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Old 07-28-2013, 01:14 AM   #1
tribblesmom
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My dog has lymphoma. Is it time?

Hello, I'm new here and saw some other great advice regarding dog lymphoma. She is a 6 year old beagle mix and this news has been devastating. Her name is Tribble. She was diagnosed 4 weeks ago because we found small lumps on her neck. We decided against chemo since its extremely expensive and would likely only prolong her life for a year. We started her on prednisone immediately and tramadol for pain about 2 weeks ago. It seems to be spreading very fast.
Now she still eats great. Has quite a bit of energy, still gets very happy and excited. But my main concern is she is panting a lot and its not hot. It's usually when she's lying down. She is having a hard time breathing when she's lying down even when she's not panting. It's killing me to see her like this when she's tired but then when she gets up she's fine, wagging her tail, etc!!!
I don't feel like its time yet because she still has so much life in her. But when she's lying down I know she's not comfortable and I just don't know. I read somewhere that the panting can mean she's distressed.
Can I get some advice? I greatly appreciate it.
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:32 AM   #2
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No real advice, but I am in the same boat. Our greyhound has bone cancer and he still gets excited when I come home, runs to the door etc....but other than that, he lays around looking fairly miserable. Now he's limping constantly or only on 3 legs, avoiding the bad leg altogether. Vet said he could prescribe morphine if we weren't ready to put him down. I don't want it to be about me, but about him and what's best for him.

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Old 07-28-2013, 07:41 AM   #3
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First of all . I know how hard this is for you. Our german shepherd mix had lymphoma, and it was rough. She also started panting for no reason too. That's actually what made me take her in. I noticed the lump and then the panting, and it was literally within a week. Lymphoma moves quickly in dogs. The vet told me that she had a few weeks left so we took her home, put her on prednisone and cried.

All I can say is some advice I was given by my uncle, who has raised many dogs. When it's time, you'll know. You won't second guess yourself because in your heart you just know it's time. Until that point, which may only be a week or so, (my dog deteriorated rapidly ) enjoy the time you have with her. She will let you know when she's had enough. I will never forget the way that my Ashley looked up at me as if to say "I'm ready to move on". (It's been 8 years, and here I am blubbering like an idiot at the keyboard). We took her to the vet that afternoon, and she passed before the doctor even gave her the second shot. My prayers are with you and your family.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlewis23 View Post
First of all . I know how hard this is for you. Our german shepherd mix had lymphoma, and it was rough. She also started panting for no reason too. That's actually what made me take her in. I noticed the lump and then the panting, and it was literally within a week. Lymphoma moves quickly in dogs. The vet told me that she had a few weeks left so we took her home, put her on prednisone and cried.

All I can say is some advice I was given by my uncle, who has raised many dogs. When it's time, you'll know. You won't second guess yourself because in your heart you just know it's time. Until that point, which may only be a week or so, (my dog deteriorated rapidly ) enjoy the time you have with her. She will let you know when she's had enough. I will never forget the way that my Ashley looked up at me as if to say "I'm ready to move on". (It's been 8 years, and here I am blubbering like an idiot at the keyboard). We took her to the vet that afternoon, and she passed before the doctor even gave her the second shot. My prayers are with you and your family.
I totally agree!
First, let me say I too know how hard this is having gone through it twice (once is too much for anyone in my opinion). The vet told me that dogs also know when it is time. One of the signs is they stop eating. This was true of my first dog but my second dog was a little different. He tried to eat (his favorite thing to do) but he kept vomiting it back up. He did however try and seperate himself from us. I wish I could give better advice other than, when it's time you'll know. This is a difficult time and if you dog is still getting joy out of life then let him determine when he is ready. You are in my prayers.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:47 AM   #5
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It is always so difficult to be in that situation.

Nobody can ever say for sure when the right time is for you and your pet, since it's such a personal decision. But oftentimes people are right when they say, "You'll know" and "When the bad days outnumber the good".

Is there a way you can position her when she's laying down so that she's more like "sitting up", or at least more at an upright angle, such as with pillows on a sofa or dog bed? I'm not sure if she's panting due to temperature regulation or poor oxygenation, but if it's the latter, hopefully it might help a bit. Try it, anyway.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:58 AM   #6
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I wish I knew what to tell you. I feel you have made the right decision so far. My childhood dog had cancer which my parents spent thousands (that they didn't have) with chemo and surgery to save her, but it only prolonged her suffering. She finally went off into the woods to die alone. I still wish we had not let her suffer that way.

I'm a nurse, NOT a vet, but I am also a dog owner and lover, so take this with a grain of salt. I'm trying to apply people knowledge to dogs.

It sounds like your dog's lungs are filling with fluid when she lies down, but when she is up, the fluid drains and she feels better. That is a symptom of congestive heart failure which can be caused by lymphoma. I did a google search and saw the average lifespan for untreated lymphoma in a dog is 60 days.

If it were my dog, I would see the vet again and see what else he can recommend to keep her comfortable awhile longer yet, since you say she seems fine otherwise and still has a lot of life in her. A drug called Lasix is used in people with heart failure to help with fluid build-up. It would not extend her life but it could keep her more comfortable. Your vet might tell you that it is not an option for your dog's condition so take that for what it's worth, but you could ask him about it.
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:09 PM   #7
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First off, I'm so sorry you have to go through that. It's never easy


Quote:
Originally Posted by freckles04 View Post
I wish I knew what to tell you. I feel you have made the right decision so far. My childhood dog had cancer which my parents spent thousands (that they didn't have) with chemo and surgery to save her, but it only prolonged her suffering. She finally went off into the woods to die alone. I still wish we had not let her suffer that way.
Second, I've never had to be the decision maker for my cat to be put down (since i was a kid). But i know now (I have 2 cats and 1 dog) when they need to be put to sleep, I want to be there with them. I don't want them to suffer or pro long their suffering.

Just make their last days wonderful and comfortable for them. They'll really appreciate it. And know that you gave them a wonderful life.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:22 AM   #8
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Tribblesmom, if you want, you can edit the title to say Update in post #25.

How are you doing today? What did you do with Tribble's body?
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:50 AM   #9
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I am so sorry for your loss but I am glad you knew in your heart it was the right decision. My aunt has a farm and has had many pets over the years which she loved and loss. She once wrote a letter to a friend when they lost a pet and the words are really quite perfect so I thought I would share.

“From time to time, God in His wisdom, sends us helpmates to assist us in our journey through this life. They come in many shapes and forms and at times are unexpected and untimely. I have learned from experience that we should not reject these “gifts” from God, but accept them without question. The animals that have passed through my life are far too many to count or explain.
They show up at my doorstep, have jumped into my car, into my lap, followed me home and inserted themselves into my life and that of my family. These “doctors”, “psychiatrists”, “nurturers”, “comedians”, and “companions”, comfort us and teach us so much about so many things. Their love is unconditional and infinite, yet they require so little in return. The hard part is that their time with us is so vey short in comparison to our own life span. I like
to believe that this also was a “Divine design”. In sharing our lives, these animals help to prepare us for the greater losses that we all must endure when we lose family members. It helps us to understand the cycles of life and death. My children could not have had any greater teachers than the animals that we have had on our farm. They held chicken eggs as they hatched in their hands. They witnessed the natural conception and birth of many new lives. They watched and learned about a mother’s love for their offspring and how these animals raised their young and taught them many lessons. They also felt the pain of loss when many passed on, yet they were more understanding because of the life cycle that they had been a part of.
I know that there are no words of comfort that I can share to ease the pain of loss that you are feeling. I have felt it many times before myself. The comfort that I take in each passing, is that I was blessed by God to have had these little miracles in my life, for however short a time. I also believe that God has a
special place in his heart for all His creatures and their spirits go on as do our own. I know there will never be another individual animal just like the one I have lost, but I look forward to theirs that I know will be just as unique, with their own special gift to share with me.”

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Old 04-03-2014, 01:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by APiratesLifeForMe2 View Post
I am so sorry for your loss but I am glad you knew in your heart it was the right decision. My aunt has a farm and has had many pets over the years which she loved and loss. She once wrote a letter to a friend when they lost a pet and the words are really quite perfect so I thought I would share.

“From time to time, God in His wisdom, sends us helpmates to assist us in our journey through this life. They come in many shapes and forms and at times are unexpected and untimely. I have learned from experience that we should not reject these “gifts” from God, but accept them without question. The animals that have passed through my life are far too many to count or explain.
They show up at my doorstep, have jumped into my car, into my lap, followed me home and inserted themselves into my life and that of my family. These “doctors”, “psychiatrists”, “nurturers”, “comedians”, and “companions”, comfort us and teach us so much about so many things. Their love is unconditional and infinite, yet they require so little in return. The hard part is that their time with us is so vey short in comparison to our own life span. I like
to believe that this also was a “Divine design”. In sharing our lives, these animals help to prepare us for the greater losses that we all must endure when we lose family members. It helps us to understand the cycles of life and death. My children could not have had any greater teachers than the animals that we have had on our farm. They held chicken eggs as they hatched in their hands. They witnessed the natural conception and birth of many new lives. They watched and learned about a mother’s love for their offspring and how these animals raised their young and taught them many lessons. They also felt the pain of loss when many passed on, yet they were more understanding because of the life cycle that they had been a part of.
I know that there are no words of comfort that I can share to ease the pain of loss that you are feeling. I have felt it many times before myself. The comfort that I take in each passing, is that I was blessed by God to have had these little miracles in my life, for however short a time. I also believe that God has a special place in his heart for all His creatures and their spirits go on as do our own. I know there will never be another individual animal just like the one I have lost, but I look forward to theirs that I know will be just as unique, with their own special gift to share with me.”


This is absolutely beautiful Thank you The hardest decision in life is to give our dear four legged family members the ultimate gift, even though it rips a piece of our heart out I have been there a few times myself I wish you all peace






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Old 07-28-2013, 07:50 AM   #11
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I am so sorry you are going through this. We lost my 11 year old pug to melanoma a year and a half ago. There is no easy answer, but I agree with the pp who said you will just know.

My pug was diagnosed 9 months before she died and aside from one surgery and pain meds, we didn't do anything else. She was good until she stopped eating. After four days of that I just knew it was time. I spoke to my vet on a Saturday morning, he agreed it was time (and said when a dog no longer does her favorite thing....eating in my pug's case), it's time. We made the appt. for Monday morning. As we sat down to dinner that Saturday night, my son went to check on her and came back crying that she had died (we had her on the couch and my other pug never left her side). It was heartbreaking, but I knew then I really did know the time was right.

Big hugs to you and your family. Losing a pet is one of the hardest things .

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Old 07-28-2013, 07:58 AM   #12
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I'm so sorry you're going through this.

I've been there more times than I want to think about.

Here's my past experience with lymphoma. My girl got sick *fast*. One day I noticed she was losing weight and made a vet appointment. We had labs drawn, which were normal and we made a second appointment for an abdominal x ray. Before the second appointment she went from totally normal (but thinner) to emaciated and sick. Vomiting, panting...she literally went downhill in a single day and on that day I *knew* she was dying. Remember, she hadn't been diagnosed yet, she'd only had lab draws. So, I brought her to the emergency vet and in the morning they transferred her to an internal medicine vet who diagnosed the lymphoma. We were told chemo might buy her 6 months, but she was SO sick I knew it was the wrong thing to do. We had her put to sleep.

So, spend quality time with your baby and cherish the time you have. If it had been possible, I would have put her to sleep before that last day. She went from happy and healthy appearing to dying overnight and I feel like because of that, she suffered.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:16 AM   #13
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Everyone is different. and I can only say, as hard as it is...look at your pet and remember how she was healthy...is this how you want to remember her by...being so sick. I see too many of my friends who keep their animals long after they should have been put down because *they are still eating* they are still happy to see me*
And then they say...I should not have waited so long.

Think of yourself...if you were sick and dying...wouldn't you *put it together* to make your family happy and not let them see you suffer?

It is such an emotional tug of war we have when it comes time to have our animals put down...We all wish they would peacefully pass in their sleep. Good luck with whatever you decide. I had to make this difficult decision myself recently.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kacaju View Post
Everyone is different. and I can only say, as hard as it is...look at your pet and remember how she was healthy...is this how you want to remember her by...being so sick. I see too many of my friends who keep their animals long after they should have been put down because *they are still eating* they are still happy to see me*
And then they say...I should not have waited so long.

Think of yourself...if you were sick and dying...wouldn't you *put it together* to make your family happy and not let them see you suffer?

It is such an emotional tug of war we have when it comes time to have our animals put down...We all wish they would peacefully pass in their sleep. Good luck with whatever you decide. I had to make this difficult decision myself recently.
I agree with this. The dog we needed to put down had bone cancer. The vet said he probably had 2-3 months left, and we had him euthanized soon after he diagnosis. While I will always miss that dog - he was a "momma's boy", I do not regret the timing we chose.

It is a tough decision, but try to make the decision that is best for your dog, not what is best for you. That is the only thing our pets ask of us, after their years of unconditional love for us.

So sorry to hear about your furbabies!
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:40 AM   #15
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Hugs to everyone who has lost a beloved pet. Any indication from your vet? It was the emergency vet who told us we really should consider it with Max. It was his recommendation. Max had a bad report from the previous visit to the vet, so we had time to get ourselves ready. But it was bad with Max. He couldn't get up and walk. He's been gone over a year, and I still miss him so much. I agree...you'll know when it's time. Bless your heart!
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