Fighting Cancer Like a True Hero: Simba’s Courageous Journey

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Battling cancer over a year, we lost Simba on 19th October 2019.–by Alka Paul

My four-legged baby Simba, an English Springer Spaniel, had been with us since he was a three month old puppy. Our lives changed completely the moment Simba stepped into our abode. With time we learnt to become more patient, understanding, and empathic. He became the most vital part of our life. We never imagined in our wildest dreams that one day our darling Simba would be diagnosed with a deadly disease called Lymphoma, a type of cancer in dogs. Lymphoma is a blood-borne cancer of lymphocytes, which are a specific type of white blood cell. It is the most common cancer diagnosed in dogs. This type of cancer affects some or all of the lymph nodes.
Be aware
It all started way back in June 2018, when we were in Pune. We noticed swollen lumps on both sides of Simba’s neck and near his jaws. We took him to a veterinarian who said that Simba has some inflammation and he put him on some anti allergic medication.
During that time, we were busy moving our base to Bangalore. In the month of July, we drove Simba by road from Pune to Bangalore. While we were settling in, a couple of days later we discovered these lumps getting bigger just like golf size balls. Though he was behaving normal, these lumps didn’t feel usual. We immediately took Simba to a veterinarian. After a physical examination, the doctor gave us the worst news that Simba has Lymphoma and his survival chances are less than a month. Our world came crashing down. We were completely shattered and kept asking ourselves, ‘Why our Simba?’
This doctor suggested that we take Simba to a specialist veterinarian for a second opinion; someone who would also perform thorough tests on Simba. On the following day my husband took an appointment with a specialist. He noticed Simba’s lymph nodes were definitely swollen and he would need to do an aspiration (insert a needle in one of the nodes to extract liquid to confirm if it’s lymphoma). They did the aspiration and after a day we got the result that it was Lymphoma.
Listen to your vet, but trust your instincts also
We found Dr Lohith who agreed to see Simba at once. When we met him, he gave us the confidence and explained that such type of cancers can be treated with chemotherapy, though there is no cure for the same. It can always return. Sadly Simba was at third stage of cancer. All his lymph nodes were extremely swollen. The doctor started off with necessary blood tests, x-rays, ultrasounds and then prescribed him oral medications.
Chemotherapy for your canine companions
After few weeks, Simba was administered with chemotherapy treatment. The side effects in canines are similar to those in humans. We lost Simba on 19th October 2019. He was LIKE a family member, HE MADE OUR FAMILY COMPLETE with his unconditional love.
Responsible pet parenting means taking care of your pets
“There are many protocols for chemotherapy in lymphoma, the choice and response can vary from individual to individual. As a pet parent you need to be cautious and if you notice anything unusual make sure you take your pet to the vet immediately,” says Dr Lohith.