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Lymphatic Cancer

6118 Views 17 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Avery
My mom called me today because they found out that our Westie, Scooter, has lymphatic cancer.
They took him to the vet today (I think just for a checkup?) and the vet found lymphnodes near his throat, chest, and groin (maybe others, it was hard to understand my mom) were really swollen. This has happened fairly suddenly, since November. He was at the vet in November and she felt nothing then. Bloodwork came back with cancer.
When I was home last week I observed that he was snoring and wheezing. Apparently it's from lymphnodes pressing on his airways.
He's still himself, running around, playing, which I am so thankful for.
He's 11 years old.

We basically have two options. (This information is from the vet, via my mother) 1. We could take him to the vet school for chemotherapy. This might extend his life 10-12 months, but it would be really hard on him, especially because of his age.
2. Treat him with a steroid, Prednisone. According to the vet this might reduce the lymphnodes and extend his life 3-6 months.
I asked my mom what these timeframes mean but she's not sure. She said it doesn't mean 3-6 months from now, just 3-6 months more than he would have without treatment.

My parents are going to go with option 2. I agree with them. I'd rather he be comfortable, and I wouldn't want to put him through chemo, especially if we don't know if it would even help.

I don't have all the information, as I wasn't with them at the vet and I was informed through a very emotional phone call.

I tried googling it, but different sites have very different information. One said that the average survival rate for dogs treated with just Prednisone is 60 days. 60 days from what?

So I came here, asking for your experience. Have any of you had a dog with lymphatic cancer? How did you treat it? How did it go?

I just realized that this dog has been with me for half my life.
I knew he was getting old, I just thought we still had a couple years left. Now we might have weeks? Months? He's always been pretty healthy, overall. I just didn't expect it.

I live about an hour away. I only get to see him on the weekends.

Just felt like posting some pictures.
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I'm so sorry. He looks like a great dog.

I can't really answer your question, but I do agree with the prednisone vs. the chemo. I'd treat my 3 year old dog with chemo, but an 11 year old I wouldn't. There just isn't enough benefit there, for me, to justify the stress to the dog. Others may feel differently.

As to how he's acting . . . Muggsy (in my sig) died 2 weeks after his 13th birthday of liver cancer. I had no idea he had it. He was a little slower and eating a bit less, but he was 13. Otherwise, he acted exactly the same. Friday night, he danced and spun as I tried to get his leash on him for our last walk of the day. Saturday morning, he couldn't stand. Dogs don't show symptoms like people do. The good thing about this is that Scooter might be his happy self for the remainder of his life.
Then they've seriously improved chemo since the last time I saw it, which is certainly a good thing. I just remember my mother's poodle and that was awful. He was 15 and just so miserable. I could have personally justified that level of misery in a young dog expected to recover, but . . . my mother's big flaw is not knowing when to say when.

If the dog's not going to be miserable, then it's just money and what the vet recommends to me. And, of course, what you feel is best.
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