Losing a pet to cancer is one of the hardest things a person has to deal with. It's heartbreaking to watch your best friend fade because of something they didn't deserve. You can see the pain in their eyes and you feel helpless against it. I personally have faced this disease twice and both times my furry children fought a hard battle but eventually their little bodies couldn't take it anymore. So no one else has to face this pain, I've put together this blog to help raise money for canine cancer research.
This way there will always be a furry, friendly face on the other end of the leash!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Recovery Week - Doggie Birthday Party

Well this past week was a recovery week and I'm glad it was because I was not in the mood to run.  My energy level was so low this week.  New shoes on Tuesday (Nimbus 12s) didn't even raise my mood.  I was only able to push out 7 during the week.  However, on Saturday, the weather was spectacular and I said I was going to do all of my miles.  And that is what I did.  All 8 in 40 degree weather.  The first three were the worst.  My legs were screaming at me because of the new shoes and my Garmin was saying you're going too slow.  So I said screw it and just ran.  I got out of my head.  Stopped worrying about how my stride was, how my pace was going.  I just plodded along at a nice even pace.  It wasn't a pretty run, but I ran the majority of it.  The last 3 felt great and I actually hated that it had to end.  Beautiful January day!

Sunday was a lot better.  It was nice to sleep in with the puppies.  Summer, my almost nine month old Rottie, as usual wouldn't let me sleep in too late.  She knew I promised them a trip to the dog park today.  When we do go to the park, we usually get going early, but I was wanting for a change so we went late.  Both Scout, my Aussie Shepherd/Blue Heeler/Rottweiler, and Summer had fun at the park.  Summer made some new friends: two Rotties and a few Dachshunds she decided were fun to chase.  Big scary doggie!  Scout was the perfect dog.  Always by my side.  Unless she was protecting her best bud, Summer. 

Afterwards, they both were beat.  All of us couldn't keep our eyes open.  So, it became nap time for all of us.  Then it was birthday cake time.  After all that I've been through with my dogs, I know that each day is special, but birthdays are EXTRA special.  This one was Scout's 11th.  She's been a very good girl this year and put up with so much what with Jersey Girl's cancer/chemo/passing and the introduction of Summer to the family.  The girls at the Woodmen Wag n' Wash made her an "Older than DIRT" cake.  It was apple flavored, but looked like dirt.  She loved it (and shared with Summer after some growling). 

The birthday girl!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Routine (Monthly) Check of Your Dogs

I'd like to get some information out to people to help them so they can catch cancer symptoms early.  The best thing is to do monthly checks of your dog.  This is more than just petting them all over.  You need to feel for abnormalities.  I found the cancer in Leo when I felt lumps in her mammary glands.  I didn't find the melanoma on her inner thigh though, but they removed it during her first surgery.  Jersey's neck swelled up on Christmas Day and I noticed things were different because I knew everything about her.  After reviewing how to check your dog, look over the list at the bottom of high risk dogs and then go give your dog some "extra" special loving! 
Hugs and sloppy kisses - Scout, Summer & their personal masseuse, Lynne
Detecting skin cancer in your dog requires regular examination of your dog's entire body. Getting into the routine helps you become very familiar with your dog's body so that you will notice when something seems amiss. This is a great habit to get into when you dog is young, but even in older dogs you can still get started. The sooner you start the better off your dog will be.
  • Visually inspect your dog to see if you notice any masses, sores or spots on your dog that weren't their prior.
  • If you noticed masses, sores or spots at your last inspection you should look to see if you notice any changes in color, shape or size.
  • Carefully feel your dog's body for to see if there are any masses or sores you could not see when you inspected visually.
  • Gently separate your dog's hair so you can carefully examine your dog's skin for spots or sores otherwise hidden beneath the hair.
  • Look for tumors that bleed or seem to ooze fluid and for sores that don't seem to heal.
  • Look for swelling of breast tissue or any nipple discharge.
  • Open your dog's mouth and examine it for any sores or tumors.
  • Tumors, sores and areas of discoloration do occur underneath a dog's tail, so careful inspection of this area is important.
  • Pay close attention to any area that your dog seems to be licking often.
  • Observe your dog's behavior. Look for things like lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting and areas of the body that seem to be causing your dog discomfort.
  • Discoloration and spots that change color, shape or size will require closer inspection by trained veterinarian. Your monthly inspections of your dog will help you provide the information your veterinarian will need to make a more accurate diagnosis prior to doing a biopsy.
Cancer Warning Signs If you suspect your dog is ill, contact your veterinarian.
Information courtesy of Vet Info
The 10 Early Warning Signs of Dog Cancer:
(From the American Veterinary Medical Association) 
  • Abnormal swelling/lumps
  • Sudden collapse
  • Weight loss
  • Appetite loss/difficulty eating
  • Sores that don't heal
  • Loss of energy/stamina
  • Bleeding or discharge
  • Persistent cough
  • Foul odor
  • Persistent lameness, stiffness or limping
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating

High Risks Breeds
What follows is a partial list of some popular breeds and their predilections for cancer.  It is interesting to note that there are some breeds with no predilection. 

Airedale – Melanoma, Lymphosarcoma, Pancreatic carcinoma
Alaskan malamute – Sebaceous gland tumor, Anal sac adenocarcinoma
Australian Shepherd – None
Basset Hound – Mast cell tumor, Cutaneous haemangioma, Lymphosarcoma
Beagle – Mast cell tumor, Sebaceous gland tumor, Haemangiopericytoma, Perianal gland adenoma, Lymphosarcoma
Bichon Frise – Basal cell tumor
Border collie – None
Boston terrier – Mast cell tumor, Melanoma, Fibroma, Primary brain tumor
Boxer – Mast cell tumor, Melanoma, Cutaneous haemangioma, Histiocytoma, Sq. cell carcinoma, Fibroma, Thyroid neoplasia, Insulinoma, Osteosarcoma, Primary brain tumor, Lymphosarcoma.
Briard – None
Brittany spaniel – Liposarcoma (Lipoma)
Bull dog (English) – Mast cell tumor, Lymphosarcoma
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – None
Chihuahua – Melanoma, Testicular neoplasia
Chow – Melanoma, Lymphosarcoma
Cocker Spaniel  - Basal cell tumor, Sweat gland tumor, Trichoepithelioma, Cutaneous papilloma, Sebaceous gland tumor, Plasmacytoma, Histiocytoma, Fibrosarcoma, Perianal gland adenoma, Anal sac adenocarcinoma, Melanoma, Lipoma,
Collie – Sweat gland tumor, Histiocytoma, Haemangiopericytoma, Nasal cavity tumors, Colorectal neoplasia
Dachshund – Anal sac adenocarcinoma, Lipoma, Mast cell tumor, Sq.cell carcinoma, Histiocytoma, Ocular melanoma
Dalmatian – Actinic keratosis, Cutaneous haemangioma
Doberman – Melanoma, Lipoma, Histiocytoma, Fibroma, Myxoma, Primary brain tumor
Fox Terrier – Mast cell tumor, Fibroma, Haemangiopericytoma, Schwannoma, Insulinoma
German Shepherd – Sweat gland tumor, Trichoepithelioma, Anal sac adenocarcinoma, Cutaneous haemangioma, Lymphoma, Myxoma, Nasal cavity tumors, Colorectal neoplasia, Insulinoma, Limbal melanoma, Testicular neoplasia, Thymoma
Golden Retriever – Mast cell tumor, Sweat gland tumor, Trichoepithelioma, Melanoma, Haemangioma, Histiocytoma, Fibroma, Lymphosarcoma, Nasal cavity tumors, Thyroid neoplasia, Insulinoma, Primary brain tumor, Fibrosarcoma
Great Dane – Histiocytoma, Osteosarcoma
Greyhound – None..although beginning to see haemangiosarcoma
Havanese – None
Irish setter – Trichoepithelioma, Sebaceous gland tumor, Haemangiopericytoma, Lymphoma, Melanoma, Insulinoma
Jack Russell – Pituitary tumor
Labrador retriever – Mast cell tumor, Cutaneous histiocytoma, Sq. cell carcinoma, Nasal cavity tumors, Insulinoma, Lymphosarcoma, Limbal melanoma, Oral Fibrosarcoma, Thymoma
Lhasa Apso – Sebaceous gland tumor, Keratocanthoma, Perianal gland adenoma
Maltese – None
Miniature Pinscher – None
Pekingese – Sq. cell carcinoma
Pointers – Mast cell tumor, Haemangioma, Nasal cavity tumors
Poodle – Basal cell tumor, Trichoepithelioma, Sebaceous gland tumor, Sq. cell carcinoma, Insulinoma, Pituitary tumor, Adrenalcortical tumor, Lymphosarcoma, Limbal melanoma, Oral melanoma, Testicular neoplasia,
Pug – Oral melanoma, Mast cell tumor
Rottweiler – Sq. cell carcinoma, Histiocytoma, Osteosarcoma
Schnauzer – Trichoepithelioma, Sebaceous gland tumor, Melanoma, Lipoma, Histiocytoma, Sq. cell carcinoma, Testicular neoplasia, Limbal melanoma,
Scottish terrier – Mast cell tumor, Melanoma, Histiocytoma, Sq. cell carcinoma, Lymphoma, Primary brain tumor
Shar Pei – Histiocytoma, Mast cell tumor
Sheltie – Histiocytoma, Basal cell tumor, Lipoma, Nasal cavity tumors, Testicular neoplasia
Shih Tsu – Sebaceous gland tumor, Perianal gland adenomas
Siberian Husky – Basal cell tumor, Sebaceous gland tumor, Haemangiopericytoma, Perianal gland adenoma, Testicular neoplasia
Springer Spaniel – Trichoepithelioma, Histiocytoma, Melanoma, Anal sac adenocarcinoma,
Weimaraner – Mast cell tumor, Lipoma
Welsh Corgi – None
Westie – Histiocytoma
Yorkshire terrier – Keratocanthoma, Pituitary tumor, Testicular neoplasia
Listing Courtesy of Houston Pet Talk

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Countdown to Race Day!

I've put together this blog to raise funds for Canine Cancer Research.  I lost two of my best friends on the 5th of the month - one on May 5, 2006 and the other on August 5, 2010.  So I decided to do this fundraiser as I track my progress to my 5th marathon on May 1, 2011.  Training kicked off last week - 16 weeks out - and things are moving along somewhat rocky, but moving (my butt off the couch) none the less.  I'm also researching how to set up the donation side of the house.  I've contacted two websites and I'm hoping for Chase Away K9 Cancer helps me get things going.  They offer some nice merchandise on their website as well as raising money for research.  Keep following for additional information.