Our First Time Around

Fall of 2013, my husband was giving Kona a bath and felt a lump “back there”. Off we went to the vets to get it checked. Our vet, performed a manual palpation then took a biopsy. He told us the heart breaking news a day later. Kona had anal gland adenocarcinoma luckily it had not spread to his lymph nodes or lungs.

Immediately I started to do some research and the more I read the further my heart sank.

“it is an invasive disease that does not generally have a positive outlook. Usually seen as a rectal growth (mass) on the animal, it also is common to find the disease in the lymph nodes. Due to the type of disease, it is typically malignant and can spread quickly into other areas of the animal’s body.

Now what? Through consultation with our vet we were presented with 3 options:

  1. Do nothing – life expectancy 6 months at best
  2. Surgery to remove the tumour – life expectancy 1 year +
  3. Surgery plus chemotherapy – 1 to 3 years

I did more research, tried to read a book titled The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity and nothing could provide any guarantees. The one major misconception we had was that human and canine chemo had the same horrendous side effects. Mercifully this was dispelled, in general dogs tolerate chemotherapy much better than humans.
Given that he had just turned 8 and in all other respects was in great shape we chose option 3 and surgery was scheduled.