GSD with Oral Cancer - Heart in 1000 Pieces

GSD with Oral Cancer - Heart in 1000 Pieces

by Betsy
(Ocala, FL)


Hi All,

Just last week, my 2 1/2 year old GSD was diagnosed with oral cancer.

Needless to say, my family and I are completely devastated. Her tumor is growing through the soft and hard palates at the top of her mouth. When we noticed it, it was large about 7". Vet removed 85% and we're hoping for a little more quality time with her.

Initially, after the removal, she was not herself at all and the vet told us to prepare ourselves. That was between Monday and Thursday of last week. Friday and through the weekend, she was almost her old self. I'm worried about her pain. I don't want her to suffer, AT ALL.

Treatment is not an option for us, as her mass is so large and complicated and we cannot bear the thought of putting her through so much just for a few months more.

She had a little bleeding prior to removing most of the mass and very foul breath. Other than that no symptoms at all. Currently, aside from sleeping a good bit more, she still plays, eats, drinks, etc. The bleeding has completely subsided and her breath is much improved due in part to removal and an antibiotic treatment. We also have her on pain meds.

How do I know when it's time? Does she appear to be doing so well because of her age and love for us? How do I know? I don't want to put her down too early - more so for her than us - and I certainly don't want to "do it" too late. Also, if anyone has a similar story, would you please share your experiences with me so that I may attempt to measure my Jett's quality and how much time she may have. My vet's answers are pretty ambiguous. We are new to his practice as we just relocated. If she wasn't in this situation, I would probably change, but he is kind and knowledgeable, just not so much of a "straight shooter". I think it's more in an attempt to be kind than anything else. But, we feel that we'd rather know what we're up against to help Jett in the best way possible. I'm more concerned about her than my feelings at this point.

Thanks for any thoughts or advice.

Heartbroken...

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Nov 15, 2011
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Frieden 3 1/2 years old
by: Sherry

I'm trying to find some peace with Frieden. At 18 months we had a tumor removed along with 1/3 of the upper jaw bone and 2/3 of the soft pallet.

Last week, 2 yrs and 1 month later, we found another tumor growing at the "clean" margin site. Tomorrow is an MRI to determine the direction of the tumor and possible outcomes.

Frieden is a healthy 100 lb baby boy. I want to keep him this way. The surgery will most likely remove the balance of his right upper jaw to the k-9 tooth up and including his right eye. Then 4 weeks of radiation. I'm lost...

Nov 03, 2011
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Jett
by: Betsy

Thank you so much.

Nov 03, 2011
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My heart is with you
by: Anonymous

So sorry, you made the right decision. I know its tough, and like I said oral cancer is an aggressive disease; I barely got enough time after the diagnosis of mine to say a proper goodbye, just happened too soon and too fast...

My heart and prayers are with you.

Nov 03, 2011
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Jett
by: Betsy McManus

Had to make the heart-wrenching decision to put our girl down tomorrow. The tumor grew back so large in one week's time. One nasty, aggressive disease.

RIP Jetty, you will always be loved and always be missed. Thank you for being you.

Nov 01, 2011
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Oral Cancer
by: Hazel, Site Editor

Hi, Betsy,

I am so sorry about your baby.

As the previous visitor commented, you will know when the "right time" is because your dog will let you know. I'd also encourage you to read our page on Canine Euthanasia.

Also, if you go to our page on Canine Mouth Cancer, you will find links to various posts in which other dog parents talked about their dogs' battles with oral cancer.

Hopefully you can find some useful information from the experience of other dog parents who have gone, or are still going, through the same thing.

Good luck and all the best.

Oct 31, 2011
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Oral Cancer
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much. I am so, so sorry for your loss as well. We love them so much and it's so hard to say good-bye. I've been crying since last Tuesday, when I was told it was a tumor. I figured it would be about six weeks - untreated that is. I didn't think to ask the vet about complications between now and the end and he didn't mention any. I will have to talk to him about the possiblities.

Thank you for sharing your story with me. I know it's painful to relive it.

I cannot even begin to think how empty the house will be without my big girl always "in the way". She is my shadow and I know that I'll be so lonely for her. I cannot even begin to think about my poor son. She picked him as her boy and he is devastated.

We're going to go out and get some clay and make an imprint of her paw to make a memorial for her. Hardly enough for such a loyal and devoted soul.

Thank you for your prayers, they are greatly appreciated and needed. I will pray for healing for you as well. I hope you find peace in your memories.

Oct 31, 2011
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So sorry
by: Anonymous

Just wanted to let you know how very sorry I am for the diagnosis of mouth cancer. I lost my 7 1/2 year old Walker Hound to the exact same cancer as your baby has, I lost him 2 months ago. He was diagnosed on 08/01/11 and I had to put him to sleep on 09/02/11, a month after diagnosis.

I feel for you. His only symptom was bleeding from the nose, and by then it was too late I am guessing, as he went downhill very rapidly. His tumor was large and smack dab on the center of the roof of his mouth. My vet told me it was inoperable where it is since it was already migrating into the palate above, it was diagnosed as an osteosarcoma, and from all that I have read it is extremely aggressive. I elected to not put him on chemotherapy due to bad experience with it with another dog years ago, so just put him on herbal supplements, soft food (wouldn't eat the hard food), hand fed him and he got cooked chicken also, and prayer, lots and lots of prayers... also loved and spent as much time with him as I could, because I did not know how long I would get.

It was not very long before he ended up with a leg that swelled to 4 times its size and he had a massive infection, the vet also thought the cancer had metastasized already, that same night he would hardly eat and he slept outside (my dog has never slept outside a day in his life), I knew it was time; your dog will tell you in his own way when its time, don't worry about being "too early" or "too late", you will know and he will tell you when its his time to go...

I will pray for you and your furry loved one... Reading this brought more tears, the healing takes awhile, I still cry like a baby when I think about him, I miss him very very much and I am thinking of you guys...

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