Dahlia is a young senior whose breed mix is a mystery. The ears suggest some dachshund in the mix and she also seems to have some terrier ancestry. The police brought Dahlia into a large shelter in summer 2015. She wasn’t spayed and both mammary chains were infected; the shelter suspected multiple mammary tumors so they contacted ODH. Once we got the infection cleared up, we found only one small tumor. Being younger (9-10) and otherwise healthy, we thought Dahlia might be adoptable after she was spayed and the mammary tumor removed. However, the tumor proved to be a mast cell tumor and shortly after her spay surgery Dahlia developed 3 more mast cell tumors in 3 different locations. This history means she will need careful monitoring and vet checks every few months, so Dahlia is now a Final Refuge dog. She recovered well from the second surgery to remove the 3 new tumors (one had grown on top of an existing lipoma), though it was quite a challenge keeping her quiet while her sutures were in. Dahlia proved very skilled at getting out of e-collars, but the new whiplash-style collar did the trick. Fortunately all 4 tumors were low-grade, and Dahlia has received electrochemotherapy to minimize recurrence at the same sites. Dahlia loves people and has represented Old Dog Haven at several events. She can be anxious when meeting new dogs, especially bigger dogs, but is learning that new friends are good. She really enjoys her toys, shaking them vigorously (only sturdy toys for this girl!). We hope Dahlia remains healthy, but whatever lies ahead she is loved, will get excellent vet care, and looks forward to making new friends.
Update: Dahlia’s battle with mast cell tumors continued for 2 years; with the help of her oncologist and her ODH mom’s efforts she was comfortable and happy until the last couple of weeks. This dear dog should have had a much longer time to enjoy life but she knew she was loved til the end.