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Walter Diagnosed W/hemangiosarcoma


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Guest OurGreytLife

Hi Everyone.

 

I got some very bad news the other day. My 13 year old Lab mix, Walter, was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma.

 

To make a long story short, we discovered 2 small lesions on his spleen with ultrasound. X-rays show a tumor in his lung and a tumor on the right side of his heart. Classic characteristics of this cancer.

 

My vet says Walter has 3-6 months. My husband and myself are devastated as you can imagine. My vet is so saddened as well as she has been his vet since he was 6 weeks old.

 

There are many symptoms we have to watch for including a bleed out. We don't want Walter to suffer. Right now he is happy, eating good and wants his walks with his greyhound "brother", Joey.

 

Has anyone had a beloved pet with this cancer? What was your experience?

 

Thank you in advance for any replies. Only dog lovers such as yourselves know what we're going through. Thanks for listening.

 

Denise

 

 

 

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Hi there,

 

Unfortunately we have had four Labradors with this cancer in the family. There were different outcomes each time.

 

My own Kelsey had bleed outs into her spleen- symptoms were all of a sudden collapsing or feeling very weak with no other symptoms. Her gums were almost white- all the blood was in her spleen. After a couple of months she had the same symptoms. The vet was going to take out her spleen but warned me that if he found the hemangio had spread he would not wake her up from the anesthetic. This is exactly what happened. (in 1996)

Then there were two other family Labs that bled out and did not survive.

By this time I recognized the symptoms and when my chocolate Lab, Bailey collapsed I just knew what it was. Her spleen was taken out since there were no other symptoms. She survived for 3 weeks, then bled out again, probably her aorta, or another major blood vessel burst. She was gone in 45 minutes, even before I could get her to the E-vet.

 

Cello just had her Specky that went through this also, just in the last week.

 

I hope your Walter has some time left with you. This is a very aggressive cancer, with, IMO not a very positive outcome.

 

Thinking of you as you go through this difficult time.

Edited by mom2four

Tin and Michael and Lucas, Picasso, Hero, Oasis, Galina, Neizan, Enzo, Salvo and Noor the Galgos.
Remembering Bridge Angel Greyhounds: Tosca, Jamey, Master, Diego, and Ambi; plus Angel Galgos Jules, Marco and Baltasar.

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I'm so sorry. I lost a dog to a splenic cancer. One day she was fine, the next I knew in my heart that something was wrong and took her to the e-vet. We opted for a splenectomy because her x-rays came up clear for mets. But the x-rays were wrong and it had indeed spread -- the tumors were all over the place, including around the heart -- I had them euthanize her on the operating table. From the time of diagnosis to the surgery was only a couple of days but the vet had me restrict her exercise, jumping, etc., to hopefully prevent a hemorrhage of the spleen. She was also put on Tramadol. I hope you get lots more time with your baby. Love your baby and be with him before any surgery -- I regret dropping her off at the vet and leaving (I had been led to believe that the outcome was very hopeful) and never getting to say a final goodbye.

Edited by OwnedBySummer

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Lisa B.

My beautiful Summer - to her forever home May 1, 2010 Summer

Certified therapy dog team with St. John Ambulance

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We had a beautiful lab/NS duck tolling retriever cross who was thus diagnosed. She started falling over, having small bleeds I guess. After investigation, she was found to have tumours on her spleen and in her heart. She lost her appetite, and became increasingly distressed over the next couple of months until it was clear there was almost no joy in her life. However, even on her what turned out to be her last day, she still found the energy to follow the sunspots around the house, clambering on to chairs and beds. We didn't want to take any pleasure she was still finding in her existence until we were sure she was sure. Sorry, not a pretty story...

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I lost a westie just this month from this. She went from fine to dead in less than 12 hours. She totally bled out, partly at home and partly on the way to the e-vet. There wasn't enough blood in her for the e-vet to find a vein to put her to sleep. She had CHF and wouldn't have been able to have any surgery even if we had caught it in time. Most horrific death I have seen. I am so sorry. I hope you have a lot of quality time left with your lab.

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I am so sorry you have to deal with this. I lost Fletcher to this this summer. After some significant weight loss with no obvious cause, I had an ultrasound done, tumor was found on his spleen and it had spread to his liver. He had started to loose his "spark" the day before the ultrasound, and I was concerned the tumor would rupture and bleed out, so I let him go the next day. From when I first noticed something wrong to the end was about three weeks. I wish I could tell you something more encouraging.

Edited by Remolacha
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Guest OurGreytLife

Thank you for your replies so far. My sincere sympathies go out to all of you who went through this as well. I appreciate your honesty and courage describing what happened in your cases.

 

You answered the question I forgot to write - can they appear fine one day and very bad the next? The thought of a dog bleeding out internally and collapsing scares me. I hope this doesn't happen to Walter.

 

I've worked as a veterinary receptionist for 20 years and your heart never stops breaking for the owners and pets going through a terminal illness. And when it's your own dog it's even worse.

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I have lost two greys to what was suspected to be hemangiosarcoma. Both bled out and were gone in less than 12 hours. We had no symptoms with Idol and then she was gone. With John E, in retrospect, he did have some small bleeds in prior days, which we attributed to abrasions or small injuries in which he bled under the skin in small patches. He was fine at breakfast and gone by lunchtime on the day he died. It breaks my heart that you are going through this with your pet. I wish the news were better.

Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin in Lower Delaware
Angels Brandy, John E, American Idol, Paul, Fuzzy and Shine
Handcrafted Greyhound and Custom Clocks http://www.houndtime.com
Zoom Doggies-Racing Coats for Racing Greyhounds

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I'm so sorry. I've lost a greyhound, Chloe, and a weimaraner, Hannah, to hemangiosarcoma. I had no idea Chloe was sick until it was too late. Hannah's was caught early during a chest X-ray to check the size of her heart as she has a congenital murmur. Heart size was okay but there was a mass in one of her lungs. Ultrasound then confirmed tumors in the spleen, one lung, and heart. She wasn't a surgical candidate due to her heart problems. Specialist gave her 6 weeks tops. I researched alternative treatments and changed her to a raw diet with lots of immune enhancing supplements. She did great for about 11 1/2 month and then her heart began to fail. I lost her to congestive heart failure at age 11.

:grouphug

Edited by galgrey

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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Guest OurGreytLife

Thank you everyone for sharing your stories. Because of what you all told me, I was able to warn my husband what to watch for (regarding bleed out) while I'm at work. My husband is currently laid off and is taking care of our fur kids while I'm at work.

 

It's hard being at work since his diagnosis. I just want to be at home with him for the time we have left. But at least he's not home alone and my husband is there giving him lots of love and attention for the both of us.

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I am so very sorry Walter has been diagnosed, it is a devastating disease to be honest. We lost our German Short-Haired Pointer at 11 years and to this day I am so saddened my happy, bouncy 11yr old puppy left us so quickly. I hope whatever time you have left with your boy are happy and full of great memories, cherish him.

Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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I'm so very sorry that Walter has this dreadful diagnosis. We lost Catwalk to hemangiosarcoma when she was 7. We had very little warning. She only seemed sick for a couple of weeks and, although we were very concerned, her blood work only showed signs of "mild" pancreatitis. We decided to let her go when an ultrasound showed that her spleen and pancreas were destroyed, surgery wasn't an option, she was in pain, and chemo might have only given her a couple of weeks more with massive pain control.

 

Yes, they can seem fine and deteriorate incredibly fast. I'd focus on really watching for signs of pain (dogs can be so stoic we sometimes underestimate their pain) and making sure that Walter gets very good pain control. Other than that, in the time you have left just keep on loving him to pieces, feed him his favorite foods, assess his quality of life every day, and get ready to let him go when he needs to be set free.

Edited by Saffron

Gillian
Caesar (Black Caesarfire) and Olly (Oregon) the Galgo

 

Still missing: Nell (spaniel mix) 1982-1997, Boudicca (JRT) 1986- 2004, and the greys P's Catwalk 2001-2008, Murphy Peabody (we failed fostering) 1998-2010 and Pilgrim (Blazing Leia) 2003-2016,

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I'm so sorry to hear Walter's diagnosis. We lost our 9 year old labradoodle Lucy to Hemangiosarcoma this past spring. I took her to the vet because she seemed a little off (I was thinking a little arthritis?) She also had a little fever, but really was acting pretty normal. After a week of back and forth to the vet, we went to a vet internist. After hours with the internist and surgeon, and a chest x-ray, we could clearly see spots in her lungs. There was nothing they could do at that point. It must've originated on the spleen and had already spread. So I took her home with pain meds and she started going downhill shortly after that. At the very end (two weeks later), I made arrangements to have our vet come to the house to put her down at home. The Dr. was coming first thing the next morning, but Lucy had her own plan and died with me on the way to the animal hospital late the night before. I wish I had had her put down before then so she wouldn't have had to go through to the bitter end. I feel so incredibly bad about that.

 

And I agree with Saffron - make sure he has really good pain meds. It may be very sudden, or it may not. Again, I'm so sorry. I wish I had an encouraging story to tell. We know what you're going through, and it sucks. Try to enjoy the time you have left with your sweet boy and good luck.

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I am very sorry to hear about Walter. I lost my first greyhound Corky to this dreadful cancer. He too was perfectly fine the day before (good appetite, energy level fine and active). The next morning he refused breakfast and was walking very slowly and had no energy. I took him to my vet, he did a needle aspirate and saw blood and knew that it was cancer in the spleen. My option was to either euthanize right then and there or have surgery done to remove the spleen. I opted for the surgery. I got about 4 months with Corky. He actually did very well during these four months but the last week he started to cough and refused food. An ultrasound revealed that the cancer spread to his chest and I euthanized him. Horrible cancer and a very sad experience. My first greyhound was the most wonderful dog and he was just 10 years old when he passed.

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We lost Rocky to hemangio. He seemed fine when we went to bed and by 6am he was gone. I'd have your husband keep an eye on his gums. Look at them now to see what they look like and then check them that they don't get pale.

 

Rocky threw up at 3:30 am and we thought it was something he'd eaten. He was a little fidgety, but again - we thought he'd eaten something that was making his tummy upset. I kept checking his gums and at 5:30 they were pale so we ran him to the e-vet about 3 minutes from our house. By the time we got there his blood pressure was so low they couldn't even get a reading. They suspect the hemangio was in his heart. I will say that I don't think he ever suffered. I think he felt off and not great, but he never acted like he was really in any distress.

 

He really didn't even have any symptoms in the days leading up to it. We were totally blindsided. He was only 10 and had always been the picture of health.

 

So sorry about your boy :( Spoil him rotten.

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Wingnut (DC Wingnut), Voo Doo (Voo Doo von Bonz), Barb (Myokie Barb) & Romey (Nose Stradamus)
at the bridge Molly (CM Blondie) 9/8/14, Maddy (Reuniting) 10/17/13, Rocky (Ranco Popeye) 1/7/12, Mimi (Flying Ringneck) 8/13/09 and RJ (RJ What For) 5/3/05

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