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!