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Old 01-24-2009, 07:11 PM
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Symptoms? First symptom was a week before she died, but we didn't recognize it as a cancer symptom. Maggie suddenly acted lethargic and listless, walked up to "mommy" with a worried look on her face (that usually meant she had to throw up). So I took her outside, whereupon she promptly retreated into a corner of the yard and sat facing away from me in a trance-like state! We immediately took her to the emergency/after-hours vet. By the time we got there, she was full of piss and vinegar, rallied, and checked out fine. She did however weigh five pounds less than the spring, but weight fluctuations were not unusual for her, so 85 down to 80 didn't alarm us. Second episode was a couple days later; and once again just a few hours then she mysteriously snapped right out of it. The emergency vet suggested we observe her gait and behavior and seemed to suspect seizures. The third time was really bad though - she couldn't move an inch, not even to raise her pretty head. She seemed to struggle with breathing. We tried helping her into a stand position but she just collapsed onto the floor again. I had to carry her out to the car and again into the vet's office. As I put her collar on that day, I realized then something was really wrong: It was so loose. As it turned out, she had lost ANOTHER five pounds that week.

All this in spite of being playful, rambunctious, and eating her normal ration of food. As a matter of fact, on her last night, we were late feeding her and she came into the living room giving us attitude like she always did if supper was late, LOL. She even played tug-o-war with her mate, Terky, earlier in the day. Aside from her gradual weight loss that we failed to notice, there wasn't much by way of obvious symptoms. The cancer - like many - was so aggressive that even if we had clued in a week earlier, she was apparently terminal by that time. It just turned out that in the previous minor episodes the bleeds were small and clotted up. On her last day, a large tumour ruptured and that was the end the line. From what I've read and heard from people in the know, this type of cancer usually doesn't present itself until the crisis stage.

Sorry for this being so long. I can understand why anyone who has a healthy golden would be worried about symptoms. No one wants to go through this. And I don't know if there's a practical screening program for cancer in dogs? So sad.
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Maggie, you left us so suddenly. We barely had time to say goodbye. We will never forget you, or how much you meant to us. The world will never understand that you were our baby.
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:21 PM
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Raleigh's story was lots like JohnTIZ above. Raleigh was his usual intrepid self, but lost five pounds inexplicably, and then another five. He had two spells of staggering weakness totally out of character, and each time I rushed him to the vet, and they though he had a seizure though he never had before or a heart condition bc he had developed a murmer that hadnt been there the first eleven years. . Then he started losing weight steadily, and I was terrified- I just knew. Sure enough, Xray/untrasound showed hamangiosarcoma of the spleen, and about 12 to 24 hours before it would burst. I held him in my arms, sang him his favorite song, and let him go before there was a bleed out. It was awful to see him lose that weight no matter what I fed him. I know I have to keep Tally, Tango, and Finn fit& lean for their best health, but it's hard for me if they get a pound or two under during the summer when they exercise tons. Something in my brain connects it with Raleigh's weight loss, and I get scared.
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:19 PM
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I've been through this 3 times so far

Rusty, 10 years old - Was fine in the morning. Ate breakfast, played tenne-ball, never showed a symptom. Came home from work and he was down in the middle of the living room floor. Local vet came with a gurney and helped me get him into the car so we could get him to the emergency room. Emergency room took an x-ray and found a massive tumor in his chest. We never had any warning with him.

Nikita, 8 years old - Found a small mass-cell tumor on her upper gum during a normal exam. No symptoms had ever presented. It was removed, and they said if she makes it 6 mo she will be fine. At 6 mo and 3 days, she developed an egg-shaped tumor on her tummy. It was mass-cell as well. It was removed. There must have been another one somewhere we didn't know about because in 2 weeks she broke out all over with tumors. Nothing more we could do at that point. Until we found the original tumor during the normal exam, we never had a clue. No symptoms at all.

Comet, 10 years old, 2 weeks ago - Turned 12 on the 29th of December, and stopped eating a around that time. He's had an upset tummy before, so we treated conservatively using bland diet, syringe feeding, etc... He was still fairly active and happy. He would tend to go out the dog door and lye on the concrete patio though instead of staying inside where he is warm. On the following Wednesday I noticed his breathing was shallow and quick. I dropped him off at the Vet Thursday morning for x-rays. Then the call came Lung Cancer, and nothing we could do for him.
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:03 PM
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My Shana's systems were not jumping onto our bed at night, would stand in the middle of my room at night and wouldn't lay down. She also pooped in my room which she never did since she was a pup. A few times she was trying to throw up but nothing came up except bio (sp) We brought her to the vets several times and all the tests came back normal. She also wouldn't eat her food but she would eat people food. We all thought she had some bug but the last vet visit showed different because when he touched her side/stomach she winced so he took x-rays. It showed that she had a mass but had to wait for radiologist to see if it was cancerous. When we got home and I took her out she just stood in the grass and wouldn't move. She started to try to throw up again and blew up like a balloon. I called the vet and they told me to take her to the animal hospital and they'll send her x-rays over. When we got there they took her immediately and got her on oxygen because she was stressing which was causing her to bloat and they were concerned of stomach twisting. The doctor said it was a cancer mass and we chose to operate. My DH and I went to see her before we left not knowing that would be our last time seeing her. We had so much hope but the next morning when they were in the middle of surgery she went into cardio arrest and we chose to put her to sleep because even if she made it through the surgery it was unlikely she would live more than a day and we couldn't put her through that. The whole family went down there to say our last goodbyes ( even though she was already gone) and had a viewing. My DH is still feeling guilty to this day because he promised her he would see her the next morning after surgery. Even though it's been 4 yrs since she crossed the bridge I still have trouble talking about it without tears. So basically her systems were, wouldn't lay down, trying to throw up, and not interested in her food. Oh her tumor was wrapped around her heart. The surgeon said it was an aggressive cancer which happened very suddenly and quickly. Does anyone know what type of cancer it is when it's wrapped around the heart because the surgeon didn't say and we were a mess and didn't think of asking him.
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:11 PM
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Shana might have had hemangiosarcoma of the heart, which fits your description
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:22 PM
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I have been through this twice.

With Nikki a 10 year old GSD, it wasn't very obvious. About six weeks earlier, I was in the back yard with her and she rolled on her back and screamed in pain. She got up and was fine. She did it again later. I had my husband bring her to the vet, and they could find nothing wrong. A few weeks later, I even boarded her at the vet, for about ten days, while we were on vacation. She was fine, but she came home with meds for a UTI, because they said there was blood in her urine. The first week back she was fine, then the second week my then 8 year old kept saying that Nikki was shrinking. What she meant was, Nikki was not carrying her head as high as normal. I kept noticed she was laying around more than usual. My husband did not believe me that something was wrong. Then by day 5, my neighbor actually came and knocked on my door to ask me what was wrong with her. Now I knew I sensed something.

I took her to the vets that day, she had gained 5 lbs since she was boarded not even 2 weeks earlier. The vet felt water all in her abdomin. They did the blood work, and ultrasound. She had it in her spleen and lungs. We said good bye to her on that day, the vet had told us we would have to be very aggressive and fast in our decision.

My other GSD, also was 10, we did not have time to determine if it really was cancer, but everything pointed in that direction.

I came home from work, and he was in his kennel, and would not stand up until I actually went to it to talk to him. I just attributed it to getting old. Later I went to bring him in the house, and he collapsed on me, and stayed on the ground long enough for me to bring my the other dog I had in my other hand in the house. I thought he died. I went back out, and was able to get him to his feet, and he had no strength to walk. I actually had to carry him up my stairs and into the house. I brought him in and then he seemed fine. I fed him, and he ate. It was 11:00 at night, so I waited the next morning to call the vets. In the morning, he did not want to go outside. I finally brought him out, and he peed syrupy blood. I checked his gums, they were white. I will never forget that.

The vet said he was bleeding internally, he spleen did not look good. We held on through the day, waiting for the blood work to come back, but we let him go before he bled to death on his own.
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljilly28 View Post
Shana might have had hemangiosarcoma of the heart, which fits your description
Thank you. Shana was my first golden and I didn't know much about cancer in goldens until after I got Shianna and reading about it on here.
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:52 PM
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I am sitting here with tears in my eyes while reading all of your stories and feel so sad.
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:17 PM
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My sweet girl Sandy was 12. She had a seizure in the middle of the night in the beginning of Dec 2006. It was a huge one. We rushed her to the emergency vet, but by that time, she was fine. We took her to the regular vet in the morning and they examined her and did bloodwork. Everything was fine. We talked about epilepsy...she would have tiny ones on and off and for a few weeks so the vet put her on phenobarbatal and she was fine. We drove to FL from GA for Christmas and she was fine except for getting up in the night and whining to go out, but it was not like her to get up and whine, just figured it was because she was old..she looked like she was trying to go to the bathroom but couldnt. I called our vet and they said to take her to a vet there to see if she had a UTI..she did not. But this continued for the time we were in FL. We got home and everything was ok until mid Jan. We have an invisible fence, but Sandy never even wore the collar because she NEVER left the yard. Well I was home one day and I let her out...she was out for a while, which was not like her and I went out front to get her and she was not there ...I called and called her and my daughter drove all over the neighborhood calling her name, asking people if they saw her...we could not find her. Afte about 2 hours someone called and said Sandy was in their yard. This was about a 1/2 mile from our house..we had driven down that street..when we got there she did not even seem happy to see us..she walked toour SUV and I picked her up and put her in...she just slept the whole night and seemed fine the next morning. On Feb 1 it was may daughter's birthday and we went out that night and when we got home Sandy had pooped in the family room..VERY unlike her and she was whining again. I took her back to the vet...another exam and more bloodwork..everything looked ok. Well, she started crying alot on Feb13 2007. I took her back to the vet and she did an exray. Poor Sandy had a huge mass on her liver...the vet now thought that her seizures were cause by cancer going to her brain from this tumor. She gave us some pain meds and said there was really nothing she could do, but if the pain pills made her comfortable we could just keep her on them. Well they didnt help and sandy refused to eat or drink the next day Feb 14..I decided I would try to get her to eat and drink and get her to feel better..but it didnt help so on Feb 15 I called the vet and told her that we needed to send her to the bridge. So Feb 16 2007 I took her to the vet and layed with her as she went to the Bridge. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life and I am crying as I type this..but it was the right thing to do for her and I was strong because she was my girl and I love her more than anything.
So those aere the symptoms she experienced. I was told that sometimes when dogs are ready to go, they leave their family and find a place alone to die. I think thats what Sandy did when she wondered away.
I have Misty now, but I still miss Sandy every day....
Thanks for asking about this...in a way it was good for me to tell the story.
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
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Shana might have had hemangiosarcoma of the heart, which fits your description
I do remember the surgeon saying something like it started in her stomach wall but hard to remember it well after what we went through.
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