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Cancer Advice

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Member Since
07/02/2013
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 3, '13 4:55pm PST 
Hi everyone,
I just found out yesterday my 3 year old german shepherd has cancer. What we thought was an upper respiratory infection actually is suspected as cancer. After several emergency vet visits (not very cheap), I have recieved some additional options from my vet. When I took him in on Monday, they ran x rays and could not see any organs due to such severe fluid build up. His chest was drained twice that night and over 2 liters of liquid came out. He went to a caridologist and he also has fluid around the heart. She said she is 99% sure this is cancer because she saw so many masses on the ultrasound. His lungs are pushed to the side and his trachea is pushed up. She asked if we wanted diagnostic testing, and we declined. My regular vet called today and said we could tap his chest once more when breathing is more of a problem to allow him a little more time. My question is, should we do this? Is this selfish? I know and understand we will have him put down and I want to do that before he is very uncomfortable. I'm not sure if we should do one more chest tap to remove fluids so he can breathe better...any input?
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 3, '13 5:09pm PST 
Ohh, I am so sorry!!!
A couple of questions you need to answer... how long does the effect from removing the fluid last AND is he happy and pain free during that time?
How painful is the actual tap process?
I gather you have good acceptance of the ultimate end so my feeling would be to go ahead IF the process and results will give your guy a decent quality of the time remaining and will not be too painful. There are now some wonderful pain meds that could perhaps be given to help him in his remaining time with you.
For someone who is trying to deny the outcome and just continuing the taps for themselves this would not be a great decision, in MY opinion, but it seems from your post that is not what you would be doing at all.
The extra time gained from doing an additional tap could, IMO, certainly help you say your goodbyes to this guy as well as make sure you are secure in your mind that you did not make a too hasty decision to let him go.
Again, I am soo sorry for your news...I, too, lost a not quite three year old friend last week due to paralysis issues and it is not easy. We never expect when we pour our heart and soul into an animal's life that it will be for such a short period of time! Good luck to you!
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Kali earned- her wings- 10/21/14

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 3, '13 5:21pm PST 
I'm so sorry too...........hug I think Toto gave you some really good advice. Hope you have a little more time left. hughug
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Member Since
07/02/2013
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 3, '13 7:21pm PST 
Thank you both. This is such a hard decision. I don't want to do it too soon but I don't want to wait too long and risk him suffering. He is on Prednazone (sp?) He's getting super pampered.
This isn't my first experience with cancer frown I had another GSD who died from lymphoma at age 3. So heart breaking.
Any advice for what to do with my other pup? They are best buddies. This may sound morbid, but would letting him see his friend after he has passed help at all? When I put my other shepherd down, her housemate constantly looked for months.
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Octavia

I'm Not a Pit- Bull
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 4, '13 6:27am PST 
I would ask if removing the tumors is an option. Because your dog is so young, I think you should look into radiation treatment. Chemotherapy is a good option for tumors that have or are likely to matastisize. I also recommend talking to your vet about immunotherapy.
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Lugar

Wookie
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 4, '13 8:28am PST 
All the vets I have seen did not recommend further treatment due to the numerous amounts of masses. They said his entire chest is full of them and it is pushing his lungs to the side and his trachea upward. This morning he has lumps all over his neck, which were not there before. At this point, I feel that further treatment would just prolong his suffering.
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 4, '13 8:43am PST 
Lugar, you know your dog best!!! You must listen to your heart and to your vets, not someone posting what if's on the internet! Based on what you've said, I have to agree with you 100%!! I once did some chemo with a GSD, BUT, he had leukemia and the expected outcome vs the side effects of the chemo was so encouraging that we decided to try. In his case, it worked for two full, wonderful years, BUT my next male GSD had hemangioscarcoma in his spleen, liver and lungs so we did not even consider any further treatment. When it was discovered he was not well at all so the only kind thing was putting him down, NOT putting him thru more surgery and pain.
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Natcho

LabraDORK
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 4, '13 9:04am PST 
hughughug
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Tyson

Two-Time Cancer- Survivor!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 4, '13 9:33am PST 
So sorry to hear of your diagnosis. From someone who is battling a 3rd different type of her cancer with her furbaby, I feel your pain and I am truly, truly sorry. I also admire your strength to understand the terminality (is that even a word?) of the situation and are concerned with your pet's needs, and not your own.

As for letting your other dog see, I don't have much experience with that. We had to put one of my mom's dogs down last Sept but she didn't live with us so the other dogs didn't really know. I can tell you that when my Aunt's foal had to be put down, they let the mother stay with her for a short time so she would understand that she was gone.

So sorry, again.hug
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Kali earned- her wings- 10/21/14

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 4, '13 4:09pm PST 
When we lost Jax, I let both Kali & Koby see her before we buried her. I think it was helpful. Although, Kali still looked for her and was depressed for months. I did extra fun things with her, took her for more walks and babied her a lot. We did have Koby at the time which kept her somewhat distracted. She eventually came out of it. Way before that, when we lost our Golden, Jax didn't see him and she looked for him for a long time. If you only have 2 dogs, I would line up doggie friends, so you can have play dates for your other dog after. Good Luck. hughug
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