Longlease Bernese Mountain Dogs Gallery of Friends

Nicky Neff

Maine's Jultomte Alpenbjorn

Born December 25th 2002 - (Christmas Day)

B-G Dog ID=38330

With thanks to Joye and Bill for sharing these pictures and Nick's story.

With much sadness Nicky was recently diagnosed with disseminated histiocytic sarcoma (malignant histiocytosis)

Please keep this precious Berner Boy in your thoughts and prayers!

He had his first treatment with CCNU (Lomustine) on April 8th '10 in combination with Prednisone

"Nicky had a good night and woke up hungry, probably from the prednisone he had last night. He was eager to get his cheesy scrambled eggs and I slipped in his Cipro antibiotic and prednisone with the eggs and he hardly noticed. Through ultrasound yesterday, they found multiple masses in the spleen, lung, skin, and in both kidneys. Seven of the ten aspirates were malignant histiocytosis. He also had a fever of 104.2 and possible pneumonia in his upper right lung lobe. He is on Cipro until his next chemo session, along with prednisone. I have an anti-nausea medication in case he needs it. His next chemo treatment will be on April 30th. He will go in for blood work in a week so they can check his levels from the chemo and then have more blood work on the 30th before being administered the chemo."

Nicky chilling out in the yard!

"A special friend from Austria (Lindy) sent me a dirndl so I could wear it when Nicky pulls his cart in parades. It arrived the same day that we discovered that Nicky had a tumor in his lungs.

I immediately put on the special outfit and Bill took some photos of Nicky and me. I'm hoping that Nicky will rally enough so he can pull his cart, or at least hitch up to the cart and I can walk along side him in my new outfit. He always gets so excited when I get out his harness, because he just loves his cart."

Update April 15th - I took Nicky to the oncologist this morning and they did blood work for him. His counts were low for the following: WBC, LYM, HCT, MCV, HGB, RBC, PLT. His MPV was high. Since last Thursday he has lost 7.3 pounds. I'm not surprised at that - I figured he had lost 5 pounds or so - you can see it in his head and body. Last week, he weighed 112.3 and his temperature was 104.2. This week he weighed 105 and his temperature was 102.3. Since he is turning away from all food (except for ice cream last night) they gave him an appetite stimulant/anti-depressant - Mirtazipine. I gave him his first pill around 1 p.m. I had them draw extra blood for Matthew Breen's study and had to take the box to the post office this afternoon. On my way out to the post office, I offered Nicky an Evo low carb treat and he actually ate it! So, I gave him more and he ate about 10 of them. That's the most he's had for several days. We'll try him on his Evo red meat (low carb) kibble for dinner and see if he'll take it. We've tried all kinds of food and he just turns away, so this is an improvement. He seems a bit more perky today - and is wagging his tail. I'm hoping that since it's day 8 after the chemo that means that he is bouncing back from that and he will have a few good weeks before his next chemo treatment on April 30th. Right now he has a Kong with peanut butter and a Milk Bone he is working on in the hall. At least he is interested in it!

Update April 19th - Nicky has had two good days this weekend. The appetite enhancer is doing it's magic and he is once again interested in food, which is a big help. He just loves roast chicken, so we've had that often this week. He has more energy the past few days and is happy and wagging his tail. To see him you would not know that he is ill. Of course, we can see the weight loss, especially in his head, and his coat isn't as shiny and smooth as it used to be.

We lost our power in the heavy storm on Friday and it was off for over 24 hours. We decided to take the food from our freezer and refrigerator to Jay's house since he had a freezer and fridge in the garage that were almost empty. We filled three laundry baskets and two boxes with food, which filled the van. We told the dogs that we would be back and to be good. Bill and I started out the front door, and Nicky pushed his way out the door, ran to the van and sat by the side door. Sooooo, we made room in the van for him and he got to go on a ride to Jay's house. He was quite proud of himself and happy to go in the car.

His counts were low at day 7 after the chemo (Thursday,) which they expected, and he had no interest in food until day 9 (yesterday.) The appetite enhancer is helping and we think he may have been nauseous from the chemo. He doesn't go back to the vet until April 30th, when they will do more x-rays and blood work and compare the tumors from the April 8th x-rays. They will then determine the strength of the chemo treatment for his second dose.

We are happy that he is doing okay and we are enjoying the good days while we have them.

Update April 22nd - Nicky's next vet appointment is next Friday, on April 30th. He is doing okay - he is eating eagerly and has regained some energy. The big lump behind where his left front leg attaches to his body, feels smaller to us. We will know more after they do x-rays and measure the tumors next week. He will have his second chemo treatment of CCNU - Lomustine. For now, he looks like nothing is wrong with him, but we know that histio works inside and that we can't see what it's doing. Earlier this evening, Nicky and Will were even playing and barking at each other. We are grateful for this good time with him and hope it continues.....

April 23rd

With much sadness Nicky lost his fight against this awful cancer the following morning.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Joye and Bill at this very sad time.

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