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Cancer.,... UPDATE..He is gone....#46

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  • #21
    Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
    With the outcome being the same eventually, I would not put my beloved dogs through months of drugs, pain and sickness.
    Me either and I didn't . My dog was diagnosed two years ago w/ cancer - he was just a month shy of turning 11. My only goal at that point was to make sure his quality of life was good. There was NO way I was going to put him through chemo, ampuation (leg had osteosarcoma), diet restrictions, no playing, etc. He ate whatever he wanted, played as hard as he wanted/could. He had three good months after his diagnosis and that's what mattered .

    I still think of him everyday ...

    (I did adopt another dog from the shelter and I'd do the same for him too if/when it happens ).
    "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England


    • #22
      I've lost two old girls to cancer this summer and I've had chemo myself. I would not bankrupt myself for chemo It does make one feel poopy. I did try prednisone with both dogs, one lived another two months and the other 5 days.
      I had an aunt that had one does of chemo and then elected not to continue, Her quality of life was so much better until the last few days. So, the way the dog feels is a big factor to me.
      Good luck with this hard decision. And a hug too.


      • #23
        I agree, don't treat. Let it be done.


        • #24
          You need to make your own decision. For the people who say "dont treat",they dont know what your dog will be going through - only you do.

          Case in point, 9 year old Border Collie had osteosarcoma in right hind leg - removed leg and did the 12 week chemo protocol. Dog lived to 15 cancer free and was actually ontario agility champion with the weave poles...with only 3 legs!

          The owners were incredibly happy to get another 6 wonderful years with him.

          Obviously this doesnt always happen, but you need to remember the people with bad experiences will tell you not to treat, the people with good experiences will tell you to treat. Also, an "excuse" we hear a lot for people who dont have the funds for chemo is that they "dont want to put the dog through it". Absolutley fine to end it early if the funds arent there - but taking them in once every 2 weeks for a pill or injection generally isnt putting them through agony. Less than 25% of dogs show side effects to chemo.

          Remember - ANIMAL CHEMO is NOT nearly the same as PEOPLE CHEMO. The objective is to extend QUALITY so doses are significantly lower. The goal is not to cure the cancer, but halt it or put it in a temporary remission. Side effects of prednisone/steroids can be far worse than side effects of chemo.

          The absolute BEST advice you will get is if you talk to an oncologist. Go with your concerns written down, and an open mind. Their job demands empathy and they will answer your questions/concerns and you can make an educated decision based on those answers.

          Whatever your choice - good luck


          • #25
            Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
            With the outcome being the same eventually, I would not put my beloved dogs through months of drugs, pain and sickness.
            I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


            • #26
              Originally posted by ryansgirl View Post
              Me either and I didn't . My dog was diagnosed two years ago w/ cancer - he was just a month shy of turning 11. My only goal at that point was to make sure his quality of life was good. There was NO way I was going to put him through chemo, ampuation (leg had osteosarcoma), diet restrictions, no playing, etc. He ate whatever he wanted, played as hard as he wanted/could. He had three good months after his diagnosis and that's what mattered .
              I was blessed that my Akita, GiGi, went from normal to deathly ill within 24 hours. She gave NO outward clues that there was something very wrong.

              One minute she's chowing down, the next she's puking everything out and dry heaving. Took her to the 24-hr Animal E.R. at 11 at night. Didn't even bother with bloodwork, just wanted films. Showed a HUGE mass. I held her big head in my lap as the vet lead her into sleep, telling her how much I loved her.

              Were it not for the hair, I'd have another Akita in a heartbeat.

              We are each called to be Good Stewards of the creatures entrusted to us. Each person makes their own decision based on their lifelong knowledge of the animal and, sadly, their financial situation. As for me and my house, we will always put the animal first. "Love is not selfish."
              <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


              • #27
                Im so shocked to hear so many people are anti-treatment.

                My heart kitty is getting chemo right now, shes been on it for 15 months now. I take her to the clinic once every 3 weeks for an injection, she is there for about 2 hours total.

                Before the chemo she was vomiting every day, her appetite was ok, but she was starting to turn her nose up at even the yummy canned food.

                Because of the vomiting, I took her into the hospital to figure out what was wrong and she has Gastro Intestinal Lymphoma, a type of cancer.

                She has never vomited or had diarrhea or any sickness after the chemo, she is a very happy healthy cat. She would have been dead over a year ago if I didnt do this.

                I dont get why people think its so horrible to put them through chemo?? Like another poster said its not at all like people chemo!!

                I had an issue with my young doodle a few months ago regarding urinary stones/food issues etc. HE is more sick than my cancer kitty!!!


                • #28
                  3TBS, that is wonderful about you kitty!

                  Most people--frankly, myself included, until I did the research--assume animals have the same issues with chemo as people do. I was certainly surprised to learn that dogs and cats tolerate chemo very well and the majority do not experience side effects. I've read that this is at least partially due to the way animals are treated--for humans that receive chemo, the goal is total remission, with ALL cancer cells killed. With pets, the goal is partial remissions and good quality of life. That equates to very different dosing for critters, and far, far fewer side effects.

                  I am also saddened that it seems that many in this thread believe that treating and animal is guaranteeing it a poor end to it's life. Quality of life is more important to me than ANYTHING else with my critters, and I would never sacrifice that. Chemo, if it had worked for Riana, would have made her feel better. Unfortunately, her cancer was wholly unresponsive. It was the cancer, not the chemo, that made her feel crappy at the very end


                  • #29
                    I totally agree with Squish in her suggestion to find a good canine oncologist in your area and visit them asap. When my shih tzu was diagnosed with a renal carcinoma in June, his prognosis was grim and like you, I struggled with the choice of putting him through surgery at an older age and decided against it. I met with an oncologist to find out the best ways to keep him comfortable until he started showing signs of being sick or uncomfortable. The oncologist spent an hour with me going over all our options and was absolutely no judgement, no pressure, just very matter of fact. We actually decided that surgery was, in fact, his best option and almost five months later he is doing great. We were lucky that his cancer had not yet spread to other organs (at least not yet). Had I not met with the oncologist, my dog would probably not have lasted a month, the tumor was growing quickly and would eventually have ruptured his kidney. I really thought putting him through a tough surgery would be cruel at his age but he actually bounced back so fast, I was really amazed.


                    • #30
                      And also please remember, "cancer" is a general term. Some cancers are extremely curable, some are resistent to all chemos.

                      Speak with your oncologist, its worth the consult fee to give you all the current/updated information on treating the specific cancer your pet has.

                      I have learned from years of work in the animal oncology ward that there are some more treatable than others - and within those groups there are always outliers.

                      The goal of chemo is to make your pet feel BETTER not more ill.


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Wayside View Post
                        It's a very personal decision without a right or wrong answer.

                        But if it were me, I'd be more inclined to treat the symptoms, not the cancer, and just try to keep the animal as comfortable as possible for the time they had left.
                        Yeah this. For a dog it is about quality of life, not quantity.
                        Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                        Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by summerhorse View Post
                          Yeah this. For a dog it is about quality of life, not quantity.
                          These statements are difficult, as in general I agree. But, it really depends on the type of cancer.

                          My boss has a 3 year old daxie. At 6 months he had lymphoma (not even grade 1), the lymph node affected was removed, he had 3 doses of chemo. He's cured.

                          So...for him, he now has quality and quantity. Would you really have not treated him?

                          And yes, for end stage cancer I completely agree with you. However, there are a million different cancers and some are extremely chemo responsive (and I repeat, side effects of chemo in animals is RARE). I would never make a general statement about that. Its like saying if a horse is colicky,euthanize them all - there are different types, different signalments and different treatments.

                          It really depends on the individual case.


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by spook1 View Post
                            Ok What would you do?
                            My Chi dog has tumors he is believed to be 12 yrs. (I have had him 8 ys was told he was 4 when I got him) there are treatments are pricey but thats not my concern.
                            As Squish pointed out above, it depends on what TYPE of cancer. This plays a major role in recommendations, as well as staging, concurrent disease, and current clinical status.

                            There is NO one magic pill, injection, treatment for all cancers. It is highly variable btw sarcomas, lymphoma, carcinomas, etc.

                            Side effects are reduced in canines/felines due to low drug dosages, as well as there are several wonderful drugs to reduce the GI signs in particular, that are used in human chemo as well.

                            I think Squish pointed out, remission vs cure is the goal in MOST cases, though not all. Chemo is used in some cancers, such as carcinomas and sarcomas to follow up surgery to "hoover up" microscopic dz, to reduce/eliminate chance for metastasis.

                            If you could share the type of cancer, staging, etc, more concise recommendation could be shared.

                            Many jingles to you, your Chi Chi and all pets and owners facing all types of cancer!

                            PS And any boarded oncologist worth their weight in gold would NEVER recommend a diet for a cancer patient that they didn't want to eat. There is alot of investigation in diet for the onco patient but NEVER in lieu of the pet eating.

                            PSS Any type of cancer can ONLY be diagnosed by cytology, while you can "see" tumors grossly or via radiographs, us, CT, MRI, etc, you can NOT say it is cancer w/o cytology. There are MANY benign "tumors/masses" in livers, spleens, etc. With advanced imaging, you can get a good feel for where it is malignant or not, but you can NOT say it definitively w/o cytology!!
                            www.brydellefarm.com ....developing riders, NOT passengers!
                            Member of LNHorsemanshipT & Proud of It Clique
                            "What gets me up every morning is realizing how much more there is still to learn." -GHM


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by 3TBS View Post
                              I had an issue with my young doodle a few months ago regarding urinary stones/food issues etc. HE is more sick than my cancer kitty!!!
                              Went through this with our Rescue Standard Poodle. Feel free to PM me if you wish. Two surgeries, really awful recurrences. Finally got him stable for a year, and he developed cancer that was not treatable.


                              • Original Poster

                                *UPDATE* post#35

                                Hi All,
                                Here's the update....grade 4 lymphoma....he is consumed with it.
                                We ( the vet and I ) talked about the treatments options. And it was decided to not do the chemo and treat with predizone. The vet was Great.......and given the situation it the best for the Chi and me. He is happy and still mostly active though he sleeps alot more.
                                .............I love this little dog................. I feel like I've been punched in the belly...I am just sick.......
                                Thank you for the posts of ideas and well wishes


                                • #36
                                  I am so sorry. I hope your remaining days together are relatively pain free. Jingles for both of you.
                                  McDowell Racing Stables

                                  Home Away From Home


                                  • #37
                                    So sorry it wasn't better news. Ditto what Laurierace said - I hope you still get to have a few more good times with your little guy. Take care.
                                    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05


                                    • #38
                                      Worst thing about having pets is when they get old ...

                                      Spoil him rotten in the time he has left ...


                                      • #39
                                        I lost my 8 year old Ridgeback to Lymphoma last year. He was just like your dog, Stage IV, lesions everywhere, but still happy, though he got tired easily. We also chose to treat the symptoms with prednisone and not do chemo. I can't remember the exact length of time, but I think he lived another five or six weeks after diagnosis. I had the vet out to the house to have him PTS when I felt that he was starting to struggle to put on a happy face for me, I know that sounds silly, but it became apparent that every day things had become hard work for him. I miss him each and every day, but have not regretted not doing chemo. It's very much a personal choice.
                                        I'm sorry about your dog. The time you have left is a gift, even though it's hard to see now, you can spoil him rotten, and treasure every second you spend with him. (HUGS)
                                        "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville


                                        • #40
                                          I am so very sad for you. If it helps, remember that dogs have no concept or expectation of 'tomorrow' or the 'future'. They live totally in the moment. So when your dog no longer greets the sunrise with enthusiasm, know that the time has come. He will not hate you for 'cheating' him of a few more pain filled days. He just wants to be with you. As long as you are there, all is right with his world.
                                          ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
                                          Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

                                          "Life is merrier with a terrier!"