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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.
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Avatar universal
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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1 Comments
What ever happened with the lump on your dog's neck?  Is she still alive?
974371 tn?1424653129
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?1273687488
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 universal
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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1 Comments
Did you end up putting her down as mentioned on here?
974371 tn?1424653129
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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Avatar universal
Our 5 yr old Shepard was diagnosed 3 weeks ago.  She is on Prednisone and pepcid for her stomach. Her lymph nodes have not changed, she has 2 large sized areas on her stomach, I'm thinking it's her liver and spleen which the vet said he could feel were enlarged.  She has been staring at me often and is very panty. She still tries to play and be happy but she sits much more than 3 weeks ago.  We are deciding to put her to sleep before she begins to suffer at all.  We will be strong while she passes and mourn her later.  We have had her since she was 5 weeks old.  Reading these posts has been very helpful. Thank you all for sharing your stories
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974371 tn?1424653129
So very sorry you are having to deal with this and in such a young dog.  Terrible how fast this Cancer can take our beloved compsnions.  You are doing the right thing to be so aware of her condition.  Such a hard decision to make but an act of love to give them a peaceful passing.  
Hugs.
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Avatar universal
I just had to make this decision last night. My border collie is 11 years old and had the lumps in her throat and swoolen spleen. I got home from work last night and went to check on her and her entire face was swollen to the point that she couldn't breath. She was very pale so I took her to the vet and we decided to let her go. Very difficult to go through. She is the sweetest dog I've ever had. I have her brother and mother that are struggling with it too. As sad as I am, I'm trying to stay strong for then as they mourn for her. Hope nobody ever has to go through this
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Avatar universal
I was looking for advice as well.. my dog was diagnosed last month and she was very bad off. She is such a happy baby though you’d never know which makes it even harder. Last night she threw up twice and was very calm (not like her) but then back to normal today. She has swollen tissue when using the restroom. The vet did blood work and told me to stop the steroids. Her stress hormones were very high. Her pancreas couldn’t even be measured it was so high and dehydrated dispite drinking a lot. They wanted to hospitalize her for a few days with just IV but to me.. I didn’t think it would do much for long. Now I’m struggling with do I do more or let her go now?
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Avatar universal
Oh my goodness you sound exactly like me about my dog who does same exact things. Holy Moses!
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Avatar universal
I am going through this right now and i am very angry about it.
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Avatar universal
I had to put down my Boston this week. He was diagnosed with lymphoma approximately 4 months ago. At the time of his prognosis, the vet thought he had a great chance to live at least a year or more, because he was still young and strong at four years of age.  I knew it was time to put him to rest after his lumps in his throat continued to grow even with chemotherapy and prednisone, he had diarrhea and was having difficulty with bowel movements, became lethargic most of the day, and had difficulty breathing. Even though he perked up when I came home and still loved his walks, I couldn’t bare hearing him struggle to breathe as he tried to rest the night before we took his final visit to the vet.

I knew then that he was not responding to treatment and would not get better. I agree with so many people who said to spoil your pet when the time is near and don’t wait so long that your pet suffers. If possible, be with your pet in the room when the procedure is performed. My Boston snuggled his head between my body and my arm, and I held him and comforted him as he passed. He was always loyal, protective, and loving. Being there with him at the time he most needed me was the least I could do... I dearly loved him, and this was the most difficult decision for me out of all the dogs I’ve owned. In the end, you have to make your decision based on sheer love for your pet.
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1 Comments
The way you just worded your comnent has been of great help to me. Yesterday i had to have my 6yr old parson jack russell Pippa put to sleep, how she had hid pain or discomfort for so long i will never know, the vet diagnosed lymphoma, cancer of the spleen and thought she may have it in other organs too. She had been treated for a urethra infection 3months ago which i am guessing was when she shoukd have been diagnosed. Pippa became extremely ill over just 3 days and i knew just by the look in her eyes that whatever was wrong with her(she hadn't been diagnosed at that point)she had had enough. She perked up for the drive to the vets and for her love of people was listening to all going on in the waiting room. I promised her i would be there for her whatever because that dog was my best friend and had been through everything with me, i now had to give that back in return, i felt like someone had punched me in the heart and stomach. My daughter summed it up "the kindest thing for pippa was the most hurtful thing for us" from the mouth of a 14yr old! Pippa is no longer in pain and if anything looked relieved. Your words about making the decision through pure love for our four legged friends finally found me the words i was searching for. A good vet will not put a dog down unless it is necessary. My vet had advised it before i could even say it. We weren't insured and to start with because i was so angry and hurt i thought he was bothered i wouldn't pay but he didn't mean that at all, she was very very poorly and she had held on to continue being there for me, my bestest little friend but her eyes told me she couldn't continue. I'll never stop loving her and wanting her back. But i had to do it for her. I hope you are well and i am so sorry for your loss too. X
Avatar universal
I have an 11yr old dashund/beagle that was diagnosed with lymphoma.Its been a month and his lympnodes have gotten bigger.Hes on steriods and antibiotics and hes getting worse.Hes had great days but hes starting to have breathing troubles,constantly panting from the steroids,weak and lethargic.He still eats well,goes to the bathroom well and is still by your side.It very hard to put him down.I see a loving dog but i also see a sick dog and hes just not a dog anymore.They say 6 weeks but there are some days he seems just fine but his nights have got bad since the panting keeps him up.Im at a loss cause i don’t want him to suffer but don’t want to lose him.Ive never had a dog that i had to put down and the vet talks about it but im having a hard time accepting it.Ive read all the responses and i wish i was as strong as you guys.Am i being selfish for wanting to hang on to him?
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