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I wanted to update everyone to our Daisy May's diagnosis. She has Lymphoma :crying:

We did a fine needle aspirate on July 16 and it was sent to the lab on July 17. The night of July 17 was her worst night ever. Her lymph nodes were HUGE and were pressing on her airway. She had stridor and was so lethargic. She didn't even want to eat. It was awful. I knew then and there that the results were not going to be what we had hoped for. We got the call from the vet on July 18 with the official results. We do not know type or stage as that would require another procedure to remove lymph nodes and we are not doing that. Chemo is not an option (cost, suffering, etc.) so we don't need to know. The end result is the same.

She is on prednisone, we started on 20 mg twice daily and are now on a taper to 10 mg/day and hopefully to 10 mg every other day. The taper is not going as planned, her lymph nodes have grown (they were almost undetectable on the high dose) and she is drinking/peeing ALL. THE. TIME. She is having nighttime accidents recently as well which makes her so sad. I am calling the vet this morning to see what we should be doing to control her symptoms AND manage her urination issues. She is also breathing heavy and panting constantly so I am wondering if she is having issues breathing again. It is not like it was the night before diagnosis. That was awful.

The vet told us that we will be fortunate to get the rest of summer with her - he feels that it will go fast and I agree seeing how fast her lymph nodes grew on just a slightly lower dose of prednisone. So, when do you know its time? She is still eating and drinking and she still gets excited with some things but is not nearly what she was even 6 weeks ago. Our biggest fear is that our hesitancy and questioning is going to cause us to wait too long and she will suffer and be in pain. She has been too good of a dog for that and I cannot do that to her. Any advice for this first time dog owner?

--Daisy May's momma
 

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I'm so very sorry for you all. It all comes down to the quality of her life. If she's suffering it's not fair to her. What is hard is that she is still happy eating and drinking. When they no longer want to eat, that's a definite sign. I'm no help but just want to let you know she's in my thoughts and prayers.
 

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I'm so very sorry about Daisy May.

My Bridge girl had lymphoma, she was on several rounds of Prednisone for a few months and was gradually weaned off of it. As the lymphoma progressed, my Vet decided to keep her on daily dosages of it and she continued to do well for several months.

The lymphoma advanced rapidly towards the end and she was in a lot of distress. I made the decision then to let her go. It was unbearable for me to think of her not being with me but it was even more unbearable to see her suffering.

My thoughts are with you, again I am so very sorry.
 

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I am so sorry to hear of Daisy Mae's diagnosis. There is a quality of life assessment in this thread that may or may not help:
https://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/golden-retriever-health-anatomy-physiology-breed-standard/440010-quality-life-scale.html

Try to have confidence in knowing you are the ones who love her most and know her best and you will be able to discern when she is no longer having a good enough life. I can tell she has had a good life with your family. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
 

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Cwag - thank you for sharing. I sent the link to my husband as well. We were just saying this morning that we wish we had a list we could look at to help us decide. Answered prayers.

Thank you to everyone for the prayers. This is one of the most heartbreaking situations I have ever been through. I am a people nurse and they can tell me when they have had enough - this is so hard because she can't say "hey mom and dad, I'm done fighting, I want to go home"
 

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I am soooo sorry for sweet Daisy Mae’s diagnosis. Spoil her rotten every moment of each day she is with you. Give her all her favorite foods, treats, take her to all her favorite places and tell her just how much she means to you and your family. Prayers going out to you, your family and sweet Daisy Mae. The picture of her and your daughter brought tears to my eyes. Hugs
 

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I am so sorry. I will keep your family in my thoughts. Give Daisy May a nice tummy rub for me. She is a beautiful girl.
 

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I'm so sorry about Daisy Mae. My Luke (nine) has an aggressive cancer (malignant macrophagocytic histiocytosis) and they said a seven week mean survival time. He's getting his fourth dose of chemo today and is at three months survival. I understand the concern about quality of life.

Luke doesn't tolerate prednisone at all. He has terrible incontinence on it. He pants a lot on it. They switched him to dexamethasone and he's not having any incontinence, although he does pee a lot. Do you think that would be a possibility to try? You could ask your vet.
 

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Dear Daisy's mum , I do not know what to say.However, in addition to western & holistic & far eastern treatment, I strongly recommend also switching to strict raw Ketogenic diet regards to lymphoma. I'm a type of person that has no boundaries as long as the dog still wants to be with us. Please contact "ketopetsanctuary". One of my streetdog adopted is a survivor. I do not know if it is due to being mixed breed of unknown breeds.But more than 2 years passed and she is alive:)))))) I stongly believe in nutrition, starving the cancerous cells. If you and your sweet Daisy are ready for a war, I woud immediately contact them. Since it's a very strict regimen, you will have to measure regulary the glucose level on her body ( there are ready kits in US market enabling you to measure it at home) and take a couple of supplements such as potassium , magnesium.
 

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I’m so sorry for the diagnosis. I know exactly what you’re going through. Our Katie was diagnosed with lymphoma at 5 years old almost 20 years ago. I was pregnant with our second child and couldn’t bear to lose her. We’re in Mass so we took her to Tufts Veterinary. We managed some treatments, but you’re right it was so expensive and we could not afford much. When she lost control of her bowls and was unable to walk we knew it was time. So sad. My prayers are with you and your sweet girl.
 

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Thank you to everyone who has responded. Daisy was doing well on 30 mg/d of prednisone until last week. The lymph nodes have grown significantly again and she is clearly declining. We debated going back up on the prednisone, but decided against it as it caused her extreme thirst and she would lose control of bowel and bladder. Yesterday and today her back legs have begun to weaken and they just go out on her sometimes. She is sleeping more, eating less, and has zero interest in her toys (which were her babies a week ago). We have decided that it is time to say our goodbyes. We are planning to take her to the vet on Friday morning and let her go. She's been such a good pup and this is killing us, but we don't want her to suffer. She's not the happy dog she was a week ago. My selfish side wants to hold on longer so we don't have to say goodbye (plus we move my older daughter to college this week too...too many goodbyes), but I know in my heart that it's time.

Please, if you are the praying type, say a prayer for our family on Friday as we let go of our Golden girl. :crying:
 

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Final update:

Steger's Dazzling Daisy May
6/3/10 - 8/21/19

Miss Daisy crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Wednesday August 21, 2019 at 8:58 a.m. She went very, very peacefully with both myself and my husband by her side. "Her" kids (our kids) were in the waiting room but all came in after she was gone to say last goodbye and give one last hug to our sweet girl. I have never been more heartbroken in my life and I can only imagine that this is what it feels like to lose a child. My heart is shattered and my world is upside down. However, I know it was the right thing to do as she declined very very quickly.

Daisy stopped eating on Tuesday night after she had an amazing night with our whole family just hours before. She was spoiled by grandma and grandpa and aunts and uncles, ate some ice cream and chicken snacks and was thoroughly spoiled and loved on. We went to feed her dinner that night and she walked away from it and went and laid down. We added beef broth to it as an enticement and she refused even that. The days prior she had been taking upwards of an hour to eat her food, needing to rest frequently between bites. We knew that night that the end had arrived and the look in her eyes said she was tired and ready to be free. We took her in Wednesday morning after we all had some time with her at home just to love on her one more time. When the vet injected her, it took two times for the IV to go in as he said her circulation was very poor. It was confirmation to us that we truly were giving her the best gift we could -- freedom from cancer, pain, and suffering.

We miss our golden girl like crazy and our house is far too quiet. This is the first time in 15 years we have not had a dog or cat roaming the house. We also moved our oldest daughter to college that same afternoon, so needless to say many, many, MANY tears were shed. We have decided that at this point in our lives we are not ready for another dog. We are busy with our two kids left at home (sports, travel, etc.) and I am in school full time working on my masters. Eventually, we will return to the wonderful world of being golden parents. She was a joy to love, and she loved us fiercely in return. There is no other dog that we want right now other than our Daisy May. I will be more at ease I think when her ashes return to us this coming week. I need my girl home and in her final resting place.

I will be forever grateful for you all and the support received here. You guided us through a dark place and helped us with your advice and prayers. We will be back someday (hopefully not in this forum though!) with a new golden fur ball of love.

Sincerely,
Daisysmom2003
 

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My heart just sank reading your note about Daisy. The very first Golden I knew was named Daisy too and I think about her still. My heart goes out to you and your family.
 

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I read this with tears. It is so difficult to let go. I can't even imagine having to take your daughter to college on the same day. I am so very sorry and praying for comfort for you and your family.
 

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I'm so very sorry for your loss of your beautiful Daisy May.
My thoughts are with you and your family.
 

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Thank you for taking such good care of Daisy and making sure she didn't have to suffer at then end. We are all Golden lovers here and many of us know the pain of having to say goodbye so we all share your loss of Daisy. It's tough sledding for a while. I hope time is your friend as your healing begins and may the memories Daisy made for you help you feel better soon.

Godspeed to Daisy

dlm ny country
 

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I'm so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Daisy. I couldn't get through your post without crying. I've been there and I know how horrible it is. But I also know, setting our babies free before they suffer is the kindest thing we can do. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you go through this difficult time. Hold on tight to the wonderful memories, they will help you very much now.
 
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