Grace, our Hero Pet who beat two life-threatening conditions!
In the past 20 months, Grace the 7-year-old Cavoodle and her owner, Lisa, have been through not just one, but two, very frightening ordeals.
We are proud to have supported her treatment, which amounted to more than $27,000!
It all began with a paw massage. Lisa was rubbing the top of Grace’s front right paw when she noticed a small, black lump. Lisa immediately thought it was a tick, but it wasn’t moving.
Naturally concerned, Lisa took Grace straight to the vet, who confirmed the bump wasn’t a tick but wasn’t sure what exactly it was, and suggested a ‘wait and see’ approach. Fortunately, Lisa took the opposite approach and decided to have the lump removed immediately.
The first shocking diagnosis…
Lisa couldn’t believe what she was hearing when, almost two weeks after its removal, pathology testing revealed that the tiny lump was a malignant melanoma. After the shock subsided, she was determined to give her beloved Grace, who she describes as “my heart, my world”, the best possible chance to beat this terrible disease.
Within a matter of days, Grace embarked on a treatment regime under the care of an Oncology Specialist at SASH (Small Animal Specialist Hospital) in Sydney. This entailed a 3-month course of radiation sessions and a 2-year course of melanoma vaccines. She also has a check-up and scan every 3 months for a two year period to make sure all is going okay.
“I was told that the radiation would make her fur on her leg fall out and that the skin would go black, but this did not prepare me at all…”
The second shocking diagnosis…
Fast-forward to mid-2023. Lisa noticed that Grace didn’t seem herself, was drinking and urinating more frequently than usual, and had also put on a bit of weight, despite being on ‘diet food’.
The vet ran urine and blood tests, which showed that Grace’s urine was completely clear, just like water. A repeat urine test the following morning also showed that something wasn’t right.
An ultrasound to investigate further revealed a tumour on Grace’s left adrenal gland. Cushings disease was raised as a possibility, although this condition wasn’t indicated by the blood and urine test results.
Once again Lisa was faced with a heart-wrenching decision. She wanted the tumour removed… unless it was cancer. After all Grace had been through, Lisa just couldn’t put her beloved companion through chemotherapy.
“She had already been through so much, so I decided to give her quality of life over quantity, which was a heartbreaking decision.”
A specialist surgeon at SASH examined Grace and did a CT scan, which showed that the tumour hadn’t spread and didn’t appear to be cancerous. A very relieved and thankful Lisa agreed to have Grace operated on the following day.
During the operation, Grace’s left adrenal gland and the tumour were removed. Her thyroid on the right side of her neck and a small cyst near it were also removed. Despite her relief that the operation was successful, Lisa says, it still broke her heart to see her beloved pet with her cannulas, bandages, and sad eyes.
The happy outcome ♥
After the surgery, Grace made a slow but steady recovery. She had to take it easy as her body recovered from the operation and adjusted to functioning without the adrenal gland and tumour that had been playing havoc with her hormones and metabolism.
Lisa is delighted to report that Grace is now back to her old self; she hadn’t realised how lethargic and not herself she was leading up to the discovery of the tumour, which did turn out to be adrenal based Cushings disease.
“My advice to all pet owners is, if you think something is not right, if you have the slightest of worries, take your four legged loved one the vet asap and make sure you have pet insurance!”
Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance saved Lisa thousands of dollars
“I’m so thankful to Bow Wow; over the last 19 months, they have saved me $27,591.68! Without them, I couldn’t have given Grace the best of treatments she deserved.”
Grace turns 8 next month, and we wish her the happiest of birthdays, as well as many more years in good health and happiness with her guardian-angel dog mum Lisa!
What Melanoma signs should you look out for?
Most malignant melanomas appear as raised, generally ulcerated lumps that may or may not be darkened, according to the MSD Veterinary Manual.
What Cushing’s disease signs should you look out for?
Common signs include increased thirst and urination, increased appetite, heat intolerance, lethargy, a “potbelly,” panting, obesity, weakness, thin skin, hair loss, and bruising, according to the MSD Veterinary Manual.
Read more about Cushing’s Disease in dogs
We recognise that there are many pets out there who are facing challenges every day. These dogs and cats are all heroes to us. If you would like to nominate your fur baby as a Bow Wow Hero Pet, please let us know.
Note: Pet Insurance covers a portion of eligible vet bills. Testimonials are based on individual circumstances and varying factors such as cover options, excess, risk ratings and available discounts apply.