We were so excited when we learned that Roscoe was coming as a permanent member of our sanctuary. He is at least 12, isn’t registered as a racer and is a bit heavier boned than the typical NGA race dog. But, he quickly raced to our hearts! Here he is – doing the couch potato routine.
Roscoe came to us with a malignant spindle cell sarcoma. It’s a soft tissue tumor that is locally invasive but often does not spread to vital organs like the lungs or liver. These tumors can be caused by a number of factors, but exposure to toxins, like cleaning agents, second-hand smoke, and other chemicals seem to be some of the leading causes. Surgical removal when the tumor is small is usually the first line of defense, but in Roscoe’s case, removal is not possible. Fortunately, Roscoe is a good candidate for chemotherapy/hyperthermia treatments (the same treatments that Momma Pepper received for her thyroid tumor). Roscoe started his treatments in March and the tumor is starting to shrink!!
Chemotherapy/Hyperthermia involves heating the tumor and injecting the chemotherapy drug, carboplatin into the tumor. The heat not only drains the blood supply from the tumor, but also helps to concentrate the carboplatin to make it more effective. Each round of treatment involves two consecutive days. On the first day, Roscoe received both hyperthermia and carboplatin, and on the second day, just hyperthermia. Two rounds of treatments, approximately one month apart are needed, initially. The wonderful thing about this therapy is that there are little to no side effects and it’s very easy on a dog’s system. Except for having to miss breakfast for two days in a row, Roscoe had no complaints at all and loved everyone at the oncology clinic!
Roscoe loves a crowd and the crowd loves Roscoe. Here he is, meeting and greeting at a local pet store.
Here’s Roscoe doing what he loves to do … rest! Although he is a greyhound mix, he’s still a greyhound … HAHAHA!
Roscoe has been limping the last day or so and we’re worried that the cancer has invaded the bone. Thankfully, radiographs show that the tumor is still confined to the soft tissues and he no longer is limping. We suspect that he must have bumped himself one night and was a little sore. He’s fine now!
Roscoe is almost blind. He has no vision at all in his right eye and limited vision during daylight in his left. Although we would love to provide him with new lenses, his advanced age, cancer, and newly developed kidney disease and high blood pressure prevent us from doing the surgery. After some adjustments in diet, supplements and heart medications, we seem to be making strides in the right direction and have seen some improvement in Roscoe’s lab work and his overall well being. More tests coming in the next few months, to make sure he continues to improve.