- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Questions about dog with leukemia.

October 12th, 2006, 10:56 AM
Hello all. My dog (Poncho), who is a 6 year old lab/boxer mix, was diagnosed with leukemia 4 weeks ago. We took him to the vet about 7 weeks ago because he had slight swelling in the lymph nodes just under his chin, no other symptoms. The vet first gave him antibiotics for 2 weeks with no response so we took him back to the vet at which time he pulled blood and confirmed leukemia. He has told us that there is nothing we can do. In the past month, Poncho's water intake and urine output has significantly increased (I assume the cancer is affecting his kidney function). In the past two weeks he has become more lethargic and is losing his appetite. It seems as though he has problems chewing and swallowing dry food, so we started soaking his dry food and have gradually switched him to a wet food. He seemed to be eating well until last night when he didn't have any interest in his wet food. We did give him some chicken last night, which he ate fine. This morning he urinated outside then came in, drank an entire bowl of water, urinated a huge puddle and vomited (the first time he has done this). Is there any kind of food that I can try that might be easier on his stomach and more appealing? Also, the past few days he has had muscle twitching that looks almost like hiccups but his breathing doesn't appear to be affected. What could this be? I am very concerned about him as his lymph nodes under his chin and on his chest are now nearly baseball size and the nodes on the back of his hind legs are quarter size. My vet seems to feel that his symptoms are normal for leukemia and there is nothing I can do. Is there anything I can do to make him more comfortable and control his water and food intake? I'm not sure how long I can watch him go through this. He is my best friend and it kills me to think that he is suffering in any way.

October 12th, 2006, 11:34 AM
If your vet cannot provide relief (I'm not saying cure, just temporary relief), and your dog is having difficulty eating, it sounds as if time is running out. I would feed him anything his little heart desires but at the same time allow for the possibility that he needs you to help him over the bridge while he can still hear your voice and feel your touch.
My heartfelt sympathies. I am having a hard time reading your post but I know it is a thousand times more difficult for you.

October 12th, 2006, 01:21 PM
Thanks badger. It is tough and I know the inevitable is coming, I just hope to hold on as long as he is not in pain, which so far he doesn't seem to hurt anywhere. I used to work for a vet clinic for horses and I saw far too many people that let their horses go for too long. It would kill me more to have him suffer than to let him go before he feels any pain. So far he still looks bright and ate some chicken at lunch today so we'll just keep him eating whatever he'll eat. I have heard that rice is good for dogs, do you know anything about this? Thanks again for the nice comments. Here's a picture of my little angel (hope I did that right).

October 12th, 2006, 01:44 PM
Just wanted to say that I am soooo sorry for what you are going through with your dog. :sad: . He is such a beautiful dog.

As for the rice, yeah is good for dogs. I was once told by the vet to feed my dog rice and boiled chicken when he was sick.

Again, I am so sad for you and Poncho.

the gang
October 12th, 2006, 04:29 PM
my heart goes out to you, i had a cocker with cancer that was 2yrs ago i still have a very hard time talking about her !did you ask the vet about predosone?? chalsie did good on this for about 8 months but, now i look back after 5 months i should have put her down i kept saying she was eating and pooping and playing but that was the pred. it was a bandaid, i kept her too long but just did not know how to say good bye !!!as i wright this i have tears in my eyes so i know what you are going through please take care i wish you and the pup the very best, life sucks that these little guys are only here for so long :sorry: :grouphug: brenda, dakota,nicky,rosie.

October 13th, 2006, 10:16 AM
Thanks for all the wonderful words. I wish I had a good report to give, but unfortunately Poncho's not looking too good. I tried to give him some rice last night, but he had no interest in it. I finally convinced him to eat some wet cat food (I figured it was better than nothing) but it took about 20 minutes to convince him to eat it. He vomited again today after drinking water so I called the vet. He said he thinks the cancer is spreading into his abdomen (which is why he is having the muscle twitches) and that it has probably affected glands in the lining of his stomach which is why he doesn't want to eat. I asked him if there is anything we can do and he feels that there really is nothing and that I should start thinking about when I'm ready to let him go. How am I supposed to answer that question? My answer is never! I will never be ready to let him go. I know I will have to, but I will never want to. Thanks again for all of your kind words and support. I have never had to put an animal of mine down before and my heart goes out to anyone who has. This is going to be the hardest decision of my life!

October 13th, 2006, 11:37 AM
I have a lab/boxer too, I'm so sorry for what you're going through. Enjoy every minute you have with Poncho. He's very sweet looking from your picture.
My prayers are with you and Poncho :grouphug: :pray:

October 16th, 2006, 02:15 PM
Thank you all for the prayers and good wishes. We are definitely taking advantage of every minute we have left with him. I found some high calorie gel for dogs on the internet and ordered a tube to try with Poncho. Hopefully it will be here tomorrow. It is supposed to have some type of appetite stimulant so we are hoping it will make him want to eat. We are also going to try giving him some yogurt tonight. We have decided that if we can't get him to eat in the next couple days we will have to say goodbye. We cannot watch him starve and suffer no matter how much we want to keep him around. Thanks again for all the prayers, we appreciate them. I will keep you posted.

October 16th, 2006, 02:21 PM
Good luck. I'm sorry you and your doggy have to go through this.:grouphug:

October 16th, 2006, 05:38 PM
I am so sorry to hear about Poncho. :sad: I know the decision you have to make is very difficult. I've had to do it several times and it never gets any easier. My thoughts are with you. :grouphug:

April 13th, 2007, 05:02 PM
My dog Max a 4 1/2 year old american bulldog was diag'd last week with leukemia, hasn't been eating, lost 15 lbs in a week. Had to put him down last night couldnt watch him suffer! I feel for you. Its extra hard when there young and unexpected!!

April 13th, 2007, 06:13 PM
I'm really sorry about your dog, it must've been heartbreaking to see him go downhill so fast. You did the most loving thing, and I'm sure he knew it.