Jake is 13 and a half. He is in his senior years but he is not an old dog.
The Daily Roll
Whilst brushing Jake's teeth I noticed what looked like a tiny ulcer in his mouth. The 'ulcer' didn't appear to change but it wasn't getting any better. Jake was already scheduled to have an operation within a couple of weeks to remove a small lump which we knew was okay. Our vet, Mike, suggested that whilst Jake was having this operation he would x-ray Jake's mouth. He hoped that perhaps this was a simple issue with a tooth. The x-ray showed nothing wrong with his teeth. Mike already had a suspicion that if it wasn't an issue with a tooth then it might be a more sinister problem and suggested the next step would be to remove the tissue. He successfully removed the tumor in the same operation and sent it off for a biopsy. We got the biopsy report back 5 days later and I heard the words that every pet parent dreads - it's cancer.
Jake following the operation
We got the tumor very early and Mike removed it all successfully, but, 80% of oral melanomas will have spread. I took Jake to see a veterinary oncologist who took me through all of the options. They are:
1) Do nothing and hope that Jake is in the 20% of lucky dogs
I have ruled out chemo due to the side effects. I don't want to put Jake through that during his golden years. Jake means too much to me to simply do nothing but hope he is lucky when there does exist option 3, the melanoma vaccine. This treatment has zero side effects and is as effective as chemo.
I've had Jake since he was 4 months old and I cannot put into words what he means to me. Every morning he sits waiting for me to open my eyes. The minute I do he grabs a toy, tail wagging, eager to start the day. His readiness to start each day, his daily walks with happy rolls and his obvious love for life is a complete joy. Everybody who meets Jake loves him immediately. His gentleness and soft nature make him an amazing dog.
The cost for the Melanoma Vaccine is £2200 with a booster 6 months later at a cost of £500. Jake will also need tests to confirm that the vaccine has worked. These tests will total £1800. The total cost of treatment is estimated at £4500. Jake is insured but in November 2017 he suffered a Vestibular attack. He recovered really well from this, however, the veterinary care needed exceeded the annual insurance limit he is covered up to. When his insurance renews the melanoma will be a pre-existing condition and so any treatment pertaining to it will not be covered. I have so far paid £900 for the surgery to remove the tumor and £210 for the oncology consultation.
I desperately ask for help in raising the funds to allow Jake to have this treatment vaccine so we are able to enjoy many more adventures, daily happy rolls, and cuddles.
Life with Jakey
All donations will be so gratefully received, every penny gets us closer to our goal. If you're unable to donate then please help us by taking a moment to share our story.
Love Emma and Jake
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