Doggy Cancer. A Story.
Ohhhhh no! Not another Chickadeex3 story!
This has been posted at the UU13 and other sites a little earlier but I know there are many dog lovers here so I wanted to share our experiences.
Our German Shepherd, Bosco, is 10 years old and has been in good health. I noticed in mid-September he was wetting the bed. Hmmmm. I thought he had bladder issues until I saw him squirt out some urine as he was trying to get up.
OK.... That is different.
I felt his belly and could feel a mass in his abdomen, probably his spleen and or liver about the size of a grapefruit. I took him in that morning for x-rays and confirmed that he did indeed has a tumour on his spleen. The tumour was putting pressure on his bladder when he was getting up.....that was why he was having pee issues. Blood was drawn to see how everything else was doing before his scheduled surgery the next morning.
All the bloodwork was PERFECT. No hint of a problem at all!
The next morning his cancerous 3.2 pound spleen was removed. (I can post a pic. of the removed ugly spleen if any one wants to be grossed out!) There was no sign that it had spread to his liver or other abdominal contents. Three views of his lungs (right side, left side and on his back) also seemed cancer free.
That very evening, Bosco wanted to play with his squeaky toys and run! The biopsy came back as we expected, hemangiosarcoma. It is a cancer that not only grows very rapidly but spreads very early in the disease. The oncologist does not think that Bosco had the tumour more than 3-4 weeks before it was detected and removed.
As a precaution we started Bosco on a 12 week course of chemotherapy to kill off any microscopic tumour cells that may be developing ~somewhere~ in his body. We went though a series of injections: Adriamycin IV and Cytoxin; the following week was an injection of Vincristine and again Vincristine the week after. We repeated this protocol 4 times for a total of 12 weekly visits.
Prior to each visit he got a CBC done to make sure he has no infection or that his white blood count is not too low.
He loved going to the referral clinic and have everyone pet him and tell him what a good boy he is. It is an hour drive one way but well worth it to take every precaution that Bosco stays well. Our last visit was the last Monday of 2005.
After that he needs to have some x-rays done of his lungs three months later. If those look normal he gets another set of x-rays in 6 months. If he does have something evil in his lungs there is another medication to slow the growth.
Hopefully Bosco will be one of those doggies that remains cancer free for 2 years plus. The x-rays taken a few weeks ago show no changes in his lungs and his bloodwork remains normal also. His biggest problem now is to get him to lose some weight! :-) He gained 4 pounds while undergoing chemo.
So far so good. I have sprouted a few new grey hairs over this but whatchagonnado?