Darren, Mischa, and Claudia: What have they got to say?


Darren, Mischa, and Claudia are frauds. That’s the first thing we learn in this webinar. Well, sort of. This weeks Members’ Webinar was “Canine Lymphoma on a Budget”, presented by Owen Davies MA VetMB MVetMed MANZCVS(SAM) DACVIM(Oncology) MRCVS. We cover canine lymphoma and how to progress through diagnosis and treatment on budget. The three names above, Darren, Mischa, and Claudia are case studies presented at the beginning of the webinar. Typical presentations of an osteosarcoma, a rectal carcinoma with metastases to lungs, and a strange case involving nipple-sloughing. The twist, all of them are lymphoma masquerading as something else. An important lesson in the faults of pattern recognition and importance of further investigations. Sorry for spoiling the surprise!

Owen continues with the use of case studies through the whole webinar, which I’m grateful for. I’m a huge advocate for case studies. Case studies are ubiquitous during this presentation and I really feel like they make the lessons ‘stick’ more. It’s always nice to have something to relate the knowledge to.

To diagnose or not to diagnose..

A dog presents with satsuma-sized lymph nodes later in the webinar.  A biopsy is sent off to the histopathology lab – the diagnostic tool we all know and love. Although inconclusive, we learn what diagnoses we can eliminate.  Canine lymphoma treatment can be difficult, and the diagnostics can end up being really expensive. Rather than seeing positive diagnostic tests as the end-all be-all for finding a diagnosis, perhaps we should think about what it crosses off the list as well.

The webinar continues on to describe the pros and cons of the three major diagnostic strategies. There’s a nice little table in there which I’ve filed away in my resources folder. The pro/con boxes are a huge hit with me, I love seeing everything balanced out so I can make a decision. Later, in the treatment section of the webinar these boxes continue on to describe the pros and cons of the common drugs that we use for treatment.

Giving CHOP the chop?

There’s an interesting discussion about the best treatment, most clinicians that I’ve seen have opted for CHOP or COP. When thinking of client’s financial struggles, the cost of veterinary visits and amount of drugs can be staggering. Dr. Davies explains some other options to think of some example protocols (including rescue and emergency protocols), and provides some more great case studies. With canine lymphoma treatment you have so many options, and it’s important to not get wrapped up in how to treat without first considering the option of euthanasia. This is covered in the webinar as well.

Talk to your oncologist!

Finally there’s a great bullet point on the final summary slide. Don’t be afraid to discuss with an oncologist! It’s an important message across all disciplines, I believe. Talk to your histopathologist, talk to your oncologist, talk to people that have this knowledge that is available for you to learn from! A great opportunity to do this is to tune into our LIVE Thursday webinars to send in messages and questions for the speaker. Looking forward to seeing you on the next one!

Click here to check out the webinar mentioned in this blog!

We cover other options for treatment of cancers in our radiotherapy blog here.

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