Im probably crazy but with all this talk of sick labs and cancer sneaking up on people, I wanted to know if there is any type of precautionary tests or precautions that I can take with Sam. I am a nervous wreck that hes going to develop something and leave me before his time. Hes 4 years old and besides being a little chunky which im working on hes healthy. I have really started this irrational fear with him about 1.5 yrs ago when my sister in laws dog died suddenly from cancer. He was 9 yrs old german shorthaired pointer, the only signs they had was that one day he tried to go to the bathroom and couldnt, he let out a few cries and they rushed him to the vet. Once there, they found a huge mass on his spleen. They went in to operate and he died from the operation. The tumors came back as cancer. I am constanltly feeling sam all over and looking at all his skin because Im terrified I wont know until something is really bad. I was really nervous last night when I saw the email about the puppy going to the vet because the previous puppy had a bleeding tumor in her stomach. I dont want to keep living in fear and my husband thinks im nuts. Is there anything I can test him for that will let me know hes ok? Is there a yearly test we should be doing? Thanks for all your help! Im going to look up how to post pics now since my sig pic is very very old. Thanks again!
Re: Siggy Pic! Keep it! It's one of my favs!
Feed a food with few NATURAL preservatives (same with treats and such) and keep the weight down (not too skinny but you should feel the hips). Do your yearly check-up with a trusted vet and talk to them about your worries. You mention your dog is chunky - take that chunk off
I realize it's hard to do but the best thing you can do is relax and enjoy your time together. Don't spend the time you do have together stressing non-stop.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Thanks for the advice. I only feed him Mother Hubbard treats nothing else unless Orgainc and hes on BY Nature Organic food. Has anyone ever heard of them? Im trying to give him more excercise since hes generally a lazy dog. I posted some updated pics of him, check them out! Thanks for any more advice thats on its way, I sure can use it!
bumping in hopes of more advice ???
Well, I know how you feel. It is very scary. They don't call cancer the "silent killer" for nothing. It is very sneaky. :-\
The American Cancer Society has a list of cancer warning signs, and I believe I have seen the same thing for dogs somewhere. Maybe google "dog cancer warning signs" and see what you get.
A few things that I can think of off the top of my head:
Semi-annual wellness checks for senior dogs (over five)
Weekly grooming/brushing will help keep you abreast of any skin changes, lumps, etc.
Don't forget to check between toes, in mouth, etc.
Watch closely for any change in bowel or bladder habits
Investigate any suspicious weight loss
Some people believe in feeding the most natural food possible, or homemade or raw
I'm sure there are plenty more.
Bottom line: We can just do the best we can do, and the rest is up to God. Don't make yourself too crazy. (Believe me I know, easier said than done )
Connie and "The Boys":
Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD
Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever
Personally, I think the best thing you can do is yearly checkups, best food you can afford and he does well on, keep him at optimum weight and then relax.
Much like humans, you can't prevent everything, only put in the best fuel and hope that the body responds. He will pick up on your stress and worry. Those emotions are never good for anyone's health.
Enjoy him and love him, which it's obvious you do.
Everything Connie said is excellent advice. I worry about Billie too, but I look at it the same as I do my own cancer chances based on my family history: take the best care I can, do the exams and pray.
Thanks guys for your advice. Connie thats a great idea I will google to see what I can find. I never used to be quite so paranoid but with all the sadness on the boards I guess it really got to me. I dont post as muc as Id like but I read the boards at least 2x a day. He has to go in for his Bordatella shot soon as we are going away in Nov and i will talk to the vet then. Thanks!
It is scary. I also try not to live in fear. I did lose my last lab to leukemia at 9 1/2 years old, no signs except one nose bleed until she just quit eating one day & when we got Molly, I was a wreck with worry about every little thing. I try not to get crazy. I do annual check ups & blood work. I also feel them all the time (for lumps) & if I am nervous about something.....they go to the vet.
But my DH reminds me how years ago we had English Setters & GSD's & not knowing any better we fed them a dog food from the local feed store. Not the cheapest but by no means the best. All of those dogs lived to 15 1/2 & 16 years of age.
So now I do the best I can & enjoy every day with them, because we just never know.
We can never be prepared for or guard against cancer or other serious diseases. Unfortunately this is something that happens to humans and dogs.
Feeding raw, regular check and commoon sense is the best we can do.
Prior to loosing a young dog to jaw. cancer I had no idea this could happen. My family went into over drive when I was getting a pup recently . Have her jaw xrayed before you take her, panic.. panic.
I have learned Ernie is statically high risk. This is theory. only theory.
I don't think about it as I it will upset me and I want to enjoy him.
There was a thread in health a couple of months ago that discussed this and may help.