Friday, September 11, 2009

Phoenix the Chow Update

So I'm a few days late on this ... but I figured I'd post it anyway. The Humane Society of Durham Region has posted an update about Phoenix the Chow. I have pasted their update below. Things are looking up for Phoenix. I'm happy for him. I wish him a comfortable life ... regardless of its length.


September 9, 2009

Today Phoenix was feeling well enough to go into his foster home.The foster parents met Ruby and Debby at the vet clinic at 10 am. They spoke at length with the clinic staff about his needs and were given instructions about hismedications and food. They were also told that as of this past weekend he was feeling good enough tostart humping people. We received our first update this afternoon and were informed that he had marked every blade of grass in the yard before proceding to have a nap on the bed with one of the foster parents. He is fitting in very well and they love him to pieces. His next veterinary checkup is next Thursday.


This is an interesting turn of events. You see, treatment for a dog with cancer can be quite costly but the foster home likely won't foot that bill. Note that they didn't "Adopt" him. I've been learning a lot about the careful wording used by some organizations. By giving the dog to a "Foster Home" that means that he is still property of the Humane Society and as such, remains the financial responsibility of the Humane Society.

So, while it is a very nice thing that these people have taken Phoenix and given him a place in their home, they likely won't pay for much. If they are lucky, they may even get the food they need to feed him donated. Treatment will certainly be paid for.

Do you know how costly it is to give a dog Chemotherapy? (If anyone knows the answer, please post! I honestly don't know other than that it will be expensive.) Also, is Chemo as uncomfortable for the recipient dog as it is when used in therapy for us?

Like I said, I wish him a comfortable and pain-free life. Regardless of its length. Be happy.


WillOaks Studio said...

I did hear a program just recently about treating dogs with chemo. It seems that they do tolerate this better than humans do, that they don't lose their hair, etc. About the cost? Not sure but you know, with medical costs, the consumer often pays a ton more than the actual wholesale perhaps it's not too bad?

GoLightly said...

It's not cheap, that much I know. I still think funds could be better allocated.
If he's humping, and marking?
Not a dog I'd want to "rescue".

Poor guy, he didn't deserve any of it.

mytwh said...

I had a cat I did chemo on years ago. Looking back I wish I just ended her suffering instead of putting her through that. It was expensive, I can't really remember, maybe $1000 for 2 treatments. I didn't notice her being any sicker than she already was, but it's just so had to tell with animals.

Poor Fluffy, I loved that old girl, I got her when I was 4 and she died just before she turned 19.

Viatecio said...

We had some friends who put their Chihuahua through some radiation therapy to extend his life a few more months. Never really got in on the financial discussion though.

I agree with GL on that one point: fix that whole 'humping' and 'marking' thing and then maybe I'd consider rescuing if I were in the market. For most people, those are turn-offs. Along the same line, I find this almost horrifying. If those two women (who claim to be 'experienced animal handlers') can't control--or fit martingale collars appropriately on--either of those dogs, what does that bode for the average family looking to adopt? If I didn't know what I do, I certainly wouldn't run to the shelter looking for dogs like these. Seems I'm in the minority on that vote, though...judging from the OMG KYOOT comments.

Viatecio said...

Oops, link for the "along the same line" tangent is supposed to be this one!

Michelle said...

I read someone's experiece online... and said that their friend's pet insurance had recently covered $10,000 of chemo for their dog... so it's very expensive.

GoLightly said...

What I totally do NOT get, is why it's considered funny/hilarious/whatever.

Received a link from Sega's owner, to a video named "How to Greet your Mother-in-Law". Sega's owner thought I'd find it funny.
WTF is funny about a large golden retriever knocking down an older woman and humping her madly?
Maybe I don't have a sense of humour.
I think that's sick.

I think it's AOK if you own the animal, to use any measures YOU can afford to save your animal.
But Shelter Funds are always short, and the lines of healthy animals looking for homes is always long.

Flo said...

About 15 years ago I had a friend who got chemo for their dog. First they did surgery to remove the cancer and kept the wound open (it was on the dog's side) so they could target the cancer with the drugs. They had to take him to the vet every day though they didn't get chemo every day. They did that for about 2 months with him and I know it ran them around $10,000 for the whole thing. There were side effects. He lost his sense of taste so they had to feed him human food and heat it up to enhance the smell. They couldn't leave him alone with the open wound on his side. It was really tragic to watch and I wondered at the time why they would put the poor animal through that. They ended up putting him to sleep after 2 months of hell. I wonder about a shelter spending this type of money for one dog.....

Flo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nearly-Dr Ferox said...

I should probably write a post on pet chemo. It would be a good topic.

Basically, the chemotherapy depends on the type of cancer. The serious stuff can cost around $3000 for a course (Australian) to get up to an extra three years of life. The cheap option works out at around 5cents a day for a few months.

Chemo in general isn't as harsh on animals as it is on humans. One reason for this is that we use a much lower dose. Human cancer treatment aims to completely rid the body of the cancer and gain 20 or so years life. No dog with cancer is going to live for 20+ more years, so vet chemotherapy aims for remission of one or two years.

Side effects can still occur, but we tend to worry more about quality of life rather than fighting the cancer to the very end and will lower the doses further if we need to.

It's intensive and you never get a real 'Happy Ending', but some people need to know that they've done everything they possibly can, and some people just need a few more months to say goodbye.