Ryley is our 5-year-old Border Collie x Kelpie. She is friendly, energetic, loyal, obedient, intelligent and inquisitive. She got her name from the country town where she was born – Rylestone.
Ryley is our companion and the reason why we go for walks or runs, even when we don’t feel like it. She loves chasing waves, playing tug of war with her fluffy and squeaky toys, chewing large bones and burying them around the yard, exploring hidden places and greeting everyone walking past our house by racing up and down the fence line.
Ryley was diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma in July 2021 by our local vet. My husband was giving Ryley a pat and noticed a few lumps on her neck. We had also heard her coughing a few times. When we took her to our vet at Burwood Road Veterinary Clinic, we never thought it was anything serious, as she never seemed unwell. She had her usual appetite and energy levels.
We were amazed when our vet said it was lymphoma and that her life expectancy was weeks to months. It was confronting to have that diagnosis. We didn’t want to put her through anything drastic, which would make her more unwell and affect her quality of life. We felt that chemotherapy was not an option as life expectancy is still not much more than 1 year. Our main aim was to hopefully extend her life, but more importantly maintain her quality of life.
We immediately started researching clinical trials and found Dr Sonya Yu (Animal Referral Hospital), who is involved in the MPL Trial. I am a nurse with some experience in clinical trials, so I had a bit of an idea of what I thought would be a suitable trial. This trial guaranteed that she would actually be on the medication – not a placebo – and it didn’t involve an excessive amount of invasive investigations and clinic visits.
The MPL trial has been a positive experience for us. Dr Sonya is fantastic and has been wonderfully supportive to Ryley and us. It’s been easy to give Ryley two tablets a day and fortunately we live quite close to the Animal Referral Hospital, so it’s been easy to take her for the visits.
Our GP vet was also supportive of the trial, and it felt reassuring to do something.