Concerns for 14yo dog with prior cancerous tumor removed

Go Back   Dog Forum > Keeping and Caring for Dogs > Dog Health

Concerns for 14yo dog with prior cancerous tumor removed

This is a discussion on Concerns for 14yo dog with prior cancerous tumor removed within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi, My sweet, beautiful 14-year-old dog seems to be a taking a turn. She is a mid-size (60 pound) mix, possibly rottie/shepard, and 1.5 years ...

User Tag List

Like Tree3Likes
  • 1 Post By Laco
  • 2 Post By scottyhp

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-21-2019, 03:41 PM
  #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Concerns for 14yo dog with prior cancerous tumor removed

Hi,

My sweet, beautiful 14-year-old dog seems to be a taking a turn. She is a mid-size (60 pound) mix, possibly rottie/shepard, and 1.5 years ago she was diagnosed with a malignant tumor on her liver. The tumor was successfully removed by surgery, and upon biopsy the surgeon said there were two types of cancer in the tumor. One of those types is known to return (in 80 percent of cases), at which point it is generally considered untreatable. The doctor told me that Sasha’s variety appeared to be slow growing and that I probably had a year before we started seeing issues.

Fast forward to now, she is having breathing problems that seemed minor at first, but over the past week are more pronounced. She pants under just about any exertion (even just walking around), and when laying down she makes snoring noises that are more pronounced than usual. A few times I’ve seen her arching her back and straining to breathe. Not all the time, but occasionally (more so recently) and usually at night.

Obviously, I fear her cancer has returned in her lungs. I will take her to my local vet, but I am scared, as this is a scenario I had not mentally prepared myself for in terms of knowing when I might need to make a euthanasia decision. Let me be clear - I did not expect to be blessed with having her this long, she's lived a full life, and I've known this time was going to come - but I guess I was mistaken in what way it would come, if that makes sense.

In all other ways, she is her normal self. She loves her food and her walks (I’ve shortened her daily walk), is very playful, does not seem to be in extreme distress. But the breathing issue cannot be ignored.

I had always felt that I would know it was time to ease her suffering when she stopped eating, or no longer seemed to be enjoying life (walks, etc). Now I’m confronting this breathing issue, which I’m told can be very uncomfortable/distressing for dogs (and will only get worse, I’m sure) and wondering if I might have to put her to sleep while she is still mostly tail wagging, full of appetite, etc.

I would welcome your thoughts before I go to my local vet. I hate even taking her there because she has so much fear of the vet’s office, especially after her surgery. But I know some things can’t be avoided.

I am just in uncharted territory here and wondering how this will go. Do you think this is how it ends? Having to set a date soon to have my *almost normal* dog put to sleep while she is still eating, walking, tail wagging?

Last edited by scottyhp; 07-21-2019 at 03:43 PM.
scottyhp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2019, 07:20 PM
  #2
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I want to add something, because I know that was a long post and if someone just skimmed it (understandable) you might get the wrong idea, like: “your dog is 14 years old, has cancer, and you weren’t expecting this??”

That would be a fair question, and the answer is I was always expecting the cancer to come back, and regardless she has exceeded her life expectancy as far as I’m concerned. I’ve just never been sure how the endgame would present itself, and my vet thought it was likely that if the cancer returned it would primarily be in her liver. This would make her anemic and sick, probably not eating and barely getting out of bed. The decision would be obvious.

The respiratory angle is something I didn’t think through. Or the idea that she might still be her old self in all other ways. That might change sooner than later but I have no idea. This is all new territory for me. This is my first pet - my sole companion, I’m totally in love with her and want the best for her in the end. Would love to hear from anyone who has been in this scenario.
scottyhp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2019, 08:39 PM
  #3
Senior Member
 
Laco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,091
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Sorry you are having to go through this with your baby. Its never easy when they are sick. I would suggest working with your Vet, get his or her opinion on the level of quality of life your girl has at this point, and what the probably prognosis is. You will have to ask yourself if, you are keeping her alive for her, or for you? An honest answer to that question will lead you to decisions you will have to make and when.
scottyhp likes this.
Laco is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 07-21-2019, 10:45 PM
  #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Thanks for the kind and honest reply. That makes sense.
scottyhp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2019, 08:06 AM
  #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 341
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
If she gets stressed going to the vet try calling around to see if there is a vet that will come to you.

She does need to be seen. The sooner the better. My last dog started breathing heavy and I assumed it was just from him getting older. He ended up having cancer and every time I think about him I wish I could go back in time and get him to the vet sooner. He probably would have lived longer, and he would have had the medication needed to make him more comfortable. I hate that he may have needlessly suffered in any way because I was clueless.

I know how incredibly hard it can be to think you may lose your beloved family member and I'm very sorry that you're going through this. The most important thing right now is her comfort and quality of life, and maybe the correct medication will help all of that.

Best of luck to both of you. <3
DogFaming is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2019, 12:04 AM
  #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Thanks, DogFaming. That's really kind, and I do know I need to have her checked out. She's stabilized and seems to be doing better at the moment, but I know that could be fleeting, and if there are meds that can make her feel better, that's essential. I've left a message with my vet to make an appointment. Sorry to hear about the dog you lost to cancer. Try not to second guess yourself, we are all learning and trying to do what's best. But I think I do understand that feeling.
Chas and LJGreenbaum like this.
scottyhp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2019, 09:51 AM
  #7
Member
 
LJGreenbaum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: San Diego
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Hi Scotty- your post jumped out at me, because my 50 lb dog also had a tumor in her liver. She's 13 and I just had it surgically removed 2 months ago. It was also cancerous, but the vet said it was a "slow moving" kind. They recommended ultrasounds to see if it comes back, but after a lot of thought I've decided not to put her through that. Because if it does come back...what then? I'm not putting her through more surgery at her age.

My dog is ultra sensitive, so even putting her through the ultrasounds is very stressful for her. So I've decided to just let her live her life, and if I see issues I'll take her in then. So far she's been doing fine. But, I've been watching her like a hawk and every time she sneezes, or gags or has diarrhea I get a little panicky. Trying to remain calm for her sake.
LJGreenbaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Dog Stairs - Dog Steps - Quality Pet Products
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.