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BrianM
03-29-2007, 09:22 AM
We found out last night that our almost 9 year old GSP has lymphoma. He has lost quite a bit of weight over the past few months and can't seem to bring it back up. Blood tests, xrays and an ultrasound seem to lead us to this conclusion. Although the x rays and ultrasound did not find any kind of mass age, bloodwork and symptoms lead to the lymphoma conclusion. The only way to know for sure would be invasive and extremely expensive exploratory surgery. The surgery if it proves the likely would not give any kind of cure but would only allow confirmation and then the ability to do chemotherapy. The chemo again would not be a cure and according to the vet would only possibly prolong life a short (less than 1 year period of time). The wife and I are of the feeling that putting the dog through all of that is kind of selfish. Invasive and painful surgery and then chemo that would make him feel sick all the time for what? A few extra months with a not all that great quality of life?

I know there are a few out there that have had to deal with cancer in dogs. Anyone go the chemo route? Anyone end up thinking like us? Thanks for any advice and support in advance guys.

Maristar210
03-29-2007, 09:37 AM
We found out last night that our almost 9 year old GSP has lymphoma. He has lost quite a bit of weight over the past few months and can't seem to bring it back up. Blood tests, xrays and an ultrasound seem to lead us to this conclusion. Although the x rays and ultrasound did not find any kind of mass age, bloodwork and symptoms lead to the lymphoma conclusion. The only way to know for sure would be invasive and extremely expensive exploratory surgery. The surgery if it proves the likely would not give any kind of cure but would only allow confirmation and then the ability to do chemotherapy. The chemo again would not be a cure and according to the vet would only possibly prolong life a short (less than 1 year period of time). The wife and I are of the feeling that putting the dog through all of that is kind of selfish. Invasive and painful surgery and then chemo that would make him feel sick all the time for what? A few extra months with a not all that great quality of life?

I know there are a few out there that have had to deal with cancer in dogs. Anyone go the chemo route? Anyone end up thinking like us? Thanks for any advice and support in advance guys.


Brian,

My German Shepard "Boris" was diagnosed at 6 years old. It was a very similar story except he was pretty far along and in pain. We made the toughtest decision for us but the best decision for the animal to allow him to rest in peace instead of putting him through procedures that would only prolong his life a short while. The quality of life he would have experience would not have been one I would have liked to remember so even though I still miss that dog to this day, we made the right decision.

Best of luck, it isn't an easy decision.. Steve

shepherd
03-29-2007, 09:47 AM
Brian,
Sorry about your dog. We had to put our dog down after his body got ridden with cancer, pretty much all over. His last few months were pretty bad and we wish we put him down earlier. If you've never done it before, putting your dog to sleep is the most humane, painless way to alleviate his suffering. I could sense the relief when Buddy fell asleep for the last time. But, it was one of the saddest days of my life.

I agree with your opinion. We never considered chemo. Why make the poor dog suffer even more just to prolong his life a few months?

BrianM
03-29-2007, 09:55 AM
Fortunately so far he is doing really good. I little on the thin side but still functioning basicly normal. I am of the same thoughts as Maristar210 and Shepherd. As hard as it is for us I would much rather put him down when the quality of life is no longer there than put him through proceedures. Hopefully he will be able to maintain that for a while longer but the clock is apparently ticking.

corey
03-29-2007, 09:57 AM
Very sorry to hear about your dog. My wife and I went through a similar situation a couple of years ago. It was definitely not an easy decision to make and I know my wife is still dealing with the loss. In the end it was the best choice for us and Stimpy.

TMCNo1
03-29-2007, 09:58 AM
Brian, we understand what you and the family are confronted with. We had to put down our 12 year old Basset Hound, Joseophine with intestinal cancer. Vet said it probably came from the liquid chemicals a lawn service put on the yard for 4 years. Her feet would be wet from the dew and she would come in and lick her feet. They didn't think she could survive the surgery at her age and she then if she made it, she would not be able to control her bowels. Hard thing to deal with.

trickskier
03-29-2007, 10:00 AM
Sorry to hear about your dog Brian. My wife and I went though a simular experience with our first Scottish Terrier. She was about 10 years old when she was diagnosed with bladder cancer. To make a long story short, my wife took her to the Shands Animal Hospital at the University of Florida and they were able to come up with some oral medications that kept her alive for a little over a year. She had a good quality of life up until about 1 week before we had to euthanize her.

While she did not have to have surgery or chemotherapy treatments we did spend a lot of money to keep her alive for another year.

Pets become a part of our family, and it's a very difficult decision to make either way. In the end you have to do what's humanely best for your pet. Best of luck in your decision.

RexDog1
03-29-2007, 10:02 AM
Brian


My parents had dog go through chemo….. The dog lived about one more year
But not a healthy life for that year, my dad would never do it again


I also agree with your opinion. Why make the poor dog suffer even more just to prolong his life a few months?


I am so sorry……..RD

Slinkyredfoot
03-29-2007, 10:34 AM
Brian,
I too am very sorry to here about your dilema. We had a Lab who was only 5 years old that had cancer in an eye believe it or not, took the steps to have that taken care of, a year later he developed liver cancer, it was horrible. Could have kept him on medication to also prolong his life but decided to put him down.
We all went to the vet and stayed in the room while he was euthanized, very peaceful end to a great dogs life.
It is so tough to make a decision like this, but it is all a part of being a pet owner and having the love for animals.
The best healing for us was to go out and get a new pup.
Good luck to you with your decision.

kjohnson
03-29-2007, 10:43 AM
I had a doberman with lymphoma. I did go the chemo route. The chemo does not affect dogs in the same manner as people. Hair does not fall out, no nausea etc. She lived about 1 additional year. Total treatment was about $1,000. Personally I was glad I did it, because I got to spend an additional special year with her.

baedriver
03-29-2007, 10:56 AM
I am very sorry for you and your family. Our family had a similar decision to make a few years ago. It is very hard to watch the dog suffer, a family member suffer. There is no great solution but we let ours rest in peace.

east tx skier
03-29-2007, 11:00 AM
Brian, I'm so sorry to hear about your pup. My golden retriever, Maggie, was diagnosed with lymphoma at age 7. She was what I've come to call my "once in a lifetime" dog, and I couldn't bear not to do something to try to help her. She went through a few rounds of chemotherapy and I switched her to a natural diet. Like kjohnson said, the chemo doesn't seem to manifest itself in dogs like it does in people, and she did improve for a time. She liked the natural diet, too. Whether or not it was good for her, she was eating and the weight loss subsided.

In the end, we were only buying time though. That said, it was mostly good time and lots of dips in the pool, something she very much enjoyed. After six months, she abrubtly got worse (over about a week's time), and we made the very painful decision to have her put down. The moments after making this decision are among the few times in my life I have cried uncontrollably. I can feel a tightness in my throat just writing about it. But I know we saved her some pain in the end.

Again, I'm sorry to hear this sad news.

BrianM
03-29-2007, 11:11 AM
Brian, I'm so sorry to hear about your pup. My golden retriever, Maggie, was diagnosed with lymphoma at age 7. She was what I've come to call my "once in a lifetime" dog, and I couldn't bear not to do something to try to help her. She went through a few rounds of chemotherapy and I switched her to a natural diet. Like kjohnson said, the chemo doesn't seem to manifest itself in dogs like it does in people, and she did improve for a time. She liked the natural diet, too. Whether or not it was good for her, she was eating and the weight loss subsided.

In the end, we were only buying time though. That said, it was mostly good time and lots of dips in the pool, something she very much enjoyed. After six months, she abrubtly got worse (over about a week's time), and we made the very painful decision to have her put down. The moments after making this decision are among the few times in my life I have cried uncontrollably. I can feel a tightness in my throat just writing about it. But I know we saved her some pain in the end.

Again, I'm sorry to hear this sad news.

We are switching the diet to try to subside the weight loss now. Our vet reccomended going to the high protein and fat puppy food. Will probably do a mix of wet and dry since he scarfs up the wet stuff. What did you feed for the natural diet??

jimmer2880
03-29-2007, 11:28 AM
I had a black lab go through a bout with cancer. We found out in the spring. Kept him around into the summer until 1 day, he couldn't get into the truck by himself (which was what that dog lived to do). We knew then, it was time. One of the toughest decisions I have had to make.

We did everything we could after finding out he had cancer to make him comfortable & happy. He loved every minute of it.

lawless1
03-29-2007, 12:20 PM
No advice for you here just well wishing for you, your family, and your dog.

cmack
03-29-2007, 12:30 PM
Brian,

About five years ago we lost one of our Weimaraners (Bo) to lymphoma. He was the best dog I have ever had. Same with Eastie, Bo was our "once in a lifetime" dog.
It started when we moved to our new house. He simply stopped eating. Refused to eat. After just a few days we took him into vet. They ran the blood work and checked him over and found nothing wrong. They said that sometime dogs just stop eating for whatever reason and will start a few days later. Two weeks went by he still would not eat. We could not deal with this and started feeding him by hand ground up chicken and rice.
Then went back to vet and the blood work "looked odd" but nothing really showed up. We took an x-ray and his liver was enlarged. That was the first signs. It turned out being lymphoma. So he had the growths where certain lymph glands were cancerous.
We did go the chemo route. The Dr. thought he was doing very well. It gave us some time to get ready for things. He never did get very sick with the chemo, as others have said it does not affect dogs that way. He went into remission but only for a month. It was still a good month, he perked up and was eating and did show signs of recovery. We were able to have a few good weeks.However he came out of remission and got really sick very fast, he had growths all over him. This happened over the course of three days. The vet made a house call on Sunday for us.
I think what cost Bo his chance was the vet who did not have a clue at the very beginning. I do feel that if it was caught early enough he might have had better chances. But lymphoma is a bad one it moves very fast. If you go that route do it quickly.
I can't say if we would go that route again - it all depends. Ours was not a bad experience (with the chemo per say). He was just too far along already.
Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about it. I'm very sorry, I know how painfull it is.

bigmac
03-29-2007, 01:24 PM
I actually operated on my dog a couple of years ago only to find out she had hemangiosarcoma. I thought (hoped) I got it all, but about 30 days later she showed evidence of metastasis. We resolved those acute symptoms, but put her to sleep once it was clear we hadn't cured her because we didn't want her to die scared or in pain. I'm sorry. It hurts, I know.

Story (http://www.mccollister.info/sassy/sassy.htm)

.

Maristar210
03-29-2007, 01:35 PM
I actually operated on my dog a couple of years ago only to find out she had hemangiosarcoma. I thought (hoped) I got it all, but about 30 days later she showed evidence of metastasis. We resolved those acute symptoms, but put her to sleep once it was clear we hadn't cured her because we didn't want her to die scared or in pain. I'm sorry. It hurts, I know.

Story (http://www.mccollister.info/sassy/sassy.htm)

.


Thanks for sharing the story Doc. This thread has got me all choked up. Man these pets really get inside our hearts.:(

BrianM
03-29-2007, 01:55 PM
I actually operated on my dog a couple of years ago only to find out she had hemangiosarcoma. I thought (hoped) I got it all, but about 30 days later she showed evidence of metastasis. We resolved those acute symptoms, but put her to sleep once it was clear we hadn't cured her because we didn't want her to die scared or in pain. I'm sorry. It hurts, I know.

Story (http://www.mccollister.info/sassy/sassy.htm)

.

Thanks for the story. I don't tear up for much of anything but this thread, this story and a PM this morning have me really choked up.

DooSPX
03-29-2007, 02:15 PM
Brian, I am sorry to hear about your dog. it is a really hard decision to decide what would be best.

Monte
03-29-2007, 03:15 PM
Brian, I am sorry to hear about your dog. I have only had to experience the rough kind of decision you have been charged with making once; however, it was not cancer related. I feel the same as several previous contributors.. Quantity doesn't always equal quality when it comes to life.
I know it is a tough time for your entire household.

BIGBADBLUE
03-29-2007, 04:13 PM
Dang ... I hate to hear about your dog. It brings back memories of the decision we went through. We decided not to do Chemo after talking with many other that had this decision. We still think it was right but man it was not easy. Our dog was only 7 and our little kids were crushed as were the wife and I.

It is not an easy decision and I am sure whatever way you decided is the right decision for you and your dog.

Danimal
03-29-2007, 05:05 PM
Brian,

I am so sorry to hear about your dog. I, too, am of the opinion to put the dog through chemo is selfish on our part just to get a few more months to a year for our pleasure. It's never easy to put an animal down but sometimes it is best for the animal.

JohnE
03-29-2007, 05:29 PM
Brian,

I'm sorry too to hear about your dog. I have 2 very close friends that went through the same decision. One's dog was 6, the other's 9. They both made the decision to put them down. The one who's dog was 6 told me he cried like a baby when he found out. I don't blame him.

I had one dog from the time I was 16 'till I was 30. When she died, I was more broken up than at any other time in my life. And for a year or so, I told myself that I was preparing for it. And she lived a full life.

I'm sorry you and your family have to go through this.

Laurel_Lake_Skier
03-29-2007, 06:14 PM
We had a Golden with cancer about two years ago. He was about the same age as your dog. It was a tough choice to make but we kept him as long as he seemed to be to carry with the kind of life I would want for myself. There is no sure way of knowing if your dog is feeling pain or is suffering so that makes the decision tougher. When he finally stopped eating, we made the appointment with the vet to have him put down. I still remember the day clearly. I got to swim with the dog one last time in the morning. When we were to leave for the vet, we had to carry him out to the truck.....I knew then that he had no more good days left and through the tears, we knew a peaceful, quick end was best.

Everyone that has had to say goodbye to a great dog feels for you.

DrNautica
03-29-2007, 06:17 PM
Brian,

Keep your chin up. Dealing with the possibility of losing a beloved pet is one of life's worst trials. You will make the right decision for your pet and for you - I can feel it.

I am very sorry for your tough situation.

Mag_Red
03-29-2007, 06:42 PM
Having just made the decision to put a loved pet to sleep two weeks ago, I definately know what you are going through. Toughest thing I've had to do in a while. You're make the right decision.

JohnnyB
03-29-2007, 09:34 PM
Brian, no matter what you decide, have confidence that the decision you make will be the right one as it will be based on the best information you have and made from the heart.

You guys are going to make me cry like a baby!!!! A year ago labor day weekend, we were at the lake. I had my 11yr old lab, Thunder out on the pier working directional retrieves with dummies. After a good session, I was just sitting him on shore and lobbing a dummy off the end to watch him get the 15-20ft of leap before hitting the water and making his retrieve. He went up to the cabin after this, layed down, and couldn't get up the rest of the day. He got up from the living room to go to bed with my girls and was unable to get up from that spot again or get up at all over the next day and a half. I had to carry him out and lay him in the truck for the ride home. I dropped my daughters at my parents and my wife and I took him to the vet ER clinic where an ultrasound revealed two large masses (one the size of a baseball) on his liver and another on his spleen. One of them had also burst and filled his abdomen with blood. After discussing our options with the doctor and deciding that there was too much cancer, we decided to put him down. I cried my eyes out. I got recomposed and was pretty confident I was OK until I had to tell my kids when they asked where Thunder was. Sunday of opening day of duck hunting, after a great two days of hunting, I decided I could go in and pick up his cremated remains.....I would've been fine, but they gave me his urn along with the blanket we brought him in with and his collar....I wish he''d of been cremated with that stuff.

Anyway, six months later I got another lab pup and really enjoy having another hunting buddy and house companion. I'm at the beginning of the cycle again and dread reaching that final day. At 10-12years, a retrievers life is too short but I wouldn't give up the time I had with any of my labs.

dapicatti
03-29-2007, 11:46 PM
I am amazed at the number of dogs here that have had cancer. Part of it is that we are taking better care of our animals and they are living longer and getting these terrible diseases that humans do.

Our Chow Angelo started limping, a week later couldn't put any weight on his front right leg. We took him in to the vet, they diagnosed osteosarcoma. Best case scenario without any treatment was less than one month to live, and incredible pain in the affected leg. Treatment option was remove the damaged leg- devestating to me and the wife- and go through chemo. and prolong his life.

We decided that he was in so much pain, we needed to do something. We opted for the amputation and chemo, and still had an amazing year after he was diagnosed. He could run so fast on 3 legs I couldn't believe it. When we picked him up from the WSU Vet school clinic, after his amputation, we made them walk him outside a window before we let him see us. We were afraid we would have a bad reaction, loss of emotional control etc. The vet student brought him out under the window and he ran and ran and ran. We knew then we had made the right decision for us

We had a wonderful year with our beloved buddy- no kids so our animals are our kids- he never had any pain that we could see. There were many happy memories that year, we would do it again in a hearbeat. He peacefully went to sleep and didn't wake up a year after his diagnosis. We couldn't have asked for more. And he got to Jet ski one more year.

C36
03-30-2007, 12:01 AM
BrianM:

Also sorry to hear your news (and the outpouring of heartbreaking past event from others). We had a once that had a tumor in its jaw (it was in its late teens when this developed). He was able to live for almost a year, decreasing weight and slow eating. Finally the day came to say good-bye. Not easy, but the time came.

Our dog turned 10 today - I am on my way home to give him a big hug (and a belly rub).

I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

whitedog
03-30-2007, 12:10 AM
Brian, I can relate to your pain, never had to deal with cancer in a dog but have had to put two good family members down for other reasons. One, a cocker spainial was hit by a car and the interenal damage was bad, could see she was in a lot of pain, so we put here down. Second was a Shetland who was 16, no cancer but internal organs were shutting down and quality of life had detriorated to the point it was painful for us to watch, that was one of the hardest decissions I have had do make. I am not looking forward to those days again although I know they will come. Keep your friend comfortable, and as long as he is eating and not loosing anymore weight, enjoy the remaining days and months, allowing your friend to tell you when hes had enough, then do the right thing for both. While it is dificult to put a beloved friend down, it is far harder to watch them suffer. You will always remember the good times especially the last ones. Good luck and enjoy what time he has left.

tb23
03-30-2007, 12:41 AM
Brian, I am so sorry for the bad news. 2 years ago on Christmas day I went out to give the dogs(2 bassett hounds)their presents and I noticed a big lump on the older ones leg. I started checking him out and noticed another lump inside his ear. I took him to the vet and they told me they thought it was a sist. A couple days later I got the call from the vet and indead it was cancer. The dog was 13, so the vet told me he was to old to go through surgery. He lived a couple of months longer until we made the decision. I'll never forget the ride to the vets. I sat in the room with him until it was time. He licked me on the nose and I told him goodbye. My wife stayed with him until they gave him the shot. I was such a wreck, I had to leave the room. It was the hardest thing I had to do in my life. I'm getting choked up just writing about it. I wish you and your family the best. Whatever the decision you make it will be the right one. Enjoy the time you have with you dog!!

Willski
03-30-2007, 12:48 AM
For the most part it seems everyone has the same opinion as I do. We put down a springer spaniel after 10 years. Kidney failure. We spent a lot of money on special food and rehydration treatments over the last year, and don't regret that, but when it got toward the end, the vet didn't think there was much to be done. It was really an easy decision, given the quality of life issue for her, although not an easy thing to experience. Just don't keep the dog around for your own good if it is suffering. We rescued a GSP in November and she's been great.

mhsb1029
03-30-2007, 02:48 AM
This thread brought me to tears.

We had to put down our english pointer a couple of Christmas' ago. Next to my dad being in the hospital for his own cancer surgeries and chemo treatments, it was the hardest thing that I have ever had to go through. Our pointer did not have cancer, but he was becoming snappy with our family members. We all think that there was something that was wrong with him in the last year of his life, he just was not the same dog. It got to the point of us being really concerned about the safety of my brother little kids who were always at the house. Like I said, it was one of the most difficult decisions that my parents and I had to make but I have never regreted the decision. Our friend who is a vet came over to the house and gave "Koby" a shot to relax, we just lied next to him on the floor, he then gave him the final shot and we held him untill he stoped breathing. The process was extreamly peaceful, it was if Koby simply went into a deep sleep and never woke up. I will miss that dog forever.

Within the last year of Koby's life my wife and I got a blue weimaraner. Our Weim is now three and is one of those once in a lifetime type dogs. About 8 months ago we found out that our Weim has hip Displasia. My wife and I cried our eyes out at the vet. She is one hell of a bird dog and and an even better family dog. I now know that hunting a couple of hours per day a couple days a week is her max and I also know that I have to regularly exercise her so that she can keep as much weight as possible off of those hips(which keeps me in shape!).

One thing that my wife and I have had to focus on is the fact that we have given and will give our Weim the best and most comfortable life as we can and we will continue to do so untill she cannot be medicated and cannot be comfortable. Just as I am convinced that there is no better owner for my Weim, I am sure that you feel that you are the best possible owner that you dog could have ever had.

I hope to God that I do not have to make the decision again to put down another dog but if my Weim looses her quality of life and can not be comfortable I will not have any options. (Hip replacement is 10 grand) I count my blessings for every day that I have with my Weim.

You are going to make the right decision, and beings that you are the best owner for that dog, whatever decision you make will be the right decision.

ksmaristar91
03-30-2007, 09:21 AM
Brian, sorry to hear about the news. I am a dog lover with a 3 yr old weim and have had to deal with some pet loss in the past. Reading these threads makes me hate to think of the day that will come, so i say enjoy the time you can, and ease the pain as best you can. Before i had "jersey" i used to swear that i would never do surgery or spend huge money on a pet to heal, them. WRONG, 3k after eating a toy is the best money i spent, they really are part of the family. Best of luck with your situation.

In our thoughts,
Austin