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Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,939
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

@suzyQ3   I tried one of the meds with my last dog, and it didn't work.  I don't remember the name of it.  I had to put him to sleep, which of course is very hard.  I'm so sorry you're going through this with your dog.


Day after day the whole day through, wherever my road inclined, four feet said 'I'm coming with you!' and trotted along behind. Kipling





Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,381
Registered: ‎03-08-2018

Loosing a pet and watching them suffer is so hard.  Big hugs to you.

 

Based on my experience with a cat who had problems with her liver, I'm not sure that there is much you can do once cancer get there (same as with a  human).  We had a feeding tube put in her at one point because she wouldn't eat.  Years later I admit to myself I would not do that again.  It would actually have been better for her to let her go peacefully.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 559
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Need opinions

[ Edited ]

@suzyQ3 

 

Sorry to hear of Cody's diagnosis.  I too went through this with my baby for about 9 months with all kinds of tests and surgery, medications and after care, and losing my baby last March 2018.

 

His Vet first put him on Mirtazapine for his appetite (around May-June 2017) during various testing (xrays, 2 ultrasounds, EKG, blood draws) and before his stomach cancer surgery (July 2017) and was recovering nicely and then again later on when his transitional cell carcinoma bladder cancer was getting worse (late Nov. 2017?) and was not eating again.  I think it did help somewhat, but my baby was fussy anyway, and as he got worse by end of 2017 I do not think it was working.

 

Vet then put him on ENTYCE, in Jan 2018 and really did not see improvement with that but my baby was decling so that may be reason.  Vet discussed and we decided to just resort to giving him chicken (no fat, no skin) poached in no sodium boullion, then store cooked rotisserie chicken (no skin or fat), anything he would eat, sliced deli roast beef, cottage cheese, yogurt, and even all beef (never give pork) hot dogs.

 

I did not notice any side effects.  But I just googled 'mirtazapine for dogs' and found this...

 

"Mirtazapine is generally well tolerated in dogs and cats, although trials are lacking.

Common side effects include drowsiness, sedation, low blood pressure, and increased heart rate.

If the animal experiences breathing difficulties, hives or swelling of the lips, tongue or face, then an allergic reaction to the drug may be the case and the veterinarian should be contacted immediately."

 

And...

 

"Mirtazapine is generally well tolerated but side effects are possible. The most common side effect is drowsiness.

Other possible side effects that may indicate serotonin syndrome (too much serotonin) include high or low blood pressure, high or low heart rate, vocalization, agitation, vomiting, incoordination while walking, restlessness, and tremors; please contact your veterinarian if you see signs of serotonin syndrome.

Rarely, this drug can cause abnormalities in the bone marrow.

This short-acting medication should stop working within 24 hours, although effects can be longer in pets with liver or kidney disease."

 

Sorry I could not be much more help but these are 2 meds we tried.  Best wishes for Cody and you. ❤

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,605
Registered: ‎05-08-2010

@suzyQ3   This was my experience and will pass it on.  My dog had lymphoma.  We did do the chemo thing, but that is beside the point.  I hate all drugs, but there is a time and a place.  End of life is one them.  The last couple months, our dog was on prednisone and it kept him eating right up to the end.  I don't know if your dog is on steroids now, but if he isn't, I would ask about them.  It not only stimulates appetite, it also keeps them comfortable. 

 

As far as the other 3 drugs, I wasn't offered to give these because our dog was eating.  If there is no nausea present, I might consider trying them.  You know your dog best.  Go with your gut.

 

I am sorry you are going through this.  It is a tough place to be. 

"Greater is the One living inside of me, than he who is living in the world."
Honored Contributor
Posts: 21,733
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Need opinions

[ Edited ]

@CrazyDaisy wrote:

@suzyQ3 wrote:

@CrazyDaisy wrote:

Just my opinion, however if other aspects of his life are good such as playing or going for walks, then by all means try them.  If other parts of his life are also bad, I see no reason to prolong it any longer.  You are the only one who can asses how it is going as a whole.


@CrazyDaisy, I agree. But I'd like to hear others' experiences with such meds if possible.


Not sure why the snark....if you do not use the meds. the dog will starve himself.  Not sure how others posters experiences will change that.  Sorry you are going through this but I would listen to your vet in this case.


@CrazyDaisy, there was absolutely no intended snark. I'm not even sure how anyone could infer that.

 

My opening post was regarding possible side effects that anyone has experienced with their dog on such meds. I would like to know that to be prepared or to know that such a possible "cure" would make things worse.

 

And the vet didn't recommend or advise these; she was just responding to my husband's query as to whether there was any such med.

 

And btw, I don't really appreciate your very stark and vivid scenario about our dog (the last part of your first sentence). It was unnecessary and not very thoughtful considering what we are going through with our beloved dog.

 

 


~Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Honored Contributor
Posts: 21,733
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

@tends2dogs  @Scorpio1971  @mimomof4  @NickNack 

 

Thank you all so much. The different bits of information are very helpful. Heart


~Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,552
Registered: ‎05-22-2014

I am so sorry for what you are going through.  I know that you will have a frank conversation with your vet, and then make a decision.  This is just such a hard time.  Give Cody a hug from me.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 21,733
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

@Scorpio1971 wrote:

@suzyQ3 

 

Sorry to hear of Cody's diagnosis.  I too went through this with my baby for about 9 months with all kinds of tests and surgery, medications and after care, and losing my baby last March 2018.

 

His Vet first put him on Mirtazapine for his appetite (around May-June 2017) during various testing (xrays, 2 ultrasounds, EKG, blood draws) and before his stomach cancer surgery (July 2017) and was recovering nicely and then again later on when his transitional cell carcinoma bladder cancer was getting worse (late Nov. 2017?) and was not eating again.  I think it did help somewhat, but my baby was fussy anyway, and as he got worse by end of 2017 I do not think it was working.

 

Vet then put him on ENTYCE, in Jan 2018 and really did not see improvement with that but my baby was decling so that may be reason. @

 

I did not notice any side effects.  But I just googled 'mirtazapine for dogs' and found this...

 

"Mirtazapine is generally well tolerated in dogs and cats, although trials are lacking.

Common side effects include drowsiness, sedation, low blood pressure, and increased heart rate.

If the animal experiences breathing difficulties, hives or swelling of the lips, tongue or face, then an allergic reaction to the drug may be the case and the veterinarian should be contacted immediately."

 

And...

 

"Mirtazapine is generally well tolerated but side effects are possible. The most common side effect is drowsiness.

Other possible side effects that may indicate serotonin syndrome (too much serotonin) include high or low blood pressure, high or low heart rate, vocalization, agitation, vomiting, incoordination while walking, restlessness, and tremors; please contact your veterinarian if you see signs of serotonin syndrome.

Rarely, this drug can cause abnormalities in the bone marrow.

This short-acting medication should stop working within 24 hours, although effects can be longer in pets with liver or kidney disease."

 

Sorry I could not be much more help but these are 2 meds we tried.  Best wishes for Cody and you. ❤

 


@Scorpio1971, it's funny you should mention your last resort food. My husband and I were just talking about this. Cody love to get some of deli turky and chees when we make lunch. She even nudges us into the kitchen

 

Her current meals that we make for her consist of poached chicken breast, rice, peas & carrots, cottage cheese, and in the morning a scrambled egg tossed in. She has adored this until the last week or so. We even try to feed her with our hands. But eventually, she stops.

 

And we give her applesauce as a snack and some of our fresh apples and bananas.

 

Back to my point, I suggested to my husband that we could, if need be, just give her that deli turkey and cheese and snacks. That might help for a little bit. Normally, of course, I would not do this with a healthy dog as a regular meal, but heck, if it keeps her eating for a while.


~Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,458
Registered: ‎06-10-2015

@suzyQ3 wrote:

I've posted in CC that our dog Cody has an aggressive type of cancer and that she has just three or four months at the most. That was more than a month ago. That's a summary of the situation.

 

The oncologist (we declined chemo) said that one of the main symptoms of the inevitable decline will be a lack of hunger or an inability to eat. The former was  what led us to the diagnosis and surgery.

 

She had stopped eating the fresh food we had delivered from Just Food for Dogs, which she had loved. So after the diagnosis, we started making our own food, and she gobbled it up.

 

The last week or so, though, she has been eating less no matter whether we give her small amounts at a time or any other tweaking of the process. I know that this is the beginning of the end for us.

 

Our vet told our husband that there are three meds on the market for increasing appetite. All three have some side effects. I don't remember their names. She also said that they work about 70 percent of the time.

 

My question is whether anyone here has used appetite meds for a dog in this kind of situation and, if so, what the the outcome was. Did they help? Did they do nothing? Did they have side effects?

 

If my post sounds rather cut-and- dry, it's because I have still not reconciled with this whole thing. We have had to put down three dogs, but we never had the opportunity to live with a dog who is dying, It is a blessing to have this time with her, but it is somewhat surreal.


First, very sorry you are going through this, @suzyQ3. You are so right about the "surreal" aspect; it's a different reality when you're nursing an animal who's transitioning, for want of a better word.

 

I used prescribed appetite stimulants for my cat, who had chemo after surgery for hemangiosarcoma, a cancer that usually afflicts dogs. The stimulants worked with her, and she rebounded for about a year before it recurred. In her weakened state, she succumbed to saddle thrombus, so we didn't have another round of chemo.

 

I know a cat is not a dog, and all animals are different, but she was a dog-like cat with a dog cancer, so I thought I'd share her experience.

 

Last note, I can vouch for the efficacy of Purina's Critical Nutrition, both in helping animals with lackluster appetites eat and for adding weight. It's a high-calorie prescription food that both cats and dogs can eat. If you haven't tried that, you might consider it, if your vet supplies it. If it works out, you can purchase it from Chewy at about the lowest price around (they need a scrip but will liaise with your vet to get it). It's also good for aging animals who are losing weight. I have a 17-year-old cat with CRF on it now and she's getting positively robust. (I don't hold with the low-protein diets for CRF cats--I believe keeping their vitality up is more important.)

 

Good luck with your dear Cody.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,631
Registered: ‎09-06-2014

I don't have any knowledge of this med but wanted to send hugs to you for what you are going through with your dog.  Take care.   Heart