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FRIDAY NIGHT DOG BLOG: CANCER CALLS August 13, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in DOG BLOG -.
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On Wednesday, Sasha was diagnosed with cancer. One day she was energetic and out and about as you can see in the photos, and the next is neither eating or drinking.

We can foresee death but we are never ready for it to happen. When this happens an awareness of the dependency of the relationship becomes more intense. There are choices to be made.

I noticed that Sasha’s gums were very pale. She had swelling in her neck. These turned out to be the lymph nodes. As I am listening to her she is making a noise snoring. The Vet identified she had a high pulse, high blood pressure and an enlarged kidney. She also showed me  the whites of Sasha’s eyes were yellow.The blood test and the lymph biopsy indicated she was at state 4b. Furthermore she lost 3kg since May.

Without treatment, dogs might be expected to live from around 2 to 4 weeks from diagnosis. Chemotherapy is one option, but an expensive one with no guaranteed outcome. Chemotherapy mainly consists of a course of intravenous injections and tablets. Recovery or remission from the disease, which would increase her life span appear to be quite good, subject to further diagnosis as to the aggressive of the cancer. The more rapid the cell division apparently the more likely the chemotherapy will be effective.

The other option is euthanasia, or putting her to sleep. According to the Vet’s record Sasha is now 11 years and 8 months old. They describe her as a wolfhound. So we have chosen to give her prednisone, a cortisone tablet. I have actually been taking this stuff myself for the last several years, and I was actually able to give some of my pills. I take 6mg very second day. Sasha for the next two years will be taking 80mg per day. This is a short term remedy as the cancer becomes resistant to the drug within about two months.

So there might be some further photos out on the trail if all goes well. Then we along with Dexter will have to say a final goodbye. I had expected to take some other photos.

For more information regarding Canine Lymphoma, K9 Health Support appears to be a good reference. 

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Sasha and Dexter have had our moments:

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If Friday Ark is sailing this week, we might yet board.

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The photos were composed here with Picasa.

POSTSCRIPT: 15 August 2011

The Vet came to our house this evening. He discussed Sasha’s condition with us, recommending that she should be euthanized. We consented. She passed away around 7PM. Soon after her body was collected. Goodbye Sasha.

He did say in his judgment her death was due to the cancer and not a bait.

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Comments»

1. Steve - August 13, 2011

So sorry to hear that Sasha is ill with Cancer.

wmmbb - August 14, 2011

Sasha is not going well at all. We are giving her prednisone, short term palliative, and codeine syrup to reduce pain, but she is not eating. She is not snoring to the extent she was yesterday, so I hope that means she is more comfortable. Unless there is a remarkable change, it is likely she will be put to sleep. Our other option would be to reconsider chemotherapy.

2. John Passant - August 14, 2011

My commiserations. My lovely golden retriever Leo died a little over a month ago. Healthy and fit one day, very ill the next. I think it was a bait but it may just have been heart failure. I miss him every day but remembering the joy and love he bought into our lives helps me.

wmmbb - August 14, 2011

Thank you John, and I am sorry to hear about Leo. I suspect something similar might have happened to Sasha. The other day she gobbled down a white plastic object before I could stop her. This occurred in the location of the top photos.


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