Jet is a 4.5 year old lab that has been diagnosed with dog leukemia or canine lymphoma.
Only a dog owner can fully understand the initial anguish and now the pity and frustration I feel because this disease is always fatal.
When he was first diagnosed with this disease my knee jerk response to the veterinarian was to immediately do treatment as was recommended. Fortunately, the amount of medication to do the treatment was not available and I was able to do research on the medication and treatment (chemotherapy). I discovered that the treatment using “immune suppressants” would contaminate areas he used for his bathroom including city parks and sidewalk areas that we frequent during his morning and evening walks. Also, playing with him and getting his saliva on me would contaminate me resulting in a weakened immune system. This was very upsetting because Jet, like any pet, expects to be played with, cuddled, and included in his family’s activities. I decided, “no chemo treatment”! Instead I would do whatever I could to make Jet as comfortable and happy until it was time.
A very close friend of mine who understood my concerns and anguish suggested I have Jet treated by Dr. Yoza who has had success with animals with cancer. Initially, the treatment sought was to help keep him alive and comfortable until I returned from a scheduled tour. (The tour company and the insurance would not permit me to cancel for a pet without substantial loss.) As such, we did go on the tour but our house/dog sitter, a college student who has been sitting for us for more than 4 years now and who Jet really loves like a member of our family, was instructed to bring Jet to Dr. Yoza, twice weekly, for treatment.
Jet has been treated for approximately 3 months now and most of his symptoms have disappeared. Sometimes this occurs with this disease. He still does have the disease but without symptoms and I attribute this to the treatment he is receiving from Dr. Yoza. Jet is his regular self, naughty and playful, and we enjoy each day of his life. He is not just alive but he has quality of life which would not have been if I opted for the chemotherapy.
The reason for this letter, though, is not his illness but his attitude about going to see Dr. Yoza. Jet is deathly afraid when going to the vet. He just refuses to go in! We have to pull and push and finally get him in the door. Then he clings to me like a child and is quite difficult to pull off and on to the examining table. NOT WITH Dr. Yoza! As soon as I say, “Jet, let’s go to Dr. Yoza”, he immediately runs to the gate and he can’t wait to get in the car. When we get to Dr. Yoza’s office, he pushes on the door. He can’t wait to get in!
Once inside Jet is not his usual nosy self. He would usually pull to go and sniff at other animals or people and is quite assertive even as I’m trying to hold him back. His nosiness is much controlled and when Dr. Yoza begins treatment, he calms down and lay’s down. It’s almost as if he knows he is being treated and needs to behave or the treatment just calms him. Whatever the reason, Jet is very under control and he looks forward to his next visit.