Just found this forum and was perusing the great info here.
Duke is our old man in the house. He's 9 years old and slowing down a bit, but he's always been a mellow Lab.
He has his share of phobias and fatty lipomas, but until about 4 months ago...was in good health.
Four months ago, Duke was diagnosed with malignant melanoma after the discovery of a tumor in his mouth. The tumor was removed by our local vet and Duke began the human DNA vaccine treatment at Blue Pearl Vet. in NYC. After many Xrays, blood tests, and lymph node aspirations...there was no sign of the cancer spreading anywhere.
For the past few months he seemed to be doing fine. No signs of of ANY illness or ANYTHING really. If anything, Duke has been thriving. We rescued two pups (a Yorkie and a Morkie cross), that, while he doesn't really play with...he does tolerate very well...and is helping them learn the ropes of our house: when to go potty...where....how to beg for food..). We began to have hope that Duke was going to be able to fight this thing without having to resort to radiation therapy and/or a very aggressive surgery.
This past week, during his oncologist visit...they discovered another small tumor growing roughly in the same spot as his last one. MUCH smaller in size, but definitely wasn't there before.
Has anyone had any experience with melanoma in Labs? Financially speaking, we're a single income household raising an autistic child and three furbabies...The DNA treatments in our neck of the woods (NYC metro) are pricey and we're "just" meeting those requirements financially.
Duke has been my constant companion for the past 7 years (he was a shelter rescue when he was approx. 2). He, quite literally, is the BEST dog I have ever had. I don't want to abandon him to the cancer and I want to help him fight it in whatever way I can...But at the same time, I have to keep the food on the table for my son...and the lights on in the house.
Not an easy thing. But doable.
by the way...here he is...pre tumor pic
bestbud (1 of 1) by eeeksnyc, on Flickr[/img]
awww your story broke my heart what a gorgeous family I so pray you have all you need! ....and 0mg Duke is soooo adorable!!!
Hi there, your Duke is a very handsome fella. I love that face!
I just lost my Jack to malignant melanoma on June 30th. His story is on the rainbow bridge forum/thread. You can read his thread there, and see his last photo session
taken just a day and a half before he lost his battle.
Jack had a bump come up in 2008, and it was checked twice,(again in 2010) both times I was told it was "just a bump and dogs get bumps."
It never changed size till March 2012 and then literally overnight it started growing. Pea sized, to dime size, to a golf ball in about a week.
Malignant melanoma is a very agressive cancer once it take hold... so I learned.
I researched treatment options, and honestly most of what I read would have made Jack's remaining time miserable. Vet told me a year, if I was lucky.
With the treatments, his quality of life would have dropped. I could not do that to him.
I had two and a half months and made the most of every minute with him. He was happy, active and competely spoiled!
We did all his favorite things. All the money I would have spent on treatments, was spent on him making the most of his time.
Sorry, getting choked up just thinking about my Jack and your Duke.
I am sorry your Duke is going through this, as are you and your family. ((((hugs))))
I am so sorry you are going through this. I do not have any experience with cancer in a dog and I do wish you and Duke all the best. He is certainly a handsome boy.
Maxx & Emma Jean
Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.
Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.