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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am so afraid for my Golden I haven't left him in just over 2 months. He collapsed 9 weeks ago was told he had tumor on heart and we should put him down. We chose having the fluid around heart removed ,& take him home to have some time we were told he would continue to get worse until he died. By next morning he was totally normal. then 2 days before a month it happened again & we wanted to give him a chance so had the fluid removed again. Since then it has been 5 weeks this time & he has never been better but I am terrified to leave
him. I can't afford to have a dog cardiologist do ultrasound . Only one in my state does it & costs $3000. Was told this kind of cancer is so aggressive & would have already spread by first episode. So Im praying they are wrong because of the time its been & he has absolutely no symptoms. Anyone know anything about this?
 

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yes, I'm afraid we have had Goldens on this forum with similar. I'm so sorry for your heartache. As long as you can have the fluid drained off and he is comfortable and has good quality of life - eating, participating with your family and doing things you know he enjoys like going for walks - I personally would continue what you are doing. When the time comes that you see he doesn't have enjoyment from things he normally would, it would be time to have a conversation with the vet about your choices. Some dogs can go for months with what you're doing. I don't see any reason to spend big money on an ultrasound to be honest. It might help to have a discussion with your vet about what he or she would do if this were their dog, explain to you what the outcomes for the dog typically are with your options. None of us are promised tomorrow with our Goldens, we are all on borrowed time. I hope you are able to use these days to do things with him, take him through a drive thru for a cheese burger, take him out for icecream, go for long walks, take him to play in the water, invest in some professional quality photos with a good family photographer etc. I am sorry you are going through this, it's just so darn hard.
 

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I am so very sorry that you and your dog are going through this. Based on the description I assume what he has is cardiac hemangiosarcoma. The reason you are seeing him get better and then get worse again is that the tumor on his heart periodically breaks open and drains into the sac around the heart. Once the fluid is removed, he'll feel much better... until the tumor breaks open again. Sadly, eventually one of the ruptures will kill him. Although there are some (expensive) treatments available, to the best of my knowledge there is no cure... all you could buy him is some time, and not very much time at that. Because of the bleak prognosis, many owners do decide to euthanize their dog as soon as it is diagnosed. I have heard mixed reports of what happens when a dog finally passes... I believe some have gone quickly and peacefully, but others have had a traumatic ending. I encourage you to speak to your vet about what is likely to happen "at the end" so you can make an informed decision about when it is most humane to let him go.

FWIW, as long as your vet is confident in the diagnosis (and the symptoms do align with hemangiosarcoma), I don't think taking him to a cardiologist, even if you could afford one, would buy you anything. If you are on a budget, there is some promising research on using Turkey Tail mushroom supplements to treat hemangiosarcoma. Here is an article on the topic (note that the company that wrote this article sells a turkey tail supplement, but you may want to look around to see what your other options are if money is tight). I want to be VERY clear though... there is no known cure for this cancer. All this supplement may do is slow the tumor's growth and buy you a little more time.

Again - I am SO sorry you are going through this. Many on this forum have struggled with the same diagnosis and the same outcome and so can fully sympathize with how very difficult this is. I pray you have many more good days with your boy.
 
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Thank You so much for your reply. I am still hopeful he has idiopathic pericardial effusion & it doesn't come back. He was already spoiled , but now thats doubled. He is my emotional support dog & Ive never been away from him more then 4 hours. He just turned 7 , and of all the reading Ive done says 7 year old male Goldens are most common to have the idiopathic. We were first time if we took him home he would get worse and die that night. We decided we would rather he die at home being held ,hes very afraid of new places. By next morning he was totally normal. So I have been praying he doesn't have cancer - maybe others have had this happen & dog was ok? He has not had a single symptom. Thank again;
 

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I think it's worth a biopsy to at least confirm the diagnosis. I am firmly in the "always biopsy" camp. There are treatable issues that masquerade as hemangio sometimes.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think it's worth a biopsy to at least confirm the diagnosis. I am firmly in the "always biopsy" camp. There are treatable issues that masquerade as hemangio sometimes.
I think it's worth a biopsy to at least confirm the diagnosis. I am firmly in the "always biopsy" camp. There are treatable issues that masquerade as hemangio sometimes.
We have been to two different emergency clinics and they have not been able to say he has a mass anywhere, took him every week to my regular vet after and she is optimistic about him We were told only way to determine if he has a tumor is to take him to the college vet school in our state for a cardiologist that has right kind of ultrasound. He would have to go thru an entire page of tests first & be there about a week ??? I truly think that would kill him. He has never been put in a kennel or been away from me. Also the down payment is $3000. We are retired without much income but have spent about $900 each time. but worth it. He is ornerier then usual teasing the cats, I take him every day for car ride, I don't see how we would not kerp saving him as long as he is so happy so my husband said if it happens again he would pay for it again. How can we kill a dog that is enjoying life so much. He has gained weight because my husband gets him McDonalds hamburgers. He runs in big circles in yard for
fun. He is not neutered so weight has never been a problem. I am taking him to my vet again today for check up so far she thinks he is doing fine & appears fine but of course cant say for sure he doesn't have cancer with out the cardiologist test Thanks to everyone. All information is very welcome
 

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Well, given this additional information, I can understand why you are holding out hope. It would be wonderful if you were right. I don't know anything about idiopathic pericardial effusion, but it seems odd to me that he'd need to be away from you so long and that the exam would be so expensive. Have you called and spoken to the cardiologist's office? Or is that information coming from your vet? It might be worth calling around or seeing if you could get a phone consult with the cardiologist or something. Hopefully someone from the forum will chime in who has more experience with this sort of things.

Fingers, toes and paws crossed for you...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, No I have checked & told that is only way in my state & I am fearful the vet school uses them for teaching is well known & one clinic is owned by them so went to only other emergency clinic within few hundred miles second time
 

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We had a 13 year old girl that one day collapsed. Took her to ER and they said fluid on the heart. Had it drained but told the same thing maybe 24-48 hrs. My wife was out of state and pleaded to keep her going so she could say goodbye. The next morning she was hugely improved and the drain they installed had virtually no new fluid. I authorized a body ultrasound to find the mass that was to blame.
It was about 1500.00 iirc. Everything was clean and then the explanation was some dogs just have this happen.
She came home and had 6 healthy mos. then a seizure. Few weeks later a second. We had made the decision that if she had another we would say goodbye. A couple weeks later she was with us and collapsed after a walk and was gone. Never did find evidence of cancer.
Prayers for you and yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We had a 13 year old girl that one day collapsed. Took her to ER and they said fluid on the heart. Had it drained but told the same thing maybe 24-48 hrs. My wife was out of state and pleaded to keep her going so she could say goodbye. The next morning she was hugely improved and the drain they installed had virtually no new fluid. I authorized a body ultrasound to find the mass that was to blame.
It was about 1500.00 iirc. Everything was clean and then the explanation was some dogs just have this happen.
She came home and had 6 healthy mos. then a seizure. Few weeks later a second. We had made the decision that if she had another we would say goodbye. A couple weeks later she was with us and collapsed after a walk and was gone. Never did find evidence of cancer.
Prayers for you and yours.
Thank you so much. My heart tells me he doesn't have cancer. I took him to mu vet this afternoon & had a full physical & was perfect. So if it happens again we will have it drained & my vet told me how to get appt with a dog cardiologist. The fiy time we had to have it done the vet wasn't nice She said if you don't want to spend any money we will just euthini him ?? We were trying to understand what was even wrong & told her just drain it then we are taking him home she said fine but he won't live until morning & I said well ar least he will die in bed with us instead of a cage there. That was over 2 months ago!
 

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I remember them telling me to keep an eye on her gums. If they turn a grey/ blue color it meant she was having circulation issues. They also said if she had back leg weakness it’s another sign as their bodies will sacrifice extremities to keep blood for the organs.
 

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Thanks, No I have checked & told that is only way in my state & I am fearful the vet school uses them for teaching is well known & one clinic is owned by them so went to only other emergency clinic within few hundred miles second time
All vet schools are teaching hospitals- that does not mean the vet students get to practice without supervision of boarded specialists, or even actually do surgeries- those are always done by interns or residents or specialists- all of whom are already as qualified as your pet vet, as even interns are DVMs.
Watch the gums, yes- but much as it'd be nice if it were so, our hearts do not have the tools to diagnose a cancer- only a diagnostic would tell you anything useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
All vet schools are teaching hospitals- that does not mean the vet students get to practice without supervision of boarded specialists, or even actually do surgeries- those are always done by interns or residents or specialists- all of whom are already as qualified as your pet vet, as even interns are DVMs.
Watch the gums, yes- but much as it'd be nice if it were so, our hearts do not have the tools to diagnose a cancer- only a diagnostic would tell you anything useful.
All vet schools are teaching hospitals- that does not mean the vet students get to practice without supervision of boarded specialists, or even actually do surgeries- those are always done by interns or residents or specialists- all of whom are already as qualified as your pet vet, as even interns are DVMs.
Watch the gums, yes- but much as it'd be nice if it were so, our hearts do not have the tools to diagnose a cancer- only a diagnostic would tell you anything useful.
All vet schools are teaching hospitals- that does not mean the vet students get to practice without supervision of boarded specialists, or even actually do surgeries- those are always done by interns or residents or specialists- all of whom are already as qualified as your pet vet, as even interns are DVMs.
Watch the gums, yes- but much as it'd be nice if it were so, our hearts do not have the tools to diagnose a cancer- only a diagnostic would tell you anything useful.
You must be a vet student, I know vet Schools are for training, thats my point I don't care if they are "supervised" When my pet is having life saving procedures done . I want someone with enough experience & not still in school..I feel sorry for you that you can't ever believe what your heart tells you. Mine may not always be right but almost always is. The first place I took him ,even put it in writing if I took him home he would be dead by morning. I listened to
my heart, That was 9 weeks ago. If I would have left him there overnight he probably would have been dead by morning.
All vet schools are teaching hospitals- that does not mean the vet students get to practice without supervision of boarded specialists, or even actually do surgeries- those are always done by interns or residents or specialists- all of whom are already as qualified as your pet vet, as even interns are DVMs.
Watch the gums, yes- but much as it'd be nice if it were so, our hearts do not have the tools to diagnose a cancer- only a diagnostic would tell you anything useful.
I know all vet schools are for teaching ? But when my dogs life is at stake I don't want someone who is technically still a student practicing on him. I don't care if they are supervised, they can't stop a major mistake that may be life or death in a second. The veterinary school in my state has been caught stealing dogs for research. My sons friend hired an attorney & found his dog there . The first emergency clinic is owned by the school which they try to hide. so Im sorry no pet of mine is going there. Why would I be told he would be gone a week ? Sorry you don't have a heart you can listen to. I did not join this forum for this reason. I don't do social media of any kind . I simply wanted to know if anyone else had this happen to them .And Thank you so much to the gentleman that responded and had been told the same as me & his dog never had cancer. My heart may be wrong but thanks for some hope & the prayers others said. 9 1/2 weeks and not a single symptom of anything being wrong He has so much energy , appetite, won't nap unless I lay on bed with him. So , I do understand I have no way of knowing if he still has cancer but am watching him very closely. And thank you to everyone who gave me any hope
I remember them telling me to keep an eye on her gums. If they turn a grey/ blue color it meant she was having circulation issues. They also said if she had back leg weakness it’s another sign as their bodies will sacrifice extremities to keep blood for the organs.
All vet schools are teaching hospitals- that does not mean the vet students get to practice without supervision of boarded specialists, or even actually do surgeries- those are always done by interns or residents or specialists- all of whom are already as qualified as your pet vet, as even interns are DVMs.
Watch the gums, yes- but much as it'd be nice if it were so, our hearts do not have the tools to diagnose a cancer- only a diagnostic would tell you anything useful.
I know all vet schools are teaching. That is my point. If they are still in school they are still students. When my dogs life is at stake I don't want someone without enough experience being supervised ? As I never took my children to the one teaching hospital in my town. I know they need to learn but not at the expense of my babies. And my heart has always played a big part in my life for making decisions. Im sorry that yours doesn't. I have never had any kind of social media & only was asking on here to see if anyone has ever been told the same as I was and Thank-You to the gentleman that responded and he also was told his dog had 24- 48 hrs to live after having the fluid removed & never did have cancer. Thank everyone that gave me any hope & for the prayers
I am so very sorry that you and your dog are going through this. Based on the description I assume what he has is cardiac hemangiosarcoma. The reason you are seeing him get better and then get worse again is that the tumor on his heart periodically breaks open and drains into the sac around the heart. Once the fluid is removed, he'll feel much better... until the tumor breaks open again. Sadly, eventually one of the ruptures will kill him. Although there are some (expensive) treatments available, to the best of my knowledge there is no cure... all you could buy him is some time, and not very much time at that. Because of the bleak prognosis, many owners do decide to euthanize their dog as soon as it is diagnosed. I have heard mixed reports of what happens when a dog finally passes... I believe some have gone quickly and peacefully, but others have had a traumatic ending. I encourage you to speak to your vet about what is likely to happen "at the end" so you can make an informed decision about when it is most humane to let him go.

FWIW, as long as your vet is confident in the diagnosis (and the symptoms do align with hemangiosarcoma), I don't think taking him to a cardiologist, even if you could afford one, would buy you anything. If you are on a budget, there is some promising research on using Turkey Tail mushroom supplements to treat hemangiosarcoma. Here is an article on the topic (note that the company that wrote this article sells a turkey tail supplement, but you may want to look around to see what your other options are if money is tight). I want to be VERY clear though... there is no known cure for this cancer. All this supplement may do is slow the tumor's growth and buy you a little more time.

Again - I am SO sorry you are going through this. Many on this forum have struggled with the same diagnosis and the same outcome and so can fully sympathize with how very difficult this is. I pray you have many more good days with your boy.
Thank you for your response as this is a forum but I don't need articles about the cancer sent. I have spent hours every day finding out about this cancer & every other cancer. I also don't feel you can diagnose him. My own vet, not the ones at either emergency clinic I took him to has seen him every week & yesterday another complete physical & she has all reports from both emergency clinics can not say one way or another for sure because everything tested is completely normal , except hes gained a pound , because hes gotten even more spoiled ! I posted to see if anyone else has been told the same about their dog & it wasn't cancer & I have gotten a response that it has so I truly appreciate hearing from them because any hope at all helps.
I remember them telling me to keep an eye on her gums. If they turn a grey/ blue color it meant she was having circulation issues. They also said if she had back leg weakness it’s another sign as their bodies will sacrifice extremities to keep blood for the organs.
All vet schools are teaching hospitals- that does not mean the vet students get to practice without supervision of boarded specialists, or even actually do surgeries- those are always done by interns or residents or specialists- all of whom are already as qualified as your pet vet, as even interns are DVMs.
Watch the gums, yes- but much as it'd be nice if it were so, our hearts do not have the tools to diagnose a cancer- only a diagnostic would tell you anything useful.
All vet schools are teaching hospitals- that does not mean the vet students get to practice without supervision of boarded specialists, or even actually do surgeries- those are always done by interns or residents or specialists- all of whom are already as qualified as your pet vet, as even interns are DVMs.
Watch the gums, yes- but much as it'd be nice if it were so, our hearts do not have the tools to diagnose a cancer- only a diagnostic would tell you anything useful.
All vet schools are teaching hospitals- that does not mean the vet students get to practice without supervision of boarded specialists, or even actually do surgeries- those are always done by interns or residents or specialists- all of whom are already as qualified as your pet vet, as even interns are DVMs.
Watch the gums, yes- but much as it'd be nice if it were so, our hearts do not have the tools to diagnose a cancer- only a diagnostic would tell you anything useful.
 

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When you are worried and grieving it is natural to lash out. Please know that everyone on here wants to help you, including Prism, who is not a vet student but an extremely senior and experienced breeder. She is also very kind. In addition to all the other ways it is upsetting, the thought of losing your emotional support dog can make you extra emotionally upset. Everyone here understands that, and we all wish you well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you but this forum isn't helpful to me. One person diagnosed my dog sending me articles , don't you think I would have already probably seen every single thing I can find about all the cancers, I spend hours a day researching And just because they would take their dogs to students instead of a Doctor with experience, I don't need lectured . I had only asked if anyone has had the same happen & only got one person that answered that which I was extremely thankful for. I do & can listen to my heart for alot of things my dog would already be dead if I hadn't. I won't be using this forum anymore. I thought it was something that would help me but instead I get lectured & people telling me my dog will die so I shouldn't have hope. I won't be using this any more.
 

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I WISH I were a vet student. I just hoped you would understand that outside of spay neuter clinics, vet students are not allowed to do surgeries. They might get to close but that's about it. You'd have use of the very best, top experts going through a vet school. Realize that the interns and residents there have already got more learning/experience than your pet vet does since they are on a boarding track.
None of us, given enough time, will not be able to feel for your situation. But using your heart instead of diagnostics is not the best thing for your dog. Consider giving the dog the benefit of the care he deserves, by having diagnostics performed, so at least you know what you and he are dealing with, so you can at least use that knowledge to make the best choices for him. I am sorry I upset you- but don't use a discharge stating you were AMA as evidence your heart has more knowledge than the vet does.
 

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I never said my heart had more knowledge, I feel so sorry for someone like you. Don't acuse me of not doing the best I can for my pets ! I would never have seen my dog again if I would have left him at the clinic & then they take him to the vet school Im talking about. Why would I let them have him a week ????? My own vet didn't agree She also found me a cardiologist other then there, which I posted. I WOULD GIVE MY LIFE FOR ANY OF MY PETS !! You don't know anything about me. People like you ruin using forums. Im done. And the vet school my dog would have been taken to STEALS peoples dogs to do research on ,it was proven so if you don't think they would have used my dog for practice for everyone?? And most likely research. I feel sorry for you don't have anything better to do then go on forums to hurt people. I said this is the first time I have & the last.
 

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Don't feel sorry for me- I have an amazing life and wonderful resources, and act as same for others. I'm sorry I hurt you but that was not my intent. Forums work because of people like me, who share knowledge (not superstition or imagined slights). It's clear you do not grasp how medicine works- there is not a single vet school that steals dogs for research, or practice. Vet students learn by watching, not by practicing on people's beloved pets. Have a delightful day and I wish for your dog to have as little pain as possible.
 

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So I'm praying they are wrong because of the time its been & he has absolutely no symptoms. Anyone know anything about this?
You asked if anyone knew anything about what was going on with your dog. You received multiple responses from people who cared enough to take time from their day and tell you what their experience leads them to think. I'm sorry you didn't like the answers you received. I am disappointed in the way you responded so will not ask more questions but wish you the best with your dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Don't feel sorry for me- I have an amazing life and wonderful resources, and act as same for others. I'm sorry I hurt you but that was not my intent. Forums work because of people like me, who share knowledge (not superstition or imagined slights). It's clear you do not grasp how medicine works- there is not a single vet school that steals dogs for research, or practice. Vet students learn by watching, not by practicing on people's beloved pets. Have a delightful day and I wish for your dog to have as little pain as possible.
I was done with this forum but decided I had one more thing to say after discussing it with some people & showing them the entire thread . You are someone who thinks you are smarter & better then anyone else Maybe you should go back & read. I NEVER once said I was listening to my heart over diagnostics or any kind of treatments for my dog. So to say I don't understand how medicine works is insulting but sure that was your intent. I got the treatment my dog needed at the time to save his life, , has been said in this discussion some people euthinize them right away because of diagnosis. I then took him to my own vet next day as soon as they were open. This happened in middle of night. I asked my vet to perform any necessary tests. Just because I listened to my heart at the emergency clinic that night & just wanted to save his life until we could even comprehend what was happening instead of being told just to leave him there & they would do few thousand dollars of tests then take him to a vet school few hours away some time next day which he would be gone about a week & another $3000 ?????? And weren't even going to remove the fluid while we were there to see if he lived? I am a bad dog owner ? He is my emotional support dog . I love him more then myself. That clinic told us if we didn't do what they said he would be dead by morning if we took him home. We did not listen but only after the fluid was removed & we thought he was stable to go home & we could get him to my own vet next day. ,So go ahead & think you are smarter & better because I did what I felt was right for my dog. He would not still be alive today if he had been left there .You do not know about the school they wanted to take him to. I did not say all are like this one. This one does steal dogs & get them from rescues to use for research & It was proven ! I could go back and get you articles & other proof but you want to claim I am superstitious ??? don't know where you got that. And for claim I went on this forum then didn't like answers so was insulted by that? Not true The only thing I asked was if anyone had a dog that had to have fluid removed from around heart & HAD NO OTHER SYMTOMS & their dog didn't have cancer. One person did answer that & his dog did not.I was very thankful & thanked everyone in more then one of my posts. I did find out this forum was not for me. All of you that spend all your time thinking you can diagnose someone's dog & judge them & their intelligence keep doing it. To others who actually answered what I asked Thank you & Thank everyone who sent prayers. Has been 10 weeks & my dog has not had to have fluid removed again & perfectly normal. Before I am judged again. I still know its possible he could still have cancer Im still taking; him to MY vet every week.
 
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