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More doggie cancer

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  • More doggie cancer

    My boy dog apparently has cancer in his throat. Started out to biopsy his enlarged lymph gland and found a separate mass attached to his larynx. Dont have the biopsy results yet, but almost certainly some kind of cancer.

    Now I have to figure out how to do best for him. He is already sick and miserable a good part of the time. Even before considering chemo, I need to know what they can do to make him comfortable.

    It is ten years almost to the day from the date I had to send my mom to the hospital for her cancers. We eventually had to do terminal sedation for her. Now I am terrified of letting my little dog suffer or of giving up too soon

    Cancer sucks.

  • #2
    So sorry. No advice.
    "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." --


    • #3
      Originally posted by MsM View Post
      My boy dog apparently has cancer in his throat. Started out to biopsy his enlarged lymph gland and found a separate mass attached to his larynx. Dont have the biopsy results yet, but almost certainly some kind of cancer.

      Now I have to figure out how to do best for him. He is already sick and miserable a good part of the time. Even before considering chemo, I need to know what they can do to make him comfortable.

      It is ten years almost to the day from the date I had to send my mom to the hospital for her cancers. We eventually had to do terminal sedation for her. Now I am terrified of letting my little dog suffer or of giving up too soon

      Cancer sucks.
      I'm so sorry! My husband died of breast cancer in December, 2017. In Jan, 2019, my cat was diagnosed with GI lymphoma. Many of the same chemo drugs. Drugs I hope I never, ever hear of again.

      But definitely talk with an oncologist and see where things stand. I didn't want my cat to suffer and my oncologist didn't either! Chemo gave us 4.5 mos of good quality, happy life (his cancer was aggressive.) and I would go to an oncologist, not just my local vet. THey know the protocols and so on and give you an honest picture of where your little guy is at. I would do chemo again if I had to . Hope I never do but if I did, what I saw reassured me a lot (lots of other pet owners also there on my "chemo day" nad we all shared our stories) chemo is pretty much palliative--it's not curative--but I'm very glad I did it.
      Anyway, totally agree.
      Cancer really, really sucks.


      • Original Poster

        Thanks. It is all about quality of life.


        • #5
          Sorry to hear about your dog. I chose not to do chemo for my dog, 2 years ago, but I did take her to a specialist. She's snoring next to me as I type, but I am aware our time may be limited. (She's also a large dog and 14-15 yrs old.)


          • Original Poster

            Thanks for the advice. He is at a specialty hospital. What makes this more difficult is that he was already feeling lousy, so it was not just a matter of finding a lump. The CT didnt show metastasis, but he is already sick and the surgeon doesnt think she can do anything surgically. We have to find a way to make him comfortable even before any chemo or I may have to let him go.


            • #7
              I'm so sorry! I know for my kitty, when I stopped the chemo, we continued with a cocktail of prednisolone, ondansetron and Pepcid, which I think did keep him pretty comfortable (he was running up stairs, eating and pooping and so on) I don't know if they have anything similar for dogs. Glad youre at a specialty hospital--my oncologist was just terrific--but I'm still so sorry!!!!


              • #8
                I'm sorry you are going through this. A few years back, my dog was diagnosed (after months of testing) with lymphoma. I was given some chemo drugs for him, but he was already at a stage 5 and going downhill. The chemo drugs made him sick. I know how hard it is to make that final call but in my case, I chose to let him go while he was still mobile and was not totally suffering. I had just watched my dad, my mom and my uncle go through cancer (within 7 years) and just didn't want to see him suffer to that extent. Now my current dog probably has it. I did not do extensive testing with him because there is no treatment (he is 15.) He was given 1-2 months and now it's been over 3 months. He is still active and in good shape for his age. I will make the call for him too when he is no longer showing signs of being happy,. I think that is the best thing we can do for them when they are terminally ill. Have you tried any pain pills or steroids?


                • #9
                  I’m sorry for what you’re going through. I don’t know that it’ll help, but whenever you decide to make the call, remember that “too soon” is only in your mind. While you may wonder what if he had more good days or weeks, he does not. He has no plans or idea of tomorrow. He’s here with you today.


                  • #10
                    My cat has breast cancer. We did two surgeries. The first one lasted maybe 5 months, the second one was completely ineffective- the cancer immediately returned and ran down the incision site. Despite this she is happy, eating and playful. It hasn't metastasized yet, unless at microscopic levels...

                    It is okay to decline treatment. The only reason I sent my cat in for surgery was because her quality of life is still really good. She's so happy, playful and blissfully unaware that the end is near. She absolutely loves laser tag and cuddling with me under the blankets. I won't be continuing treatment because the last surgery didn't work and I promised her I would not put her through that again.

                    My friend works for the vet school and we had a discussion about cancer treatments. She said only 10 percent of her patients survive 3 years. Treatment is not meant to cure the pet- only buy time.

                    I'm not certain it is worth doing treatment if your dog is already feeling bad. My dog Max had cancer in his sinuses. There's no effective treatment for that. Radiation applied to the face causes very serious side effects without much improvement in survival time.

                    ​​​​​Goodluck, whatever you decide. Pets are such heartbreakers.


                    • Original Poster

                      So I made the call and tomorrow is the day. He has squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsils with spread to the lymph gland. Palliative meds are what he is already getting, which helped, but not enough. Chemo would be a long shot and I am not putting him through it.

                      It is so hard to end his life, but I want to spare him any more distress. Maybe it is meant to be. June 12th 2009 was my mom's last day at home before her final hospitalization for cancer. At least I can give him a quicker, painless end.


                      • Original Poster

                        And it is done. He was pretty miserable this morning which let me know I was doing the right thing. Then, of course, he perked up at the vets and was wagging his tail. He went very peacefully. Grateful that it is a lot less dramatic than putting a horse down.

                        When my parents were very ill I remember wishing I could ease their way out as we do for pets. This reminded me of the difficulty and emotional cost of that decision for a pet, much less a human.