Author Topic: Dog most likely has lymphoma  (Read 12174 times)

COlady

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Dog most likely has lymphoma
« on: August 22, 2016, 11:02:19 AM »
Our beloved 8 year old boxer/husky mix most likely has lymphoma. The vet took a fine needle aspiration this morning and we should get results on Friday. He said he thinks that it's most likely lymphoma based on his experience. He said he would encourage us to do chemo because lymphoma generally responds well to treatment. He said he has a dog that was treated 2 years ago and is still going strong. From what I've read online, without treatment she'll live about 6 weeks. He estimated treatment at between $5k - $8k. I told the vet that I didn't think we could afford that...we all know AFFORD is relative...

I've always balked at people who give their dogs chemo and here I am considering it. My husband looked at me like I was bat shit crazy for even talking about treating her. I know what his answer is. I feel like this would be an easier decision if we simply didn't have the money....but we do. We have $375k in 401k and $125k in an investment account. The other consideration is time for weekly treatments. I work PT, husband works FT and we have 18 month old twins.  Anyone been through this?

MrsDinero

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 935
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2016, 11:08:33 AM »
I'm sorry you are going through this.  I did have a dog that was diagnosed with lymphoma, but unfortunately the vet said it had spread too much that even treatment wouldn't prolong his life too much.  I opted for a second opinion and ended up putting him down when the second vet confirmed the prognosis.

There isn't anything I can say in this type of scenario except go with your conscious.  I'm not above spending a lot of money on a life-saving treatment for my pets, however I do weigh with cost with quality of life of the pet after the treatment.

tweezers

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2016, 11:10:01 AM »
Not with lymphoma, and not quite so much, but high vet expenses with other pet health crises.  We paid for vet care (~$4500 in diagnoses and treatments) and I have no regrets whatsoever.  Our kids were 3 and 5 at the time.  In your shoes I would proceed given the good prognosis, although I know that others here would react similarly to your husband.    I'm sorry that you're going through this.  Having the resources to treat your pet makes it harder, and I hope that you can be at peace with whatever decision you make.

ETA: we were able to administer some of the medication for treatment ourselves (via syringe; subcutaneously), which saved money and time, not to mention anxiety for our dog.  Perhaps something to think about if you decide to proceed with treatment.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 11:23:45 AM by tweezers »

startingsmall

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 627
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2016, 11:30:39 AM »
No personal experience, but I'm a vet and see situations like this play out almost every day. Lymphoma IS typically one of those cancers that responds well to treatment... but the exact statistics depend on a number of factors. If you're on the fence, ask your vet for a referral to the oncologist and go in for a consult. You aren't committed to any treatment just for going, but the oncologist can give you a lot more info on prognosis, costs, your time commitment, how you'll need to handle waste to keep your kids safe, etc.

I've had plenty of clients do chemo... Most with no regrets, although some do later wish they hadn't gone that route. It's a tough call, for sure.

Happy in CA

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2016, 12:00:32 PM »
I am so sorry you have to deal with this.  I had a cat start chemo for lymphoma but she stopped responding after a couple of weeks and had to be put down.  The cost was probably still about 2K and it didn't even help, but I guess I am glad we tried.  A few weeks ago my favorite cat ever died after lung cancer spread to his brain and paralyzed his left side.  We didn't know he had cancer and rushed him to the vet ER; after about 2.5K worth of tests and care we had our answer, so the cat was euthanized within 24 hours of arriving at the ER.  I would definitely have raided the 401k to save that cat.  Finally we have a cat who is currently being treated for stomach cancer and is undergoing a targeted therapy (Palladia).  We started with a consultation with the oncologist, as the vet posting here recommended.  She was very helpful in our making the decision of how to proceed, so I would also recommend a consultation with an oncologist before proceeding further.

honeybbq

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1218
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2016, 12:05:08 PM »
So sorry to hear the news.

What is the average life expectancy of a boxer? How much pain and suffering will the dog go through during treatment and after? And this is crazy, but what do you think your dog would want? 

My mother's dog had cancer (not lymphoma) and in her particular situation, she felt he was not strong enough to go through the treatment, and he was also older than your dog. He had suffered with weight loss and other problems as well, and she decided having him put to sleep was the most humane solution.

However, you will find many dogs can tolerate the treatment and live a longer, happier life.

 Unfortunately nobody can really tell you the right answer for you. Have a heart to heart with your vet after you and your pup find out the results from pathology. They will be much better at steering you than any of us can. Best of luck, and I'm hoping it's much ado about nothing!

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3012
  • Age: 81
  • Location: The laboratory
  • Typical Ghoul Next Door
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2016, 12:17:30 PM »
I am so sorry about your dog.

I have had three cats diagnosed with different forms of cancer, but the prognosis was never that they would live multiple years after - at best we might buy them a year, with ongoing treatments. In every case, we've chosen to do no surgery/chemo/radiation, only pain and comfort measures.

If they had been very young, we might have considered doing more, but all were older, and in all cases, treatment would have been invasive, painful/uncomfortable and I just couldn't justify putting my beloved pet through surgery/chemo/radiation on the off chance they might have another couple of months/year.

My thought process was that they don't understand why you are torturing them by taking them to the vet and putting through the trauma of surgery and all those procedures.  And we'd only be doing it because we had difficulties dealing with losing them - animals have no concept of death. So I needed to face the fact that our pets would die and try to make them as happy and comfortable as possible in the time they had left, and not let them linger in pain when the cancer advanced enough to start affecting their quality of life.

The money was a secondary consideration. If the doctor believed the surgery would be easy, and give them a reasonable great quality of life after and likely many more good years, I might have been persuaded. But for thousands, and no real guarantees they'd even have an extra year and be in pain or feel bad for the entire time due to ongoing treatments? No.

I do agree with getting a second opinion, and doing some really hard soul searching on how you deal with the idea of death and your pet. Again for me, it was deciding what was best for my cats, not what would be best for me. Ultimately it is really only you who can decide what lengths you need to go for to feel like you've been the best custodian of your pet' health and happiness.


BTH7117

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 71
  • Location: Washington, DC
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2016, 12:45:35 PM »
I am sorry you are going through this.  You clearly care about your dog, and no matter what, your dog is lucky to have someone who cares about him or her so much.

I think the question you have to decide is this: Will you regret NOT getting the treatment after your dog is gone when weighed against cost and his/her suffering?

Only you can answer that question.

icemodeled

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 162
  • Location: Southwest FL
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2016, 01:40:50 PM »
Very sorry to hear this, it's a tough situation for sure and I have been through loosing a pet several times before. My parents dog(my childhood dog) who we absolutely loved had lymphoma but was diagnosed to late for treatments to be considered, though they would of tried. My mom who considered him her best friend knew they couldn't take that hit on their finances but it was also a slim chance that it would even help. He was a lab and also 8 years old. Was terribly sick and they had to put him to sleep. It was so hard, especially for my mom who doesn't work and she was always home with him while my dad was working. I think if they had said there was a very good chance the treatments would work, she probably would of wanted it done regardless the price (they did have the money also, but nearing retirement age so saving everything they can) however my dad who also loves dogs and loved him, would not pay that much for treatments, even if it would work. He is so focused on goals and retirement. Not that he doesn't care but he does see pets differently then if it was his actual child or wife ect.

Of course, no one can make this decision and it's a horrible decision to make. If you are feeling strongly that the treatments should be done then I would first have a serious conversation with your husband. At least to let him know how you feel. It sounds though that he will not consider it due to costs, however you should still discuss it together. It sounds like your dog has lived a very good happy 8 years though with you!

Axecleaver

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3384
  • Location: New York
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2016, 02:02:29 PM »
It's better to euthanize your pet a day too early, than a day too late.

We lost our English Bulldog of eight years this past December to hemangiosarcoma (an aggressive heart tumor). The breed typically lives 8-10 years. I think we spent about $1500 to evaluate her chances and to work out a medication plan to make her last few weeks bearable. Ultimately, we did not do chemo because of the side effects and the quality of life issues, even in the best cases. We were responsible for her, and we had to decide if the pain and suffering of treatment were worth deferring our guilt. We introspected on this deeply and if we had a billion dollars, we would not have done anything differently. Your details may be different.

On her last day, Mrs Axe took her on one last adventure to visit extended family members who knew and loved her. I made her sausage for breakfast. She got a donut later in the morning and ice cream in the afternoon. She went to a place with chipmunks and squirrels, from whom she spent her life defending her yard, although they were never in any danger of being caught. She went through a drive-through car wash, which I recommend to all dog owners. She got to take naps in the car in between events. It was a good last day and we are glad that we made the right choice.

iris lily

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3331
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2016, 02:17:25 PM »
A bulldog we adopted at age 7 developed lymphoma at age 8. It manifested in open sores on his skin. We did not treat it, the average age for bulldogs is 8 years although we have had several live to be 12.
We euthanized hm a few weeks after diagnosis.


We went through $5,000 of chemo and surgeries for our first bulldog at age 6 who had mast cell tumors (somethng your boxer/lab is subject to,given his breed) and I was not interested in doing that one more time. Wont do it again.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 02:21:39 PM by iris lily »

retiringearly

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2016, 02:20:28 PM »
My cat had lymphoma.  The vet & vet oncologist told me the chemo would extend her life but not cure the cancer.  I would ask them if the chemo is to CURE the cancer or to simply prolong the life of the dog.

I am an animal person and I definitely loved my cat.  But I stopped giving her the chemo pills because she hated taking the pills.  I didn't see any reason to put her through agony three times per week just so she would live a bit longer. 

LeRainDrop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1841
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2016, 02:28:44 PM »
I'm going to tell you a sad story:  My good friend had a yellow lab rescue dog, who was sweet as could be, no known health problems.  One weekend, when the dog was 4 years old, she started walking funny, like she couldn't use her back legs all that well.  One night that same week, the dog had a seizure.  My friend took her to the vet the next morning, and they referred her to a doggie oncologist for an appointment that same Friday.  The dog had some sort of lymphoma, and Friday involved testing to determine what course of action they would take.  They had a plan to start her on some basic treatment that coming Monday, and my friend had anticipated that she would be paying for chemo.  Very sadly, the pup passed away that same Saturday.  Literally that one-week span included the first observed symptom through the pup's passing.  I felt sooooo terrible for my friend.

Wishing you peace in whatever decision you make and comfort in knowing that you have always given your dog a loving home.  I'm very sorry.

LeRainDrop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1841
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2016, 02:35:35 PM »
On her last day, Mrs Axe took her on one last adventure to visit extended family members who knew and loved her. I made her sausage for breakfast. She got a donut later in the morning and ice cream in the afternoon. She went to a place with chipmunks and squirrels, from whom she spent her life defending her yard, although they were never in any danger of being caught. She went through a drive-through car wash, which I recommend to all dog owners. She got to take naps in the car in between events. It was a good last day and we are glad that we made the right choice.

This is truly beautiful.  Thank you for sharing.

Trudie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1670
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2016, 02:36:17 PM »
It's better to euthanize your pet a day too early, than a day too late.

We lost our English Bulldog of eight years this past December to hemangiosarcoma (an aggressive heart tumor). The breed typically lives 8-10 years. I think we spent about $1500 to evaluate her chances and to work out a medication plan to make her last few weeks bearable. Ultimately, we did not do chemo because of the side effects and the quality of life issues, even in the best cases. We were responsible for her, and we had to decide if the pain and suffering of treatment were worth deferring our guilt. We introspected on this deeply and if we had a billion dollars, we would not have done anything differently. Your details may be different.

On her last day, Mrs Axe took her on one last adventure to visit extended family members who knew and loved her. I made her sausage for breakfast. She got a donut later in the morning and ice cream in the afternoon. She went to a place with chipmunks and squirrels, from whom she spent her life defending her yard, although they were never in any danger of being caught. She went through a drive-through car wash, which I recommend to all dog owners. She got to take naps in the car in between events. It was a good last day and we are glad that we made the right choice.

This is so sweet!  Way to give your pooch a good send off!

iris lily

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3331
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2016, 02:56:19 PM »
It's better to euthanize your pet a day too early, than a day too late.

We lost our English Bulldog of eight years this past December to hemangiosarcoma (an aggressive heart tumor). The breed typically lives 8-10 years. I think we spent about $1500 to evaluate her chances and to work out a medication plan to make her last few weeks bearable. Ultimately, we did not do chemo because of the side effects and the quality of life issues, even in the best cases. We were responsible for her, and we had to decide if the pain and suffering of treatment were worth deferring our guilt. We introspected on this deeply and if we had a billion dollars, we would not have done anything differently. Your details may be different.

On her last day, Mrs Axe took her on one last adventure to visit extended family members who knew and loved her. I made her sausage for breakfast. She got a donut later in the morning and ice cream in the afternoon. She went to a place with chirpmunks and squirrels, from whom she spent her life defending her yard, although they were never in any danger of being caught. She went through a drive-through car wash, which I recommend to all dog owners. She got to take naps in the car in between events. It was a good last day and we are glad that we made the right choice.
Awww, we did somethng  very similar with our first bulldog. She had a good last day going to,the park, then going ro Mcdonald,for a hamburger, then devng around for a while. Then we went to the policw substaton our city park because she loved policemen and they always made a big deal about her. It was a good day!

sisto

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 976
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Sacramento, CA
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2016, 03:18:45 PM »
I was in your shoes 10 years ago. Our beloved Belgian Shepherd seemed completely fine, but we noticed a lump in her neck. I called the vet and made an appointment, but it was about a week out. In the meantime I started online research that was pointing me to lymphoma since she was totally healthy. I came home from work and checked and her other glands were also swollen. I knew from the research that sometimes aspiration biopsies aren't conclusive and to get a full biopsy. I also learned about treatment results etc. So when the vet appointment came around my vet told me he thought is was lymphoma and talked to me about the biopsy and I told him to do the full one. We went back to the vet one week later for results and our poor girl has already lost 10lbs which is quite a lot for a dog to lose in a week. We knew at that point she would probably not do well on chemo. The doctor told us we could probably get 3 - 6 months by putting her on predisone. We decided on that route being she was 11 years old. Unfortunately we only got 3 weeks. When she got to the point of not wanting to eat I knew it was time. This was a dog that was all about food her whole life. To this day it's still hard for me to talk about and I have since also had to put down my Anatolian Shepherd, but I feel it was the humane thing. I've seen too many animals suffer because their owners didn't have the courage to do what was right for them. My heart goes out to you and I hope you don't get a diagnosis of lymphoma.
P.S Sorry for writing a novel on your thread, it really brought up some emotions.

RosieTR

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 396
  • Location: Northern CO
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2016, 05:27:18 PM »
Since your handle is "COlady" are you in CO anywhere close to Ft Collins? CSU has a big animal cancer center and also some sort of hospice for pets if that's the best route. From their website, they can provide some general answers, or if you are close enough to take the dog there it might be a good second opinion and to get different options: http://www.csuanimalcancercenter.org/consult-service.

Sorry you're going through this. It's really a tough call and several people have made good points re: thinking of it from the dog's point of view, and also whether treatment has the potential to cure or just prolong life.

RWD

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3492
  • Location: Mississippi
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2016, 05:32:32 PM »
Is your vet prescribing chlorambucil for the chemo treatments? We are giving that to our cat right now. The name brand stuff was jacked up to $400/month, but we were able to find a compounding facility to make it for ~$30-50/month. A 90% savings!

We used Diamondback Drugs: http://www.diamondbackdrugs.com/

retiringearly

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2016, 05:50:15 PM »
Is your vet prescribing chlorambucil for the chemo treatments? We are giving that to our cat right now. The name brand stuff was jacked up to $400/month, but we were able to find a compounding facility to make it for ~$30-50/month. A 90% savings!

We used Diamondback Drugs: http://www.diamondbackdrugs.com/
This is a good point.  The oncologist prescribed something that was wildly expensive and he told to go to a compounding pharmacy where it was much cheaper.

Lanthiriel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
  • Location: Portlandia
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2016, 05:51:57 PM »
I am absolutely a pet person, and if I'm honest with myself, my corgi has probably cost me $10,000 or more in his 7.5 years in my care, largely due to allergies. However, at his age, I don't think I would be willing to do any aggressive treatments like chemo. At 8, your dog has had a good life that's already been longer than many.

That said, this is a decision that you will have to live with. A few years ago, I made the decision to put down a 7-year old cat with a very large bladder stone because we were trying to pay for my husband's last year of college out of pocket, and I couldn't stomach the idea of spending $1500 on surgery for her. Not to mention she was a bit on the mean side, and would have had to spend three weeks in a dog crate recovering while I tried to shove antibiotics down her throat. Because it was a quality of life issue for both of us (me hating the idea of more student loans and her of being cooped up), we decided literally the morning we took her to the vet for surgery to put her to sleep instead. To this day, I think I made the wrong choice. She would probably still be alive and fine today had I been less selfish. I will probably never get another cat just so that I never find myself in the same position. (I find that dogs are much more forgiving and communicative about their needs.)

Lanthiriel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
  • Location: Portlandia
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2016, 05:57:01 PM »
I am absolutely a pet person, and if I'm honest with myself, my corgi has probably cost me $10,000 or more in his 7.5 years in my care, largely due to allergies. However, at his age, I don't think I would be willing to do any aggressive treatments like chemo. At 8, your dog has had a good life that's already been longer than many.

That said, this is a decision that you will have to live with. A few years ago, I made the decision to put down a 7-year old cat with a very large bladder stone because we were trying to pay for my husband's last year of college out of pocket, and I couldn't stomach the idea of spending $1500 on surgery for her. Not to mention she was a bit on the mean side, and would have had to spend three weeks in a dog crate recovering while I tried to shove antibiotics down her throat. Because it was a quality of life issue for both of us (me hating the idea of more student loans and her of being cooped up), we decided literally the morning we took her to the vet for surgery to put her to sleep instead. To this day, I think I made the wrong choice. She would probably still be alive and fine today had I been less selfish. I will probably never get another cat just so that I never find myself in the same position. (I find that dogs are much more forgiving and communicative about their needs.)

I guess I should mention that the other side of this story is that we gave my other cat to my mother when we moved 2,500 miles away (he was an AMAZING cat, and she loved him, so it's not as bad as it sounds). He started having seizures when he was almost 10 years old, and the vet told us that it basically couldn't be anything other than a brain tumor given his blood work. We put him down after he had a 15-minute seizure one morning and I don't feel the slightest bit of regret about not pursuing treatment for him beyond anti-seizure medications. So I guess my advice is just look into your heart and do what you think is best for your dog regardless of your own personal feelings about money OR loss.

Bicycle_B

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1825
  • Mustachian-ish in Live Music Capital of the World
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2016, 08:31:28 PM »
It's better to euthanize your pet a day too early, than a day too late.

We lost our English Bulldog of eight years this past December to hemangiosarcoma (an aggressive heart tumor). The breed typically lives 8-10 years. I think we spent about $1500 to evaluate her chances and to work out a medication plan to make her last few weeks bearable. Ultimately, we did not do chemo because of the side effects and the quality of life issues, even in the best cases. We were responsible for her, and we had to decide if the pain and suffering of treatment were worth deferring our guilt. We introspected on this deeply and if we had a billion dollars, we would not have done anything differently. Your details may be different.

On her last day, Mrs Axe took her on one last adventure to visit extended family members who knew and loved her. I made her sausage for breakfast. She got a donut later in the morning and ice cream in the afternoon. She went to a place with chipmunks and squirrels, from whom she spent her life defending her yard, although they were never in any danger of being caught. She went through a drive-through car wash, which I recommend to all dog owners. She got to take naps in the car in between events. It was a good last day and we are glad that we made the right choice.

Good job, Axe family.

COlady

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2016, 09:30:42 AM »
Since your handle is "COlady" are you in CO anywhere close to Ft Collins? CSU has a big animal cancer center and also some sort of hospice for pets if that's the best route. From their website, they can provide some general answers, or if you are close enough to take the dog there it might be a good second opinion and to get different options: http://www.csuanimalcancercenter.org/consult-service.

Sorry you're going through this. It's really a tough call and several people have made good points re: thinking of it from the dog's point of view, and also whether treatment has the potential to cure or just prolong life.

Hi Rosie,

We live in S. Denver, so about a 1.25 hour drive to CSU. I don't know that I could manage that once per week with everything we have going on in life. We'll see what the test results say and go from there. Thanks you for bringing this idea up.

COlady

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2016, 09:33:56 AM »
Thank you all for the kind thoughts and comments. I'll update later in the week when we find out the results.

goldensam

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 36
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2016, 10:35:15 AM »

On her last day, Mrs Axe took her on one last adventure to visit extended family members who knew and loved her. I made her sausage for breakfast. She got a donut later in the morning and ice cream in the afternoon. She went to a place with chipmunks and squirrels, from whom she spent her life defending her yard, although they were never in any danger of being caught. She went through a drive-through car wash, which I recommend to all dog owners. She got to take naps in the car in between events. It was a good last day and we are glad that we made the right choice.

Thank you for sharing.

Both of my old golden retrievers needed major surgeries last summer to the tune of $5k+ each. One was for bone cancer that we found very early in her toe that needed to be amputated and the other was TPLO surgery. My DP was laid off for 7 months last year, so money was definitely tight, but we decided purely on what was going to be best for them. The dog that needed TPLO was old at almost 12, but we consulted with three vets that all agreed she was healthy enough and would benefit enough from it to move forward. Had they come to the opposite conclusion, we would have let her go humanely, as she was in significant pain. Recovery was hard on her but thankfully we are over a year out and she is doing great. If we had to make the same decision today, I wouldn't do the surgery because she has started to decline and it wouldn't be the right decision for her.

We made the amputation decision using the same thought process. If the surgery would not just prolong her life, but still leave her with a good quality of life, I would do it again tomorrow if needed. Next week will be one year and I'm so grateful to have her around.

All that to say, if money isn't an issue, my advice would be to do whatever is best for the dog. I'm sorry you are dealing with this and I hope it turns out well.

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3017
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2016, 11:20:33 AM »
My mom's dog currently has lymphoma. She opted for a "middle of the road" treatment plan. So he's on prednisone instead of chemo. It won't do anything to treat the cancer, but it's vastly improved his quality of life and was much cheaper. We're well aware of the fact he's on borrowed time, but he's so much happier and the side effects are quite manageable.

I'm sure this isn't an option for every case, but ask your vet about whether it might work for your dog.

Blonde Lawyer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 735
    • My Student Loan Refi Story
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2016, 12:01:50 PM »
We put our dog down on Sunday that most likely had lymphoma.  She lost 15 pounds in 3 months.  She was an 11 year old Rott-Shepx.  We found out on Friday what she most likely had.  She was extremely anemic and had almost no color in her gums.  She was also very dehydrated.  We would not have known because she was still eating and drinking.  Saturday evening or Sunday morning she peed in the house overnight.  She had never done that before.  It could have been from the liquids she got at the vet Friday.  My husband and I were 100% on the same page at that point and knew it was time.

She had seen two vets and neither suggested any real treatment option for her except to put her down when her quality of life began to suffer.  Normally you get weeks or months but since she lost the weight over 3 months I think we already had our months.

Our regular vet couldn't get her in on Sunday which turned out to be such a blessing.  The emergency vet was amazing and had such a great procedure.  You call up and pick your options and pay for everything by credit card over the phone.  When you arrive, you send someone in to let them know you are there and they will let you in a back door into a comfortable private lounge.  It has low lighting and a big comfy couch for you and your pet.  My dog was so happy that whole day.  We sat outside in the sun saying our goodbyes.  She had a big poop on the vet's lawn.  She jumped up on the couch and had a big grin on her face.

The techs came in and inserted the catheter in her vein right there.  She yelped a bit but was still generally content.  Then we waited a few minutes and the vet came in.  We held our dog on the couch as she got a sedative and then the final shot.  She went so happy and peaceful.  It sounds morbid but I took a picture of her right before the vet came in just to always remember how happy and peaceful she was and how it was 100% the right decision. 

On Friday she was so malnourished that her eyes were starting to sink in.  We didn't want to remember our dog that way.  Not all dogs "tell" you when they are suffering.  Mine had an abscessed tooth at one point and we had no idea because she was still eating and playing.  We had no way of knowing if she was in pain.  The time between Friday and Sunday was the hardest with a lot of tears.  The time leading up to it is worse than how you feel after.

The grief is intense though.  I'm realizing I never really knew grief before.  Losing a grandparent or friend is different because they are not part of your everyday life and everyday routine like a pet is.  Our life will become normal again someday.  There is a lot of sadness but a lot of happiness too.  I found this poem years ago and I desperately read it over and over this past weekend to help me make this tough choice.  It never really was a choice actually.  We knew what we needed to do.  It was just finding the strength to do it.


The Last Battle

If it should be that I grow frail and weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this, the last battle, can't be won.

You will be sad I understand,
But don't let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.

Take me to where to my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end

And hold me firm and speak to me,
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree,
It is a kindness you do to me.

Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.

Don't grieve that it must be you,
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close, we two, these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.



MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4015
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2016, 01:24:43 PM »
It's better to euthanize your pet a day too early, than a day too late.

We lost our English Bulldog of eight years this past December to hemangiosarcoma (an aggressive heart tumor). The breed typically lives 8-10 years. I think we spent about $1500 to evaluate her chances and to work out a medication plan to make her last few weeks bearable. Ultimately, we did not do chemo because of the side effects and the quality of life issues, even in the best cases. We were responsible for her, and we had to decide if the pain and suffering of treatment were worth deferring our guilt. We introspected on this deeply and if we had a billion dollars, we would not have done anything differently. Your details may be different.

On her last day, Mrs Axe took her on one last adventure to visit extended family members who knew and loved her. I made her sausage for breakfast. She got a donut later in the morning and ice cream in the afternoon. She went to a place with chirpmunks and squirrels, from whom she spent her life defending her yard, although they were never in any danger of being caught. She went through a drive-through car wash, which I recommend to all dog owners. She got to take naps in the car in between events. It was a good last day and we are glad that we made the right choice.
Awww, we did somethng  very similar with our first bulldog. She had a good last day going to,the park, then going ro Mcdonald,for a hamburger, then devng around for a while. Then we went to the policw substaton our city park because she loved policemen and they always made a big deal about her. It was a good day!

Our golden had her "last day" feature a drive through McDonalds ice cream cone, one of her all time favorites. 

MrsDinero

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 935
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2016, 02:54:34 PM »
It's better to euthanize your pet a day too early, than a day too late.

We lost our English Bulldog of eight years this past December to hemangiosarcoma (an aggressive heart tumor). The breed typically lives 8-10 years. I think we spent about $1500 to evaluate her chances and to work out a medication plan to make her last few weeks bearable. Ultimately, we did not do chemo because of the side effects and the quality of life issues, even in the best cases. We were responsible for her, and we had to decide if the pain and suffering of treatment were worth deferring our guilt. We introspected on this deeply and if we had a billion dollars, we would not have done anything differently. Your details may be different.

On her last day, Mrs Axe took her on one last adventure to visit extended family members who knew and loved her. I made her sausage for breakfast. She got a donut later in the morning and ice cream in the afternoon. She went to a place with chirpmunks and squirrels, from whom she spent her life defending her yard, although they were never in any danger of being caught. She went through a drive-through car wash, which I recommend to all dog owners. She got to take naps in the car in between events. It was a good last day and we are glad that we made the right choice.
Awww, we did somethng  very similar with our first bulldog. She had a good last day going to,the park, then going ro Mcdonald,for a hamburger, then devng around for a while. Then we went to the policw substaton our city park because she loved policemen and they always made a big deal about her. It was a good day!

Our golden had her "last day" feature a drive through McDonalds ice cream cone, one of her all time favorites.

Same with mine!  Except he liked the cheeseburger and fries :)

sandsoftime

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2016, 11:29:10 PM »
COlady, I'm sorry to hear the news about your dog, but it's very promising that the vet thinks that he could do well with chemo.  Several years ago, I was in a very similar position (with a dog of similar age) and, after much consideration about my dog's temperament and consultation regarding his quality of life during and after treatment, made the decision to try chemo.  Fortunately, it worked very well, and he lived for another 2+ years.  He handled the chemo process - and all of the visits to vets, side effects of chemo, etc. - like a champ.  As is true with humans, some of the drugs in the chemo rotation caused more side effects than others, so we had some "down" weeks here and there, but most of the time, he was happy, went on walks, ate lots of good food, played with his toys, and did all of the other things that he loved (and that we loved about him).  I monitored his mood carefully throughout the chemo treatment and would not have hesitated to pause it if I'd felt that the quality of life tradeoffs were not worthwhile.

Even many years later, I miss him very much, but it's a great relief to know that I did everything I could to help him have a good - and longer - life, and having those extra 2 years together was priceless.  (Strange as it sounds, I even look back kind of fondly on some aspects of the chemo experience - driving in the car with him by my side, keeping track of his medications and appointments, making special meals for him, cuddling together, watching him get healthy and feel good again.)

Many people don't see the point in spending that kind of money on a dog, even if they can afford it.  I understand that that's a common point of view, but I happen to disagree, and this is a highly personal decision.  My dog was a beloved family member.  Under similar circumstances, and knowing what I know now having gone through the experience, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

little_brown_dog

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #31 on: August 28, 2016, 10:42:18 AM »
I am very sorry to hear about your dog :(

My first dog was diagnosed with lymphoma around 10 years old. Parents decided not to treat due to his age (he was a golden, and so he probably only had a couple good years left anyway). He deteriorated rapidly and was put to sleep within 3 months of diagnosis. Ultimately this was probably best, as the chemo was going to be hard on him. If he was younger it would have been different, but it was so advanced by the time they caught it, treating him would have been more like torture instead of a genuine attempt at saving his life.

At 8 years old, and with a positive prognosis from the vet, I think it really comes down to what you feel comfortable with. We spend tons on our animals' medical care because we feel like it is our responsibility to do so provided it does not jeopardize our immediate financial security. One of our dogs has congenital problems and we have spent about 15k on him so far over the last 5 years. Some people balk at this and I can see why. But we have the money, and the surgeries benefited him. However, we are getting to the point where we are now considering withholding any more invasive treatments for quality of life reasons. We don't want him to live his life constantly recovering from surgery, so we have opted to pursue medical/pharmaceutical therapies and avoid invasive surgeries from now on. At this point, I feel like we have done our best to try to fix the problem, and now the best thing for him is to just make him as comfortable and happy as possible for the rest of his life. The plus to this is that these are much less expensive therapies so it is a win win on both financial and ethical fronts.

If I were in your shoes, I probably would do a round and see how it goes. If she tolerates it well, and is showing improvement, then it will have been worth it. If not, you can make the decision to forgo any more treatments and just make her comfortable. You can also have a frank conversation with the vet and say "look, we can only scrounge together about 5k to do this, not any more....given what we have, what can we do for her?" This will help limit the procedures to only what the vet deems most important, and extraneous tests etc might be avoided.With our dog, we found that the key piece in reducing medical bills is being upfront with vets at  the beginning about how much you can pay, and express your desire to avoid anything that isn't 100% necessary (ex: extra blood panels). Otherwise, like physicians they will just do everything they possibly can to treat the dog to the best of their ability.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 10:49:02 AM by little_brown_dog »

Rightflyer

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 380
  • Location: Cotswolds
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2016, 10:54:24 AM »
I'm very sorry to hear about your dog.

Yes, we went through it with our dear pup. She was eventually diagnosed with lymphosarcoma after she went blind. The vet did prescribe steroids to make her last days a little better but we didn't prolong the inevitable. After a great final day we had her put down. Saddest day of my life. She was barely 1 year old.

If there was any chance at all that the chemo would extend my dog's life and give her a few more relatively healthy years I would do it in a heartbeat.
Cost would not factor into it.
There's lot's of useless shit to waste money on, but paying money to save family member... that's worth any and every penny.

My heart goes out to you. Good luck.

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6430
  • Location: BC
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2016, 10:49:02 PM »
Our beloved 8 year old boxer/husky mix most likely has lymphoma. The vet took a fine needle aspiration this morning and we should get results on Friday. He said he thinks that it's most likely lymphoma based on his experience. He said he would encourage us to do chemo because lymphoma generally responds well to treatment. He said he has a dog that was treated 2 years ago and is still going strong. From what I've read online, without treatment she'll live about 6 weeks. He estimated treatment at between $5k - $8k. I told the vet that I didn't think we could afford that...we all know AFFORD is relative...

I've always balked at people who give their dogs chemo and here I am considering it. My husband looked at me like I was bat shit crazy for even talking about treating her. I know what his answer is. I feel like this would be an easier decision if we simply didn't have the money....but we do. We have $375k in 401k and $125k in an investment account. The other consideration is time for weekly treatments. I work PT, husband works FT and we have 18 month old twins.  Anyone been through this?

I love our pets, but when the medical costs go above $500 for a cat and $1500 for a dog, any other treatment is batshit crazy to me.   There are so many healthy shelter animals out there looking for a home, that even a few years together is a good thing.

Even that limit needs to generally be something that is obviously easy to resolve -- injured paw, perhaps, porcupine quills, help after eating the wrong thing, etc. 

tyleriam

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 116
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #34 on: August 29, 2016, 09:28:32 AM »
You could let your dog go, adopt/save another dog and make a donation to your local animal rescue for $500 that would maybe save several other dog's lives.

I don't believe in spending large sums saving a dog.  There are lots of rescue dogs out there that need good homes too.

MandalayVA

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1575
  • Location: Orlando FL
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2016, 10:08:31 AM »
I'm so sorry to hear about your dog.  Mr. Mandalay and I lost ALL NINE of our cats in 2015.  Two died of natural causes, but we had to put the other ones to sleep.  Every time we were offered surgical or medical procedures, we always asked "will this give them good time?"  Every time we were told "no."  It sucked, but I'll never let any beast of mine suffer.  I miss them every day, but now we have our Poe, whom we adopted from the SPCA and has brought us a lot of joy.   

aprilm

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2016, 10:31:38 AM »
I don't believe in spending large sums saving a dog.  There are lots of rescue dogs out there that need good homes too.

While I sort of understand this logic, it doesn't really get to the root of why we spend money to save a dog's (or any other animal's) life. Obviously, people have different attachments to their animals, but we do it because that one dog's life is meaningful to us.

In my mind, it's kind of like asking if you would spend $100k to save the life of your spouse/parent/child or would you rather spend $100k to save the lives of 10 other people. It's a no-brainer to most people to save the life of the one person who means something to us.

COlady: Good luck whatever you decide to do. I had to put my beloved dog down last weekend. It was one of the hardest choices I had to make.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 11:25:43 AM by aprilm »

FLA

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 587
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #37 on: August 29, 2016, 10:46:43 AM »

I had to put my beloved dog down last weekend. It was one of the hardest choices I had to make.

I'm very sorry to read this

tyleriam

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 116
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #38 on: August 29, 2016, 12:46:37 PM »
I don't believe in spending large sums saving a dog.  There are lots of rescue dogs out there that need good homes too.
In my mind, it's kind of like asking if you would spend $100k to save the life of your spouse/parent/child or would you rather spend $100k to save the lives of 10 other people. It's a no-brainer to most people to save the life of the one person who means something to us.

It is the same situation but not comparable.  Animal life does not have the same value as human life.  Most of us eat animals with every meal and most every town has an animal shelter that euthanizes dozens of dogs and cats every day/week.  Also when your family member dies you don't go get another one nor does one get euthanized because you didn't adopt it. 

RosieTR

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 396
  • Location: Northern CO
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #39 on: August 29, 2016, 01:26:46 PM »
Since your handle is "COlady" are you in CO anywhere close to Ft Collins? CSU has a big animal cancer center and also some sort of hospice for pets if that's the best route. From their website, they can provide some general answers, or if you are close enough to take the dog there it might be a good second opinion and to get different options: http://www.csuanimalcancercenter.org/consult-service.

Sorry you're going through this. It's really a tough call and several people have made good points re: thinking of it from the dog's point of view, and also whether treatment has the potential to cure or just prolong life.

Hi Rosie,

We live in S. Denver, so about a 1.25 hour drive to CSU. I don't know that I could manage that once per week with everything we have going on in life. We'll see what the test results say and go from there. Thanks you for bringing this idea up.

Woo, no, wasn't thinking of the actual treatment there (unless you were close by) but more whether they could give a 2nd opinion during a single appointment that might help in your decision. May not be worth such a long drive, esp since the Denver area should have a good number of vets experienced in this sort of thing which might be less traumatic for both of you.

Good luck whatever you decide!

RosieTR

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 396
  • Location: Northern CO
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #40 on: August 29, 2016, 01:46:17 PM »
I don't believe in spending large sums saving a dog.  There are lots of rescue dogs out there that need good homes too.
In my mind, it's kind of like asking if you would spend $100k to save the life of your spouse/parent/child or would you rather spend $100k to save the lives of 10 other people. It's a no-brainer to most people to save the life of the one person who means something to us.

It is the same situation but not comparable.  Animal life does not have the same value as human life.  Most of us eat animals with every meal and most every town has an animal shelter that euthanizes dozens of dogs and cats every day/week.  Also when your family member dies you don't go get another one nor does one get euthanized because you didn't adopt it.

Most of us value someone we know over many people we don't know. Most of us value our own pets over many other animals of the same species. Funny enough, dogs are the same way. They value their owners far more than random other people, and they often value their owners over other dogs and sometimes over their own lives.

You're correct that resources are limited and that difficult decisions have to be made. But I don't necessarily think trying to guilt someone into not paying for chemo for their dog because some rescue dogs get euthanized is terribly effective nor compassionate.

little_brown_dog

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #41 on: August 29, 2016, 02:39:41 PM »
I don't believe in spending large sums saving a dog.  There are lots of rescue dogs out there that need good homes too.
In my mind, it's kind of like asking if you would spend $100k to save the life of your spouse/parent/child or would you rather spend $100k to save the lives of 10 other people. It's a no-brainer to most people to save the life of the one person who means something to us.

It is the same situation but not comparable.  Animal life does not have the same value as human life.  Most of us eat animals with every meal and most every town has an animal shelter that euthanizes dozens of dogs and cats every day/week.  Also when your family member dies you don't go get another one nor does one get euthanized because you didn't adopt it.

Most of us value someone we know over many people we don't know. Most of us value our own pets over many other animals of the same species. Funny enough, dogs are the same way. They value their owners far more than random other people, and they often value their owners over other dogs and sometimes over their own lives.


+1 -I'd also like to point out that the relative value of animals and humans is entirely context dependent and subjective. There are alot of people out there who would probably rather save their beloved dog instead of a random stranger they have never met.  And I think many loving animal owners would tell you that they would defend their animals with physical force, even to the point of causing severe injury or death, to protect them from a human attacker. Both of these instances fly in the face of the assumption that humans always have greater value than animals. The desire to protect members of one's own family (whether they be human or animal) can be much stronger than some abstract and semi-arbitrary moral code. If someone has to die, generally we prefer that it won't be one of our own. Some people really view their animals as part of their family and prioritize value accordingly.

tyleriam

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 116
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #42 on: August 29, 2016, 04:36:19 PM »
I don't believe in spending large sums saving a dog.  There are lots of rescue dogs out there that need good homes too.
In my mind, it's kind of like asking if you would spend $100k to save the life of your spouse/parent/child or would you rather spend $100k to save the lives of 10 other people. It's a no-brainer to most people to save the life of the one person who means something to us.

It is the same situation but not comparable.  Animal life does not have the same value as human life.  Most of us eat animals with every meal and most every town has an animal shelter that euthanizes dozens of dogs and cats every day/week.  Also when your family member dies you don't go get another one nor does one get euthanized because you didn't adopt it.

Most of us value someone we know over many people we don't know. Most of us value our own pets over many other animals of the same species. Funny enough, dogs are the same way. They value their owners far more than random other people, and they often value their owners over other dogs and sometimes over their own lives.

You're correct that resources are limited and that difficult decisions have to be made. But I don't necessarily think trying to guilt someone into not paying for chemo for their dog because some rescue dogs get euthanized is terribly effective nor compassionate.

Not trying to guilt anyone, I'm just pointing out that they could save a dog life and a lot of money by letting their beloved dog go peacefully and adopting/saving another dog...who will very quickly become their new, beloved dog.

I am a dog lover, grew up with dogs my whole life.  I have an adopted mutt that is my little buddy.  He sleeps next to me every night, he follows me like my shadow, he comes everywhere with us.  He has gotten some fatty tumors in his old age.  My parents and in-laws thinks I should get him tested for cancer.  Not gonna do it.  If he has cancer well then that is what will be the cause of his death, he's not going to live forever.  For now he is happy.  I don't believe in treating dogs for cancer.  There are a lot of humans out there suffering from cancer, little kids even.  There are kids that starve to death every day, miserable horrible deaths that can be prevented for a lot less than $8,000 dollars.  Giving an 8 year old dog a clean, pain free passing is nothing to be ashamed of.  You don't have to spend thousands trying to save your dog to have done right by it.

Rightflyer

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 380
  • Location: Cotswolds
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #43 on: August 29, 2016, 05:39:39 PM »
I don't believe in spending large sums saving a dog.  There are lots of rescue dogs out there that need good homes too.
In my mind, it's kind of like asking if you would spend $100k to save the life of your spouse/parent/child or would you rather spend $100k to save the lives of 10 other people. It's a no-brainer to most people to save the life of the one person who means something to us.

It is the same situation but not comparable.  Animal life does not have the same value as human life.  Most of us eat animals with every meal and most every town has an animal shelter that euthanizes dozens of dogs and cats every day/week.  Also when your family member dies you don't go get another one nor does one get euthanized because you didn't adopt it.

Most of us value someone we know over many people we don't know. Most of us value our own pets over many other animals of the same species. Funny enough, dogs are the same way. They value their owners far more than random other people, and they often value their owners over other dogs and sometimes over their own lives.

You're correct that resources are limited and that difficult decisions have to be made. But I don't necessarily think trying to guilt someone into not paying for chemo for their dog because some rescue dogs get euthanized is terribly effective nor compassionate.

Not trying to guilt anyone, I'm just pointing out that they could save a dog life and a lot of money by letting their beloved dog go peacefully and adopting/saving another dog...who will very quickly become their new, beloved dog.

I am a dog lover, grew up with dogs my whole life.  I have an adopted mutt that is my little buddy.  He sleeps next to me every night, he follows me like my shadow, he comes everywhere with us.  He has gotten some fatty tumors in his old age.  My parents and in-laws thinks I should get him tested for cancer.  Not gonna do it.  If he has cancer well then that is what will be the cause of his death, he's not going to live forever.  For now he is happy.  I don't believe in treating dogs for cancer.  There are a lot of humans out there suffering from cancer, little kids even.  There are kids that starve to death every day, miserable horrible deaths that can be prevented for a lot less than $8,000 dollars.  Giving an 8 year old dog a clean, pain free passing is nothing to be ashamed of.  You don't have to spend thousands trying to save your dog to have done right by it.

I just read your previous posts to my dog. She opined that she is glad you are not her owner.

In all seriousness, you are trying to foist your beliefs on people about something that is a very personal decision.

tyleriam

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 116
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #44 on: August 30, 2016, 08:18:36 AM »
I don't believe in spending large sums saving a dog.  There are lots of rescue dogs out there that need good homes too.
In my mind, it's kind of like asking if you would spend $100k to save the life of your spouse/parent/child or would you rather spend $100k to save the lives of 10 other people. It's a no-brainer to most people to save the life of the one person who means something to us.

It is the same situation but not comparable.  Animal life does not have the same value as human life.  Most of us eat animals with every meal and most every town has an animal shelter that euthanizes dozens of dogs and cats every day/week.  Also when your family member dies you don't go get another one nor does one get euthanized because you didn't adopt it.

Most of us value someone we know over many people we don't know. Most of us value our own pets over many other animals of the same species. Funny enough, dogs are the same way. They value their owners far more than random other people, and they often value their owners over other dogs and sometimes over their own lives.

You're correct that resources are limited and that difficult decisions have to be made. But I don't necessarily think trying to guilt someone into not paying for chemo for their dog because some rescue dogs get euthanized is terribly effective nor compassionate.

Not trying to guilt anyone, I'm just pointing out that they could save a dog life and a lot of money by letting their beloved dog go peacefully and adopting/saving another dog...who will very quickly become their new, beloved dog.

I am a dog lover, grew up with dogs my whole life.  I have an adopted mutt that is my little buddy.  He sleeps next to me every night, he follows me like my shadow, he comes everywhere with us.  He has gotten some fatty tumors in his old age.  My parents and in-laws thinks I should get him tested for cancer.  Not gonna do it.  If he has cancer well then that is what will be the cause of his death, he's not going to live forever.  For now he is happy.  I don't believe in treating dogs for cancer.  There are a lot of humans out there suffering from cancer, little kids even.  There are kids that starve to death every day, miserable horrible deaths that can be prevented for a lot less than $8,000 dollars.  Giving an 8 year old dog a clean, pain free passing is nothing to be ashamed of.  You don't have to spend thousands trying to save your dog to have done right by it.

I just read your previous posts to my dog. She opined that she is glad you are not her owner.

In all seriousness, you are trying to foist your beliefs on people about something that is a very personal decision.

I was under the impression the OP was looking for opinions.  I see a lot of sympathy and a lot of encouragement to do the treatment, I am offering my alternative opinion which I think aligns more with MMM views in general of analyzing and engineering your lifestyle.  I don't see MMM advising someone to spend 5-8K treating a dog for cancer.

I will give you another angle as a parent...

My son had low iron when he was a toddler.  They refereed us to a hematologist, we thought he might have leukemia (low iron is a symptom).  Thank god it wasn't.  Over the next several months we spent thousands on specialists, tests, experimental treatments, money well spent.  We almost got to the point of spending $25-30K to send his blood off for experimental testing at another university but decided against it.  Thankfully it appears to be that he just has low iron but low iron can be a serious issue.

One of our best friends with two boys just went through breast cancer.  Cost a TON of money, time off work, etc.  Not sure exactly how much but I know it was 10's of thousands.

I have a coworker who had a family member who was in a car wreck and was a paraplegic for over a decade.  It cost them over a million dollars to care for her.

Your savings are your resources for your family.  A dog is a dog.  We love them with all our hearts but the the harsh reality is they can be replaced cheaply and easily.

Dee18

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1620
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #45 on: August 30, 2016, 09:48:05 AM »
I love dogs, but if I were the mom of 18 month old twins, working, with a husband who is not urging treatment, I would just go with comfort care.  But then I think comfort care can be the right plan for humans too, after watching my father be miserable from treatment during his last months for terminal cancer.

abhe8

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 486
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #46 on: August 30, 2016, 07:16:35 PM »
Don't do it. My mind dog had cancer and she did the treatments. Side effects were awful. Poor dog lost all bladder and bowel control. I often had to drive the dog to the vets, 45 mind away, for weekly treatments. Very tight us the same thing, "oh he will respond really well. " Or dog did not. I think he had a very poor quality of life at the end, plus we were out all that money and time. Just my experience, fwiw.

COlady

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #47 on: August 31, 2016, 09:40:20 AM »
I love dogs, but if I were the mom of 18 month old twins, working, with a husband who is not urging treatment, I would just go with comfort care.  But then I think comfort care can be the right plan for humans too, after watching my father be miserable from treatment during his last months for terminal cancer.

We received the results last night - 94% t-cell lymphoma. I'm heartbroken but I knew it would come back positive as did the vet. He's been doing this a long time and I trusted him when he said "I just know that's what it is, I'm sorry".  Thank you all for the thoughts and kind words. Also thank you for the advice about whether to do chemo or not.

Thanks Dee, your thoughts are kind of where I'm at honestly. I was just laid off and start a new job on 9/19. I have a nanny that watches my boys while I work part-time. I simply can't do chemo for the dog (which would probably make her sick), take care of 18 month old twins, and work part-time. I can't expect my nanny to take care of a sick dog in addition to 2 toddlers. We have an appt. with the veterinary oncologist next Wednesday to talk about prognosis, etc. I think we're about 75% in the no treatment camp. My veterinarian has assured me that the Dr. we're going to see will not push me one way or the other but will let me know that facts about what we're looking at here. This just all around sucks.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #48 on: August 31, 2016, 09:55:34 AM »
to no end i dont understand why people keep their dogs cats fish birds etc. alive through things like this.  have you ever seen how chemo effects a human.  (fine to keep humans alive they can make the choice themselves)  i feel keeping animals alive when they can barely move or putting them thru chemo is one of the most selfish decision pet owners make.  i have 2 dogs.  if they got anything like that would it be tough yes but dogs and cats and animals live shorter lives than humans.  no matter when that time comes it will be in your life time and you'll have to deal with it.  now is the time to just let go.

Rightflyer

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 380
  • Location: Cotswolds
Re: Dog most likely has lymphoma
« Reply #49 on: August 31, 2016, 10:15:37 AM »
to no end i dont understand why people keep their dogs cats fish birds etc. alive through things like this.  have you ever seen how chemo effects a human.  (fine to keep humans alive they can make the choice themselves)  i feel keeping animals alive when they can barely move or putting them thru chemo is one of the most selfish decision pet owners make.  i have 2 dogs.  if they got anything like that would it be tough yes but dogs and cats and animals live shorter lives than humans.  no matter when that time comes it will be in your life time and you'll have to deal with it.  now is the time to just let go.

I agree with you in the specific case that they will suffer chronic distress unnecessarily with no reasonably certain outcome. However it is not a one size fits all solution.

I'll give you a personal anecdote.

Christmas Eve, one of the dogs totters in from being outside and proceeds to fall flat on the floor. Mrs. Rightflyer and friend rush the dog to the animal clinic. Dog is kept alive for 24 hours in which time they find something is blocking stomach AND poisoning her.
The suggested treatment is immediate surgery.
The prognosis... the vets classed it as fair to good although, obviously no guarantees.

So I sit with the poor old thing (a black lab who is 11 y.o. at the time) and tell her that if I pay the egregious amount of money for the surgery she had better live past the average age for a Lab (somewhere around 12 y.o. IIRC).

Well, almost $5000 and 3 days later we get the old girl back.

She was acting like a puppy at the New Year's party.

We had her put down a week shy of her 16th birthday.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 10:22:53 AM by Rightflyer »