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Clenna’s Chemo Journey Thus Far

Hi Tripawd Community!!

It’s been a few months since our last post, and I wanted to update you all on her condition.

To give you a little rundown of Clenna, Clenna is the sweetest little five-year-old fawn pug. She loves to cuddle, eat cheese, and be held when she’s scared. She loves being around people and can be pretty playful with other dogs when she isn’t napping or spying on our neighbors in the bay window of our house.

Clenna at a local brewery

Unfortunately, our soul dog was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor in her right front leg and in her right armpit in the Summer of 2022.

After a long journey with the vet, they were able to give us her diagnosis but were unable to determine how serious the tumors were as they were embedded in her leg muscle, and could only determine the grade of the tumors by amputation of her front right leg.

We thought about it and came to the conclusion that amputation was the only option if we wanted Clenna to have a chance at life. Otherwise, we could be faced with serious complications from her MCT if it wasn’t removed.

Fast forward to November, and her leg was successfully amputated, with what the vet believed to be a successful surgery.

With MCTs, the tumors can have tentacle-like bodies where you might get the majority of them out, but there could be leftover tentacles that could continue to spread throughout your dog’s body even after surgery. This was a risk we knew we had to take.

After amputation, Clenna’s tumor was diagnosed as a low-grade tumor, however, it had spread to a nearby lymph node. Lymph nodes are like the epicenter of a transportation center in a dog’s body and can transport the mast cells from one lymph node to the other, from her liver to her spleen, and throughout her body. The moral of the story was, this wasn’t good news to hear.

The oncologist suggested we put her on palladia immediately, as they had found a few more mast cells in her stomach, and knew this was the best course of treatment for her.

Life with Chemo

Chemo is given to her every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday by way of pills that we stuff in blueberries. Clenna loves to catch them and they’re healthy for her, which makes it even better. If she gains weight, her leg would have to work twice as hard so it’s important that we keep her on a semi-restricted diet and the blueberries help with cutting back on feeding her more and more treats. As most of you probably know pugs LOVE food and treats so we are trying to cut back, but also make sure she’s a happy little girl and doesn’t feel starved.

Now chemo is administered by my husband, as I am currently pregnant. When you’re pregnant, you can’t risk the chemo spreading to your baby, so the oncologist recommended that my husband handle giving her the chemo AND picking up her waste when we take her out. Now he has to handle the waste with gloves on, but it has been tougher on him as I’m not able to help, but he’s been amazing.

Update Since Last Post

So anyways, we’re now on month 4.5 and we just got back from our monthly checkup with the oncologist. She was on maternity leave herself, so we had another specialist help take over Clenna’s case while she was gone.

The Specialist was wonderful but wasn’t able to provide as much info on how Clenna was doing overall because she’s not specialized in oncology.

This morning, we had her oncologist back which was wonderful because she knows Clenna’s case the best and was able to give us the full rundown of how she’s doing and what the plan is for the rest of her treatment.

Drum Roll Please…

Clenna surveying the neighborhood with her new cousin, Maple

Clenna’s tests came back and her disease is minimal if anything. The vet said that she is doing extremely well, and by June, if she is still on track, we can take her off chemo and have her monitored for any MCTs moving forward, but she will be in remission!!!

We are so happy to hear this, as this journey has not been easy, and felt that we kept being handed bad news after bad news. Now we know that the chemo has been working.

With mast cells, they are so unpredictable, so they could very well come back, but as long as we keep her monitored, she will not have to take her chemo meds any longer.

Chemo meds and the oncologist appointments are not cheap, so it’s relief financially, but also a relief that there’s a chance Clenna is clear of her cancer that has been in our lives now for a year and a half.

We will keep you updated, but now we are focusing on our baby arriving any week now, and Clenna becoming a big sister. She is our everything, and we are so happy that she has been given another chance. There was a time there when we weren’t certain as to how long we’d have her around between her amputation and her cancer…

We are now feeling like we are going to have her around for years to come.

Amputation is not easy. Chemo and cancer are not easy, but we have persevered and feel that we’re on a smooth and not-so-bumpy road ahead.

Clenna resting on her new sibling

Continue to keep Clenna in your thoughts.


Kate and Clenna

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Author: Kate

Hi, my five year old pug was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor in her right front leg. She then had another form in her armpit. I am joining this group, because today, we are having her leg amputated. We pray for a short recovery, and that the mast cell tumor is benign.

One thought on “Clenna’s Chemo Journey Thus Far”

  1. Aww Kate! Thank you so so much for your update on Clenna. This is such a hopeful story about mast cell cancer recovery and treatment. I know that tons of folks are already finding comfort in knowing that there is life beyond vet visits and chemo.

    Congrats to all of you for her bounce-back, and your bouncing new bundle of joy on the way! What great timing to get the A+ visit at the vet.

    We hope we get to see Clenna and the baby when you get a chance to update again.

    Keep on hoppin Clenna!!!

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Miss Clenna the Pug is brought to you by Tripawds.