Sudden Onset of Symptoms 10 1/2 FGSD - Cancer - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Sudden Onset of Symptoms 10 1/2 FGSD - Cancer

I spent last evening at the emergency vet hospital with a BrightStar friend and one of her personal dogs. It is not good.
Cancer, most likely in the spleen/stomach, that has metastasised to
the lungs. Tory is 10 1/2.

I am wondering if you have any suggestions (I already asked Jean for advice through email):

Last two weeks:

Acting/playing normally, except for occasional cough, and
drinking/eating normally.

Monday:
Tory vomited

Tuesday:

Tory vomited her breakfast while Nancy was at work and had an accident in the house.
Tory's balance and ability to walk became severely compromised.

Initial Exam:

Temp Normal
Abdomen not distended on appearance
Good reflexes
Pulse good
Pupils are normal
Gums are pink
Tory is alert, but a bit tired
Breathing a bit labored/wheezing, but Tory is stable
Weight 68lbs - last weight at vet 3 weeks ago 71lbs

Was not on any medications, except for HW preventative and does
the titers. She was also giving her Vitamin C tablets.

Diagnostic Testing:

Radiographs (2) Neck to Mid Ab. and Mid Ab. to Intestines.

There appears to be a tumor in the stomach/spleen area. Radio graph shows cancer is taken a hold of the lungs. Vet at VSR said maybe a month - if no treatment - surgery to remove tumor and chemo. Given Tory's age and fact that the cancer has spread to the lungs, probably not fair to Tory.

Blood Taken for panel.

Tory went home last night with Tramadol for pain and Prednisone to hopefully create some room to breath.

Bland diet of chicken and rice

Thoughts?

Very very sad!!!

I am more or less looking for ideas on how best to give Tory a bit more time, but comfomtable, enjoyable time for her and her mom.

PS. Tory was still having trouble walking last night - had to be carried to the car, but she was exhausted - long night - so a sling was purchased to help, if needed. Also, vet could not give definitive answer as to why Tory all of sudden started having a very hard time walking - my understanding is that up until a few hours before we got the VSR - Tory was walking fine and even still jumping up on Mom's bed.


Thank you for any thoughts.

Pretty Girl - Tory!



Darcy E. Drons
Intake Coordinator/Shelter Liaison
<span style="color: red">Big Dogs, Big Hearts Rescue Inc. ("BDBH")</span>
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 10:57 AM
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Re: Sudden Onset of Symptoms 10 1/2 FGSD - Cancer

Oh Darcy my heart goes out to Tori and Tori's family.

Hopefully one of the gals that has had experice with Cancers can shed some light. I know that there are things like cottage cheese and Flax can help. Did you look at the Cancer links in the Sticky at the top, pretty sure the cottage cheese and flax is there.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 11:02 AM
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Re: Sudden Onset of Symptoms 10 1/2 FGSD - Cancer

Darcy, This just happened to a friend of mine golden. Same symptoms, the vet gave Lucy the same meds also. The bland diet really helps and makes them more comfortable. The meds really helped too. I must mention Lucy is 14 years old. She is doing really well now. But the vet said eventually she will have the same symptoms. And at the time it will be the time to make the decision. Really all she can do is enjoy her time with her, lots of hugs, good quality time. Lucy is holding her own now. This happened about 2 months ago. My prayers go out to her and Tory. Please let her know I understand and send her good thoughts and wishes.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 11:16 AM
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Re: Sudden Onset of Symptoms 10 1/2 FGSD - Cancer

I am so sorry Darcy!

Do you know if they took her oxygen sat rate...if her lungs are compromised she may not have been moving oxygen well, hence the limb weakness.

Thats the only thought I have....I have not had to deal with cancer before!

Sinclair
Director
Noble Shepherd Rescue

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 11:25 AM
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Re: Sudden Onset of Symptoms 10 1/2 FGSD - Cancer

Tory's a beautiful pup, so sorry to hear she has such a poor prognosis.

By any chance was she diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma? I lost two of the Hooligans to this type of cancer. Both were sudden, I didn't know either was ill until it was too late.

My soul mate, Echo, died from a hemangiosarcoma tumor of his heart. He was fine until he started acting funky the night before, so I decided to drop him off at the vet's office on the way to work the next morning. I was getting ready for work and heard a thump - Echo had collapsed in the kitchen. I got him up and into the van and rushed him up to the vets, kissed him good-by, and went to work, never realizing I'd never see him again. He died within two hours, in fact, the vet was on the phone with me telling me the prognosis was hopeless when Echo took his last breath.

My mutt, Bo, was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma of the spleen. He acted fine until one Sunday morning he stopped eating his breakfast mid-bite. Whenever a Hooligan refuses to eat they're sick! I was going to take him to the vet on Monday, but he collapsed later that afternoon and I rushed him to the ER where the diagnosis was made. Surgery with him was an option and if it were successful, it would have given him an estimated 6 more months of a quality life. The ER vet and I agreed that if the cancer had spread to put him down on the table. When she opened him up he was riddled with cancer of all his major organs, so per our agreement, she put my dear boy down. Bo never woke up, and like with Echo, I never got to say good-bye.

I'm not sure what advice to give your friend. Except for the medical protocal she's on, I can't think of anything that could help her, but maybe someone else has some tips. If Tory were my dog I'd keep her comfortable and when she no longer had a quality life I'd give her the final gift I can give any of my beloved companions and have her put down.

My prayers and well wishes go to Tory and her owner.

Gayle, Faith, Ledgie, Scooby
At the Bridge: Andy, Abbey, Tasha, Tex, Echo, Yukon, JR, Too, Niki, Bo, Ringer, Kelly, Honey, Mac, Slider & Bruiser
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 11:41 AM
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Re: Sudden Onset of Symptoms 10 1/2 FGSD - Cancer

We think that Ray most likely had a hemangiosarcoma that may have ruptured. He was fine on Saturday, on Sunday began acting sick and wouldn't eat. We took him to the vet and he did a chest x-ray, thinking he might be in heart failure. He told us to watch him overnight, but by Monday morning he could hardly walk, collapsed and passed away later that day in the car on the way to the specialty vet in Michigan. We'll never know for sure, but that's what the vet believes he likely had.

After talking with two vets about it, they said hemangiosarcoma can take a dog's life very quickly. They also said that once it has metastasized to the lungs (which Ray's had not), the prognosis is poor.

Even if it is not hemangiosarcoma, I think I'd just try to keep Tory as comfortable as possible. I don't think I'd try any chemo or anything like that, since the cancer has already metastasized. My thoughts and prayers go out to Tory and her owner.

Pat

Kaiser - 8 yrs old

Ray (Radar) - 8 yrs old - At the Bridge
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 11:46 AM
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Re: Sudden Onset of Symptoms 10 1/2 FGSD - Cancer

Darcy this sounds like the same cancer that took my Jasmine. This cancer is very common in GSDs and I believe Terry w/ Echo lost one of her dogs to this also. Everyone who has GSDs needs to be aware of this.

The vet told me that I actually caught Jasmine's before most people do. I was insistent that there was something wrong. She had urinated all over the house including the couch and to this day I believe this was her way of trying to get my attention and tell me there was something going on. I continued to do test after test until we discovered the tumor on her spleen during an ultrasound.

I took Jasmine to UT Vet School and had her spleen removed, but during the surgery they discovered that the cancer had already spread to her liver and they can not remove the liver. She recovered from surgery fine and I did a few rounds of chemo hoping to buy her some more time, but she only lived a few more months. She was diagnosed the Friday before Labor Day and I had to make the decision to put her to sleep the weekend before Thanksgiving. She was 2.5 months shy of her 9th birthday.

This cancer almost always starts in the spleen. Because the spleen is not really needed there are not really any symptoms that there is something wrong. The vet believes that the tumor on her spleen ruptured which caused her abdomen to fill with blood. Because she had so much fluid/blood in her belly this put pressure on her bladder causing her to urinate. Originally it was thought that she just had a bladder infection, but when I told the vet that there were at least 6 different places in the house where she had urinated including the furniture, he knew there was something more to the story. The first test the vet did was to stick a needle into her bladder to get a sample. All he got was blood. After that we did an X-ray and they could not even see her bladder on the X-ray. At this point they thought her bladder had burst and that is why they did the ultrasound. Thanks to my vet and my insistence that it was more than a bladder infection, Jasmine was diagnosed much earlier than most dogs with this cancer.

I learned that if a dog has a tumor that burst they can bleed out for several hours causing them to become anemic. This will cause them to become lethargic which may explain this dog inability to walk. The tumor will usually clot and dogs have the amazing ability to absorb the lost blood back into their body. So a few hours later they can be appear to be back to normal. This cycle will continue until the tumor does not clot and the dog will eventually bleed to death internally.

The day before Jasmine urinated in the house she did not want to get up for her morning potty break. I found it very unusual, but after I told her to go outside several times she finally got up and went out. When I got home from work that evening she was back to normal so I didn’t think anything more of it. When the vet explained all of this to me and I told him about her not wanting to go out, he said that she most likely was bleeding out at that time and I just did not know it. By the time I got home, the tumor had clotted and she had reabsorbed all the blood and was back to normal. You can only imagine my horror to find out that I left for work that day when my baby was bleeding internally.

This is why it is so important for us to pay attention to even the smallest things and be aware of what they might indicate.

Edited to add: hemangiosarcoma is the type of cancer Jasmine was diagnosed with. Thank you Raysmom. I never can remember the name.



Amy
GSD Rescue of East TN

Liesel adopted 2/7/04
Judy rescued 1/16/05, foster failure
Trelkez owner surrender 9/27/07, foster failure

In loving memory of Jasmine 2/2/95-11/24/03, she has left this world but she will never leave my heart.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 12:06 PM
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Re: Sudden Onset of Symptoms 10 1/2 FGSD - Cancer

It was suspected that Cody had hemangiosarcoma of the spleen. She went so fast that with all the testing they wouldn't have been able to give a definate answer without opening her up. They wanted to do an MRI, but didn't know if she could even handle the sedation. The odds of her even living through an operation were slim and the best they could offer if she lived through the operation was a couple of weeks, so I refused and we brought her home. She was 12.

She was fine on a Tuesday morning, ate breakfast and went outside just like a normal day. 3 hours later my daughter called me at work that Cody couldn't get up. My vet stabalized her with Pred, so we could take her to the specialists. My biggest regret of that week was that she spent the last 3 days of her life at the vets while they were doing tests. Finally we brought her home to keep her comfortable, but had to take her back that night to have her put down. She was so uncomfortable and struggled to breathe.

I'm so sorry for your friend.

Nina

Mom to Ginger, Belle & April (cats)
Never forgetting -
Cody (GSD) 1993 - 8/21/05
Sheba (GSD) 6/97 - 8/3/09
Lyla (Maine Coon) 1994? - 4/3/07
Tonic (LBC) 1998? - 5/19/07
Chloe (Tuxedo) 1997? - 10/11/08 Forever in my heart.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 06:43 AM
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Re: Sudden Onset of Symptoms 10 1/2 FGSD - Cancer

I'm so sorry to hear the news of another cancer dog . There is a sticky at the top of the health forum that has some cancer threads in it that may or may not be helpful.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Sudden Onset of Symptoms 10 1/2 FGSD - Cancer

Thank you all! I have shared this thread with Tory's mom and she is also looking into more information to help Tory, including diet and alternative medicine.

Tory had a good day yesterday and so far today. The Prednisone and Tramadol are helping for now.

I will update when I know more.

Thank you all again.

Darcy E. Drons
Intake Coordinator/Shelter Liaison
<span style="color: red">Big Dogs, Big Hearts Rescue Inc. ("BDBH")</span>
Email:
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