Back in February, during the worst winter we’ve had in years, Mina injured her right carpus. It could’ve been a patch of ice or a trip up the stairs, we’re not sure. She began limping and a visit to her vets and a few X-rays revealed degenerative arthritis in the right carpus, fairly advanced. She was already taking a Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug for a previous injury to that leg, so her dose was increased and I ordered a support from Dogleggs to help her get around.

Not long after the injury Mina’s eating habits changed. She stopped eating in the morning, sometimes finishing breakfast after her noon walk with Miss Sherrie. This lack of appetite continued and got worse during late March when she stopped eating more than a few bites a day. During this time I tried all sorts of canned dog food, different treats, begging, cajoling, and her vet prescribed Famotidine (sold as Pepcid AC) and we took her off the NSAID and put her on Tramadol.

In April Mina had her yearly exam including a full blood profile. At that time her vets noticed some enlarged lymph glands on her body but the nodes weren’t large enough to perform a fine needle aspiration. A week later Mina suffered a nose bleed from her right nostril after -finally- eating an entire serving of her kibble. I took her to the emergency vet, but she’d stopped bleeding. During an exam, the vet found several enlarged lymph glands, took her blood pressure, and sent us home with suggestions for treatment for our regular vets.

Mina in January, at my birthday party

Mina in January, at my birthday party

The next day Mina’s vet performed the fine needle aspirate of lymph nodes that had grown since her exam the previous week. She also took blood for a tick serology and Complete Blood Count. In the meantime, Mina’s appetite decreased further, she seemed weak and lethargic and I grew more anxious.

The test results came back on Monday, April 20. Her CBC was fine, no tick-borne disease, but she got a definitive diagnosis of lymphoma. I stood in the exam room of her vet’s office trying to maintain my composure but soon was crying and trying to listen and comprehend what was happening to my beloved Mina.

Things are moving fast. On Tuesday, April 21, Mina met Dr. Birnbaum at VIMP and had an exam and an ultrasound and I learned about her options for treatment and saw ultrasound photos of her greatly enlarged, Swiss cheese-like spleen. She is a good candidate for chemotherapy so I set about finding the money to pay for her chemo treatments. By Wednesday, all was in place and her first chemo appointment was set.