15 kgs.
October 1, 2007
9 years
10.5 years
1-3 months
519 days
November 26, 2016
Zac's public profile :
Zac's story

Zac is a beagle cross adoptee from the local RSPCA here in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He has always been a generally healthy and happy beagle, apart from recurring skin reactions to wandering dew, which seems to be EVERYWHERE no matter where I move. He used to be on good quality dry kibble, such as Wellness Complete and Black Hawk. Over the last two years I've been feeding him the fish-based variants of these brands because of his age.

He has been diagnosed with renal haemangiosarcoma with associated infarction. The histopathology notes that the tumour "... appears to be a whole enclosed [sic] within the kidney and I could not identify any infiltration through the capsule and infiltration into the perirenal area".

After the surgery to remove his left kidney, he was listless, lethargic and generally refused food until I finished work interstate and returned home 2 days after he was picked up from the vet. Since then he has happily eaten 1 can of Hills k/d wet canine food per meal, twice a day.

TIMELINE (More for me than you, I'll admit!). This is a work in progress.

Sometime late Sep/early Oct - sudden acute onset of something - Zac suddenly weak and NQR. Brought to vet a day later who attributed it to nausea or stomach discomfort. More info later.

26 Oct - First notice of blood in urine after picking him up from the groomer's, and sample given to Greencross vet within an hour.
27 Oct - Greencross Vet - Booked Zac in for blood tests etc, same day pick up. Vet prescribed antibiotics. After one week on antibiotics and no improvement, referral to Advanced Vetcare. Asked for referral to Southpaws specialist vet clinic instead due to negative reviews found on Advanced Vetcare.
10 Nov - Southpaws - Initial consult, ultrasound.
17 Nov - Southpaws - Surgery to remove L kidney.
19 Nov - Southpaws - Zac discharged from Southpaws. Surgery went fine with no complications.
24 Nov - Southpaws - Follow up consult re findings of L kidney histopathology and amoxycilin antibiotics prescribed for a course of 7 days. Renal blood test done today showed all parameters normal and good.
4 Dec - Noticed Zac's urine stream ending with a few drops of bright red blood starting in the late morning. Spoke with vet at Southpaws over the phone, agreed to monitor and bring him in immediately if situation worsens. Over period of 8 hours it became clear that the blood is intermittent, and with a visit to the vet the next day we would let them check him out then.
5 Dec - Southpaws - Zac's 2nd follow-up visit, and 1st chemo session because his red/white blood cell counts were at good levels and therefore he was OK'd to start. Zac was very lethargic after the session, resting and sleeping most of the next 12-20 hours.
6 Dec - Zac was cheerful when I saw him at the office (complicated shared custody), and the one time I took him out to pee there was no sign of blood. He seems to be having some trouble holding his bladder - when I didn't let him out quickly enough he dribbled a little at the door. Have learnt my lesson and adjusted to his new sense of "need to go NOW mummy!". I get him back tomorrow afternoon.
General thoughts:

Zac is enjoying his Hills k/d wet canned food, no trouble with appetite at all. Even his picky brother is getting slightly jealous at meal times!

Hmm. I wonder if the vet is tired of my verbose emails...

Cancer fighting tip from Zac's owner Sandra L.

Act decisively, and quickly.

Gelatine caps from the pharmacy can help you with nasty-tasting medicine - put pill in cap, wash hands to rid yourself of all evidence, and hide in food (wet is best, it seems).

Zac's treatment

Natural > Diet >


Conventional >

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  • Image_small
    Dobson's owner Hi, Sandra, it sounds as if you are giving great care to Zac. When I was actively involved in this group, I wrote many updates about Dobson's symptoms, treatments, how he was doing, etc. -- the way you are writing Zac's ongoing story. After Dobson passed on, I found comfort in re-reading those posts, and they helped me realize that I really did take good care of him and did all I could to help him. Zac is lucky to have you. I'm glad he's feeling better. Best wishes to you both. Eann (& Dobson at the Rainbow Bridge)
    about 1 year ago on Zac's wall
    • Img_7384_thumbnail
      Zac's owner Eann, thank you so much for your kind thoughts. It's only the start of a difficult journey, but I know we're very fortunate and blessed to be able to give Zac this high standard of care, despite not having pet insurance (I'd taken insurance out for him, but he showed symptoms within the 30 day waiting period...!) We never even got this chance with Dion, our pure beagle, who passed on October 2015 - it went from a cough to discovering metasized tumours throughout his body and even his chest and lungs in two weeks. That loss was so sudden, and it still aches. I'm glad both you and I have/had a chance to take care of our boys as best as we can. I've often remarked that I would love to be reincarnated as a pampered family pooch, short as their lives may be in comparison to us humans... Where our only worry would be when our next meal is, and then when our next cuddle session would be! Dobson looks like a happy doggo in your profile picture. I've just had a read of Dobson's profile... what a rollercoaster ride. I won't be the first nor the last to say you and yours did your collective best to help Dobson... I think, some dogs just have such big hearts with so much love to give to their pack, that their frail earthly bodies can't quite keep up. Or maybe I'm just grasping for answers now, why our boys got sick... Maybe I'm not quite ready to talk coherently without dissolving just yet...
      about 1 year ago on Zac's wall
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      Dobson's owner It's scary to find out yhat your dog has cancer. It's hard to think about and to try to figure out what to do. You already know that, of course. I'm so sorry to hear about the beagle that you lost so suddenly. All my best to you and Zac. Give him a pat for me. And thanks for your kind words to me. I also replied to the comment you made on Dobson's wall. -- Eann
      about 1 year ago on Zac's wall