Jump to content

Wendi - Terminal Tumor/possibly Cancer

Guest Koalalou2

Recommended Posts

Guest Koalalou2

I am fostering a senior grey (almost 9) with a tumor. We do not know if it is cancerous as she is sensitive to anethesia and the vet did not want to put her under to get a biopsy. Cancer or not, it is terminal. :sad1 It is located very close to her lymph nodes on her neck and cannot be removed. It is VERY likely cancer.


My question is, what should I be doing to keep her comfortable for as long as possible?


As long as she is happy living with us, we are keeping her for the rest of her life. We hope to do a memorial adoption to make her a permanent part of our family. Basically, she is a valued family member as far as I am concerned and I want to do as much as I can to help her. Our wonderful vet who has been known to work miracles has told us that it is now just hospice care and that there is nothing that can be done.


She was rescued in this state about two weeks ago and also has hookworms and tapeworms which are being treated. She has only been with my husband and I since Sunday. I just don't know what to expect with this. We have occasionally had a senior, but I do not have experience with cancer/tumors in a dog so am trying to learn as much as possible.


We are ready to deal with anything that comes along and I am thinking about how to approach my boss/coworkers if the time comes where she would need constant care and would have to come to work with me. We also suspect it is moving down her leg so I am making plans on building a ramp to go outside since she already has trouble just from lack of experience with stairs. She was a brood mamma and was kept locked in a crate for the last two years by a horrible man who did not care about her health at all.


She is currently on pain meds/antibiotics from her spay (by another vet who did not feel comfortable analyzing the tumor, a mistake IMO since she would not have needed to go through a spay if we had known the tumor was terminal, but it was not my decision and was before I knew her).


Will it be likely she will need to stay on pain meds for the rest of her life? We do not have an estimate of how long that will be, just until she stops wanting to eat. There is so little to go on and I feel really frustrated not knowing what to do. I don't even know what I am asking in terms of responses from you! I guess just advice and experiences and anything I can do to help keep her comfortable and healthy.


Should I be taking her on daily walks as long as she can handle it? We have a large fenced yard but I'm wondering if actual walks will help as well. Are there herbal treatments we can try or massages that might help? A special diet or supplements? I am just at a complete loss and hate feeling so helpless. Thank you to all of you who have read through all this!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bless your hearts for helping precious Wendi. IF it were ME...I would take Wendi to an Oncologist and explore my options. Please kiss her for me. :grouphug


Patti-Mommy of Lady Sophia 7-28-92 - 8-3-04... LaceyLaine 8-2-94-12-5-07...

Flash Gordon 7-14-99 - 8-29-09... BrookLynne...Pavé Maria... and 18 Bridge Kids.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sending prayers for Wendi and I agree I would probably take her to a Oncologist to get to the bottom of the problem. Thank you and everyone that is helping with Wendi for all you are doing. :bighug:hope :hope :hope:candle

Darlene Mom to: Aladdin, Sophie ,Pongo, Jasmine, Relic Forever in our Hearts Champ at the Rainbow Bridge.

Let a greyhound race into your heart Adopt

Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions INC. Naples/ Fort Myers Chapter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Vinnie

Not sure on thoughts - but sending lots of hugs and well wishes for a very sweet girl who obviously deserved better. Thank you for making her part of your family and caring enough to make sure she is comfortable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't understand how it was determined this tumor is "terminal" without anyone having (apparently) done a biopsy?


Did you leave something out?


My parents' have a dog with a HUGE lump in her chest area, and it was biopsied, and it's totally benign despite it's very alarming appearance. Is it possible assumptions about her discomfort and the nature of this lump are being made?


A punch biopsy could be done with just local anesthesia and would be better than nothing. What about a needle aspiration? Was that done?


My dog had a malignant nerve sheath tumor; we determined with a needle aspiration and a biopsy of those cells that it was malignant, and did not further biopsy, but with NO biopsy, how can they tell?




Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If there's a way to determine more what's there and how long she'll be with you, and what she might be likely to experience along the way, that would be a good choice. Otherwise, probably just try stuff and see how she reacts. Walks might improve her quality of life or stress her out. Pain meds might tax her system, or be necessary for her comfort. The more you find out, the better for all of you!

:bighug :bighug :bighug


My Inspirations: Grey Pogo, borzoi Katie, Meep the cat, AND MY BELOVED DH!!!
Missing Rowdy, Coco, Brilly, Happy and Wabi.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have no experience with this at all, but I just wanted to add that you said she was almost 9? That's not old! Thank you for being there for this girl, and I wish you all the best getting the info you need.


Missing my little Misty who took a huge piece of my heart with her on 5/2/09, and Ekko, on 6/28/12



:candle For the sick, the lost, and the homeless

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, you could always wing that puppy and go straight to chemo (although I agree- needle biopsy would be the best venue to explore first).


Dr. Stack- a vet in Yuma who is one of the wizards with greyhounds- has a ghd that is 4 years postamp for osteo; one of the things she did was put him on 10 mg tamoxifen daily; she notes there "can be some problems for girl dogs," however. Tamoxifen may be an anti-angiogensis drug, preventing new blood vessels from forming. It won't cure the dog, but it may slow the growth. It's a longshot.


Slightly longer is the use of Coley's fluids; there's a supplier in Canada, and- as with the tamoxifen- you'd have to find a vet to go along with it. PM me if interested.

Coco (Maze Cocodrillo)

Minerva (Kid's Snipper)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Koalalou2

I am still trying to find out what exactly was done and how this was all determined. I did not speak directly with the vet as it was still being determined who would foster her (there is another family who is emotionally invested in her as well, but has agreed to allow me to foster her). One of our core members talked with the vet so I'm still working on getting in the loop of everything. I will post when I know more facts about how it was diagnosed.

What I do know is that the tumor cannot be operated on because of the way it is attached. The vet considered it terminal because of the location and the very high probability that it is cancer. She started peeing brown at the vets office which made them think it could have already spread to her liver, but she had less blood in her urine as the days progressed. :huh

We are also operating on a rescue budget so it is up to our director and core members to evaluate the cost of treatment and weigh it against the likely benefit. She had a very difficult time recovering from her spay so we opted to wait until she is doing better to go any further. I don't think they have ruled out trying a biopsy down the road as long as she is doing well, but she could use some time to recover and de stress. There have been a lot of changes and a lot of travel for this poor girl (she was taken in around 8/9 and has been travelling/at the vet pretty consistently since then, she just came home on 8/24) . She is only eight, but the years have been quite rough on her. Our grey experienced vet is two hours from me and travel seems to be quite a lot for her to handle, but she's doing better.

Thank you for all the suggestions, I am bringing it up with the powers that be to see what we can do.

Edited by Koalalou2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Might be worth exploring with another vet, even on a rescue budget.


Our elderly whippet had quite a large tumor removed from his neck last fall, under *local* anaesthesia plus a smidge of valium to zone him out a bit :) . We chose not to biopsy before or after, as my mother would not have put him thru treatment. But, chances are good it was benign -- it hasn't recurred. IIRC the removal itself was @ $90. Biopsy would've been another $100-$120.


Usually, a fine needle aspirate can be done with no anaesthesia at all. The times it can't are when you're dealing with internal structures like the heart. Then vets get kind of creeped out about hitting important vessels and really want the dog to be still.


Often the ugliest things are easier to remove than they may appear.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...