Thursday, February 02, 2006

Max: An Update

Max and his basketball. Posted by Picasa
"The fate of animals is of greater importance to me than the fear of appearing ridiculous; it is indissolubly connected with the fate of men." ~ Emile Zola (1840-1902)
The results are in and the news is not good. The nodules in Max's skin are either a malignant histiocytosis or a cutaneous malignant lymphoma. The vet is collecting more information for me about what further staining would have to be done and he is consulting a veterinary oncologist. From what I have read neither are very promising. I've spent the last 24 hours trying to get my head around this and figure out what is best for him. Except for the tiny nodules popping up almost daily, he has no symptoms. Max eats like a horse, has no trouble with elimination and he still irritates the neighbors dog by marking the fence with her standing just on the other side. The nodules don't itch and they aren't ulcerated; they are just there. He has gotten used to extra snacks during the day and sleeping with the cats at night. (Last night it was cold and his light in the doghouse burned out; at least I think it burned out. No, he can't get it unscrewed; he isn't that smart.)

I've had animals with cancer before and they both became very ill, very fast and it was obvious to me what they needed. Not so with Max. So, I think I am going to let the oncologist see him and if he can be given steroids and an oral chemotherapy agent I will let them try that. I see no reason for him to undergo IV chemotherapy. He would have to be sedated every time, he'd be scared and I don't think his heart could take it since he had heartworm treatment (arsenic) less than three years ago. Nyssa and I will supplement any treatment with extra treats, head rubs, walks, toys and loving. I think this is the best plan. Max still has his sparkle; he still makes me laugh and he still knows how to manipulate my heartstrings.
"One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you're feeling blue is that he doesn't try to find out why." ~ Unknown
Thanks for all the good wishes. Max loves good wishes; accompanied by basted dog biscuits, of course. (end of post)

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