Lung Cancer...

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by PlottMom, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. PlottMom

    PlottMom The Littlest Hound

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    So... if anyone read my photo thread from Thanksgiving (http://www.chazhound.com/forums/t108913/), you would have seen my mother's lovely standard poodle, Cleo - the dog I grew up with. She still seems to have tons of life left to her years (she "dances" and barks at the neighbors and generally seems happy, if slowing down a bit with age...). Mom noticed a while back she was hacking a lot; the vet diagnosed her with an infections of some sort and put her on cephalexin for a bit. While I was at home over Thanksgiving, she was still on the antibiotics, still coughing, and her bark sounded "off".

    Mom took her back to the vet 2 days ago, they did x-rays, and he thinks she has lung cancer. Has anyone dealt with this before? My basset is seeing my vet tomorrow for her swollen face and I'm going to ask her while I'm there, but just wanted to see if anyone has personal experience. Mom's vet told her that lung cancer is usually secondary to something else, so I can only assume that at this point our option is going to be to make the most of the time she has left :( our family is, understandably, devastated. I'd like to think we could do chemo or something along those lines, as from what I recall working for my vet, it's not nearly as taxing to dogs as it is to humans. However, at 12 years old and not knowing what else is going on besides her lungs, I'd imagine there's not a whole lot we can do. My mom would spare no expense to keep Cleo around, but she's also not selfish enough to want her to spend her last however-long-she-has being poked and prodded :( I imagine you'll see a lot more photos of the old lady in the future.
     
  2. Grab

    Grab Active Member

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    Dogs do generally do better with chemo than humans do. The vet should be able to tell you if it would be a suggested treatment.

    My late Legend had lung cancer, but it was secondary to an inoperable abdominal tumor. He did do well and was very comfortable for quite some time after diagnosis though.
     
  3. PlottMom

    PlottMom The Littlest Hound

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    That makes me feel a bit better. What happened that led to the diagnosis of the abdominal tumor? In the past few years my mom's dog has stopped eating quickly... she's at a good weight and has never gotten too skinny, and always seems super excited about food, but then she'll pick out 3 kibbles at a time or so... and just generally take her own sweet time to eat. It could just be a poodle thing (I'm accustomed to hounds sucking down their food like hoovers...), but I feel like she used to eat faster...
     
  4. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    THat is exactly what happened to my Bronki. He was only 7 years old. I should have seen the signs, mary getting the toy first and him just laying there watching her, little things. The first time i saw the spot of blood on the carpet i think i knew, had suspicion, but when the vet said it was an infection i was relieved. THe first round of antibiotics didn't work. We went back and that was when he did the xray. I had just lost my SO to lung cancer.IT didn't seem possible that i could lose them both but I did. My SO told me it didn't hurt, he was just so terribly tired.
     
  5. PlottMom

    PlottMom The Littlest Hound

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    Well, she hasn't coughed up blood yet, and she really isn't abnormally lethargic for her age... may I ask what the protocol was? Did you just wait it out until Bronki told you he was ready to go? I'm so sorry you had to lose both your SO and your dog this way :( I suppose it is comforting in a way to at least know it wasn't terribly painful...
     
  6. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    whoa, in lung cancer pretty common with dogs?

    can smoking around them cause it?
     
  7. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    I'm sorry that she's going through this .
     
  8. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I'm so very sorry. This is devestating to your family, not to mention the poor dog. If there is any hope of recovery with minimal suffering in the process, maybe something can be done. But you're Mom is right. When they get to a certain age, sometimes these treatments just aren't worth causing what time they have left more discomfort. My heart goes out to you all.
     
  9. PlottMom

    PlottMom The Littlest Hound

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    Well, I took Dais to the vet this morning and talked to her some about Cleo. The verdict at this point is that lung cancer is almost *always* metastatic to another cancer, and at her age it really isn't in her best interest to put her through chemo or anything else. We may run a few tests just to see if we can figure out what the primary cancer is, and get a better idea of how much time she has left, but at this point all we can do is make sure she has the best nutrition possible and is happy and pain-free until she's ready to leave us :( She'll be coming and staying with me from the 20th on through Xmas, so I'll make sure to take lots of walks in the woods and take a lot of photos. Thanks, everyone, for your support...
     
  10. Bailey08

    Bailey08 New Member

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    I'm so very sorry, Plott Mom. Cleo is a lovely girl and very lucky to be surrounded by family members who love her.
     
  11. Amanda885

    Amanda885 New Member

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    I'm very sorry to hear about her diagnosis..poo dog. :( i hope that she gets proper treatment and gets well soon. hang in there.
     
  12. colliewog

    colliewog Collies&Terriers, Oh My!

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    I had to look this up recently when Malcolm developed aspiration pneumonia a second time ... wanted to see what i was up against (BF smokes in house, but away from the dogs, but still). Yes, they can develop lung cancer from second hand smoke.

    I've seen it more common in dogs with osteosarcoma though. Seems like once you get that diagnosis, if advanced, it's often spread to the lungs. :(

    -----------------------

    to the OP - Good luck to your mom and her dog!! :(
     
  13. ricky

    ricky New Member

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    Home Page:
    Primary lung tumors are cancers that arise in the lung tissue of both dogs and cats. They are rare in both species, but slightly more common in dogs.

    The most common type of tumor is a carcinoma. Carcinomas are malignant tumors that develop from the epithelial tissues in the lungs. They may be primarily derived from the lung tissue itself, or the airways or bronchioles.

    The exact cause of lung cancer is not known, but there appears to be an increased incidence of cancer in dogs that live in urban environments, as well as dogs that are exposed to second hand smoke. Lung cancer is generally diagnosed in older animals, with an average age of about 11 years, but it can also be seen in younger pets.

    There are no known predispositions with respect to breed or sex and the development of lung tumors. However, most lung cancer is seen in medium to large sized dogs.
     
  14. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    I'm sorry to hear about your mom's dog.

    Lung cancer is, as others have said, usually metastasis from other tumors. Whenever we take an unusual lump off a dog, especially if it's been there for a while or has changed a lot, we give owners the option of taking an xray first to see if there are any densities in the lungs, because if there are then there's not much benefit to removing the primary tumor (unless it'll make them more comfortable). I've seen it most commonly with mammary tumors, but it can happen with any.

    You may want to see about getting an abdominal ultrasound done to check for masses. It's minimally invasive, and can give you a good idea of what may be going on. We've never had to sedate a patient for an abdominal US yet, and we've been doing them at work for over 2 years now.
     
  15. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Plagiarising some more, eh Ricky?

    Primary Lung Tumors in Dogs (Lung Cancer, Pulmonary Neoplasia)
     
  16. PlottMom

    PlottMom The Littlest Hound

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    I'll suggest the US to my mother - something I hadn't thought about yet!

    My vet also suggested a rectal exam, as she said it's a pretty common "cancer area"... I'm shocked my mother is taking this all in stride. She gets weepy talking about it on occasion. I don't really think it's hit me yet, but I'm sure it will the week I have her over Xmas.

    Lastly - I thought all of his advice on the healthcare forum HAD to have been copied and pasted from elsewhere...

    Thanks everyone for your continued support! It's nice to have other dog owners who understand around :) I'll be posting photos of my dogs from a coonhound event in the near future, and TONS of cleo, I'm sure, starting around the 20th...
     

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