10 days ago we took Patch into the vet’s for surgery and teeth cleaning (if possible). Patch had a couple of ugly bleeding tumors on his belly right near where the thin belly hair thickens into the coat on the sides. I have been waiting for the results of the histologic examination and they came back today.
While waiting for these results I have been alternating between being really scared for him and a state of acceptance. But the vet was pretty sure it was cancer. And I was gathering information about canine cancer treatments and thinking about how to weigh Patches’ life against cost of treatment. How to do that??? I never figured it out.
Patches’ tumors were malignant.
Diagnoses: Cutaneous Hemangiosarcoma
However there is lots of good news:
- the surgery removed all the margins of the tumors (the key to getting rid of the cancer and having no recurrence)
- the cancer was in his skin cells, not subcutaneous.
This is a kind of cancer has a great survival rate and no chemo is needed.
Patch most likely will have a good life ahead of him, free from vets and meds. Yay!!!!
That’s the important part but for those who are curious:
We will have to keep an eye on the little lesions on the other side of his belly. They look like blood blisters and right now are 1 to 2 cm. The vet said that these are common in older dogs and are either benign or malignant, they do not change into being cancer if they do not start out cancerous. If one does develop it will grow very quickly and anything over 3 cm is a size to be concerned about.
I got a copy of the animal disease report: this kind of cancer is often caused by UV rays, irradiation from the sun. Years of lying in the sun most likely caused this.
The thing we don’t know without further tests is whether this cancer was metastasised from another cancer elsewhere in his body. We would have to do a cat scan and go hunting for more cancer. We will not choose to do this.
In another area of good news the neighbors who started intervening in Patches’ life last winter by giving him walks and taking him to their house when he had no food or water contributed a large amount of money toward Patches’ care. And they are scheduling days to come and take him for walks. They may even take him into their home if I need to go off on a sales trip.
I am a thankful person today 🙂
Patch is constantly thankful. That’s how those dogs are, you know.
PS: Patches’ teeth were cleaned and they pulled one dead tooth, not bad for an old dog. Now he smells as sweet as he is.