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Hello everyone, I've been lurking for a few weeks, reading other people's stories of cancer, treatments and prognosis. Now it's my turn :(

Watson is my Golden Lab, a wonderful 102# 12+ yr old pup, all about balls and squirrels and rivers and walkies and meeting people and getting butt rubs. He recently had a fatty lipoma and a large cyst removed, both benign (he's become quite lumpy in his golden years lol.) Then he developed a sore on his stomach/side. Started out like a dermatitis kind of thing; he's had skin issues over the years, itchy patches full of histamines that ooze and weep and take forever to heal. That's what I thought this one was, so I shaved the area and cleaned it up like I had in the past.

Long story short, it didn't really heal and just got bigger...3-4 cm. After weeks of topical meds and bandaging, we took him to the vet, who aspirated it and came back with MCT diagnosis. Surgery followed in just a few days, excision was large (took a big margin) and sent the tumor off for biopsy. Came back with clean margins, Grade 2 on Patnaik scale, but Grade "high" on Kiupel scale, with mitosis of 6. Our vet thinks the cancer hasn't metastasized (no other tests yet) but said these types of tumors often return. Watch and wait is her suggestion for treatment.

So now, what to do. Because of Watson's age, we would not put him through chemo or radiation. But should we go to an oncologist? What about Predisone and antihistamines? Would they help slow down other MCTs? Or should we just wait like the vet said? Share your story and give advice, all will be much appreciated!
 

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What did your Vet recommend?
Although you said you didn't want to put Watson through Chemo or radiation, it would probably be a good idea to talk with an Oncologist to get his/her opinion, assessment and discuss treatment options.
 

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Hi, I've had 3 Goldens all three had at least one MCT. All of my dogs got their first at 4 1/2. My first golden lived to 9 1/2 done in by MCT. The other two both lived to 14. Dogs one and two both started with grade 2 tumors, clean margins. It a funny kind of cancer. MCTs don't do much at times other times they're nasty. When I last did my research and saw the oncologist the chemo they were using caused a big drop off in quality of life. We tried antihistamines and prednisone with dog one. It didn't seem to help but she had multiple tumors at that point. The prednisone hurt her tummy. I took her off it figuring shorter life with more quality was better. I'm sorry you, your family and Watson are having to deal with his MCT. Good luck.
 

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Mygolden girl, Honey, had a grade 2 MCT on her leg. My vet didn't actually think it was anything, but cut it out, sent it off, and report came back MCT, no clean edges. So he did a surgery on her leg and cut out a larger area. She was about 7 at the time, and we lost her 7 years later. The tujor never returned. But she did develop lymphoma at almost 14 and that is what took her. She busted the incision open about 2 weeks after the surgery. the ends had healed. It healed and we couldn't. And this me and Honey
868687
even find the scar.
868686
 

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Thank you all for your response. The vet didn't recommend any treatment, just watch for another MCT to possibly develop.

Rastadog, I appreciate your share. MCTs are hard to understand and unpredictable. Nice to know there is hope for a few more years of quality life.

3 Goldens, your girl Honey is beautiful! And thanks for the pic of the tumor. That's how Watson's looked in the beginning. So glad you got 7 more years with her.

We will live every day with Watson like it's terminal. He still walks 2 miles a day, eats good kibble with meat and veggies cooked in, and wants nothing but love from strangers. My buddy, my hairy roommate, my best friend, my furry kid ;)
 

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My Towhee had a few lumps, one of which changed -- the best description I can think of is it felt kind of hairy & wrinkly like a raisin. About 1/2 inch round so not huge.

She had the the in-house tests and the hairy/wrinkly 1 came back as suspicious so she was scheduled for surgery -- they got very wide margins since it was on her chest/shoulder area. I believe it was a grade 1 MCT, but had clear margins with no further treatment needed -- she was closing in on 11yo at the time.

She has recovered very well and the only 'treatment' she receives is the addition of anti-histamines on a daily basis -- it has been a year and all is well; of course she is monitored. The anti-histamines (Kirkland brand) are inexpensive and may help prevent a recurrance -- this was not suggested by her surgeon but was okayed by her as it won't hurt and definitely might help since MCT are thought to be histamine sensitive.

Good luck :)
 

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So it's been about 6 weeks since the surgery. Watson was doing well, still wanting to play, go for walks, swim in the river. He recovered nicely in my opinion.

Now he's gone off his feed. Started with a general disinterest, coming back inside to breakfast only to eat half and leave the rest. Walks are getting slower and slower. He doesn't seem to show much interest in anything. On the third day he refused breakfast altogether, just stood and looked at me with such sad eyes. We went back to the vet and she did blood work, which came back as normal. I don't know what to do now. He just lays around looking pitiful. Walking this morning was more like dragging the poor guy. Usually he's out in front, leading the way, trotting along. Today he walked, sniffed and barely kept up with me. He doesn't seem to be in pain but I'm worried that the cancer has spread to his organs, causing him discomfort.

Oh dear...
 

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And just for general information...if you find a lump, DON'T mess with it, DON'T touch it or play with it. That will cause degranualization. That causes the cancer to spread. I wish I had know that before I tried to heal the stupid sore on his side.
 

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I'm sorry Watson is not feeling good. It is very hard to watch and you wish they could tell you what is wrong.
 

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WatsonsMom, I’m sorry that your boy isn’t feeling well. My girls surgery towards the end of her life bought us some time. I was grateful then and even more with hindsight. I urge you not to beat yourself up about how you chose to handle it. You made a decision based on experience and love. There is no way you can know it made a difference. There is a holistic school of thought to leave the tumors so the body learns to fight them. Have you talked to your vet about his not feeling good?
 

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Thank you, helps to hear from you all. I work with people who don't understand why I'm sad. This morning he ate his food pretty good, but it's like his soul is not there, just going through the motions. He hasn't lost any weight, looks good from the outside but something is wrong on the inside. Vet said to give it a few more days, see if he comes around. If not, probably xrays. Here is Watson on our last trip to Yorktown in Jan. Water dog, always and forever lol.
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The people you work with aren’t dog people. Of course your sad. You know your boy and understand he’s having a hard time. When I put my last golden down, old age, I cried on and off for 3 months. I’m a 64 year old man who was crying in pilates class. Many of us here have had to deal with what you and Watson are going through now. Consider this a virtual hug.
 

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Watson is still not normal, didn't want his dinner on Sunday at all. I think he just doesn't want his dry food anymore, so I tried canned food...winner winner, chicken dinner! He ate it all and wanted more. Back to the vet on Monday, and we are thinking that the arthritis may be getting the best of him, so he is on anti-inflammatory now. Last evening we walked for almost a mile, trotting off and on and seemed interested, even kinda-sorta rushed some geese lol. This morning, not so much. Just walked slowly, mostly lagging behind me, didn't get far. Not interested. Ate his canned food though, so we'll see if he does any better. Thanks for all the support here!
 

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Good he's eating the wet food, Vet give you any recommendations regarding what to feed him?

Sounds like he had a good day on his walk, especially with the geese. Maybe he was tired from his outing.

I think dogs have good days and not so good days just like people do.
 

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Thanks Carlolina Mom, Watson is not doing well. Galliprant did a number on his GI tract so we discontinued after 4 days. He won't eat, even home cooked chicken, sweet potato and rice. Doesn't want to walk, doesn't wag his tail or seem interested in anything or anyone. Going for x-rays tomorrow. So worried.
 

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I am so sad to hear Watson is not doing well. I hope the vet has some other ways to help him. This may be something helpful to consider as you walk this path with sweet Watson
 

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I am so sorry to hear your pup is not doing well. Any updates on what the x-rays showed? I was thinking maybe he is in pain since he is an older pup and may have some arthritis? Maybe try an injectable NSAID instead of an oral one?

Fingers crossed...
 

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A little late to this thread but very worried and sad for you. I, as many people here, have had to cope with the uncertainty of cancer. And it is so hard to watch our dogs struggle when they can't tell us what's wrong. I truly hope he bounces back and that you have many more good times with him. My heart goes out to you.
 

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I wish you and your fine pup the very best! You are doing all the right things with your pup. He has had a long and wonderful life, so each day you are together is truly a gift to both of you. We lost two of our Golden's last year from cancer, one in January and one in October. One was 13 and the other was just a week short of 12. When we had to put down our older pup in January, I cried like a baby. I think it shocked our vet, but I just lost it! I am a 70 year old, grey haired guy....but I lost it! Only those who have raised and lived with Golden Retrievers can understand. They are a blessing to us, and parting with them is beyond difficult. I hope you have many more days with your beautiful pup, every day is important....God Bless you all....
 
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