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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I’m new to this site having found it doing some research on the recent diagnosis I received for my eldest golden baby. Charlee is 13 years and 1 month old and was experiencing an occasional nose bleed. It happened about 5 times and was minimal blood. I initially thought his younger golden brother was being too rough with him. Anyway, he had the scope through his nasal passages and 2 small tumours were found in his right nasal passage. The biopsy came back confirming squamous cell carcinoma. Left untreated, I’m told he has 3-6 months left with us. The oncologist has gone through the options of surgery (which if possible after a CT scan shows the depth of the tumours roots) will leave him deformed, and/or radiation for 18 days which the side effects of don’t sound very pleasant. Neither options have any guarantees of curing the cancer. I’m struggling to make a choice for him regarding his treatment and furiously researching to get some advice / suggestions. I certainly don’t want him to suffer, but finding it hard to decide to let it run it’s course and not fight it for him. Any advice anyone can offer would be great appreciated.
 

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Jo

Jo: I am so sorry to hear about your Charlees news. Every decision is so personal and only you can make it.
I know my Husband and I have always talked about if our dogs got cancer, what we would do and we would not do chemo or radiation, but make the best of the time they had left with us. Please keep us posted!
 
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Welcome, I'm really sorry for your boy's diagnosis.

i've been in this situation before with two of my Goldens that were diagnosed with Cancer. I talked to the Vet extensively about the options, what treatment would do to my dog(s)-side effects, quality of life vs. quantity. I also asked what they would do if it were their dog. I had different Vets for each dog, they were both pretty matter of fact about the amount of time I would have if I chose to do treatment or not, the quality of life my dog would have while undergoing treatment-the side effects, and what they would do if it were their dog.

I opted for quality of life for each of my dogs, one was 15 at the time of diagnosis. Treatment at his age would not have been tolerated well, we opted to keep him as comfortable as possible and made the most of the time we had with him.

I'm sorry you and your boy are going through this and are faced with making a decision, sending good thoughts to you both.

Here is a thread that may be helpful for you-

http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...cancer-diagnosis-what-should-you-ask-vet.html
 

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I am so sorry for your boy's diagnosis. Both my previous Goldens died at the age of 12. Like Karen said it is a very personal decision and as the people who love him most, you will make the right choice for him. I don't think I would put a dog at that age through the surgical treatment unless the vet was very optimistic that it would be a completely curable outcome, but that's just my opinion on what I would do in a hypothetical situation. Actually, the more I think about it, even with hope for a positive outcome, I'm not sure I could put him through that surgery. It sounds awful. I will pray for you to have wisdom and peace in your decision. I can tell he's had a loving family with you.
 
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I'm very sorry to see this.... especially this morning after noticing something in my old boy's right nostril. I'm hanging onto the hope that it is just inflammation or a polyp, but this is something new after he's had nosebleeds (but tested clear of everything else) for the past year. :(

I know speaking for myself - a year ago when we first considered the possibility that he has cancer, I was really scared, crying, and a huge mess because this dog is my heart dog.

Based on the growth "suddenly" appearing in his nose - is leading me to think/hope that this is a benign situation....

But if it is more... I am back to the decision I made last year. I will NOT put him through chemo or other treatments. Surgery is only a possibility because the growth is at a very accessible spot. If it were up in the cranial/orbital area of his sinuses though - we would not do anything besides keeping him comfortable and loving him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you Karen. I truly appreciate your message. I wish Charlee could talk and tell me what he wants to do! I’ll absolutely keep you posted on how we proceed and his progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Carolina. Thank you for your message and your kind thoughts. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve lost two fur babies to this horrible C word.

I wanted to have further discussions with Charlee’s vet and oncologist as I have more questions after the diagnosis and following appointment that I just didn’t ask at the time. I think I was and still am in shock about it. The oncologist was making recommendations for the surgery and radiation but didn’t actually acknowledge Charlee’s age in the equation. I’m pretty certain that my husband and I have decided to enjoy the time we have left with him and make him as comfortable as possible instead of the surgery / radiation options given his age and the toll those procedures will take on him.

Thank you so much for the link to the question to ask. I will definitely be taking those with me to his next appointment.

Jo
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you cwag. I’m sorry you’ve also been in this position and lost two of your fur angels.

The oncologist was confident that the surgery would be the best treatment option, but couldn’t say for sure until a CT scan was done. Since coming home from the appointment today, I’ve been researching the surgery option and if we went through with it, his nose would be removed. I don’t want to do that to him. And the tumours are likely to recur. The more I research, the more I think palliative care is the best option.

Wishing fur kids lived forever.

Thank you for your prayers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm very sorry to see this.... especially this morning after noticing something in my old boy's right nostril. I'm hanging onto the hope that it is just inflammation or a polyp, but this is something new after he's had nosebleeds (but tested clear of everything else) for the past year. :(

I know speaking for myself - a year ago when we first considered the possibility that he has cancer, I was really scared, crying, and a huge mess because this dog is my heart dog.

Based on the growth "suddenly" appearing in his nose - is leading me to think/hope that this is a benign situation....

But if it is more... I am back to the decision I made last year. I will NOT put him through chemo or other treatments. Surgery is only a possibility because the growth is at a very accessible spot. If it were up in the cranial/orbital area of his sinuses though - we would not do anything besides keeping him comfortable and loving him.
I’m sorry to hear about your boys nostril and bleeding. Try not to be too concerned, it could be any number of things. We were hoping for a polyp or a grass seed that had embedded and gotten infected which is quite common our vet tells me! We were also hoping that the diagnosis was for granuloma instead of the squamous cell carcinoma, which is treatable. The squamous cell carcinoma occurs in only 1% of cases that present with the symptoms, so keep positive for your boy ?

I can relate to the fear and being a mess as you said you had experienced. I feel like I haven’t stopped crying since we received the diagnosis 2 days ago. Charlee was the man of the house for 10 years before I met my husband 3 years ago. I can’t imagine being without him. My other golden boy isn’t going to cope too well without his brother either.

Wishing you all the best with your boy. Let us know how he goes!
 

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Thank you so much for the link to the question to ask. I will definitely be taking those with me to his next appointment.
It's been quite a while since I've read through that thread about asking questions, I can't remember if asking about Clinical Trials is included in it or not, but it may be worth asking about.
 

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I went through this with my 13 year old Golden boy once. Vet told me one nostril bleeding bad vs both nostrils good. I hope for the best but the cancer ran through his body and 2 months after the bleed I let him go.

Keep hoping the bleed is something other than bad news like I did. Keep doing normal happy thing with him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My husband and I have made our decision today to make the rest of Charlee’s time with us as comfortable as possible and shower him with love and all his favourite things. I’ve ordered the K9 Immunity Plus supplement and hope that will give him a better quality of life. I’m also going to meet the vet on Tuesday to discuss medications that may help.

If anyone can share what medication they believe is best for our beloved fur baby, I would appreciate any guidance / advice.

I’m also keen to know of others experience in helping to prepare my other golden boy for what’s to come and beyond.

Trying my hardest to enjoy my pup, but can’t stop crying :crying:
 

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Charlee is a beautiful boy. I am so sorry for the heaviness in your heart.

We made the choice not to treat cancer in our boy who had just turned 7 last year. The vet reminded us about the difference in lifespan between dogs and humans when thinking about how to proceed, (ours would have required high risk surgery that would have included cracking his pelvis). For humans, time spent undergoing and recovering from cancer treatment may very well pay off in years or even decades more of life. Dogs have such shorter lifespans, the math is much different. Months of pain won’t give the same return. It sounds like you’ve made the most loving and compassionate choice.

When the tears came with mine, I practiced noticing them as so much love being expressed. Wishing you and Charlee many more tender moments together.
 

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Again I am so sorry but I think you have made the right choice for your boy. When my Tawny had to be put to sleep because her back legs were too weak to stand, we asked the vet to come to our house. My little Bichon got to sniff her after she was gone and she seemed to completely understand what happened. She never looked for her like she did when Tawny was alive. I think she still missed her but she knew what had happened
 
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I for one would not put a dog of that age thru such surgery. One thing I can tell you from experience, I've had three sinus surgeries. There is terrible swelling and you are unable to breath thru your nose because of swelling and dried blood. It would be extremely uncomfortable for you pup to go thru this. You know you dog and will make the right decision for him.
 

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Charlee is a stunning looking big boy. My heart goes out to you , Charlee and his pack. What ever road you take in caring for your Charlee you can rest assured he knows you have given him a wonderful life. I am sure you will take care of him all the way. One day at a time.

dlm ny country

“Dogs … are constant reminders that life reveals the best of itself when we live fully in the moment and extend our unconditional love. And it is very true, that the most tender, uncomplicated, most generous part of our being blossoms, without any effort, when it comes to the love of a dog.” —Maira Kalman
 

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I'm so sorry that your family is facing this difficult time. I believe you're doing the very best thing for your sweet boy, although I know it's breaking your heart. We've been through this ourselves several times, and I've come to believe that letting a beloved friend go is sometimes the most loving gift you can offer. I hope you'll have time enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Medications

Hi all

Just an update... Charlee is doing well enough for the moment. We’ve started him on Piroxicam today and looking at Palladia as an option too. The Piroxicam is a non steroid anti inflammatory that has had some success in decreasing tumour growth in addition to its main function of pain relief. Had a good chat with the vet today and he said he believes we have diagnosed the SCC at a relatively early stage and he doesn’t believe Charlee is in pain for the time being. The medicine will help him with his arthritis too, so hopefully that will allow him to enjoy some more active memory making. The Palladia is a mild chemotherapy type drug that requires close monitoring for an side effects with regular blood work to check organ function and white blood cell count. As the side effects are a little more risky, we’re doing some more homework on that one as it’s apparently quite new. We also started on the K9 Immunity, Apocaps and Artemix supplements. Statistically speaking, his prognosis is around the 3 month mark, but hoping the medication and supplements will hold the cancer at bay.

Would love to hear from anyone who has any experiences with these medications or similar and anyone who may have had any positive experiences with supplements.

Feeling optimistic!
 

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Glad to hear that Charlee is holding up!

We used Piroxicam with our GSD after she was diagnosed with cancer. Hers was very fast moving and more advanced than we thought, so we were only able to do 30 days of that med before we made the decision to euthanize. Both the oncologist and our normal vet had great things to say about the potential to slow down cancer growth, so we gave it a shot. I do not recall Sasha having any side effects from the meds.

I hope you all are able to get some good memory making in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Glad to hear that Charlee is holding up!

We used Piroxicam with our GSD after she was diagnosed with cancer. Hers was very fast moving and more advanced than we thought, so we were only able to do 30 days of that med before we made the decision to euthanize. Both the oncologist and our normal vet had great things to say about the potential to slow down cancer growth, so we gave it a shot. I do not recall Sasha having any side effects from the meds.

I hope you all are able to get some good memory making in!
I’m so sorry for your loss of your Sasha girl :(

Thank you for your reply re the Piroxicam. Hoping Charlee doesn’t experience any side effects of it too. He did have an upset tummy last night but I’m thinking it might be due to change of diet. I’ve exhausted myself with researching everything I can about all the medicinal options and benefits of all the supplements to the point of confusing myself more, so I appreciate you letting me know of your experience and vet/oncologist comments.
 
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