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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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Thank you for the information Dee - I wish you and Jas the very best and many more cuddles on the sofa.
I had never heard of a vaccine for this.I know a Cavalier who had Oral Melanoma and who had surgery .She is still with her owner 4 years on.I wish you and Jas a good outcome from this awful disease.
Thank you for sharing that. I hope all goes well for Jas.
Thanks to all that have read this, it is important that we check our dogs all over at least once a week....
Wish you both lots of happy times and as Howard has said I too have a friend with a lovely boy who was diagnosed with an oral cancer and a few years on is doing well ........
Wishing you luck and hoping you keep us updated all the way through treatment. You never know when this will be needed by anyone of us. And I am sure that the vets are learning from your experience with Jas as well.
Hi Dee! Thank you for the information. Wish you and Jas all the best!

Hi, our Henry was also diagnosed with oral melanoma (stage 1). It has been removed, but we're still waiting for the  analysis.

Anybody any experience with this vaccine in Belgium (or Holland)? According to our vet it can only be administered by approved vets (for safety reasons or smth). To his knowledge only one vet in Holland is approved for it (in Utrecht).

So sorry to hear about your boys trouble.....unfortunately this is one of the most aggressive kinds of cancers....although the result for my girl came back as 'not very aggressive' though the truth is the complete opposite. So very sorry to inform you of this.

The vaccine from the US may well be the same as is in Holland/Belgium as my article was 4 years ago, the vaccine worked. Although my wee girl had a problem with her liver, and the vaccine exacerbated the problem, and this is what she ultimately died of, so give the treatment a try....it was an experimental vaccine at the time. It is also a vaccine that would only be able to get from certain vets, in my case it couldn't be administrated from my own vet, I had to go to the ''Royal Dick'' Veterinary Collage in Edinburgh here in Scotland....if you can make to journey, and afford the treatment please do....if your dog is only young he kinda deserves a chance.....(the criteria for the vaccine is that it has not spread and has been removed without any bone being taken away) Good luck....at the moment I am weighing up options for my boy. We think that he has a cancer near his ear canal (I'm waiting for Biopsy results at the moment....so will be thinking of you) 

No doubt about him deserving a chance! Our vet is now trying to get the vaccine in holland (little easier than Edinburgh). The cost and journey are no problem as far as we're concerned... I can find little info on the internet about vets that can administer the vaccine. I already knew about the aggressiveness of this kind of cancer but I'm happy to hear that the vaccine does work...

I only know that a part of jawbone has been removed whilst removing the tumor. I don't know if it had already spread to the bone or if they took it away to make sure no tumor cells were left behind (they usually try to cut 3cm around, but this wasn't possible due to the location of the tumor). I will ask the vet.

In the meanwhile, we got a little bit of good news yesterday: the edges of the part they took out was free of tumor cells (the best outcome we could hope for).

Will be thinking of you too, hope the biopsy results are ok.


Finn is also a sufferer. He has just had his 1st vaccine. Easier to get now as we only waited 3 weeks with Christmas and new year in between. No bone taken away just a red lump on his flew. So glad he had generous margin of tissue so not disfigured...just difficult to yawn!!

Still not a good weight and I'm still not sure all is well with digestive tract...time will tell.

Good luck to all with this awful diagnosis and prognosis.

Dear Sue, I am pleased to hear that Finn did not have to wait long for his vaccine. I really hope he responds well and he defies the odds. I also hope his weight stabilises very soon.

Dear Sofie, I wish you the very best with your Henry too. I hope he can receive the vaccine, he responds very well and he also defies the odds.

It is lovely to hear from you again, Dee, but I am very saddened that your boy may have a malignant growth near his ear canal. I will hope with all my heart that the biopsy shows a benign growth. Please let us know.

What a terribly worrying time for all of you. I do not understand why the dogs who are loved so much seem to be the ones who develop these shocking diseases. I will be thinking of you all and your beautiful boys. Susan xxxx




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