Thursday, November 8, 2012
Charlie Pants Has Cancer
I am so sad to report, but my precious seizure-alert service dog Charlie Pants has 3 different mast cell tumors. We found out this past Monday while making an emergency trip to the vet for Charlie to get some stitches on his ear (he cut his ear on a rose bush and hit a vein while we were out walking). While the vet was stitching him up we asked her to examine some weird looking lumps, one on his neck, one on his front leg, and one on his back leg. The bumps on his legs looked like tiny blisters so we didn't think much of them and the one on his neck we were once told was a fatty tissue build-up, so we weren't that worried they were tumors. The vet aspirated the lumps and informed us later that day (Monday) that indeed all three lumps are cancerous. I burst into tears (being 6 1/2 months pregnant doesn't help with my ability to control my emotions) nor does the fact that Charlie is truly the love of my life. He gives me a 5 to 10 minute warning before I have a seizure and if he dies at 7 years old I am gonna lose my best friend, my dearest companion, and my miracle dog.
We have been referred to Colorado State University's Veterinary School in Fort Collins, Colorado and we met with a team of Doctors yesterday to discuss our options. It is a fantastic place filled with loving and caring students and doctors. So far this is what we know: fortunately the cancer is currently localized in the 3 lumps so surgery is a good option, unfortunately some of the lumps are so big that they can't get all the cancer cells so Charlie will still need radiation and possibly chemotherapy. The surgeons would like to operate tomorrow (Friday 11/9). What a week!
I am very overwhelmed with this. We have a new baby coming in less than 3 months and the next 3 months are going to be spent taking Charlie to surgery, radiation everyday for 15 - 20 days, and possibly chemo. Not to mention the high cost (we are looking at around $7,000-$10,000).
Does anyone have any success stories with Mast Cell Tumors and their dogs?