My recently deceased service dog had an inoperable mast cell tumor between the ulna and radius bones in his right front leg. It was discoved after he began limping without resolution.
The fine Vets at the Oncology program at Tuft's Foster Hosp. treated him. At first he was on Palladia but that stopped working.
He had a suspected spleen nodule that was not biopsied.
Since he was a service dog, I opted not to have his leg amputated. He lived 8 month past his diagnosis. He was 7 when I let him go after a Vinblastine treatment caused his tumors - spleen and leg - to release histamine and heparin and he became purple and could not lay down with the pain even though he was on pain med.
He was not in pain long as I broke all speed limits at nearly midnight on July 15th to do what I knew was the only release for his pain. He had been seen twice after the Vinblastine on the 10th and I had been told on the 13th that it could be days or weeks.
The loss of a service dog at such a young age is difficult. I have heard from many and I established a memorial garden where we used to walk daily for his exercise and enjoyment.
I think he must have had the cancer for nearly a year before it was discovered. It was hidden. Mast Cell tumors may not always be so apparent.
Just my luck. I still have yet to hear from the organization that raised, trained and placed him with me on July 19, 2007. Not every service dog org. is good.
My first service dog, an assistance dog, also passed from oral cancer. She was age 13 years 9 mos.
Does stress cause this cancer? Lawn chemicals? Sunlight? I know it is a form of skin cancer.
Thank you for contributing to this forum - you help many people!
I am very sorry to hear about your loss. Canine cancer is the leading killer of dogs today. Whether it's a Mast Cell tumor or another form of cancer, the cause still remains unknown.
Certainly genetics, heredity and lifestyle play a role but the exact underlying cause of cancer in pets and people is still not known.
Dr Carol Osborne, DVM
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