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Old 11-04-2012, 08:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Life after Hemangiosarcoma

For the first time in 30 years our family does not include a fur kid of some sort.

Hemangiosarcoma has brought us to an all time low. I have always taught my children that our fur kids are on loan and are gifts that won't out live us.

My first dog was a Shih tzu. Her name was Jewel and she lived to 18 years. From childhood to living on my own, I had to decide when it was time to let her go.

Next was a beautiful Samoyed that was given to me when her owner passed of cancer. Her name was Luna and I was graced to have her in my life for 7 years. She was 14 when I had to make the decision to let her go.

Next was my beautiful Kashmir, a Siberian Husky I rescued from a puppymill. She was so sick. Worms of every kind and EPI. She was a challenge in many ways but in time became our much loved treasure. She was joined by Homer another Siberian Husky who I purchased from a very reputable breeder. Then came Tia Maria another Siberian Husky who I co-owned from another reputable breeder. These 3 made the most amazing sled dog team you could ever want. It was the only time in my life I enjoyed the winter......couldn't wait to get out there on the sled with my babies. I then came to add to my crew a Cairn Terrier named Barney Google at the age of 7 months old. He came from 80 year old owners who could not handle the energy of a Cairn Terrier. He fit right into our home. He howled with the rest every night......we called it the happy howl. He was my first dog to achieve his Companion dog title, taking high in trial all 3 times. I lost Homer first to Lymphoma at the age of 7 years. Then I lost Tia to Pyometra at the age of 5 years. We lost barney at the age of 10 years to kidney failure. We now had Kashmir who was getting older but was as healthy as she could be. She was joined by 3 cats that became her best friends. At 14 years old Kashmire (my only poorly bred dog) joined her fur friends at the bridge with my help. Two days after she was gone, one of my kitties had a heart attack and died instantly on my lap. One of 2 cats left was diagnosed with cancer and lost her battle within 3 months. We were down to our last cat Gilbert.
It was time to bring a dog into our family. The house felt empty and uncomfortable. After much research I found the GSD breeder I was comfortable with and our puppy Floyd was reserved. We lost Gilbert to recurring FUS and sent him to the bridge after failed surgeries.

Floyd was a breath of fresh air. My husband had always dreamed of getting a GSD. We lost Floyd yesterday at the age of 7 years.....8 next month. Not nearly long enough.

This all leaves me wondering if its possible to have a healthy GSD live to a ripe old age without cancer. What can I do next time to keep our pup with us longer and reduce or eliminate this dreaded Hemangiosarcoma?

It's not right, we are doing something wrong!
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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So very sorry for your losses, and especially Floyds passing way too soon.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I am so sorry for your loss of Floyd, as well as your other precious pets. We open ourselves to heartache, every time we chose to love an animal. Oh - but it's so worth it.

I can't answer your question as to how to stop the cancer. My GSD lived to 14.5. She never had cancer, but she did have the dreaded DM. The truth is we never have them long enough.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry for your loss, Floyd was way too young!

Maybe this will give you some hope. Bunny is my 6th German Shepherd. My first, Lara, lived to 13 years 3 months. Tori lived to 14 years 1 month.

Ianna is 14.5 years old and still pretty active for an old bat! Monster Mike is 9 years 8 months, and Bunny is a baby. Full disclosure here, I did lose one dog (Logan) to cancer 2 weeks before his 11th birthday...

So yes, there ARE healthy GSDs who live good long lives! I hope your next dog is one.

Ianna, age 14.5, taken 2 days ago:
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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"What can I do next time to keep our pup with us longer and reduce or eliminate this dreaded Hemangiosarcoma?

It's not right, we are doing something wrong!"

I have to agree with you. We are doing something wrong.
Most likely something our vets are telling us to do.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I lost my BoBo at 9.5 to hemangiosarcoma. I did everything right, excellent quality food, minimum vaccinations, he was never ill. His brother and littermate Riley is still with me and will be 13 in February. Both dogs were in the same home, same food etc. Go figure. They are excellent West German show lines.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ianna looks amazing!!!! give lots of hugz for me.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I too thought I did everything right. I fed the only food he as an EPI dog did well on....holistic decent food. I only gave vaccination s to 1 yr old and did titers from then on. His EPI made him exempt from Rabies after his inital vaccination at one year old. The only medication I gave was digestive enzymes at feeding and occasional steroids for severe itching in the spring, something I would look for natural alternatives in the future.
I had him neutered at 5 when he was having an epulis from his gums removed.

I just can't think of anything else.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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After losing Shadow to DM last year I asked the vet the same questions you are asking. What is going on. Why are they dying so soon? Our vet thinks it is because we have poisioned our enviornment. For the area we live in she suggested filtered water for the dogs. Our water is so poisoned from all the mine run-off's she thinks it is contributing to the rise in cancers and other illnesses in our pets.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I wish that we had an answer to that question, I have a non-gsd that was diagnosed a couple of days after New Years. She has lost quite a bit of weight and has slowed down considerably, but she is still with us.

So sorry for your loss of your precious Floyd, we think that we are doing all the right things and it ends up badly.
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