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Hey all,
We fear our eight year old Golden, Jake, has Lymphoma. I'm usually not one to jump to conclusions, but this evening we found two lumps on Jakes throat and one in his armpit. He is eating, drinking and everything else appears to be normal. Our vet is not in until Monday, it's now Saturday.

If it is Cancer, we probably will not be able to afford the treatment. I'm reading that it could be anywhere from $2100.00 to $5500.00 or even more. Over the summer, we adopted a shelter dog who ended up with Parvo. That treatment drained our emergency fund($2300.00), so financial it's not looking good for our Jake. We all hate to put a dollar amount to such things, but we have no choice and it's tearing me apart right now.

If it is cancer, we will make him as comfortable as we can, for as long as we can. His quality of life trumps our desire for his presence in our lives.

This is the time in our dogs lives that we all dread:(.

But, hey, it might not be Cancer, right?
 

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where the tails wag
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I hope it is not cancer, there seems way too much of that lately. Hopefully the vet will be able to find another cause for your Jake's lumps.

You never, ever have to feel badly for decisions that might have to be made - you need to do what you feel is best for both Jake and your entire family. If it is cancer, there would be no guarantee that treatments would give you more time anyhow - there are a least a few people on the forum who have chosen to go the palliative route and their dogs are doing well and exceeding all expectations.
 
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I am so sorry for the fear you must be feeling right now. it is never good when several nodes are swollen, but there is always hope it could be an infection of some kind. I do hear what you are saying though. With lymphoma, it matters if it is B or T cell. If it is T cell, I do not know that thousands of dollars of treatment is the kindest option even if you could afford it. I have lost three goldens to cancer, and twice spent weekends in panics, but then my dog then did not have cancer. I hold out hope Jake could in that second catagory! If he does have lymphoma, so many here can share our tears with yours. it is the enemy of our beautiful breed, taking far too many too young. The issue of loss is bad enough, so I truly hope you will not carry a second weight of guilt over finances. Truly, dogs do not count their days as humans do and fear death ahead of time. I believe it is often more kind to let a dog with cancer go before there is a crisis or days/weeks of pain.
 

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Mike

Mike

I am also so sorry for the fear you must be feeling right now for Jake, but try not to project. Please let us know what the vet says. I will be praying!
 
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Having lost a golden to Lymphoma I know the pain you are facing. Fingers crossed that the lumps are just fatty tumors. Please keep us posted.
 

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Those do sound like lymph nodes that are swollen, but there are lots of causes for that which have nothing to do with lymphoma. Lymph nodes swell during many kinds of illnesses. Bacterial infections, some fungal infections, and even sometimes with a tick-borne disease.

Are they golf ball sized? Baseball? Softball?

As far a the money situation, it's wonderful when you're in a position that money is no object, but for most of us, that never happens. You figure out what you can afford, and you spend that (and maybe a bit more) and that's that. The dog would never begrudge you or ask you to bankrupt your family for expensive treatments. Many people put their lymphoma dogs on prednisone ($5-$10 a week), and sometimes that buys a bit of time.

But you're really not there yet. The vet can check for signs of the different kinds of infections that can cause this swelling and can treat with antibiotics or whatever else might be appropriate. This sequence or something similar will happen before it makes sense to check for lymphoma. Then, your vet can do what's called a needle aspiration, which is where a needle is used to pull a tiny piece of tissue out of one of the affected nodes. They can test that to see if it shows cells that are affected by lymphoma.

Needle aspiration tests aren't as reliable as biopsies (where they open the skin and take a larger piece of the node), but they're much easier on the dog than a biopsy procedure.

The vet may go for the needle aspirate on the first visit if the other clinical signs point specifically to lymphoma. Needle aspirates can also show signs of fungal infections the vet may also want to rule out.

Anyway, sorry for all the maybes. I've been through this and gotten the worst news each time (big lymph nodes, no explanation, needle aspirate inconclusive, biopsy showing the worst type of lymphoma, oncology consult, putting the dog down soon after). So I know lots of the "what ifs." Our situation was an unlikely and terrible outcome. The non-cancer chances are much higher and most of them are easy to cure.

So don't freak yourself out too badly just yet. Things could be fine.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear this. I know exactly how you feel... the initial panic and then the reality of what is happening can absolutely consume you. I hope it's not Lymphoma.

I just lost my boy to Lymphoma two months ago. Unfortunately he was part of that "20%" where the chemo does not respond.

I do notice the chemo costs really vary. In Toronto it runs around $6700 total, not including costs for treatment complications and the initial diagnostics to get the diagnosis.

Prednisone as palliative care can work well in the early stages, but always remember - once you start pred, you cannot change your mind and do chemo after. It's important for dog owners to be aware of that one up front.

I really hope you don't get bad news, but if you do and have any questions or need any guidance in terms of staging the disease and what to expect and watch out for during the palliative care process, please feel free to private message me and I'd be happy to help out however I can.

Hoping you have good news though in the meantime... Hang in there!
 

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So sorry that you and Jake are going through this. I know this will be a long weekend for you. Sending thoughts and prayers that it is not cancer and you both have many happy and painless years ahead.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for all the posts of suggestions and possible hope of a good outcome.

As far as the size of the lumps. The two in his throat are on either side of his esophagus. One is about the size of a golf ball and the other is larger. Larger then a golf ball, smaller then a tennis ball. Maybe, the size of two golf balls:(. The one in his armpit is golf ball size. My wife reminded me tonight that he developed that lump early last year. The vet did test that lump and it came back "OK". What exactly the "OK" was, I'm not sure. Maybe just fatty.....?

He is still himself. We went to the dog park today and he was his usual mellow self. More observing then action. Since the park, we went on two walks and he was eager to go. He ate his whole dinner and a medium sized bone and was looking for more:D.

Thank you all once again. I will keep you posted.
 

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Just thinking here.....

If the vet tested the lump in his armpit back in September of 2011 and it came back negative, could it be cancerous only four months later?

Reason I ask is, I've been doing lots of reading online and if he just had the two lumps in his throat, it could very well be just an infection. But, when you factor in this third lump under his armpit, it points the indicator more towards cancer.

Maybe the three lumps are not related.........?

I gotta get off the computer.:( It's probably doing me more harm then good:bowl:
 

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If the vet tested the lump in his armpit back in September of 2011 and it came back negative, could it be cancerous only four months later?
Yes, especially if it was a needle aspirate (smaller sample) and it came back inconclusive.

Reason I ask is, I've been doing lots of reading online and if he just had the two lumps in his throat, it could very well be just an infection. But, when you factor in this third lump under his armpit, it points the indicator more towards cancer.
Still lots of non-cancer possibilities.

I gotta get off the computer.:( It's probably doing me more harm then good:bowl:
Probably. You can drive yourself crazy reading about worst-case scenarios, but what actually matters is the testing done on your own dog.
 

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Really hope all goes well for Jake.... I know the heartache of a lymphoma diagnosis from my first Golden Misha. We did go thru 2 years of chemo and it was expensive. But I also had the VPI insurance plan which covered about half - every penny counted....
Hopefully, you and Jake will be able to dodge this bullet.... praying for the best outcome for you.
 

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Well, not good news:(. Jake has Lymphoma. After discussing treatment with our vet, we decided to do just Prednisone treatment. The blood work and biopsy results won't be in until Friday, so we do not know what stage it's in. The vet did feel a lump in his stomach as well.

What an unbelievable crappy feeling. My previous dog had to be put down because of a brain tumor at the age of 13. I thought that was really difficult to do. I believe this is going to be even more difficult emotionally, because Jake is only 8 years old.

I guess I should do another thread on this, but what are your thoughts on in-home euthanasia? My sister in law put here golden down with home euthanasia and feels it was the least stressful way to put her dog down.
 

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Don't go there yet, enjoy days you have. I am sorry. Sending prayers for your boy.
 

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I am sorry Jake has Lymphoma. If he is still eating and acting fine don't worry about the end for him yet. Cherish every moment with him. As many have said before...Jake does not know he has cancer. He just wants to be loved and spoiled!!! Wait for results before making too many decisions. Thoughts and prayers will be with you and Jake!!!
 

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Just now seeing this and am SO very sorry that Jake has cancer! I agree with everyone. Just try to enjoy every moment with him. When more information about the stage comes in, then you can develop a plan. Take as many pictures as you can and love that beautiful boy up. You are both in our thoughts and prayers.
 
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