Da Da is our beloved Labrador. She just turned 6 this month but a few days before her birthday she was diagnosed with malignant melanoma.
A few weeks ago we found dots of blood on the ground which came from a torn lump on the pad off Da Da’s right front paw, probably sustained from walking on the streets. We immediately took her in to our family vet on March 28, who advised to treat the lump by surgically removing it. A sample was sent for biopsy afterwards and when the results came back on Mar 31, we were shocked to hear that the lump was a malignant tumour, which added with the fact that it was incompletely removed, would have a high chance of metastasis.
According to our vet, amputation of the whole digit on her front paw may (and not always completely) locally control the cancer, however it will seriously affect her future mobility - she may have trouble walking; there is also a chance that the cancer may have already spread to the regional lymph nodes and other sites of the body, making the amputation redundant. In order to understand the severity of the cancer, we booked the earliest appointment on Apr 7 to do a full-body CT scan for a comprehensive diagnosis (we had to wait for a week since it was Easter break and no one was open).
The cost of the CT scan was steep, but it was nothing compared to being able to provide what is best for Da Da. Also, if the cancer had already spread, we would forget about amputation to avoid her suffering twice the pain (from the surgery and the cancer). There was only hope for Da Da to live out the rest of her days as happily and blissfully as possible.
We consulted an oncologist when the CT results came back. His advice was that even though there was no sign of spreading, the result was not 100% conclusive as sometimes small-scale metastasis cannot be picked up by the imaging. A further test on lymph samples was also taken and again, the results were uncertain due to limitations in extracting the affected samples.
There was no definitive answer to show how bad was the cancer, which was unsettling, and we were unwilling to gamble Da Da’s wellbeing away with surgeries based on ambiguous test results. After looking for non-surgical, lower risk treatments Da Da is now going to take a canine melanoma vaccine called Oncept - its effectiveness is not guaranteed as it varies from pet to pet clinically, but it’s the best measure available right now.
After a series of consultations and tests, the expenditure has almost reached HKD 60,000 with the likelihood of going up, and it’s becoming a challenge to meet the costs required to offer Da Da the best chance. As parents we want Da Da to have the best and most comfortable dog life there is and for this, we are calling for your love and support to help her through this incredibly difficult and uncertain stage. Your generosity means a great deal to her as she is no mere life nor pet - she is a daughter and part of the family who brings sweetness to our hearts.
Da Da and ourselves are truly grateful for your kindness and the fighting chance that you grant her.
The Mang family
- Kitty & Damon; Da Da and her brother Tsum Tsum
P.S. for your understanding of the costs, here is a detailed breakdown:
HKD 800 04/20/2021 12:14:51 PM UTC
HKD 500 04/19/2021 10:09:50 AM UTC
HKD 500 04/19/2021 07:02:27 AM UTC
HKD 200 04/19/2021 05:36:06 AM UTC
HKD 200 04/18/2021 11:53:52 AM UTC
HKD 500 04/18/2021 04:35:15 AM UTC
HKD 1,000 04/17/2021 07:53:52 AM UTC
AUD 250 04/17/2021 02:28:53 AM UTC
HKD 500 04/16/2021 04:38:47 PM UTC