In “When the Vets Pet Gets Sick – Piper’s Journey” we shared the story of our own beloved dog Piper and her devastating diagnosis of Lymphoma.
It has now been two and a half months since her diagnosis and starting on an aggressive chemotherapy protocol and we are pleased to report that Piper is doing very well. She seems to feel really good! Her blood work is within normal range and her appetite is very good. She now weighs more than she ever has in her life – she actually has little tummy rolls. Her energy levels are very good – she still gives overly enthusiastic greetings to anyone stopping by, she tries to initiate play with the cats ( they are not always willing participants)and it is impossible to get out the door without her insisting on coming along to ride shotgun.
The one side effect of the chemotherapy that we have noticed is the dramatic change in her hair coat. Being half Australian shepherd and half poodle, she has always had a poodle type coat and has had long fluffy/curly hair that we have had to have regularly clipped. As a tiny puppy she had beautiful blue merle colouring but it faded out early on to a light grey/cream. As a result, she has always looked more like a poodle than like an Australian Shepherd. About a month ago, she started to lose the hair on her face, neck, lower back, abdomen and tail. What is interesting is the way her hair is growing back on her face – short and a lovely dark copper and blue merle. Finally, after six years, she is starting to look like an Australian Shepherd!
While we are very pleased with how Piper is doing, her quality of life is excellent; it unfortunately does not change her long term prognosis. The expected survival time with this form of cancer even with treatment is six months. Knowing this makes us cherish each day we have with her. We are all looking forward to Christmas together. Piper is all ready – sporting a bright red sweater and her Christmas bling collar 🙂