2 Million Dogs – The Blog

Cancer. Touches. Everyone.

Archive for June, 2011

Canine Melanoma Vaccine Gets Conditional OK

Posted by Erich Trapp on June 30, 2011

By Marissa Heflin

(Portions of this article are reprinted from the website Veterinary Practice News.)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has conditionally licensed a vaccine to treat canine oral melanoma—the first approved therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of cancer in either animals or humans, according to the company that produces it, Merial.

The vaccine is indicated for the treatment of dogs with stage II or stage III oral melanoma for which local disease control has been achieved.

The vaccine alerts the immune system to the presence of the melanoma tumor protein tyrosinase. The vaccine uses a gene for human tyrosinase inserted into a DNA plasmid. The human tyrosinase produced is different enough from canine tyrosinase that it stimulates an immune response, yet similar enough to the canine tyrosinase that the immune response is directed against melanoma cells.

Because additional efficacy and safety research will be conducted during the conditional license period, Merial is making the vaccine available only to specialists practicing veterinary oncology, said Robert Menardi, DVM, technical marketing manager for Merial.

And because the current licensing is conditional, he said, the vaccine has yet to be formally named.

He said that the company intends for the vaccine to be available to a broader practice after the conditional license period.

“Canine melanoma is one of the most frustrating and aggressive diseases to treat,” Dr. Menardi said, and the vaccine will provide an additional treatment option.

The canine melanoma vaccine is designed to be administered in an initial vaccination series of one 0.4 mL dose every two weeks for a total of four doses. Following the initial series, one booster dose is administered every six months.

For the full article, which includes contact information, please visit their website at: http://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/vet-dept/canine-practice/canine-melanoma-vaccine-gets-conditional-ok.aspx

Thanks to Carol Brown for sending this article our way.

This article and others like it are reprinted under the copyright principle of Fair Use. 2 Million Dogs does not endorse any practice, procedure, company or therapeutic treatment. We re-publish these articles for educational and informational purposes only.

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Posted by Erich Trapp on June 25, 2011

When the Man waked up he said, ‘What is Wild Dog doing here?’ And the Woman said, ‘His name is not Wild Dog anymore, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.'” — Rudyard Kipling

It is with great sorrow that I must tell you that our dear friend Murphy was given rest Wednesday evening, June 22, 2011 after a year-long battle against cancer.

Murphy was diagnosed with nasal adenocarcinoma only a short time after he, Hudson, and Luke finished their 826 day, 16 state, 2300+ mile journey from Austin, Texas to Boston, Massachusetts in June 2010.

The battle for Murphy is over, and no doubt by now he is reunited with his brother, Malcolm, who also died from cancer, and who was the inspiration for their walk.

But the curse of cancer remains, and it is up to us to redouble our efforts to see that these beautiful animals, and countless others, have not died in vain. 2 Million Dogs continues its efforts, guided by the spirits of all those who have gone before.

If you are new to 2 Million Dogs, you can read their story from the beginning at the 2 dogs 2,000 miles blog here.  Start from the beginning and read through the hundreds of blog posts to see where The Boys traveled, the amazing adventures they had, and all the remarkable people and pups they met.

If you are on Facebook, there are many wonderful tributes to Murphy posted on Luke’s wall  and on Hudson and Murphy’s wall . And please visit YouTube for a photo-tribute to Murphy.

Murphy, only 10, was preceded in death by his brother Malcolm. He is survived by his Papi, Luke, his brother Hudson, his Mommy Ginger, dozens of Mommies and Uncles across the country, and thousands of friends across the globe. Please remember them in your thoughts.

puppy up!

Erich and his 5 Pack

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Sermons in Stone

Posted by Erich Trapp on June 19, 2011

by Luke Robinson

Republished from the 2 Dogs 2000 Miles blog

And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.

I love this passage from Will Shakespeare’s As You Like It and for this Father’s Day, I couldn’t find one more appropriate. It speaks to the fascination and beauty found in the simple wonderment of nature. It’s reminiscent of my father who first taught me that and as a dad myself, it’s a lesson my own boys, Hudson and Murphy, always keep me mindful of.

Life is a messy thing but there’s no finer, more effective therapy for it than a good piece of wood in your hand, the path beneath your feet, and your sons at your side.

This Father’s Day for me is a bittersweet celebration. It was one year ago today we walked the final mile into Boston but it’s also Murphy’s last day. Tomorrow he will be given eternal rest.

A few weeks back Murphy’s left eye ruptured and I made the decision to have it surgically removed rather than euthanizing him then. He was still willful, eating healthfully, and in true Murphy tradition, full of piss and vinegar.

It was a controversial decision and one which tore me up internally. I suspected the rupture probably meant the tumor had breached the orbit, a suspicion that was confirmed by the vet during surgery. At most I hoped for a couple of months together and if we were lucky, a few more than that.

Since the surgery, we have seen a deterioration of mobility in his right hind leg which can only mean motor cortex involvement – that the cancer has finally spread to his brain. And though he has had some really good days this week in Eureka Springs and yesterday at 3 Dog Bakery, I know what comes next and that I cannot allow to happen to my boy.

I have no doubt now the decision I made to extricate his eye was medically unsound but it was not an inhumane one. I don’t write this because I feel a need to justify it to anyone. I absolutely don’t give a goddamn what people think about the choices I have made on behalf of Murphy.

I am writing about it because to me this is what being a father means. It means having to make extremely hard decisions often in the absence of any certainty and always in the face of adversity.

A father’s love is the grit and iron will that cannot be ground down even at the end. It’s looking into the eyes of your dying son and finally admitting, “I can’t save you.”

To all of the fathers who have had to say that and to the ones who thankfully haven’t – this is our day.

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Puppy Up! New Mexico!

Posted by Erich Trapp on June 9, 2011

by Sue Smith

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! 2MillionDogs.org Puppy Up New Mexico! will hold its inaugural Walk for Canine Cancer Awareness and Research on Sunday, September 25, at Rotary Park in Bernalillo, NM. The event begins with registration and activities at 11 AM and continues until 4 PM. The 2.0 mile group walk around the perimeter of the park begins at noon.

United to fight a serious foe, the day will be a celebration of hope and the love of dogs. Festivities centered around the Walk will include:

·    live music (from folk to instrumental to hip hop, we hope to have everyone bopping on the grass),
·    a vendors’ bazaar (perfect for gift shopping, restocking the treat cupboard or adding some personal bling),
·    representatives from local shelters and adoptable pets,
·    tasty noshes for humans and pups highlighting some of the best cookin’ in our area,
·    a silent auction (with items to fit every bidder’s budget),
·    pup and owner games (an agility set up, Rover Says, and more)
·    informational presentations range from Emergency Preparedness by FEMA to “Ask the Trainer” Q&A.
·    a Canine Couture Fashion Show where proud owners can show off their super model pups,
·    A memorial Wall will allow participants to share those who valiantly fought and who will never be forgotten.

The funds raised from this event will be used to fund canine cancer and comparative oncology research, particularly focusing on the causal relationship between infections, immune response, and cancer. We are in the early stages of our process as we are currently looking for research partners and raising monies to fund the study.

Research has shown us that dogs and humans get the same types of cancers. If we study already existing cancers in our canine companions, we can help develop not only better treatments for them, but also better treatments for humans as well. Because these studies will also help reduce the cost of treatment for the animals involved, more people will be able to afford to have their companions treated for this deadly disease.

Be a part of history this September 25th as New Mexico joins the network of cities all across America coming together to take a stand against cancer. Let your howl be heard! A cancer-free world starts with one dog, each mile at a time.

To pre-register, sign up here.  The cost online is $20.00. Or register the day of the event, $25.00, at the park. Every participant receives a gift bag, a Puppy Up! bracelet and a bandana. For more information, contact Sue Smith at 505-232-7996

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Celebrating Survivors

Posted by Erich Trapp on June 6, 2011

Last year in the United States, more than one and a half million men and women were estimated to be diagnosed with cancer.   And about 1,100 dogs in every 100,000 will develop some kind of cancer. These numbers are alarming!

There are probably few of us who do not know someone who has cancer, has been lost to cancer or has survived cancer.

Did you know that Sunday was National Cancer Survivors’ Day? It falls on the first Sunday of June, every year, so mark it on your calendar. It’s an important day to recognize and celebrate, because it means cancer has failed to claim another life.

Whether they are two legged, three legged or four legged, those who survive cancer deserve our admiration and support, and they teach us about both the fragility and uncertainty of life, and the value of fighting for that life and what it means to appreciate the time we have and the health we enjoy.

2 Million Dogs has known a great many canine cancer survivors. Take a look through one of our “Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down” calendars or visit our Puppy Up! Blog  to read their inspiring stories and get a glimpse of these amazing champions.

Do you have a canine cancer survivor in your family? We’d love to hear their story and share it with everyone. Please write and tell us. (Write to Erich at sturmie1@gmail.com) Please include a photo or two as well. We’ll post it to our blog.

Better yet, enter our upcoming “Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down” Calendar Contest starting this month.

And pledge your dog(s) to walk against cancer during one of the many nation-wide Puppy Up! Walks coming soon. You can learn more about the Walks here.

Murphy with his Papi Luke.

However you choose to celebrate the survivors of cancer, don’t do it just once a year; make it a daily celebration. They deserve it!

Every cancer survivor is special. We’d like to share with you three very special canine cancer survivors we know personally: Murphy Robinson, Buddy Morgan, and Lily Lisle. Congratulations to all three, and their people, for the courage and tenacity to stay the fight!

Lily Lisle at Red Rocks. You be she climbed those stairs!





Buddy and his Mommy G.

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