I've read some of the other posts about cancer in dogs. We lost our black lab/retriever mix, Max, On Oct 2, 2006 to cancer. We really don't know exactly what kind it was. Whatever it was, it was fast. Max had just turned 9 years old on Sept 8, 2006. That same day I had to take him to the vet because he just wasn't acting himself. The first vet told it was just due to old age. I had Max back a week later, this time the younger vet did blood work. At that time we were told it was either an infection or cancer, Max's white count was at 33,000. We did antibiotics for 10 days, he improved but 2 days after going off we started going back downhill. (Lying around, not really eating, losing weight, bloating) On Sept 29 I took him back in because he as still bloating through his belly area and his gums were turning white when they should have been pink. They decided to use a needle and see what came out. It was blood. They figure the cancer was in his spleen and our vet gave Max about 2 days. On Oct 2 we were faced with the decision we never wanted to make, but knew it was the right thing to do. I think my husband partially blames himself because we had started giving Max some pills that was supposed to keep him from burning the grass when he'd pee. We had started out on tomato juice, but had switched to the pills sometime in August. We were never really told what had caused this, is there other organs involved when something like that happens?? We have a new baby now, Madison, our 3 1/2 month old yellow lab, but the loss of Max is still devastating. Our youngest child was only a year old when we got Max, he was just one of the kids. We're all finally able to laugh and smile when we talk about Max. But he's still deeply missed.
From your description is sounds like your Max had hemangeosarcoma. I could be wrong here, but that is what it sounds like. That is a cancer made up of masses of blood vessels that have grown 'wild' often starting in the spleen and then spreading to other organs like the liver, heart, lungs, others. Usually there are no symptoms until one of the tumors ruptures and the dog bleeds internally. The internal bleeding/loss of blood is usually the first real symptom and by then it is often too late. Unfortunately the cause of hemangeosarcoma is not known.
Tell your husband not to "beat himself up" about the pills for the urine, that nasty cancer had begun growing long, long before that.
Wishing you many wonderful and happy years with Madison.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." author Will Rogers
Auggie 12/29/95 ~ 01/15/09
I'm so very sorry for your loss. It's so hard, I know. I hopw you don't go back to the vet who chalked it up to 'old age'.
I agree with talleyJudy, sounds like hemangiosarcoma. That's what my Tango died from.
"Each is a creature of Earth and is entitled to reside on it with dignity"
I am so sorry about your loss! I can't imagine how one copes with the loss of their pup. Chocolata just had small tumor removed last week - we were told that it was mast cell tumor. They had the biopsy, and said it was benign, but there is a possibility that she can get another tumor on her skin. She is only 1.5 yrs old, and I worry a lot.
i'm so so very sorry for your loss.
i agree with the others, it definitely sounds like hemangiosarcoma.
my golden girl just passed from a hemangio tumor in her heart. she was 11.5 and much like your max, it was fast. she fine the week before and the next few days all of a sudden she was lethargic, and the big tip off was when she didn't want to eat. i knew then something was really wrong. we found out the tumor in her heart had ruptured and started to bleed out in to her pericardial sac, thus putting immense pressure on her heart to pump. we had to say goodbye and helped her cross the bridge.
since then i've done a lot of research on the cancer, and it seems to be a very fast cancer that attacks organs that are highly vesseled, i.e. the spleen, liver, and heart.
as talleyJudy said, there's no known cause, and usually no presenting symptoms until it is too far progressed and the tumor has ruptured causing internal bleeding. i too don't think the urine pills your husband gave max had anything to do with it.
again, my deepest condolences. i know how much you all miss max!
I just wanted to add something to the topic of Cancer in dogs. I don't understand why the vets are not well educated on cancer. The vet said to me that the majority of dogs die from cancer. Well if this is beginning to be just as prevalent with dogs as with us, you would think they would be slowly coming up to speed on that as well. The only problem is, is that our darlings keep well hidden their pain. They have so much stamina and a will to live, that trait from my Jack Russel Jackie sure taught me a great deal about life and how precious it is.
(with thoughts of my beautiful Jackie in mind, I lost her to Osteocarcinoma last Spring)
We, too, lost our choc. Tori girl to lymphoma, so I know how you feel and what you went through. Those types of cancers come on so fast.
I don't think the turf pee pills had anything to do with it but you always look for a 'reason'.
We now have year+old Tootsie Brown and I keep a very close eye on her and worry, needlessly I'm sure, but once you've gone through a cancer episode you are always wary.