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About Copper





Info: In January, 2005 Copper began to hold his head funny -- it looked like something was wrong with his neck. Copper's birthday would be April 26 and, as he was born in 1999, I wasn't expecting anything like the eventual diagnosis -- cancer. The diagnosis did not come for a while. After a visit to my local vet, it was unclear what was actually wrong. He appeared to have general stiffness, painful on arising and a fever as well as a reoccurrence of a rash on his stomach that he had in December, 2004.  He was started on antibiotics in January. On February 5 th he had x-rays and was referred to WVSC for surgery. Dr. Fowler found a mass on his spinal cord and removed most of it. The diagnosis of Myeloma was made and he was sent to Saskatoon for radiation from March 3 to 24th. He was taken care of by Dr. Monique Mayer and radiation therapist Erica Collen. He lived off campus with 3rd year vet student, Amanda and she took wonderful care of him. My mom and I picked up Copper on March 24th and bid a tearful good-bye to the wonderful staff. Copper looked funny with hair shaved off in patches all over his back and legs but he rode very calmly in the back of my car all the way back to Calgary where he started chemotherapy.  He had a bad reaction while in Saskatoon to Melphalan but it was determined that if he was carefully monitored, a combination of Melphalan and prednisone was the best. Copper has flourished and is now chasing balls, albeit more carefully, in the park once more. I am amazed that this dog, who in February could not walk more than a block can now be out walking for hours at a time. He is considered to be in remission. For how long, I don't know, but I am told that this cancer reacts well to treatment so I can only hope that I will be able to keep him healthy by monitoring his blood, feeding him well and continuing his medication.  ACTSS has made it possible for me to pay off some of the huge bills that accumulated this year with medication, operations, and radiation. Some say that I was foolish to spend so much on my dog, however, what he gives back to me more than makes up for any amount of money I spent.