SAMMY (16-053) came to GRREAT in October 2016 at the age of 7. His second family had moved to a 3rd floor apartment and he no longer wanted to go outside due to the pain caused by climbing the stairs. It was determined that he needed ACL/Meniscus surgery on both rear legs so his family turned him over to GRREAT.
Once he was with his foster family the long arduous process began. His first surgery went well and although the recovery was intense, he was the perfect patient. By early spring of 2017 he was cleared for his second leg surgery. The surgeon did the routine pre-surgery blood work and his calcium was slightly elevated. He proceeded with the surgery and instructed his foster family to retest in 30 days. At the retest, the calcium level was even higher. Sammy was taken to an Internal Medicine vet specialist and during an ultrasound of his neck it appeared that he had a nodule or adenoma on one of his parathyroid glands. The nodules are so tiny that it’s difficult to be certain of them even with an ultrasound. He suggested we repeat the blood work one more time. Based on those results he felt we needed to proceed with surgery to remove the growth. The surgeon erred on the side of caution and decided to remove both thyroid glands from the left side of his neck. This would prove to be a very lucky decision. Post-surgery he was recovering remarkably well. When the biopsy report came back we were all shocked to learn that it was not a benign nodule but rather a parathyroid carcinoma. This cancer in this location is so rare that the surgeon had not seen it even once in his 20 year career. Even the oncologist that we later saw had only seen it one time. We knew Sammy was one-of-a-kind but WOW. Since both of his left thyroid glands were removed there was no need for further treatment and he was once again on the road to recovery. Had the surgeon not removed both, he would have had to go back for another surgery!
By fall of 2017 Sammy was becoming stronger every day and with the surgeries all behind him he was really beginning to enjoy life again. He was thriving in his foster home as the happy pup he was always meant to be. Then one day in October 2017 his foster mom found a lump on his front leg. We had it checked and the vet felt it was best to have it removed. Back to the operating table he went and again he was a champ and a perfect patient. For the second time the biopsy report would not give us good news as it indicated the lump was a soft tissue sarcoma. Unfortunately the margins were not clear so the likelihood of that cancer returning is high. The oncologist said it was not related to the first cancer and that Sammy was just an “unlucky guy”. We disagree. He found his way to GRREAT and that could not have been more lucky for him and the timing could not have been better. GRREAT has made Sammy a Long Term Foster and is currently treating him with Australian herbs that have proved helpful with dogs who have cancer.
Sammy is a ray of sunshine. He is handsome, funny, kind, smart and silly. He is one of the most chatty goldens you can imagine and he always has something to say! Through this entire process, he has never shown any signs of being sick. He loves his walks and always wants to be chosen to ride in the car. He enjoys his golden siblings, loves his foster family and we are so grateful to have the privilege of loving him every single day.
Sammy is in a permanent foster home and will be cared for by GRREAT for the rest of his life. Click the button below to Sponsor Sammy, he would be most appreciative of your support