Fighting for Doug’s Life

On December 6th our beloved dog Douglas was diagnosed Transitional Cell Carcinoma of the prostate. This cancer is terminal. The oncologist gave us a life expectancy of about 2 months with no treatment and 6-12 months with aggressive treatment. Douglas is 7 years old. We are utterly devastated. Douglas is a member of our family, the light of our lives and our son’s best friend. Aside from his prostate cancer, he also has a Mast Cell Tumor on his leg. This is also cancer.

I am calling on you for help. With much research about new treatment, we strongly believe we can save Doug’s life. This may not mean he will live cancer free but if we can buy him many more good quality years than originally said, we want to take that fighting chance! If we can cure him, well crazier things have happened!

I brought Douglas to the vet to have the lump examined. The doctor did an aspirate because it looked suspicious. The pathologist at the lab confirmed it was a Mast Cell Tumor and recommended we do an ultrasound to see if it had spread. The ultrasound and additional radiographs determined the Mast Cell has not spread to their knowledge but his prostate was enlarged. The doctor aspirated his prostate and sent the sample to the lab. The pathologist confirmed he has Transitional Cell Carcinoma. The Mast Cell immediately went on the back burner because of how aggressive this type of cancer is. I could not believe this news. He is our baby! How??

At this point, we began making appointments with specialists and researching as much as we could about this. Everything we found online said terminal terminal TERMINAL. Then we came across Stereotactic Radiosurgery or SRS.

SRS is a very precise type of radiation therapy used to target very hard to reach tumors. A CT scan of the pet is done to create a 3D image/model of the tumor. The pet is placed in a immobilizer, a foam support actually molded from the pet’s body prior, and high beam radiation targets the tumor at a very precise angle. Depending on the severity of the cancer, the treatment can be 1-3 sessions. This type of radiation is done in humans with great success but it is very new to the veterinary industry. There is only ONE facility in the entire US that has this particular advanced machine and it’s located in Campbell CA! This treatment is so new, many doctors in our area are not familiar with it yet. We strongly believe if we can get this treatment done for Doug, we can get much more good quality time with him than we originally thought. Douglas just might live to be an old man! If humans can get 5 plus years, why can’t Doug? You can read more about SRS treatment at

With that being said, at no point will we let Douglas suffer. If it comes to a point where his quality of life is diminishing, he doesn’t want to play ball, he isn’t eating, he doesn’t enjoy walks, he is in pain, we will stop. This is simply meant to give him and us more time. Much more good quality time.

On top of this radiation treatment, Douglas will also have surgery to remove the Mast Cell on his leg, as well as chemotherapy. The chemo will be done to try and kill any cancer cells that may have made their way into his urethra or other surrounding components. The oncologist confirmed that chemo in animals is NOT the same as it is in humans. 30% of pets have no symptoms (I have witnessed this myself working at the vet) while the rest have mild symptoms at times. A small percentage does not tolerate certain types of chemo well. We will cross that bridge if we get there. As of now, there are a few different types of chemo we can try.

It pains me to have to ask for help. I have never been one to ask for help but we are fighting for his life now. Or at least some good quality time with him and maybe medical advances that can help another family out in the future.

When I began this research, I was hopeless but desperate. If we can go through this and win, I would love to be able to educate and share our experiences with other families who may be faced with the same challenges. If Douglas’s journey can help just one other family, then it will be worth it. Maybe this is Doug’s purpose. Prostate cancer is never found this early. Animals are typically already showing symptoms when they go to the vet.

Douglas is not showing any signs which is also in our favor. It was clearly by accident that we found it. I want Douglas to be the anomaly. He has always been different from the rest and now it’s his time to prove it.

The medical expenses for the SRS treatment, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, surgery to remove the MCT, chemotherapy and alternative medicines will be roughly $17,000 or more. We have also met with a Holistic vet to talk about alternative medicine and diet modifications. Mother Earth works in mysterious ways and has been known to heal. Sometimes a different diet can really make a difference. I know this time of year is hard and I know many are not animal lovers. If you are in the position to donate, we would be forever grateful. With the recent birth of our daughter (our health care plan is not the best), not working because we were on leave caring for our daughter and needing to purchase a more safe and reliable vehicle, we are struggling financially. If you are not able to donate, we ask that you please lift Douglas up in your minds, heart, prayers and provide him with all of the positive thoughts and energy you can. Please share our story. We are determined to fight this with all we have.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

You can follow his journey on instagram at @dougspurpose and my Facebook Jessica Batsell Reynoso

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Jessica Batsell Reynoso 
Martinez, CA
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