Give Cancer The Paw~Lymphoma

Give Cancer The Paw


Today I’m joining Pooch Smooches and The Writer’s Dog Give Cancer The Paw Blog Hop. This will be their last hop. I want to take a moment to thank both you gals for starting this hop and for all the awareness you have achieved by hosting this hop. I wrote my post before I knew it was your last and that we were to do a tribute to a special pet we known and loved that had/has cancer. I’m leaving my post the way I wrote it besides adding in this comment and I will add my tribute to none other than my special pet Norman.

The Morris Animal Foundation August Webinar is on Lymphoma.

Lymphoma and Your Pet: Attend our Webinar

Lymphoma is a common and well-known type of human cancer. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most common cancers diagnosed in dogs and cats. Lymphoma can take many different forms, from single solid tumors to aggressive blood cancer, and it is the focus of intense study within the veterinary community.

Join us for our webinar about this potentially deadly disease on Wednesday, August 20, from 11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. MT and learn how Morris Animal Foundation is supporting research into this important family of cancers.

Register for the Webinar


Wikipedia defines Lymphoma in animals as:

Lymphoma in animals is a type of cancer defined by a proliferation of malignant lymphocytes within solid organs such as the lymph nodes, bone marrow, liver and spleen. The disease also may occur in the eye, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. It is also known as lymphosarcoma.

Cat’s with Lymphoma: 90% are due to blood cancers (Feline Leukemia -FELV, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus -FIV)

33% are due to tumors in cats, generally in the abdomen

For this reason it is important to test each kitten/cat for FELV & FIV before bringing another kitten/cat into your household. A kitten should be tested when you get it and then 3 months later in case the first test had a false negative. The FIV test should be done after 6 months of age as the kitten can hold it’s mothers immunity against FIV up to that point, if tested before 6 months you can get a false negative.

I believe we have seen a decline in FELV & FIV because most Humane Societies will test for at least FELV in each kitten/cat sometimes both viruses before they adopt them out and most people who adopt them keep them inside away from other cats that have the disease. The disease is spread by saliva from bites and from scratches. Can be spread intrauterine also.

If planning on letting your kitten/cat outside it should be vaccinated against FELV. There is no vaccination for FIV. If your kitten/cat has tested positive for FELV it still can live a normal long life if it happens to be in a carrier status. There is no way of knowing your cat is in a carrier status except for it lives a long healthy life. It can still pass on the disease but it doesn’t become sick from it.

My story: Long ago in the middle ’90 I was working as a Veterinary Technician at a clinic in the Falls, my Grandma lived on a farm that had farm cats. One day a stray kitten had come to her house, he wasn’t very old. Grandma didn’t want a kitten at that time so I scooped him up and took him to work where I asked my co-workers if any one would take him and give him a good home. The vet I worked with there took him home and named him Simon. She already had a cat named Benny so before she took Simon home she tested him for FELV which he was negative. Benny was already tested and negative also. A couple years later Simon became really sick he was diagnosed with FELV. He didn’t make it. Benny was then tested again and he was positive now. He lived a longer healthier life until he passed at age 10. Benny was a mean SOB so we said of course Simon died young (he was sweet as pie) because only the good die young.

There is no cure for either disease it’s just a matter of time before they succumb to this horrible disease. Do your homework and testing before you adopt a kitten/cat and bring it into your already cat household.

In doing this post I realized I haven’t re tested MK . I will be getting that done ASAP.


This last post is in tribute to “Norman”

My best friend, my soulmate

Gone but not forgotten.

Our very first Give Cancer The Paw post 11/6/13: you can read it here. This also happens to be the day we said goodbye to Norman and sent him on his great migration in the sky.

11/3/00 – 11/6/13

He is my dog

He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds;

my other ears that hear above the winds.

He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea.

He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being;

by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile;

When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile.

When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags.

Without him, I am only another human. With him, I am all-powerful

He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion.

With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace.

He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts.

His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things

He is my dog

Author Unknown

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Give Cancer The Paw~ AKC Canine Health Foundation

I received this email from the AKC Canine Health Foundation yesterday so I thought it would only be appropriate to share it with you all on Give Cancer The Paw day.

Taken from the AKC Canine Health Foundation email & website.

May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Join us in our fight against canine cancer by sharing photos, taking
our survey and supporting research…

Submit a photo of your canine cancer superhero

Throughout the month of May the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) will provide news and information to help educate dog owners about the cutting-edge
research and improved treatment options in the field of canine cancer.

Since 1995 CHF has awarded 188 oncology grants and funded nearly $10.7 million in canine cancer research. Scientists are studying lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma and other common canine cancers, providing veterinarians with better tools to diagnose cancer earlier and to treat it more effectively. Many of the CHF-funded research studies have One Health implications, impacting the study and treatment of cancer in humans.

Visit to learn more and access canine cancer

As part of the Pet Cancer Awareness Month (PCAM) campaign, CHF is collecting photos from the public of their canine cancer fighting superheroes. Photos depicting a dog’s brave fight against cancer can be submitted to CHF will feature photos of canine cancer superheroes on social media throughout May. Submissions should include the dog owner’s name, the dog’s name, and optionally the type of cancer.

Dog owners are also encouraged to take a brief 5-minute survey at to share their thoughts on cancer treatment for dogs. Data collected from this survey will be used to help CHF, researchers, and veterinary specialists better understand what factors are involved in the decision to treat a family pet for cancer.

Ongoing Oncology Research Updates:

*  Enhancing Natural Anti-Tumor Immune Responses During Chemotherapy:

*  Ensuring That Stem Cell Treatments Do Not Activate or Exacerbate Cancer in Dogs:

*  Defining the Anti-Tumor Activity of Monocytes in Osteosarcoma:

*  Harnessing a Dog’s Own Immune System to Kill Lymphoma Tumor Cells:

*  Further Investigation of the Genes Controlling Canine Leukemia to Diagnose and Control the Disease:



Give Cancer The Paw hosts: Jackie from Pooch Smooches and Peggy from Peggy’s Pet Place!

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Mast Cells And Brooke

It’s time again for Give Cancer The Paw blog hop.


Thanks to our hostess’s Pooch Smooches and Peggy’s Pet Place for this great blog hop!

Brooke’s story……

Way back in July of 98 John and I picked up our first Chesapeake puppy that we were owning together. Brooke was born 5/8/98. We wanted a male but couldn’t find a breeder that had a litter with a male so we went with getting a female and named her Brooke. She didn’t come from someone I would necessary call a breeder, this was his first litter and us being young really didn’t know what we were looking for. Even know I was a Veterinary Technician and I checked that OFA’s were done on the hips but other than that I really didn’t check things out, didn’t know how to read pedigree’s, they didn’t have the health clearance’s then that we have now so that was limited. Brooke came with a birthmark, her momma had bit the tip of her ear off so we would always know which puppy was Brooke.

Lovely puppy Brooke.

Lovely puppy Brooke.

Brooke did a great job hunting her first year.

Brooke did a great job hunting her first year.

After her first year things went downhill. We never did any formal training with her and let her Chesapeake natural retrieving skill do the job. She hunted her first year then she put the breaks on and wouldn’t pick up another bird after that. She became aggressive as she got older, she was going to be our first breeding Chesapeake but with the aggression issues and then failing OFA hips we had her spayed. She was a great companion and guard dog for us but too many people couldn’t take care of her.

Brooke and Norman.

Brooke and Norman.

When Brooke was 6 years old and still having aggression issues my Grandpa died so that left my Grandma living alone out in the country by herself. We lived 3 miles from her but it wasn’t right next door and she was afraid to be by herself. She had a couple occasions when creepy people came knocking at her door so after that she asked me if she could “borrow” Brooke for a few days. I took Brooke over and had a talk with Grandma what she could and couldn’t do with Brooke if she wanted to keep her fingers. I was a little leary leaving Brooke there but that soon ended as Grandma and Brooke hit it off. For the next 4 years Brooke kept the strangers away, slept on Grandma’s bed and made her feel safe. It was a match made in heaven and I was so pleased at how this relationship went so well. I do have to mention that Grandma was a farm girl and never had dogs in the house nor did any vet care except Rabies vaccinations. So when Brooke was diagnosed at age 8.5 yrs with having Mast Cell tumors I really didn’t think Grandma was going to do anything but I was surprised and she wanted to treat her and keep her around for as long as possible as she made her feel safe.



What started out as one small lump on Brooke’s side developed into many lumps. A lump appeared on Brooke’s side, no big deal right? They get lumps and bumps and some are adenoma’s, some are fatty lumps, some are much worse. I gave the lump a couple weeks to see what was going to happen with it, if it was going to grow, if it was going to shrink, if it was going to change in anyway to give me a idea what it was. It grew and then it became ulcerated so I knew I had to get it checked out. I took her to work with me and we did a FNA (fine needle aspirate) on it. Looking at the cells under the microscope I could tell right away it was a Mast Cell tumor. Brooke then had surgery to remove the lump, while she was under we noticed some red plaque like structures on her abdomen, we took a biopsy of one to see what that was (turned out to be more mast cells). We sent the lumps to the pathologist to confirm what we already knew and to have them stage it.

Staging the Mast Cell Tumor

In order for a rational therapeutic plan to be devised, the extent of tumor spread (or stage of the tumor) must be determined. The World Health Organization has determined a clinical staging system based on the body areas affected by the tumor. Between the stage and the grade, a plan can be devised. The tumor is staged 0 through IV as described below:

  • Stage 0: one tumor but incompletely excised from the skin.
  • Stage I: one tumor confined to the skin with no regional lymph node involvement.
  • Stage II: one tumor confined to the skin but with regional lymph node involvement present.
  • Stage III: many tumors or large deeply infiltrating tumors, with or without lymph node involvement.
  • Stage IV: any tumor with distant spread evident. This stage is further divided into substage A (no clinical signs of illness) and substage B (with clinical signs of illness). In order to determine the tumor stage some probing of other lymphoid organs must be performed.

When you do surgery on Mast Cells you need to have a wide margin around the tumor to get it all. Any cells left behind will regrow and need to have surgery done on them again to get it all. Stage I & II are usually curative with complete excision. Stage III  and IV not so much.



After we removed the Mast Cells, she did have more occur. The more that occurred the worse they got. It was time to make a decision on what we were going to do. Grandma wanted to do everything she could for her so we started chemotherapy. Brooke had 6 months of chemo. She did excellent with chemo. Brooke was good for awhile then the tumors came back with a vengeance, they were bigger and she had multiple ones that would become necrotic and break open there were so many and so large surgery wasn’t a option anymore. We did chemo again and after chemo the tumors would shrink up until they would fester again and break open. My doctor said that Brooke was the worse case of Mast Cell tumors that she has ever seen. Grandma wasn’t ready to put Brooke down yet so we continued chemo to shrink the tumors. Brooke never knew anything was wrong.  We managed to keep Brooke going for 1.5 yrs when the tumors spread to her internal organs and she passed away in her sleep one night. She was 10 yrs old when she passed.

Mast Cells are nasty tumors, they start out small and people aren’t concerned with them because they look so innocent but they aren’t. Mast Cells need to be removed immediately and they need to be sent into the pathologist to find out just what you are dealing with. If more come up they need to be removed also. If you have a tumor that comes and goes it could be a Mast Cell. They release histamine and swell up and then the histamine goes away so the tumor shrinks so if you have a lump that comes and goes have it checked out. If you have a small red lump you should have it check out, you should have all lumps checked out to be on the safe side.




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Wordless Wednesday~Give Cancer The Paw

Today I two blog hops in one. Give Cancer The Paw is a new blog hop, the host are Pooch Smooches and Peggy’s Pet Place.

This is what they have to say about the hop:

The hop will be quarterly. You can blog about anything you want related to pet cancer: a tribute to a lost pet, personal experiences, tips, research, words of support for a pet that’s fighting cancer – whatever you want!

For those of you who haven’t seen my posts before my Chesapeake Bay Retriever Norman who just turned 13 years old this past Sunday was diagnosed with osteosarcoma the beginning of June. We opt’ed not to amputate or do chemo therapy but to manage his pain with pain relievers. Being his age (12) at the time we didn’t think it was in his best interest to put him through that. He has been the best dog and gave so much of his life to us we wanted him to enjoy the remaining time he had left with all his legs. He was doing so well up until October. He has some bad days now. He is happy, alert, eats his meals and can be frisky at times. He is my life, this guy is my soulmate so I am having a hard time with the thought of having to say enough is enough and send him to the place where he will be pain free. Cancer sucks and for now we are kicking cancer to the curb and cherishing each moment we have together. We did a photo shoot the other day so here are some photos of Norman.





November also marks Pet Cancer Awareness month so how nice it is of our hosts to start this blog hop this month.

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Wordless Wednesday~Happiest Guy On Earth


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Wordless Wednesday is a community linkup of bloggers. Visit our host, BlogPaws, and you can use the icons below the post to hop from site to site. It is a great way to discover new blogs…..or even just a convenient way to find all of your favorites in one place. When you visit each site, be sure to leave a comment and let them know you found them through Wordless Wednesday.

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