Is there a general pattern for cancer? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums

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Old 10-28-2012, 04:08 PM
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Is there a general pattern for cancer?

I find it interesting to see how people deal with a cancer diagnosis. Some people want to prepare themselves by researching all of the details, others dig their head in the sand. Maybe it is a mixure of both which comes in waves.

I am currently at war with the healthiest option. Sometimes it is better to focus on getting on with your life. However my personality makes me drives me to search out the details IN CASE there is anything that I can do to delay or prepare myself for the inevitable.

In any case the diagnosis period is so surreal we can see the lump but she seems fine. Maybe the doc is wrong? However my journal reminds me that this is the what happened last time with my cat. I am already seeing similarities. How did things pan out for you?

In the interest of collecting data for those who want to know...
Could you please remind us of some brief details of your journey to the best of your memory?
Please add any titles that are relevant to your case.
Eg

NAME: Henri
Cancer: Lymphoma
Age: 15 (cat)
Initial symptom : lump in the neck
Good news/helpful treatment: The lumps went down with the Pred for a while.
Signs of serious illness and when it started:
2? weeks before the end. Smelling toxic and diarrhea (he also had kidney and liver disease).
about 1 week before he lost his appetite.
Total fight: 9 weeks
Farewell day: Heavy body, lying flat, totally crashed by surprise one morning. The vet helped him pass over.

To those still keeping up the good fight a reminder of this would be like a ray of sunshine.

I understand that each case is unique just as our goldens but do you think that there is a general pattern for this journey?
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:50 PM
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I think every case is different. My last golden had prostate cancer. One day I noticed he struggled going to the bathroom. I took him to the vet, they did an ultrasound and found the mass on or near the prostate. I had it biopsied to make sure and yes it was cancer. My vet said about 3 months and the dog would no longer be able to relieve himself and that would cause him to throw up. a very good diagnosis because it was about 3 months and that was exactly what happened one day. the next day I let him go. Now with my current dog, the cancer showed up unexpectedly and nothing is following course. It is just a complete roller coaster of ups and downs -- very hard emotionally.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:12 PM
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Thanks Kathy. I guess everyones journey IS different just like everyones life is different. Best wishes to you and your family!
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:09 PM
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With Lucy (a Lab /Golden mix) she was fine until her last month of life. It started with nausea and lots of vomiting and she was diagnosed with colitis. She seemed to get better from that. One morning we woke up to blood all over the house and we could not figure out where it was coming from. We took her to the vet that morning and they found just a tiny cut in her gum. She continued to lose a lot more blood as she was kept at the vet that day until they could stop the bleeding. They discovered she had a dangerously low platelet count and started her on prednisone. Her platelet count continued to go down and her red blood cells were being destroyed. She continued to decline very fast. She was not eating, she cold not have a bowel movement and her stomach was protruded. With in a couple more days we had her put to sleep. She was just about to turn 9 years old.

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Old 11-10-2012, 08:30 PM
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I am so sorry. 9 is way too young. It must have been horrible to witness
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:30 PM
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With Fozzie, it was about 8 weeks from the time he started manifesting any symptoms until his death at age 9. The only symptom he had was loss of appetite. We didn't think anything of it at first, because he was a dog that got tired of his food once in awhile, and we had to switch it up. It continued, so we took him to the vet. He was found to have an elevated temp and a slightly elevated white count. We went back and forth with 3 or 4 different antibiotics, and some Cerenia thrown in for nausea when it was needed. All along, our vet told us, you could do an ultrasound, but it won't change the outcome, so it's up to you. Anyway, at the very end, he was put on prednisone, but was still taking his daily walks. He had lost about 12 pounds at this point. No more than a week into the prednisone, he collapsed and died on our living room floor of a bleed in in his spleen and liver. By the time I realized his gums were a pale grey color, it was too late. I never thought I'd have to watch my precious furbaby go this way..

With our first golden, Gallagher, he was pretty healthy for a 12 year-old boy, aside from some arthritis. We had a small child at the time. One morning, I happen to be outside with him when he peed. He peed blood. We took him to the vet, and decided to let them do exploratory surgery on him. His spleen had ruputured, and there was cancer throughout his belly. We sent him to the Bridge while he was still under, so we didn't get to say goodbye.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it is never easy, no matter how you go through it. I would say that loss of appetite in any dog should be a major red flag.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:03 PM
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Oh my gosh why do such glorious lives have such sad endings? Sigh.
I agree, a loss of appetite is a serious potential and common warning sign... especially for a golden:P So sorry.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:58 PM
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We lost our Zeke at 10.5 yrs., currently the average lifespan for a male Golden. About 3 months before he passed, my daughter noticed a dark growth on the side of his lip. It was biopsied and diagnosed as melanoma. The vet did an additional surgery to make sure it had all been removed. He said that if Zeke made it past 3 months the prognosis was good. Sadly he gradually declined over the next couple months, refusing dog food but eating the people food we shared. Shortly before the holidays he seemed to be failing and his gums were pale. The vet found his spleen very enlarged and took some tests. Before the results came back but a day after my daughter returned home from school for the holidays, he passed away during the night apparently in his sleep. The last evening he had begged for some of the roast chicken we were eating and exhibiting his incredible drive to the end, he had climbed the stairs to the second floor where he always slept with the rest of the family. He was the best.

My suggestion for others would be to be aware of your dogs body and any changes in it. Have any lumps, bumps or growths checked by a vet, knowing that many of them are nothing to worry about but some of them are.
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:18 AM
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Zeke sounds like a very special boy indeed. Waiting for your daughter, climbing the stairs and begging for chicken before passing in his sleep sounds extraordinary. Just amazing. He is obviously sorely missed.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:05 AM
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We have lost 4 goldens to cancer and all 4 were hemangiosarcoma. Our first 2 boys were 9 1/2 and 10. There was no time or warning. Jake woke us up in the middle of the night crying. The emergency vet showed us X-rays and he was full of cancer. We let him go to a better place that night. Our Pete who was his usual wonderful self collapsed one evening and off to the emergency vet. He had a tumor on his spleen which was removed but he went to the bridge 2 weeks later. By now I was researching hemangiosarcoma but the informationI found not tell me how to prevent it and that is what I needed. Beau started coughing all of a sudden one day and at the vets he coughed up blood. His X-rays showed cancer in his lungs. Beau was 11. Our sweet Emmy was diagnosised with intramuscular hemangiosarcoma, which is rare. We lost her 43 days later at the age of 10 1/2. I did everything I could to prevent the cancers but I just couldn't beat it. Sometimes the thoughts that I could have done more overwhelm me but I know I have to let it go. It is hard. Now my Gambler is my rock.
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