Ten-year-old Max came to Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue (DLRR) in March 2020 from Maricopa County Animal Care & Control where he had been picked up as a stray. At his vet intake exam, a small lump was noted on his right hip area, but other than the lump Max was very healthy.

In his foster home, the lump grew quickly — almost overnight. DLRR brought Max to Arizona Veterinary Oncology, and they found a mast cell tumor (MCT) at his appointment. As a rescue organization we have limited funding, so we reached out to the Zeus Oncology Fund (ZOF) for assistance with the surgery that was recommended by the Oncologist and because Max had a good prognosis for recovery. With the financial assistance of the ZOF, we were able to get Max the treatment he needed.

Unfortunately, the tumor biopsy results showed a Grade 2 / high-grade tumor with active cells in the remaining tumor that the vet could not fully remove. Basically, this meant a high probability of the cancerous tumor recurring. The next stop for Max would be a radiation consult to determine next steps. During this exam, more nodules were found close to the site where the MCT was removed and another nodule found under his armpit. 

After much discussion and agony, the DLRR Board of Directors decided it was best for Max to become a Hospice dog, receiving palliative care in his loving foster home.

Max is currently resting a lot, but still plays with his toys and has a good appetite. He is taking Prednisone to help with any symptoms, and does not seem to be in any pain. Max is such a good boy and loves to be loved. He will live out his life knowing how much joy he brought to the world. DLRR and Max are so fortunate to have the support of ZOF during this difficult time, and without the support, funding and compassion of the ZOF team, Max might not have had the chance he deserves.

Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue- 2020