My Mini Beagle Bunnydog has Primary Lung Carcinoma

My Mini Beagle Bunnydog has Primary Lung Carcinoma

by Cathy N
(North Carolina)

Bunny is brown dog on bottom (Holly died in January)

Bunny is brown dog on bottom (Holly died in January)

Bunny is brown dog on bottom (Holly died in January)
Bunnydog sleeping
Bunny is butterscotch beagle at top of pic

Bunnydog, rescued 7 years ago from a shelter, is somewhere between 11 and 14 years old.

She seems healthy but is coughing. Chest x-ray showed a mass. She had an ultrasound guided needle biopsy at NC State a few days ago. She has a primary lung tumor - carcinoma - occupying the top lobe of the left lung.

She has been coughing for a few months but I thought it was an attention cough since she stopped the second I would say her name. Anyway I won't put her through surgery for a year median survival rate without chemo. They do not radiate to shrink these tumors.

Bunnydog still plays, wags her tail, but the coughing is increasing. She is eating well, and her weight is good. She sleeps next to my head in bed at night. She sleeps well and has no coughing during a whole night's sleep.

Any advice?

Thanks,
Cathy
Nurse practitioner in human cardiology but new at canine cancer

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Aug 04, 2015
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Cathy thank you for writing back
by: Lumbar

Thank you for your thoughts about my 10 yr old shitzu Sambuca. I love to look at and admire your photos Bunnydog and her buddy. How close is that...Awesome!!!

It is very nice to hear back from you Cathy and I am glad to hear about your current fur babies. I have only adopted rescues to my family through the years too. I don't know who picked who... but destiny maybe had put us together for a reason.

As you expressed your pain back in 2012 when you first wrote, it gave me some common ground with someone who understood the devastation of our dog(s) passing and going through the monitoring and vet visits and anticipation of the end and how it will be. Having the career experience in a medical setting and having no solutions to the cancer must have been really hard.

I saw some parallels regarding the cancer with Bunnydog and Caligirl and through my tears and sobs your own words helped me know canine cancer is out there and now others can hear the stories to help get them through too. Love them healthy, love and care for them when ill, and bravely and unselfishly let them go but never ever forget any one of them.

Right now the number of dogs you have must fill your home with joy. Vet bills are so overwhelming. I know my charge cards were full at times from treatments for one of the dogs or the others for all kinds of health issues, but I too was a nurse and it just seems right to help our babies with treatments. I wish I could afford more pets too but I love the little male rescue shitzu Happy I adopted in September 2014 after I fell apart over Sam's loss July 25th, 2014.

Cathy and anyone else please be aware that the snail bait is not curable whereas with some of the ant poison if you can get them early enough and get them to bring it up and to a vet immediately, there is a chance of survival.

Snail bait is fatal to dogs as is ant bait. I don't understand why I had never heard this before. It is very common to treat snails or slugs in lawns and gardens with some form of this stuff. Please check for this.

I too, with age, don't want to leave a dog alone in the yard or car without an adult present for environmental dangers or theft and the fate of stolen dogs and illegal activities. With Sambuca it was the poison that his little nose found in a brief time outside alone. I know I am a good pet parent who took all precautions but the unexpected happens quickly despite good intentions. To others, read up on these poisons because unlike cancers we can prevent suffering. Share this info with others and never use it. - even where "it cannot be gotten to by your dog".

Before I leave I want to send my heartfelt condolences Cathy on losing your horse as well.
As we get older we see more of our fur babies cross the bridge but the feelings are always as difficult but we adjust with time. I never think I will handle letting go but the intensity of the grief subsides and I dwell less on the event and more on the good memories.

Cathy good health to you and your pet family and may every day give you moments to be together with each other and celebrate the love between a dog and his or her human.

Aug 04, 2015
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Your Shi tzu
by: Cathy, Bunnydog's mom

Dear Lumbar,

I'm really sorry about what happened to your dog with the ant poison. I never use those ant tin traps anywhere b/c they scare me so much.

I will have to ask the neighbors if they use snail bait. I imagine an animal could bring it to my yard ? I don't seem to have snails here, not sure why. I did have them at my house I moved from in May. But, you never know... in fact I never thought about snail bait!

I can't adopt more dogs now, I am full of my own rescued dogs who I've adopted, and I owe $30,000 in vet bills for my horse and dog who died 3 yrs ago. So, I just can't adopt right now. Through the years I've always had 5-7 dogs in the house at a time. I'm trying to scale down too, now that I'm older.

Yup, you never forget a precious pup! I certainly understand. I am so paranoid about anything happening to them I don't even allow them in the fenced backyard unless an adult is outside with them at all times. I am too scared of snake bites or anything bad that could happen. Or people stealing them. Dogs are family, for sure.

How long ago did your shi tzu die? I can't tell if it was recent or a few years ago?

So sorry for your loss.

Cathy

Aug 04, 2015
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Going back to Bunny Dog With a Thank You and New Message
by: Lumbar

Hi Ann and Cathy

I read your posts back after my Cali Girl passed of lung cancer Dec 26, 2011 in our arms at the vet that Boxing Day.

I cried so many tears for you ladies and your treasured friends who had moved on having been so loved by you. In the despair of losing my very dear best friend Cali I found solace if there such a thing in hearing of your experiences.

As time has gone on and having to move on I adopted an 8 year old shitzu x in April 2012 until through some fluke he found one of those tiny round ant bait traps in the yard that I normally hid well away from reach.

I sat on my couch and fell asleep in the humid July weather for a half hour after putting out in my fenced yard when we awoke (just like every morning). That day I lost him either from the neighbour's snail bait or the ant bait chemicals as I later found one with marks where there was tooth punctures and the normal insect access holes. It was a painful and agonizing death for him. If others read this please be aware of both the snail pellets my neighbours use in their garden (perhaps went under my adjoining fence???) and the plastic bottled ant bait and small ant bait containers. One never knows. I hope this will save someone's dog from this horrible event.

Sambuca was just the gentlest and sweet boy who would have been ten the next week and a healthy little guy.

Watch for all signs as the guilt will never leave me and I miss him as all my babies so much.

I adopted another rescue dog in September and I will be more educated and a better parent knowing the signs of cancer and poisoning prevention.

I hope you both, in addition to others, who are going through or anticipating heartbreak and
loss to give yourselves that healing and mourning time.

I ask you to think of saving another life by adopting and opening your heart and home with the love of a new fur friend who has lost his or her family and will love you as much as you will love them.

Thank you again ladies as I read your posts both times and through my tears, I felt better hearing the stories of you and your pets.

Lumbar

Jan 26, 2013
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TO DIANE AND ANN
by: Anonymous

Dear Diane,

I'm so sorry to hear about your sheltie. I've lost so many dogs now, my other dog JJ Beagle died of cancer in September, I had to put him to sleep just 3 days after I had to put my beloved horse Socks to sleep. I know how you feel and I'm so sorry.

You obviously did the right thing but somehow that doesn't really help, knowing that.

Dear Ann, Yes I remember you!! But I can't find your email. You live on that island, right?? I'm sorry they found a tumor on your appendix. Was it cancerous? Email me and let me know.. My email is cathyknak... It should come up in your email addys!!

Cathy

Jan 26, 2013
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Bunnydog
by: Anonymous

Dear Cathy,

I am very sorry for your loss and sad to hear about Bunnydog's cancer. Enjoy her as long as you can. I still miss my beagle Buddy. He had lung cancer also. Remember me? I posted on your page last year. Still miss him so. Cancer has no favorites - I just had my appendix removed in Dec. past, which had a tumor on it. Surgeon is hopeful he got it all, he said it was confined to my appendix. I hope and pray he's right. It strikes us and our beloved pets all the time it seems.

I hope your darling beagle is with you for a while yet and all the best to you in your plight.

All the best,
Ann

Jan 25, 2013
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"ANGEL" Sheltie
by: Diane

My sheltie seemed to be breathing funny so I carried her to the Vet who said her throat was swollen so she gave her antibiotics and if not better in 2 days bring her back.

We returned. This time she gave me meds for pain, and to return if not better in 2 days. We returned on Monday when we saw the other Vet. I asked for x-ray of Angel's throat. He x-rayed her throat and chest but could not read chest x-ray. He kept her and gave her IV antibiotics & on Wed. we were sent to GVS in Atlanta, Ga. They did an ultrasound & Sonogram on Angel plus they drew samples from the mass in her lung.

When we got back to our Vet 45 min. later he had the diagnosis - lung cancer - and she was only 2 and 1/2 yrs. old.

He said it covered too vast of an area for surgery. We brought her home to enjoy and spoil her as long as possible! The next morning, Thanksgiving 2012, at 7:30 A.M. the Vet allowed our sweet Angel go to Heaven and receive her Golden Wings.

She was in pain the night before, we stayed up with her and talked to her and rubbed her, but nothing helped. She passed in my arms hearing me telling her I loved her so much!!

I miss her so much, she was always with me. She took every step I did and went everywhere I went. Our house is a dead silence. I know what each of you are talking about, it doesn't get any easier!

Thank you for letting me share about my sweet Angel.

Jan 14, 2012
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Sorry
by: Anonymous

So sorry Cathy.

I didn't see the part about picking up her ashes when I read it again. God Bless you. Please forgive me. You must have wondered where I was coming from. I was crying when I read your comments. Guess that's how I missed it.

Ann

P.S. I'll be thinking of you.

Jan 13, 2012
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Heart felt thanks
by: Ann

Dear Cathy,

It was very uplifting to me to receive your kind, consoling words. I can't believe I am hurting so much. Words can't express how much we loved one another. I am a real nature lover. I feel your pain. You are hurting and going to hurt some more. When you're hurting think of me, I'll be praying for you. I don't have face book yet as I'm new to pc's but if you want to contact me I would like to correspond. My email is annm.jackman@ymail.com If you do I can send you some pictures of my best friend for the past 9 yrs. I just had a picture of myself and Buddy put on a mug. It looks great.

Your doggies were real beauties by the way. If I ever have another dog it will definitely be a beagle who needs a home. They are a very mistreated dog I've heard. Bless their little hearts. Any time you want to talk please contact.

My advice is: You know your dog better than anyone. When you think it's suffering too much let your darling go to be with Holly.

Ann

Jan 12, 2012
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Hard to say goodbye
by: Missing My Cali Girl

So very sorry Cathy and any other dog parent who has to face this journey. I can say I honestly feel your pain and I think your post here will help many people. Thank you so much for your story of your lovely Bunnydog.

My dear sweet Cali was 15, having been rescued at age 3 1/2. We parted with much sorrow on December 26, 2012. Like you, I will keep her ashes close. As I was out of town with my "travelling girl" who went everywhere with me and it being the holidays we were at my son's to give him time with her and she with him. It was always just the three of us.

Lung cancer is a tough disease to see. The 1st clue was her eating habits which I did everything possible to try to remedy since last Spring. Over the months there was a lot of panting, then drooling, and more thirst progressed for several months. I put it down to her age, the heat, and arthritis. Cali's bloodwork profiles were very good then and up to the week we let her go.

December 19th, digital x-rays showed a large whitish mass in her lung. She had had an occasional dry cough which I again thought was her heart.

Cathy, I know we handle it each day as we can. Our beloved girls are always in our mind. We were blessed.

Lumbar

Jan 01, 2012
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Buddy
by: cathy, bunnyDog's mom

Oh I am so very sorry about your Buddy. He certainly was lucky to be loved so much. My heart goes out to you. I picked up Bunnydog's ashes 2 days ago. I'm reeling from that also. These little fur angels are our precious children and while it's normal to grieve incredibly for them, that doesn't make it any easier!! I tell myself with every tear you cry out a little more pain. I am sending big hugs to you.

My facebook page is called A PIT BULL ON MY PILLOW. I'm the author of those 2 pit bull books. Please feel free to post Buddy's picture there for us all to see, and tell us his story, even though he's not a pit bull.

I'm sending big hugs to you and an e-box of kleenex that we both are sharing right now.

Cathy in NC

Jan 01, 2012
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My little Buddy
by: Ann

I'm sorry for everyone's losses. I just had to put my beautiful Beagle (Buddy) to sleep also.

After being treated for limping that got better, he'd developed rapid breathing and a cough. The chest x-ray showed a cloudiness over about 2/3's of his lung. Our vet said it was cancer. His breathing was very shallow and given his age and arthritis I realized I couldn't put him through any more misery.

He came to me 9 years ago when I needed a companion and company the most, because my husband worked nights. We estimate his age to be about 13. There's a void in my heart that is going to take a long time to fill.

I live on a small Island which has no vet and I have to depend on a ferry. I was afraid to put him through further testing or surgery, for fear I couldn't get him treated in time. I gave him and he gave me the most special years we've known.

Ann

Dec 21, 2011
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Aging dog
by: Anonymous

Yes, my 14yr old is coughing too, I won't even think about putting him thru that if he has some type of cancer, which I dont know. He has lived a wonderful life with me since he was 7 weeks.
As long as he is not in pain and shaking, we take each day with gusto to his best current abilities. His needs have changed this past year as he is definitely aging. But no biggy, we all age, we just need to tweak and tweak and cherish every moment!

Dec 21, 2011
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Your Pitbull
by: Cathy, BunnyDog's mom

I'm so sorry about your pitbull !! Bunny's best friend was Callie, my pitbull!! Go to A PIT BULL ON MY PILLOW on facebook. That is my page, my pit bull books. Post your pittie's pics there please!!!!

Soooo sorry for your loss. I dread the day my Callie goes.. xo

Dec 21, 2011
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My Sable
by: donna

Awww I know how you feel. I had to put mine to sleep - a pitbull I love and miss her. It's 3 years now but I still cry. She was only 9 yrs old. I have another pitbull, Bella, she helps me through it.

Dec 21, 2011
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BunnyDog, RIP
by: Cathy, BunnyDog's mom

Sadly, Bunny Dog had to be put to sleep Dec. 12, 2011. She was too thin, not eating anymore and had a respiratory problem. She died in my arms and my boyfriend's, in her favorite cozy bed, with kisses and hugs and many tears. I miss her terribly.. Her little sweaters and things are all over my house.

Thank you everyone for your comments. She was diagnosed in march of 2011. we were lucky to get all these months after diagnosis with her.

RIP sweet beaglette angel...

Nov 25, 2011
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I feel your pain
by: Anonymous

Cathy
So sorry to hear about your dearest fur child. I know what you are going through. My lab Riley had primary lung cancer in 2008; we opted for surgery as he was such a vibrant 10 yr old lab. It was a good decision. He lasted 13 months after surgery but had such a great year. He looked like he beat the cancer; however it did come back. We do not regret our decision as like I said, he had the best 13 months of his life. His joy in life was swimming and I fondly watch a video of his swimming on Lake Winnepesaukee on the last day of his summer vacation. It was raining but we let him swim and there was such joy in his face. He taught us life is too short to not play in the rain.

My thoughts are with you.

Lab Lover

Nov 05, 2011
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sydney, RIP
by: Anonymous

I am so very sorry about your precious Sydney.
Yes I am aware of the signs and symptoms. We found out about the tumor in March. She'd been coughing since November a year ago. In March it sounded like she didn't have much longer. She quit eating well in July. She's on zofran for nausea and cyproheptadine for appetite stimulant. She's doing well. Coughs now and then. Tumor was occupying the entire upper left lung lobe in March 2011. She has spit up a tinge of blood a few times in the last few weeks. She is a fairly good weight though she's lost some. She's still tail waggy, enjoying life, sleeps a lot when she wants but seems generally happy. Hers appears to be a slow growing tumor. Every time I think we are near the end she rallies and starts eating better.

I am sorry Sydney's progressed so fast. No dog lives long enough in my opinion. They are so precious to us. My heart goes out to you.

Cathy, Bunny dog's mom

Nov 05, 2011
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Sidney
by: Anonymous

Sidney My dog of 15 years started having breathing problems about 7 days ago. Her breath was very shallow and rapid. I took her to the Vet on Wednesday and was told she had lung cancer with only a couple of days to live. I took her home and the next day she died in my arms of a heart attack. So watch your dog for signs that the time is near. I wish I had known about her cancer a year ago rather than 2 days ago. Please know my heart goes out to you and your pet.

Jun 08, 2011
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Schnauzer
by: cathy, bunnydog's mom

Thank you. I hope your doggy does well.

Bunny is between 11 and 14 and I just can't put her through it even if I could spend the money. A thoracotomy is a huge ordeal and they told me she would get an extra year at the most...

Good luck to your doggy!!

Cathy

Jun 08, 2011
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Just went throught surgery and chemo
by: Anonymous

Just thought I would let you know that my standard schnauzer was diagnosed with primary lung cancer in Dec 2010.

We had the tumor removed (It had not metastasized to the lymph nodes) so we had done the 8 treatments of chemo, which ended a month and a half ago.

He is 11 years old and so far is doing well. His symptoms which led to the diagnosis, believe it or not, was stomach problems.

The cost is great, but fortunately we had the money for it. $3000.00 surgery and $3000.00 for chemo. It will be worth it if he survives a few years, but not if he gets it again, I feel we would have put him through it for nothing.

Apr 15, 2011
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Angel Wings
by: K9mom66

Wish there was advice to give that could cure your precious babe. Unfortunately, life takes it's course no matter how much it breaks our hearts. Prayers go out to Bunnydog and you and your family as well. She looks so sweet. I'm sure she will have some of the prettiest doggie Angel Wings in heaven. Snuggles ... lots and lots of snuggles. That will give you both some comfort. Sorry I couldn't do better here.

Apr 15, 2011
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thank you xo
by: Cathy

thanks so much everyone...yes i treasure every moment left w/ bunnydog.. she was a pound dog, turned in by a hunter for being unable to breed anymore.. turned in to be killed 7 yrs ago. i know that the last 7 yrs were the happiest of her life. still my furkids are my furkids... each does take a piece of your heart. holly is sorely missed by me and the other dogs..i want to make a "smilebox" of her but can't bring myself to it yet.. i know bunny misses her b/c they slept all over eachother for 7 yrs. thanks againxoxo

Apr 15, 2011
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My heart goes out to you
by: Nancy

I rescued three older Beagle or Beagle/Basset mix boys over the last 10 years and lost each to various illnesses, age, etc. It is never easy. While I do not have any medical advice, relish the fact that she still seems to enjoy life and love her for every single blessed day you still have together. I am so sorry for your recent loss. It is never easy, and each one takes a piece of us with him or her. ((( )))

Apr 15, 2011
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Prayers
by: Scott, Mosby, and Bailey

Cathy, you have been an inspiration to me and my family. We are deeply saddened to hear about this. We all want you to know that we are here for you if you need anything.

Apr 15, 2011
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My Prayers
by: Jennifer C.

Afraid I don't have any medical advice to share, but I can keep you and Bunnydog in my thoughts and prayers!

You were there for me, with my sweet Mandy, when she passed almost 2 years ago and you have no idea how much you helped me cope, when other's didn't understand.

*HUGS* to you, Bunnydog and your entire fur-kids!

Love Jennifer Cartier
Ontario, Canada

Apr 15, 2011
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Bunnydog
by: alldogz282

I am so sorry to read about your sweet Bunny dog-I agree w/ the other person also-I know this is especially hard after losing your other companion in Jan.-all I can offer is listen to your heart -this is not about you-it's about this piece of your heart and doing what is best and kindest for him/her-

Apr 13, 2011
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Bunnydog
by: Hazel, Site Editor

Hi, Cathy,

Sorry about Bunnydog's lung tumor.

If you do not opt for surgery and/or chemo, I guess all you can do is to make Bunnydog as comfortable as possible. Sadly, primary canine lung cancer is aggressive and can metastasize to the regional lymph nodes in the upper chest area.

If you haven't already done so, try to switch Bunny's diet to a cancer diet and try the Budwig Diet (flaxseed and cottage cheese) as well - many dog parents have reported positive results upon feeding it to their dogs with cancer. Also, get some natural supplements that can strengthen Bunny's immune system. (Also see this page for more info.)

Hope this helps. Stay positive and strong for your Bunny! Please keep us informed. Good luck.

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