Jack Sit Rep #30 Since you asked… (this is going to be kinda long..) consider sharing this with anyone that has a dog, it could help save a life
Many have asked how did we know that Jack had a tumor.
Several months ago we started noticing changes in Jack’s behavior.
Jack was moody and less wiling to do tricks and simple commands such as sit and lay down. He began not doing his business like normal..it was almost like he couldn’t remember how…He then began urinating and defecating in house
This was new and he had never done it before. We would spend long-long periods of time walking with him in the yard (he started a behavior of running really fast to make himself poop) then he would come inside and do it right in the house
He shook his head a lot and he began to pace We also noticed Jack’s back legs became shaky and he would slip easily on wood floors, decking and such.
He started pacing more and more, with head down, panting and tail down. Basically he seemed very unhappy (very un-Jack-like)
At first we thought he was just getting older and less tolerant of dad’s “fun.” But he became more aggressive and we were not sure if he might bite someone or even us. He had better days and worse days.
A decision was made to take him to the vet. Urine and blood and X-Rays done (Jack had to be sedated for X-Rays) He really freaked out when he tried to walk him to the back vet area, urinating and defecating, biting at leash, barking and fighting with all his might. (Jack did that behavior not the Veterinarian…a little humor here was needed).
The Vet said he did not know what the issue was but suspected it could be a brain tumor. We got a couple referrals and made an appointment.
First appointment with neurologist was a basic clinical and decision was made to do MRI. Returned a week later for the MRI. Jack was very scared. He stayed for the day and had MRI(see attached image). Yes. sedated again.
The grey area in the image is Jack’s brain. The whitish almost round area is the M.O.N.T. (mean ole nasty tumor). He suspected and later confirmed it to be Meningioma.
Because the meningioma is a tumor of the meninges (the outer membranes) these tumors grow from the skull inward. This makes them much more accessible surgically, Jack’s was considered to be large and the neurologist suspected in had been growing for a long time, possibly months or years.
Neurologist said we have options: I’ll paraphrase:
1) do nothing = 2 months
2) surgery with no therapy (I don’t recall time frame)
3) surgery with chemo, (I don’t recall time frame)
4) surgery with vaccination therapy We choose surgery with vaccine therapy. (years hopefully and with substantial recovery)
We started giving Jack medication and it helped mask the symptoms but he still had a seizure in the middle of the night.
Jack returned and had surgery,staying at hospital Monday – Friday. Now he is home and we are going to start 12 weeks of the vaccine therapy this Friday. (Vaccine is created especially for Jack) This is a fairly new type of treatment that has shown lots of promise.
1) Jack just turned 7 on April 1st as we were going through this, so he was otherwise very healthy and strong
2) The emotional toll of watching Jack and others in pain will take its toll on anyone
3) We created a safe space for Jack in the house: baby gates block off lots of areas to keep him penned up and out of trouble.
If all goes well it will still be 6 months before Jack can do stairs and run after squirrels.
4) We are still babysitting Jack 24/7
5) Medicine can be obtained cheaper through sites such as Goodrx.comJack was on different medicines and they all were not given at the same time (about 10 different medications)
6) Jack came out of surgery in worse condition than we expected. Although we knew he would have a tough time, we were surprised about having to have 2 people carry him around the yard during the first few days.
7) Towels and wash clothes are some of your best friends when you return home and sleeping on the couch to be next to a sick pet is worth the loss of sleep
8) Pay attention to your pets behaviors. they can’t tell us their head hurts in words but they can tell us with their actions. If you pet is acting different, ask yourself..why?
9) Sit Rep.is short for Situation Report (its used by military and government when providing updates)
10)Jack has the best friends ever!