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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I have been reading everyone's experiences with hemangiosarcoma since my best bud, Buckeye, was diagnosed this week. He is at least 18 (we rescued him from a kill shelter 17.5 years ago and he was not a puppy). We are so fortunate that he has had a long healthy life, but right now that is not bringing me the comfort that it should.

Buckeye had not been acting right for several months. I chalked it up to his advancing age. When I did finally take him his blood-work showed elevated liver enzymes. Two weeks later we decided to do a bile acid test and abdominal ultrasound.

I knew that the ultrasound results were going to be bad when the radiologist called be back to a room after only 15 minutes. Long story short, he has a tumor on his spleen that likely has metastasized to other organs. The radiologists advice was to "take him home and love him" which is our plan.

I am fairly certain that he had a small bleed last week and then again last night. He had a good amount of ascites, diarrhea, panting, vomiting, weakness and loss of control of his back legs. But then he rebounded. Last night was the same thing. These two episodes were only a week apart.

Does anyone know if there is a correlation between the frequency of bleeds and how long we will have with him? He is doing better that he was last night, but he is sleeping a lot and not drinking as much as he usually does (which was a ton).

Thanks in advance for any advice or insight. We have a plan in place for when/if the crisis arises. I have committed to stay with him 24/7 to be sure that if he does go into distress we will be able to act quickly.
 

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Welcome to the forum.
I'm sorry about your boy's diagnosis.

Were you given any pain medication to give him? Panting is a sign he may be in pain.

I'm not sure about the time frame for bleeds, some other members may be able to answer your question.

Have you talked to your Vet about them and what to expect?
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum. I don't have any advice to offer but hope you will have some precious time left with Buckeye, 18 is an incredible age.
 

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Thank you for reminding me! Yes, he has tramadol for pain as well as xanax. I try not to give him the xanax unless he absolutely needs it because it makes his weakness worse. The tramadol does not seem to make him "loopy" but I wonder if it is strong enough.

My vet says that this disease is a day by day journey. She said that he will tell me when it is time to let him go. It is so hard because when he is good- he is good. But you feel like you are just waiting for a ticking time bomb to explode. I feel so guilty because I do not want him to suffer for one second. I keep remembering a statement that I read: "Dogs do not fear death but they fear pain." He is such a loyal and comforting dog that I don't think he will show me how bad he is hurting.
 

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You will know in your heart when it's time.
When they start to have more bad days than good ones, that's how I knew it was time.

My boy was on tramadol, it helped quite a bit.
Does the bottle say how many you can give per day?
I want to say when I was giving it to my bridge boy, I could give up to 3 per day.
 

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My dog passed away at home last year. He stopped eating a few days before, stopped drinking and slept the whole day before he died. He did not want to get up but I could wake him up. I gave him water through a dropper a few times an hour and put a potty pad under him. That night I lifted him up on the couch with me so he was on one end and I was on the other and we shared a pillow in the middle. He gently passed away about 4:50 in the morning. I did not want to put him through the trauma of taking him in, as the last dog I did that with was so scared and shaking being at the vet and he died on the table anyway. He too was old and had the same symptoms as my Golden. For about the last 6 months before he died he had some bad days where he would not eat or get up, but then he would get better again for a while. Hope yours too is peaceful for you both!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, I can give him 1 and a half 2-3 times per day. I think that I will call my vet and check in with her just to give her an update. He just got up and ate some chicken and rice and took a quick potty break outside. My husband gets back in town tonight so I am sure when Buckeye sees him he will feel a lot better. Buckeye loves me....but he LOVES my husband!
 

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Ask your vet about a Chinese herb that stops bleeding. I think the name is Bao Yunan but you can search the forum under the cancer thread and likely find it. Several folks whose dogs have had hemangiosarcoma (what your old sweetie has) have used it successfully to buy a little more time. I think the longer you have them, the harder you fall in love with them, so it's not really much comfort that he's lived a very long life, just that much harder to let him go. Wishing you, your husband and your senior sweetheart a peaceful journey toward getting his angel wings.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's been an emotional 24 hours. Buckeye continued to eat (although less) but stopping drinking all together. This afternoon he has taken a few small drinks of water and eaten a little. I have been feeding him white rice and chicken, so there is some water in the rice that is providing a little hydration. Isn't it odd that he will eat, but not drink? He also lost control of his bowels this afternoon right after he ate. All in all, he is slowly winding down. I am so thankful that he does not seem to be in pain....just sleepy.
 

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I'm so sorry, I know how hard this is.
Maybe take a syringe and squirt some water in his mouth or give him some broth that doesn't contain any salt.
 

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Keeping you and Buckeye in my thoughts, I will say a prayer for him.
 

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I'm sorry you are dealing with this.
I would ask about getting some yunnan bayaio. It is an herb that is supposed to help prevent or stop bleeds. When my golden had hemangio it is what the onco vet gave me. She got 2 every morning and 2 every night. There is a little red pill hidden in the middle of the packet that is supposed to help with an active bleed.
To my knowledge it doesn't matter how many bleeds. It could be lots of little bleeds or 1 big bleed at the end, it's just which bleed doesn't stop.
A way to tell I there is an active bleed is if the paws are cold or the gums turn very pale.
 

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Oh it is so very hard to go through this. You have been together so very long. Our Golden died at 8 in October from Hemangio and he was eating and drinking right until the end and we never even knew he was so ill. Now that I look back I can see the signs were there. The days I guess he had his bleeds he would sleep more, not finish his entire dinner but would finish it later. Maybe your boy is having a bad day today but tomorrow might be a better day and you may even find that he drinks again. I was told they do not experience a lot of discomfort with this illness - the bleeds make them weak though and not have energy for much. I have heard that after a bleed they can regain more energy so let's hope that Buckeye has a better day tomorrow. Thinking of you - it's so hard to go through this.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you all for the kind words. I have been reading all of the sad stories on this thread and my heart breaks for everyone. It is such an emotional roller coaster- I go from being calm, to terribly sad to angry.

On a happier note, it is snowing like crazy and Buckeye walked out and buried his nose in the snow. He has always loved a fresh blanket of snow to run through. Even though he didn't run, he found a way to enjoy it. I finally figured out how to attach some photos from the past few days.
 

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He is just so beautiful x
 
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