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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dante, my daughter's sweet and goofy pound puppy, was diagnosed with lymphoma on Wednesday. His only symptoms had been extreme thirst and frequent, uncontrolled urination. Lab tests for a UTI or diabetes came back negative, so he went to a specialist who did a biopsy of a very small swollen area in one leg, followed up by more tests and ultrasounds.

My daughter and her fiance, who adopted Dante together almost four years ago, made the decision to have chemotherapy because Dante is young, fit and otherwise healthy. The cancer appears to be confined to one leg so the chances of prolonging a good quality of life for a year or two appear to be decent. The chances for a "cure" are remote.

He has been sleeping a lot following his first chemo but has a good appetite and has been playful and happy. My daughter is optimistic but our hearts are broken.

I have never met a sweeter or better-natured dog, nor do I expect to.

Here's a little Dante story from a happier time. Dante lives with a miniature schnauzer nicknamed the Angry Badger. They are inseparable (which is a major concern going forward) and Dante puts up with an amazing amount of crap from Zeke - but only up to a point.

Dante, Zeke, my two girls and I were all out in our yard and Zeke, as he so often does, was standing in the middle of the yard barking continuously at nothing in particular. Finally, Dante trotted over to him and gently, but firmly, clamped Zeke's mouth shut with his own. He held it shut for a moment and then released but when Zeke started barking again, Dante repeated the process. We enjoyed an hour-or-two of quiet after that and all I could think was, "I've been wanting to do that for years."











http://youtu.be/PyljIKhjHn0
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
BTW, I'm not necessarily looking for advice. I think Dante is getting excellent care.

But I'd like to point out, once again, the urgency of quality vet care when you're not certain what's going on with your dog. Dante's lymphoma was caught early and it's a cancer where a few days might make a big difference in the prognosis. And when my daughter got the news, and was told that she could come in for the next available appointment a week later, she called the vet, raised a little hell and got Dante in the next day to start the chemo.
 

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What an AWESOME sounding dog Dante is! :D He's also very handsome! And that little story about him and Zeke, priceless! I hope the Chemo does him good and you guys have many more years with him! :)
 

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I'm sorry to hear this. I lost my old girl Roxy, best dog I ever knew, to lymphoma in 2008. I had also chosen to do chemo and FWIW I would do it again in a heartbeat. I felt like she really did not experience any significant bad side effects and it bought us some very good quality time.

I wish very good luck to you all as you go through this.
 

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I'm sorry to hear this, Ron. I hope Dante does well with the treatment and you all enjoy much more time with the goofy Dante.
 

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I'm so sorry. Hopefully he should get lots more time with the chemo, since they caught it early. My dog, Penn, also died in 2009 of lymphoma. He was asymptomatic until later in the disease, and then it turned out that he wasn't a candidate for chemo. :( It felt like one minute I found out he was sick, and the next minute it was all over. Hopefully Dante gets lots more time! I'll be thinking of him.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about the cancer, so sad:(

My mom's labradoodle was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) when she was only 2 years old. My mom made the decision to not only have her back leg amputated, but to also do the chemo therapy. Just like a person, Wanda had up days and down days during chemo. Four months later, she was cancer free. She lived a happy 3-legged dog life for the next two years until the cancer came back-- in her lungs, and we had to put her down. My mom questioned many times whether the chemo was a good choice or not, it was. Wanda got the longest life we could give her. We wish she was still with us, but for the time she was she was an incredibly special dog.

Good luck with the chemo, give that doggy lots of love and pats!
 

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I am so sorry to hear this. I hope the chemo buys a much longer time than anticipated for all of you. My sincere well wishes and prayers go out to everyone who loves Dante and your family and Dante himself. Heart dogs are so very hard to lose. Every dog is hard to lose ...

Agreed to urgent vet care ...
 

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So sorry about Dante's diagnosis :( Hoping the chemo gives you all many more years!
 

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Ron, I'm sorry to read about Dante. I'll pray for a him. He's a striking dog. Is that you with him?
 

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I'm so sorry to hear this--but so glad your daughter was proactive and got him in there, quickly.

Will say prayers for him--and all of you.

Way too many cancer diagnosis now days. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ron, I'm sorry to read about Dante. I'll pray for a him. He's a striking dog. Is that you with him?
Yes, that would be me.

Of the five dogs in our immediate family, he is the only one who not only tolerates but enjoys those big hugs.

Molly would freak out, Esther would look at it as an invitation to rough-house and I would need to put on some body armor, Zeke would bite my nose off and Duke would probably throw up.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As if this poor dog has not already been through enough . . .

Dante, as some of you know, not only survived the lymphoma, but has been thriving - spending his weekends hiking in the Adirondacks with my son-in-law.

Last night he had three seizures. He's at the e-vet right now and they say he has epilepsy. They'll keep him a bit longer and then send him home with daily meds.

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has experienced this with their dog. I don't know if the meds will eliminate the seizures or just minimize/reduce them. I'm guessing his backpacking days are done.
 

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Oh, no. Good thoughts to everyone involved. I've known people with epilepsy who've done great with meds; they are generally seizure free except during times of extreme stress. Hope Dante does well and is able to continue his hikes.
 

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Once you can control the seizures the dog can lead a normal life. It takes a while to get the right dose. You can also get some rectal atavan for emergencies but epilepsy medication is effective.
 

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Aw man, poor guy can't catch a break. :( I'll be praying that he'll be able to once again experience a full and happy life with his medication, poor guy.
 
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