One of our dogs has cancer. She has a tumor on her leg, which at 1st didn't seem like a big deal. Yes I was concerned but didn't want to start freaking out. They said it might be possible to just remove the tumor or they might have to take her whole leg. I would do whatever it takes. They say it can spread so that is why they might have to amputate.
Well now it appears to be a lot worse, I took her to the 1st appointments and my MIL dropped her off yesterday for this one and hubby picked her up. He told me what the vet had said 5-7 days to see what kind of cancer we are dealing with from the biospy. She is thinking between a couple of them and one is very bad and looks like that might be it, very aggressive and showed up very quickly. She said once that comes back at the follow up she would like to do a chest x ray and go from there.
I didn't think how serious it was but I do that a lot, just ignore it until reality sets in. It wouldn't have been a problem for me to deal with until when/if she had to be PTS. I just don't think like that, but then he was very upset about it lastnight and said he felt deception from the vet, like she knew more and wasn't telling. She can't say everything is going to be good if its not but at the sametime it seems she knows its really bad but doesn't want to lay it all out there and worry us too much so she is just giving us the sugar coated side. He said she thinks its already in the lungs and that means removing the tumor/leg will only help a little bit and for a short while and he can't take her in to be PTS so then I got upset too.
But started thinking about alternatives, there is no way I could take her in to be killed like that. I will give her whatever life she has left and treat her.
So I'm looking for what everyone else opinions are on different treatments and what different treatments there are. There are many things I know out there that have had decent results and I'm going to do some research and call my Mom who's into all that stuff.
well, first of all, treatments vary depending on the type of cancer it is. and depending on what type of cancer it is, treatment may or may not be effective. if it has already spread into her lungs than it is probably throughout most of her body already, and no treatment is going to help.
just hang tight until you get the results back. then you'll know better on how to approach this.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Like Scout said, it is hard to say what treatment will apply without knowing the type of cancer. Was it a tumor that started in the skin, or under the skin, on the leg? Is it a hard tumor, or is it soft?
In general, dogs can be treated with surgery to remove a tumor, with chemotherapeutic drugs, and with radiation, or a combination of those. A lot like people. But some of these options are very expensive, especially radiation, and maybe can only be done at a teaching hospital or specialist.
If your dog's cancer has already spread, I would say to avoid surgery--just let her live out the rest of her life in relative comfort. That is, unless the tumor on the leg is causing your dog discomfot, and can be removed without a lot of pain (not amputation--very painful). The vets may be able to give her chemotherapy as "pallative" care--basically, meant to slow the progress of the cancer and extend the dog's life, but not really cure it, because that's probably not realistic.
I think it also may depend on your dog's age. If your dog is older, it would be better to just let her live out the rest of her life comfortably. If she is younger and could bounce back from surgery, then maybe it's an option. But again, if the cancer has spread already, I think you should just focus on making her remaining time happy and as pain-free as possible.
My dog (now 9) had a mast cell tumor removed from his chest 2 years ago. It was removed surgically, and nothing more was done in his case, because the biopsy showed it was removed entirely with clean margins. The surgery was VERY painful and it took him several weeks to recover. He was never really the same--while he used to be a "good patient" at the vet, but no longer. He won't let any vet near his butt :), because the vet oncologist we saw stuck his pinky up there to do a prostate exam (he's a 12-lb dog). If you want to take his temperature, he has to be sedated!
Why are they waiting 5-7 days to do the x-ray? I understand that biopsies take a while to come back, but is there some important reason to wait on the x-rays, when they could provide a more definite picture now?
Lorrix thats what me and my husband were both wondering! That is the biggest thing we are worried about, if its just the tumor or just in her leg then we are much better off and can do surgery with likely a good outcome. He told his co-worker and he thinks they are trying to get more money by dragging it out to as many visits as possible. We are going to check a couple other vets.
I appreciate any advice and I will let everyone know more once we know more. I would have to say though that I'm trying to look at it realistic, I don't feel I'm being too optimistic? I am definatly concerned, especially if its in her lungs, mainly afraid of losing her, but I'm not worried about surgery or anything?? I won't go Chemo or Radiation, I don't like either, we will try something natural. Thats what I was wondering, if anyone knows of anything like that.
I think the mention of the dog with the tumor removed being a 12lbs dog explains a lot. Smaller dogs don't always seem to cope aswell. I'm not at all worried about problems from removing the tumor. I also know she can live without her leg I've known many pets that had an amputation and did fine. I want to do whatever is best for her and will give her the most life span and quality of life. She has probably only lived half her life span, so if it hasn't spread and we can keep her healthy and happy by removing the tumor then I think I'll do that.
She is only 9 and half years old and the tumor hasn't bothered her yet, she doesn't act sick or anything. She still runs around like a puppy, runs through the house, runs around the yard, jumps 5ft fences, pounces on other dogs/pups, acts like a silly fool. We've had to limit her now since the biopsy for a bit, which she hates and whines about having to be in a crate.
I find that Pit Bulls bounce back very well and have a high pain tolerance. I had one dog with a non cancerous growth removed from her foot and she was trying to run around the next day when I picked her up. She hated being in the crate and when confined to the kitchen just paced around and hated it, she wanted to run and play so bad. I ended up having to crate her quite a bit otherwise she would have hurt herself. I don't want to be in denile, but I think we have pretty good chances with removal if its not spread, but we will have to wait and find out.
My friends dog, who is now here is 14 and half and just had a massive amount of tumors removed a month ago. She had mammary tumors, they removed a gross amount so she did have to stay at the vets for over a week, because of possible swelling/infection. However she is fine. This is after a physical exam, bloodwork, x rays, heart worm test, then tumor removal and spay. She stayed there about a week and half. She bounced back fine and still acts the same! She is still running around, jumping up and down from the bed, rolling around and acting like a foolish puppy. Still chases the cats around (in play) and plays with hide and seek with them and still plays with pups and keeps up with them. The surgery hasn't changed her a bit. I've never had that happen. They were worried that it had spread in her dog and it didn't the x rays showed, but had she not got the tumors removed then it could have and she maybe would have lived 6month-a year now she probably has 4yrs left in her. So I'm hoping for a happy outcome like this, she has been here a week and hasn't missed a beat.
Waiting 5 to 7 days for the chest x-ray is not going to make-or-break your dog's health. There is the chance that this tumor turns out to be benign, and I am guessing the vet taking that into consideration, and trying to SAVE you money. Most vets charge no more than about $30 for the actual exam, which is the only repetitive cost, and often they charge less, or don't charge at all, for the exam during a follow-up visit. So don't change vets because of that. But if there is a specialist in the area or a veterinary teaching hospital, consider taking your dog there for better care.
A tumor on the leg could likely be osteosarcoma (bone cancer) or, since it appeared suddenly and has no symptoms, mastocytoma (mast cell tumor). A mast cell tumor would be in or on the skin. Both can spread to the lungs; osteosarcoma is especially known for spreading to the lungs. Did your vet x-ray the affected limb? If they did, and the x-ray looked abnormal, then they maybe suspecting osteosarcoma. Osteosarcoma is a very agressive cancer. You would be looking at amputation of the limb. I believe a dog with osteosarcoma would be experiencing lameness, but your dog could have a high tolerance for pain. A mast cell tumor needs to be removed with wide margins, so if the tumor is already large then amputation would probably be called for.
If the dog has more than one tumor, then chemotherapy is used. This not really negotiable; it's how vets and doctors treat metastatic cancer. Personally, I would consider a nine-and-a-half year-old dog to be a senior, especially a large breed, and value more the quality of life since she's already lived a fairly long one. Amputation is VERY painful and can be expensive. So think about what is best for the dog and your family. But this is all speculative and not really useful. You won't be able to make any decisions till you get the biopsy results.
If you're interested in natural remedies, you can go to this website to find a holistic vet in your area:
Thanks for the info. When they took the sample they said it WAS cancer, so we know that part, it isn't benign. Then they took the biopsy to see exactly what kind of cancer it was, sent that off.
Office visit is $40 and yes they do charge it everytime no matter what. Thats not really much in the overall bill. I would still like to switch to a better vet, I might take her to the univeristy. The last time a vet messed up here thats where one of the dogs ended up having to go. Some of these vets are total idiots and really scare me. One of our dogs died because of the stupidity of another vet.
She didn't x-ray her leg because she felt it wasn't connected to the bone. At first she thought possibly until she saw my girl and could see that she could run and jump, wasn't limping and could feel around the tumor.
I know by her age she is probably considered senior but sicne she looks and acts young I don't feel that she is really "old" especially considering Pits live 15-18yrs she could possibly have only lived out half her life. I would hate to say well she a senior so she's lived this much and then thats it. Let her get sick and die when I could have done something to help her and give her a better quality and longer life.
Thanks for all the detailed info!!! I really appreciate it. And the link too, I'm going to read it right now. We should have the info back shortly on the biopsy, I'm hoping before we leave.
I am so sorry to here about your dog. I went through the delay issues back this past Nov with my female. She has Lymphoma & is only 4 yrs old. We started Chemo on her bithday. However at my 1st visit to my regular vet they took samples with a needle & sent them off. They held off for it seems like a week to do chest X-rays & ultra sound. Then she had surgery for more deep tissie testing of her nodes as it had not spread yet to the rest of her body. I was furious at first for her having cancer, then I finally comed down & chose to fight it as long as she was willing to fight the fight.
Then we went to the Oncologist. Her last Chemo is this Wednesday.
I think the reason they wait on Xray's etc is due to the cost to you the owner as they aren't cheap either. They would rather see the test results first. However with fast speading cancer I would request Xrays but that's up to you. It was very frustrating for me too. I just don't think they want to down play or up play it until they know for certain. It is a very tough situation for them to be in.
I wish you the best of luck & hope it all turns out for the better.
Can't stand the heat?.....Don't tickle the Dragon!
The black lab two houses away from me has cancer. A tumor in her right foot and three in her tummy. They started about 3 years ago. She is 15 now and except for the fact that she limps a little, and is almost blind she seems fine. They opted for no treatment cause were told it would not make a difference. Polly still manages to find her way down to the lake every day that it isn't frozen and she swims and makes her way home again. Hopefully things will work out with yours. I will keep you in my prayers
So I totally think we are going to see a different vet and just have the tumor removed. The day we left from the show the vet called and said she got the results back and that they were inconclusive for cancer. She said she could do a rebiospy. Yeah Im sure they would love to collect another $265.
Anyway she said that the biopsy came back as having an infection and caused by inflamation. She then goes on to say that she figured that would happen because the tumor is deeper inside and since she has the secondary infection that is why its so swollen. She said she could do the rebiopsy or she could just try to remove the tumor, but then says that the tumor is so big that there isn't much skin to close it and says so if we want we can plan a rebiopsy.
None of this really makes since if its too big for her to removed then its to big. Its actually a lot smaller since the infection is gone. It really doesn't make sense that she can remove it after the rebiopsy, either she can or can't and the outcome is the same no matter what!