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When is it time for a dog with lymphoma
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When is it time for a dog with lymphoma

My dog is a 7 year old lab. She was diagnosed with lymphoma 4-6 months ago. I am not treating with chemo. She is currently on prednisone and tramadol. She was doing great for awhile and all the lumps and swelling went way down. Over the last few weeks I have been noticing a lot of changes in her. She has been throwing up frequently and reluctant to eat. She seems to have lost a lot of weight as I can see her ribs pretty clearly. The lumps have gotten much bigger and appear in more places than just her neck. She has also become VERY clingy with me. Following me from room to room and repeatedly coming to me regardless of what I am doing. Also, if she is not coming over to me all she does is stare at me. No matter what else is going on, she just stares.

My fiancee also tells me that when I am not home my lab is a completely different dog. All she does is lay around barely moving or making a sound. She will come when called but she seems to not make an effort even if my fiancee is cooking which has alway brought the lab running. But as my fiancee puts it, the second I walk through the door the lab is up and at the my feet tail wagging. She is still willing to go play fetch (only for a short time before she stops).

My question is really how can I tell when it is time for me to put her down? I don't want to wait until she is in so much pain that she can't move. I don't want her last few days to be horrible. If it came down to it, I would rather do it too early rather than too late. It makes it more difficult for me because as I said, she seems to act completely different around me than she does when I'm not home. I know labs have a tendency to want to "please" their owner and I think this is what she is doing.
Tags: Dog, lab, lymphoma
5 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
I am so truly sorry for what you (and your lab) are going through. Several years ago I had to put my precious Pug to sleep..It took me a long time to sccept that it was the right thing to do. I believe that animals let you know, one way or the other, when it is time. I think that your lab is holding on for your sake. Just from what your fiancee says about the way she behaves when you're not around is one clue..When you come home your dog is still trying so hard to please you, etc. My pug did much te same thing. She followed me around sand tried to keep me where she could see me. She was 16+ years old and was deaf, could not pee or poo on her own any longer and then she began growing a large mass on her stomach. I didn't think it was right to try and put her through surgery. Then she began having diarrhea. It broke my heart to make the choice to put her down because her eyes were still bright and aware - but it had to be done. It's tough to know exactly when because dogs do their best to try and 'hide' their pain. From all you said about the growths. it sounds as though the time is close. I suggest you take a day (or so) to do whatever she loves to do.If she likes going bye bye, then take her for a ride and buy her a MacDonalds hamburger and perhaps go to a park for a slow walk. I believe she is trying to tell you in her own way ... just spend as much time as you can being with her, giving her all your attention and spoil her rotten before you make 'the' appointment with the vet. My heart goes out to you ... it is such a hard thing to do but it's better to do it sooner rather than later! Bless you and take care!
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974371_tn?1364538460
So sorry to read this.  We lost our Greyhound to Lymphoma last year.  He was 12 1/2 and survived 6 mos after diagnosis. Mi decided to do palliative care only with diet and supplements so was grateful for the 6 months when prognosis was 1-2 months.
It dies sound like the cancer is probably in the internal organs.  You certainly don't want the dog to suffer and the kindest thing you can do is euthanize which is never an easy decision!  This opus only a decision you can make but sometimes we need to step out of the personal relationship we have with our pets and consider their quality of life.
Have you taken her to the Vet recently?  If not, maybe you should and your Vet can give you an outside, professional opinion.
With our Grey, I knew in my heart it was time but took him to my Vet who confirmed that.  As hard as it was, my husband took him for one of his favorite walks, I forgot the cancer diet and gave him extra goodies and we held him during his passing.
Hugs
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1040373_tn?1273691088
I'm sorry you have to go through this. From an outsider's perspective, it sounds like you're at a point where you're ready, and it sounds as though you would be doing the right thing for your dear friend. Personally, I have waited too long in the past and I regret it to this day.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your comments. I have scheduled her final appointment for this Thursday. It will be sad to do but she is getting worse by the day. Lumps are getting much bigger, the steroids have deteriorated her muscles, she hardly eats...she is almost just a skeleton at this point. She clearly does not feel well but she tries for me every day when I get home. There is nothing else to do for her at this point but to let her go.

I'm going to take the day off work and spend it at home with her giving her treats and attention. If she is up for a short walk or a car ride or fetch or all of the above then that is what we will do.
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974371_tn?1364538460
Such a difficult decision but sounds like you have made the best one for her as it sounds like she is probably miserable. Must love her and enjoy this time with her.  She is lucky to have lasted this long post diagnosis and so lucky to have you there so she can have a peaceful passing.
Hugs to you.
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