Saturday, September 1, 2012
When the Big C Doesn't Stand for Cosmo
We caught it early.
This week, we learned Cosmo has cancer. But if it's possible to have good news, we also learned, after a battery of tests, that this is the best possible sort of cancer.
This Tuesday, September 4, Cosmo is scheduled for surgery. He'll undergo a surgical lung lobectomy. A large mass -- determined to be a primary lung tumor -- will be removed as well as one of his lung lobes on his right side. Cosmo's vet feels he has a great chance at a full recovery.
We were proactive.
Cosmo had a slight cough that quickly turned into wheezing. I promptly took him to the vet where his primary vet listened to his chest and was also able to observe the wheezing (I caught it on video). Concerned first with a possible heart condition, Cosmo's vet didn't hear anything unusual in his heart, but with increasingly intense wheezing, she ordered an x-ray.
The x-ray showed a large mass in the right cranial lung lobe, between his right lung and ribs. She said, "I'm referring you to a specialist." I didn't understand. Cosmo is super healthy, an athlete. And while he's approaching his 10th birthday on September 10, he's often mistaken as a much younger dog... "bright and happy" as his new specialist soon assessed.
Why do dogs get lung cancer? Who knows?
We did online research. We asked our vet. Just like with people, lung cancer can be caused by secondhand smoke and sometimes it's just the luck of genetics. I don't smoke and don't allow it in my household. I don't like being near smoke and try to avoid it at all costs. Still, lung cancer happens.
We saw the specialist.
The specialist performed a fine needle aspirate to determine if the mass was a solitary lung tumor or a metastatic lesion, a tumor that spread from cancer somewhere else in his body. The results determined the mass as a pulmonary carcinoma, then a few more tests and an ultrasound were performed to help determine if the cancer was in any other parts of his body. No other cancer or tumors were detected and the specialist assessed Cosmo's tumor as primary, or a solitary lung tumor, making him a good candidate for surgery.
Tuesday, Cosmo goes in for surgery followed by two weeks of crate rest. More tests will be done on the tumor and surrounding cells to help determine any post surgery treatment. We're hoping we caught it early and than nothing extraordinary will be needed to be done post surgery.
Please keep Cosmo in your thoughts and send pawsitive healing energy his way. He'll reward you with big Havanese kisses next time he sees you!