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Thread: Anyone ever had a dog on chemotherapy?

  1. #1

    Anyone ever had a dog on chemotherapy?

    My English Springer Spaniel just turned 12 and is having some problems typical to his breed. He's lost an eye to glaucoma, gets a lot of ear infections and has a touch of arthritis in his hind joints. But he is still happy and enjoys walking and playing, has a good appetite. He lays around a lot the rest of the time. I've been spoiling him, feeding him tuna, salmon, ground beef and lots of freeze dried liver treats which are like crack to him and a good way to get him to eat his medicine.

    He's been diagnosed with anal sac adenocarcinoma, a cancer that can't be completely cured. Caught it early due to vet follow ups on other issues. So far it hasn't spread as far as they can tell, but without aggressive treatment it will spread quickly. He will have surgery to remove it, which buys him an extra year on average.

    With chemo and possibly radiation he can have an additional 12-18 months on average on top of what he gets from the surgery. The docs tell me this isn't as bad for dogs as it is for people. They say he won't be nauseous and miserable, won't lose his fur or develop sores and so on. All I could think of were the chemo scenes in Breaking Bad.

    If he had low quality of life I wouldn't do this but he still has good quality of life. I want to do what's best for him, but don't want to lose him so quickly if it's avoidable. My kids will be crushed. Money isn't a factor.

    Has anyone been through this with a dog and can share their experience?
    HILLARY WON

  2. #2
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    I had an English Springer Spaniel from 1987-2001. We got her in the summer of '87, when we found her abandoned in Colorado, and brought her home after it was clear the former owners had skipped town. She was a great dog, incredibly sweet, and it was very sad to lose her. Like my last dog Otis, she also lived a long life, as she died at 14 1/2, when the Springer lifespan is 12-14 years. Also like Otis, she was very large for her breed (especially for a female), weighing 60 pounds (and wasn't fat).

    In early 1991, at the age of 4 1/2, she was diagnosed with cancer in her jaw. They removed that part of her jaw, and she was fortunate in that it didn't spread anywhere, and she lived 10 more years. I'm guessing that's one of the longest periods in history that a dog lived after having been diagnosed with cancer.

    I can't help you with the chemo part, because she was never on chemo. Otis, despite living to 16 1/2, also didn't have cancer, and I suspect died of diabetes (though it wasn't clear it was diabetes until he was in his final days).

    Having loved my Springer dearly, I can understand why you don't want to see yours pass away. One thing to consider is that, as I mentioned, the breed typically only lives a maximum of 14 years. Mine squeezed out another 6 months, but was in severe cognitive decline, making Joe Biden look young and spry. Her decline began at age 12, and there was a slow mental deterioration over the next 2+ years. Despite living in good physical health during most of that time, she was mentally gone by the end. I'm not sure how common Alzheimer's is in dogs, but my Springer definitely had it badly.

    These are all things to consider. At age 11, she was healthy, energetic, and looked young. When she played with other dogs at the park, I remember people remarking it was amazing that she was 11, and that she looked and acted 5. A year later, the mental decline started, and her energy also rapidly abated.

    She still had quality of life, but by the end, she barely knew where she was or who she was.

    Anyway, I guess you need to decide how long the dog likely has left, even under the best circumstances, before you start this undertaking.

    That's all I can tell you. Good luck. Having just lost a dog a month ago, and being under pressure by some people to put him to sleep (which I'm glad I didn't do), I feel for your predicament.

     
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      hongkonger: My Springer is also big

  3. #3
    Gold Cerveza Fria's Avatar
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    Feel bad for you and your little buddy. Havenít been through it with any of my pooches, but can tell you as long as heís happy do what you can for him.

     
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      hongkonger: Thanks

  4. #4
    Fuck. This is fucking terrible. He seemed to be doing ok last I saw him. Shocked and now starting to cry. A great dog he was. Fuck

     
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      hongkonger: You must have that bookmarked, tough but fair
      
      Walter Sobchak: RIP CMONEY
      
      dwai: this is correct
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    BTW JACKDANIELS is the first one banned from the thread. He is accusing me of being "duped by a middle aged man who dresses like John Cena"

  5. #5
    Platinum ftpjesus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hongkonger View Post
    My English Springer Spaniel just turned 12 and is having some problems typical to his breed. He's lost an eye to glaucoma, gets a lot of ear infections and has a touch of arthritis in his hind joints. But he is still happy and enjoys walking and playing, has a good appetite. He lays around a lot the rest of the time. I've been spoiling him, feeding him tuna, salmon, ground beef and lots of freeze dried liver treats which are like crack to him and a good way to get him to eat his medicine.

    He's been diagnosed with anal sac adenocarcinoma, a cancer that can't be completely cured. Caught it early due to vet follow ups on other issues. So far it hasn't spread as far as they can tell, but without aggressive treatment it will spread quickly. He will have surgery to remove it, which buys him an extra year on average.

    With chemo and possibly radiation he can have an additional 12-18 months on average on top of what he gets from the surgery. The docs tell me this isn't as bad for dogs as it is for people. They say he won't be nauseous and miserable, won't lose his fur or develop sores and so on. All I could think of were the chemo scenes in Breaking Bad.

    If he had low quality of life I wouldn't do this but he still has good quality of life. I want to do what's best for him, but don't want to lose him so quickly if it's avoidable. My kids will be crushed. Money isn't a factor.

    Has anyone been through this with a dog and can share their experience?
    Not first hand but my uncles dog has had the same thing. Heís 4 yrs out from his diagnosis and still hanging in there at close to 16. Adenosarcoma in the butt is pretty slow growing overall. Heís likely going to pass from old age vs the cancer in reality. As long as the dog doesnít seem to be suffering do what you can. My border collie is 14 and still thinks heís a damn puppy sometimes totally obsessed to play fetch. Even with his hip dysplasia and such he keeps on going but gets his carprofen every day along with his narc at night (tramadol). Plus heís on a steroid shot once a month heís better now then he was 2 yrs ago in my opinion.

  6. #6
    Thanks for those who expressed an opinion.

    The tumor was removed successfully but they never really get all of it because there's not enough room to take a margin of tissue. He recovered well before I traveled, now he is seeing an oncologist tomorrow to consider further treatment options. Seems happy.

     
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      Dan Druff: Good luck
    HILLARY WON

  7. #7
    Gold Cerveza Fria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hongkonger View Post
    Thanks for those who expressed an opinion.

    The tumor was removed successfully but they never really get all of it because there's not enough room to take a margin of tissue. He recovered well before I traveled, now he is seeing an oncologist tomorrow to consider further treatment options. Seems happy.

    Glad surgery was successful. And the fact that he's happy is all that matters.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by hongkonger View Post
    Thanks for those who expressed an opinion.

    The tumor was removed successfully but they never really get all of it because there's not enough room to take a margin of tissue. He recovered well before I traveled, now he is seeing an oncologist tomorrow to consider further treatment options. Seems happy.
    This seems like CMONEY all over again, this time for a dog.

     
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      hongkonger: fuck off shitbag

  9. #9
    Had his oncology follow up today. Due to concerns about possible early stage kidney disease he's probably not going to be able to get the injectable chemo that's once a month for 4 months. He'll have to take it orally 3 times a week for however long he has left. But scans are clear so it probably didn't spread, meaning he could have 2.5 years or even more left. I have to wear gloves when I give it to him because it can absorb into my skin. It's hard to get oral medication into him because he's very clever about spitting it out even if I give it with treats. He can eat the treat and just spit out the medicine. Not looking forward to it but that's life.

     
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      splitthis: Peanut butter
    HILLARY WON

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