Recently, I came across this fascinating website that is definitely my Website Of The Week. It was created this past January by the owner of Laura, a Doberman Pinscher/Italian Greyhound mix who is battling Splenic Hemangiosarcoma. She is ten years-old and was diagnosed with Splenic Hemangisarcoma.
What Is Splenic Hemangiosarcoma?
Splenic Hemangiosarcoma is a cancer that affects the dog's spleen. Other types of Hemangiosarcoma affect the skin, soft tissue or the liver. It is an aggressive cancer that is quite common in dogs. However, dogs do not show that there is anything wrong until the tumor is very large (comparable to the size of a golf ball).
What happens is the tumor grows being filled up with blood vessels from the dog's body. As a result, the tumor feeds off of the blood vessels and grows faster. The dog gets anemia from all those blood cells feeding the tumor.
What's Special About Laura
It is rare with that a dog will survive long after the diagnosis. In fact, because of her chemotherapy treatments, her life expectancy is currently 145 to 178 days (mean survival, 271 days). Her dad is determined to beat the odds and make it possible for his dog to have the best quality of life she can. It wouldn't surprise me if she defies these odds.
Follow Laura's Journey
You can learn more about this courageous canine through her blog. It is an incredible read and very informational about what happens in the life of a cancer patient.
Laura is fighting this disease using traditional western medicine like chemotherapy and specialized holistic treatment as well. What's even more amazing is the fact her dad has given her special diet formulated to give her the best food to fight this cancer. So far, I'm happy to say, so good. She has her good and bad days like any cancer patient would, but carries herself with dignity, joy and the love of life that is inherent in dogs.
Another Dog Affected By Cancer
My dog Cosmo had died of a tumor that affected his spleen. His symptoms were very similar to Laura's but we never had an official diagnosis. I didn't have a doctor that addressed my concerns during that time. When we discovered he had cancer after all, it was too late.
Learn More About Canine Cancer
I recently came across some useful articles that I feel tie in well with Laura's Story. It is an article written on the Vet Tech Blog called 10 Dog Foods that May Lead to Cancer.
While we can't predict if our dog will get cancer or not, this article has good insight on what foods should be avoided. You don't think much about this until it happens.
Other websites of interest about Hemangiosarcoma include:
Canine Cancer Awareness
Related PostsPalladia, The Anti-Cancer Drug
Interview With Pam Gaber of Gabriel's Angels
In Memory of Gabe
Do you know a dog like Laura who battled cancer?
Note: Special thanks to Laura and her dad for the photographs.