New member, happy to be here! Shepherd with Sarcoma?

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New member, happy to be here! Shepherd with Sarcoma?

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Old 10-23-2012, 03:32 PM
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New member, happy to be here! Shepherd with Sarcoma?

Hello,

We are so happy to be on here, what a great place. My name is Jenna and my boyfriend of 6 years and I have 3 wonderful furry children. Nikita, (5 yr 3 months old, german shepherd) Harley (5-7 yrs old, adopted from shelter and believed to be a plott hound) and then there is lambeau (our flemish giant mixed rabbit who we also adopted, YES all animals live happily in the house together, it's so fun!) who really loves, REALLY loves Nikita and Harley and will do anything to get their attention. (pictures of that to come soon haha)

I plan on using this forum for many things, but right now I have some questions regarding our shep. About 3-4 weeks ago we noticed a rather large growth on her lip, it really came out of nowhere. So our vet put her on antibiotics in hopes that it was an abscess, well that didn't work. So she tried to do an fna (fine needle aspirate) but could not get any cells. Her blood work was "relatively normal" and her chest x ray was "normal" as well.

At the advice of our local vet we took her to Animal Cancer and Imaging in Canton, MI yesterday. They were successful in doing an FNA and the doctor who shall remain nameless came back in with the vet tech and simply said "well we got the cells and it's fibrasarcoma, you need to have it removed and then we can do more tests on it, we'll be right back with a cost analysis for you" So, I'm thinking that the surgeon will come back since he barely spent any time with me or allowed me to ask ANYTHING, nope. Only the tech came back and I asked her about fibrosarcoma and she said she didn't really know anything about that cancer but could go get the surgeon if I really wanted to talk to him again. (geeeezz...I was feeling a bit sad and frustrated, I mean gosh darn, you just verified that our beloved shep has cancer, can you spend a little time talking to me about the cancer...what ifs...and such?!)

I ended up leaving without scheduling another appt and on our 2 hour drive home I started making calls to find out more about this cancer. Long story short, I'm originally from WI, and my family still lives in Madison so I get a hold of the oncology dept and a wonderful doctor took time out of his day to explain everything he could about 'sarcoma' cancer, and the grades/types of it...just everything I wanted to know. So, we had been planning on going home for a couple sports games this wknd and have decided to have the surgery at U of W madison instead of here in MI for monday! It works out perfectly for us because we have a few extra days to spend in madison anyways and have the support of my family, Nikita loves them!

Like most mom's and dad's who have furry children that get any sort of sickness/cancer you just like to kind of vent and perhaps find someone to relate to and share stories with! We are super positive that this growth can be removed with good margins and that it wont be a grade 3 (think positive, but realistic right?)

Nikita is one happy shep, she runs anywhere from 2-6 miles with me everyday, just full of energy! Please share any advice or stories with me regarding your pet that has had any type of cancer or sarcoma cancer! Thanks for taking the time to read this. (tried posting pics of her growth, I think it worked?) God bless!
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:19 PM
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I dont have cancer experience in dogs. But fellow shepherd owner wanting to say, im hoping that this can be removed successfully for Nikita.
She's goregous.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:05 PM
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Rotten- Thank you so much, very kind of you to take the time to post on my thread. Yes, we hope so to. Nikita is my first shep, and it was love at first sight when we got her at 8wks old, my boyfriend has had sheps before and I had ALWAYS wanted one, so it was just a perfect decision for us.

What are the ages of your sheps or other breeds of the dogs you have, and how are they enjoying life?

Nikita has been an amazing companion for many reasons, some very emotional to talk about...and some are just really funny!!

She is our protector, she just...became that way, as many sheps do! (and other breeds)

We are like most dog owners, you just have this thing inside of you that drives you to try your best to do whatever you are capable of doing financially/emotionally for your furry kiddo, you know? And we are optimistic that we can get this little bump in the road solved :-) (no vacations for us for awhile and will have to trim down on a few things, definitely going to put a little dent in finances, but we are grateful we can at least find a way this time to make it work)

I have really fallen in love with the breed and I love hearing stories from other dog owners!
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:34 PM
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Well, Bernie in my profile pic is our 2nd shepherd who's 4yrs. My OH introduced me to the breed as they had one when he was young.
I was smitten. From those early days, when he was all ears floppin around, to the Mr Majestic he is today. He's long haired. Takes a serious grooming weekly, and sheds like mad at this time of year, and in the autumn.
But i dont mind. You just get used to removing dog hair from your dinner. He's obsessed with water, and will jump into puddles. We have to tie his bucket of water up high, or he will knock it over getting in it. He brings me the water can to tell me his bowl is empty of water too. neat trick as a bucket evaporates in half a day here.

He's very obedient, yet just like a shepherd, has many vocalisations, including grumbling under his breath at you whilst he's doing as he's told. He's ball obsessed, has extremely high prey drive which i used to train him. But doesnt go for wildlife, which there is a lot of here. Except parrots, that he hates, so does occasionally get one, and prances around with it showing off his prize. Disgusting!
He has done a couple of heroic things. We live rurally bushland australia. Whilst out in middle of nowhere, he found a samayoed dog trapped down a hole. He was spinning on the spot near it, and screaming that sound. The dog must of been stuck for some time, as it was covered in poo, dehydrated. We rescued that. Then shortly after moving to this house, he's making a huge racket, wants to get out the back gate. I let him go to see what was out there? He took me to a duckling, stuck in a ball of fishing line at a nearby lake. The line was wrapped around and around the duckling, so it couldnt get free.
We released the duckling, and bernie herded it back into the lake with its family.
We have a 2ft high single piece of wire token gesture fence around our property. Bernie will not go past this piece of wire. He has never left my side when out. ever.
He just kinda came like this? I never taught him heel, he just knew it. I never taught him to stay close, and not lose sight, he just knew how to do this.
He's very dog and people friendly, runs off lead with other dogs regularly nil issues.
About a month ago, we had our first ever, 'would he protect me?' question answered with a YES. A stray malamute/husky decided that it would attack me, with a rottie and a GSD on a lead. I did get knocked flying to the floor by Bernie, who was jumping in front of me between me and the attacking dog. Soon saw it off. This is the only aggression ive ever seen him use. And i was very grateful!

They are such loyal, confident, happy family dogs! Im smitten. Its the look of intelligence in those eyes i think. So smart looking, like you can see it all ticking away in there, figuring stuff out. Whereas the rottie bless them, are such retards in comparison lol. A buff head and a mensa member works well for my family.

Pohm in my profile pic is his wife, who's 18 months old. they are best mates. Play rough a lot, and hunt together badly in the mornings. Both have heads stuck down rabbit holes, whilst rabbits all scarper around on surface. HIllarious to watch!
The shepherd is very gentle with pups/kids.

I have thankfully never had a situation where a huge vet bill is posed. But should that day come, i would be doing what you are. I have everything crossed this op. goes well and its cut away cleanly easily.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:23 PM
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How has this gone for Nakita?
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:50 PM
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I am a super GSD afficianado (Mine are whites.)

Have you tried any GSD specific forums? I'd start there. This board is heaping full of knowledge: http://germanshepherdhome.net/forum/

Hoping and praying the best for your baby.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:08 AM
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@SUBADO Thank you for your well wishes, your babes are GORGEOUS!!! Bailey, Dolly and Suri are too cute. We ran into a white shep today at the dog park, geeez I love them, so beautiful.

@ROTTEN haha, your post put such a smile on my face! I love finding people who love their furry kiddos as much as us, you are so descriptive, love it. I can only imagine watching Bernie rescue a dog...than a duckling (how cool that he herded it back!) simply amazing, sheps are a breed that come with great responsibility but GREAT rewards as you know! Rotts are just, cool. That is the word that comes to mind when I think of rotts...they look rough and bad a** but most of em are just the biggest teddy bears you'll ever meet! We have a rabbit that lives in our home with us (ya, kinda crazy...I know) But, we built him a pen and he hops around the main level of the house while we are home and the dogs KNOW that Lambeau runs the house...if you mess with Lambeau bad things happen, it is SO funny!

Hello!! GOOD NEWS! Nikita is cancer free. Gosh, it really pays to listen to your gut. After leaving the cancer place in Canton, MI I had such a weird feeling in my gut, and I am so glad I listened to it and decided to get a second opinion.

The docs at University of Wisconsin Madison completely disagreed with the diagnosis and recommended procedure. They felt that with the FNA (fine needle aspirate) that was done for a second time with results of cells this time that it could NOT immediately be determined that it was in fact fibrosarcoma (all the papers I took home with me said 'fibrosarcoma'..remove growth with good margins immediately) and they wanted to just put her under 'light' sedation and remove a small portion of the growth and examine it. (why the other 'cancer' doctor didn't even give us this option...who knows, money???)

Well, it came back that it was just fatty tissue possibly from an injury we knew nothing of. (I brushed her teeth a month before we noticed the growth and nothing was there and our dogs play rough sometimes, and chew on...gosh knows what in the back yard haha!) Since antibiotics didn't work, the vet suggested when I got back to Michigan to put her on inflammatory meds, and I can happily say that the growth is going down...we go back to the vet on Tuesday!

Point is...it sometimes pays to just get a second opinion instead of just dishing out 3500 dollars like we would have done to remove a pretty big growth and the surrounding area (changing Nikita's lip in the process) IT'S OKAY TO GET A SECOND OPINION :-)
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemyfurrykiddos View Post
.... Hello!! GOOD NEWS! Nikita is cancer free....
Oh Yay Yah and even more YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a blessing! I am so happy and relieved for you!
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:20 AM
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Hi, I have a German Shepherd also. Sam is my sixth one, to say the least, I will always have one until my dying day.
I agree with one of the posters here to go to the germanshepherds.com to post this info there, or goggle german shepherd forums.
I would not like it either not to be able to get more info from the surgeon if you are considering surgery, just doesn't sit right with me.
I would really get another opinion, another needle aspiration, and get the results in writing, or a copy and have your Vet read it.
I have seen tumors on dogs in the operating room, this one doesn't look like one to me, how deep could it be, into the gum? Please ask.
Are they sure it isn't just an absess ready to pop?
Just throwing out some suggestions, not a vet.

Some veterinarians practice medicine, other veterinarians KNOW medicine.

Good luck and keep informed.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:11 PM
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@harleyboysmom Thank you for taking the time to read/and post some suggestions, I greatly appreciate it! I'm not sure if you saw my updated post above this one, but Nikita is cancer free :-) Pays to get a second opinion!! Yes Sheps are truly amazing, I can't imagine not having one either now. Your picture is adorable, shep puppies are SO much fun, I remember the days when we were waiting for Nikita's ears to perk up haha!
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