We’ve lost two family members to cancer

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My wife and I are sad to report that we’ve lost two family members to cancer. Thelma Lou was a terrier-beagle mix and Chester was a basset hound.

Chester, probably around 13 years old, passed away on Thursday, after battling mast cell tumors. We rescued him about eight years ago and adopted him out. After several years, he was returned to us and we decided he needed to be in our family.

A tumor was removed from under his armpit this summer. Later, smaller tumors developed all over his body and into his spleen. His treatments managed to keep him comfortable for some time. But over the last week, his condition worsened.

Thelma Lou was around 8. Over the summer, we found a lump on her side and at first it was believed to be an injury. But it continued to grow. We had her evaluated locally and at a specialty hospital. Both examinations should she had a hemangiosarcoma. The cancer had quickly spread into her lungs.

Earlier this month, we said our final goodbyes to her.

Thelma came to us from an area shelter, where the dogs had to be sent out because a cruelty case meant a number of other dogs had to be housed during an investigation.

Cancer is far too prevalent in canines. We’ve seen more than our share over the years in our family of rescues. I tend to believe poor breeding practices are a primary cause. I hope to soon begin more research in this area.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Two of our dogs face serious cancers

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Two of our rescue dogs were recently diagnosed with cancers. Chester, a basset hound who is about 12 or 13 years old, has mast cell tumors. Thelma Lou is around 8 years old and has a hemangiosarcoma on her side.

A couple of months ago, Chester had a mass removed from under his armpit. The mast cell tumor had cropped up very quickly. A few weeks later, we found smaller growths forming. It turns out they are more mast cells and the condition has spread to his spleen.

Thelma Lou was in great health, when we began to notice something strange about the area near the end of her rib cage on one side. Later, a test determined it most likely a hemangiosarcoma. The diagnosis was confirmed last week at a specialty hospital in North Carolina.

Sadly, both Chester and Thelma Lou, a terrier-beagle mix, may not be with us much longer. Thelma’s cancer has spread into her lungs.

Because we’ve adopted so many dogs and cats over many, many years – including the adoption of older dogs – this has happened far too often with our family. But having to face the loss of loved ones so frequently does not ease the heartache.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

New study of golden retrievers could lead to important findings on canine cancer

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A new study that I hope will be groundbreaking will feature 3,000 golden retrievers, who will be tracked for genetic, nutritional and environmental risks to cancer. The Associated Press reports much of $25 million needed for the research is coming from the Morris Animal Foundation.

The AP article includes this interesting note: “” The study will also try to measure factors in a dog’s life, such as how fun and an owner’s love affect the animal’s health and longevity. “”

It seems to be a very comprehensive approach. But I hope the researchers will not be squeamish about publishing any negative findings about breeding practices. Certainly, a good bit of blame on the rate of cancers in dogs can be placed on poor breeding factors or breeders who ignore rates of cancer in the offspring of the canines they breed.

Not all breeders do this.

 

Sad news to report: We say goodbye to Dash

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A truly special member of our family has passed on. Dash was a 13-year-old greyhound who faced many challenges over his lifetime with courage and strength.

He was the second rescued racing greyhound we adopted, some eight years ago. We were told Dash and others in the racing kennel were routinely kicked when they did not perform well. He came to us with an injured shoulder.

But he survived the horrors of racing, where so many others never make it out alive each year. So many never make to it their senior years.

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