Today is Harry’s 6th Birthday.
Back in November Harry stopped eating. Our local vet couldn’t find anything wrong. By early December he was sent to the Animal Health Trust as an emergency anorexic. The first night Harry had a seizure. Further tests revealed he had multifaceted lymphoma. Cancer spread across different parts of the body.
The seizure had effected his brain, he would walk round in circles and bump into things on his left hand side.
Over the past 10 years there had been 6 cases of this type of cancer at this stage. None of them lived 3 months past diagnosis. Generally the Animal Health Trust only recommend treating a condition if they believe the treatment will result in the animal living more than 3 months.
The choice was simple, put him to sleep, or try chemo therapy.
The prognosis was bleak but Harry is a very stubborn dog and at 5 years old still in his prime. We had to try.
Within 24 hours of treatment all neurological signs had gone, within 48 hours Harry was starting to eat again. Despite the good signs we were told Harry probably only had days to live.
That was back in December. Since then Harry has figured out they if he stands in the kitchen barking for long enough he gets fed steak, outlived all those other dogs and is looking healthy.
Chemo for dogs is similar to humans but in much lower doses and the side effects are less noticeable. Hair doesn’t fall out but does stop growing so Harry is still sporting a bald patch from his MRI scan back in December.
The prognosis is still very bad, Harry will probably need Chemo for the rest of his life (however long that is) but everyday we get to hang out with him is a bonus.