We've started an experimental treatment (I think it's called Neoplasene) on my horse, Smokey. Hopefully it will work since it's the only option available. We have heard this treatment has worked for other animals, but it isn't widely used so we're going by the seats of our pants. Smokey's front leg, which he injured, is doing better, but even if we can reverse the effects of the melanoma, I doubt the leg will ever recover enough for me to ride him. We're also hoping the tumor on his head is the issue, and not cancer in the spine. Right now, we're just trying to get rid of the tumor in hopes he'll recover enough to live out the rest of his life.
Please continue to pray for him.
For those who are wondering what's going on, this fall, my horse, Smokey, who is about sixteen, went downhill. Around four or five years ago, we noticed a large lump under his ear. At the time, the vet who glanced at it assumed it was scar tissue. We ignored it and it didn't bother him. This summer, when we took him to get his teeth floated, the vet we went to said it was a tumor. It still wasn't causing trouble and because of the location, the vet didn't want to mess with it.
This fall, we realized Smokey was lame. On closer inspection, we saw he was having trouble with his back end. He seemed off-balance and dragged a foot. At first we thought, or almost hoped, it was West Nile. (You know things are bad when you hope the horse has West Nile.) When a vet came out, he figured the tumor on Smokey's head was to blame. After some research, we realized he had Melanoma, a common problem for older gray horses. Our best guess is that the tumor is pressing on his inner ear, throwing off his balance. We turned him out to pasture with the other horses since it was about to get cold and we thought he would do better if he could find shelter in the trees.
A while later, he came in with a badly swollen front leg. Our guess is he fell due to his balance issue and injured it. Combined with his lack of control over his back end, and now a font leg, we were pretty worried since it was icy. Much to the disgust of a milk cow, we managed to convince him to stay in the barn, if the door was open so he wasn't "trapped." (The milk cow was forced to stay outside.) At this time, we were wondering if we should put him down since it was pretty miserable for him and he was literally on his last leg.
Luckily, the weather improved and his leg began to heal, which leads to where we are now.
Reading: Revenge of Seven
Watching: Star Trek DS9