Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stem Cell Tumour in Dogs

One of the things I have been contending with is my beautiful 9 year old dog grew a big lump the size of an orange on the top inside of her leg. It started as a squashy mass between her leg and chest and by the next day it was an orange. At first I was told it was oedema and she was given an anti inflammatory injection. The next week the lump, which had shrunk with the anti inflammatories, was the size of an orange again. It didn't hurt her and it didn't stop her from being her normal ,active self. So the next week there was a needle biopsy and the dreaded stem cell tumour came back as the verdict. While they were thinking I was googling like mad. Thank heavens for Google. I found it happens to older female dogs and is not at all common. Just our luck. So then I googled immune systems in dogs. To cut a long story short I had the lump operated. I discussed every bit of my information with the vet because it turned out he and I were thinking the same. There is NO treatment. The problem with this lump is its site. I had 90% removed or she would have been paralysed. These lumps tangle themselves in nerves and lymph systems in that site. So 10% remains and there is an 80 percent chance of it returning. The vet discovered a small lump on her side on the last visit. This is on her other side and it dropped down under her armpit and is now on the inside of her leg. Her next scheduled visit to the vet is next week.We are several weeks down the track. They couldn't believe how well she recovered from the operation. I have changed all her diet and she gets Weet-bix at the weekend! I do not want to lose her but there is no other treatment other than operating and that can only happen so often at the cost and age of my dog. Spindle cell cancer is insidiously dastardly. The diet changes have helped enormously and have brought her into very good condition and that can only help. So...I have to remind myself she has no idea she is sick and is her happy, cheerful self. I am keeping her that way. I am enormously grateful to my vet because the clinic has worked with me and has had the prime interests of my dog at heart. They have managed this incredibly well and have included me all along the way.

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