Thursday, February 17, 2011
I e-mailed Dr. Cuoto at Ohio State University because he is known as the expert on how to treat Greyhounds and he sees many hounds with cancer. He recommended intralesional chemotherapy, which is basically where they inject chemo into a tumor. It can be rather rough on the patient, however and no one in our vet's office felt comfortable performing the procedure. Plus, she had the tumor removed and we aren't sure if there's any of it left in her head or not.
We spoke to five people who had also experienced the same kind of cancer in their dogs. Four were Greyhound owners and the other was Miss Sunshade the Superdale's mom. Three of the Greyhounds had the lump removed and lived for several years before dying of separate old age related problems that had nothing to do with the cancer. Another had the surgery a year ago and has had no recurrance since then. The research that I have read about the disease says that it is slow growing and rarely moves to another part of the body. If it recurs, it happens again in the same spot.
So, we have come to a decision after a lengthy talk with our vet. We're not going to do anything else right now. The vet doesn't feel comfortable doing another surgery right now because there's not much between Blue's skin and her skull and the more they cut it open, the less they have left to sew back closed. We're going to watch the spot on her head and if a lump reappears, then there will be surgery and possible cause for more aggressive treatment. For now, we're going to concentrate on healing her toe so she can get out there and enjoy life after cancer.
I know this post isn't particularly humorous, but I know that many people have wondered what is happening with Blue and I wanted to explain it and let people know where we were. It has been a long few months for us full of sleepless nights, worry, research, frustration and finally enlightenment. I think the possibility of it coming back will always be in the back of my mind, but it isn't the looming spectre that it was before. I feel at peace with our decision and I honestly believe that we've come up with the best plan for Blueberry. It's good to go back to worrying about trivial things like how to best capture her good side and not whether I'm making a life or death decision.