Sunday, January 27, 2013

Houdini had the run of our hearts

By David Horst

There's a lot of joy missing from our house.

Nearly two years to the day after I wrote about the loss of our dog Molly, we are experiencing the heartbreak of the death of a pet again.

Houdini, our yellow Lab, was only 6 years old, but cancer is no respecter of birthdays.

We took Houdini to the vet last spring because he seemed to have something stuck in a nostril. He was sneezing and breathing uncomfortably. An examination didn't find anything at first, then in June, A CT scan found a nasal tumor. It was cancerous.

It’s a common story for this unfamiliar cancer. Nasal tumors make up only 1 percent of tumors in dogs, but 80 percent are cancerous. Nasal cancer is more common in larger breeds and older dogs.

We were referred to the University of Wisconsin Veterinary School. The tumor was inoperable, the cancer incurable.