For years, we have known that Aidan has a sensitive immune system.  After Maya died, he lost all the pigmentation in his nose and a tissue biopsy revealed he had discoid lupus.  As he overcame the loss of Maya and welcomed Luna and Boltz to the social group, his symptoms subsided and he attempted to pair-bond with Luna.  Due to Luna’s circumstances, that was challenging at times, but still provided a socially functioning pack.  After the introduction of the 2016 pups and Luna’s behavioral aggression, Aidan had another pack change.  Luna was retired and Aidan bonded with the pups and led the pack on his own. He did a great job, but without the support of the dominant female, stress was noticeable.  By 2017, mast cell tumors formed on Aidan that required 3 surgeries for removal including one in February 2019.  Based on our vet’s experience with dogs, reformation of these growths can be random.  For some they keep coming back until they become a systemic issue, for other cases, 3 surgeries for removal and they don’t reappear.  We didn’t know how Aidan’s growths would progress, but we had a great spring, until Luna’s issue occurred.  On July 6th, Luna and Aidan’s worlds changed.  Luna’s was identified with a possible abscess, so we moved her into her own enclosure while we treated with antibiotics. After limited success with the antibiotics, we scheduled her for surgery on the 17th of July and discovered the more serious diagnosis of cancer.  The decision to separate coincided with a return of Aidan’s mast cell growth.  Just because there was a correlation doesn’t mean causation, but based on his history with auto immune issues after pack changing events, we are working on treating him medically as well as psychologically. After Luna’s incision heals, we plan to reunite the retired pack and give them the social interactions that can keep them distracted as they try to heal their respective issues. 

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