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Rosie Turned 14 and is Still Cancer Free

May 15, 2014



It is hard to believe it has been 5 years since Rosie was diagnosed with cancer. We adopted her 2 days before Christmas 2008 when she was 8 years old.  In June 2009 she was diagnosed with Mast Cell tumors. It was a month after her 9th birthday. I could tell by the look on my vet’s face, it was not good.  We took her to a veterinary oncologist and they told us, if we did nothing, she would have 2 months to live. If we did chemo, there was a 30 something percent chance of success.

However, the same month Rosie was diagnosed, a new drug called Palladia, was released specifically for Rosie’s type of cancer. However, there were a LOT of unknowns at the time.  Even so, It was absolutely the best option we had. For us, it was the answer to a prayer.

In August of 2009 Rosie started on the Palladia.  She was on it for a couple of months.  Then she was declared cancer-free. However, at the time, they thought the dog would have to take the Palladia for the rest of her life.  She she continued on the Palladia for over 2 years until at one check up they checked her blood pressure and it was sky high.  It was the Palladia.  Once they took her off of it, her blood pressure went back to normal.

After 5 years I cannot tell any lingering side effects.  The blood pressure was the most worrying but did not last.  Most side effects stopped after she went off of the Palladia.

If I were to do it again (which I hope I never ever have to) I would take the same course of action.

I’m sorry I have not kept up with the latest treatments these last few years.  We have been busy just living life.

For more information, I recommend joining the Canine Mast Cell cancer group on Yahoo.

I don’t check this blog very often any more.   I recommend the above group for questions and discussions.

And Rosie has been cancer free since October 2009.  It is now May 2014 and she turned 14 this month and is still cancer free.



Canine Cancer Emotional Support and Financial Assistance

February 17, 2011

 I often receive questions from dog parents who want to talk to someone who has been through what they are currently going through.   I believe this blog can help.  However, I’m just one person.  Therefore, I want to share links to some wonderful support groups.  

The first link is to a support group for parents of dogs specifically with Mast Cell Cancer.   This is a fairly new group.  I wish it was available when Rosie’s MCT was diagnosed:

Here’s a support group for all types of canine cancer:

 It is often extremely helpful to talk to others who either have gone through or are currently going through the same situation.  It is sad that there are so many people whose dogs are dealing with this disease.  However, these groups provide wonderful support that can help you get through this difficult time.  They also have a lot of resources to help you.  Check out their files and links section as well as the discussion.  You will be asked to join the group. Just click on the button “Join Group” and the moderator will contact you.

Also, while I mentioned this in a previous post, I did not specifically include the link.  So, here is a link to a list of organizations that provide financial assistance to help people pay for medical care for their dogs.  This is one of the most comprehensive lists that I have found.

Also, there are numerous links to additional resources of all types of the side of the home page of this blog.  Go to the home page: and then scroll down and you will see the links on the right side.

10 Months on Palladia and Now She Starts Vomiting?

July 3, 2010

Yes.  Rosie has been on Palladia for just over 10 months with no side effects.  Only once did she experience vomiting and that was early on when I was trying to change her food.  Therefore, I was quite surprised when her dinner and meds came back up last night.

We don’t know what has caused it.  Is it the:

  • Palladia  (Vomiting is one of the side effects.)
  • Mast Cell Tumor (The cancer itself can cause nausea.)
  • Something she ate (Vomiting occurred shortly after her walk.  Did she eat something outside?  Hubby says he didn’t see her eat anything.)

Of course this happens on a Friday night on a holiday weekend when all the regular vets offices are closed.  So I call the nearest 24-emergency clinic and told them what happened and that she was on palladia….and the girl asked me “what’s Palladia.”  I said never mind and called the 24-emergency clinic located at the oncology office.    They said not to give her any food or water for 6 hours and if she is still having symptoms after that to bring her in.  At 4:00 a.m. the next morning she was still having dry heaves. 

At 7:00 a.m. we went to the nearest regular vet’s office and luckily they have facilities to do testing.  So Rosie was seen by the vet, who was very good, and they ran blood work to try to see if possibly the cancer came back and was causing stomach upset.  Everything was in the normal range.  The white blood cell count was at the very lowest end of the range, but still in the normal range.  The vet said that was to be expected for a dog taking chemo.  They gave her 2 shots for nausea and vomiting and told us not to give her any food until this evening.  Only water for today, and then 1/2 her normal meal this evening along with her Prilosec and Metoclopramide for nausea. 

We are back home now.  Rosie is resting.  I’m wondering what she could have eaten that might have caused it.  I was chopping an onion yesterday.  Possibly did a piece fall on the floor and she ate it without me seeing?  Did she manage to convince DH to give her a Chicken and cheese ravioli last night?  DH says he didn’t.  Did she eat something while out on her walk?   We may never know the answer.   We will keep an eye on her this weekend and check with the oncologist on Tuesday when she is back in the office.

32-Week Checkup – Still Cancer Free

March 22, 2010

Rosie had her 32-week check up.  It is actually getting hard to keep up with the weekly count.  It is good news.  She is still cancer free.  That is cause enough for celebration!  Everything looked good, except her liver enzymes were elevated again, higher than the oncologist would like to see.   However, not high enough to stop the Palladia.  We will increase her SAM-e pills to two per day and add one milk thistle capsule per day.  Hopefully, that will help.  They will check her liver enzymes again in 6 weeks instead of waiting until 12 weeks.

We received another 6-week dose of Palladia.  It is still free because they still had some of the free 50 mg Palladia pills in stock.  Evidently, many dogs do not tolerate the side effects of the higher doses of Palladia, so there were fewer of the 50 mg pills given out.  Evidently many more of the 10 mg pills were dispensed. 

Rosie is very fortunate not to suffer the side effects that other dogs have.  We are very blessed to still have her with us and still doing great.  My heart goes out to the others who have either lost their dogs or whose dogs are suffering from this disease or from the treatments.

We keep taking every day as it comes and every 6 week check up as it comes and just enjoy each day.  Good luck to everyone whose dog is going through cancer treatments.

New Pictures of Rosie

November 24, 2009