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I thought that I might write about write about the treatment that Jas is undergoing for her Malignant Melanoma. In the hope that it may help someone out there.

Since Jas was diagnosed, sadly I have been hearing of a surprising number of Irish with the same condition.

The Vaccine is fairly easy to obtain from your dogs oncologist, after your dog meets certain criteria (but it is very expensive) but the criteria must be met. The dog cannot have any sign of Secondaries  anywhere in the body, so a Cat-scan must be had, if there is any sign of the cancer anywhere else then you cannot have the vaccine.

Jas had her Cat-scan at the 'Royal Dick Veterinary Hospital' in Edinburgh. Where she is being treated, in the Oncology department.

Because this Cancer is in the mouth, the scan is of the Head, Neck and Thoracic reagion....(loungs and heart area) and a Sub-Mandibular Lymph Node is removed and examined.

Thankfully there was absolutely no sign of any cancer anywhere in Jas, much to my relief,

We then had to wait for the vaccine to come from the States, which in itself took a long time, (it seemed like a lifetime) due to all the red-tape involved.

Jas was checked again. when the vaccine arrived, before administration (if the remaining lymph nodes were enlarged at this point, then we would not have been able to use it)

Administration of the vaccine is by high pressure gun (not injection) to the inside of the thigh, the leg will be alternated each time the vaccine is given. A cause of 4 vaccines are administered. One every two weeks. She has a full physical each time she goes for the vaccine, then we wait 6 months, and then she will have an ex-ray (of the chest) to see if it has spread into her lungs, (this is usually the first place it seems to occur) and if we are really lucky and it hasn't spread, we will have a 'booster' then.

This is not a cure for the problem, but they tell me that doing nothing other than removal of the melanoma, 32% survive for 12 months, (this means that 68% die before this time, a very high percentage) but with the vaccine there is a good chance that we will have about 18 more months together, and this is with a good quality of life, and this is what we all would want, a little bit longer with our beloved pets so long as the quality of life is there.

I hope that this will help anyone who has got this problem, or maybe anyone you know with a dog with it.

Unfortunately Chemo Therapy doesn't have any affect of this type of cancer

This vaccine is very new and is a gamble, but I think that we will all agree, that we will do whatever we can to keep life comfortable for out pets...

The moral to this is always check inside your dogs mouth...

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Hi everyone...

Sorry to hear about Finn...I do hope that he responds to the treatment....it didn't affect Jas at the time of the treatment, and she was ''an old lady'' I would suspect that a young dog will cope well with the treatment....(well younger that 9/12-10 years old....) Sofie I am surprised that the vet cannot refer you to somewhere that will administer this vaccine 4 years have gone by since I was trying to find it, and I think it is now used quite a lot. (When I was looking it was just out of the experimental stages)

Get your vet to Google somewhere...actually that is kinda what I did....

Thank you Sue and Susan for your best wishes...Fin is fine.....thank goodness.....I got the results on Friday, sorry I didn't post it here.....I asked the vet at the time if it could be Lymph Nodes that are swollen because of some kind of infection....he poopood it but that is what it turned out to be...we will be keeping an eye on them for a few months just to make sure that the Lymph Nodes aren't swollen because of anything ''sinister'' but so far it seems to be disappearing.

Susan you asked why it is our beloved pets that seem to be more prone to this dreadful disease, I think that it is BECAUSE they are so loved that we find it, the dogs that aren't loved so much aren't checked, people just don't care about them and consequently these dogs just die without anyone realising that there is something wrong with them, or it has gone too far before it becomes very obvious that there is something wrong.....I think many dogs seem to suffer with this dreadful disease, like us humans, but we know our dogs and get them checked out (hopefully before it takes them) it doesn't help us cope with the distress that it causes...they really don't live long enough...we have got to make the most of them while we have them with us.....love your dogs, live a full life with them....I'm sitting here squashed in the corner of a three seater settee with four dogs all around me and I wouldn't have it any other way...lol good luck to all who have sick dogs...

Hi everyone,

Henry to get a CT next thursday to see if he can have the vaccine. The only place we can go for the vaccine is Utrecht (and only if the CT is clear). Luckily they still administer it. As I posted earlier, due to strict regulations it can not be administered everywhere. If it were as simple as to Google it to find a vet who can administer it, I would have found it myself by now. If anyone knows a website where I can find other vets who use the vaccine, please let me know.

 

Glad to hear Finn is fine!

Sorry about that. I hope that you can find out somewhere. Can your Vet not give you advice as to which vet can or cannot administer the vaccine...we are lucky here, as I said to have the Royal Dick Vet Hospital just in Edinburgh must be difficult.....I hope the CT scan comes out OK for you both...Good luck with it....

Hi Sofie, I will keep my fingers crossed very hard for Henry and you that the CT scan is clear.

I have been through the worry of a CT scan with my English Setter, Misty who was only 2 years old at the time. She developed mammary cancer and even though the grading was a 1, because her cells were behaving abnormally, if her CT scan had not been clear, there would have been nothing that could have been done to save her life. Even with the surgery, the surgeon could not give me any guarantee that the cancer would not return but he was able to save Misty's life. I treasure every moment I have to share with Misty.

I sincerely wish you and Henry the very best. Please let us know. Best Wishes, Susan xxxx

Hi Dee, It is wonderful news that Fin is fine. I am so pleased for both of you. I love your photos too. Also, I agree completely with your last paragraph .. I wouldn't be without anyone of my animal children either .. cause me major stress and heartache at times!, but each one of them is so very special and I am so lucky to be loved so much by so many. Take care, Susan xxxxx

Update: Henry's CT was clear. We went for his first melanoma vaccine last Friday (at Utrecht University, veterinary clinic). So fingers crossed that he makes to his next round of vaccine in six months. He's still doing fine and is in excellant shape. Good luck to everyone with sick dog kids!

That's good news Sofie. All the best to Henry.

Finn has now had his 4th vaccination over the 8 week period and will be due his booster in 6 months time when they will x ray his lungs again also. In 3 months we will have a review at our local vet to check the original operation site and lymph nodes. He is, so far, fit and happy but still very thin though this is improving very slowly.

I am so pleased to hear this good news about Henry and Finn. Sue, re Finn, if he is fit and happy, this is a Wonderful sign. Sometimes the outside does not tell all the story. My Darling Hobson had another setback .. those dreaded Demodex mites returned and targeted his spine .. lost all his coat again .. his hind legs continue to be a worry .. the terrible weather does not help at all .. but Hobson continues to fight to live his life to the fullest. We all have Hope, and our beautiful "Kids" continue to fight because they know how much they are Loved Unconditionally! Susan xxxxxx

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