Mini Schnauzer Smokey's Fight with Oral Melanoma
Smokey is our beloved mini schnauzer of 13 years! I thought I would share our story of his fight with cancer.
He was diagnosed with oral melanoma back in March of 2012 when he had his carpal pad removed. Our vet had sent a sample out to be tested & the results were not great. It was metastasizing. Devastated as we were our local vet (who is the best by the way) got us in touch with an oncologist who gave us some options. 1st was radiation, 2nd was chemotherapy, and 3rd was the vaccine available.
We chose to get Smokey the vaccine and give him 8 weeks of radiation. He came through both with absolutely no ill affects. But during those 8 weeks he developed small tumors up his leg. The oncologist confirmed they were cancer and braced us for the hard facts that Smokey may only have 6 weeks to 3 months left with us.
By the end of May he had 7 tumors developed, mostly small ones, but one under his armpit was larger and growing. We checked him out every other night to keep track of the tumors' progression.
To our surprise, by the end of June, 6 of the 7 tumors which were all raised bumps had all flattened out to just dark spots on his skin. The only raised bump he still had was the large one under his armpit. Our local vet asked to see him and he was due for his 3 month x-ray check up. His lungs & lymph nodes still showed clear. She confirmed with the oncologist that the tumors were shrinking. He was encouraged to say the least - Smokey was the first dog he had treated that the tumors actually shrunk! They spoke and determined that after his 6 month booster for the vaccine that the large tumor should be removed.
Well, low and behold, by the end of August that last tumor has shrunk down in size as well! So he does still have the black spots on his skin but the tumor masses have all disappeared. I'm no vet so I can't say if it was the radiation or the vaccine that may have helped him, but we will take it!
He is an amazing dog - always the one in the vets office with his tail wagging and barking at everyone to say "Hi". The vet tells us each time she sees him, he is 13 going on 7.
We want to let everyone living with a pet with cancer know that our thoughts are with each and everyone of you. We cherish every additional day with Smokey. I started buying his Christmas squeaky toys this week.