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Missy is a white, deaf boxer that is a
long-time survivor of Mast Cell Tumors!

Oh boy, where to begin… She was born a deaf white puppy dog (more than likely from a puppy mill.). When Misty [A/K/A Missy2, MissyII, and M2] was around 1¼ years old, she developed an UTI. It was treated with antibiotics. In the spring of ’97, she developed what we thought was another UTI; I went to get the infamous "Pie Pan" Collection before the trip to see the Doc. Her urine had a "coffee" tint to it, the test results showed blood in her urine. It took a couple of months of testing and several protocols of various antibiotics before it was under control. Lots of Puppy Pads and Cephalexin later, she was back to being a "Normal" Boxer, at least for a year and then it came back. Once again it was Cephalexin and antibiotics, only this time DL-Methionine was added to the combo. It became obvious the she had developed a resistance to the Cephalexin and was put on Prednisolone and Pepcid AC…and then the fun began…the extreme thirst, the Never-ending hunger!!!! Ahhh, the memories of ’98…the entire chicken carcass that went in one end and was ne’er found again or the time she ate well over a pound of gerbil food the night before her vet appointment (that needed a stool sample, instead it looked more like a bird treat). After more [expensive] tests, it was concluded she had a form of Interstitial Cystitis. Finally a combo of scripts was found to relieve this issue.

Then, in the fall of ’01, We found a couple of small bumps on her. We kept on eye on them, because at first we thought them to be from cat swats. Over a week of feeling, poking, and prodding; We made an appointment for the Docs to take a look. While waiting for that time to arrive, Pam started searching the Net for similar symptoms. The Doc took a look, did an aspiration of the bumps and confirmed what we thought…MCTs. Well, needless to say, surgery for the removal of a Grade 1 Ear tumor and a Grade 2 on her flank was scheduled and to be followed by a round of Chemo. When they were doing the surgery, our vet had their newest vet (she was out of school for 2 months) assisting him. While he was removing the tumors, she noticed a small lump on M2’s rear thigh…it turned out to be another Grade 2 MCT. Two of the tumors were removed with "Clean" margins. One was "slightly dirty" due to its location and possible permanent damage if "clean" margins were taken.

The night of the MCT confirmation, We started researching canine chemo and the pros and cons of treatments available. This also included dietary information: Holistic, Supplemental, and anything else we could find. We also joined both Canine Cancer and WhiteBoxer lists at Yahoogroups. We found a wealth of information on canine MCTs and its treatments on the web. One of the best resources was Lew from B-Naturals. Pam and I gleaned information from a variety of places and made a custom diet of supplements including blended cottage cheese and Flax seed oil, Constitutional blend, Echinacea, Golden Seal, and Berte’s Immune Blend in preparation of the chemo. Pumpkin was later added once treatments started to help regulate the bowels

We live in St. Louis, and found lots of information from the Mizzou veterinary school. As it turns out, they are the ones who handle the cancer radiation treatments for this area. We met with the specialists to discuss the chemo options. It turns out that the specialists works hand in hand with Mizzou’s Oncology department. Thanks to the margins that the surgery achieved, they decided that a 12-week protocol of Vinblastine would be the best choice versus doing Vincristine (sp) along with radiation. Although we have no proof, we feel that the above-mentioned diet was responsible for helping M2 keep her blood counts and recuperation time in check. Once the chemo started, she would get the treatment in the early evening and be listless for 24 to 36 hours and have really loose stool. She would appear close to normal after this for the next 4-6 days until the next treatment. The one problem she had was that she does not like to be forcibly held. Unfortunately, since Vinblastine is very "caustic" to skin, she had to be held in place for normally 15-20 minutes. This resulted in her getting nervous shakes whenever treatment day came around, although she still was happy to see everyone in the office.

She had her last chemo treatment in February ’02, and thank the Lord, she has been in remission ever since. Missy2 has since developed "skin tags" and several Hermangiomas (sp) that are 1-4 mm, the doc said not to worry about it unless they get >1cm.

Come September of this year, she will be Our 10-year-old "Bumpy" dog. Going by the way she acts, she still has a good 10 to 20 years left.

Peace…Chaz and Pam

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