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#359611 - 08/11/07 06:42 PM Treating Kira (has a tumor)
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
I have posted about Kira on other areas of the board in the past, but for anyone looking for help after their glider is diagnosed, I wanted to put something here as a starting point.

Kira is one of the few SGs that have survived a significant amount of time with a tumor. I don't know how many others are out there. I, personally, know of only one and I cannot say why either glider has kept on when others didn't. I can only tell you her story and give you an ear if you need one.
If others have had experience with treating tumors in gliders and would like to add their experience to this, please do. I know when I was looking for help any other experiences would have been very welcomed.

Kira has lived with her tumor for more than a year (that we know of, possibly longer). She lost most of the fur around her head, neck and right shoulder when she was 2. After much testing and working with different diets it was decided that it was most likely hormone related because, although a little low in weight, she was healthy otherwise. She continued this way until the end of April '06 when she started losing weight rapidly. She lost fur and muscle tone in her back legs, and she became listless and crabby. Her vet found a dime sized tumor behind her pouch and said that it was 'quality of life time' and she probably wouldn't survive the next two months.

I came to GC and other boards. I looked up information on Lord Darcy and tried to contact his owner, Donna, by e-mail. No one on the boards had any ideas except to contact Donna and I couldn't find anything else in the way of past experience with cancer in gliders, (although there were several gliders diagnosed around the same time). Donna returned my e-mail and gave me advice, vet information and Darcy's complete protocal as suggested by her vet. I discussed everything thoroughly with my vet and we decided it was worth a try.

Kira started improving within the week. Her weight went from the low 80's to 102 and stabalized within a couple of months. Her activity level greatly increased, her muscles got stronger (back legs returning to normal) and her personality returned.

She had good and bad days (mostly good) over the course of the year, until the end of May '07, when her weight started dropping off significantly again and I found lumps at the base of her tail at the beginning of June. The tumor behind her pouch is now about the size of a nickle, and it is thought the tumor may have metastasized to her lymph nodes (the abdomen drains into the lymph nodes at the base of the tail).

We had another very fortunate turn of events and a wonderful friend of ours sent us some magnets for magnet therapy. It has been helping. Her weight is back up (not to 102, but stabilized in the mid/high 90's) and her lymph nodes have decreased in size slightly. To put the icing on the cake, the fur on her head started growing back in several weeks ago (she hasn't had fur for over 3 years).

I know that she isn't 'cured' but all that we have done to help her has kept her happy and healthier than she would have been otherwise. To look at her (other than the short hair on her head) you would not know she was sick most of the time. Her bad days only come once every few months, sometimes lasting a day or two, only to have her return to her happy, active, beautiful self.

My point in writing this, as I know many already know her story, is that even if there seems like no hope or no one to talk to, there is. I will not post her full protocal on the board as I think a vet should always be involved and I would not want anyone to start 'self medicating'. But I am more than happy to discuss it with anyone (through e-mail, IM or phone conversations) who going is through this and/or talk about my experiences with Kira. I just want to pass this information along if there is any way that it can help another glider and/or glider owner. hug2
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

#360060 - 08/12/07 08:31 AM Re: Treating Kira (has cancer) [Re: sugarlope]
sugarglidersuz Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 14788
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Thank you so much for posting this information about Kira - I'm sure it will be very valuable for other owners faced with cancer in their gliders. hug2
Suz Enyedy
:bb: Carina & Coobah
Allira & Gizmo :grey:
:grey: Picasso, Trinity Joy & Luna
:rbridge: DaisyMae; Darwin; Mareki; Mambo; Pika; Cricky; Reggie & Bobo, Pepe & Bittah

Suz' Sugar Gliders

#360112 - 08/12/07 10:29 AM Re: Treating Kira (has cancer) [Re: sugarglidersuz]
BCChins Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 3089
Loc: Central Connecticut
Gretchen I am glad you are able to help Kira and she is doing well. Keep your faith and a big thank you for trying hard. This is yet another step to being able to treat another glider illness.
Have a Good Day
Brenda &
Mr. Magoo

Friendly Reminder please have an e-collar ready before you need it......

#382215 - 09/13/07 02:30 AM Re: Treating Kira (has cancer) [Re: BCChins]
the gliders angel Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 08/08/01
Posts: 3058
Loc: u.s.a.
i pray for a miraculous healing in kira. you do the same. darcy is doing very well living many many yrs with cancer. out living even healthy gliders. he is even off all meds now.

#382218 - 09/13/07 02:36 AM Re: Treating Kira (has cancer) [Re: the gliders angel]
cinnamonstix Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 06/10/07
Posts: 3420
Loc: Twin Cities, MN
Crazy BF Dru
Tortoise: Vork
Cats: Scooby, Swiper, Zero, Dinah & Sykes
Suggies: Meeko, Willow & Nemo; Icarus & Ivy; Howie & Gracie; Rei & Syfka; Rafiki & Rajah, Opal, Lily & Link, Tael, Tatl & Navi

#382350 - 09/13/07 10:02 AM Re: Treating Kira (has cancer) [Re: cinnamonstix]
LSardou Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/01/06
Posts: 21060
Loc: Kansas
I've always wonderd how Darcy was doing. WOW that is just remarkable to hear.

I've met Kira, and I have to say, she is truly a remarkable little girl. Gretchen is one amazing mommy! I feel that alot of a gliders willingness to survive has alot to do with the care and the love that's offerd.
I can't wait to see her in October! heart

#510472 - 03/22/08 01:25 AM Re: Treating Kira - pics! [Re: LSardou]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
I can't possibly explain how excited I am about updating this post. We have had a lot of wonderful news for Kira the past month and I thought this would be a good place to put it to let others know that there is a chance...
Kira went back in for a vet check on March 4th and the mass in her abdomen is smaller. clap Not only that but the lymph nodes at the base of her tail are smaller (not gone, but we'll take smaller any day!)

Her fur has continued to grow very slowly since last year and although she still has a bit of a mohawk, her coat and body condition look healthier every week.

I decided I needed to share pics of her journey. The pics from the first year after diagnosis and before are on disks and packed away. But other than being thinner, she didn't look much different than the 2nd year after diagnosis pics (until after we started using the magnets).

So, this first two pics were taken in Feb. 07, when she had been feeling worse again - you can see it in her position, her ears, and her eyes. frown
Kira 2-07
Kira's left side 2-07

This pic is right before the SGGA when I noticed she had started really growing fur! You can't really see the mohawk in the pic, but her stripe came in faster than the rest of her fur.
Kira 7-07

And these are from tonight. She didn't look this fully furred just two months ago, it is really beginning to fill in nicely and she has gained some weight. grin
Kira's left side and back 3-08
Kira's right side 3-08
Kira's beautiful face cloud9 (She has always been beautiful, fur or not, but it is sure nice to see my little girl looking healthy again)

Again, I know she's not 'cured' and I know that every glider will not have the progress that she has had, but there is a reason to try. I see it in her face every day.

Thank you so much to everyone who has helped us along the way and for all of the prayers and well wishes, we wouldn't be sharing this without you.

We both love you all for what you do and I will always be thankful for this time that I have had with her, no matter what the future brings. hug2
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

#510479 - 03/22/08 01:34 AM Re: Treating Kira - pics! [Re: sugarlope]

what a wonderful turn of events for her. congrats on her being almost healthy again gretchen,

#510480 - 03/22/08 01:37 AM Re: Treating Kira - pics! [Re: sugarlope]
ORsuggiemomma Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 2071
Loc: home
OMG Gretchen, she is BEAUTIFUL! and what a story. I was CRYING! you are obviously a WONDERFUL mother for her! amazing story and a beautiful beautiful Girl. so glad she is doing okay!
Wifey to heart Frankstone heart
Mother to~ mloveNathan(5) and mloveDrea(3)
and slave to 4 perfect sugar gliders:glider:

#510543 - 03/22/08 08:47 AM Re: Treating Kira - pics! [Re: ORsuggiemomma]
LSardou Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/01/06
Posts: 21060
Loc: Kansas
clap Gretchen, you can't imagine how happy I am for you and Kira! AWESOME!

#510549 - 03/22/08 09:04 AM Re: Treating Kira - pics! [Re: sugarlope]
ozzi Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 02/01/08
Posts: 3201
Loc: Sedona, AZ
Oh what a sweet heart
Thanks so much for sharing all of this and best of luck to both of you thumb
You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.....Unknown

Rest in Peace our little sweet friends that have crossed over the "Rainbow Bridge".
I miss you gangel Boo-Boo, Lucy, BJ, and Fivel gangel

#510564 - 03/22/08 09:45 AM Re: Treating Kira - pics! [Re: ozzi]
MagicEyez Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 1335
Loc: East Texas (Tyler Tx)
I can only imagine how excited you are .... She is very lucky to have a mom like you!!! hug2
*Lauri -aka- Queen Of Everything*
:glider: Draven, Diego, Dirk, Delilah, KC & Sunshine :glider:
(^-_-^) Mom to 2 cats - Missy & Furby (^-_-^)

All around furbutt lover & Offical Member of the DB's Club

#510568 - 03/22/08 10:02 AM Re: Treating Kira - pics! [Re: MagicEyez]
Feather Offline

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 12054
Loc: Wisconsin
Oh my what a difference. She looks great. I hope she continues to heal under your care. She certainly is a little miracle.
Feathers-Sweetie, Sklyar Blue, Mister Peanut, Big Mack & Ibo
Fur-Guinan, Mr. Spock, T'Mir, Micheal, Stevie, Cho & Maharet :bb: T'Pol, Elizabeth & Curzon :wfb: TY, TJ, Khayman & T'Pring :rtmo: O'Ryan :leu:
Forever in my heart, Gizmo, Tucker and the rest of my babies over the :rbridge:

#510646 - 03/22/08 11:56 AM Re: Treating Kira - pics! [Re: Feather]
BeckiT Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/29/06
Posts: 16083
Loc: Manitowoc, WI
she's looking amazing Gretchen! You can see the sparkle back in her eyes too mlove
~Becki & Crew~
Glidin' High Sugar Gliders
So You Want to Own a Sugar Glider? Read and Share wink

#510658 - 03/22/08 12:15 PM Re: Treating Kira - pics! [Re: BeckiT]

Wow, I'm so glad the new treatments are making her feel better!

Could we make this a sticky so other glider owners can find you and contact you if their gliders are affected by cancer?

#510660 - 03/22/08 12:24 PM Re: Treating Kira - pics! [Re: ]
SugarPaws Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 01/23/08
Posts: 512
Loc: Illinois
Gretchen, I'm so happy you are able to help Kira feel better. Your story will help many I'm sure. Thank you so much for posting it. hug2

:rbridge: Snuggles
:rbridge: CiCi

#510689 - 03/22/08 01:18 PM Re: Treating Kira - pics! [Re: SugarPaws]

thats absolutely an amazing story!!

#510797 - 03/22/08 05:33 PM Re: Treating Kira - pics! [Re: ]
morbidelf Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 538
Loc: Norfolk, VA
i can totally see the difference in health in those pictures. its almost like you can see it in her eyes! i am so glad you shared this with all of us!! thanks hug2
owned 6 suggies: Thor & Sophie, Sora & Riku, Kairi & Malachai
3 cats: Toboe, Data, and Maleficent

:rbridge: I'll love you forever Doyle ?/?/05-9/7/10, Nicodemus (rat) 11/6/10-6/25/11, Akasha (cat) 7/15/08-10/23/11

#1373247 - 07/05/14 07:06 PM Re: Treating Kira (has a tumor) [Re: sugarlope]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
I have been meaning to update this for ages...I figure now is the time.

Kira died on June 1st of 2012, she was 11 years old. Her necropsy showed cancer on her adrenal gland as well as a second malignant growth in her mammary gland.

She lived for 6 years, after the tumor in her abdomen was found. She was a very happy glider, loving her Ensure to the end. She had her bad days, and as she got older, she had more bad days, where she would be cranky, lethargic and less interested in food. Those were the days when I knew she was in pain and considered putting her down. Right when I would 'make the decision', she would wake up the next morning bright eyed and energetic again...and so it went until she passed in her cage.

The tumor in her pouch showed up about 2 1/2 years before she died and grew over time.

I will never be sorry for deciding not to have any invasive tests or treatments done. I know she was a happy girl that lived a good life - much longer than I could have imagined when I took her to the vet in 2006, so skinny, losing fur and muscle and *knowing* she was at her end.

The prednisone (that she was started on after speaking with Lord Darcy's owner, because it was part of his protocol) made a huge difference. My vet explained that it helped with the pain, as it has anti-inflammatory properties as well as *maybe* helping slow the tumor growth. The tumor actually shrank for a little while.

The live adult insects that she hunted at night made a huge difference for her energy and attitude. Hunting perked her up in a way that I couldn't have imagined. She ate 40+ adult crickets per night! (and still ate her normal meal). I dumped 80 (for her and her mate) into her mesh cage so they could climb and hide among her toys and pouches. The gliders LOVED hunting - listening and searching them out. It was very cool to watch.

The vit. B syrup helped to increase her appetite and helped give her a 'boost'.

Finally, the magnets helped overall. I think the magnets helped with not only her fur growth, but her pain and energy levels as well. I could tell if I left them off of her pouch for a few days, she would be a little less bright eyed and more lethargic and just 'sad' looking.

As a side note - I had the opportunity to communicate with Lord Darcy's owner, recently. Lord Darcy lived to be 12. As I mentioned, he had been diagnosed (by Cornell University Veterinary Clinic) with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and went into full remission with the protocol he was given by his vet team. [Including Ensure diet, live adult form insects to hunt (as many as he would eat), vit B syrup, and prednisone]. After receiving the protocol from his owner, I spoke with my vet and she agreed to that it was worth a try. She determined what the correct supplements were and how to dose them.

I had so much more time with Kira than I thought I would. I am grateful for every one of those moments. I will love her forever. As Lord Darcy's owner said to me, when I told her of Kira's passing; "No, time does not heal it. You just learn to live without them." heart
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.


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