September 21, 2013 @ 10:29 am posted by AbbyS
Lester came to Colorado Pug Rescue in July of 2012 after spending several weeks at a shelter. He and another pug had been picked up running together as strays. The other pug was adopted from the shelter, but Lester was not. Because he had captured the hearts of the shelter staff, they were very pleased to have a rescue option for him.
Due to a compressed disc in his spine, Lester walks with a sort of skating motion in his hind legs. This turned out to be only one of many problems little Lester would have to deal with.
During his initial veterinary evaluation, it was discovered that Lester had a tumor on his lower left jaw. A biopsy determined that the tumor was oral melanoma cancer, which is very aggressive in dogs. Untreated, it is fatal within three months. Lester’s cancer was still localized and fairly small. A donor stepped forward with some funding for treatment, and it was decided to try to defeat Lester’s cancer. He had already charmed his way into the hearts of his medical team.
The tumor and a section of Lester’s jaw were removed. Lester amazed everyone by recovering quickly and adapting soon to the loss of part of his jaw. The surgery was followed with chemotherapy by pill, and Lester’s cancer went into remission. Unfortunately, he then developed two small Grade 3 mast cell tumors, unrelated to the melanoma. These were removed without incident, but an oral melanoma tumor was discovered in a lymph node. This tumor was also removed, and Lester underwent three radiation treatments. Still a trouper, he breezed through those while charming the staff of the radiology department.
Following radiation, Lester was switched to a different type of chemotherapy pill in hopes that this drug will block future recurrences of oral melanoma as well as the mast cell tumors. Lester remains in remission at this time. However, his future is uncertain. There is only a 20% two-year survival rate for oral melanoma. Lester is now halfway there!
In addition to these issues, Lester developed an ulcer on the cornea of one of his eyes. It seemed surgery would be needed to repair the cornea, but again Lester amazed everyone. He developed enough tissue over the ulcer to stabilize it and eliminate the risk of a rupture. He is presently on long-term antibiotics for that eye until it fully heals, which it should do in a few months.
This little dog has an amazing ability to heal while maintaining his winning friendly, cheerful attitude in spite of all he has endured.