Bosco's Big Scary Cancer Adventure

Bosco's Big Scary Cancer Adventure

by Jeffery
(Brooklyn, NY (and Sebastopol, CA))


My 4.5 year old French Bulldog Bosco had a horrific seizure in the middle of the night in early September 2010. I took him to a 24 hour emergency pet hospital where they initially treated him for toxic ingestion as his symptoms seemed to warrant it. They thought he had eaten snail bait or moldy walnuts or some other toxin.

But after 24 hours and the seizure activity continuing to recur, they decided it did not appear to be poisoning and advised me take him to a neurologist for further testing.

After an MRI of his brain and a spinal tap to check for possible viral presence, the little guy was found to have a "mass" in the frontal lobe of his brain, behind his eyes, called a glioma.

After many tears and lengthy conversations with the neurologists it seemed his only options were to have radiation therapy of some sort or to simply give palliative treatment, attempting to keep him comfortable but not attempting eradication, which could mean a life expectancy of anywhere between 75 and 260 days.

A month later - his doctor having placed him on a twice daily dose of both Prednisone to reduce swelling in the brain, and Phenobarbitol to prevent seizures - he underwent Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) at UC Davis' Pet Hospital. Being high intensity acutely focused radation, it only requires 3 sessions. This treatment was prefaced by every doctor I spoke with (four) saying "this is not a cure, but may extend his life by a year or so." So, I opted for the treatment.

It is now two months since the SRS treatments and I describe his condition as "mostly sunny with occasional showers" meaning, for the most part he is the Bosco that we know and love. BUT, though he is still on the two meds mentioned before, albeit a slightly reduced dosage, he has begun having seizures, sometimes violent, where he loses continence and flails wildly and cannot stand. it's horrifying and heartbreaking to witness. I hold him and talk to him while it is occurring but for the 30-40 seconds that he is in the throes, he is unresponsive. Once it is finished he can stand again, though wobbly, and is scared, a bit jumpy and disoriented.

So, my question to the forum is this:

1. Has anyone on this forum gone through this type of illness and treatment?

2. What should I expect going forward?

3. How do you cope - it's like having an infant child with a serious illness. My social life is gone and working regular hours is practically impossible, luckily I am in real estate and can usually make my own hours.

Thanks in advance for any info and guidance,

Jeffery and Bosco

Site Editor's Note:

Hi, Jeffery,

I am sorry about Bosco.

You may be interested in visiting these pages:

Canine Brain Tumors
Herbs for Cancer in Dogs
Dog Cancer Diet

Best of luck, and keep us informed!

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Dec 26, 2011
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Bosco
by: Karen

I know exactly what you are going through. I lost my Tucker to a brain tumor almost 3 years ago. Tucker was my dream boy, he was the first basset I had lost my heart to since King, the basset of my childhood. My Tucker was just 3 and a half yrs old.

Today I had to sent my Bazzle to the bridge for the very same thing. Bazzle's tumor was pressing on his behavior centers and caused him to snap at times and become violently aggressive. Saturday, Christmas Eve, was the first time I have ever been scared of a dog in my 53 yrs.

I know that my Bazzle, who was a sweet, loving boy and quite the cuddler, was not there any more. His aggression only became worse with time and no medication we tried could help him. Although this morning he was back to my sweet boy, he was in pain. I could see it and I know in my heart he was ready for his journey and so we held him tight as my daughter and I whispered our love for him as he started his journey to the Rainbow Bridge. The sad part again was that I lost him so young, he was 3 yrs and 9 months old.

The only thing I can tell you, from my experience is that, as the tumor increases in size it only gets worse. There comes a day when, even though you don't want to let them go, you look in their eyes and know that it is what they need and want. You know that it is the only way to release them from their pain. Most times it is just a look.

I am so very sorry about your baby Bosco's diagnosis. I really do know how hard it is to watch them go through this and how heartbreaking it is to let go when you are not ready. Just listen to your heart and theirs and they will tell you when they are ready. Bazzle will always be in my heart, soul and memories.

This is a very hard journey for all who go through this. Sometimes you can't find the answer to "why"? You have something more to hold on and that is the love and memories that you hold tight to and nobody can take them away.
I always say "Forever Loved, Forever Cherished and Forever a Piece of My Heart and Soul".

We will pray for you and Bosco,
Momma Karen and The Dog House Gang w/
Tucker and Bazzle ATB

Jun 04, 2011
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Is Bosco from Sebastopol?
by: Anonymous

Is Bosco from Sebastopol? Reason I ask is that I have a 5 1/2 year old Frenchie from Sebastopol presenting neurological problems, including mild seizures. We called the breeder to see if there was any history in her lines. Interesting if they are related. Sebastopol is a very small town.

Apr 24, 2011
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Bosco
by: Anonymous

I am sorry about Bosco. I think its time to say goodbye. Would you want to live like this? I know it is difficult - I am going through it now. But sometimes we are selfish with wanting our pets to live because we are not ready. My heartfelt thoughts are with you.

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