2 year-old Goldendoodle needs life saving bone marrow transplant, family desperately searching for donor matches

Nash was from Diamond Doodles in Joplin. The family is searching for his siblings, litter mates

It is a matter of life or death for a New Jersey family’s 2 year-old Golden doodle, Nash.

“We love him very much and we’re just fighting for him because he can’t fight for himself”

Nash was diagnosed with B Cell Lymphoma and only has 12 months to live.

“We were devastated, we were in tears crying, devastated” said Nash’s parents, Jason Alterbaum and Katelyn Cutinello

They were advised by Dr. Steve Suter, the Medical Director at the Canine Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at North Carolina State Veterinary Hospital who will be doing Nash’s procedure, that an allogeneic bone marrow transplant, using matching donor cells was his best bet at being cured.

“When we talked to Dr. Suter he said that’s your best option, you needed to find a match yesterday” added Katelyn.

The family lives in New Jersey, but got Nash from Diamond Doodles in Joplin, he was born on March 7th, 2017 to parents Maggie and Banjo.

They are searching for his siblings, litter mates and any other litters from the same parents to be potential donor matches.

With no luck from the breeder, they turned to social media for help.

“That’s where we are right now, two full siblings and five halves that have all been the kindest people in the whole world. That’s what’s been so overwhelming with this, that people that we don’t even know have seen Nash’s story and have reached out, taken their dogs to the vets, had their blood drawn and sent to a lab in Washington State to see if their a potential match donor to donate to Nash and hopefully save his life” added Katelyn.

We reached out to Diamond Doodles for comment and received the following statement; Statement-from-The-Calvary-Group-Diamond-Doodles

We also reached out to Dr. Suter, to see how dangerous this procedure is for the donors. He said the only risk is the anesthesia, but that its only used to keep the dogs still.

Dogs that are diagnosed with B Cell Lymphoma go through chemotherapy, though even with successful chemotherapy they will not be cured.

There are two options when it comes to the Bone Marrow Transplant.

The first is to use the patient’s own cells. Dogs must be in remission to receive a high dose of Cytoxan and two weeks after that they receive 5 days of injections of a drug called Neupogen, which makes their white blood cell count increase.

In that process, that drug drags stem cells from the bone marrow to the peripheral blood. A machine is then used 5 days later, to harvest those stem cells from the dog, to do a transplant without having to touch the bone marrow. They then go into radiation for two days and those harvested cells then go back into the dog.

The second option is the allogeneic transplant, which would use a matching donor’s cells.

“There’s been 26 allogeneic transplants down across the country and none of the donor dogs have had any problems whatsoever” said Dr. Suter.

“The donation process is actually quite easy, there’s really no danger whatsoever, the injection of the drug called Neupogen are benign, we have not seen any problems with these injections in any dogs and I’ve given it to probably 150 dogs thus far” added Dr. Suter.

He says the dog on the receiving end is at the most risk with the total body radiation. But there is only about a 2-4% mortality rate.

Dr. Suter says they can cure about 30% of dogs with B Cell Lymphoma using the stem cells taken from the patients themselves. They can cure 60% of dogs with the cells from a matched donor. So far he has

“Full siblings from the same litter mate have a 25% chance of matching and it’s not additive, so it’s not 50% because they have two full siblings, its 25% for each dog. When you get away from full siblings to half siblings it drops by half to 12.5%”

It takes 3-6 weeks for donor results to come in, and time is running out for the family.

If they don’t find a match they will turn to the procedure that uses Nash’s own cells. But they aren’t giving up yet.

“He’s such a happy dog and you know I think he just needs a couple more years on this earth” added Nash’s parents.

The family has a Facebook page with all of their information, if you know you have a sibling of Nash’s or you want to know more about their story, you can find them there.