I got an appt with a veterinary oncologist today. I called this morning and was at the office by Noon with the biopsy results faxed over from our vet. She examined Toby and did Xrays to make sure that the cancer hasn't spread.
Then she went over all the options to treat his cancer. Oral cancers are usually very aggressive and the life expectancy from diagnosis is normally only about 3-5 months. However we did catch it early and he's a good candidate for an oral melanoma cancer vaccine. The vaccine is a series of 4 shots two weeks apart, and is a gene therapy that actually works with his DNA to help attack the cancer. Pretty amazing stuff. There are no side effects and all he has to get is a series of shots. So we decided to go this route. I don't want to put him through the trauma of radiation and the Dr didn't think it would give us any extra time with Toby.
The good news is that the life expectancy with the vaccine is about a year to 18 months, longer if we are extremely, extremely lucky. It doesn't cure the cancer, but it helps stave it off and will give us longer with Toby while he has good quality of life. 80% of the dogs who take the vaccine respond well. It's not cheap at all but how can we put a price on hope!
So there is a little glimmer of hope right now. We are doing our best to try to focus on the now. We have him with us today. He is feeling good and playing and perky today. For now that will have to be good enough because we don't know how many more tomorrows we have. We just have today! Hug all your pets!!!!
i hope that toby responds well and that you get many more happy days. hugs to you!!
What breed is he?
Susan in DC
are all lucky to be in each others lives. For whatever time he has he'll be happy, comfy and know he's had a beautiful life.
Toby is 10 but for me that is too young! Little dogs can live to be 16. I want 16 darn it!
Even 30 years wouldn't be enough for me. Right?
God bless him!
hugs to you and Toby.
I am happy that you have a good option and I will keep Toby in my thoughts. I have a 16 year old cat that I love more than words can express so I know how you must feel. Keep us updated!
sending hugs from CA to Toby and you. That is something I definitely learned from my dog - enjoy each moment. Jake finds enjoyment in the smallest of things, a leaf blowing by, etc. It has made me look at the world through his eyes and appreciate the beauty instead of running from thing to thing at work.
I appreciate you sharing your story with us and wish 15 for you.
Toby could be the breakthrough for the vaccine.
all the best,
All the best!