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Old August 17th, 2009, 08:46 PM
astar astar is offline
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Having trouble breathing

Hi, I have a golden retriever lab mix...he is 13 years old and has been having trouble breathing. Today I took him to the vet and got some pretty bad news. They took blood work and I will not get the results until a couple of days but he said it could either just be an infection or lymphoma. I was hoping maybe somebody here could give me some kinda direction on what I should think.

The vet today gave us an anti biotic but I can not tell if it has done anything. Most of the time when he is walking around he is panting really hard and when he lays down he either pants or moans until he falls asleep. The vet said the moaning is not pain but I dont see any other reason why he would keep on moaning? The house is being kept really cool now and I only take him outside for the bathroom but he still pants everywhere. I can also feel a bumpy swollen area near his neck which is scaring me the most making me think he cant eat or breathe good. We know it is not lime disease though he has had that twice and recovered and seems to not eat his dog food but he eats "human" food.

I know I can not do anything about it but having to wait 5 days is killing me I am just looking for maybe another opinion? I do not know what I will do if it turns out he has lymphoma he is my best friend but I dont know how I will handle putting him down. I looked more online about lymphoma and the symptoms of loss of appetite and weight loss fit the description, but he has not vomited and has not had any diarrhea...although I should add he has a hard time pooping but I havent seen any diarrhea. From what I have told you guys though can anyone please help me?? I am just looking for more opinions but is it sounding like the worst(cancer) or could this just very possibly be an infection?
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Old August 17th, 2009, 08:53 PM
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I'm sorry you're going through such a difficult time It's so hard when they're sick and you have to wait for results.

But until the results come back, you don't really know what you're up against. So breathe deep, grab your patience with both hands, and take it a day at a time.

If you need to entice him to eat with human food, so be it. He has to eat to maintain his strength to fight whatever he has, and I'm sure he won't mind the extra luscious food.

Meanwhile, if you need to rant, cry, yell, or just need a hug, we're here. Most of us have been in the position of waiting for test results and know how scary it is

Welcome to the board, astar. I just wish it were under better circumstances.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 09:37 PM
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Astar, I so know exactly what you're going through.

Have you looked down into his throat to see if there are any lumps or obstacles?

13 years old for a Golden Sweety--you are so blessed! Our Golden girl lived to almost 14 years until her passing in January.

In any event, like Hazelrunpack says, we're all here for you to rant, cry, yell or just needing a hug. and many for you and your little guy.

Welcome to the forum and please keep us posted.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 05:33 PM
astar astar is offline
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Originally Posted by klmccallum View Post
Astar, I so know exactly what you're going through.

Have you looked down into his throat to see if there are any lumps or obstacles?

13 years old for a Golden Sweety--you are so blessed! Our Golden girl lived to almost 14 years until her passing in January.

In any event, like Hazelrunpack says, we're all here for you to rant, cry, yell or just needing a hug. and many for you and your little guy.

Welcome to the forum and please keep us posted.
Thanks so much I appreciate the kind words...i have not looked down his throat he wont really let me open is mouth long enough. Some good news though today he is not panting as hard and it looks like the swelling under his jaw and near his neck has gone down. I know I shouldnt get my hopes up but if it was the lymphoma cancer wouldnt the swelling not go down from the antibiotics???
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Old August 19th, 2009, 05:33 PM
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I wouldn't think that antibiotics would have any effect on a tumor. Maybe the lump was a swollen gland or something?

I'll keep my fingers crossed for an easily treatable diagnosis.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 09:39 PM
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How's the little guy doing today astar?

You should try to open his mouth to inspect his gums, teeth and the roof of his mouth. If the swelling was near his jaw/neck it could be that he may have an infection or maybe an absessed tooth.

It sounds positive that the swelling has gone down with the antibiotics and hope he's rebounding!
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Old August 20th, 2009, 10:52 AM
astar astar is offline
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Originally Posted by klmccallum View Post
How's the little guy doing today astar?

You should try to open his mouth to inspect his gums, teeth and the roof of his mouth. If the swelling was near his jaw/neck it could be that he may have an infection or maybe an absessed tooth.

It sounds positive that the swelling has gone down with the antibiotics and hope he's rebounding!
Well he has had bad teeth for awhile now I never really brushed them....:sad: But today I have noticed his neck lymph node swelling is almost completely gone, I cant really tell about his other areas and he even barked today and is breathing normally. I am going back to the vet tomorrow and he will tell us more but like kandy said the swelling would not go down if it was cancer??? He did call earlier this week and said his white blood cells were normal which kinda worried me but if the swelling has gone down from these antibiotics is it safe to say he DOESNT have lymphoma??? Again thank you guys for praying and caring for him I really appreciate your thoughts and any help!
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Old August 20th, 2009, 10:56 AM
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OMG I can "hear" how much you love him and how worried you are

Wait to see what the vet says tomorrow. It does seem positive that the swelling has gone down and that the WBC are normal.

It has been crazy hot and humid this summer. He might just be affected more by it this year which is why he seems slower.
Please keep us posted. One more day
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 11:56 AM
astar astar is offline
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Well it turns out his lymph node swelling did not go down at all in fact it just got bigger. I dont get it though because his neck obviously looks smaller but the vet said it is worse and that he definitley expects it is lymphoma. i dont even know what to do now he said they could do a biopsy to make sure but i am not going to do that and get my hopes up and pray anymore because it all is meaningless. The hardest part is first my brother got cancer in March and is not doing too good and now my dog the only one i never hated and always loved how could any god who is supposed to be this loving character of all put people through this pain. The vet wouldnt give me an answer but if anyone has ever dealt with the same thing how long does a dog with lymphoma have that goes without treatment
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 12:00 PM
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im sorry to say not that long we had our cocker for 8 months and they put her on predonse, enjoy each day and spoil them like crazy, good luck brenda and the pins
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 12:17 PM
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Oh, I'm so sorry, astar! We've had no experience with lymphoma, but we've lost some to other cancers and I know how tough it is to go through.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 07:47 PM
astar astar is offline
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Thanks for the kind words again...maybe anyone who has had to deal with cancer with dogs could you possibly tell me how bad it is to see? We are not going to put him through chemo or get a biopsy and I dont know yet if I can deal with putting him down. I dont know if lymphoma is any different but is it really bad the way they go untreated in cancer or is it usually peaceful in their sleep?

The vet said his breathing is going to get worse and soon wont be able to get up easily i know i sound like a nagging baby but i dont want to even deal with this he is the first death i really have had to deal with. I just dont want to see him not being able to walk and throwing up so do you guys think it might be better to just put him down before anything further happens or is it quick and peaceful when the time comes...
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 08:11 PM
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All you can do is take it day by day. Watch for signs that his quality of life is failing. If he loses his appetite, doesn't want to play, seems to take no joy in life, it's definitely time. But I think you'll find he still has some good times left. There are pain meds they can give him and steroids may help make him more comfortable. See what your vet can offer in paliative treatment before you make the decision to put him down. You may well have a little more time to make some happy memories with your boy.

Your attitude can help him a lot. Remember that he doesn't know he has cancer. He's just going to live day by day. If you're sad, he's going to pick up on it. Right now, concentrate on enjoying your time with him and making sure he's happy. Time enough to grieve after he's gone.

There will likely come a time when you will have to make that decision that we all dread. We've gone through this three times now, and we've had to help them cross to the Bridge each time. It's not easy, but I know you have the strength to do it. Be there with him--your loving presence at that time will be the best gift you can give him.

Oh, astar, my heart aches for you! It'll be a rough patch, but time will help--and your happy memories will sustain you in years to come till you meet again. So many of the members here have gone through this, so come to us when you need to.

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Old August 22nd, 2009, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by astar View Post
Thanks for the kind words again...maybe anyone who has had to deal with cancer with dogs could you possibly tell me how bad it is to see? We are not going to put him through chemo or get a biopsy and I dont know yet if I can deal with putting him down. I dont know if lymphoma is any different but is it really bad the way they go untreated in cancer or is it usually peaceful in their sleep?

The vet said his breathing is going to get worse and soon wont be able to get up easily i know i sound like a nagging baby but i dont want to even deal with this he is the first death i really have had to deal with. I just dont want to see him not being able to walk and throwing up so do you guys think it might be better to just put him down before anything further happens or is it quick and peaceful when the time comes...
I am so sorry you and your dog have to go through this :sad: I've been there with 2 of my goldens , it was another type of cancer tough , fibrosarcoma. And a third had to be put to sleep earlier this year , very probably another cancer , this time it was bone cancer.

You won't like my post :sad: no , they don't go peacefully in their sleep. You'll have to let go of your dog before that , before he suffers too much. I know it's hard , but , you have to think about your dog first. They can't tell us when they are in pain , they seem ok but .... they're not. You'll have to keep a close eye on him. It's usually when they loose appetite , then you know it's coming , you can't prolong it too much after that. If you're not sure , take your dog to your vet and ask your vet , if it is time , in his opinion , how long does your dog have etc .... ask people around you also , you might not see a difference because you see him everyday but , people visiting you often , who know your dog , may see changes in your dog , that you don't see.

Again , I am so sorry , please keep in touch , I would really like to help you and your dog through this. I know that pain too well.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 11:51 AM
astar astar is offline
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I am so sorry you and your dog have to go through this :sad: I've been there with 2 of my goldens , it was another type of cancer tough , fibrosarcoma. And a third had to be put to sleep earlier this year , very probably another cancer , this time it was bone cancer.

You won't like my post :sad: no , they don't go peacefully in their sleep. You'll have to let go of your dog before that , before he suffers too much. I know it's hard , but , you have to think about your dog first. They can't tell us when they are in pain , they seem ok but .... they're not. You'll have to keep a close eye on him. It's usually when they loose appetite , then you know it's coming , you can't prolong it too much after that. If you're not sure , take your dog to your vet and ask your vet , if it is time , in his opinion , how long does your dog have etc .... ask people around you also , you might not see a difference because you see him everyday but , people visiting you often , who know your dog , may see changes in your dog , that you don't see.

Again , I am so sorry , please keep in touch , I would really like to help you and your dog through this. I know that pain too well.
I am sorry to hear about your dogs and thank you so much for sharing with me and telling me the truth...I like the vet but he didnt really tell me those things he said he doesnt think he is in pain but i dont know. I am just so disappointed and angry at everything but he has already started to lose his appetite for awhile at least maybe 2 weeks now. I read up on how to make it and made this big pot of chicken and rice it looks nasty but it wouldve lasted him for awhile and he wont eat it. I shouldve asked my vet but do you have any suggestions on what I could feed him now? He hasnt ate his dog food in awhile now and yesterday he weighed 50lbs
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Old August 25th, 2009, 06:09 PM
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astar, I am so sorry you are having to go through this. I am in the same position with one of my dogs right now. Lodi (dachshund mix) was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor two months ago and even before the definite diagnosis, I decided not to pursue any more medical intervention. I, like you, wanted to know exactly what to expect, how long she had left, when will I know is the right time to help her cross Rainbow Bridge...I spent one full day crying after being told of the possibility of her having cancer. And the day I was told the definite diagnosis, even though I was expecting it, burst into tears. Since that day I decided that my tears and grieving will be done after my girl is gone, not while I still have her. It is a hard road to travel and no one can see into the future. BUT, you just take one day at a time and concentrate on spoiling your boy. Make him comfortable. He will feel your love and please try very hard to keep your chin up. When you are sad, they are sad. Euthanasia (sp?) is the last gift you can give him. I know it is a hard decision but remember that dogs don't think of death the way we do. To them, it is just another part of life and you will always have your memories. I wish you strength.
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Old August 27th, 2009, 09:38 PM
astar astar is offline
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astar, I am so sorry you are having to go through this. I am in the same position with one of my dogs right now. Lodi (dachshund mix) was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor two months ago and even before the definite diagnosis, I decided not to pursue any more medical intervention. I, like you, wanted to know exactly what to expect, how long she had left, when will I know is the right time to help her cross Rainbow Bridge...I spent one full day crying after being told of the possibility of her having cancer. And the day I was told the definite diagnosis, even though I was expecting it, burst into tears. Since that day I decided that my tears and grieving will be done after my girl is gone, not while I still have her. It is a hard road to travel and no one can see into the future. BUT, you just take one day at a time and concentrate on spoiling your boy. Make him comfortable. He will feel your love and please try very hard to keep your chin up. When you are sad, they are sad. Euthanasia (sp?) is the last gift you can give him. I know it is a hard decision but remember that dogs don't think of death the way we do. To them, it is just another part of life and you will always have your memories. I wish you strength.
Thank you i am trying...a little update on him though I am starting to get really worried now. He has been sleeping a whole lot more now and it takes a loud noise or a push to wake him up...a couple of hours ago I went by him and he woke up but when he kept his head up he kept his eyes closed but then he got up and walked around with both eyes open but occasionally would close his left eye. Anyone know if this is part of a stroke or something he doesnt seem in pain he is just sleeping. The worst part is I cant even spoil him when I try he only eats human food when I hand feed it to him and after awhile walks away and has not wanted to play with his toys for a long time. Only energy I really see out of him during the day is when I am gone he still gets up and comes to the door when I get back and wags his tail but that is strictly it. I am leaning towards maybe putting him down before he gets worse but if he isnt in pain I know I will feel guilty wondering if he wanted to go....it is all just not fair the way things have to end

edit nevermind i just went down and he is walking and bumping into things i dont think he can see very well anymore. im gonna call the vet tomorrow and see what he says

Last edited by astar; August 27th, 2009 at 10:06 PM.
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