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My golden retriever, Honey, recently turned 9 years old and recently had a Mast Cell tummor removed from her mouth. She recovered fine initially but unfortunately, the cancer had spread to her lymph node in her throat and has grown to the size of a tennis ball. She received a chemotherapy dose three weeks ago, but the tumor appears to have grown larger and in the past couple of days she has had trouble eating. Are there any reccommended therapies out there for lymph node cancer? Thanks.
 

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I have had 2-goldens pass on because of cancer, treated both with surgery, and was looking at a ton of $-bills with the last one where the only choice was some new maybe at the U of MN Hospital. We decided that 11-years was about all one could expect, my wife did try nursing the dog with IV's at home since there is a telltale sign by dogs when they stop eating...a couple of weeks on the IV was all I could take, yes, the initial treatments seemed to help, but its a delay which only increases the sadness. My heart and tears are with you and your champion Honey. My opinion is to use YOUR best judgement with whatever the Vet may suggest, add your love and compassion, a prayer or two, and rethink the whole ordeal before making a decision. frank1
 

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My heart goes out to you! I have no advice. I can tell you that many of us have experienced the type of pain that you now face. Thank you for caring so much about Honey. I hope you find the answers and strength you'll need.
 

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My soon to be 11 year old golden had a melanoma removed from his lip almost a year ago and it has not returned so far. I found that often radiation on the mouth causes the tongue to deform making it almos impossible to drink. I have already decided to not go that route if Buck's cancer returns.

I lost my 12 year old irish Setter back in '97 to bone cancer in rear leg. We had some hard decisions to make--amputation, etc. But he was 12, had arthritis and we decided to just give as good a time as possible for the time he had left and not let him suffer. We had exactly 10 weeks of fishing together (well, he chased crabs in the shallow water, swam, tried to catch shore birds, etc, ) him eating anything he wanted, and lots of love and attention. We have never regreted going that way.

All i can do i wish you and Honey the best luck possible. Whatever else, pamper her, spoil her, and love her.
 

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I am so sorry to hear of your problem. Doing what is best is very difficult and is also very subjective.What is "best" for one person is not the same for someone else.
I don't really have an answer for you,but I can tell you what we have been through. Our oldest Golden is Amber.She has a large tumor just behind her front leg.It has grown larger a little bit at a time.We give her Novox,it seems to help keep the tumor growning slow and the pain level low.When she starts to have pain or breathing problems,We will let her go.
Our Flatcoat Jack had cancer,by the time we found it it had spread badly.
We decided to fight it and took him to Auburn Vet College.They removed 11 tumors from his belly.
When we took him home,he was miserable.His pain was terrible,so they gave us Fentenal (heroin) patches.He weighed 70 pounds but was taking a dose big enought for a 400 pound man. The pain got worse and we knew we had to let him go.
At the time it seemed the right thing to do,but looking back on it,I realize that I was being selfish. I didn't want him to die,so because of my feelings,I put him through 5 weeks of pain. He wasn't afraid to cross over,I was afraid to let him go_Our Vet tried to give us advice,now we always include him and his wisdom in our decision.
I know that you will make the right decision for you and Honey.
I KNOW now that he will be waiting for me on the other side and that he is young and pain free.One day we will reunite and be together forever.
All my furkids that have gone on are waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge.
You must believe,
Shane
I hope I've helped, AND Welcome to the Forum family.
 

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I just received word on friday that my 10 yr old casey has cancer in the throat and it has spread to the lymph nodes... i was given two options.. a bad year for her with chemo or a good 3 or 4 months with other meds.. i am opting for the good 3 or 4 months.. this is very very hard... she has been my inseperable companion for the past 10 years.. we have traveled a lot of miles..hunting..competing in hunt tests and field trials.. i shall miss her terribly... but I will not put her through pain and suffering...
this will be my third i have had to put down, the first with cancer...
i still miss the other two...
the only option seems to be not to have them.. and that is not a good option..
 

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I can totally relate to the pain and frustration you're going though. I lost my dog charlie Oct 30 of this past year (2005) to Lymphosarcoma. Charlie would have turned 6 in December. Way too young to see stuff like this happen to him.

After learning he was sick i weighed out all my options. With the development of the disease in his body, it was estimated that chemotherapy would probably bring him another 6mos to 1 year. I couldn't justify putting him though that treatment and all the vet visits and test for just a short stint of time added to his life. I felt that it would have been selfish on my part, since I would probably just be prolonging his life because i couldnt let go--not becuase i'd be adding good time to his life. --But this is a touchy subject, and I won't say anyone is right or wrong in how they would handle the same situation, becuase as long as you do what in your heart is the right thing, I think you're doing what's best.

We opted to treat Charlie with oral steroids (Prednisone). In less than a week, we were forgetting charlie was even sick. His lymph nodes were down to normal size, his appetite was back, and he was playing like a puppy. We had 3 wonderful months of spoiling him rotten, taking him swimming, to the park, and anywhere else to spend every minute we could with him. Unfortunately, as with any treatment, it's not a cure and it eventually will take its toll--even with chemotherapy.

After 3 months charlie eventually started going downhill, appetite decreased, seemed more lethargic, and his lymph nodes began to swell again. Nevertheless, i'd known this time was coming all along, and even got charlie a little brother in the meantime (which i might add made this all the more tolerable). I had 3 months to say good-bye and know that this time was coming, so it actually eased some of the pain at the end, since much of my grieving had already been done.

Sure, it was absolutely devastating, and i still tear up when i think about him or write posts about him like this one.

My advice for treatment, whatever you choose to do, is to learn all your options and weigh out the benefits vs the drawbacks. Keep in mind to do what is best for your dog, and not for yourself, even if it's not the easiest decision to make. Do what's best in your heart, and in your capability. Not everyone can afford tens of thousands in chemotherapy, nor do many feel it's justified. Others would rather put a second mortgage on their house for a few more months with their dog.

Learn your options, do what you can, and in the meantime, and give your dog a big hug and kiss every chance you can get.

Laura
 

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My dog Shamos didnt have cancer; but this is a story that has the impact of what you might want to do. I worked in the Emergency Room at Albany Med. Shamos had just turned fifteen and he was a black lab. Now this dog saved my life once, literally. They said had I gotten to the ER fifteen minutes later, I would be dead. He let the girls know upstairs that I was in trouble and they came down and got me over there. Anyway, I had a hospital apartment at the time right behind the hospital. We use to go to the park everyday. He would run and play. I had him since he was six weeks old. He was a great dog. Anyway, I had to work a double shift this particular day. So when I finished day shift, I went home for dinner and my break to take him again to the park since I had to work another shift. He was fine. I went back to work and worked the second shift. We decided to go out for pizza after work. I went home and took him out again for a walk before I went out. He was fine. I came home from eating the pizza and when I opened the door, there he was lying on his LL Bean bagbed. He couldnt get up. I froze. His tail barely wagged. I ran to him, but he couldnt get up. I called my vet who I worked part time for and I was sobbing. I had no idea what was wrong but I had an idea it might be a stroke. Anyway, he said to he would meet me at the animal hospital. I have this friend that we have arrangements that if either of our dogs get sick, we call and we go with each other. Sue came and got me and I picked Shamos up and held him as we drove the half hour to the animal hospital.
Dr. Mead, did examine him and took xrays and blood work; but he said to me that he had a stroke. Now this dog was out playing in the park in the morning and afternoon. So keep that in mind. And he was fifteen. Anyway, he said to me as I am holding his head and patting him, that he could give him some medication to help him but he would never be the same again. At that point, as I am sobbing, Shamos looked up at me as if to say, "mom, I have had enough. I will see you again at the Rainbow Bridge." I told Dr. Mead, that I could not do this to him. He saved my life and I am not going to keep him alive like this for my benefit. So as I held him in my arms, sobbing, with Sue nearby and Dr. Mead fighting back tears, we said goodbye to Shamos and let him go beyond to the Rainbow Bridge. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do; but I believe I did the right thing. This dog was my family and my best friend. I owed it to him to ease his suffering. I know Shamos wasnt a golden; but he is the reason I started to get goldens. I could never get another black lab. I would have compared him to much to Shamos. This was a dog who saved my life and it would not have been fair to get another one always comparing it to Shamos. Dr. Mead set me up with a breeder and it has been a love affair ever since. I hope this helps a little. I know it doesnt answer your question about the cancer; but it may help your decison on what to do.
 

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Greg,I can tell you've been at this crossroad before.You are doing the right thing and I applaude you for your love and compassion.Our thoughts and prayers will be with you and Casey.
Laura,you understand all too well the difficulty of this type of decision,as do I.Once you have been there,you realize whats the best course.
Brinkleysmom, you made me cry.Shamos left very quickly, as did my Charlie. You feel cheated that you didn't have more time to say Goodbye.I had promised Charlie that he would have his fill of chocolate in his last days.He went so suddenly that I couldn't keep my last promise to him.
Yet I know that they are all waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge(or will be) and that Charlie doesn't care about my last promise,because I held him in my arms as he crossed over,telling him how much I loved him.That fulfilled my first promise to him.
You must believe,
Shane
 

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No I didnt have much time to say goodbye; but you know, as I held him in my arms as Dr. Mead did what he had to do, I thought to myself, there was no way I was keeping him alive for my benefit to be half the dog he was earlier in the day. He knew it was his time. His ashes are in a beautiful urn that is on our fireplace with his photo and he will be buried with me when my time comes. My mother did that with her dog Nikki and she also had the Rainbow Bridge put on the back of her card you get at the funeral home with the picture of St Francis on the front. That was her choice she asked for ahead of time. Knowing that I will see him again at the Bridge eases the pain I had. If I didnt have my faith, I am not sure that I could have recovered.
 

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It appears we all understand that to let the dog go is for him, to keep the dog is for us. It was SO hard not to say amputate Boots' leg. That is what our hearst said. But we knew he was 12, had the aritritis, the cancer could have already spread. We could have put him thru that pain and then lost him in the same amount of time or even less--without his last weeks being happy.

As it was, going fishing with mom every day, having all his favorite goodies, and even ones dogs are not suppose to have made his last 10 weeks so happy. We knew we made the right decision and will always make it FOR THE DOG, not for us.

I am so sorry to hear about your Casey. It is clear how much you love that fur kid and how hard it is to make that decision, but you did right. A few good months is a lot better than many bad months.
 

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Goodness, I don't know what happed to the post that it got broken up and posted like that. And i don't know how to get rid of all those partial posts.
 
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