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I signed up for this forum more than 12 years ago when Liam was just a puppy. . .Last week, I rushed Liam to the ER after noticing unusual symptoms. Thank god I did - Once they stabilized him they found fluid in his abdomen along with a mass on his spleen. I wanted to share our story if there is another person out there going through the same thing in hopes it might provide a little reason to not give up hope.

Through this forum, I have since read many threads of others who have gone through this same scenario. At the time, the ER vet gave me a dire prognosis of over 65% that this was cancer, and the even higher %, because of his breed and his age, that this was hemangiosarcoma with the mean survival being weeks to a few months (with a splenectomy and chemo, provided it hadn't already metastasized). If I chose not to do anything, then taking him that day I would risk the mass rupturing and a traumatic end. There seemed to be no hope. zero. It appeared that I had to be ready to make the decision that day to say goodbye to my sweet boy who was playing ball in the yard yesterday. I fell apart and polled as many people I could.

The doctor recommended doing a 3D viewing to see if there were any signs it had already spread to the heart or lungs if I was considering surgery. I asked to have this test done (in the moment to buy more time and to get more information). This test showed that there were no visible signs that any other masses were present...yet. I asked to speak to the surgeon who would be performing the surgery should I go forward despite the odds. I asked her "if this were your dog or if you were this dog what would you do?" She candidly explained that she performed this surgery on her own dog and they had four wonderful months before the tumors spread to her heart. She teared up and said she would do it again. I then called a friend who is a retired vet and asked him the same question. He said Liam was a good candidate for surgery despite the odds and if cancer then chemo could provide months of quality time together.

With that information we opted for surgery to have his spleen removed. This was five days ago. The past five days have been a roller coaster and I've been voraciously reading everything I could find about this situation and potential outcomes as I waited for the pathology report.

Benign. That is the one word my vet said as she called me this morning with the results. We beat the odds. I know we aren't completely out of the woods...but this is the best result we could have hoped for and I am so grateful to have another day with Liam.

My thoughts are with everyone who has had to deal or is currently dealing with this situation, these choices in the most difficult of circumstances...it is heartbreaking. But, I also wanted to share some hope for anyone else who might in the future scan these threads for a story of the possibility for a different outcome.

As Liam recovers, I'd love feedback on how to provide the best care for him going forward that will aid in his recovery and senior days. Specifically, I'm wondering about his diet - maybe switching to cooking for him? He has had reflux/regurgitation for the last 14 months that I sometimes treat with pepcid or prilosec.
Thank you! :wavey:
 

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I am SOOO happy for you and for Liam. Stories like yours give all of us hope.

I can imagine your relief and know what you have been going through while waiting for the pathology results.

You seem to have kept your head and emotions in check while making the decision. Chance has had 2 life-threatening heart problems - one requiring surgery, one not - that the odds were not good. He beats the odds both times and the relief I felt can't be adequately described but I can relate to the way you must be feeling now.

Your story is very informative and I will keep in mind about the 3D viewing.

One day at a time, Liam will be recovered before you know it. Remember this adage "Old age is not a disease". Chance just turned 10 years young and I will be following this thread for advice for our senior boys.

So happy for you - hugs and pats to Liam.
 

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Balance IT and seniors

Thank you goldy1 for your kind and encouraging words.
I will remember that "Old age is not a disease"!

I wondered if you or anyone else has heard anything about or tried the Balance IT system for feeding?

https://secure.balanceit.com
 

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Pearl, Lila, Betty's mom
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Yaaaayyyy! Welcome to the wonderful club of benign splenic tumors! Lila turns 9 Thursday and is nearly 10 months out from her spleenectomy. She is doing great, super spunky and loving life. Enjoy each day!
 

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Until your post, I had never heard of BalanceIt. So I looked at the website and scanned some online reviews. It sounds like a great idea for anyone who wants to prepare homecooked food and insure it's balanced.
Since Liam has had some reflux, this might be a good way to get that under control maybe without the use of pepcid.
Here is a link that you may have already seen. BalanceIT is mentioned on page 5 so the link came up in a search.

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ucvmc_sd/local-assets/pdfs/Nutrition_FAQs.pdf

I use Wellness Core primarily for Chance and add supplements. Different times/ different supplements. My vet is traditional/holistic and has recommended the following for Chance at various times:

KD Solution - Herbal Supplement for a dogs kidney and bladder support - Hilton Herbs

https://www.thorne.com/products/animal-health/dp/immugen-reg

Liam might benefit from the added support while recovering from his surgery. The above products definitely helped Chance.

Liam's story is so uplifting. I'm glad you took the time to post.
 

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Liam

I signed up for this forum more than 12 years ago when Liam was just a puppy. . .Last week, I rushed Liam to the ER after noticing unusual symptoms. Thank god I did - Once they stabilized him they found fluid in his abdomen along with a mass on his spleen. I wanted to share our story if there is another person out there going through the same thing in hopes it might provide a little reason to not give up hope.

Through this forum, I have since read many threads of others who have gone through this same scenario. At the time, the ER vet gave me a dire prognosis of over 65% that this was cancer, and the even higher %, because of his breed and his age, that this was hemangiosarcoma with the mean survival being weeks to a few months (with a splenectomy and chemo, provided it hadn't already metastasized). If I chose not to do anything, then taking him that day I would risk the mass rupturing and a traumatic end. There seemed to be no hope. zero. It appeared that I had to be ready to make the decision that day to say goodbye to my sweet boy who was playing ball in the yard yesterday. I fell apart and polled as many people I could.

The doctor recommended doing a 3D viewing to see if there were any signs it had already spread to the heart or lungs if I was considering surgery. I asked to have this test done (in the moment to buy more time and to get more information). This test showed that there were no visible signs that any other masses were present...yet. I asked to speak to the surgeon who would be performing the surgery should I go forward despite the odds. I asked her "if this were your dog or if you were this dog what would you do?" She candidly explained that she performed this surgery on her own dog and they had four wonderful months before the tumors spread to her heart. She teared up and said she would do it again. I then called a friend who is a retired vet and asked him the same question. He said Liam was a good candidate for surgery despite the odds and if cancer then chemo could provide months of quality time together.

With that information we opted for surgery to have his spleen removed. This was five days ago. The past five days have been a roller coaster and I've been voraciously reading everything I could find about this situation and potential outcomes as I waited for the pathology report.

Benign. That is the one word my vet said as she called me this morning with the results. We beat the odds. I know we aren't completely out of the woods...but this is the best result we could have hoped for and I am so grateful to have another day with Liam.

My thoughts are with everyone who has had to deal or is currently dealing with this situation, these choices in the most difficult of circumstances...it is heartbreaking. But, I also wanted to share some hope for anyone else who might in the future scan these threads for a story of the possibility for a different outcome.

As Liam recovers, I'd love feedback on how to provide the best care for him going forward that will aid in his recovery and senior days. Specifically, I'm wondering about his diet - maybe switching to cooking for him? He has had reflux/regurgitation for the last 14 months that I sometimes treat with pepcid or prilosec.
Thank you! :wavey:
So glad that Liam got a good report. Praying for him and you.
 
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You story is my story. My sweet 9 year old female golden went through the exact same thing several months ago. I had already gone down this road with another golden who ended up having hemangiosarcoma. My Gussee had her spleen out and we waited with so much fear in our hearts. Our vet called with the news and he was practically shouting BENIGN. We all cried. She is doing great. We have added some supplements to Gusset diet hoping that will give her more support. CONGRATULATIONS on your wonderful news.
 

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Supplements?

Goldy1, lhowemt and gold4me

Thanks for the encouraging posts! What kind of supplements did you add to help him recover related to red blood cell volume and post-op issues?

Thanks! (He's doing even better today I'm happy to report)
 

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I have had three with splenic issues. My first golden with a splenic issue had hemangiosarcoma and it was fatal. Second one had a benign infarct and third on had a hematoma. Third one had surgery at 1.5 years at 11.5 years. And is still here at 13.5 years...
 
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I am so happy that you got to hear that word. Benign. It is one I prayed to hear but didn't get for my rainbow girl, Scarlett. I am thrilled for you that was your Liam's result. Enjoy your time with him, and I hope it stretches very long. :)
 

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Pearl, Lila, Betty's mom
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I have done nothing special, other than our regular feeding of fromm kibble for breakfast and home-cooked dinner (plus yogurt, banana, vit c and acv). Honestly she perked up so much we realized that we had not even noticed that she had become a bit "off". We also give Marrow bones somewhat regularly twice a week.
 

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I give a digestive enzyme, probiotics, Fish oil, and SeaVive. SeaVive is A Dietary Supplement for Immune Support containing Seacure, Colostrum 80/40 and Beta Glucan.
 

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I just joined the forum after reading your terrific story. My maddie, a 10 year old golden was in perfect form friday night. Saturday we woke and she was just not right…drinking a lot of water right away in the morning, moving slowly, refused to eat. After a couple hours I decided to go to the vet. So glad I did - she had a bleeding tumor on her spleen and we had it removed yesterday. There were no other signs of cancer anywhere else, and the surgeon said the liver looked clean as well but they are sending that in for biopsy. I got all the same cautions that you did but several vets with goldens said that since they didn't see other cancer the odds looked slightly better. So, she came through surgery fine and I took her home this morning. With some modification of the meds, she is doing great tonight and finally really resting. The next five days will be hard waiting for the test results but I really believe she could be also benign. Thanks so much for posting your story it helped reinforce my decision to do the surgery. She is the best, most fun, lovely, funny dog you'll ever meet and I would love nothing more than to have a few more years with her. I'll keep you posted on the result. Curious if there was anything else about the pre-surgery condition of your dog … arrhythmia, anemia, etc. Thank you again.
 

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lafische I'm happy to hear that you read my post and it helped you. That was my intention!
Maddie's story sounds a bit like Liam's...He showed no visible signs of cancer in other organs, so he was a good candidate for the splenectomy. His entire spleen was sent to pathology and they did 5 sections and found no cancer. The time between surgery and finding out the results was difficult - I cried everyday and read A LOT of information online to prepare for worst while hoping for the best. I am so glad that I made the decision to do the surgery. Liam had his staples removed 14 days after surgery and I was shocked at how quickly he recovered. . .It was hard to keep him from jumping and wanting to do things he hadn't done in the 2-3 months prior to surgery. Which, to me indicated that the mass had caused him pain for much longer than I had realized. In hindsight, I can see that he had markedly slowed down in the last 2-3 months before the surgery. I traveled for 3 weeks in late July/August where he stayed with my parents and they noticed what seemed like stomach upset/intermittent pain on one occasion. I was home for just two weeks when on Monday he vomited 6 times in one day. I thought he had a bout of the "garbage gut" from eating something gross, so withheld food then a bland diet. He was fine Tuesday and Wednesday, but it was Thursday morning we rushed him to the ER after breakfast - the only outward signs were he just stared at me, panting, then just laid down. I checked his gums (white/anemia) and his heart rate was a bit erratic. I didn't waste any time in getting him into the ER where he collapsed upon arrival.

We are thinking positive thoughts and crossing are fingers/paws for you and Maddie. Please let us know when you hear.
xoxo
 

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"Benign" is the most lovely word! We have gotten that good news for Charlie, Joker and for me. An ultrasound revealed that Charlie had a splenic mass when he was about 7 years old. The surgeon who removed his spleen the next day was amazed and delighted to have such a healthy patient. Charlie lived until he was just shy of 13.

Joker took a hard fall on stairs and we found him the next morning in shock from blood loss. We rushed him to the emergency clinic and insisted on doing the splenectomy, despite warnings about the odds. Knowing about the fall, I was sure that a hematoma had ruptured. My boy is still going strong at 15.

Your vet can prescribe a vitamin supplement that contains iron, as well as the B vitamins that are essential to forming red blood cells. We also find that injections of B-12 and a multi-B help to improve Joker's appetite and cognitive functions.

Good luck and please keep us posted.
 

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lafische - just wondering how maddie is doing? My Chance is also 10 and has to have surgery for a different type of tumor next week.
Positive thoughts coming your way for maddie.
 

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Pearl, Lila, Betty's mom
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Swidaho Lila did the same thing, had gone downhill so slowly we really hadn't noticed! We still are amazed at how youthful and perky she is. 9 yo, nearly a year spleen free and jumping and running and swimming like a pup.
 

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Hi all, thanks again for your great posts and support. So Maddie was diagnosed with hemangio four days after her surgery. Good news is that there was nothing visible on the liver and the surgeon thought the inside of her body looked 'clean' during surgery. Because of this, I have elected to go forward with chemo. Will be five visits of doxorubicin, three weeks apart, along with a metronomic chemo starting in about 4 weeks. Had first chemo Tuesday - before then she was really back to normal and doing very well. She's had some severe diarrhea yesterday and today and I am hopeful the additional meds received today will help and tomorrow we'll be on the road to feeling normal again. I'm also doing Yunnan Baiyao and I'm Yunity (which I just received yesterday). I have read enough about this awful cancer that I know there can be surprises … so am trying to cherish every minute I have and care for her in the best way I know how. I don't want her to suffer or be in pain at all so it's been hard to see her feeling some side effects. Hopefully it's short lived and we avoid it next time. There have been a lot of tears and a lot of worry, but in the end I am grateful to have a little more time with her. Thanks again all! Happy to help others however I can, I have done a fair amount of reading and talked with many about this diagnosis.
 
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