My dog isn't well

(22 Posts)
cantthinkofanythingwitty Sat 09-Nov-19 22:19:39

My dog has been diagnosed with cancer that is now in his jaw bone. We don't really know what the prognosis is and I was just wondering whether anyone has had something similar with their dog? Did your dog get visibly poorly etc. You wouldn't know that our dog was ill at the moment.

Eventually the time will come when he has to be PTS but when will we know? I'm so worried that I might take him for a check up in the (hopefully distant) future and they decide to put him to sleep there and then. Is this how it works or would they make an appointment for it to happen? I just have no idea about what to expect. I'm hoping that I don't have to deal with these things for a while yet but if anyone has any experience/knowledge about this is would be grateful.

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heatingsoup Sat 09-Nov-19 22:44:04

I have no direct experience but I am a dog lover so you have my sympathy, try and focus on spending quality time with your dog and ask your vet for a chat about what's to come and timescales xx

Wolfiefan Sat 09-Nov-19 22:47:01

How did you find it if your did isn’t unwell? Is it a secondary?
I’m so sorry. The only experience I have is a cat who was visibly unwell. The advice was not to wake from GA having scanned her.

cantthinkofanythingwitty Sat 09-Nov-19 23:00:24

He went to have his teeth cleaned, they found a mass in his mouth and when they tested it they said it was mineralised (?) And cancerous and also in his jaw now.

When I spoke with the vet, he was very kind but I didn't really get any info about prognosis etc. I know every pet is different but I'm struggling not knowing if we are looking at weeks, months or a year.

I don't want him to be in pain, I'm not sure if it will be noticeable if he is. He is quite a whiny/clingy dog anyway so I'm just paranoid about missing cues that he is uncomfortable or whether it will be noticeable.

Tbh I just have no idea, and just really sad about it all he is only 7

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cantthinkofanythingwitty Sat 09-Nov-19 23:01:44

Sorry about your cat Wolfie. I never understood how much pets mean to you until I got my dog as a rescue and he stole my heart ..... and also my sanity at times

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cantthinkofanythingwitty Sun 10-Nov-19 08:26:09

Does anyone else have any experience they would be willing to share please?

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MilkTrayLimeBarrel Sun 10-Nov-19 08:38:25

Ours was diagnosed with lymphoma - she had presented with several bleeding spots on her back. She had tests and the vet said she had perhaps 3/4 weeks left. We couldn't believe this as apart from the spots, she was entirely normal. It was a terrible shock. The vet was right though - she progressively got worse and eventually stopped eating. Nothing would tempt her. My heart broke for her as she looked so sad - my DH didn't want to call the vet but we had to as she spent her last night going in and out of her door and standing in the rain, looking so miserable. The vet came to the house - DH was with her (she was really his dog) and it was peaceful. The grief is terrible - I honestly can say I don't think I have been the same since she died, and that was nearly 2 years ago. We have a new puppy now, but this one will always hold a special place in my heart.

For us, it was when she stopped eating and struggled to go out that we knew.

Hope your dog does not deteriorate quickly and you have many more special moments with him.


cantthinkofanythingwitty Sun 10-Nov-19 09:00:48

Thank you for sharing Milktray. I am going to call the vets again tomorrow I think. Everything that I seem to have read has indicated that the time he has left is going to be short but when I spoke to the vet I didn't get that impression, although to be fair I was very shocked.

The vet himself was very surprised that it was cancer so he may have been trying to soften the blow. I don't know.

It's really helpful to know that they can come out to the house when the time comes because he hates the vets.

Oh man, I'm crying again now.

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Wolfiefan Sun 10-Nov-19 10:14:49

I’m so sorry OP. It’s awful and so stressful. We want to keep them healthy forever but also don’t want them to suffer at all. Look after yourself. flowers

Motorina Sun 10-Nov-19 13:18:21

I’m so sorry.

I lost my old girl in feb to cancer. Like Milktray says, they came to the house, which was right for us. It is more expensive and not something all vets offer.

It’s worth thinking now about things you want to do. That special trip to the beach. Take paw prints. Whatever. I had 6 days from first symptoms til she was gone, and there was no time. I wish I had a paw print now, but I just didn’t think. I did keep some fur.

It’s also worth thinking about practicalities. Cremation or burial. The vet can arrange the former for you.

It sounds like you’re worried about going to a vet appointment and the deed being done unexpectedly. He won’t be put to sleep without your consent, so I think you can set that worry aside.

For them, it’s very peaceful. Not unpleasant/distressing at all.

cantthinkofanythingwitty Sun 10-Nov-19 14:39:04

I have called the vets today and I am going to have a prioer call back from my vet tomorrow. I have prepped a list of questions. I am hoping we can get some scans done so we can see what we are really dealing with.

You are right PP I was just so worried about going to the vets and leaving on my own without any warning, so I get a lot of comfort knowing that won't happen.

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Motorina Sun 10-Nov-19 17:38:48

Thinking about it a bit more, the one time you might get ‘unexpected euthanasia’ is if surgery is planned but things turn out more serious than expected and you and the vet decide it’s kindest not to wake your boy up. So, if surgery is planned, it might be worth asking if that’s a possible outcome?

(I’m assuming here you’re the sort of person who likes clear information so knowing and discussing these things is helpful.)

I am sorry. It’s all utterly horrible.

cantthinkofanythingwitty Sun 10-Nov-19 18:12:11

I definitely like to have an idea of what is happening. I think that's why I'm struggling with it at the moment because I just have been given bad news and then no idea what to expect. Hopefully tomorrow will straighten things out for me a little.

Thanks for the info and kind words everyone

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Wolfiefan Sun 10-Nov-19 18:51:21

What symptoms did your dog have that they went looking for a problem?

Darklane Mon 11-Nov-19 20:17:56

I took my little one, Yorkie, to the vet as he had gone off his food for a couple of days & been sick twice. I thought it was a recurrence of the pancreatitis he’d been hospitalised for, & recovered from, a couple of years earlier. The vet examined him & felt a lump so took a scan there & then on her mobile scanner. She said it was his spleen & thought there may be a tumour so he was booked in for an operation two days later. As it happened my Skye took ill with pyometra the night before his op so I was at the vet with both of them the next morning. The vet said she’d do the pyometra operation urgently as although sudden she was very ill & could even lose her before they could fix it. My boy was to have a splenectomy with hopefully a full recovery. I’d had a previous dog who had the same.
Half an hour after arriving home I got a call from the vet. I expected it to be to say that my Skye hadn’t made it. But no, it was to say my little one was on the operating table, she’d opened him up to remove the spleen but found cancer was “ all through him”. To say I was shocked is more than an understatement. Gutted.
She said should she let him go, not come round, or stitch him up to come home for what little time he had left. Of course I said do that, couldn’t bear to lose him like that.
Anyway, long story, sorry, went back to have his stitches out & she put him on Rimadyl as she said there was new research that had found it could slow tumour growth. Took him back two months later for check up. She was amazed how well he was doing, said “ He doesn't know he’s ill” Twelve months later the biggest tumour on his liver had shrunk . He went on like this for nearly two more years. Then I noticed it had got a bit bigger, his tummy was bigger. Then this summer it finally caught up with him, he had a bad weekend so we had very, very sadly to say goodbye to him. But he’d had two years & a few months of normal, happy life, & he was a very happy little dog, when I’d been told he had just days/ weeks at most to live.
I really hope yours can have a lot more happy time with you.

Maneandfeathers Mon 11-Nov-19 21:43:48

@Wolfiefan From what i read the vet was not looking for a problem.

If we find something even on routine procedures then it must be reported to the owner. Can you imagine the uproar if the vet saw the mass and just didn't bother saying anything or offering further testing?

OP I hope your dog is okay. With mine i tend to think its time when they no longer want to eat, play, walk or do whatever it is they love to do. I hope yours has lots of time left.

cantthinkofanythingwitty Tue 12-Nov-19 21:50:10

He just went in to get his teeth cleaned and they found the mass, removed it and sent it for testing. Vet said he thought it was a polyp but it wasnt. I spoke with the vet yesterday, we are going to get him booked into a scan with the oncology specialist and see if they can offer chemo although because of where it is they might not be able to but we are going to see what they say. My dog is absolutely fine in himself, wouldn't have a clue that anything was wrong.

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FirenzeArno Wed 13-Nov-19 00:09:39

Not a happy ending here but if you do want to know all experiences to prepare you a little...My dog was 13 when he stopped eating. Happened once or twice over a few months where he'd just refuse food. But next day would be right as rain. But then he suddenly started losing weight. We took him to the vets and she shaved his beard to give him a proper oral exam. His jaw was twice the size it should have been but we hadn't noticed because of his big shaggy beard. He was given a lot of tablets to take over 2 weeks in the hope it was an infection. He seemed in better form for a few days after finishing them but then went downhill very quick. His mouth swelled up even more and he never finished a meal. We took him back for a follow up appt but knew what needed to be done so had him PTS there and then. It was a horrible day for us but the process itself is very quick. He just took one last look at us and put his head down and closed his eyes.

If your dog isn't showing any symptoms then maybe wait it out for a bit but if he does start to show signs of being unwell then it might be best to consider PTS.

But I know how you feel so sending virtual hugs.

cantthinkofanythingwitty Wed 13-Nov-19 21:18:01

Thank you Firenze and I am sorry also. It is helping to hear everyone's experiences even the sad ones as it is helping me to get my head around things and face up to the possibilities also. We will put him forwards for any treatments that are not going to distress him too much if they are a possibility, but we need to also be realistic about what is right for him too. I love him too much to put him through any unnecessary pain so will monitor him and keep him as happy as we can

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spiderlight Fri 15-Nov-19 10:53:46

We lost our lovely old girl to a very aggressive histiocytic sarcoma four years ago. She was 13 and she very suddenly started limping and trying to lick/nibble her shoulder. The vet thought it was arthritis and tried various anti-inflammatories, which would work for a few days and then she'd be limping again. She had a history of autoimmune problems, so after four weeks of trying different anti-inflammatories, our vet took her in for an x-ray under sedation to see whether it was something related to that and found cancer in both her shoulder blades, one of which was partly eaten away. That was on the Thursday. They sent off biopsies and referred us to an oncologist who was able to see us on the Monday. She was very sleepy all weekend, partly due to the sedation and partly because they'd prescribed her tramadol. She ate a few sausages and lots of white chocolate buttons but we had to carry her out to the garden when she needed the toilet. By the time we saw the oncologists at the veterinary hospital on the Monday morning, her biopsies had come back and it was such a rare and aggressive form that they said that even if they'd found it on day 1, there would have been nothing they could have done - the first vet to see her called in his more senior colleague and she agreed. They said we could take her home for a few days if we wanted to but she was in such obvious pain by that point that we decided to let her go. It absolutely broke our hearts because we went from diagnosis to saying goodbye in just four days.

I hope you get plenty more time with your boy. Good luck with the scans.

StrictlyNameChangin Fri 15-Nov-19 22:01:49

The vets won't put too sleep without your permission. It might be thay at any given check up they advise it's kinder not to carry on but you still have a choice and you can ask if they can make then comfortable for a day if uppity want to take them home to have the last few hours with them. Vets tend to err on the more tactful to humans side in my experience - I find asking "if he were your dog, what would you do?" a helpful way of finding out what the vet really thinks is best for the dog. In my experience though, you'll know when it's time.

With my last dog, she couldnt walk with arthritis in the end. The benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing but we thought there was a chance an increase in painkillers could help, so we let it go on longer than we should have done. We booked her in for first thing on a Monday morning with a nice vet, and we told him we thought it was time. He agreed, and we signed the permission form. Him and a vet nurse came in and they shaved a patch on her leg. I sat on the floor with her (she was lying down) while the vet nurse steadied her legs and I told her what a good girl she was while she was being injected and she went to sleep very quickly, and not long after stopped breathing. We had as long as we needed to say goodbye and gather ourselves before we left. The vet and nurse had tears in their eyes too, which I found very comforting that they cared so much too - she'd been a long standing and well loved customer of theirs.

My dog before that got a brain tumour she showed no sign of until she had a fit in the night. When she was put to sleep the next morning she went almost instantly.


StrictlyNameChangin Fri 15-Nov-19 22:04:15

*that and *you not uppity, stupid autocorrect!

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