I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just came online and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with a special interest in canine cancer. I'm sorry to hear of this diagnosis.
Melanomas are an aggressive cancer, but there have been some new developments. If not treated promptly, the cancer spreads and becomes life-threatening. Melanoma can be treated by surgical removal, with a wide margin. To prevent recurrence, it is recommended to also treat with the newer canine melanoma vaccine. It is expensive, but with it, dogs have a good prognosis. You can read more about it here:http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=651504
If your finances permit, it would be well worthwhile to check into the vaccine.
There is also a clinical trial going on to test a newer drug called Palladia for oral melanomas. The trial is in Connecticut. If you happen to be near there:http://www.vcchope.com/resource-center/591
some oncologists are using Palladia to treat melanomas already. I have a relative whose Doberman was treated this way. He lived for an additional year, and it was a good quality of life.Palladia is less expensive than the vaccine, but not as effective. I recommend that your dog be examined by an oncologist as soon as possible, so you can discuss newer treatments and make an informed decision. To find an oncologist:http://www.vetcancersociety.org/pet-owners/
I'll check back in the morning to see if you need anything else or have further questions. I'll be hoping for the best possible outcome for your dog.
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