Sometimes the life and death realities of a Veterinary Clinic can hit very close to home. Take Eddie.
Eddie is the Golden Retriever that assists the receptionist staff at our front desk. He looks like a lazy slug lying around mooching cookies from who ever stands at the check–out counter, but when the boss is your “daddy” you cut some slack. Eddie was diagnosed with B-Cell Lymphoma this week. I expect he’ll be given a little more leeway for his “do you mind if I lay down while I work” ethic in the coming months.
B-Cell Lymphoma is essentially as good as it gets when it comes to cancers in dogs. That’s to say it’s treatable, with a fair prognosis to at least reach a period of remission. That said, all of us here at the Animal Medical Center of Mt Pleasant move through our day with heavy hearts. While not part of his 16 week chemotherapy protocol, there’s an excessive increase in each employee’s time spent hugging and kissing Eddie’s nose, as well the volume of private words that are whispered into his ears.
His diagnosis was rather incidental and routine. Dr Scott Senf, the practice owner, noticed a slight change in the size of Eddie’s lymph nodes during a non-medical rub down. You probably refer to it as “lovin’ on my dog” or some such thing. A fairly simple reminder to the value of having your Veterinarian put his hands on your dog at least annually.
The diagnosis was made early and quickly thanks the good fortune of this concept of “hands on.” Eddie is now sharing time with Dr Katherine Taylor of the Oncology staff at Veterinary Specialty Care in Mt Pleasant – a luxury afforded to all of our patients diagnosed with, or suspected of having, any of a number of unfortunate cancers.
The rules say that cancer always wins, but Veterinary Medicine has come a long way in providing extended quality of life. We are all hopeful that Eddie improves and enjoys more time with us.
Because Dr Senf and I have always known that our Golden Retriever dogs (especially) are more predisposed to some types of cancers than other dogs, sometime back we initiated an ultrasound pre-screen (at a substantial savings) for big dogs that are clinically healthy. That is; showing no symptoms of illness. In some of the patients that have taken us up on the offer, we have discovered tumors that were otherwise “invisible.” This program has given us the distinct advantage to take charge of the cancer before it takes control of the dog.
Timely exams, proactive diagnostics and routine baseline blood work…all reminders from Eddie. They work.
Of course we will keep you posted on Eddie’s progress as he fights Lymphoma.
Next time you’re passing through our clinic, pat the ol’ boy on the head and shout some encouragement his way. He won’t have the slightest clue of what you’re talking about, common sense is not something Eddie was abundantly blessed with, but we all will. Eddie has the heart of a lion, the strength of a bull and we’d like him around awhile and kind words make the endorphins flow, and that’s good. It’s the medicine of love