image of Holly and Harvey spriger spaniels

When your dog has been ill, life for that dog can not only be life changing, it may even be life ending. I have two English Springer Spaniels, Holly and Harvey. Holly is the liver and white in the picture and she is 13 this month. Her ever present companion, Harvey is 14, going on 15. Harvey has had a bad time health-wise lately, having suffered from Ataxia and consequently two operations, one for his back and the other for the removal of a large cyst discovered from an MRI scan. You can read about this here.

Though his illness had the potential to change his life, even losing the use of his back legs, he has pulled through with remarkable courage and fortitude. Harvey is a fighter with a real zest for life. He loves his life here in Cyprus. But at his age it was inevitable that something else was going to happen to his health, only I wish it hadn’t been so soon after his recovery from Ataxia.

Harvey started sneezing a lot a couple of weeks ago. Initially we put it down to the damp in the house. We have a problem in Cyprus where most houses are concrete with no damp course, which means the winters being wet and cold can lead to damp. Especially this winter which is the wettest since 1902. So we kept him as warm and dry as we could, but it got worse. Our brilliant vets at 3VETS in Larnaca gave us steroids to boost him and that seemed to work for a while. But when that medication finished he became worse. Yesterday we took him in for a scan on his nose. He was put under with a general anesthetic and then an instrument was used to show he had a tumour in both nostril passageways.

They took a biopsy and will determine in a couple of days if it’s malignant or benign. Either way, there is little they can do to help except a cycle of steroids which relieves his nasal congestion and helps him to breath a little more easily.

If the tumours are benign he could go on for quite a while with no problems. But if malignant then the options are really non-existent. Surgery is extreme which will cause massive stress to Harvey. There is no radio-therapy on the island, the closest being the UK, but in it’s own way this is also going to cause him massive stress.

So, we sit and wait for the prognosis and whatever the outcome from that. But we know that it’s maybe not going to go well for Harvey. There is little we can do except hope.

Copyright © Tom Kane 2019


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