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Terrible news - Hemangiosarcoma


MurphySings
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Four months ago our beloved little 15-year old Cairn Murphy was diagnosed with very mild renal insufficiency, so when he vomited this past Monday we thought it was likely due to that, but, because he didn’t look right, I rushed him in. When our vet x-rayed his abdomen and performed an ultrasound, she found a tumor in his spleen and nodules in his enlarged liver. Most concerning, there was also a small amount of free blood in the abdomen. She transferred us to the veterinary specialty hospital that night and by the next morning the horrific diagnosis was confirmed by an internal medicine specialist. It is presumptive Hemangiosarcoma, one of the most aggressive cancers found in dogs.

 We are beyond devastated. After much discussion with the vets, we have elected not to have surgery because it would likely only extend his life 2-3 months, and that is only if they were able to safely resect the spleen. The probability of metastases only makes the prognosis worse. We don’t want him to suffer.

Murphy is so happy to be home. He is eating well, resting when he feels sleepy, then barking at the deer outside our windows!  When it inevitably gets to the point that he appears to be uncomfortable or in pain, our vet will come and put him to rest in his own bed. Please pray for our boy and us. We thought we would have at least another year with him rather than mere days.  Our minds are in shock and our hearts in pieces. He is the best little boy we could ever have imagined.

Has anyone else had experience with this cancer in a Cairn?  Any help and prayers are deeply appreciated

~Murphy’s mom and dad

 

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I am so sorry and know what you are going through. It’s news none of us ever want to hear from our vet but it sounds like Murphy is very much loved and still very much enjoying his life. Dogs have the fortunate aspect on life that they live in the moment and don’t worry about the future. We have lost pets in the past to cancer but not what Murphy has been diagnosed with so can’t comment on that but as long as everyday is as good as the previous one And Murphy still loves his chow and barks at the deer all is well in his life. Big hugs to you and Murphy. 🐾🐾💕

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Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie

 

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I am very sad to hear of Murphy's hemangiosarcoma. I have no experience of it specifically, but the experience of impending loss of an old dog is one I (and many others) can relate to. Enjoy this time with him as bittersweet as it is. It is a privilege to love and care for an old Cairn. 

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i understand this situation so well (not with hemangiosarcoma but with pituitary macroadenoma, though at a much younger age than Murphy). every day will be golden for you now, and Murphy knows that you are at his side every step of the way. dogs are very courageous in their pursuit of survival and Murphy will treasure every single day, exactly as if he were going to live 30 more years. i know you will make his happiness the first priority --he is certainly going to make yours his. i am so sorry you are going through this. Murphy will always be with you. you won't believe it at first, but he will be. 

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Thank you all so much for responding. The sun is shining and we have a nice breeze on the ridge today.  Murphy is behaving as if he hasn’t a care in the world.  All Is well for now and we so gratefully accept that.  

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No experience with this cancer but like many have had experience of knowing the future is limited with my dog. If there is one good thing as others have said. Murphy doesn't know. Enjoy each remaining moment with him. He will leave you in one way but he will leave your heart.

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This is a tough diagnosis to hear. We lost our dear 15 year old Bella to lymphoma, and like a lot of folks here, understand how you feel. Our beloved Cairns never live long enough, and it’s hard to say goodbye. At the same time, now that the initial loss is a couple of years behind us, I mostly feel huge gratitude for the fifteen years we did have. 

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We lost our Packy at age 12 just about 5 years ago to Hemangiosarcoma.  Like you, we elected not to pursue aggressive treatment because it wouldn’t extend his life much and would most likely make him feel bad.  One of the best pieces of advice I got at the time was to “let him be the dog he wants to be” since he didn’t know he was sick.  We treated him like always and while he gradually declined, he had enough Cairn spirit left to chase one of our peacocks across the yard.  He trotted back, obviously proud of himself.  That was 2 days before we lost him.

 My thoughts are with you; it’s tough but you’ll get through it.  And now we have Phinney, who I swear is Packy reincarnated.  It’s like Packy sent him to us with an “owner’s manual” on us! 

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Jandy and my Cairns, Kirby & Phinney 
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MurphySings, I am so terribly, terribly sorry you got such horrible news!   I don't have experience with this cancer in a Cairn, but I lost a 7 year old Scottie girl to it, three days after her birthday, back in 2002.  Her tumor was on her aorta, and we did not know it was there, she gave us no signs until it ruptured one morning, and she went from bouncing around for her breakfast to refusing to eat it a moment later.  Her gums were gray, we rushed to the vet.  They didn't know what was going on, they thought she must have been vomiting to be so dehydrated, and mentioned poisoning, so they sent me home to look for vomit piles while they rehydrated her with IV fluids.  Just as I walked in the door the phone rang, saying she had keeled over in her kennel, did I want them to do CPR.  I said "YES!, she's only 7 years old!", but it was already too late, her aorta, which had clotted off from it's original rupture, opened back up with extra fluids, which increased her blood pressure and thinned her blood, displacing the clot, and she bled to death into her chest.  I wasn't even with her when she died, her last memory of me was of me leaving her behind at the vet's office!  It breaks my heart to this day.  I took her sister and her son and daughter with me when I went back to the vet's office, so they could see that she was gone.  Her sister never recovered fully from that loss, they had been partners in crime their whole lives, I called them Beaver Girls because they chewed up so much furniture. 

Since you know what is coming, keep an eye out for a sudden loss of energy, or even a collapse, that will mean the tumor has ruptured and Murphy is bleeding internally.  He may pass swiftly that way, without the vet's euthanasia solution, or he may just be so weak you know it's time, and the vet will end Murphy's suffering.  You and your Murphy will be in my prayers for as much good time together as possible before you must part ways for a while.

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