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Canine cancer rears its ugly head again

by Therese on August 31, 2011

in Archie's cancer, Dogs, My pets

I’ve gone down the cancer road a few times with my pets in the past few years and here we go again. First Lydia, who happens to be doing great! Then cancer took my cat Tequila in a fast moving battle with cancer. And now, it’s Archie’s turn.

I’ve had Archie to the vet a number of times over the past month. First it was because he’s starting to show some signs of joint pain. I’ve been seeing some changes over the past few months, but when he fell a couple times I decided that was enough. So off to the vet we went.

The vet started him on Canine Adequan, which is similar to glucosamine. It has very few side effects and can actually help to rebuild cartilage. It takes a while for it to kick in though. So because Archie was in a fair amount of pain, the vet also started him on Deramaxx, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID). Like other NSAIDS, Deramaxx has side effects. I didn’t like the idea of him being in pain though, so I thought I’d at least do the Deramaxx until the Adequan kicked in.

Archie did great for the first couple weeks, then he started having some diarrhea. The vets aren’t sure if it’s from the Deramaxx or not, but we stopped that right away. Since then he’s been on antibiotics and some other medications that are helping.

At this point, it’s not certain what caused the diarrhea. On Monday when we saw the vet, she talked about a number of possibilities. Since the list included some ugly things, we decided to do an ultrasound. I think the vet could have gone either way with the ultrasound, but since I wanted to err on the side of caution, we went ahead and did it yesterday. I’m glad we did.

The radiologist said everything she saw looked fine, there was nothing at all that concerned her. What did concern her though, was a small tumor she found when she shaved Archie’s belly. It turns out that it’s a mast cell tumor (MCT) and he’s going in to have it removed on Friday. He also has a very small bump on his nose. That one doesn’t appear to be MCT, although the vet is going to do a biopsy anyway. And, I found a very, very small one last night that I’ll point out to the vet on Friday as well.

I’m not sure what happens after Friday. There are a number of options – nothing, radiation, chemo, Palladia, and more. Although Palladia was first used for mast cell tumors, it’s been proven to work well in fighting other types as well. Lydia has been on it since her last tumor was removed in November.

I don’t want to do this again!!! Three pets and three cancers. WTF? Why can’t my pets just get old, go to sleep, and never wake up? Yes, I know MCT isn’t as bad as other cancers. But, it’s still cancer. Nasty, dreaded, awful cancer.

Although I knew a little bit about MCT before yesterday, I’m on a fast learning curve now. I’ll likely be posting some info about it soon, so if you’re interested you can learn right along with me. I just wish I wasn’t being forced to learn about it.

I hate cancer!

The good thing though is that the Adequan seems to have kicked in. Archie’s moving around much better than he was before we started it.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Josie and Sam August 31, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Therese,
I’m so sorry to hear about Archie. Cancer is an awful thing and it seems to be every where. I lost my beautiful Bonita Kitty to cancer a couple of weeks ago. My Vet said one thing that that I have to agree with. She said cancer has no respect for anyone or anything. I pray Archie will have a great out come and recover quickly.

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Stormee August 31, 2011 at 6:34 pm

we will help support you through this challenge, we will help be your strength so you can be strong brave pet mom, we will help dry tears, help rummage in life to try and bring smile, this might be a long journey, but there arethose of us willing to stand with you as you do this. When you grow weary we will find you strength. And yep, even on nites you cant sleep and not anyone is awake, my phone works, you call and we can visit, or i can jump on line. Early detection is in your favor and in your babys. (((((hugs))))) to each.
Storm

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Sue September 1, 2011 at 12:22 am

I’m so sorry to hear this news. Archie has such a young spirit and it’s clear he loves you very much.

Cancer sucks, no argument there. We all just have to help each other out in these situations and just be there for each other. I wish I could fix it and make it all better, but all I can really do is lend a supportive ear and send positive thoughts Archie’s way.

One thing I know for sure is that not everybody gets it. That’s why animal people need to be surrounded by other animal people in times like these. Give Archie a extra big hug from me. He is a beautiful boy.

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Therese September 1, 2011 at 1:34 am

Thanks ladies. It helps knowing there are people out there who do get it.

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Carol V September 1, 2011 at 4:55 am

aaarrgghhhh……NOT FAIR……….

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Sabra & Endless September 1, 2011 at 5:36 am

Oh no. :’ – ( I feel like you have been cursed. You know that all of my good thoughts are on you and Archie. He’s always had a special place in my heart. Endless sends *doggie slobbers*

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Hannie September 1, 2011 at 8:09 am

I am so sorry to hear about Archie. It just doesn’t seem to end, does it? I have no doubt that he’s a fighter like his sister & he’ll be fine.

Keep your chin up, we are all here for you……..& praying a lot.

Hugs & kisses for Archie (& Lydia too)……….xoxoxoxoxoxo

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Vicki Holt September 1, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Oh darn that nasty disease. I will add my prayers for Archie. I’m so sorry you’re facing this again, Therese.

I don’t know whether it’s because our animals are living longer, being diagnosed better, or being poisoned by food additives and/or environmental toxins, but when I was younger I didn’t see anywhere near the incidence of cancer in pets that we see now.

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Robert September 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm

I am so sorry to hear this Therese. I can’t believe it – another pet with cancer. I’ve been following a small bump on Cotton since last year and it is about half the size of a pea. I’ve not had it checked yet. Angeles has a small bump too now on his side, smaller than hers. I’m going to have the vet look at it when she comes out next visit. Looking at the photos of the mast cells you linked to, I see now Lobo had that on his paw and maybe that was the cause of his wasting the last few months of his life. He lived to be 14 years and 45 days old. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

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Therese September 7, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Thanks, Robert. Cancer is getting to be way too common – in people and in pets. Please have your vet out soon to check on those lumps. Hopefully they’re nothing, but if they are, you want to get them taken care of. Lobo was a shepherd, wasn’t he? 14 years is a good, long life for a big guy like that. It helps though to be pampered like I know your dogs are!

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Marc September 13, 2011 at 9:49 am

I’m sorry to hear about these unfortunate circumstances. Cancer is indeed a bane to our pets. It is just so sad that there has been no sure-fire treatment for most forms of cancers.

It’s sad to note that there is a parallel increase in the number of cancer cases in dogs as in humans. Our lifestyle, food and environment might contribute significantly to the increase of these cases.

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