Looking for Support (lost dog to hemangiosarcoma) - Page 5 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #41 of 174 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 03:06 PM
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I am crying my eyes out reading about this horrible disease that took my 8yr old GSD less then 10 hours ago. I am a bit angry that when I had the GDV surgery 8months ago that they did not notice a tumor, and they convinced me that everything was normal, So now I am eating myself up about it. Did they overlook it or is it possible that this tumor could have grown after the surgery? A month ago my dog was acting really anemic, pale gums, not eating, diarrhea, loosing weight, and breathing hard etc. SO I rushed him to my vet and they did x-rays, but since the machine is not digital it is harder to find tumors on film x-rays. Anyway the vet did not find anything and we did a complete blood count and a pancreatitis test, everything came back normal except his WBC has high, so we did three days of fluid therapy, and she sent me home with antibiotics suggesting he must of had a bacterial infection. He got better for a couple weeks and then his symptoms came back and I took him to the ER where the vet just gave him gas x and palpated his abdomen. After this he was better for two days and then I decided to take him to a internal specialist on Tuesday, where the vet decided to do more blood work and put him on tylan powder and low residue food, so there I was hanging with no answers and angry that no one could figure out why his gums were so pale and he could barely walk he was so weak. Between Tuesday and last night I knew his time was near, I was having dreams that he died in my house and he was starting to sleep downstairs, he also started to give me intense death stares that I can not explain, but he was trying to tell me something was wrong. Yesterday I woke up and he ate breakfast and lunch and he even got a little spunk, enough to where we went on a walk and he wanted to stalk the squirrels. This was his last walk, I left for work and came home at 11pm to a dog that was so weak he was stumbling down the stairs and he was breathing heavy and his gums were pale. I rushed him to the ER where a amazing compassionate vet new exactly what it was a bleeding tumor (hemangiosarcoma). They shaved his stomach and did a flash ultrasound and she was able to see the bleeding. I did everything I could and he had an amazing life, but how do I move on from such pain?
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post #42 of 174 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Sondraham - I completely understand what you are going through. I wish I was able to give you advice on how to get past your grief, but it is a very personal thing. I hope you have read all of the posts and links that the other forum members have posted this week, and maybe that will help you in taking comfort in knowing you are definitely not alone in your experience with HSA and the sadness of a sudden loss. You did the best you could. What is helping me is trying to remember that I to did the best that I could, and nothing can take away the memories I had with my boy. Not even his passing. We will always have those memories. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Thank you again to you ALL for posting your stories ... I can't tell you how grateful I am to have found such a supportive and kind group. I have read each posting. Your stories, links, poems and thoughts have helped me get through a very tough week. Finding this site was a real blessing.
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post #43 of 174 (permalink) Old 05-22-2011, 09:57 AM
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Peace and comfort to you, and to all those who have posted here about their losses. I too lost my Opa, six years old, to this horrible cancer and still struggle with feelings of guilt - how didn't I realize he was that ill?! Because he never exhibited serious symptoms until the very end, and even then he was diligently doing his job as a family companion and protector. My family and friends are still in disbelief. But it is immensely healing to read others sharing stories and understanding that validates their love and care for their dogs.
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post #44 of 174 (permalink) Old 05-22-2011, 01:56 PM
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So sorry for your loss Last Sunday my 7 year old girl was in the hospital with GI issues and facing a potential exploratory surgery.. we were lucky and she has settled down and is on the road to recovery. This all came on very suddenly too at a vet appt on Saturday regarding stomach issues. We have such a unique bond with our dogs and when they are sick it is the worst feeling knowing sometimes there is so little we can do. I joined last week this forum to talk to those who love the breed like me. Their words provided me with strength and comfort. Please know many good thoughts coming your way and your boy Klaus is never far away. Peace~
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post #45 of 174 (permalink) Old 05-22-2011, 02:40 PM
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My dog Boris passed away from hemangiosarcoma October 18, 2008, aged almost 12. A few weeks before, I noticed his abdomen was distended, and took him that day for a checkup. My vet just grimaced, and examined him with ultrasound, and there was a big tumor on his spleen. The next day she removed his spleen, and told me his liver was riddled with cancer and asked me for permission to put him down. I just couldn't do it. My older dog Asja had died a few months previously, and I wasn't ready to lose Boris too. He recovered from that surgery, but only lived three more weeks, and passed away a few days after my birthday. On my actual birthday, he perked up that day and was playful and energetic, but the next day crashed, and never recovered again,and died a few days later. I was devastated. But I knew I did everything I could for him, there was nothing more I could do. There was no warning.

Sondraham, your dog was likely sick the past month or so, but doubtful longer than that. Eight months ago when your dog had GDV surgery, I highly doubt the tumors were there. Hemangiosarcoma is fast growing aggressive cancer with few symptoms. My dog also had surgery five months before he passed away, and all tests were normal and nothing obviously wrong with him. I'm sorry. I know how hard it is to lose a beloved dog.

Klaus, and all the other responders, it's so sad to lose our dog to such a horrid cancer. I wish there was more hopeful treatment, or an explanation of why this cancer happens. In my dog's case, the year before, he had a very bad infection with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, a tick-borne infection. It took him months to recover. Two vets I saw for his hemangiosarcoma thought the severity of the RMSF infection likely led to hemangiosarcoma, both spread through blood. But this isn't proven, but it seem likely the two illnesses are related.
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post #46 of 174 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 08:37 PM
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Hemangiosarcoma wasn't something I knew anything about before 5/13. Searching info about it brought me to GSD Forums and this thread started by Klaus.
The support is very helpful here. It is also very sad to read and feel the deep hurt shared by those who are here with past or present grief.
I count myself lucky to have almost 9 years with Otus and the chance to really focus on my time with him the last few days. He has not behaved like a dog with a life-stealing illness.......until yesterday. I had to be away for 5 hours. I left a energetic, alert, happy dog and returned to find him near death. I knew something was wrong when he didn't greet me at the gate. I found him in the yard. Glassy eyed, pale gums, cold extremities. He was able with major assist to get in to the house. I did my best to hold myself together and care for him. It was fortunate that he did not exhibit anything that I could read as pain. Temp went from 102 to 105. I spritzed water on his gums. His abdomen wasn't distended. I thought I'd be watching him die. Instead he was able to drink water after a bit. When I went over to my bed.......I don't know how he had the strength.......he got up & stagger/wobbled his way next to my bed. His spot.
This morning he continued extremely weak and walked/wobbled as if his front & hind were disconnected. He managed to go out to pee and would eats only the extra smelly salmon dog treats. His tummy has distension today.
One last day.
The quote I've read here is , "better a day early, then a day late". How utterly awful it is to have to even consider euthanasia for a beloved pet.
I of course think there is no better dog then a good GSD although I love my greyhound Vincent too. Otus hears me sniffling and gives me that cocked head, quizzical look with his beautiful amber eyes. He is alert & present at this moment.
We've spent part of this sunny day outside. He wanted to go in the (shallow) pond today; I told him "no" as I thought of the possibility of a collapsed dog in the pond rescue....he stopped and gave me that, "do you really mean that?" look. I relented as this has been a last day for him to do whatever he wants.
Tomorrow is one last car ride. I kinda wish he goes tonight instead. I must buck up and try not to trouble him with my emotions.....which in his doggy way he tries to fix me whenever I've been broken.
The normally docile greyhound has snapped at Otus and I wonder if there is some ancient dog pack instinct behind his behavior.
And, I must thank you all for being there & sharing
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post #47 of 174 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 09:39 PM
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Otus, sounds like you gave him a wonderful day today. Enjoy the time you have left.


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post #48 of 174 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 09:32 PM
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I have NEVER done anything harder then I did today. The house seems empty now except for a whimpering greyhound. Otus thought the ride to the vet was fun. He loved to ride in the truck and wasn't scared to of anything....even the vet. Now I can scream/cry & not trouble him.........but it doesn't help Vincent to see me fall apart. The hardest part is now over & a kind of numbness sets in.
The vet was excellent in his compassion/knowledge & reassurance that I was indeed doing what was right for Otus with this awful cancer. I held it together for my dog.
My sons have helped to bury him. I'm an artist by trade and have made molds of his paw prints for a special sculpture that I will dedicate to his brave shepherd spirit. My guardian, my friend.
The neighbors (english bulldog lovers) loved him too & would often "borrow" Otus for walks that their dogs weren't physically up to. I am really going to miss him as I keep looking for him in the spaces he used to be. Nearly nine years with him always by my side. When my elderly Father moved in with me I was afraid Otus would knock my frail parent over......not so, this big dog was ever so gentle & would go to my Father's room every morning to check on him.
I'm sharing my story as it helps me to speak it. It has helped me here to not feel so alone as I've read what others have written here about their wonderful dogs & sad good byes.
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post #49 of 174 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 09:59 PM
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Hello. As I read your story I can feel your grief and loss. I am sooo sorry. I know what it is like to suddenly lose a beloved best friend. I lost my Jake in 2005 suddenly, though I don't know what of. He was playful, happy and full of energy until one day when I came home from work and found him. It takes a long time to get over. I now have 2 gsd who fill my life with lots of love and joy.
I have never heard of this kind of cancer but I now will definitely be researching this.

-Again, so sorry for you loss-
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post #50 of 174 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 10:37 PM
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I lost Toby to hemangiosarcoma a few years ago at the age of 11. Sudden onset and he was gone within a few months. When he got to where he would not eat and was getting weak we took him in for that final trip.

He was a trooper with a life full of allergies, fighting loose stools, and successful surgery for perianal fistulas.

I understand your pain and wish I knew why so many dogs get this cancer nowadays.


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