Thursday, 26 July 2007

How far would you go to save your dog's life?

Many years ago I had a very precious Beardie called Sally. She was timid as a wild deer due to a complete lack of socialisation caused by contracting the often deadly parvo as a pup. ( It was in the days when the vaccines weren't that great).
At eight she lost all her weight, her coat fell out and she was provisionally diagnosed with liver cancer. It was inoperable and untreatable in those days.
I was devastated. It wasn't just her that had separation anxiety - I couldn't leave her for a minute, either. (I didn't turn up to a party at 10 Downing Street because I didn't like the look of the dog sitter - never did get invited again!)
I tried the only thing I could think of - the famous Mr John Carter, a very alternative vet in Harrow having amazing results with all kinds of cancers. I made many pilgrimages to his bulging waiting room and spent hours waiting around for his magic CV247 formula and words of wisdom about Sally's diet.
And for the next 8 years I followed his regime religiously - sourcing raw NZ lamb's liver and organic carrots even when we were staying in hotels. But it was well worth it - we got eight more years of quality life that no one expected her to have!
Up to now I thought I was the sort of dog owner who'd go that extra yard to save my best friend...
But it was nothing really compared to Graham and Prince.
Graham has given up his job to look after his faithful terrier Prince while he undergoes chemo. The pair are featured in the next issue of Dogs Today where we have a six page cancer special.
I have to say I was quite prejudiced against canine chemo before we did this piece and I now concede I was out of touch. I'd previously considered it far too invasive, basing my observations of what chemo has done to human friends and how ineffective it often proved to be for them.
But it seems chemo works very much better for dogs and because of the lower doses it's much less stressful. I've heard of 75% success rates - amazing compared to human cases!
Graham and Prince's blogs make addictive reading - so please do follow them and let us all send them messages of support.
Click here to go to their blog.

2 comments:

Graham & Prince said...

Thanks for your kind comments Beverley. Like you, initially I was dead against chemotherapy for the reasons you highlight. Having had a change of heart after finding out a little more about it, we're now in the early stages. Already we've had highs and lows, but hopefully it will turn out to have been the right decision.

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