I received this letter from Lesley from England on August 13, 2005:

Hello Rochelle
I have been coming to your site for some years now, but I have not come across the problem I have with one of my Goldens. Earlier this year Florrie was diagnosed with Histiocytosis, she's nearly 5-years-old. When she was about 18-months-old we noticed a lump in her tail, and went to the vet. He assured us nothing was wrong, and she probably had broken her tail at some stage. I thought this very strange, but thought well, she does wag that tail allot, maybe something happened. She appeared well, it did not bother her, and so we left it at that. If only i had known then.

Earlier this year, I found a lump on her right hind foot, so we took her to the vet, who said it was a tumour. He was not too bothered about the tail until they operated. Even though finding that the tissue in the tail and foot were the same, they could not remove all the tissue, but said it is a slow growing malignant tumour. We are now into August, and I think the lump in the tail has come back. I am desperate to find any other information about this illness that I can relate to, I have found articles, but it's so difficult to understand.

So, I am wondering, through your many years of experience with Goldens, and talking with many people, whether you have come across this type of Histiocytosis. I would be so grateful for you help. Yours faithfully, Lesley Venn  

Response to Lesley
Lesley, I am so sorry about your Golden girl. I personally do not know anything about this particular condition, even though it is listed as one of the cancers Goldens acquire. I have sent your post to my friend Suzi Beber, who has been very involved in keeping up with the latest in canine cancer research. I will let you know when I hear back from her. In the meantime, I did see these links that seem very informative: http://www.histiocytosis.ucdavis.edu/ and
http://www.jersey.net/~mountaindog/berner1/histio.htm.   Golden-ly, Rochelle

Letter from Lesley September 14, 2005
Hello Rochelle
I just had to email you with my news. Thank you so much for putting me in touch with your friend Suzi, who has been wonderful! She gave me an email address to the University of California, and I sent them details of the histology reports for my Golden's problem. I had told you that I had results indicating she had low grade malignant Histiocytosis.

By now, Florrie had another lump come up on her tail, so the vet said he had to operate again, I was so very worried about her, but the results came back and I was told the tissue type was the same, and that she would have to start a course of chemo, to which I was devastated about. She appeared so well, so of course I was questioning.

Well, after many emails, I had the reply today from California that made me fall off my chair. Well, not literally! It read that the results were NOT cancer, but inflammation. Professor Moore was kind enough to read the three reports I now had, and he wrote back to tell me that these reports read inflammation. It appeared that my vet had read the reports incorrectly, and that Florrie did not have the malignant form, but the benign form. So the second operation on her tail was unnecessary. Instead, she could have immunosuppressant drugs, or it could regress on its own without the drugs.

I have seen my vet today, and we had talks, and it seems after all this time, the results had not been read correctly, and today he also told me it was not cancer, but rather Cutaneous Histiocytosis and inflammation that could be held back by immunosuppressant drugs. At the moment she's very well, and we have had the lesions removed (lumps) from her tail. So we will wait and see if they reappear, and then use the drugs. But, it's a far cry from what I had been feeling and thinking these last five months!

Thanks so much for you wonderful website, and the wonderful people that I have met through it. With my story, I just hope I can help someone else not to go through the agony we went through. Best wishes to you, and your family Rochelle, and thank you so very much.    Lesley and Florrie

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