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Monday, April 26, 2010

Dog Tumors On Geriatric Dogs . . .

I wanted to avoid this one. I wanted to post happy horse barn photos, or more fun dachshund pictures, something enjoyable to start the week with. This is a post I'd rather skip, but at the same time, I feel it would be dishonest. After all, you my furiends, are braver, and you share both the good and the bad times. I'll join you. 

This past weekend was a bit rough for family. About a year ago, M discovered ... dog tumors, on her beloved Linguini. She was ten at the time and M freaked out. For once, she lost control and the worst thoughts entered her mind. She's not afraid of saying goodbye, she's more afraid of having to make the ultimate difficult and at the same time loving decision. For a couple of weeks, Linguini got tested and retested and finally we were told that she had fatty tumors and to watch them. They're common on geriatric dogs. The general rule for dog fatty tumor treatment, is let it be unless it becomes a problem. Mast cell tumors in dogs are another story, one we haven't had to face, yet.

Dog tumors are camouflaged on a spotted breed

We spent a year, aware of the tumors, but after the first few months, we relaxed a bit. We tried to live a normal life hoping that things could go of like this indefinitely. Friends recommended we gave Linguini K-9 Liquid Health Glucosamine with Chondroitin and MSM. It seemed to work like a miracle, and perhaps it did for a year. Linguini started hopping and goofing around like she was a born again pup! But we knew we were treating her joints instead of the the dog tumors.
Well, this past weekend, Linguini started to limp all of a sudden. M checked and her fatty tumor in her leg joint had more than doubled. Linguini had moments of discomfort when she would start to shake, and she spent all her time within inches of M. When our girl is sick or scared, that's where she finds comfort.
We're taking Linguini to the dog vet in a few hours. We don't know what's to come, and we're all very concerned. Most likely, the offending fatty tumor will have to be surgically removed at this point. They'll have to run a new biopsy to rule out canine mast cell tumor. Geriatric dogs are prone to both types. 
If it's a canine mast cell tumor, nowadays these dog tumors do respond to modern therapy which usually entails a combination of surgery or chemotherapy, even radiation, complimented by immune system enhancers. 

Sometimes though, when it rains, it pours, and Murphy and his Law rule. Unable to take Linguini to the regular dog vet during the weekend, M didn't want to risk the emergency dog vet clinic, she decided to conduct an extensive dog tumor screening. The strangest thing happened. She found a small tumor on Frankie's neck. 

Dog tumors usually are well hidden and can go by undetected
Screen your pets regularly for dog tumors
If you have geriatric dogs, the more vigilant you have to be

So, we have an appointment for both my sissies. Of course, we're all hoping for a dog fatty tumor verdict on both. M even hopes that the chiweenie only has an inflamed gland. We shall see...

The question now is,
who will take care of whom in this equation

We're a bit in shock at the moment, but we're not sad, just concerned. We love our quirky designer dogs and we don't want them to suffer one bit. We have a wonderful dog vet who we trust a lot and we're looking forward to good news to share shortly. 

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