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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

My 12 year old dog was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few days ago. He was completely normal but we noticed that he started urinating a lot more about 10 days earlier. We figured it was probably a UTI or possibly that he was diabetic so we made a vet appointment.

The vet did a prostatic ultrasound, took bloodwork and a urinalysis and determined he had cancer based on the characteristics. We didn't put him through getting a biopsy done.

Our dog while obviously sick still likes to play, is still eating (just more slowly and needs broth to soften the kibble). The biggest issue is he takes about 10 minutes outside to urinate and is straining a lot and needs to go out in the night time now as well. I know as the tumor grows it can compress or grow into the uretha and cause discomfort and at some point potentially the inability to urinate at all.

He is currently on pain Gabapentin (pain medication), Enrofloxacin (antibiotic) because he did have a infection as well and Onsior for the inflammation as it's supposed to slow the growth.

I am wondering if anyone else on here has been through this and wondering how long it was before your baby passed away due to this horrible disease and how you managed the urination issue.
 

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I think the first thing I say to these sorts of cases is are you 100% sure he has prostate cancer. I am glad you got an ultrasound done, but personally I would be wanting an FNA of the prostate, in which a vet basically uses an ultrasound to locate the prostate and using a needle to enter the prostate and take a sample of the cells which the vet or a pathologist can look at to determine if they are indeed cancerous cells (very crudely explained, sorry). It is far less invasive than a biopsy and something to consider.

For the long term, are you considering treating at all? If he is already at the stage of having issues urinating, then perhaps its time to consider some options. Has your vet explained any to you? I believe the most effective is chemotherapy (I may be wrong). You can also perform surgery as a palliative measure to remove part of the mass, which will give him some comfort for a little while at least. Also keep in mind the possibility for metastasis, which is the spread of the cancer to other parts of the body.

For the current, give the medication some time to kick in and see if it helps any. I think the main thing here is to consider his quality of life. I am so very sorry you are going through this, and I understand you want to spend as long as you can with him. But something I feel is very important to explain to pet owners is in situations like this, it unfortunately isn't about us, or at least it shouldn't be. I, personally, wouldn't let this disease claim him as it is generally quite painful. Once his quality of life starts to decrease significantly and he can no longer do the things he used to love, I personally believe it is kinder to give him some assistance so he can cross peacefully and painlessly.

My deepest condolences, and I don't intend to push any of my own beliefs on to you, just stating an observation from my own experiences. I hope you continue to keep us updated, I wish you and your precious boy all the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello All,

I appreciate the replies.

I just wanted to keep everyone up to date. My handsome man had to be euthanized last night due to breathing issues. It looks like the cancer metastasized to his lungs and pelvis. He was still peeing a very good stream but was having breathing issues, and unable to go up and down the stairs before we decided it was time to let him go. From what I have read this doesn't seem to be normal and usually the tumor reaches a size to prevent peeing before the cancer spreads. It is probably one of the hardest decisions we have had to make, but he was done and in pain and he gave us a look, like "I love you and will stay for you, but I am done."

He was fine on November 11th and had a really good day, ate lots of food, was still slowly but surely able to get up and down the stairs, although still struggling. He seemed fairly normal and we thought we had more time with him. Apparently this is common, even in humans, a "second wind" where the patient seems to be normal and recovering and give their last burst of energy but then just get's worse.

He stopped eating yesterday November 12th and tried to keep himself to himself. We even got him a cheeseburger and he did not eat that either. He wouldn't come when we called him without calling him multiple times and that was not normal for him. He would not even look at us. We didn't want him to die from suffocating, I couldn't imagine how painful that would be. He fought from the day he was diagnosed which was October 14th until yesterday November 12th. He was 12 years old and we had him for 10 years on November 10th, his "gotcha" day as we called it (he was a rescue from a farm).

He was euthanized with all his loved ones present and at home in his favourite spot on his bed. Luke will be missed by all of us, including his fur sister. The hardest part is that we work from home and he would always be down in the basement if either myself or the wife were working. His presence will be greatly missed.

To recap in case anyone searches for something similar we noticed him peeing a lot more often than normal. We suspected a UTI, or worse case diabetes as Luke was drinking a lot as well. Unfortunately it turned out to be something worse and that was prostate cancer. He was officially diagnosed with prostate cancer on October 14th but we suspect he was peeing more closer to the end of September. So we are not sure how long he has had it. He had a checkup in April of this year and shots, but they don't do prostate exams as part of a checkup it seems.

So without really knowing how long Luke had it prior to symptoms showing, he lasted a short 30 days from diagnosis.

He was on Gabapentin for the pain and Onsior for the inflammation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry for your loss...and hugs for you as you wait to see him again over the bridge. He'll join my Picasso over there (who passed from stomach cancer 2 years ago)
Sorry for your loss. May I ask how you managed to cope with the loss and how long it was before you felt in a good place again? I am having a hard time, especially regrets, did I play with him enough, hug and kiss him enough etc.
 

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Sorry for your loss. May I ask how you managed to cope with the loss and how long it was before you felt in a good place again? I am having a hard time, especially regrets, did I play with him enough, hug and kiss him enough etc.
There will always be ways in which we feel bad when someone we love dies. Did I do enough? Did I do the right things? and so on. this is normal and I think just about everyone goes through this. but it's part of grief, and doesn't mean that you actually did anything wrong.

Grief takes its time. You can't rush it and you can't make it go away and if you box it up and refuse to experience it, it will only affect your life in even more undesirable ways. You just have to feel it and feel all of it. And how long it takes to start to feel the sun again is very personal. Even if one person tells you their experience it is inadvisable to compare it to your own, because there is no "right" or "wrong" way to do grief and loss. You just do it.

The losses I have had, and the grief, is still with me, no matter how many years it has been. It doesn't get "better". But it does change, because everything changes, and it will get different. That is guaranteed. I have found that over time the grief and loss, while still there, simply takes up less of my being and my life than it did at first. It's not all of me now; it's a part of me but doesn't take over my life.

For all who have lost a beloved animal companion, be aware that there are millions of people who know how it feels. And we all understand.
 
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