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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Everyone!

I haven't posted in a while and last time I did it was because my 8 year old Golden Retriever, Casey, had a small limp on his right front leg. Since then it's been a long journey.

At first, the vet thought it was just an early onset of arthritis because when touching or moving the leg he showed no signs of discomfort. A few months later he was still the same, then overnight it becoming extremely worse. That day he was struggling to put any pressure on the paw. After two days of this we scheduled an x-ray at the vet. Again, she felt his entire leg from shoulder to paw and he still sat there licking the Vet Tech's face. After the x-rays came back we still had no idea what was going on. The x-rays showed nothing at all. So, our vet recommended we go to an Orthopedic doctor.

We scheduled an appointment at Long Island Veterinary Specialists and made an appointment with an orthopedist. That night they still couldn't find anything although he yelped once when pressure was pushed up into his arm pit. This led the vet to believe it could be a muscle in the shoulder or even something in his neck or back. That night we left him so that they could preform an MRI the next day. When the results came in the vet told us some unfortunate news. They found a mass on the inside of his shoulder heading into his chest cavity.

We decided to let him stay at LIVS and they did a bone biopsy of it the next day. That night we brought him home and waited for the results. A few days later the vet confirmed that it was Osteosarcoma. He spoke with another vet and they agreed that they may be able to get it out of his shoulder by removing a rib and replacing it with a mesh like material but that the cancer would still be in his chest.

At this point we had no idea what to do. A friend of ours recommended we get a second opinion and recommended a vet to us. He told us this doctor is very upfront and with telling you the hard facts and not try to sugar coat it. We made an appointment and this vet confirmed what the others have said. Casey has about 4-6 months left in him. He was diagnosed about a month ago. Any treatment such as surgery or chemotherapy will not add anything to the time he has left with us. Unfortunately we just have to wait for it to eventually take over his lungs and then we will make the decision to put him to sleep.

Right now he is on medication to help with the pain. We have to carry him down the stairs 3 times a day and he only walks to the front of the house to do his business. We do let him in the yard as much as possible and he loves to role around in the grass and chew on his ball and enjoy the gorgeous 70 degree weather we've been having.

This weekend we visited our house in Pennsylvania and took him to the lake where he made friends with two adorable little kids who just kept complementing him on how handsome he is. This morning as he was attempting to follow us around while packing up, despite our efforts to keep him resting in his bed, he started to have trouble breathing. It almost sounded as if he were trying to cough and gasping for air. Once he stopped walking the gasping would stop. On the 3 hour car ride home he mainly slept but would start gasping for a few seconds every once in awhile. Since we've been home for about 2 hours he has not had that happen again.

When getting home as he was laying in his bed we noticed that his right side (the side of his body with the mass) looked strange. After taking a closer look it looks like although his eye lid is completely open, his under eyelid is not opening all the way so only about 3/4 of his pupil is able to be seen. I'm not sure if this is just a symptom or if the cancer is spreading to another part of his body already.

I'm not sure how much time I have left with my best friend but I'm gonna make it the best I can for him. Don't take your dog for granted ever. 60% of Golden's die from cancer and I never thought my boy would be one of those. So make the most of every second you have with them cause you don't know when your last could be. :(
 

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Big hugs to you and Casey. Cancer is evil and gives no mercy. I am sincerely so very sorry you are dealing with this. Spoil him rotten for whatever time you have together.
 

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I'm so sorry. Cancer truly is evil! Hug Casey extra tight.. Hugs to you too!
 

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I am so very sorry you find yourself and your baby having to deal with this. I have lost two of my babies to this horrible cancer, one was ten, the other almost thirteen. Enjoy and treasure every moment you have, go to all those special places. My heart breaks for you.
 

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Noreaster
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Oh, sweetie...I'm so sorry. Sending you and your boy a hug.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about Casey. It's something none of us want to hear. I lost my Ginger 14 months ago an hour after we took a 1.5 mile hike. She lifted her paw for me one last time while she was on the kitchen floor just 30 minutes before she took her last breath. I had no idea she's was even sick. I wish you strength my friend.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you.. I'm just scared I'm not gonna know when it's time. He's already struggling to breathe occasionally. He just was gasping for about 20 seconds. Almost don't know if I should be making this decision now.
 

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So sorry. You will know when it is time. If your struggling with that then it's not time. You will know.
 

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This post made me cry. I am so sorry.
 

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I hate this for you. I hate cancer. It takes with no mercy.

You'll know when it's time, I'm sure of that. Enjoy every moment you have, and take lots of photos, make memories.
I'm sorry.
 

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Lucky's Mom
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Sending you many prayers for strength in this journey. There are no words that make it easier. Cancer has a way of throwing it right in our face the fact that we have zero control over this life. I hope that you are able to find a combination of medicines to control his pain, I hope you find the strength you need to get through this time, and I really hope one day we can figure out the gene that is causing so many cancers in our beautiful goldens.
 

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Lost my boy to cancer too, but not the kind that gives any warning. I'm not sure which is worse. So sorry for you and Casey. I hate that we are losing our Goldens so young. We must find a reason for the high rate of cancer in Goldens. Praying we find a solution. Our thoughts are with you.
 
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