Buddy’s Journey through Cancer

My little Rat Terrier Buddy was diagnosed with Cancer of the anal gland shortly after Thanksgiving this year.  We boarded our dogs at the vet clinic where our dogs receive their veterinary care over Thanksgiving and they noticed that he was having difficulty pooping in the exercise yard.  So they biopsied the anal gland and sent it off to pathology.  It came back as cancerous.

Buddy and the cone of shame
Buddy in his “cone of shame” after surgery to remove the anal gland.

We had the anal gland removed.  They gave us a referral to a veterinary oncologist in Winter Haven, Florida so we made the hour journey over there for Buddy to be seen by the doctor.

The doctor said that she could feel an enlarged lymph node in his pelvic canal. Which means the cancer has already spread at least one lymph node.

Our options are:

  • Surgery to remove the lymph node ($3000) with no guarantee of cure because it could spread further and we not know it.
  • Chemotherapy ($400 a month)
  • Systemic chemo with a new drug called Palladia.  (approx: $380 a month but treatment is done at home via pill)
  • Do nothing and Buddy’s prognosis is 2-3 months.

Tough choices huh?

I’ve already ruled out surgery.  Buddy is 10-11 years old and I don’t want him to go though another surgery.

We kind of came to the conclusion that  that the Palladia is the best option.  We made an appointment for a baseline ultrasound and to pick up the medication.

I took Buddy on Friday the 11th to get his ultrasound.  They measured right and left lymphnode.  The left sublumbar lymph node was enlarged and measured 2.37 x  1.1cm The Right one 2.57 x 0.66cm.  We also got 8 Palladia pills.  (They didn’t have enough to send a whole months worth and they will mail out the rest today.)

Treatment with Palladia is every other day dosing.  We started Buddy on his Palladia this past Saturday (1-12-13).  While we do have Metronidazole (Flagyl in humans)  and Cerenia (for nausea and vomiting), the first dose went down and stayed down and has had no apparent adverse reactions for him.  I am very happy about this because I don’t want to see him suffer any adverse reactions.

He will return to our regular vet clinic for a CBC on January 25th.  Then he will have another ultrasound on February 6th to see if the tumor has shrunk any.  We will get more palladia then.

Buddy will receive his second dose today.  We will see how that goes.

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