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Posts Tagged ‘canine melanoma vaccine’

An update on Siwa & her fight against canine melanoma

Siwa was first diagnosed with canine melanoma in early 2008.  I first wrote about her deteriorating health in this blog post, when we took her in to the vet to have her teeth cleaned.  A google search for canine melanoma takes one to several websites that do not leave one with much hope after reading the information. One site states:

Melanoma is the most malignant of all the skin cancers and therefore has the poorest prognosis. If found in the mouth, the prognosis is even more grim. Approximately 25% of dogs diagnosed with oral melanoma will survive for one year; 75% will not survive even this long.

Siwa at 13.5 YO, image taken June 2009

Siwa at 13.5 YO, image taken June 2009

Fortunately, my vet referred me to the Bay Area Veterinary Specialists, where they recommended an experimental (at the time) treatment.  The USDA has apparently given the Canine Melanoma Vaccine a conditional ok.

I’m here to state that for anyone considering this treatmet for their dog with canine melanoma, DO IT!  It is not the cheapest treatment in the world, but neither is radiation and chemo, and those treatments often leave the dog with a not so good quality of life. She was diagnosed in January of 2008. It’s been a year and 6  months and she shows no outward signs of illness from cancer.

Siwa continues to behave like a normal, arthritic, 13.5 year-old dog who continues to love her walks,  her treats,  her naps – life in general.  She continues to hike with me and Sam everyday (though we’ve had to slow down our hikes for her).

Her age is certainly showing – more white in her fur, and her muzzle is practically all silver now. But I would rather she pass away from old age than from cancer.

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