Bella -Living with B Cell Lymphoma. Bella’s diagnosis and her enrolment in a Phase II cancer trial for canines with B Cell Lymphoma. Trial being conducted by PharmAust Ltd.

Bella is aged six-and-a-half years and I have had her since she was a pup. She is family! Bella has a happy and friendly personality; her tail never stops wagging! She loves her food as well as getting her tummy scratched!

Towards the end of 2022, Bella was having a run on the beach when she tore the Anterior Cruciate Ligament in her back knee, and this was operated on at the start of November. As part of her rehab, I had to take her to the vet for check-ups.

It was at one of these check-ups that my local vet identified the lumps under her chin and behind her knees. She had bloods taken and sent away and they came back with the diagnosis of B cell Lymphoma. In hindsight, her knee injury meant that her lymphoma was diagnosed very early, and it also shows how quickly the cancer grows.

I was referred to a specialist who ran through my options for Bella which was primarily either do nothing and lose her in a couple of months or have chemotherapy and prolong her life for around 12 – 18 months. A lot of the discussion was centred around side effects from the drugs and how they would be managed with more drugs.  Also, they would have to change the dosage of the chemo which would have an impact on the length of her survival.

The chemo would cost around $20,000, it would not cure Bella and it would not be a pleasant experience for her. There were also precautions that we would have to take to ensure we weren’t exposed to the chemo!  All-in-all, not a great option.

I am a shareholder of PharmAust and have known about their Monepantel trial for dogs with B Cell Lymphoma. I informed the specialist that I would park the chemo option while I made enquiries about trying to get into the trial.

I live in Melbourne and the closest clinic that is participating in the trial is in Albury, some 400 km away.  Dr Renee Pigdon is the doctor running the trial at this centre and she has been nothing short of amazing. She squeezed Bella into her busy schedule and so I drove Bella up to Albury at the end of January 2023.

Bella was accepted into the trial and away we went. So far Bella has had no side-effects from the Monepantel drug and her life goes on as normal. She still has a good appetite and loves her walks. I have changed her diet to one that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. I have hit the Google machine and YouTube to get as much information as I can to do my best for Bella.

As much as the terminal diagnosis is extremely sad for our family, I’m glad that Bella can be a part of such an important trial that could benefit a lot of other dogs in the future.

It’s one thing to be a shareholder of a company that is conducting a drug trial for canine lymphoma. But it takes on an entirely different meaning when my dog has lymphoma and her quality of life depends on this trial!  I can’t thank PharmAust enough for accepting Bella into the trial. I also thank Dr Pigdon for squeezing Bella into her busy schedule and for taking great care of her.


Michael, Melbourne


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