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Last year when our dog was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, I came on here to find as much information as I could. I wanted to know other people’s experience and decisions. I learned a lot and wanted to add our experience. This is our story of our beloved Koa. The dates are below, but the vet found a malignant tumor on his spleen. The tumor/spleen was removed the next morning. He went through 4 sessions of Chemo, 3 weeks apart and lived almost a year after the first sign. From what we’ve found, a year was about the longest we could have with him. It was hard to believe, but we cherished each day with him. There were a couple huge life changes that we believe added to extending his life after diagnosis: Removing the Spleen. Chemo. A new little puppy brother. Grain-Free Food. Not every dog would like it, but getting a puppy early and Koa’s treatment was one of the best things for him. The played every day and became best buds. I think this brought out the puppy in Koa. Koa looked healthier than a lot of dogs older then him and he was even swimming the day he passed. The picture is from the day before and hiking a month earlier.
I also wanted to post the detailed monetary costs(and I will when I find the receipts) but I think it was around $2,000 for the removal/surgery and about $2,500 for the chemo.

2015
October 24: Jumped out of the car and whimpered. Low energy, little appetite for three days. By the fourth day his energy came back. Over the next 3 weeks his appetite ebbed and flowed.
November 14: Jumped out of the car and whimpered again. Low energy that night and peed his bed that night.
November 16: First Vet visit. X-Ray and Ultrasound found the tumor on his spleen.
November 17: Surgery to remove spleen.
November 27: Call from Vet that the tumor was malignant.
December 3: First Oncologist visit and first dose of Chemo/Doxorubicin
December 11: Vet visit for CBC. Came back looking good/the way they expected.
December 23: Second dose of Chemo/Doxorubicin.
2016
January 11: Third dose of Chemo/Doxorubicin.
*January 30: Brought home an 8 week old Golden Retriever puppy.
February 17: Fourth/Last dose of Chemo/Doxorubicin.
*April 15: Our daughter was born.
October 2: Passed away naturally and peacefully with us by his side. Without much pain or veterinary assistance. Koa was 10 years, 2 months.

Hopefully this can help someone and please ask questions if you find yourself in this position.
-Rick
 

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Mandy's Mom
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So sorry for the loss of you Koa. It sounds like he had a wonderful life with you and you were blessed with an additional year post-diagnosis. My girl was young too, aged 10 years 3 months. Too young.


Congratulations on the birth of your baby girl and your puppy.
 
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I'm so sorry for your loss of Koa, he was beautiful. Thank you for sharing his cancer journey. I know others will find it helpful and I am guessing sharing this has been somewhat therapeutic for you.
 

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Sorry for your loss, but thanks for posting the timeline and cost information.


Our Murphy had her spleen removed and the Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis about 2 weeks ago. Surgery was about $2k and we can't decide about the Chemo. Our vet has not even mentioned it. Not sure what to do; the cost is an issue for us.


Thanks,
Brad
 

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I'm so sorry Brad. That was one of the hardest times.
When I first spoke with the oncologist, she said that taking the spleen out was the best and biggest thing we could have done and to take comfort in that. She said what ever decision you make will be the best for you, your pup and your family.

We went with Doxorubicin for chemo and that was 4 sessions 3 weeks apart. We paid each session and it was roughly $600 a time.

My big take-away at the beginning when I came to this site to learn more was how many people only had the drive from their house to the vet to say goodbye. I couldn't imagine. We were so blessed with the extra time we had with Koa.

My thoughts are with you during this time.
 

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Thank you so much for sharing this. So many of us deal with this horrible cancer in our babies.
Koa was lucky to have you and such a wonderful life.
 

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So sorry about your loss. What a blessing to have him a year. We only got Jake a extra three weeks after Jakes diagnosis.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss. But am so grateful that you shared your journey. I'm sure it will be so helpful and heartening to many that are facing that diagnosis. Thank you.
 
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