Comments on Euthanasia Was Best Answer for Dog With Hemangiosarcoma

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Angela   Elgin, Oklahoma

1/25/2015 5:56:03 PM

My 8 year old chow chow/husky mix was diagnosed with this in October 2014. It was a complete shock to my partner and I. In September, he became finicky with his food which he had done in the past so I did not think anything of it. However, I noticed for several weeks he would barely eat any of his food. Then one night I rolled him over on his back and noticed a swollen belly. The next day we went to our vet where they confirmed a mass was over his spleen and liver. We were sent to a specialist who later confirmed our dog had hemangiosarcoma. We decided to take him home that day so we could love on him and get the closure we needed. We tried to keep him comfortable and gave him the dr prescribed

prednisone. He had good days and bad days. The final evening was very hard we had scheduled earlier in the week to put him down on Friday. Ironically, Thursday evening was very tough for him as he threw up several times and did not want to come in from outside. I prayed to God after I heard him wimper to please not let him suffer through the night. After that prayer Diego slept soundly all evening??????. The next morning we took him to the vet and my partner and I stayed with him through the euthanasia. The euthanasia process was so peaceful and comforting and somewhat of a relief. Our boy was no longer in pain and although we did not immediately decide to put him down we were able to cherish our last days with him. It might sound selfish but I do not regret keeping him a few days after receiving the diagnosis. This was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my adult life but as a dog owner you will know when it is time to send your beloved pal to rainbow bridge and I truly believe I will see him again one day.

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Cynthia   Seattle, Washington

12/27/2014 7:26:13 PM

To Hope

Is Cooper still
My dog was just diagnosed and we are

Thank you for


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Bob   roswell, Georgia

12/20/2014 1:19:41 PM

I buried our Golden Lab today after having her put to sleep yesterday. I will spare you the details of what we've been going through the past few days but I will implore you to take action if this is what your pet is facing. I am shocked at how aggressive this disease is!! From the "early" signs of tiredness and vomiting to the procedure yesterday...only 14 days!! All I can say to anyone who reads this is...Don't Delay. If you suspect hemangiosarcoma, or certainly if your vet tells you that's what it is, it's only a matter of a few weeks. And the life your dog will have of left without "treatment" (which is rarely effective) will be filled with excruciating pain. They may not show that they are in pain but you need to know that they are. From what I can gather, this disease is terminal, quick and painful. Your pet deserves better...euthanasia is the best solution...otherwise you're only delaying the inevitable. Sorry to be so blunt, I'm just sick to my stomach right now and happened to find this site where I could offer my experience. Cherish the time you have with your pets, and record as much of it as you can.

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Rachel   rockford, Illinois

7/21/2014 1:12:32 PM

I am so sorry for your loss. In 2011 after having just turned 8 years my Pembroke Welsh Corgi passed away in his sleep three days after being diagnosed with a baseball sized hemangiosarcoma on his spleen. Only a month prior we had neutered him (he was a retired show dog at that point) to help relieve him of anal fistulas. During the neuter the vet did not notice anything we needed to be concerned about. Three days before Thanksgiving we took him to the vet as he had been very lethargic and even had two seizures. The doctor gave us the bleak prognosis, said he had around 3 months left at best, and sent some mophine home with us to help if he was in pain. Three days later my poor baby boy went to bed and never woke up. His father also passed away around 10 years of age of this same horrible cancer. His father was a heavily health tested top winning show dog. Hemangiosarcoma is a silent killer and I only wish we had known his fathers fate sooner so that perhaps we could have avoided the heartbreak of losing out handsome sweetheart far too soon.

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Liz   Milford, Connecticut

7/14/2014 10:31:45 AM

My dog is going through this right now. Same exact thing as the poster. We are debating putting him down today. He is lethargic, not breathing well, eating on occasion, not showing interest in most things. I am so heartbroken. This is the first time I have had to do this and it came as such a shock (the diagnosis). Since it had already spread we knew the verdict was terminal but we got an extra month with him than what the vet said originally. The worst part is that sometimes he has bouts where he acts like himself so it makes the decision even harder. I'm so torn. Help.


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Hope Chalmers   Gulf Shores, Alabama

6/30/2014 4:29:01 AM

Our 7 year old basset hound Cooper is recovering from a splenectomy this morning. After losing his appetite and appearing very lethargic I called the on call vet. I explained to her his breathing was fast (44 per min) and the other signs named above. I took him in and lab work was done and an ultrasound. Cooper was diagnosed with cancer. He had a nodule the size of an adult's fist on his spleen and his abdomen was full of blood. By the grace of God he was stable enough to remove the spleen but required a blood transfusion as 3 liters of blood was taken from his abdomen. The moral to this story is...if you think your dog is sick, do not hesitate one second to take them in, even on a Sunday night at 9pm. This Monday morning would have been too late for Cooper. We have a poor prognosis but we will keep him comfortable and he will let us know when it's time for him to go. Yes, I know him that well. Just like he was telling me it was time to go to the vet and that something was seriously wrong. Those who read this post, please pray for Cooper and our family. God bless from Gulf Shores, Alabama.

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Hope   Gulf Shores, Alabama

6/30/2014 4:11:58 AM


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Leslie   Woodbridge, Virginia

1/14/2014 4:37:54 PM

I lost my 12 year old (13 in April) Jack Russell to the anemia that is caused by this bleeding. He was diagnosed the day after Christmas when he had passed out on the kitchen floor and wet himself. I took him in to the vet immediately and it was discovered that he was anemic. We were going to ultrasound him on the upcoming Monday, but decided to do some preliminary x-rays first on the day after he passed out. The vet was surprised to see his cloudy lungs. She said his cancer was secondary so the spleen is the likely culprit and would explain the anemia. He had two small cutaneous mast cell tumors 5 years previous. The removal was successful, but I personally think that his issue with mast cells manifested itself once again in this illness...possibly causing a tumor on his spleen. That's my theory. The vet gave us prednisone and a bronchial dilator and told me to feed him anything I could get into him. He did well for about 6 days and started to decline each day after that, eating less and less each day. I tried EVERYTHING. His final morning...4 days later, I called the vet. He refused to get out of bed and wouldn't eat and I had to assist him to drink. Through that final day, he had a few bursts of energy that resulted in him becoming temporarily incapacitated. He would recover for a bit...The vet arrived at my house that evening and we said
I know now by the bond he and I had that I wasn't really a dog owner. I'm was an Oliver owner. He is forever
I love you Oliver.

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Charlie   Bergen County, New Jersey

10/14/2013 1:04:35 PM

My Portuguese Water Dog was found in our backyard on May 17th, 2013 at about 6pm. We tried to get him inside, we even bribed him with bacon (what dog turns down bacon!) but we were unsuccessful. There is an emergency pet vet two towns over and our immediate reaction was "let's get this dog to the hospital!" He was wheezing and obviously distraught, so we picked up our 110lb 9 year old baby, got him over to the hospital and watched our pup be rolled away. This was hard for us because we have never seen our doggie like this. About an hour later the vet came in to tell us the bad news, our dog had a tumor rupture on his heart. Fluid build up in his heart sac made it more difficult for him to breathe. The amount of fluid around his heart was the equivalent to TWO 2 liter bottles of soda. Tear rushing down our face, the doctors told us they didn't know if he was going to make it, but they were going to keep him over night. If fluid built up again, they would have a surgeon come in and cut a hole in his heart sac so fluid could dissipate on its own. Even then it was unknown how long he might have to live. Euthanasia wasn't even an option in my head. I got to see him once more, he looked a lot happier and it was good to see him breathing. Then I went home without my baby... the next day they called and said very LITTLE fluid built up overnight and we would be able to take him home to see what happens. He was very loopy on meds when I went to pick him up, he was very tired. We were told to bring him in again in one week. We babied him and stayed by his side, yes crying, but remembering all the good times we had with him. The next week, we brought him in again and they said he was looking better than ever. The doc said if we had brought him in any later he wouldn't have made it. Now, almost five months later, we celebrate his 10th birthday. He is virtually back to normal. He was never an extremely athletic dog. He was overweight, yes but that did not stop him from taking a nice dip in the ocean every summer! He plays fetch and loves to watch TV. He still loves to go for walks and enjoys spending time with his people. We are thankful everyday for him. He has taught us to love unconditionally. Moral to the story, even though we didn't notice any signs of Hemangiosarcoma, if you notice symptoms with your pup I urge you to seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY! It could be something minor, but you never know. Remember, this disease is COMMON in large dogs. Do not think you're alone. Cancer is an evil disease and hopefully sometime in the future we can find a cure. Now, go hug your babies. They love and need you more than you know!

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Marty   Jupiter, Florida

9/12/2013 11:04:09 AM

We just had to put our 11 year old Pug down last night, less than 24 hours before he showed us any symptoms of being sick. He was playful at 9PM and then put himself to bed. A half hour later we went in and he didn't look good. We took him to the VET at 4PM the next day who did an x-ray. He told us there was a tumor that looked to be on his spleen. He sent us to the ER who did an ultrasound and found that it was also attached to his liver. He was also bleeding internally which made him look uncomfortable. There was really no choice but to put him down. That was the hardest thing I have ever done. My wife holding him with my 17 year old daughter and me watching him go to sleep forever. He was my best buddy. RIP are still the Master P.


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Paula   Briarcliff Manor, New York

9/6/2013 4:22:44 AM

My 13 year old Westie was diagnosed with this horrible disease in March, it's coming up on 6 months. I am enjoying everyday I have, but I am beginning to see her drifting away from us. Yesterday she was running, playing, today, she is under the bed, not wanting breakfast, but hand fed her some chicken and she took it, along with one of her Yunnan Baiyo, thinking about giving her one of the red pills, will be checking her gums to see if they are pale, she might be having a bleed. This is such a horrible disease, pray for all the pups with it.

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Sylvia - 253976   

6/21/2012 12:13:13 PM

By the time my dog's hemangiosarcoma was discovered, it was already too late. She had sub-dermal tumors (which literally came up overnight!) but an ultrasound confirmed the presence of tumors on her spleen and liver. Up to about a week before eventual diagnosis she had been doing really well for her age (nearly 15) and was active and eating
Surgery wasn't an option. The vet's opinion was that she'd bleed out if opened up. She was too far advanced for chemo to be an
She had an internal bleed whch she recovered from, and was picking up again, eating ok and going for shorter walks, but was enjoying life generally. She needed more rest and sleep however. I decided to hang on with her because her overall quality of life was good. The vet said she could yet have weeks to months based on her quality of life, and said she could recover from small bleeds ok so long as they didn't happen too often. However it was like living with a ticking time bomb. At any time she could have another internal bleed. If it was a "slow bleed" she could pick up again and fight back, but if it was a big hemorrage, she could die in
She had another sudden bleed a week after her first. I sat with her in the night hoping it would pass like the first one. The emergency vet told me to watch her very closely for signs of improvement or worsening, but by early morning it became obvious this was beginning to overwhelm her. So I had her put to sleep. She died very quickly and
If anyone would like to read her blog "Misty's Blog, a dogfight with Cancer", this is the

(may not "search" well yet, but in a Firefox browser, if the link is highlighted, right-clicked, and "open link in new window" chosen, that should go through fine.)

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Tammy   Rydal, PA

6/3/2012 9:28:55 PM

Our 9 yr old Basenji mix had been sick for over a month, some days better than others. Bouts of lethargy, abdominal pain and lack of appetite. First two vets gave her pain meds. Third vet gave antibiotics and Pepcid. Multiple labs were run. Finally, the fourth vet recommended an abdominal ultrasound. We finally got a diagnosis. Two massive tumors on the spleen, small masses on the liver and internal bleeding. We made the hardest decision of our lives to euthanize our baby. But we felt that it was in the best interest for Maggie. She was either going to die from a rupture of the spleen or splenic tumors, or would die of the metasticized cancer. I couldn' t bear the thought of her dying alone while we were at work. Or suffering during the long ride to the ER in the middle of the night. Cancer sucks and turns your life upside down. I can only grasp on to the notion that we saved her from additional pain and distress.

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Mary   Mechanicsburg, PA

2/24/2012 6:55:02 PM

y boxer is going through this right now. I too don't want to let him go. But after today I decided its the only kind thing I can do for him now. He is vomitting or wrenching constantly today. After several phone calls to the vet regarding different medications to try to help him through today nothing has helped, I know he is miserable and is counting on me to make it better. Our appt. is first thing in the morning. Don't feel bad for helping your dog pass from this world try to push that feeling away by understanding that even one day more could have made it absolutely heart breaking miserable for Him. God bless.

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Alison   Beaufort, SC

5/11/2011 9:53:29 AM

LAURA in WASHINGTON: please help re:

I went to blog site for diet info and had trouble finding. Could you kindly assist me in finding this. As you know, hemangiosarcoma is a fast moving cancer so time is of essence. Thank you kindly.

Alison in South Carolina

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Heather   Dallas, TX

4/25/2011 11:23:49 AM

@ John, Baltimore,
"Euthanasia is easier on the human, so you don't have to incovenience yourself with the emotions that go with

So not true.. I prefer NOT being selfish by putting my dog through chemo.


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Laura   Washington, DC

2/21/2011 11:14:20 AM

My 10 year old dog was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma about 6 weeks ago after a tumor ruptured on her spleen. She is undergoing chemo and I am feeding her a special cancer diet. She has never acted more alive and full of energy. If anyone is interested in her diet, we are posting it on her blog:

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Mary   Northfield, MN

1/16/2011 9:17:25 PM

My beautiful 16 year old German Shephard/Cocker Spaniel cross named Samantha initially had her spleen out in August as it had two benign tumors inside. She seemed to improve. However, in November, she vomitted a couple of times and we took her to the Vet. An ultrasound was done and it was determined that she had severe pancreatis. After three more ultrasounds we were told that this condition was improving. She continued to have loss of appetite. We took her in again and her labs looked good. However, three days after her last Vet visit on December 30th, she appeared weaker, still would not eat and she vomitted once. We called the Vet Clinic and they said that if she didn't eat the next morning to bring her in then. As the day progressed, she stopped drinking water. Also, her breathing began to be labored. We drove her immediately to the Vet and they told us that she was in hypovolemic shock and that she likely had a GI bleed. They recommended that we didn't do surgery as she would have a 1% chance of coming out alive. Later we learned that her bile duct was leaking, possibly due to pancreatitis. They said that often it is not seen in the ultrasounds. I am sickened that no matter how many tests my little sweetheart went through we still couldn't save her. I blame myself that I couldn't see warning signs. I hope we did the right thing by not opting for surgery. I still feel unsure that we made the right choice but we didn't want her to suffer as the Vet was advising us that her chances were not good for survival. How does one ever come to terms with a loss like this.

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Caty   Irving, TX

12/15/2010 7:59:47 PM

I had to put my 12 & 1/2 year old Sheltie Sidney down 10/23/10 for hemangiosarcoma. He was diagnosed in March 2010, and I could not afford chemo. He was a fairly healthy dog, and still quite active for his age, and other ailments. He also had arthritis in his back legs, and also spondylosis (spinal problem). That did not really slow him down much, though. Then about 3-4 weeks before I put him down, he started getting tummy aches. I thought it was his food and such, because he just didn't want his food. He would eat other things though. Then the last day, he could barely even get up, had no desire or energy to even get up to go outside, or anything. I took him to the emergency clinic that night, not knowing I would be going home alone. I think a part of me knew, but was not ready for that answer. He was my first pet to ever have to put down. It was a very difficult decision. But I think it was the right one. I am very blessed to have had him in my life. And for so long after a diagnosis, also! I do not know how long he actually had the cancer before he was diagnosed. To me, that is a long time to survive with such an aggressive cancer, with no treatment at all. He was such a trooper. I miss him so very much, but he is still with me in my heart. I will never forget my baby Sidney.

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John   Baltimore, MD

10/23/2010 10:26:40 AM

Euthanasia is not the best option. When hemangiosarcomas don't spread to the lungs, chemo is a fast and effective way to treat, and make your pet feel better again. It is an expensive option, and most people would opt the cheaper route of euthanasia. Euthanasia is easier on the human, so you don't have to incovenience yourself with the emotions that go with chemo. They said my dog wouldn't make it a day, but she did and is doing very well on the biopsy was done so they are not even positive it is a tumor. This is very hard, but well worth it.

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