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#214517 - 02/21/12 10:46 PM Re: Max/hemangio...he's gone [Re: MaxaLisa]
Wisc.Tiger_Val Offline
Member First - Owner Second "The Watcher"

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 8660
Loc: Wisconsin
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Lisa, I think this a perfect example to treat the dog not the test. If you would have listened to all of the tests, I am sure Max would have been goon sooner.

I wonder about some of these tests. The allergy testing can be hit and miss, test for other things can have so many false readings. Is it worth what we are spending, would we be better off treating what we see.
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#214522 - 02/21/12 11:10 PM Re: Max/hemangio...he's gone [Re: MaxaLisa]
PositiveDog Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 4876
Loc: Ohio
Likes: 131
Oh, Lisa. That is beyond sad. I am upset that you had to read that.

I am so sorry.

My first inclination is to email them, but I will hold off until you say that is OK. I would not give your name or Max's unless you approve, but my opinion of their record keeping and heartlessness. Let me know if you prefer I stay out of it.

So, so sorry. teary
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#214529 - 02/22/12 02:49 AM Re: Max/hemangio...he's gone [Re: PositiveDog]
middleofnowhere Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 2641
Likes: 178
I'm sorry that the sad news didn't register with the system appropriately. Sometimes the "word" doesn't get all the way through the system soon enough to avoid a response that is less sensitive. That is sad and very regretable when it causes someone anguish. The information that their tests did not detect the cancer is important for them to know. The good thing about the response is that it makes it clear that the tests missed this one in a big way and that the verbal communication didn't make it through the system.

Part of loss seems to be that nothing works right for quite a while. I hope the next "thing" is one that brings back happy memories for you, Lisa.

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#214532 - 02/22/12 03:28 AM Re: Max/hemangio...he's gone [Re: middleofnowhere]
bianca Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/14/10
Posts: 8875
Loc: Queensland. Australia
Likes: 149
hugging I am so sorry Lisa.
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#214540 - 02/22/12 05:09 AM Re: Max/hemangio...he's gone [Re: bianca]
MaxaLisa Offline

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Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 19428
Loc: Northern CA
Likes: 254
Thank you bianca hugging

middle, yes, one hand wasn't communicating with the other hand. And I was sure that this value should reach in the "active cancer" range, so, I hadn't thought about it before, but that written interpretation is good to know, exactly what they would have said to me.

Bonnie, thank you for your offer. I just sent this email:

.....[personal info deleted] I had a GSD named Max that was included in your study.

I'm not sure if I spoke with you on the phone sometime around the 8th of this month, but I spoke with someone from VDI just after I had to euthanize my boy for significant cancer that showed up on the abdominal u/s.

In spite of this, when I received his final VDI results in the mail today, which showed slightly elevated TK results, the letter cautioned me not to be overly concerned with the result and to retest in 60 days. Well, such cautions really don't help when I have a very dead dog that is not able to be retested.

I understand that this letter was a mistake and somehow slipped through the cracks. However, when you start a study with such high risk cancers, and owners devastated by the lost of their cherished pets, you also accept responsibility to handle these matters with appropriate sensitivity. So, yes, the letter was upsetting :-(

I do have a copy of the ultrasound report that I'd like to pass along, if you are interested, and some notes and questions about his drug regimen. I don't know if you are the right person to communicate with about this?



Val, you are right about the tests. That's also why I didn't run further antibody tests to look for "things" last summer. After I found that he had low immune markers, it's very likely even what should have been a positive test would not have registered. I really think that choosing what to test for, and then interpreting and applying those results is not only an art form, but a lot of luck.
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#214568 - 02/22/12 09:21 AM Re: Max/hemangio...he's gone [Re: MaxaLisa]
Natalie559 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/10
Posts: 1529
Loc: Tallahassee, FL
Likes: 23
Hang in there Lisa, we are all thinking of you and wishing you the best during this difficult time.
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#214603 - 02/22/12 11:43 AM Re: Max/hemangio...he's gone [Re: Natalie559]
MaxaLisa Offline

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Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 19428
Loc: Northern CA
Likes: 254
Thank you natalie, I appreciate you checking in.

I got an email from VDI this morning, and, as I expected, they are very sorry for the miscommunication. He explained how the goof up happened, and it's as we would expect, and promised to tighten things up so that it doesn't happen again. I guess that letter just upset me more than I thought it would have.

I will email him info later. He probabaly thinks he has all the drug info from the vet, but I'm not sure if they got everything written down. Maybe it doesn't matter.

My dogs often don't test right because of all this alternative care stuff, and I'm used to that. But this test, really failed big time. I want to ask him about the doxy....
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MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max-n-Indy
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

Health Index
K9 TBD info and Tick List Links
http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/

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#214608 - 02/22/12 12:03 PM Re: Max/hemangio...he's gone [Re: MaxaLisa]
Mary Jane Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 2659
Likes: 118
Lisa,

This test failed Max big time and it really gives anyone pause about its utility. It's unbelievably cruel that you have to deal with that kind of error

The 'miscommunication' also raises some concern about linking the right dog with the right lab result.

I'm sorry I just don't remember, was Max on prednisone? They do say that prednisone treatment can lower TK levels, despite malignancy.

MJ

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#214611 - 02/22/12 12:17 PM Re: Max/hemangio...he's gone [Re: Mary Jane]
MaxaLisa Offline

Global Moderator

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 19428
Loc: Northern CA
Likes: 254
Ugh, I don't even want to think about wrong dog, wrong test result frown

Max was on pred, but 2.5 mg every other day because he was low cortisol. I'm thinking that that is not enough to alter the test significantly, but that is definitely one of my questions. He was 83 lbs until the last week and a half when he shot up to 90. His bloodwork a month earlier showed no residual effects from the pred, that I saw previously.
_________________________
MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max-n-Indy
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

Health Index
K9 TBD info and Tick List Links
http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/

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#214632 - 02/22/12 03:01 PM Re: Max/hemangio...he's gone [Re: MaxaLisa]
JeanKBBMMMAAN Offline
Rescues Rule Admin

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 4618
Likes: 165
frown Awful stuff.

I went back and looked at the original post - what stage or whatever are they in, in this study? Do they know yet, or is this what they are trying to determine with all the information they are getting? I don't know if any of this will make anyone feel better or worse...but I don't know how these things work.

Quote:
I has been working with Steve Gauthier of Veterinary Diagnostics Institute (VDI) in Simi Valley California and they have provided an opportunity for individuals EVERYWHERE in the United States to participate in this Cancer Research Study!! She got a lot of inquiries from those of you not in California on her first invitation and Steve has opened this opportunity to all in the U.S. Our Canadian friends who are willing to go to the U.S. for the blood draw can participate as well. This laboratory is doing research in the early detection of Lymphoma and Hemangioscarcoma, two of the most common cancers in GSD.

The study assesses the level of the enzyme Thymidine Kinase (TK) in the blood. TK has been shown to correlate with the rapid growth activity of tumor cells. The higher the TK levels, the more advanced and severe the cancer. This study will investigate the ability of the test to detect cancer in the very early, pre-clinical stage.

The researchers are looking for German Shepherd dogs with no history of cancer and at the age of 5 years and above to participate by having their blood drawn. The lab will share the test results with you and maintain your privacy. Pet owners of dogs with high results will be contacted for follow-up testing and advice. There is no cost to the pet owner for running the TK test. The blood would be drawn by your own veterinarian (you may be responsible for a small blood-draw fee from your vet) in a kit provided by the lab with prepaid shipping to the lab.

Anyone who is interested in participating in this should contact Steve Gauthier of VDI directly at gauthiers@vdxinstitute.com (mail to: gauthiers@vdxinstitute.com ). Steve will supply you with the Owner Consent Agreement that you must fill out and submit for each qualifying dog you wish to enter into the study. Once that is returned to VDI, they will provide you with the details involved for sample collection.Iwould like to see us help them out with as many as 150 dogs--you can enroll as many dogs over the age of 5 and get anyone with a GSD to participate. I think that since this is open to all, that the sooner you do this the better your chances of being able to participate.


hugging
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