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Why ?

My eight year old satffie has a lump/mass growing in his right Atrium for which he is on medication to help his suffering, his nights are restless & yelps when eating.
How long do you think he will live for ?
I can not accept he is dying, he is a gentle lovely dog who touches people lives.
Why him & why so young ?
Only became ill  week ago, if i had spotted it sooner would it have made a difference ?
thank you
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3186632_tn?1345583488
I am so sorry to hear this and offet my condolences.

I have a twelve year old English Bulldog that is going through a similar situation now.  I went to a cardiologist and had an echo done and he said there is a large tumor in his left Atrium and gave him about a week to live.  It's been nine days now and he's doing fine except for fluid buildup in his abdomen which I take him in to be drained when it gets too much.  

Anyway, these kind of things often do happen suddenly and by the time you notice symptoms, it is usually in the latter stages.  Middle age and older dogs are more prone, although it can and does happen in all ages.  Eight years old is relatively young, depending on the breed and life expectancy for said breed.  Often these masses are genetic and there is nothing you did wrong or could have done to prevent it.  In my case, the tumor is inoperable.  I am assuming yours is too?  So finding out earlier wouldn't have done much good unless it is an operable condition with a really good prognosis for a full recovery.  In all honesty, no one knows how long he can go on.  He could go today or last a few more months or longer hopefully.  Even a vets estimate is sometimes off.  Did you see a cardiology specialist?  If not, that might be a good idea.  They have access to more drugs and equipment that regular vets do not.  Otherwise, just do your best to keep him from suffering as long as possible and hope for the best.
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974371_tn?1364538460
I am so sorry to read this sad news for both you and JohnT.  I assume these are hemangeosarcomas?  (sp?).  From my limited knowledge, these are relatively common in middle age to older dogs.  The only treatment I've ever heard of was possible surgery ( if it has not spread) and radiation and/ or Chemo.  
If it were my dog I would not opt to put my dog through that because it would be a quality of life issue for me, not to mention the expense.  Don't misunderstand, I don't judge anyone trying to make these difficult decisions for their pets.  You know your dogs and are working with your Vets, who should be your main source for treatment and care.  Never hurts to get a second opinion, which I have done many times myself.

There might be support groups out there and people posting that have dealt with this.  You might check the Yahoo groups.  There canine Lymphoma group was a well of information for me in dealing with Lymphoma in my Greyhound.  I opted to do palliative care and he survived for 6 months, which was longer than expected.

My heart goes out to you as we all wish our beloved pets could be around forever.
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3186632_tn?1345583488
Thanks.  Yes, that is the type of tumor in my dog.  And they are common, yes.  One vet I saw told me he sees a dog with one almost once every shift he works.  But they are not as common in my breed.  Not sure about Staffies, however.  Since mine is twelve, which is like a human being ninety plus in comparison, there's no way I'd put my dog through that.  But, it's not an option in my case regardless.  Not sure in the poster's case.  And the dog is eight and not twelve.  Definitely worth the money to see a specialist.
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Avatar_m_tn
Than you every one for your replies & kind words.
Seen two vets one of which was a heart specialist, they could refer Marshal to  the RVC to see the only heart surgeon in the country but could die on the operating table & would cost about £7.000.- which i would find if they could ensure he would get better & recover as to how he was.
The other option is to see a specialist would could do a biopsy through ultra sound which could confirm what it is & wether it could be treated by chemo, but is that prolonging his agony & what  would his quality of live be whilst in treatment & after
I just want him back as he was - this is a nightmare, i am being selish i know...but i can't eat, sleep or go to work,  feel like a part of me is dying with him ..:-(  
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3186632_tn?1345583488
I totally understand that feeling.  But as time goes by, you'll come to the acceptance stage of the grieving.  

That would be a very risky surgery even if it could be performed.  And there's no way any doctor can ensure you that he'll be back to the way he was.  Any surgery comes with a risk, but when you are dealing with the heart, it's a whole new level.   Also, what did they say anything about the type of tumor it could possibly be?  My guess would be a hemangeosarcoma.  Or is that what the biopsy would determine?  If so, they are usually cancerous but most often grow fairly slowly.  However, the do spread to other parts of the body eventually and sometimes rupture which causes internal bleeding.   So even if you did surgery and it was relatively successful, there's always a chance that it could grow back.  Then you'd be back at square one again.  Chemo and radiation would pretty much guarantee that your dog would not be back to normal as it has devastating effects on the body.  The cardiologist in my case didn't see it as an option at all for my dog.  Mainly because the tumor is inside the heart.  If it was a tumor on the outside of the body (skin) or even on the outside of an organ, then it might stand a better chance for treatment.  If yours is the same kind of tumor, you'll probably get the same advice.   Keep us posted and I'll be wishing you the best....
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