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Multiple Tumors

August 17th, 2007, 07:52 PM
I'm not sure how many of you read or remember my last post, it's been almost a month now, but here it is to refresh your memories:

My dog ate some ice cream yesterday and today he seems constipated. I've only watched him go outside once and he didn't poop. But his stomach is hard and he's a little lazy. I'm hoping he's just constipated from the ice cream but I'm not sure the side effects. Does anyone know?
I ask because he had a large tumor (7lbs on a 35lb dog) and his spleen removed in February and this was how we first noticed something was wrong. I really don't want to go through that again. They said it wasn't cancerous and he's been fine since.

Well it turned out the ice cream wasn't the problem. Hazard, that's my cocker spaniel's name cause he was rescued when I dug him our of a water hazard he was stuck in on a golf course, has multiple tumors! Well I call them tumors, the vet just calls them masses. I don't see the difference.

He just had a large, but supposedly benign, tumor removed in February. It was a 7lb tumor and they removed his spleen too. Supposedly they sent of pieces of the tumor at the time and they all came back negative. I'm not sure I believe that now, but nothing I can do I guess.

So now I'm left trying to decide what to do. Hazard is probably about 7-9 years old. He is still eating and pooping, but at times has trouble breathing. There is some fluid in his chest it looks like on the xray. His sonogram showed a large mass in his bell, several smaller ones at other spots in his belly, and even one in/on his liver. That's obviously the one to worry about.

The only options are exploritory surgery and chemo, or to just keep him comfortable for as long as I can and let him pass. I hate to do that cause he's been through so much and I can't just give up on him!! But it's not fair to put him through so much if this is just gonna keep coming back.

I have 7 dogs, and Hazard was my 4th, but he's really my best friend! He doesn't let me go anywhere in the house alone. If the others are with my fiance he stays with me. He sleeps with me all the time and keeps me company. He's my BEST FRIEND!! And I hate to see him hurt. He's fought through so much already, and I've only had him 2 years, I know he'd try to fight through this. But should I make him?

I know it's hard to give out advice on a topic like this. But I need some advice and any experiences y'all have had would be welcomed too. I understand there are different opinions on what to do here and I won't judge anyone. I just can't make this decision right now without researching all options.

Sorry it's so long. I just don't know what to do. It was so hard last time and for it to happen again so soon just doesn't seem fair!

Thanks again,
Ben Marshall

August 18th, 2007, 04:17 PM
Hi Ben
I am so sorry to hear about the problems Hazard is having. I need you to clarify a few points. The first surgery revealed a large benign tumor from chest and spleen was removed. Now he has had a recurrence of these "masses".

The Vet has given option of exploritory to rule out cancer and possibly chemo if necessary. Hopefully I got that right..correct me if I am wrong. You have also been given the option to keep him comfortable with no other active treatment. You are concerned you may be giving up on him to early.

I would ask the Vet- What is the likelihood that the recurrence of these masses are Cancer? If there is cancer, what are his chances of success with chemotherapy? If these masses are considered to be benign again, what kind of life will my dog have? Will he have to go through surgery after surgery to keep on top of this? What will his quality of life be??

Have you had a detailed conversation with your Vet? You really need to understand the whole picture when you try to make your decision.
I hope the questions have been helpful.

August 19th, 2007, 09:06 PM
Let me see if I can clarify this a little more.

His first surgery was to remove a large tumor and also his spleen. When pieces of the tumor were sent off for testing they apparently came back benign. The vet couldn't believe that a tumor that big could be benign so he said he'd send off more samples. I never heard back from him that they were positive so I assumed they were all benign.

But according to the vet now, a new vet, the sonogram shows a large stomach mass, as well as a couple smaller masses in the stomach area. And one in his liver. She says they look like splentic (spelling?) tumors. So they are leftovers from the last tumor. I asked how this could be and all she can say is they may have misdiagnosed the last tumor. That the cancerous stuff could be too small for the naked eye, and that the pieces they sent off may have been negative.

There is also a little fluid build up in his chest around his lungs. And the tumor in his liver apparently is the most dangerous. She basically says the decision is up to us. But she would lean toward making him comfortable but no surgery. That it came back so fast, and there is so much that it isn't really worth it to put him through surgery. And even after surgery he'd need chemo cause they can't cut the one in his liver out. So it'd be a lot for an older dog to go through, especially so soon after his last surgery.

We've discussed it and I think we're gonna pass on surgery and chemo and just make him as comfortable as we can for as long as we can. It's such a hard decision cause we're making it for him. He was so strong during his last surgery and recovery that I know he'd fight again. But is it worth the fight? How uncomfortable is he gonna be?


August 19th, 2007, 11:32 PM
:grouphug: I'm sorry you are in this position Ben :grouphug: Maybe you should sit down with your Vet and talk about pain management (medication and perhaps alternative modalities). You may also want to treat the fluid on the lungs which will help Hazard feel more comfortable

August 19th, 2007, 11:48 PM
I am so sorry to hear about Hazard. It is hard for me to respond to this because I had to make a similar decision recently and my Shade just passed away on Thursday. The decision we made was based on quality of life for her. The tumor was non-operable and chemo was not likely to be successful so we chose to give her pain management and take things one day at a time. I had many conversations with my vet and felt like I had all the information before we came to our decision. Even then it was a difficult road and I am devastated by her loss. The advice I have for you is enjoy every moment with him and your other furry friends and make the decision you feel is best for him. I hope this helped. :grouphug: :grouphug:

August 20th, 2007, 05:23 AM
Hi Ben-
You have made the only choice you could have. This must be an extremely difficult time for your family. Pain management is the next phase and you and your Vet will come to an understanding. I am so sorry you are going through this.