Tilly is living life to the fullest despite tumour

When Tilly, a 10-year-old Jack Russell, was diagnosed with an aggressive nasal tumour in March last year, owners Cynthia and Ian Davies were told she only had days to live. However, she defied all odds by surviving over 18 months – and counting!

Nele Van den Steen, co-clinical director at Cave Veterinary Specialists in West Buckland, where Tilly was referred after the initial diagnosis, said, “Tilly is the most remarkable dog who really has amazed us all.

“The initial prognosis was poor due to the extension of the tumour beyond the nasal cavity, so the first thought was to offer palliative radiation or chemotherapy while warning the owner that Tilly may deteriorate at any time and, at best, probably only had a few weeks to live.”

After a CT scan and biopsy at Cave confirmed she was suffering from a tumour which had grown between the nasal cavity into the skull, Tilly was put on a course of chemotherapy – which has worked beyond all expectations.

“Tilly’s response has been spectacular,” Nele added. “We normally expect to see a clinical response in about 60 per cent of cases for an average of five to six months, yet Tilly is still with us 18 months on. She’s definitely one of a kind and we’re thrilled she’s doing so well.”

Cynthia said, “She is our little miracle dog, our Tilly! Yes, she has a bump on her nose. Yes, she sometimes makes a noise like Darth Vader when breathing and yes, she now goes for less long walks, but she is still very happy, playful and is her cheeky self.

“We were absolutely devastated when we heard the news. We expected to lose her within two weeks and had resigned ourselves to this. It was such a shock as apart from the small amount of blood from her nose, she appeared to be such a fit and healthy dog.

“Our priority from the start was to do what was best for her, and her quality of life was paramount to us.”

Ian added, “We hope our experience helps others to make these difficult decisions. Had we known how she would respond so well to the Palladia, and that she would not suffer any side effects at all, we would have not worried as we did.

“Tilly has been a faithful companion and has given and received so much love and joy. Long may it continue!”

Images by Cave Veterinary Specialists

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