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Dog Diagnosed with Cancer Today-EDIT: UPDATE

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Dog Diagnosed with Cancer Today-EDIT: UPDATE

Old 05-14-2013, 07:24 AM
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Default Dog Diagnosed with Cancer Today-EDIT: UPDATED 6/3/14

Our shepherd/lab mix is 9 years old and like many, she has her share of lumps. We had one mass removed from her belly area a few years ago and it was not cancerous.

She has a knot on her neck that the vet felt was suspect so they did a needle biopsy last week. A few minutes ago my wife got the bad news. It is some form of skin cancer, but I don't know any more details.

The plan is to remove the tumor next Monday and determine if it has spread.

Our vet is a small sole practitioner who my family has used for 40 years. The current vet has been there about 25 years and he is a really good guy. We have gone through several animals with him and he is very practical and I have never had the feeling he was "runnng the tab".

Any words of wisdom? My wife is a mess.
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Last edited by Sprockets; 06-03-2014 at 04:40 AM.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:37 AM
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Thoughts and prayers. Our two year old holds a deep place in my heart and could not imagine your situation.

Cancers are all different, some can have breast cancer get tumor removed and they're cancer free. Without being a dog cancer specialist, I would still say maybe its similar and the lump can be removed and ya caught it early!
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:38 AM
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If it is just skin cancer i think your dog will fair well.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:40 AM
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Hope all goes well. Keep us informed
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Thalasso View Post
If it is just skin cancer i think your dog will fair well.
That is what they told my wife.

At 9 she is still as active as when she was 1. Runs around like crazy.

The knot on her neck is about the size of a golf ball. She probably has a half dozen lumps all over her, but I've read that this is fairly normal, and that most are fat deposits.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:51 AM
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I hate to imagine what you and the family are going through, Jeff....

I know that our dogs are like family....and we will do whatever we feel is necessary to give them a happy, pain free life.

I am sure the vet is doing the best that he can with what he has to work through. Most vets I have ever met are seriously concerned about their "patients", and are looking out for them.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:53 AM
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We've lost a couple dogs to cancer. One to liver/spleen involvement, and the other was a blood-borne cancer. Both times, it sucked. To watch them wither away to a shell of what they once were was unbelievably painful. It was expensive, but we would gladly have paid to keep them healthy--they were both around 9-10 years old.

I am a human medicine physician (retired), so I really don't know that much about skin cancers in dogs. In humans, there are various types of skin cancers--and usually they are very treatable, if caught early. The exception is malignant melanoma which is very nasty. I don't know what type of cancer they diagnosed in your dog though, so until you have that information it might be hard to determine a prognosis. However if they've told you that the dog should do fairly well, then my impression is that they are reassured by the pathology report. You can also research it on your own of course, simply using Google.

Anyway, just wanted to tell you that I definitely know where you're coming from. These animals get to be a part of the family and we consider ours to be like children. So your dog is in our prayers, and we sincerely hope that things turn out well. If there's any way I can help interpret information, just let me know by PM. I can shoot you an email address as well, if that will help.

TB
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:58 AM
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I cant offer a lot of wisdom but I really hope she gets better. One of our pups is almost 15 and we know he has had a great life and it helps us come to grips with his age. Good luck, I wish you the best.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:58 AM
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Sprockets, Best wishes on a speedy recovery.

I have her cousin, 10 year old black lab/shepherd mix.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:59 AM
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I know you said Sheppard/lab mix but the cancer and German Sheppard's seems to be a lot. We discussed it on other threads also.
Hoping the best for all.
Prayers.
Love em like mad and take plenty of photos.


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Old 05-14-2013, 08:44 AM
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I just obtained more info from the vet. It is a Mast Cell Tumor. She explained the various stages and what the surgery will involve. I did a little reading and it appears that if it is early and hasn't spread she should be OK. We won't know until Monday when they remove it.

Thanks for all the thoughts. I've been down this road before with cats and dogs and it isn't easy. This time it is really tough on my wife because we are fairly recent empty nesters.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:21 AM
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I have been down this road, so good luck. If you can afford it, get to a vet who specializes in cancer as you need more help than a regular vet can provide. I have had specialists diagnose something that a regular vet had been treating incorrectly for 6 months. There are specialists in various clinics or at teaching hospitals connected with vet schools. Ask your vet for a referral and get the second opinion.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:28 AM
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Nice looking dog...good luck, they get to be family almost like ur kids..
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:44 AM
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Some personal experiences. Had many dogs die from cancer and many lived much longer then the Vet said. The last dog we had, died from Feline Leukemia (go figure). He was given 2 months at best to live. Well 2.5 yrs later we had to finally put him down. Just-shows-to-go-ya , even when little hope is given, there is much to be found.

I put him on fresh chicken and brown rice which I cooked, not dog food... cooked the bones down to nothing and fed him that way. It's easy and actually cheaper than dog food. Amazingly his red blood count went back up (marrow) so we were able to put him on chemo.

Those are the gift years.... 2.5 of them.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:45 AM
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To a successful and speedy recovery, I'm sure everything will be ok, little more pampering after surgery will be in order.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:54 AM
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Wish the best for the dog and the family. Went through the tumor deal with my boxer a few years ago and it sucked. He got a brain tumor behind his left eye, nothing we could do for him. He was only 6 years old. Still miss him.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:55 AM
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I just dealt with this with my dog, he had lymphoma and it was quick and sad to watch.

Best wishes for your family and your dog.

From the 2 vets I dealt with, once they could see how much the dog was loved, they preyed on that and I personally felt they were whores.

We went with steroids for palliative care and we got about the same amount of time (life) with the dog as they would promise for some very expensive cancer treatments.

On the first consult, one vet told me the dogs kidneys would fail and he would die by the next day if I did not admit him so that they could put in an IV. cost about 2K.

I felt bad, but went home with my dog.

He did not die for 2 months, 7 weeks of which he was really happy and playful due to the steroids.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:56 AM
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Good luck on results. Dogs don't know the bad news, they do have an incredible will to keep going. They also read their masters well, so stay positive
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:09 AM
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Hi Jeff, Sorry to hear. All my thoughts and prayers. Hopefully everything will go smooth and will be before it has spread. Our dog is 5 and I can't imagine what it would be to go through...
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:12 AM
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My cat had cancer in her rear leg which caused her to get cancer in her back.
Poor animal died at the age of 8.
She was a good mom (had a litter of 16) and always laid somewhere next to me.

What I can tell you is that with the time you have left, try not to waist it.
I don't know what to do for the wife but do NOT buy a new puppy.
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