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Canine cancer rears its ugly head again

Posted Aug 31 2011 2:17pm

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.

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