About two weeks ago, I found out my dog Zane had a mast cell tumor. Last year, I got the same diagnosis for my other dog, Arran. Arran's tumor was removed and so far, there has been no recurrence. Zane, on the other hand, appears to be growing another bump.
Because of Arran's diagnosis last year, I joined a Facebook group for people who have dogs with mast cell disease. I also bought a couple of books about canine cancer. So far, four of my dogs have gotten that dreaded diagnosis and I'm damned sick and tired of it. So I want to do what I can.
Our German vet told us to simply watch Zane for more growths. She did not mention giving Zane Benadryl or Tagamet, which is all over the research for mast cell disease. Lately, Zane hasn't really been 100%. He's always had a sensitive stomach, but it's been worse recently. I think it's because of the mast cell tumor had just had removed (and any others I can't yet see).
I started giving him Tagamet on Monday and have already noticed that he seems to feel a lot better. Yesterday morning, he couldn't wait to take his walk and was barking at the gate in our yard. He had good energy the whole time and even wanted to play for a few minutes after we got back. Tagamet supposedly has anti-cancer properties besides being an effective antacid. It works in conjunction with Benadryl to combat mast cell disease.
I'm taking Zane to the vet's office this morning to have his ears checked. I will also point out the new bump I've found and talk to her about the meds. I'm also planning to put Zane on "Cleo's diet", which is supposed to help combat mast cell disease holistically. Anyone who's interested in Cleo's diet should join the Facebook group I linked. There's a wealth of information there.
Although I think there are worse cancer diagnoses than mast cell cancer, I've been feeling sick over the fact that both of my dogs have had it. I want to give them the best quality life I can for as long as possible. I have a feeling that will mean I have to do a lot of Internet research.
In the meantime, I'm kind of dreading taking Zane to the vet and showing her the new bump I found. I'm not ready for him to have another surgery. I worry that invasive methods will cause the cancer cells to spread, especially since this particular bump is subcutaneous. Also, I'm hoping she doesn't give me a lecture, although I kind of doubt she will. The bottom line is, the Tagamet definitely seems to be helping Zane... at least for now.