He has been doing better…he doesn’t have that blank look in his eyes anymore and doesn’t stare at nothing for 20 minutes. He also has been responding to his name and basic commands. I have been feeding him moist dog food and he gobbles that up so his appetite is better.
I took him to the vet for a checkup and he has gained 1 pound which is good. Unfortunately, we found that he has a mast cell tumor.
What is a Mast Cell Tumor
“Mast cells are cells that normally occur in the skin and other tissues, such as the intestines and respiratory tract. They are part of the immune system (defense mechanism) of the body. They contain large amounts of histamine, heparin, and proteolytic enzymes (enzymes which break down protein). These can be toxic to foreign invaders, such as parasites, and are released when the mast cell is triggered by the immune system.
A mast cell tumor is formed from many of these mast cells. Because of the histamine, heparin, and enzymes present in mast cell tumors, they can create problems when damaged or removed. Large amounts of these substances can be released into the body and have significant effects on heart rate, blood pressure, and other body functions. Sites where the tumors are removed can sometimes refuse to heal and can become difficult to manage.” from Pet Education.com
Due to Scooby’s age and health, we are unable to remove the tumor. We have to monitor him to see if he starts displaying any of the signs of vomiting, blood in the stool, etc., which would indicate that it has affected his internal organs. At that time we will have to determine his quality of life. Right now he seems okay.
I know that the Anipryl will work for a while and then his cognitive function will decline again, and I know that the tumor will only get worse. I also know that I have to prepare myself for the inevitable, I just hope it doesn’t come too soon.