Hi, I’m the owner of Texas – a retired Fox Terrier NZ & Australian show champion and stud dog. Texas was diagnosed “out of the blue” with Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in November 2014 by a blood test when looking into another problem – which turned out to be secondary to the Leukaemia! Other than a slight reduction in exercise tolerance and a cough, he was in great shape for his age of 11 years. Staging was done to see how advanced it was and it was found to be stage 5 = advanced. I had to make a decision whether to euthanise or start chemotherapy straight away. Kirsten and the staff at Total Vets were very compassionate and supportive while I made up my mind.

Within 12 hours of the chemo starting Texas was improving and within 2 days was like new – all symptoms gone and he started playing with his toys, which I then realized he hadn’t been doing for a few weeks. It was amazing how quickly he responded.

Texas has now had over 4 months of the Wisconsin Protoco (4 agents) and still has his whiskers, a lovely coat and has maintained his body condition (never missed a meal). Any side effects of the drugs have been easily controlled with medications, and for the toughest drug, Doxirubicin, I start the pills before he goes into the clinic.

I have stayed with Texas throughout the majority of the treatments to minimise any stress to distract him with Schmackos when the catheter goes in. He still happily trots into the clinic each time and stretches out on the couch having his ore and post-chemo fluids, while I read The Press and have a cup of coffee. Asumi and Kirsten have looked after his treatment and having Nicky available to do his blood tests on the spot has been great. I have been kept very well informed and supported throughout.

Obviously, there is a cost for such a treatment protocol; but to still have Texas with excellent quality of life and to see him running in the forest and on the beach 4 ½ months later… How can I put a price on that?

Penny Wright

March 2015