FOUR YEARS!!!

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Four Years! Max's GME Update. This is an update of the chemotherapy protocol of our dog, Max who is battling Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME). This is a canine disease where the white blood cells attack the central nervous system. He has made four years after diagnosis, well past normally recorded prognosis.


Normally this is just an update of Max’s GME chemo and meds, but this post has something extra special to celebrate – Mr. Max has made it four years past his original GME diagnosis!!

For those of you unfamiliar with Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME), it is a canine disease where the white blood cells attack the central nervous system. Max is well past historic longterm prognosis for this terrible disease. When he was diagnosed it was “not leaving the hospital” – to – “up to three years”.

And Max has lived FOUR YEARS past that original diagnosis date!!

That is simply amazing. I attribute it to Max’s strength, Cornell’s medical care, and crazy owners.

Yup, Hubby and I are absolutely nuts when it comes to Max’s care. In addition to the daily medications, the chemo, and regular vet visits, Max also has PT (once or twice a week depending on when chemo is scheduled) and a regular masseuse (she also does more PT with him and more laser).

Hubby has done a ton of research on every supplement out there to help Max’s liver and gallbladder, as well as changed Max’s dry dog food to help with liver function. Max may not eat dry very often, but when he does it is gonna be good for him!

And, for two months in a row, Max’s liver numbers have come back “perfect”.

On his monthly trip to Cornell last week for chemo, Max again had an ultrasound to check liver/kidney/gallbladder size. Unlike last month when the gallbladder reduced in size (a total shock), this month it “merely” held steady.

These days? That is a win!

Four Years! Max's GME Update. This is an update of the chemotherapy protocol of our dog, Max who is battling Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME). This is a canine disease where the white blood cells attack the central nervous system. He has made four years after diagnosis, well past normally recorded prognosis.


Max staring at me like “WTH do YOU want!?”


We’ve been of the notion that Max’s gallbladder will be what does him in for a while now. It being “friable” and gathering sludge (but no plug) is ominous. Steriods are both a blessing and a curse. While they have helped keep him alive the last four years, they are also tough on a body.

Max is now off one of the medications I listed a few months ago – the Enrofloxacin. He has also had the Metronidazole reduced to 1.2 ml, 2x daily as he lost some weight. The Met goes away on August 10th which will allow for some time befor the blood test. When that next blood test is taken a week later, we shall see if his infection is totally gone.

Hubby asked if Max could/should stay on the Metronidazole on some sort of maintenance dose. After checking with the internist, his neurologist said no. Max is immuno-suppressed so they do not want to ramp his system unnecessarily, and they do not want him to build up a tolerance to the Met in case he develops an infection again.

Max’s Pred was also reduced to .2 ml. It will never go lower, although it may be raised in the future. In converting the liquid amount to his lowest prior pill dosage (where he has relapsed in the past) this keeps him just above any maintenance dose (so the hope is because this is a tad higher than a maintenance dose, it will do well for him).

Currently he is on:

• Prednisone (.2 ml)
• CycloSPORINE (1 ml – .5 2x daily)
• Amantadine (1.5ml)
• Ursodiol (1.5ml, 2x daily)
• Metronidazole (1.2 ml, 2x daily – more on this above – ends 8/9/18)
Sam-e (.3 ml, 1x daily)
• Milk Thistle (.8 ml)
• Pregabalin (20 mg, 2x daily)
• LiverAid (3x daily)
• Canine Hepatic Support (1/8 tsp, 3x daily)
• Ginko (.5ml, 2x daily)
• Gentian (.1ml, 2x daily)

The Sam-e + Milk Thistle are the liquid replacement for Denamarin.

As you can see, he is taking a combination of supplements and prescription drugs.

Four Years! Max's GME Update. This is an update of the chemotherapy protocol of our dog, Max who is battling Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME). This is a canine disease where the white blood cells attack the central nervous system. He has made four years after diagnosis, well past normally recorded prognosis.


Mr. Max checking out the street-action before heading off to Cornell.


We return to Cornell in four weeks for another chemotheraphy treatment. If all goes well, his neurologist suggested the treatment after that would lengthen to five weeks.

I honestly have no idea how long the little guy can keep battling this terrible disease. We are in uncharted territory as far as his longevity. Everything being done now is on “hope”. The chemo as a monthly is definitely aggressive treatment.

I do feel we have been very fortunate to have had Max with us as long as we’ve had. When he was first diagnosed, I had no expectations of his even leaving the veterinary hospital. I certainly didn’t think we would still have him with us four years later!!

Every day with Max is a gift. And we are most appreciative of our time with him. He’s shown us you don’t have to be large in size to be large in heart. And this little guy has plenty of heart.


Previous Max posts (read in order from the bottom up to follow his whole story):

Chemo Round 6 For Max
Chemo Round 5 For Max
Chemo Round 4 For Max
Chemo Round 2 For Max
Max is Back to Chemo for His GME
Max Had a Relapse
Mr. Max April 2016 Update
Max March 2016 Update
Mr. Max Post Cornell Visit Information
Max’s Latest GME Update
Max’s GME Update, One Year Later
Max’s GME Update, Month 11
Max’s GME Update
An Update on Mr Max, March 2015
Updating Max’s GME
An Update On Mr. Max
Last 2014 Trip To Cornell For Max
Back To Cornell
Max’s First Cornell Follow-up Visit
Max Exercises More Than I Do!
Updating the Mr. Max Situation
A Mr. Max Update
Mr. Max, Mr. Max, Mr. Max
It’s A Mr. Max Post!


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Comments

  1. Ann,
    Glad to see that Max is doing well….four years is quite an accomplishment! I spoke to you several months back about my chocolate Lab Harper that was diagnosed with GME in February 2018. I found a wonderful Herbal company (www.mcdowellherbal.com) out of Austrailia that has an herbal mix for GME that I have had Harper on since July 2018. He also developed Iatropic Cushings from the prednisone and I started him on their herbs for Cushings (A&B) and his hair grew back over a three week period while still on steriods….amazing! You can email them and they are very responsive…..ask for Kate and tell her that Chocolate Boy’s Mom recommended you! The holistic vet also recommended that I brew two cups of tea daily and mix into his food. I combine one tea bag of Dandelion and Chamomile tea with one teaspoons of rosehips and fenugreek seeds and give him one cup in the morning and one cup at night with the dregs. I also have him on vitamin supplements to include Vitamin C, B6, Phosphatlyserine, Magnesium and Melatonin. He is completely off of steroids and takes phenobarbital and Keppra to keep the seizures away. I also started him on canine epilepsy herbs last month and I have seen an improvement. He has three more months of chemo left and is jumping off the deck and chasing deer just like when he was a puppy! I also have him on denosyl and milk thistle because the liver enzymes were a little high, but after two months they have been steadily in the normal range. Best of luck to you and Max!

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