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-Sam from California
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As fellow golden retriever lovers, how do you draw the line when giving up or going until the end? Bruce went to the doctor today, and the doctor found...
1. Tumor the size of two tennis balls put together.
2. The tumor has caused him to be anemic, taking all his nutrients and blood supply.
3. The tumor is most likely cancer

If this were you, would you do blood work and xray to see how far it has spread?Then go through surgery to extend his life for 3 to 5 months? Or just put him to sleep? Honest opinions/ comments. Please I dont know if i'd be selfish having him go through all the surgery and testing to delay his fate? Or if I should begin the grieving process. I dont know, what to do.:(
 

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Beware of Nestle Purina
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I believe in letting them go sooner rather than later for my fur babies. I would not prolong life unnecessarily. Anemia leaves then feeling very weak and possibly short of breath because less oxygen is circulation and possible chest palpations with chest pain.

My Lucky had a foot ball sized tumor discovered during emergency surgery and I chose to have him go over the rainbow bridge. I did not want to him suffering in anyway.

I would let my baby go and start grieving. I had Lucky for 6 weeks of age til he was 13 years old.

Sorry for this bad news.
 

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You definitely won't get a conclusive answer on this, as I'm sure everyone has different feelings about this issue, and a lot of people have probably been through a similar experience. I haven't been through this myself yet, but my other (non-golden retriever) dog, Hershey, is pushing 16 so this may become my reality soon enough.

Personally, I would do the x-ray so as to get a more clear idea of the prognosis and how far the illness has spread, but if surgery/treatment would only give an extra 3-5 months I would let the disease run it's natural course and when it was time I would help her to the rainbow bridge. Like I said, I haven't been there yet, but with Hershey getting so old I have done a lot of thinking and soul-searching about this issue and for me, considering Hershey's age, letting her live out her last months peacefully and with as much love as I can give her is the most humane option.

This is just one of those situations where you have to do what you feel in your heart is best for Bruce, and you'l probably have to put a lot of consideration into that. But I don't think that there is a wrong decision to be made. Do what you feel is right and make the rest of Bruce's life as happy as you can.

All the best to you and Bruce.
 

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I'm so sorry this is happening to your Bruce. I think there is a wide range of opinion on all of this and it really comes down to your personal choice for your dog.

I would get additional tests to be sure of the diagnosis, but I don't believe in putting dogs through a lot of surgery to prolong life for a few months. It's painful for them, they're on meds all the time, and they don't understand what is going on. All that for a couple of months? I'd prefer to use the quality of life measure. If the outcome is certain, I'd let the dog enjoy life until he didn't anymore, and then I'd help him along in the gentlest way possible.

Be good to yourself as well as to Bruce. It's very hard to go through all this. Sending good thoughts your way. Please come back and tell us how this all turns out.
 

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There isn't a one size fits all answer to this question. We all have to make the best choices that we can with the information we have available and our individual circumstances. This is never an easy place and I am sorry that you are being faced with making such difficult decisions.

It is really wonderful that you are so cognizant about Bruce and what is best for him. FWIW, there are things that you can explore to try to help with the anemia, if that is the cause of him feeling so poorly. Our Bailey is 15 years old and her littermate was diagnosed with a tumor near his spleen 8 months ago. He is still here with a very good quality of life. Sometimes these can be very slow growing and other times they are not.

You will know when the time is right and what decision to make for Bruce. No one knows him better than you do. :)
 

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You asked one of the most emotionally difficult decisions a dog owner faces and like the other posters wrote, it's personal in so many ways. After we lost our Barkley to cancer I sat down and wrote down everything I could remember about that frightening time and all the questions I asked, and, in hindsight, should have asked. I posted it here: http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/cancer-information-golden-retrievers/99067-cancer-diagnosis-what-should-you-ask-vet.html.

My heart goes out to you with this. It's not easy.
 

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You, ak a great question, that only you know the answer to for your furbaby,we all can tell you what we think, but you will know the answer in your heart,i am sorry you have to deal with this,and sorry he is so sick.
 

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where the tails wag
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How old is Bruce? About 6?

As mentioned, there are no right or wrong answers - it is a personal decision that is one of the toughest, yet most loving ones we have to make.

My opinion, fwiw, is I would do XRays and possibly an ultrasound and biopsy. If it was not cancer, I would have surgery done.

If it was cancer, since the monster is already stealing Bruce's nutrients and making him anemic, and I am under the assumption there were symptoms which caused you to bring him to the vets, I would take him home, love him and plan to release him sooner rather than later so his body did not start failing. If he is already weakened, and it cannot be medically managed, I would put him to sleep.

I am so very sorry that you are facing these decisions.
 

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It is such a difficult decision. I lost my lab, Sam, last year to a very similar situation. Making the decision was agonizing and changed my beliefs on euthanasia. It was my first experience with the death of a pet and I vowed I would never do it again. 6 months later I was lonely, so I decided to try it again. Finnegan has been a joy and we are certain Sam guides him. My thoughts are with you as you start this journey, your heart will guide you.
 

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I'm so sorry Bruce is sick.

You don't really know what the prognosis is without doing more tests. If removing the tumor is an option, xrays or something to see if there are others, then I would do that. If they find more then you know you have to make a final decision, but that decision is final and I peronsally could not make that choice without all the information you can gather.
 

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Sam

Sam

I agree with Myslliyk. Can they do more tests to make sure it is cancer first?

Also, agree with what Sunrise Said:
I would do XRays and possibly an ultrasound and biopsy. If it was not cancer, I would have surgery done.

If it was cancer, since the monster is already stealing Bruce's nutrients and making him anemic, and I am under the assumption there were symptoms which caused you to bring him to the vets, I would take him home, love him and plan to release him sooner rather than later so his body did not start failing. If he is already weakened, and it cannot be medically managed, I would put him to sleep.

I am so very sorry that you are facing these decisions.

God Bless you and Bruce-I would make the decision that will be best for Bruce.
 

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First off, I'm so sorry you're going through this at all.

For me, I would want to know exactly what the diagnosis and options are. Then I would go from there. Your dog's age will be a factor, as will his own happiness and comfort.

You know him best. You will make the right decisions.
 

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Kristy
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I'm so very sorry that you're being faced with this. It's just no fun being the grown up sometimes....

I went through similiar with my boy Baxter. He was so anemic from internal bleeding from a mass in his digestive tract that even with days at the emergency vet, we couldn't get his numbers up high enough that they thought he had a good chance to survive surgery. I guess in a way it was not really my decision. However, I did end up deciding not to put him through a fight that would only buy us a few months.

And to be honest, I also didn't want to put myself through it. I could barely look at Baxter without breaking down and knew I couldn't go through weeks and weeks in that kind of emotional state. I have husband who travels quite a bit and 3 kids. I knew I couldn't spend every minute of every day with him making the time he had left worthwhile to him. I knew if he felt terrible that the only quality he would have would be time spent with me. I didn't think I could stop everything to provide what he deserved. In my situation, it felt selfish. But everyone is different.


I was blessed with an emergency vet who was also a golden owner. I always ask my doctors, whether it's for my kids or my dog, "If this were your baby, would you choose this option? Would you put him through this?" Her input really helped.

My husband and I went together and I laid on the floor hugging my Baxter Boy, and I was fortunate that Baxter's passing was so peaceful that I was left feeling that I had made the best choice for him. It is hard to take yourself out of the equation and think about what is easier on the dog. If the quality of life isn't there for him, it makes the answer a little bit more clear sometime.


My heart goes out to you, please know that whatever choice you make, this forum is here and we will offer you whatever support and comfort we can. Hugs to you.
 

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As fellow golden retriever lovers, how do you draw the line when giving up or going until the end? Bruce went to the doctor today, and the doctor found...
1. Tumor the size of two tennis balls put together.
2. The tumor has caused him to be anemic, taking all his nutrients and blood supply.
3. The tumor is most likely cancer

If this were you, would you do blood work and xray to see how far it has spread?Then go through surgery to extend his life for 3 to 5 months? Or just put him to sleep? Honest opinions/ comments. Please I dont know if i'd be selfish having him go through all the surgery and testing to delay his fate? Or if I should begin the grieving process. I dont know, what to do.:(
I'm so sorry you face these hard decisions. A few questions:
1. How old is Bruce?
2. Where is the the tumor?
3. How sure is your vet that it's malignant?

Not every tumor is malignant and even those that are may not be fatal. An ultrasound revealed a tumor on my Charlie's spleen when he was 7 years old. He had surgery the next day and then lived almost 6 years longer. We were lucky that his pathology report turned up no evidence of cancer, though that isn't always conclusive.

A poem posted this morning may help you think this through: http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/golden-retriever-rainbow-bridge/108263-poem-last-battle.html.

Holding Bruce and you in my thoughts and prayers,
Lucy
 

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I would look at how the dog feels... is he not feeling good??? Has the life left him? Why prolong the pain if he is in pain. It is always a hard decision- but base it on his quality of life.
 

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In the Moment
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I'm so sorry you face these hard decisions. A few questions:
1. How old is Bruce?
2. Where is the the tumor?
3. How sure is your vet that it's malignant?

Not every tumor is malignant and even those that are may not be fatal. An ultrasound revealed a tumor on my Charlie's spleen when he was 7 years old. He had surgery the next day and then lived almost 6 years longer. We were lucky that his pathology report turned up no evidence of cancer, though that isn't always conclusive.

A poem posted this morning may help you think this through: http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/golden-retriever-rainbow-bridge/108263-poem-last-battle.html.

Holding Bruce and you in my thoughts and prayers,
Lucy
So agree with this and similar posts. If it were me, I'd want to know if it was cancer or not and then go from there. I'm sure whatever decision you make with his best interests at heart is the right one.
 
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Very sorry about your dog. Having just recently been through something similar with our Cory, I would do the x-ray and blood work. If a biopsy is possible to confirm cancer, I'd do that, too. If not malignant, I might do the surgery if the vet was optimistic. If it turns out to be cancer or very likely to be, I'd make his life wonderful until the day he couldn't enjoy it anymore. And on that very day, I'd help him out of this world.

For my own dogs, I have to be honest and say I'd be leaning hard toward quality of life, not length of life. Cory might've lived longer if we'd made other choices, but as it was she chased squirrels and pranced home carrying a new rawhide on a Friday, left this life on the following Tuesday when the lymphoma showed its really ugly side for the first time. It hurt me like hell -- but she didn't suffer.

I'm so sorry about your friend.
 

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My first two goldens were lost to hemangiosarcoma(one cardiac and one splenic), the last golden, who knows. I am pretty sure she had cancer but the specialists I took her to never found it. In all 3 situations, all 3 dogs became anemic. The first, with cardiac hemangio was difficult to diagnose. She really had a month of gradual illness before everything became obvious..then the specialists found the hemangio on her heart and we euthanized her after I picked her up. Laney, #2 was at the specialists for her ultrasound. She jumped out of the car and her spleen let go(that's what abdominal tumors do). I did the ultrasound anyway, and they felt by the look of the tumor, it was hemangio. The specialist told me that with surgery, two months survival. With surgery and chemo, 6 months. At almost 12, neither of those options made sense to me and the specialist agreed. The problem is that by the time the tumor has done some bleeding (Laney had had an episode the week before which prompted me to take her), it is really too late because it is seeded everywhere. And finally, my Cooks. She refused to eat breakfast, something that had NEVER happened in her 11.5 years. She also had a regenerative anemia which is not technically consistent with cancer(but I have seen it in many dogs with cancer). Specialist found no cancer on ultrasound of the abdomen or chest, did gastroscopy, etc. Found no evidence of cancer... of course they neglected to evaluate her spine. Four days after Cooks refused her breakfast, the agony she was in was so severe, I euthanized her(I think she had spinal cancer). To answer your question, I think it is an individual decision on when to euthanize. And although mine sound like they were really sick, they were all in pretty good condition even though they were slowly dying. And how far you test getting to that point is also individual. I like to put a name on things, so I can make an informed decision. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way... but you will know better than anyone what is best for your adorable, Bruce. I have seen leiomyomas of the spleen which are benign, but look like a giant basketball. I have also seen splenic hematomas that look like cancer on an xray. Best wishes.
 

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So sorry you are going through this. It is such a tough and personal decision. We never want to say goodbye. I don't have much to offer except prayers of healing for both you and Bruce. Our thoughts are with you.
Cris
 

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Whatever decision you make, please give yourself the peace of knowing you are making that decision with the deepest of love and only Bruce's best interests at heart.
 
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