I’ve been trying to get the word out about oral melanoma in dogs, purely because, as I have said so many times, it’s something that a lot of dog owners will never even think about, will never come across or will find out about, often when it’s too late.

I’ve mainly been using Twitter and Facebook to post details of this blog and have made a few friends on the way.

I support Dogs Trust UK and Matt and I also sponsor a dog each through them. We have done so now for several years. I started following them a few weeks ago and approached them and asked if they would be interested in featuring Barney’s story (either on their website or magazine). Alex from dogs Trust contacted the right people and they accepted. They think it’s a good topic to highlight and is important.

I’ve therefore submitted a shortened version of Barney’s story to them this morning with a few pictures and it should be available on their blog either today or Monday.

I’m really pleased about this as it will make plenty of people aware of this disease that leaves dog owners feeling empty when they lose their beloved dogs to it. Being educated on such issues is important. I had no idea about this but if I was, although our outcome has been brilliant and a huge success, I’d have been checking earlier too…

Thank you Alex at Dogs Trust. Keep up your good work!

I’ve also submitted pictures and a short story to the “Puppy Up” website. This site is full of stories, some happy, some painfully sad, but all about fights with canine cancer. They are producing a calendar called “Cancer Can’t Keep A Good Dog Down 2010” after last years calendar was so successful. The site is here: http://www.puppyup.blogspot.com/ and is also linked to 2 Dogs 2000 Miles site; http://www.2dogs2000miles.org/ Please take a look. What Luke Robinson is doing is amazing. He’s walking 2000 miles across America with his 2 beautiful dogs, Hudson and Murphy after losing a dog to cancer a few years ago. On the way he is stopping and talking to people and educating them about canine cancer.

The calendars will be sold and the dogs’ that are featured will all be dogs that have either passed from or survived cancer.

I decided to enter Barney so please go to the page and vote for him. $1 buys 1 vote. A dollar is nothing, so please, go and vote. Think what you’d waste a buck or 50 pence on today!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Vote “BarneyM” http://www.2dogs2000miles.org/Submissions_NAXV.html

Advertisements

Vaccine Update!

August 6, 2009

Lizzie from Dick White’s called yesterday afternoon around 4.30pm. She apologised for the delay but explained that Rob had been going ‘to and fro’ with the Americans over the vaccine for Barney. It turns out that there is so much red tape around the vaccine being administered here because it is not licensed in the UK, that he’s really had to fight Barney’s case and that’s why it has taken so long. It’s all to do with legislation and I already knew that the vaccine can actually only be given by a vet who is under the American Vets Association or the ACVS or something like that, it’s all a bit confusing to be honest. Fortunately the Professor falls into that category so it can be administered by him.

Anyway, she explained that Rob had been fighting. Lots of emails and phonecalls, putting forward Barney’s case and the good news is that that he WON! Barney can most certainly have the vaccine 😀

We’re so pleased. We’re looking at around another 2 weeks or so because the Americans want some more forms filling in by Rob. This is what we’ve been waiting for, another step in the right direction 😀

Here are some pictures of Barney. Some are taken before his surgery, some are immediately after his surgery and some are from the weeks following his surgery. I have also included a couple of pictures before and after the re-suturing took place.

I hope that these pictures can manage to show you that this was a very serious surgery, however, that the effect on Barney was minimal and the cosmetics after the surgery were nowhere near as bad as we had imagined.

I hope that anyone out there reading this blog and trying to make a decision as to whether or not they should go for this surgery for their dog; if they are lucky enough to have that option; will see that it will all be worth it in the end.

This is Barney with our son at our local nature reserve, a few days before his biopsy.

Barney Before Diagnosis

As you can see, he was full of energy as always.

Barney Before Op

Barney Post Op Again

You can see that when he was panting that his tongue hung out rather long anyway.

Post Op Again

Full frontal of his mouth prior to the mandibulectomy.

preop

This picture shows the tumour. It is the black area between his teeth. Easily missed.

Tumour Visible

And another picture of the tumour. Hard to get a very clear snap of it. The majority is hidden underneath his tongue.

tumour2

A tired Barney after his biopsy on 14th May 2009.

afterbiopsy

His mast cell tumour wound.

mastcellremoval

The last picture of Barney taken before his mandibulectomy. This is the last picture ever taken with his “full” mouth in view. Taken 26th May 2009.

lastfullmouthpic

First picture taken post-op. He’d been shaved so it kind of looked worse than it was. Taken 29th May 2009.

postop1

On the way home in the car after surgery. Happy as can be!

postop3

Barney, at home, 3 days after surgery. Looking fabulous! Taken 30th May 2009.

postsurgery3days

Dinner time, post op. Quite messy, as you can see.

dinnertime

Front view of mouth post op. He’s wet because of needing to be washed down after eating. Hence the “trimmed” ears.

IMG01834-20090529-1909

**Slightly Graphic** Picture of burst sutures. Here, you can see the jawbone on display. This was re-sutured under a General Anaesthetic.

barneyburstsutures

Looking sorry for himself on the way back to Dick White’s to be re-sutured.

beebsorryforself

Re-sutured. We think it looked better this time.

resuture

Back home and on very restricted walks with a special lead and a recovery collar.

postopwalk

Post op and healing well…

IMG02456-20090627-1925

How he looks when he is laying down. Pretty much always has his tongue in his mouth.

postoplyingdown

Post op and after a bath, finally! I cut his ears short to stop them getting covered in food but can’t wait for them to grow long again!

postopafterbath

8 weeks post op. Looking so good. We don’t even notice the change anymore. It’s just the same old Barney when we look at him 🙂 Taken 29th July 2009.

100_4906

You can see just how nicely his mouth has healed, here. Taken 29th July 2009.

100_4905

I had taken Barney to the vets on Friday because he’d had diarrhoea for a few days after being wormed. I wasn’t too worried because this had happened the last couple of times he had been wormed but since I am an over-anxious dog owner, I like to get him checked out anyway. On Friday the vet told me to change his food to chicken and rice for a couple of days and that he should be fine. His tummy wasn’t at all tender and he looked as bright as ever.

Monday morning, I woke up and found he was being sick by his bed. It was just bile but I was still worried none-the-less. He’d emptied his bowels in between being sick and me making a vets appointment, which funnily enough was back to normal. I was in two minds as to whether or not I should leave him another day or not and see how he went but I decided to call for an appointment anyway and an hour later, we were at the vets.

I saw the same vet, Martin, a lovely guy from either Australia or New Zealand. He remembered Barney and proceeded to ask questions about what had happened and got down to eye level with Barney to have a look at him.

Before he even got around to having a feel of his tummy, he said, “come here Barnes, what’s that?”

At this point, I had no idea what he was referring to. He then asked my partner and myself how long Barney had had this “lump” in his mouth. As soon as he said the word “lump” I felt light-headed and sick, already thinking the worse.

He explained that he had a black “lump” or “growth” on his gum, but because Barney was excited and had his tongue flopped out, he couldn’t get a good look. I managed to see what he was referring to though and was instantly worried.

I asked what it could be, already knowing the answer… a tumour.

He proceeded to explain that it could be a melanoma or it could be something similar to gum disease. He told us to keep a very close eye on it and that they may want to biopsy it. I asked if they could do that NOW, anyway. He agreed but said that he would wait a few days to be sure his stomach upset had passed and told us to book him in at the front desk. We booked his biopsy for Thursday 14th May 2009.