I just lost my 2 yr old boy, Milo, last week to Leukemia. It baffles my mind to hear all the stories about labs with cancer. I had never known this was such a big issue until now. I have always felt like I was well informed about the health of my boy and any issues that may arise, but I was definitely not prepared to hear the word "cancer" from my vet. Once I researched "Leukemia in Dogs" I was faced with tons of information about the disease. But if I research "Labrador Retriever" the word cancer is nonexistent. After such a hard loss I can't believe all the heartbreaking stories I've heard about other owners that have gone through similar situations.
My curiosity is this: If this is such a prevalent issue, then why was I not warned about this by my vet? Why do most websites not include cancer as a potential health risk for labs?
I feel like I was blindsided and I wish I could find a way to help other lab owners become informed on this issue. I miss my boy desperately and wish I could save others from feeling this pain...
I am very sorry for your loss. I'm not sure how prevalent it is, but if humans can get it (randomly) then I'm sure dogs can too. Run free Milo.
Dio (Best Bud since July 18th, 2009)
Kaity (Sweetheart since April 29th, 2012)
I too am sorry for your loss. It is prevalent in Labs and from what I understand not something that is going away anytime soon. Puppy mills, BYB - indiscriminate breeding has caused this to be so wide spread from all I hbave read. I know your heart is hurting, losing my 8 yr old knocked me senseless. It still takes my breath away to think about it. I hope you don't give up on Labs, there are many awesome breeders that don't have this in their lines but it can still happen in any breed of dog. Run free Milo.
Maxx & Emma Jean
Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.
Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.
So sorry for your loss, that is one of my biggest fears, cancer.
It makes me feel slightly better to see how many people have read my post. It means that more people can have the chance to be aware and maybe inform themselves or others of this topic. My boy is gone, but hopefully other dogs can be saved. Rest in peace my sweet Milo...
I am so sorry for your loss of Milo. Our first lab died of leukemia at 9 1/2. That was ten years ago & I still miss her. That is when I found out how stoic these labs are. Shadow had annual blood work & saw the vet for check-ups. She never showed any signs of being ill until the day she stopped eating. Even when we went to the vet, he was shocked when he saw her blood work, her platelets were 36,000. I am a nurse & I knew this was not good. But I wanted to try something, anything to help her. Unfortunately, in dogs, platelet transfusions would not help. Chemo was not an option. I was heartbroken. Hardest decison of my life, until last May when our 8 1/2 year old Molly was diagnosed with lymphoma. Again, she had just had her annual physical & blood work in September & all was well. Molly was just at the beach two weeks before she stopped eating. Next day the vet did blood work, liver & kidney functions were perfect...but her protein levels were not even on the chart. Again...not good. So yet another heartbreaking decision had to be made.
I know this, we love labs & I don't know why these things happen. All I know is I would never have wanted to miss out on the time I had with them. We have two labs now & each day I have them is a blessing. We just never know how long we will have them. I also know all the money we were prepared to spend to help them would not help. That is what was so frustrating. I did not want them to suffer. We make these decisions because we love them so much.
I can definitely relate. Milo went from playing at the dog park a few weeks ago, to getting diarrhea, to not eating, to getting diagnosed with Leukemia, and 2 days after he was diagnosed we had to say good-bye. His platelets were so low that he couldn't stop bleeding from his nose and mouth. Originally we had talked about a 3rd blood transfusion (he already had 2 transfusions in a day) but knew it wouldn't help and that he was suffering. We only wanted to do everything we could as long as he wasn't suffering. Money didn't matter, but he just couldn't go on like that. I couldn't have said it any better myself, "We make these decisions because we love them so much."
I am so, so sorry for your loss.
What a handsome boy Milo was.
Thank you or sharing your story with us.
I am sorry for your loss. Milo was a gorgeous dog.
When my first Lab Kassa was diagnosed with bone cancer of the jaw when she was 2 I was like you. Why..how could it happen,,,what did I miss...what did i do or didn't do.
Cancer has no mercy. It doesn't care about age, or breeding. Kass came from a very well respected breeder. It is hard to fathom how such a young dog can get it. When you take them home you think you have them for 10 years at least, then to be told when they are 2 they have cancer the devestation is horrible. As is any cancer or loss at any age.
Saying goodbye to them is the hardest act of love we will ever have to make.
We can't let cancer beat us and stop us from enjoying dogs we may get after this heart ache, or living in fear for our dogs. We can't let it ruin the memories of the dogs it has claimed.