Senior lab with oral melanoma
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Thread: Senior lab with oral melanoma

  1. #1
    cubby is offline Member
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    DefaultSenior lab with oral melanoma

    Hi. My dog just turned 12 in early April and he has been diagnosed with oral melanoma. Prospects are not good according to what I read online and what the vet said. A few weeks after I discovered the tumor in his mouth (on his cheek and about the size of a quarter or slightly larger, and protruding), I had the vet operate on it and remove as much of the tumor as possible just to make him more comfortable. We arent treating the cancer just because from what I read that will not really work and he is already 12 years old, so I dont want to put him thru too much, you know?

    So anyways, here we are 2 months later and its already growing back and about at the size that it was before. I noticed bloody drool yesterday and checked. So last time when the lab results came back the vet said we make him comfortable and when the tumor grows back, she thinks its reasonable to euthanize him then. Well I am just not ready for that! And the reason is this - he still loves eating. He seems happy. he goes to the park and still loves playing with other dogs and even puppies. He more or less "watches over" the younger dogs. He doesnt seem in pain, except for this spot in his mouth. He doesnt like you to touch that size of his face, which is understandable. I would equate it to when you have an awful canker sore.

    So I dont know what to do. Should I try to have it removed again? Seems like it would only last about 2 months before it comes back again. I would feel better about euthanizing him if he showed other signs like lack of appetite, or trouble breathing, but just knowing he has that sore spot in his mouth is killing me. From what I've read online it WILL spread to other parts of his body. It might have already done that, I just dont really see any signs of it yet. He does have lumps on his body, but the vet has always said those are just lipomas and not to worry about them.

    He is on Rimadyl to manage pain. Anyways, I'd appreciate any advice/input. Thanks!

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  3. #2
    onecrazymamma is offline Junior Member
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    I am so very sorry to hear of your sweet pup. We just lost our almost 11 year old, Phoebe, to squamous cell mouth cancer. It came quick and was so sad.

    We had the original tumor resected since she was having pain, it was infected and some bloody drool. We started her on an NSAID that had shown promise in delaying return, but within 3-4 weeks of the removal of the original mass, a new mass showed up on the bottom outer gum, in a completely different location (still lower jaw on same side, just outside, instead of inside). It grew incredibly fast, almost daily...she continued to eat softened foods, but with difficulty. Her bottom teeth were turning black and falling out

    One morning she woke up and she was just not herself - I knew it was time. We spent the morning together hugging and loving on her, and brought her in. It was the saddest day ever but the day we found out she had cancer, I had made a promise to her that I would not let her suffer. Food was her life and when her quality of life was gone, I promised to let her go. And so we did, on May 23rd.

    You will know when it is time - Phoebe couldn't eat hard foods anymore.

    Enjoy the time with your pup...

  4. #3
    cubby is offline Member
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    Thank you.

    My dog still seems OK. He is on and off antibiotics and does have bloody drool sometimes. but besides that he seems happy. He still eats pretty much anything he can get his paws on. So it hasnt slowed him down in the eating department quite yet. I think he is still happy. He's been camping this summer and still enjoys the kids and all of that. So I am trying to enjoy this time with him. I dont want him to suffer but I dont think he is feeling too bad right now. We just love him to pieces.

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  6. #4
    onecrazymamma is offline Junior Member
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    For us, it was all about quality - if he's able to enjoy the things he does, then that's great!

    Our dog was declining, but still eating and wanting attention...then she woke up one day clearly not right, and that was the end. You'll know...

    Just love him lots and give him anything and everything

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