Please ride along and sponsor Animal Fair Media’s Wendy Diamond and Baby Hope to help raise donations for Cycle for Survival, in honor of our beloved Lucky Diamond who lost her battle with canine spleen cancer. Cycle for Survival is a high-energy indoor team cycling event that provides a tangible way to beat rare cancers.
Cycle for Survival is a national event with New York City hosting on March 2nd & 3rd at the sponsor Equinox gyms. Wendy and Baby Hope have already started conditioning and plan on being in tip-top shape by March! This is your opportunity to jump on a bicycle built for two – Wendy & Baby Hope’s bike that is – and raise money for a worthy cause, to help find a cure for rare cancers.
Please support us in the fight to cancer: http://mskcc.convio.net/site/
Learn more about Lucky’s life and service and help Wendy and Baby Hope carry on her amazing legacy!
Sad, sad news. Lucky Diamond, beloved pet icon and a symbol of success in the animal rescue cause, lost her battle with canine spleen cancer on June 5, 2012. This is a severe and potentially life-threatening disease, and requires immediate treatment.
Though canine spleen cancer is difficult to diagnose and is currently without a cure, anyone with a dog should be aware of the following signs, symptoms, and treatments:
Spleen cancer is, tragically, not uncommon in older dogs. Tumors are too often found on the spleens of dogs ages 8-10, typically after symptoms have already begun to present themselves. Canine spleen cancer is notoriously difficult to catch in its early stages, but signs of the disease include: increased panting, abnormal heart rhythm, swelling of the abdomen, loss of appetite, pale coloration in the mucous membranes, and weight loss. In severe, advanced cases, the spleen may burst, and the dog may collapse, often without warning.
If a dog is found to present some combination of the above symptoms, a vet will likely perform one or more of the following tests: first, a full physical exam, then blood and urine analyses, X-rays of the chest and abdomen, and a test of the dog’s abdominal fluid. A vet may also, in difficult cases, perform an ultrasound of the spleen area.
Unfortunately, none of these tests will reveal whether a tumor is, in fact, cancerous, and rather than take the added time required to perform a biopsy, vets often recommend removing the spleen immediately. According to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, roughly two thirds of canine spleen tumors removed are found to be malignant.
Removal of the spleen is, generally, the treatment of choice, and is often performed more or less immediately after a tumor is discovered, so as to prevent the possibility of rupture. In certain cases, chemotherapy is utilized to shrink existing tumors, as well as to stem the spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body. After the spleen is removed, a vet may also offer immunotherapy to help replace the lost immune function of the spleen.
Chemotherapy, in combination with immunotherapy, increases life expectancy dramatically, but raises difficult questions regarding the animal’s quality of life. If faced with such a choice, talk over the options with your vet; there is no golden rule for canine cancer treatment.
Survival rates vary, and depend largely on the degree to which the cancer has spread throughout the rest of the body. Depending on the treatment strategy, median survival time after diagnosis ranges anywhere from a few weeks to around one year, according to the Pet Cancer Center.
While these facts may seem bleak, rest assured that Lucky received the best treatment available, and knows just how much she was loved by her community. Her good will and personality have won her a permanent place in dog history, and in the hearts of millions.