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Shirelle needs your prayers... and a forever home...


Click here for an update on Shirelle's 2nd surgery...


Click on the logo below to fill out an adoption application --


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Shirelle, an 8 year old pit bull, was diagnosed with a cancerous mast cell tumor on November 30th 2004, Grade II --


Shirelle has more personality than I've seen in most dogs -- she greets me with a howl, and curls her body up tight, still standing, wagging her tail as fast as she can...!



Here she is doing one of her coveted howwwlllllssssss!!!



I was initially watching Shirelle for friends, and noticed a small lump on her right rear leg. I took her to the vet where he removed the mass and sent it to the lab for evaluation / biopsy. Here is the post-surgery incision.



Shirelle is extremely sweet and playful, here with her boyfriend, Spud -- my boy -- who is a cancer survivor, from Grade I mast cells tumors --



Here is Shirelle, hamming it up on the couch -- we call her She-She (say "shay-shay") --



Dr. Amy was kind enough to clarify the tumor as being a Grade II on a scale of III -- III being the most severe -- the vet, unfortunately, did not determine the severity of the tumor at surgery, and will need to have follow-up surgery next Friday to get cleaner margins -- basically, a wider, deeper more invasive cut -- :(



On, we found the following, "It is necessary to remove at least 3cm (about 1.25 inches) in EVERY direction around one of these tumors to even begin to feel that surgery might remove it all. Most vets won't cut out the tissue 3cm deep to the tumor because that often means that the bone underlying the tumor must be removed and few general practitioners want to do that."



We also found the following unfortunate news -- "In a review of mast cell tumors from 1988 (Vet Med, Paul Dean, 2/88), 44%
of dogs with Grade II mast cell tumors survived more than 1500 days after
surgical removal of the tumors, without additional treatment."



Luckily, it was followed by this -- "A paper from
the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan  (Saraff, et al, 1996), of radiation
therapy for the treatment of grade 2 mast cell tumors in 32 dogs with Grade
2 tumors of the skin, had a better prognosis, with 86% of dogs treated with
surgery and radiation making it to five years post treatment.  Based on
this, it seems like a good idea to consider radiation therapy, even when
clean margins are obtained during surgical excision."



So, after She-She's surgery we will see how far the cancer has spread in her body (determining the Stage) -- the vet will determine this by -- "Physical exam findings, X-rays, bone marrow examination,
complete white blood cell counts, buffy coat smears (the buffy coat is where white blood cells
accumulate when blood is centrifuged in a tube) and lymph node aspirates." If necessary, we will see the oncologist, Dr. Gerry Post, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM -- an exceptional local oncologist, for which we are blessed.



This is not an entirely gloom and doom situation, and there are measures of prevention to take. My boy Spud had 3 Grade I tumors removed in January 2002. I changed him over to a raw diet -- which many people believe reduces the encouragement of cancerous cells -- see here.



Here is a "before" look at Spud's largest mast cell tumor...



... it was squishy and somewhat firm -- my Manhattan vet told me, "Oh, it's just a fatty lipid deposit -- nothing to worry about" -- via visual inspection -- I took Spud to my Buffalo vet, who properly aspirated the mast, evaluated it under microscope, and deemed it a Grade I tumor -- next for Spud, surgery...



... here is Spud post-surgery -- you can see has three incisions -- the margins were thankfully clean, and the vet was exceptional...



... Spud healed like a champ, and even three years later, I still treat every day like it his last, trying to pamper and love him the most I can...



... back to Shirelle -- her parents can't afford her surgery, and are asking for help - whether it be in adopting this girl or in other ways -- be it in positive thoughts, prayers or financially. If it's financial, a donation can be made directly to my vet's office under Shirelle Gray at 203-329-8811. Email me at to confirm the amount.



She-She will receive the highest level of care, comfort and love possible. I am a big believer in positive thoughts, prayer, and effective vetting --

Thank you for reading this -- even increasing the awareness of bully breeds' susceptibility to cancer is help in itself. Here is more infomation on canine cancer - we have a battle ahead of us.


She-She's 2nd surgery...


Shirelle had her second surgery this past Friday, 12/10, at my vet in Stamford...


... and I must say, she and SPBR are truly blessed -- we raised over $700 in donations to fully cover her surgery, from FL to CT, individuals made a difference for this little lady...



... here is the resultant surgery, on her rear-right leg...



... as you can see, it was a very invasive surgery, with 1-1/2" taken in each direction, and a buffy coat sample taken of her blood, to see of potential spreading of the cancer to other parts of her body...



Shirelle is doing great now, back to her old self, bouncing around the house, loved and loving -- thank you to everyone who donated -- you made a world of difference for this girl...