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How do Dogs get Cancer?
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“I just returned from my annual Winter camping trip. On the drive home I received a call from my vet who told me that my dogs test results were back and Lewis had cancer in his salivary glands. He also said it was malignant and multi organ.
He explained that, for several reasons that this does not respond well to either Chemo or radiation. Lewis' prognosis is not good. Does anyone out there have any experience with this?
If I do nothing, how quick does this go and how bad will it be for Lewis? I don't want to be selfish and just keep Lewis here for me but I can't help myself.
I want to do the right thing. I know this isn't about backpacking but this is a community that has experienced a great deal and I am hoping someone has some info.”
“I wish I could help, but can only offer my sympathy. I recently was adopted by a 2 year old Brittany Spaniel after more than 20 dogless years. She brings many challenges and much happiness to me.”
“My dog died of cancer last year but he smoked three packs a day.”
“Sandy I don't know the answers you are asking but you should ask your vet every question you have. See what he/her says about the pain the dog will be in. Unless Lewis is sick now let him run and jump as long as he can.
Either way I know it will hurt...big hugs!”
“I'm sorry to hear this Sandyann.
My 14 year old has lots of tumors, but all benign so far - so the vet recommended operating on the on that caused her pain, but not the others.
My cousin's dog had a single cancerous tumor and she decided to have the dog get surgery and chemo. She felt it was worth it for a good shot at a few good years.
I'd talk another vet for a second opinion if you have any doubt about what to do. Given what this vet says, I agree with Crazygurl. If you can treat the pain and your dog can enjoy life, keep him comfortable and happy as long as you can. You'll know when and if its time to let go.”
“I don't know how severe it is but I am really sorry. Depending on how bad it is...this will be a tough decision. Years ago when Daisy crossed rainbow bridge. She was pretty much blind, more or less deaf and had lost control of her bowels....That morning was the first time her face did not have the LIGHT I saw every other morning....I had to make a tough decision...with the help of many on this thread...I got through it. My Prayers are with you.”
“sandyann/ I am so sadden to hear about Lewis. I have raised dogs most of my life and have never had the AGAPE love a dog can give. They love us more than they love themselves. I wish Lewis a miracle and wish you one as well. If there are no Dogs in heaven ,then when I die I want to go where they go. (Will Rogers)”
“Sandyann, i just had to put my 13yr boxer down from cancer.I asked the vet how long and he said 3 months.My little buddy got steak every day.After 2 months he stopped eating and i knew it was for the best to due the right thing.As long as he eats and show no pain enjoy time together.Best of luck.”
“I don't know about dogs, but we've lost two hamsters and one guinea pig to cancerous tumors. We let them live to the end, they were not in pain until the last day, (we knew because they were not off their feed or water or play), and then when they went it was so quick we did not even have time to get them to the vet. We still miss Bacon, Goggles & Pepsi.
If I were you, I would do all the research I could online; get all the answers before you make any decisions.”
“My last dog (actually a girlfriend’s dog but I loved him too) got cancer and went within a year. His body was riddled with tumors, but he didn’t act as if he were in pain until the very end.
The last day I saw him, he had lost the use of his back legs. The next day she called me from the vet and I could hear him howling in the background. He finally let us know that he was ready to end his pain. It was one of the worst days of my life but it was the kindest thing to do for him.
My dog has poly-arthritis. It’s degenerative and there doesn’t seem to be much they can do for him except to manage it. We get Adequin shots every three weeks, I give him Cosequin twice a day, and we give him a supplement in his food. Some days are better than others but he’s obviously getting worse. He’s better when he exercises. He’s often stiff after he’s been sleeping. I’m hoping to take him to Colorado with me this summer.
I dread the idea that I will probably have to make the decision to end his pain in the future. But as long as he seems happy and isn’t verbalizing his pain, we’ll continue. I talk, pet, scratch, and play with him every day. He knows he’s loved. With all the medical science at our disposal, I think that’s often an underestimated help. But it doesn’t change the fact that everyone we love eventually dies.
My heart goes out to you and Lewis.”
“First of all let me say that I am sorry you have to go through this with Lewis. The simple fact they have such short life spans means that every time I get a new dog I have to remind myself that the joy of that first week will be balanced by the grief when they leave. Cancer, especially in larger dogs, seems to be a common cause of death.”
“sad news...I agree with what others here have said. Ask a lot of questions and/or do some internet searching. Other than that, I think he'll let you know when he's ready...
heartfelt condolences, sandy. :(”
“too bad animals can't talk. But, please, some things to consider for the animals sake:
A. never assume you can tell an animal isn't in pain unless your trained to do so.
2. Animals won't necessarily "complain" when they are in pain. And certainly Not anything like humans
C. As tumors grow and spread to organs they start to interfere with organ function. These hard masses also start to become physically uncomfortable. Will you recognize any signs?
The animal may slow down over time. If the changes are subtle, will you be able to recognize it?
I've worked on Onconolog studies with rats. At the end of their lives, many would have mammary tumors that were 1/3 their body weight. They weren't that unhappy, anthropomorphically speaking. But don't try to tell me they weren't in some unfortunate pain.”
“I had a cat that contracted Leukemia. We discovered it because his lungs continued to fill with fluid and he had difficulty breathing. We knew his time was extremely short and acted accordingly.
The difference with Lewis is the lump just kind of appeared one day (2 days before Christmas). Coincidentally, the day before we had some trees taken down. Christmas Eve, Lewis came in the house rubbing his face and generally being uncomfortable. He proceeded to come down with hives and his eye swelled shut. Just so happens to be on the same side of his head as the salivary lump.
We took him to emergency and they treated his hives and sent him home. We took him to his regular vet because the swelling in the eye returned and the lump was larger.
Through several tests and a very painful biopsy procedure we discovered Lewis has a very agressive form of cancer in his lymph node and salivary gland. The doctor isn't sure what is causing the swelling in the eye.
So we are treating him with steroids and the swelling has gone down. Although it appears as though the lump continues to grow daily. Otherwise, Lewis is acting normal when I am around (I am his human). He is eating with his usual gusto and is still drinking water. We are going to watch him daily and see how this goes.
This has been a very quick three weeks. Thank you all for your kind thoughts.”
“now i'm feeling bad bearmagnet. i thought if our babies were off of feed & water and stopped playing that it would be the clue we were looking for. they were acting normal until the last day. i feel horrible thinking they were in pain.”
“Your a good human sandyann, Lewis couldnt ask for more.”
“I agree with Steve.
I wish I could say more, but since I've been through it, I know nothing will take the hurt away. Just try to continue letting Lewis make you happy, because that's what makes him happy.”
“Well, I posted that my dog's tumors were all benign so far But I just learned she has a mast cell tumor which is cancer. She's a good old dog, turned 100 in March. She had been biting at the tumor and I had to put an Elizabethan collar on her - which drove us both nuts. I managed to rig something to keep her from biting at it that allowed me to take the collar of - so we are both doing better now.
I'll take her to the Vet Hospital to talk to a specialist. I hope I can get an appointment Friday. She's been an incredible friend for more than 14 years and tried to do everything I've ever asked of her. So even though it seems decadent, I will spring for surgery if there is a good chance she will get some substantial good time from it. I don't think radiation or chemo would be worth her suffering or my money.
For now, I'm going to spoil her rotten while I have the chance.
She almost died as a pup, got Parvo before the vacciantions took and lost half her weight and couldn't even pull herself away from her pee, let alone sit or stand. I force fed her for days after the Vet gave up on her (the guy cut his bill in half when he gave her back to me with a sad expression). I will never forget the Sunday that I saw her sitting up at 5AM when I came to check on her. It was one of the happiest moments of my life.”
“turned 100 in March
uhhhhh...... is that in dog years? if so, then shes 14.2587”
“Yeah she hit 14.2587 in the begining of March, now she's closer to 14.383.”
“Sorry to hear that, Ped.”
dog age calculator
“If we go by that calculator rather than the simple 7/1 ratio she is either 87 or 107 depending on whether she is large or medium. She's 55 pounds.”
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