Well I came back from a work trip and noticed that my dog was licking his foot and that the nail looked funny. I made him an appt the next day to have it checked out, thinking he just broke his nail off....silly me. That was November 19, 2009. Long story short and three surgeries later....my darling Jack has been diagnosed with Melanoma of the nail bed. This has been a devastating period of time for my family. Jack came to us as a rescue dog back in February 2008. He is such an amazing dog and has brought so much to our lives. It is very obviously that he was an abused dog before he came into our lives, but he is a fighter and has the best disposition!! He is full of hope and love, despite how poorly he was treated previously. Money is tight, but am doing what I can to help him fight this awful disease. I've changed his diet, he had his toe amputated and is doing amazenly well!! He starts chemo on Thursday so we shall see how that goes. I'm also looking into the melanoma vaccine. But man is all of this expensive!! He is also being evaluated at a local school of vet medicine for participation in a melanoma trial. We've got a tough road ahead of us but my daughter and I will do whatever we can to balance fighting for his survival and keeping his quality of life high! If anyone has any info regarding the below please let me know! Melanoma K9 Immunity Melanoma vaccine Ok update on 12/31/09 - Jack had his first chemo treatment and the Melanoma vaccine, first shot. Three more shots to go and at least three more chemos to go. So far so good.....he just ate a big dinner, partially home made food and partial grain free dog food. Gave him some minced ginger just in case he has any nausea. We will see what the next few days bring. Thanks!!

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Comment by Deborah on April 12, 2010 at 11:33am
Ok...so Jack has had 8 rounds of chemo, plus 4 melanoma vaccine shots. He doesn't have to go back until June for his booster shot (Yeah!!). Then in July for another x-ray check. So far so good, hopefully the good news will continue!! Thanks for thoughts and prayers.
Comment by Deborah on January 19, 2010 at 5:21pm
So far so good....he has had two shots and two rounds of chemo. He seems to be handling the chemo very well. Overall good appetite and energy! Hopefully it will continue.
Comment by Cinda on January 19, 2010 at 9:20am
Hi Deborah,

How is Jack doing? My 13.5yr. old girl also has a melanoma diagnosis -- oral. She had an initial surgery to remove the tumor however the margins were dirty - to get clean we would have had to remove her whole tongue which is not good at this age/stage. We started the vaccine immediately and she will be getting her 4th shot next week. Have you noticed any changes in Jack so far? We are also supporting her holistically as best as possible with Omega-3s, milk thistle, a low-carb, grain free diet and Chinese herbs suited to her constitution. Good luck, this is quite the fight!
Comment by Deborah on January 2, 2010 at 3:30pm
Thanks everyone for their kind words. He continues to do well, eating and full of energy.
Comment by deb on January 2, 2010 at 2:36pm
my thoughts and prayers go out to you ,,, pray that you caught it early and that your beautiful Jack will be ok....
Comment by Sue on January 1, 2010 at 1:21pm
How beautiful he is. Wishing the best for you.
Comment by Lynn Pennington on December 31, 2009 at 2:52pm
First of all let me say I'm sorry to hear of Jack's diagnosis. He looks a bit like my Niki! Thank you for joing my group! You will find many folks here who have been down the road you now find yourself on. You will receive much support and compassion here. I have never heard of a melanoma vaccine or any vaccine for cancer either, but if there's one out there and you get one for Jack , I hope it works well for him. Of course our Mouta had a different type of cancer (sarcoma) in a hard to treat area (spine). She did not have chemo, but radiation treatments after surgery worked fairly well for her. It was impossible for the surgeon to get the 1 inch margins they like to get around sarcomas due to the fact her tumor was embedded in the spinal canal. We were so hoping and praying for a 1 year remission (best scenario), but we got a much shorter one. It was good to see her revert back to acting like a puppy for a short while! She got such enjoyment out of life while adding so much enjoyment to ours! And yes, it was a very expensive road, but worth every penny we spent for Mouta. She was our special girl! The only experience/knowledge I have of melanoma is through my involvement with human patients and it seems that if caught early surgical resection is highly successful.

I read a lot about the K-9 immunity, but never really tried it. I discussed it with Mouta's oncologist and she told me it had not been scientifically proven to work, but she had some patients on it and it didn't seem to hurt either. She talked like it is an all natural product, so it could/would not cause any harm to Mouta if we chose to use it. She would not, however,endorse it by saying we certainly should be using it. I was impressed that she had heard of it and was familiar with it. There's a lot of information about diet changes as well. You will find information about feeding a RAW diet, homemade dinners versus the pre-packaged kibble.We didn't go to any extremes with Mouta...sort of figured she should eat what she enjoyed. Ha, that's funny because Mouta loved to eat. Period. Didn't really matter what as long as it filled her belly...of course she had her favorites! We did add vegetables (mostly green beans) to all or our dogs diets, gave them baby carrots for treats and everybody still gets an omega 3 fish oil capsule in their dinner. The green beans were added as a weight loss tip we got from a vet tech when Mouta first showed symptoms...when we thought it was a disc problem. She was about 10 pounds over weight for her breed, a lot of which was due to her inactivity. We cut her kibble by half and replaced that half with green beans. She had the same amount of food, full belly, less calories, It didn't take long for her to lose the weight. It worked wonderfully. We started calling them "Mouta beans". The rest of our dogs got them just because. Now in retrospect we know the reason for Mouta's inactivity. I have a couple of informative links posted in one of my discussions on the group page.

Welcome to Fight K9 Cancer. I hope you meet some friends here and find lots of support! You, your daughter and Jack will be in my prayers!

Comment by Judy Gaetje on December 29, 2009 at 9:27am
Iam so sorry to hear about Jack. I too am single and my dogs mean the world to me... I fought cancer in my 9 yr. old Golden for over 2 months but in the end his quality of life was so bad..... hard decisions!!! I have never heard for the vaccine for Cancer but hope if you decide on it... it works well for you..... take care and prayers are with you and your daughter and Jack. Rescues are the best!

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