Wednesday, 29 November 2006

November 29, 2006 Canine Cancer Stats

(Posted to the North Wapiti Yahoo Newsgroup by a Member on November 28th):

The statistics we were given from a specialist (Seattle, WA) a couple  weeks ago was that at least 50% of our canine friends will have some form  of cancer during their life - and they believe that figure may be falsely  on the low end. Lymphoma is supposedly the third most common cancer found  in canine cases that do get reported. Usually the most aggressive cancer  but also usually has the highest response rate to treatment. I think MCT  (mast cell tumors) were the number one cancer found in dogs.
The only reason I know this and decided to post today is that one of my  Siberians and I were "invited" to battle Lymphoma exactly two weeks ago.  Same scenario as Karen experienced with Chester (except no visible tumors  on my dog). In the morning my dog looked and acted fine. By 4 PM that  same day he was laying flat out and refusing food. I felt blindsided.  While this is not an Iditarod Siberian, he was running 800 - 1000 miles a  year in harness on a 6 dog team and his most recent exam with blood work  (end of August) reported him in great health. It is very tough to see an  athletic dog (or anyone's fuzzy buddy for that matter) struck down so  quickly. He is responding positively to chemo treatment and will soon be  wearing one of the bright orange collars! Thanks, Karen.

Pet4Pets charity collar
Click on image to enlarge

(Karen's reply):
Janet, What is your boy's name??

We, of course, wish him the best. Sissy, an 2001 Iditarod finisher with me, now owned by Donna Quante went through chemo a few years back and beat her cancer. Unfortunately, it has  recently returned, but Donna and Sissy got a number of happy years due to  the chemo treatment.
I wish you and your boy the same.

Keep us posted.

BTW - Chester is starting to struggle a bit. The steroids he is on have  shrunk his tumours quite a bit, which seems to have made him more  comfortable, but we are having issues with him vomiting. Tanis had us put  him on a antihistamine, but that hasn't seemed to work too well, and makes  him pretty sleepy.

He is still a tail wagging food hound though. Last night he climbed up on my  chair when I got up from the dinner table to see if he could find anymore  roast beef. We are pretty tolerant of his demands and that tactic, which  would normally get a dog reprimanded here, actually scored him some table  scraps.
It is been -30 here for the last week or so (-40 this morning), but Chester  still likes to spend a lot of time outside. I find him curled up in the straw  next to his outside doghouse as often as I find him curled up on the dog bed  inside.


(Followed up by another Group member's in put):
My cancer victim went through 6-months of chemo after her first surgery. She was put on a drug called Leukerin. It was expensive and can damage the liver and reduce white blood cells so she had to have monthly blood work (also expensive) however she acted completely normal and seemed to have no impact on her at all. It produced fewer side effects than I have heard other people experienced with Prednisone (another common treatment for mast cell cancer).

Karen, I'm sorry to hear that Chester is having symptoms. Is it Mast Cell? TJ had similar problems with vomiting (and diarrhea) due to the histamines the tumors produced. And it is disconcerting how the tumors grow and shrink. Seems like one day there is nothing then the next day there is a big lump as the histamines are released.

(Karen's reply):
Yes, it is Mast Cell tumours.

Actually, yesterday was a 'vomit free' day, so maybe the antihistamines are working.

Chester is discovering all sorts of foods to love. Mark had him slurping linguine last night.
It was -40 yesterday and even then the Boy spent a lot of the day outside in his pen, napping on the straw and watching the world go by (although not much moves around at -40).

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