It’s a Lab Thing knows that Cancer in Labradors is quickly becoming an unfortunate common occurrence. We are following Mason’s Story of Losing a Leg & Battling Cancer and how his Momma is getting through the process.
Mason’s had 2 of his 5 treatments (5 rounds of 3 treatments 15 total) thus far (and has now had all 3 of the drugs in his protocol) and you would never know it. Mason is having the VAC (vincristine, Adriamycin, Cyclophosphamide) protocol as recommended by his oncologist.
We dropped him off last Thursday for his first treatment and he stayed all day for his Adriamycin and Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide). I was prepared. I had all the drugs ready. Cerenia for nausea? Check. Metronidazole for diarrhea? Check. Mirtazapine for extra nausea/ inappetence? Check. They said that side effects could show up in 3-7 days. We watched. We waited. Nothing!
Ok, so to be fair, we did have some days where Mason was a little pickier eater, but I’m pretty sure that’s because he now knows that if he stares at his kibble and then looks at me, he gets canned food on top. YUM! He’s a pro at working his Lab mom for the good stuff.
Mason’s oncologist called to check on him and I could do nothing but sing his (and his alternative medicine vet’s) praises. He’s playing ball in the yard just like always! He’s eating! He’s happy!
“That’s why we do this,” he said. I couldn’t agree more. I’m so happy I am doing chemo for Mase. Giving him 12-18 extra months is worth every penny.
The other great thing about this process has been the camaraderie. While waiting in the lobby, nervous as heck before his first treatment, I met a retired surgical oncologist (human doctor ;)) who’s dog is undergoing chemo for lymphoma. We chatted about the studies we had read, alternative medicine we were trying, and just the chemo process in general. Most people are so encouraging and understanding and it’s wonderful.
Ignoring Others and Sticking to the Game Plan
I have also heard the opposite. I’ve had people tell me “I can’t believe you are putting a 12 year old dog through that.” They must not understand. Why should I give up on my baby because he is a senior Labrador. Age isn’t a disease. That’s ridiculous! They also probably don’t understand how much easier this process is for dogs than people in some cases. I look at this as an opportunity to educate these people. Hopefully then, they’ll know not to make those comments to someone else in the future. Its really not helpful at best, and can be hurtful to someone who’s honestly trying to do the best thing for their furkid.
I know we still have a long way to go, but I’m just happy to be able to report some good news, and I hope that this will encourage people to consider chemo when its offered to them for their pets. It may not be the right choice for everyone, but it was definitely the right choice for Mason and our family.
[confirmation]Dr. Erin Hernandez Horner, DVM graduated from the University of Georgia in 2004 and then went on to obtain her DVM in 2008. She is currently an associate veterinarian at Brookhaven Animal Hospital[/confirmation] [line-sep]