Sunday, November 2, 2008


These pictures were taken of Hunter two years ago (2006), when he was 9-years-old. When I posted these pictures they made me cry. He looks so full of spirit and just absolutely beautiful. In just two short years he has changed. In the past few months, he has changed drastically.

Hunter has survived a bout with cancer last August . He had a malignant carcinoma removed from his inner thigh. Thankfully, we had caught it in time. We had originally thought he had been bitten by an insect. It was a small red raised area. The surgery removed all the cancer and we felt we had nothing else to worry about.

Also, off and on last year, Hunter was losing hair in clumps. We found that he had one flea. This one flea did a lot of damage to his coat. We had always used Frontline, but for some reason it wasn't working as well as it had in the past. He had an allergic reaction to the flea saliva, also known as flea allergy dermatitis or FAD. Hunter was on antibiotics for months and we washed him every week with a special shampoo called Malaseb. When his hair started to grow back, it grew back differently. His coat is no longer uniform. After we thought this was over and we started using other flea control products, he started to lose his hair again and again, we found one flea. This time he lost most of the hair on his tail and that has not grown back as of today. So he looks a bit scruffy. However, things didn't stop there.

Last year he started to drink water, a lot. I took him to the vet and the new vet thought he might have Cushing's. However, this vet was overruled by the two vets who own the practice, and Hunter was never tested. Since I had known and trusted the other vets, I listened to them. His over drinking subsided and he was acting normal again, except for the fact that he panted a lot. We now know that panting is one of the symptoms of Cushing's.

On July 3rd of this year, I took him for his annual check-up. At this time the regular blood work was done. Three to four years ago, Hunter had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and had been taking L-thyroxine with no problems. He has always been a little bit heavier than we wanted him to be, however, he was by no means fat, as you can see from his pictures. His blood work results came back the next day and when the vet called me, I was shocked to learn he had canine diabetes (Diabetes Mellitus).