Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Give Cancer The Paw Blog Hop

Today is our very first Give Cancer the Paw Blog Hop, co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place and Pooch Smooches.  Unfortunately, cancer has affected too many family members and loved ones, including canine and feline friends. According to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, cancer affects one in three dogs, and Pet MD says that cancer is the #1 disease killer of pets. But this post is not to depress you, because there's hope. Many pets live full lives after diagnosis. And, many good people are working on new ways to diagnose and find cures.  This hop is to tell our stories, offer help and support for one another, share tips and encouragement and good news too.  You don't have to have a pet affected by cancer to participate. By joining together we can help educate and support....and Give Cancer the Paw!




















First, I want to start with my story.
Two of my dogs probably had cancer, but we don't know for sure. My family beagle-lab mix Happy, and then our Airdale-Gordon Setter mix Corky both had tumors that were never diagnosed but were likely cancerous. Then there was Brooks.


















We adopted Brooks last year, when he was 11 years old. He was the most loving Golden Retriever. The thing I remember about him best is that he would just melt when you touched him--he loved to be patted so much that every muscle relaxed until he was a puddle at your feet. Brooks seemed healthy until one day he wouldn't sit or lie down. He just stood, zoning out. I realize now that he must have been in intense pain. I still remember the vet when she came into the examining room with the results of the xray, tears in her eyes. She told us that his lungs were full of cancer. Brooks died the next day.

But as many of you know, we had the most wonderful year with Brooks. I feel that he adopted us in order to live out the last year of his life in total love and comfort. Difficult as it was, I would adopt a senior dog again. It was that good while we had him!

Although Brooks displayed no symptoms until a few days before, here are some signs of cancer to watch out for:

1. Lumps (may be benign, but always good to have them checked)
2.Coughing
3. Lethargy
4. Sudden lameness
5. Sores that don't heal
6. Abnormal odors and discharges
7. Loss of appetite and weight loss
8. Pain

If you notice any of these symptoms, tell your veterinarian. Chances are they will be due to something much less serious, but it's always best to check.

I'm also teaming up with Dogtipper, All Things Dog Blog, and Zukes this month to share about Zuke's great products and to  bring you some exciting dog treat giveaways with 6 great prizes, (be sure to check back here on Monday 11/18 for the Rafflecopter!) AND Zukes wants to Give Cancer the Paw too...with their Fuel the Cure promotion, they're donating $5 per entry to the Dog and Cat Cancer Fund. Thank you Zukes.






Please join our  blog hop!

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

22 comments:

  1. So happy you guys are doing this Hop. We lost our Becca to cancer not too long ago and are always nervous about our retrieves and their lumps. We are ready to Give Cancer the Paw!

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  2. As I told Jackie, I am so glad you and she have organized this blog hop. I've lost more than one dog to cancer and it is a heartbreaking road to travel.

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  3. Thank you. I didn't know. We will post it to our Facebook page today
    Lily

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  4. I am looking forward to getting info from this blog hop. ((Paws crossed)) I have never had to deal with cancer in a pet, nor do I want to. Thanks!!

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  5. Thank you for joining. I know how devastating it is to lose a dog to cancer, and I know that many are doing research to try to find help. I know you gave Becca a wonderful home.

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  6. Thank you for joining Sue. I'm so sorry for your losses. Our vet told us that because dogs age faster than human, the cancer moves faster in dogs as well. But we are also learning more every day.

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing this story with me; God bless you for adopting a senior and giving him such a great life.

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  8. Poor, beautiful Brooks. It's amazing how dogs can be so stoic and hide their pain. But what a lucky boy to spend his last year with you! (Plus that was like 7 years to him) :) You were lucky to find each other.

    That is cool about Zukes. We love Zukes and now that's a reason to love them even more!

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  9. snoopy@snoopysdogblogNovember 6, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Hi Peggy,


    We just came from Slimdoggy's post and got lots of useful information there, and now you've also given us a symptom list to watch out for, love the hop! :)


    Wags to all,


    Your pal Snoopy :)

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  10. Jan K, Wag N Woof PetsNovember 6, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    As sad is it was for you to lose him after such a short time, how wonderful that you gave Brooks a happy loving home for the last year of his life. Seniors really make the best pets and I'm sure adopting them is rewarding (our seniors have all been with us since they were young). One of the cats we lost to cancer, we also only had for a year, but we were still glad we took him in as a stray and let him live his life out in comfort.

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  11. Thank you for stopping by. I hope you never have to deal with it either. We are learning more every day how to help prevent it.

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  12. Thank you. Brooks was such a sweet boy, I wish he was here with us still. But we just have to do our best with the time we have. Thanks for joining the hop!

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  13. Brooks was a good boy. You're right, we were both lucky to have each other!

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  14. Thanks for joining the hop Snoopy! Hope you and the gang are having a fun day :)

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  15. You are right about seniors. They are so special. I think, especially one who has been through a lot, like Brooks. I'm sorry about your cat, but like you said, you gave him a good home.

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  16. I think it's important to know your dog- get your hands on him every day. You don't need to make it feel like an exam, just petting and looking. Make sure you know what feels and looks normal for your dog. My Cheyenne survived two usually fatal cancers, because we caught them so early- with such small warning signs that even our vet was surprised it was cancer. The first time it was thyroid cancer- rare in dogs but usually 90% fatal. I take the dogs collars off at night and one night felt a pea sized lump on her neck where her collar would have blocked it. We were able to do surgery before it had spread and three years later there was still no evidence of spreading. This past June my other dog was licking her mouth obsessively. I looked and found another lump on her gums so small I'd missed it during tooth brushing. Even the vet thought it was nothing and was astonished when it came back metastatic melanoma- an extremely aggressive form of cancer completely unrelated to the first. It also usually affects black dogs- Cheyenne was red and white. We did surgery to remove part of her jaw and started her on a vaccine to prevent spreading. Again, the specialists were surprised we had caught it so early and seemed to have gotten it all before it spread. It's so aggressive the vets warned it could possibly still grow elsewhere, but it would have been at least a year before it even started to spread. We were all pretty confident that we had beaten the odds though. Unfortunately, Cheyenne died last month from completely unrelated causes. She too was a rescued senior- estimated to be at least 8 when we got her, probably older. We had almost four amazing years with her and I too would do it all again. They're so worth it, and like Peggy said, I'd rather lose them too soon but know that for whatever length of time they were loved.

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  17. Thank you for a really important comment. Until recently, I never thought about examining my dogs so thoroughly but you have totally convinced me. I'm so glad that you caught those lumps and were able to treat them early and give Cheyenne so much more time. I'm so sorry for your loss, I know how difficult it is and what a wonderful dog she was. I hope your comment encourages everyone to check their dogs thoroughly every night.

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  18. Brooks was beautiful and so lucky to have you in his life for that year. I have learned a few new things reading all of the posts and I'm so glad you guys are doing this hop! Cancer sucks!

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  19. You got that right!
    Thanks for the nice words about Brooks. He was my heart dog for sure.

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  20. Oh my, how sad that you only had a day to process the horrible diagnoses with Brooks and then he passed. So grand of you to adopt a senior dog, so many more people need to do that. They need a home and love too for the reminder of their lives. What a beautiful guy. Give cancer the paw! Thank you for this blog hop.

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  21. I'm glad Brooks had you so love and cherish him the last year of his life. Cancer is such a horrible disease. This hop is a wonderful idea and will give hope and support to others who are dealing with this.

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  22. cancer is a word we all loathe to hear. Unfortunately, it is a very real situation that we encounter not only with people, but also with our pets. While not a lot of people are knowledgeable about dog cancer, studies are underway to help us find effective methods on how to better deal with this disease.

    Around half of all reported cases of canine cancer are of the skin, twenty percent are of the mammary glands, and the others are of the lymphatic, alimentary, reproductive, etc. Cure for the animal varies depending on his specifics like breed, age, weight, and other health related concerns. Listed here are some alternative cancer treatments for dog that will guide you in making the best decision for your pet.

    Cancers are generally defined by a growth of an abnormal tumor in a particular area of the animal. As you may have already known, there are two kinds of tumors: benign and malignant. Benign tumors are growths that have clear edges. As such, these tumors can be fairly easily removed through surgery. Malignant tumors have no defined edges and usually spread; therefore taking it out entirely through means of surgery is a lot more difficult, if not impossible.

    Radiotherapy is the treatment wherein radiation is used to destroy the cancer cells in damaged tissues so they will not reproduce. The challenge is to give the correct dosage so that the radiation will only affect the cancer cells and not harm the normal cells. To manage this, radiation is given in lower quantities at regular intervals. This will ensure that the cancer cells are dealt with while the normal cells are allowed to recover effectively.

    Unlike when done with people, radiation does not give the dog harmful side effects like nausea and vomiting; primarily because of the smaller quantity used. It is estimated to prolong the life of the animal for months instead of just weeks as previously believed. Hyperthermia, another treatment done to kill cancer cells through the employment of high temperature, is used alongside radiation.

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Kelly and Ike say thank you for your comments!

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