Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Meet Abigale Her Story About Mast Cell Cancer

Abigail is a 4 year old Golden Doodle.  The first time her owners noticed anything was June 16, 2013. Abigail was lethargic and showing a little lameness in her hind legs.  She had been to the vet twice previously in the last few days and was sent home with pain medication.
            The pain increased over the weekend and she woke up with paralysis in her back end on Monday morning June 17. Her vet referred her to a Veterinary surgeon in AG who arranged for an MRI on Los Olivos that morning. Surgery was done that evening and a plasma cell tumor was removed that had grown into vertebrae and finally had gotten large enough to put pressure on her spinal cord causing the lethargy, pain and eventual paralysis.  The surgeon said her chance of survival and mobility was not good.  Much to the surgeon's surprise, Abigail was standing on her own the morning after surgery.
            Abigail then went to an Oncologist who ordered additional CT scans, Ultrasound, X-ray and more lab work on the tumor cells. He said her survival chances were slim if there had been any spreading of the cancerous cells. By the time she had recovered from surgery it was determined that the tumor on her vertebrae was isolated and the best approach would be radiation to remove a portion of the tumor not accessible to the surgeon due to close proximity to the spinal cord. By the time she was ready to start radiation therapy at a clinic in Oxnard, it was 4 weeks since surgery and Abigail was beginning to show signs of pain. She rebounded after the first two radiation treatments.  She had twenty treatments in small doses to protect the spinal cord. Her final treatment was Aug 13
By the end of August Abigail's energy and mobility were back to normal and she enjoyed her first romp on dog beach in over two months. Abigail is back to normal activities and loves to join us in doing whatever we do. Her pal Sammie and another doggie sister, black lab named Sophie give her a lot of support along with her humans, myself and husband Dave. Abigail is presently on a maintenance dosage of chemotherapy administered orally in capsule form every other day. She hasn't had any negative side effects so far from radiation or chemotherapy. We celebrated her 4th birthday Aug 9 and are blessed with each day that we wake up to her smiles, hugs and kisses.  We don't know what the long term prognosis really is. We are appreciative for each day Abigail feels good and are so happy that we decided to do medical treatment. We would have opted to quit and let nature take its course had she been elderly and in otherwise poor health. We would also spare her pain and suffering in the future if medical treatment does not keep her feeling good and living a quality life. For now every day is a good for Abigail so it is a good day for us! She is healthy and beautiful nearly 4 months since Abigail's surgery and cancer diagnosis.
I knew mast cell cancer because Jetta had one. With early detection, she was fine. Abigal was so happy when I saw her. My prayers are with her and her family. Thank God we have vets that can help dogs like this

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