Our Casper has Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

Our Casper has Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

by Pam
(Fort Worth, TX)

Casper, a few months ago

Casper, a few months ago

Casper is our close friend and companion; he is a precious American Eskimo that we first fostered then adopted 11 years ago. He's been a great dog for us and we really consider him our child since the human kids have grown up. Not really ill, just prone to skin allergies and an ACL injury that healed pretty well with PT.

It all started with a lot of sneezing maybe 8 weeks ago which we attributed to seasonal allergies. We all love being outside. He quit eating his food and started eating the cat's kibble 4 weeks ago so we thought that he just needed a different flavor or softer food since he's older. He responded to the soft food and stayed out of the cat food so we thought, 'problem solved'.

A couple weeks ago we noticed he was breathing heavily and took him in for a checkup. His nose was getting crusty and the vet just attributed it to allergies when we mentioned the sneezing and prescribed antihistamine, a steroid shot and an antibiotic cream for the nose.

Last week he suddenly got really weak and wobbly, we got him into the vet on Thursday for blood work. On Friday our vet called and told us that he has Addison's Disease. I quickly researched and was overjoyed to discover that while it's not curable, this is certainly treatable with Prednisone. We felt such relief!

On Saturday morning, the vet called again with the grave news. Casper has acute lymphocytic leukemia and that it is unlikely that he can withstand chemo because of his age and weakened state.

I'm so distraught, I can barely think. I'm so glad that we found this forum. We really just need a shoulder right now. Of course we will not let him suffer but making that 'when' call is nearly unbearable.

Thank you for letting me share Casper's story.

(Submitted Monday, June 10, 2013)

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Jun 22, 2013
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Casper has traveled on
by: Pam

With great sadness we let our Casper go yesterday. There is a huge hole in our lives and we miss him terribly. He had become too weak to stand without help and could barely walk to go potty. We let him go with dignity and he walked to the car for his final ride.

Jun 11, 2013
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Thank you Sue!
by: Pam

I've sent hubby out to find the Hill's N/D. I bet the vet has it! He is stopping by there to pick up some Prednisone for the Addison's this afternoon anyway.

His appetite is still good and he does love 'people food'. I will also try the supplements that you mentioned.

I hope Latchford continues to feel well and my hope is that his last chemo shot (or round of shots, not sure) will push him into a long remission. Our prayers are with your family and Latchford.

Jun 11, 2013
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The 'when call'
by: Sue

Just one other thing about the 'when call'.

I'm letting my boxer Latchford tell me when the 'when call' comes.

You know your dog, Casper's eyes will tell you when it's time for him to go to rainbow bridge (if you haven't heard of rainbow bridge please google it).


Jun 11, 2013
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Good luck to you both
by: Sue

Hi I know exactly what you are going through. I have a 9 yar old boxer who was diagnosed with lymph cancer on the 6 April. He has had 3 different lots of chemotherapy but none have worked. On Saturday his glands swelled up and he had an emergency chemo shot and some steroids and they have gone down.

What is so frustrating is that physically he isn't unwell. The vet can't understand why but I'm wondering if it's because of the extras I have given him. I have him on hills n/d dog food which is specifically for lymph cancer. I also got him some vitamins called k9 immune plus and from the same place something called k9 factor and a fish oil capsule. I also feed him fresh chicken and steak, broccoli, swede and spinach. I read somewhere that cancer feeds off carbs so I try to avoid them.

I don't know if all of the above has helped but I'm told he has one more go of chemo this Thursday but they don't think it will work as he seems to be resistant to it and then he will have a matter of weeks left.

I hoping that what I'm giving him will keep him with us a bit longer.

All we can really do is love our babies as much as we can and enjoy what time we have left. I know it's hard but try and stay positive, take every day at a time, try not to cry in front of your baby, I cry when I'm in the bath.

Please keep posting messages so we can give you support.

All my love to you both.

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