays. The lion was from a sanctuary (not the nearby LA Zoo) & was believed to have swallowed a nail. They needed to see where it was because it hadn’t passed naturally. Our car was parked near the trailer the lion was in & was blocked by the vet staff who were trying to move it into the hospital. Leo, my brother, & I decided to just hang out in front & watch the lion be brought in. How often do you get to see a lion close up, especially in LA? How often does Leo get to see a lion close up? So, we hung out. After some time & a tranquilizer, the lion was loaded on a stretcher & brought into the hospital. It was sedated & lying down when we saw it, but still it was huge. Luckily Leo didn’t try barking at it or chasing it like he does the cats who run through the yard.