Canine Melanoma is a Terrible and Aggressive Disease

Canine Melanoma is a Terrible and Aggressive Disease

by Mindy
(Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

It's wonderful to be able to share our story here to people who understand the close bond that develops with a pet and why we go to such lengths and expense to do what we can for them.

Our dog Haley is a mixed breed - Bernese Mountain dog mother and possibly German Sheperd or Collie father. She is now 11 years old.

When she was about 9 years old we noticed that there was a section of her gums that was redder than the rest. We brought her to the vet who said it was probably just an irritation due to chewing. Unfortunately several months later (about 15 months ago) the red section started to thicken into a growth which was removed and diagnosed as melanoma.

We were referred to an oncologist who recommended we try the vaccine which in Canada was very very expensive. He said without the vaccine Haley would have 6-9 months to live and the vaccine could either cure her or give her about 15 months more. Haley is a terrific dog - very affectionate and although we get upset with her when she barks too much she is definitely one of the family members. So we gave her the vaccine with high hopes. Several months later the oral tumor grew back and it was removed a second time.

Unfortunately several months later, she developed a growth in her neck which meant that it spread to the next lymph nodes. Haley had her third operation to remove the tumor. That was a more difficult recovery because that involved draining the wound which leaked fluid for about a week. We still had high hopes which were shattered when the tumor reappeared not too long after. The oncologist suggested trying chemotherapy. Haley took one dose and we waited a few weeks to see if the tumor would shrink. It didn't and the tumor grew quickly developing several bumps. I think it was a mistake to wait because of the aggressive nature of this cancer. Haley had his fourth and last operation on May 14. The vet said it was a very nasty tumor and the operation took 3 hours to unravel the blood vessels and also remove another little growth that had reappeared in her mouth.

Haley came home quite weak but this time with no fluid leaking. She bounced back quickly and seemed like our happy dog again - enjoying herself in the country, running up and down the hills, swimming in the lake and barking at every dog that passed her by.

To our extreme disappointment, however, within a month the tumors started growing again with a vengeance in her neck and into the prescapular lymph node, which means it is making its way to the lungs. Up to now the vets have been recommending surgery but even the oncologist at this stage says it would not be advisable. We also feel that we can't put Haley through another operation only to gain 1-2 months since this cancer is so aggressive.

At this point we would say that Haley is in pallative care. The tumors in her neck are affecting her tongue so that she is having difficulty eating and drinking - her tongue goes off to the side. She has a hard time getting the food or water to actually get to the back of her throat to swallow. We're feeding her soft food and the tantalizing odour is keeping her appetite up although it is heartbreaking to watch her have such difficulty with this basic function. She still enjoys running around in the country and going for her walks but in the house she tends to just lie around. The drooling caused by the removal of the last oral tumor is difficult to deal with both for her and us and needs frequent wiping. She gets more tired when we go for a walk but she's still keen on her outings.

The vet says that we'll know when it's time - she'll have no appetite and she won't want to get up for her walks. We're dreading that day but in the mean time enjoying her and making her life as happy as possible. It's terrible to see the life go out of a being that had endless energy and always willing to play. It will be a very sad day when we lose this wonderful, lovable and loyal friend and member of our family.

We wish anyone with a pet with melanoma the best of luck - hopefully better luck than we have had.

Site Editor's Note:

You may be interested in visiting these pages:

Herbs for Cancer in Dogs
Dog Cancer Diet

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Jan 09, 2018
Reply to Roxy
by: Bentley and his Mom

I am so sorry to hear about Roxy. I know exactly how you feel as I have gone through it with my 8 1/2 year old Shih Tzu, Bentley. Bentley was diagnosed in March, 2017.

Bentley had the tumor on the inside of his gum/lip. He was diagnosed with Oral Melanoma with narrow margin. We had the tumor removed and it was back 2 months later in May. He was acting fine.

You wouldn't know he had terminal cancer. He ate, drank and acted fine. He did get pain at times and I'd give him meds for the pain and he'd be ok. Late November, he started crying. I gave the meds but it didn't help. He was still crying. I picked him up and then put him down and noticed he was licking something. There was blood all over the place. I don't know if it was from the tumor in the mouth or coming from internally.

As difficult as it was I knew it was time to put him at rest. It was so very difficult for me to do it but I knew it was best. I cried so much. I sit here thinking about it and I get so upset. I try to think of the good times and not those last few minutes because it breaks my heart.

My prayers go out to everyone here because we all know how painful of a process this is.

Jan 02, 2018
by: Anonymous

Our almost 14 yr old dachshund developed a lump between her upper jaw and eye that popped up seemingly overnight.

I was hoping that possibly it was an abscessed tooth, but our vet was doubtful. He immediately booked her for surgery, and removed all of her top teeth on that side along with some jawbone. Unfortunately, the biopsy showed melanoma.

This was the first week of November, and I guess I deluded myself that since she’d had the surgery, she’d be fine for a good while. But on thanksgiving, I saw that the tumor had returned.

It continued to grow, and she had more and more bleeding from her nose but acted normally. I did get painkillers from the vet to keep her comfortable, but a few days after Christmas, she started vomiting after eating (Although her appetite was still strong), her bleeding worsened and she stopped wagging her tail.

We had her put to sleep on Dec 30. The vet who came to our home to perform the procedure said that it was definitely time, as the tumor had to be causing her considerable pain, and she could also feel a mass in her abdomen.

This has been the most heartbreaking experience I have ever gone through. 😢

Dec 29, 2017
by: Tim & Tara - Daisy

So sorry you are in our group. Daisy has had her 2nd round of the vaccine. She still has no clue she is sick and is running and playing with her baby sister Bella. A little weight loss has been recorded.

The vaccine is worth the attempt to stop the spread.

Prayers and love is all we know to do. My Daisy is nearly 14 and I cannot bring myself to put radiation into her body at that age. Of course you make your choice out of love, you will make the correct decision.

Dec 29, 2017
RE: Sorry Justin and Dakota
by: Justin

Hello and thank you for the reply. It is nice to read and sad at the same time. I am sorry to hear about your dog also.

This has been one of the hardest decisions I have had to make. I really hope that since the cancer hasn't spread that radiation will stop or slow the spreading. Then the vaccine will help his system.

This is just so hard. Never expected this to be as hard as it is. I am dreading any decisions I will need to make and hope whatever I decide is right.

As I tear up now writing this - Thank you and god bless. What have you heard about radiation and this vaccine?

Dec 29, 2017
Sorry Justin and Dakota
by: Bentley and his mom

Sorry to hear that you are going through this as well.

I had gone though this with my 8 1/2 yr old Shihtzu who was diagnosed in March 2017. We had the tumor removed in March but it came but it came right back. I heard about the vaccine and even though it was expensive I had planned on using it.

However after speaking to many people who did the vaccine I heard it was not very helpful. My friend's friend's dog started vaccine and it came right back. Oral melanoma is a very aggressive cancer and I didn’t want to put my baby through multiple surgery and procedures if the results wasn’t good.

My Bentley was eating and drinking and acting normal after the tumor came back. I gave him pain killers if he was in pain and he would then be fine.

In November the painkiller didn’t help and there was nothing more we could do and I had to take him out of his pain because I didn’t want him to suffer.

He lasted 8 months even with the removal of the tumor. I wish you the best with your baby and I hope you have a better result. It’s nice to have a group of people who are in a similar situation.

I hope Dakota does better.

Dec 28, 2017
My dog Dakota
by: Justin

Hello. I just want to start by saying how great this website is and how helpful it has been to read the comments and stories. Very touching for sure.

So my golden doodle Dakota has been diagnosed with Oral melanoma and has had the surgery to have it removed. The vet was able to get most of the tumor and now we have visited a specialist who told us today about our options.

Our options are to have radiation to remove the rest as removing the bone is. It's an option since the tumor is too far back in his mouth and then give Dakota some vaccine to fight the cancer.

I am not sure what to do. I want him to be happy and live much longer. Dakota is just 8 1/2 years old and is still full of life. The specialist also did an X-ray and said she didn’t see the cancer in his lungs. Also she tested the lymph nodes for this and I will find these results after the New Year, in which I hope maybe good news for a new year.

I guess I am torn between not doing and letting this aggressive cancer spread or if I should pay and do what I can financially even it is very expensive. Dakota has been in my life since he was just 8 weeks old. He is a family dog and a great dog. I am very scared and have a big decision to make to hopefully extend my dogs life. Thanks again.

Dec 20, 2017
by: LEROY Biotech

Electrochemotherapy is also a good treatment options for Canine Melanoma with 2 publications on the subject which have proven its efficacy. Visit for more information.

Dec 11, 2017
My experience
by: Tony

I put my dog to sleep today. My Brady was abandoned when I rescued him. He was a Ridgeback mix and I had him for almost 14 years.

Brady had been battling oral melanoma since April 2017. I have never seen anything so aggressive. It first started as a small mass and my Vet removed it. I thought we were in the clear because five months had gone by and everything was normal.

I was mistaken. On the fifth month it came again with a vengeance and I elected to perform another surgery to have the tumor removed. Brady had six surgeries in total and every time the disease came back within a matter of weeks.

He was scheduled to have another surgery today, but I elected not to have another surgery performed, because after every surgery it took a week for him to recover and like I mentioned earlier the melanoma came back within weeks. I literally watch it grow before I put him down.

In the morning he seemed OK and while I waited to take him to the Vet it was protruding from his mouth and he could barely swallow.

I miss my Brady so much, and I hope that I made the right decision. The only thing I have left are our memories together.

Dec 07, 2017
Enjoy your dog while you have him, then mourn
by: Maggie B

Regarding your Daisy... I am no expert but I literally share your pain.

My dog "Danny Boy" has a cancerous tumor in his mouth. Just Dx a week ago. Danny is a Shih Tzu and 15 years old. He is blind, has hearing loss, and now this. He is also eating everything he can find (this is new), and still loves his walks. Most of the rest of the day he sleeps.

We discussed surgery but the Vet didn't recommend it. Dan has a heart murmur too. She said the tumor would grow back. Her recommendation was to keep him comfortable and happy (lots of walks), and when he starts to have pain, do the hard thing and what is best for him. As difficult as it is, that is what we are doing.

In addition, after a few days of endless tears, I thought that I had to stop mourning him while I still had him. So now I enjoy him. I think, "I will enjoy every minute while he is mine, and then I will deal with my loss." So far it is working for me and for Danny Boy.

Hope this helps you. Thoughts and prayers for you and your dog.

Dec 07, 2017
Tim & Tara - Daisy
by: Hazel, Site Editor

Good luck with the vaccine treatment. Please keep us informed of her progress. Would like to see the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Sending you our thoughts and prayers.


Dec 06, 2017
by: Tim & Tara - Daisy

The results are in and our angel is infected with an oral melanoma. She is nearly 14 years of blessing.

Tara and I have chosen to treat her with the melanoma vaccine. I can't bring myself to put radiation in my angel. I pray we have made the right decision for this sweet life that has showed us what perfect love is.

I am thankful for those here that love their baby as we do. I pray that you all have peace this Christmas season and just know that God loves our babies too and will answer each prayer as only he can.

Dec 04, 2017
Our beloved Peter has been diagnosed
by: Mary

Hi all,

First off, I've been reading this entire thread and crying and feeling so thankful for a community like this. Thankful I'm not alone.

Peter is a 12 year old giant schnauzer mix. We've raised him since he was 4 months old and we have no human children so he is very much our child.

He developed a cough/hack, and after an exam, the vet found a tumor on his cheek. During the surgery to remove this tumor, a second larger tumor was discovered at the top of his throat. This was the one causing the cough. After X-rays, CT scans, seeing a specialist surgeon, and another biopsy, both tumors came back as malignant melanoma. Other spots were found in his brain (most likely not related) and abdomen.

One week later we were told Peter has about a month left with us if we do no treatment, and an 80% chance of staying with us for 6 months if we do palliative radiation.

We are opting for the radiation - 4 doses over the course of 5 weeks, as the vet says it will be a low dose and Peter should see no side effects other than possibly a sore throat. We will reassess after the first dose.

Peter has lived a wonderful life. Living on the beach for 9 years of it. He has now retired to a larger home with a yard and is much more relaxed.

Our goal is to continue his life only as long as he is enjoying it. We want to make the decision he would make.

Thank you to the commenter who offered the great advice of "one week early is better than one week late." He has lived a wonderful 12 1/2 years and we will opt for a day early, not a day late. I REFUSE to let my baby be in any lasting pain and discomfort for my benefit.

Thank you also to the commenter who spoke about remaining positive around their pup. I am still in shock, crying extremely quickly at anything reminding me of Pete's situation, and I need to now focus on being loving and positive around him. I can cry in the shower haha.

I am thankful that I have gotten to be his guardian for these long years and my heart breaks for those of you going through this with a young dog that hasn't yet led a full life.

I am thankful for the love he has given me. He taught me that all animals are just like dogs and deserve love and I am now living a vegan lifestyle, not harming any animal, because they are all dogs and cats and people. We are all the same.

Thank you to a wonderfully strong and loving group of people.

Nov 22, 2017
Bentley has succumbed to this awful disease
by: Bentley and his Mom

I had to put Bentley to sleep Sunday morning November 19, 2017 and I am overwhelmed with grief, but glad he is not suffering. I kept on saying I didn't know when it was time.

Bentley, a 8 1/2 year old Shih Tzu, was diagnosed in March, 2017. The tumor was removed, but came right back. He was acting fine as the tumor was growing.

There were times when he was in pain, but I gave him medication for pain and he was fine. He would eat, drink and run around as usual.

The tumor kept on growing but he still seemed OK. I kept on asking myself how do I know when it's time. If he's eating, drinking and running around but gets pain at times, does that mean it's time? I couldn't see putting him to sleep when he seemed to be ok.

Sunday morning, he was in pain, but this time the medication didn't help and I took him to the vet but there was nothing they could do for him. I am so sad that he had gone through this and I feel lost without him. The only solace I have is that he's no longer in pain.

I will forever love you Bentley.

Nov 16, 2017
Maggie's story
by: Sarah

I wanted to share our experience with oral melanoma. Our labradoodle, Maggie, was diagnosed with an oral melanoma at age 3, and it was removed and she underwent 4 rounds of radiation. We were lucky it had not spread to her lymph nodes or her lungs.

I'm happy to say she was cancer free for almost 6 years. Since June she has had 2 surgeries to remove noncancerous oral masses and due to the radiation she has lost 5 teeth in that area from bone loss.

We recently met with a specialist about some problems with swallowing and eyelid control on one side. He thinks it's a nerve sheath tumor and referred us to neurology.

After all she has been through, we are not going forward with any more treatment. She made it to age 9 and I still consider her a happy girl. We are adjusting to her new challenges and enjoy every day with her.

I wish you all luck with your sweet pups.

Nov 08, 2017
Tim & Tara - Daisy
by: Hazel, Site Editor

I am sorry about Daisy and I can feel your anguish and frustration. I just lost my 15-year-old dog Hana to a brain tumor 3 months ago, and the pain is still raw and profound.

Of course all dogs are different, but honestly I don't think Daisy would have a good quality of life without intervention, seeing that the cancer is in the mouth. As it grows, she will have more pain and will probably have difficulty eating.

I have read about Petcure Oncology's SRS treatment. It sounds promising... and in 2 short years they are expanding quite rapidly, from coast to coast, so maybe it's worth contacting them and finding out more? They also have subsidized clinical trials for certain types of cancer (right now it seems that they are offering subsidized trials for dogs with lung cancer), but still worth asking.

Best of luck with Daisy - and please remember you are not alone. We are all here to support each other and that's why I set up this Forum.

Nov 08, 2017
My Precious Daisy
by: Tim and Tara Boyd

Anyone familiar with PetCure Oncology? THE SRS treatments?

Nov 08, 2017
My Precious Daisy
by: Tim and Tara Boyd

With no procedures done yet, Daisy seems unaware that she has this evil. I'm. Sure she feels the growth near her tongue, but she is still having fun and playing with her sister Bella as usual.

She was an only child for so long and has always had the house to run in as she wanted too. We actually live with her is what she thinks.

The growth is to the back right side of her tongue and I do see her eating slower. We plan to give her soft food going forward. She still has her appetite.

I am tired of cancer and donate for human cures, never thinking my Daisy could be affected. Us humans, puffy.

It is sad that I am part of another cancer group, but I do say thanks to all that share here.

I am in a pickle of sorts and need some guidance from those who have lost their angel. I am a military man and preparing to deploy again soon. I say this because Tara will be the only one here for a long time and I cannot fathom her watching our child's health deteriorate alone.

Can Daisy have a good quality of life without intervention?

I know there are no guarantees, but there are good stories when people think it is only bad.

I am unable to think and my words may be all jumbled up here so I humbly ask for help to do the best for my baby.

Nov 07, 2017
Daisy New
by: Rachy

Hi Tim & Tara,

I have been told that all dogs respond differently to treatment, surgery and recovery. We have been quite lucky with Bella as the Vet had told us that she was a perfect student. It would also depend on where the cancer is in the mouth for options offered.

Bella's first tumor was on the right side of her mouth so they removed a small section. Yes it did come back 4 months later and had crossed over the jaw which is very uncommon. After her last surgery she doesn't look any different apart from her tongue sticking out further.

I have been told that you will know what is the right decision - you will feel it inside. For us it wasn't the right time as Bella was still so full of life.

I hope this helps in your decision making xx

Nov 07, 2017
My Precious Daisy
by: Tim and Tara Boyd

This angel rescued me about 13 years ago. I was putting fence post up around our farm and she arrive straight from heaven.

Today is November 7th 2017 and during her annual checkup Daisy was found to have this evil disease.

I am absolutely lost after reading these posts. I would sell all I have to invest in her treatment because the love she has brought to my wife and I is immeasurable. I do not want Daisy to suffer one moment just so that we may have her precious furry love in our home. How are we suppose to make this decision? Who are we to say who stays and who goes?

I am asking you all for brutal honesty here. Is our angel going to have the quality of life after surgery as she would have had without it.

I am torn, my heart is being ripped out of my chest and I only want what is best for Daisy. Any guidance that can be provided from those of you living this or have lived it would greatly be appreciated.

Oct 30, 2017
Bella Girl Update
by: Rachy

Hey Guys,

Firstly thinking of you all going through and dealing with the pain of putting your loved pet down.

So we decided to have Bella's bottom half of her jaw removed, she is 11 1/2 and is our world. It has been a pretty rough few weeks but our girl is back to her normal self. Just to recap, she had been diagnosed with an oral tumor back in June. We opted to have a section of the right side of her jaw removed. She recovered so well. At the 4 month check up her tumor had come back but on the other side. Again we opted to have her other side of jaw removed knowing how well she recovered from her first surgery.

She is now 21 days post surgery and it just doing amazing. She is learning to do more with her mouth every day. She has the 2 back teeth on one side and 3 on the other side. We hand feed her at the moment until she has the strength with her tongue to pick up her food. Playing with the ball is now normal for her. She does have her days but overall we are so very happy with her recovery.

This was our last chance to give Bella another go at life, if we knew in anyway this would affect her quality of life we would have never had the surgery done. Bella is so very fit, healthy and happy and we hope she can live for many years to come.

For now the Vet has given her the all clear but we always wonder in the back of our heads if the tumor will come back. Life for Bella will be fun times playing with her Kong, her little friend Beau and enjoying walks and many many treats.

We will enjoy every moment with her like its her last because at the end of the day we will never know when the day will come that her tumor has come back.

Love to you all xxx

Oct 28, 2017
Re: Is it really time?
by: Anonymous

My heart breaks for you. It is the toughest decision to make when they are still eating, going potty.

I'm the one that posted about our 14 year old Golden that died on 9/11/17. We miss him every day. Our Golden too, was licking his paws a lot, but still would eat, etc. I still wonder if he could have made it a few more days, but then, an emergency may have occurred. At least he went peacefully with us & his regular Vet present.

I read that it is always better to be a week early than a day late when our loved ones have a terminal, aggressive disease. Consider advice & guidance, but only you will know what's best for your baby.

Thinking of you during this difficult time.

Oct 25, 2017
Is it really time?
by: Anonymous

Our 6 year old Golden Lab boy Mac currently has oral malignant Melanoma and has previously had a toe removed which also had malignant melanoma. We opted not to have the melanoma removed from his jaw as even getting his temperature taken makes him cry and he was so upset by the biopsy we thought he would struggle to cope. I had also read so many peoples stories about it growing back anyway.

Mac’s melanoma started at the front of his lower jaw, he refused a meal (unheard of) and when we looked in his mouth he seemed to have a tooth missing, a local vet confirmed this and gave us pain meds, there was also a lump on his gum so I mentioned he had previously had malignant melanoma on his toe and she dismissed any connection.

Approximately 1 month later the lump was significantly bigger and I just couldn’t settle so I took him back to the Vets, this time seeing our usual vet, she measured it and asked me to come back in 4 weeks, so 4 weeks later our vet agreed with our suspicions and biopsies were taken from Mac’s mouth and lymph nodes revealing that Malignant Melanoma was present orally but not in his lymph node. We had already decided to leave his jaw intact and watch and wait to see if it continued to grow.

For a good few weeks nothing happened and then all of a sudden approximately 1 month ago it seemed to start growing like crazy, becoming infected, his teeth moved, he started to bleed so we took him to the Vets and he had 2 courses of very strong antibiotics. The infection wouldn’t go, the smell reminds me of meat that has gone off, but he was still eating and catching a ball, sometimes picking up sticks in the park, so we all assumed he wasn’t in pain. Our family had agreed that we would have him put to sleep as soon as he was in any pain. In our opinion keeping him alive with any pain would be for us and not him as he was never going to get better. He sleeps more and coughs occasionally but not chronically.

We were quite happy he was OK with it and then one day my Dad saw him and he was really shocked, the melanoma is clearly visible without him opening his mouth these days, so when my Dad saw the state of the inside of his mouth he asked me how I could possibly think that Mac wasn’t in pain.

I explained about him eating and going for walks and he said I was in denial and that if it were on a limb he would be really lame. I took a picture to the vets when I was taking my other dog to see her and she said 3 words that broke my heart: "it is time". She explained his pain is chronic and he’s just used to it and getting on with his life anyway. I then thought about other signs, he licks his 2 front legs constantly, they are always coated in bloody saliva, he rubs his face with his paws or on his bed. He has become aggressive if another dog approaches him and if it’s really quiet I can hear a wheeze on his chest.

We have now booked our vet to come to our home on Monday and put Mac to sleep. We are heart broken, he is such a lovely boy and I don’t know if we’re doing the right thing for him and it is so important that we do.

So "it is time" is it? What if it isn’t time? What if my Dad and the Vet are wrong? What if we are cutting his life short? What should I do?

Oct 16, 2017
Melanoma sucks
by: Anonymous

My 15 year old yellow lab was diagnosed with melanoma back in January I believe.

He had a split toe nail and he was licking it and it was bleeding so we took him to the vet and they removed the nail and left the bedding of the nail there.

After he healed and we had the bandage removed he was fine but I noticed the nail was not growing back and the bedding was getting swollen. So we took him back and they referred us to a bigger pet hospital.

We took him there and they told us that he had melanoma. They removed his toe and he was cancer free until September when we noticed he was coughing and not eating. We took him to our original vet and they took an x-ray of his lungs and they said that the cancer may have spread to his lungs which has been confirmed by the hospital.

We gave him the shot and we started a low dose of chemo. He is the best boy in the world and I can't imagine my life without him but I don't want him to suffer.

Oct 08, 2017
My two year old golden has oral melanoma
by: Kim

We just found out that our two year old golden retriever had oral melanoma. It was removed from his lip with clean margins. It was pretty small, smaller than a pea. I'm hoping it has not spread. We are doing X-rays and going to oncologist this week. I'm hoping because he is so young and healthy he has a good chance. Anyone with this on their dog's lip and at an early age?

Oct 08, 2017
Melanoma since March 2017
by: Bentley and Me

Hi all, As I previously mentioned Bentley was diagnosed with oral Melanoma the past Match. Tumor was removed and immediately grew back.

Usually, he's acting fine but when he starts to cry I give him pain killer. Now he's been bleeding from the mouth. I went to the vet and was given a Chinese herbal supplement which stops bleeding.

One week's supply from vet was $31.00 and on the Internet it's $9.00. I don't care about cost but the mark-up is insane. One week's supply didn't work but I bought additional online and it seemed to work after second week.

But, now it bleeding again. He seems a little uncomfortable from blood but besides that he is ok. Everyone says you will know when it's time but I just can't tell he's still eating and drinking. I don't want him to suffer. 😁

My thoughts and prayers are with all who are going through this with their fur babies and those who have gone through it. For those who have gone through it - can you tell me how you knew it's was time? Thanks.

Oct 07, 2017
Golden Retriever with Oral Melanoma *Update*
by: Anonymous

I originally posted about our Golden in July and this is an update.

We went ahead with an additional surgery on August 1st to remove the oral melanoma regrowth. Within 2 weeks, the tumor grew back, and by the end of August, it was worse than ever. The tumor grew very large in a short period of time, pushing his front upper canine tooth out, bleeding was constant. The odor was terrible. The tumor grew back with all sorts of knobs & colors.

He tried to live with this for a while, but left us on 9/11.

Another surgery was not an option for him as he would not have survived it. His veins were nearly collapsed.

It was the worst day of our lives, shattered our hearts. He was with us almost 14 years, and survived 1 year, 1 month with oral melanoma. We believe the 2nd surgery made his situation worse, aggravating the aggressive cancer cells. We felt we had to do the 2nd surgery to make him more comfortable.

Wishing all of you the very best with your fur-babies, and my sympathy to those of you that have lost the love of your lives.

Oct 05, 2017
Bella Girl Update
by: Rachy

Hey guys it has been a couple of months since I have updated you with Bella's oral Tumor. It has nearly been 4 months since Bella had half her jaw removed. She has been fine and living a normal life as our doggies do. She has adapted really well with her eating and so forth.

We went for her final check up during the week and not good news. We were informed that the tumor had come back :(. My hubby had said to me that he thought that something was in her mouth but wasn't sure if it was just the tissue still healing from her jaw removal or not. But he was right! When we look back there were some small signs that something wasn't right with Bella. She had recently gone off her dry food and was not as playful as normal. The growth had started to make her uncomfortable.

The Vet found a small growth on the other side of her jaw. We paid a lot of money for tests and CT scans before the surgery was done so we weren't really happy when he said they had missed some of the tumor. We were informed that it was not picked up as they believe it was in the blood cell. They checked the rest of her mouth and no other signs of any other tumors. They let us know that if the cancer had spread that she would have passed away by now.

Apparently the type of tumor she has is very slow growing as the last check up we had 3 months prior there was no sign of it.

In the end my husband is not ready to say good bye to our beautiful baby Bella as she is so happy, fit and healthy. Bella will under go another surgery next week to have more of her jaw removed :(. I am reluctant as I worry about her quality of life after the surgery. The Vet reassured us that her quality of life won't change and that she will adapt like she did last time.

This will be our very last chance to save her, after this if it comes back well I just can't think about that just yet.

I will keep you guys updated on how everything goes.

Love to all our fury friends xxx

Sep 16, 2017
Thank you.. my pug age 11 just diagnosed
by: Muaythaimama

My 11 year old pug Iggy had been having bad breath for a couple years and it was brought up by me every vet visit. He had two teeth pulled in 2015 and I had hoped that this odor would be better. But now, two years later it was really really bad.

The vets didn't seemed concerned because he was eating. I reminded them that he is a pug and pugs do not chew food. They swallow it whole. I noticed him coughing more... also, he started rubbing his face on the couch, his bed, me, and pawing at it.

So, I assumed another bad tooth and got the shocking news that they wanted to keep him overnight to remove a tumor in his upper gums.

Today the vet called to say it was Malignant Melanoma. We have a friend that had her dog do chemo, radiation, acupuncture, and more.. and her boxer passed away 10 months from diagnosis.

Our decision with our Iggy, my baby boy, my therapy dog, is the hardest decision I have ever had to make. We want to love him and watch for the sign when he starts to not be able to enjoy his normal things. We then will have a vet come to us and let him go as peacefully as possible to heaven to be with our German shepherd Shotzie who was so in love with him.

Until then, I will try to not cry (though I have moments) and I will try to keep his spirits up and let him feel our love.

Aug 26, 2017
Marley's Mom
by: Anonymous

@ Ben I'm still coping with the loss of my Lil man Marley, it's been one year and two months since he got his wings and crossed over the rainbow bridge. I come on this online site weekly just to read the new comments.

We are all going through this painful experience or have dealt with losing our best friend. I truly understand your pain because we are all in this together. One big family! Leaning on each other for strength! Love ❤️ and be there for your furry friend!

My oncologist told my family and I that you'll know when the time comes - there will be many signs.

My prayers are with you and everyone who's coping with this terrible and aggressive disease.

Aug 21, 2017
How do I cope?
by: Ben

My Ben is a black Labrador and is 12 years old. I have had him since he was 12 weeks old, my first dog and my best friend.

About a month ago when I was brushing his teeth, I noticed a black lump on his bottom gum which was the size of a bean. I took him to the vets, they carried out a fine needle biopsy and confirmed this was a oral tumor. He has had a lot of surgery throughout his life and always bounces back.

However, I cannot put him through the surgery to have this removed due to all the risks that have been explained to me. They will need to remove part of his jaw and teeth with no guarantee this will return. How will I know when it's hurting him?

I also have a border terrier that has never left his side for her 8 years of life. I really don't know what I will do when the time comes. How do people cope with the loss of your best friend? He has been at my side forever.

Aug 04, 2017
by: Anonymous

I just found out tonight that the mass removed from the back of my dog's tongue is melanoma (cancer). It was the size of a quarter.

The vet stated the mass that was removed did not have clean margins. My Razzy is a lab/chow mix and 12 years old. The mass was removed last Friday. She is on antibiotics and pain meds. I was referred to an oncologist.

Please help me to know what to do. I just had to put my other fur baby down on 7/25/2017 due to a tumor rupturing in her stomach. I did not know she had it and the vet missed it at her last check up a year ago. So now to have my other fur baby get this diagnosis I am truly at a loss.

Please help me to know what has been successful or not in regards to treatment. Thank you for any advice or support.

Jul 23, 2017
by: Anonymous

Hi Everyone,

I have been reading all your messages, after my 10 year black Labrador Tug has been diagnosed with an aggressive oral melanoma two months ago, as everyone on here says it is just heart breaking, and quite unbelievable... I feel just awful that I can't do any thing to help him, just soul destroying.

We opted not to have surgery done as it was to high risk of it spreading to his chest and lungs, but feel helpless for him really do.

He is still eating soft food, drinking, and going for his runs with the other dogs, I feel so thankful for every day I spend with him. I have had Tug since he was 13 weeks old, and although trying to stay strong for him, I feel totally devastated and heartbroken... just can't bear to think being without him, and just dread the day!

Thank you every one for sharing your stories, definitely not alone!

Jul 15, 2017
Golden Retriever with Oral Melanoma
by: Anonymous

This is a great page and very helpful to read about all of your experiences with this terrible disease.

Our almost 14 year old Golden Retriever was diagnosed 11 months ago with a very aggressive oral melanoma between his upper cheek & gum. We caught it when it was the size of jellybean and opted for surgery to remove it. He also has a slower growing cancer in his lower jaw bone. We decided not to put him through aggressive treatment such as partial jaw removal, radiation, chemo, etc.

The vet removed the jellybean tumor and soon after, we started him on medical cannabis treatment. He was initially given 6 weeks to 3 months. Next month will be one year. The tumor has grown back, and we are not sure we'll put him through another surgery at his age as the vet says it's very risky. I honestly don't believe he would be here with us today had we not researched & discovered the power of cannabis.

We were not users, so this was all new & very confusing to us. Fortunately, it is legal in our state, so easy to access. CBD oil, which is legal in all states, works wonders also. He is still very active, walks daily and does not appear to be in pain.

Best to all of you and your kids <3

Jul 08, 2017
Bella Girl Update
by: Rachy

Hi Guys, just an update on our Bella girl. We ended up getting a second opinion. Bella had an agressive malignant tumor in her mouth that had gone into her bone and under her tongue.

With the advice from the second vet we opted to have a section of her jaw removed as the cancer hadn't spread. The operation went well, though it has only been 4 weeks since her operation. She is eating normally again but I reckon she was enjoying eating out of our hands for a while that our other dog wanted the same of course.

Bella is back to her normal self for now. Today we noticed that her breath was bad again. We are very much going to change her food and not anything else. Time will tell I guess. We have another check up with the vet next week so we will get her checked then.

Here's love to all our fur friends 💗💗

Jun 06, 2017
Our Bella Girl
by: Rachy

Our Bella girl Staffy 11 years young. We noticed a growth/abscess on her gums. We thought it was an infection from breaking her tooth. After giving her antibiotics for 1 week with no change we decided to take her to the vet.

Yesterday my husband took her to the vet, at first the vet couldn't see anything wrong as she is such a happy dog. Eventually she noticed the mass on the side of her gum. Without any tests the vet advised my husband that she had an oral tumor and it was too advanced. She advised that oral tumors are very aggressive. We were given options but unfortunately those options are too expensive for us. Don't get me wrong we love our girl to bits, we just want her to enjoy the time she has left.

We just have ourselves questioning how long she has left. But after reading some stories on here, it really does vary from pet to pet. The vet advised that we could only have days left maybe weeks. I really hope that is not the case.

Our Bella is still a very happy dog and is eating and drinking fine. I think she knows something is wrong though as she keeps looking at us with those beautiful puppy dog eyes.

Here is love to all our fur babies.

Thanks for sharing your stories to fellow pet lovers...

Jun 04, 2017
Big George
by: Anonymous

Our rescue Newfoundland lab chow mix is about 11 and had a small wart type growth on his muzzle last December. Initially the Vet said it was nothing. 6 weeks later I took him back in as the growth quadrupled in size and he was rubbing it to the point it would bleed. Vet removed it and found couple other spots in his gums to remove.

Devastating news: melanoma. We were referred to Vet oncologist.

Lymph nodes were clear at this point so opted for vaccine and did 3 of the 4 treatments. The tumor just came back inside his gum line. So we decided to stop treatment. He's on meloxicam for pain and strong antibiotic for growth inside his mouth. His breath is terrible, poor guy!

I love this amazing dog more than words can describe. He's eating well (I'm softening his food to help prevent excessive irritation), energetic for walks, drinking well but when home, he's seeking alone time and space away from us a lot.

I don't know how I will know when to make the sad decision to let him go. He seems good but also in pain at times with nasty growth inside his mouth. My poor sweet beautiful George. Best rescue treasure of a dog ever! Heart broken!

May 17, 2017
Stage II Oral Malanoma
by: Bentley and his Mom

Bentley is 8 1/2 years old.

In March 2017, While bathing Bentley, I noticed a black lump on his inner lip. I brought him to the Vet who said it was a mass and had the mass removed the following week. The mass was biopsied and it was determined he has oral melanoma. Narrow margin but it hasn't reached his lymph nodes.

I've spoken with people who told me that the vaccine didn't bide their loving dog with any more time. It has been 2 months since Bentley was diagnosed and so far he's doing fine but I get nervous with every sound he makes. I feel all of your pain and know what you're going through.

We should start a Facebook Group to share out stories and support each other during this difficult time.

May 05, 2017
You never know
by: Anonymous

My 14 year old terrier mix was diagnosed with oral malignant melanoma (stage IV) during a dental procedure. I opted not to treat her. That was two years ago and just this week, I found another tumor at the back of her tongue, closing in on her throat. She is still eating (I make sure her food is liquid), drinking, peeing and pooping but I know her time is near. But God granted me two years when I was expecting two weeks.

She has been my life and I will miss her greatly, but it is very hard knowing the right thing to do. When she appears to be suffering, I will have her put down. I love her more than life and I hope all you other pet owners will have as much love from your pets as I have.

Apr 28, 2017
Amos and melanoma
by: Anonymous

Our Scottish Terrier, Amos was diagnosed with melanoma just yesterday.

We noticed a bump on his nose that started to bleed so I took him in for a check up. They X-rayed his lungs and liver and found that he has a tumor in his lung and his liver is enlarged to about 3 times the size it should be. So now we are just loving him and making him comfortable.

The vet gave him at most 3 months. We are devastated by this turn of events. Lucky for Amos, he doesn't know he is sick. He is happy and full of life. I'm sad.

Apr 26, 2017
by: Anonymous

Gus is just 1 year and 4 months. We just found out he has melanoma that is too aggressive to treat. We are devastated and still trying to come to terms with the news.

Apr 12, 2017
Loving LucyLou and Hating Melanoma
by: LucyLou's Mom

Hello everyone!

My lovable Black Lab named LucyLou received this devastating diagnosis in March 2016.

Her tumor was on the back of her lower jaw. My vet found it at the end of her routine visit when she tossed her tennis ball and loved on her after she caught it. We took her to an oncologist immediately, stage 1 diagnosis. We opted for surgery to remove the tumor and part of her jaw (mandibulectomy) and got clean margins. We also treated her with the Merial vaccine.

A year later, her last 2 checkups showed a mass in her lung getting bigger. She is not wanting to eat and she is beginning to have difficulty breathing with exercise. It breaks my heart, but I know we are reaching the end. We have had a wonderful extra 13 months with our girl and she has enjoyed every minute of her life with us.

If you are here reading this, then you know what we are going through. She is a gift worth the pain at the end. I may lose a piece of my heart when she leaves, but she will leave a piece of her love to fill the void. I hope this helps someone else.

Apr 01, 2017
by: Caroline

My dog Stella (Australian shepard mix) was diagnosed in May of 2016 with oral melanoma at the age of 11.

We had first noticed the sound of her drinking was much quieter and she was very hesitant with her drinking. We took her to the vet and they discovered a mass on the roof of her mouth. After removing as much as they could, they sent the biopsy back and it was confirmed that it was oral melanoma.

At our vet's urging, we met with a canine oncologist who gave us our options (all very invasive and expensive) and said that it would not cure the cancer and if we were lucky, it may buy us another 6 months top. They also said it would be a difficult surgery for all of us because part of her top jawbone would have to be removed. We opted to do nothing and keep her as comfortable as possible.

At first, I expected to wake up every morning and find her gone. But as time went on, and her lively behavior didn't change at all, I almost forgot that she had it. We had spoiled her rotten by giving her table scraps and allowing her to get on the bed with us (behaviors we had not allowed before) since "she was dying".

It is now April 1st and she is 11 months post diagnosis and going strong! I know that all dogs are different, but we opted not to do anything at all and it was the right decision for us and her. Initial diagnosis said it was a stage 2 and it has grown back and she drools a lot. But we are enjoying every minute that we have with her!!

Mar 21, 2017
Thank you
by: Laurie

Esther is 14 with oral melanoma that has now progressed to her lymph node. The mass inside her cheek returned. One week after vaccination I noticed submandibular mass. I am sick with grief. I chose to begin hospice care.

As I see the mass enlarge, I am panicking and wondering if I should remove it. Would it make her more comfortable. I hate this! I can't stand the thought of my life without her. I adopted het from Detroit Animal Control. My love.

Mar 19, 2017
Thanks for the information
by: Anonymous

I have a labrodoodle that is 10 years old that was diagnosed with oral melanoma about a month ago.

About 2 weeks ago she started bleeding out of her nose and a few days ago her face really swelled up. I am looking for signs to finally make the difficult decision? She still enjoys playing catch and hikes so it has been really difficult to make this decision. I have noticed where she starts getting cold easily and panting a lot more.

Thanks for any help in what I may start to see in this fast moving cancer.

Feb 16, 2017
Isabelle 12 year old yorkie
by: Anonymous

Back in November I noticed something on Isabelle's lower gums. I thought it was an infection and started her on some amoxicillin hoping that would reduce the swelling. After 2 weeks and no change I reluctantly took her to the vet. They removed the mass on December 7 and 2 weeks later called with the results. She not only had melanoma, but also had a large mass on her spleen. They believed they had removed all of the tumor in her mouth, but the vet explained that the cancer cells were extremely aggressive.

When I took her in the week before Christmas they removed her cone and gave me antibiotics for a nasty cough they thought might be pneumonia. Once the 2 weeks of antibiotics were finished she was back to her old self and seemed to be doing great. Most of January was good, but by the end of the month she was struggling with her breathing again and I could feel the swelling in her legs.

She passed away on February 6 in our bed. I woke up about 4 am to see if she was breathing and she was lifeless. I immediately lost it!

My husband and I got her when we were first married. She was only 2 months old and was my very first baby. Losing her has been the most difficult thing I have had to face. This melanoma cancer took her so fast and it is ugly. Prayers for all other pet owners dealing with this. I don't think I'll ever get over this pain.

Feb 09, 2017
Archie's story
by: Sara

Archie is a 12 nearly 13 year old cocker spaniel. We took him in four years ago after his owner had died, and within the first few weeks he had touched my heart. He is such a lovable boy, full of character.

He had a tumour removed from his mouth 3 months ago, and I have just found out that It has returned. The vet said that he could have very invasive surgery but they would need to remove a lot of his mouth, followed by chemotherapy. I can't put him through that at his age.

The vet said that if it was her choice, she wouldn't put him through it either. I am heartbroken! She said it was very aggressive to have come back so quickly and now I'm just left wondering how long I have left with him. And like many others, I do not want to prolong the agony for selfish reasons. I hope he doesn't suffer too much. It's unbearable.

Feb 09, 2017
by: Trish

Our 6-year-old Golden Retriever was diagnosed in January with oral melanoma. The vet gave her weeks to live. With surgery and radiation, she could have as long as 5 months - maybe.

I cannot afford radiation and the surgery would be so difficult for her (she has never tolerated anesthesia well).

I couldn't bear to put her through it for a couple of extra months. We brought her home, have been feeding her a balanced, home-cooked diet and giving her Chaga mushroom tincture because there were some positive results in medical studies in its treatment of melanoma.

So far, she has done well. She shows no changes in her behavior, but I have noticed today that the swelling in her face is slightly larger than it has been. I have tried to find information about signs to look for - what to expect- as the end comes. I worry that I will make her live too long and put her through pain for my selfish needs. She's just so young and beautiful and this was totally unexpected.

We had taken her for a routine exam when it was found. They initially believed it was lymphoma but the cytology exam revealed melanoma. It's just so frustrating to feel so helpless.

Feb 02, 2017
My lovely Buddy
by: Anonymous

My chocolate lab Buddy has been diagnosed with malignant melanoma in his mouth. It's been removed and waiting now for oncologist recommendations. He's nearly 13, full of energy and loving, you'd never think there's anything wrong.

Vets says it's an aggressive cancer and options are there to try and slow it down but the side effects can be worse for the dog by not being able to be himself.

I'm now faced with do I try with treatment, or let nature take its toll with painkillers so he can enjoy the time he has. This is heart wrenching and all I want is what's best for my best friend, my guardian angel and best loving dog in the world. He's given his heart and soul to everyone who has been part of his life.

Love you so much buds xx

Feb 01, 2017
Reggie's melanoma story
by: Christine

Your story sounds like what our scottie, Reggie, is going through. His melanoma started in his paw. It was diagnosed in March 2016. He had surgery and then we started the melanoma vaccine. He is still the active dog that we love.

Now he has it in his lungs. We are just loving him until his time comes. Our local vet is taking care of him now.

Good luck to you and your pet.

Jan 21, 2017
Our black lab
by: Camille and Nick

Our baby of 9 1/2 yrs. has it and as long as he is on Prednizone he can eat (and he eats a lot) but I see the changes coming.

Dec 31, 2016
So hard to decide what is best...
by: Anonymous

Hello and thank you for this space to share and learn from the experiences of others. Though it is difficult to read the sad stories, just knowing we are not alone in this experience is somewhat comforting.

Our sweet 10 year old mix breed rescue pup is resting beside me, after a second surgery today to try to get clean margins after an initial surgery to remove a mass at the back of his tongue. When the biopsy results came back, we were devastated to learn that it was an oral melanoma. In retrospect, I wish we had asked for larger margins to be taken in the first place, but that first surgery was so sudden and we just wanted the mass out once we discovered it. Bad breath was the tip off, just like others have shared. He always had "dog breath" but this was different. So we have now had this second surgery and also had a lymph node biopsied to determine if it has spread. Fortunately, as of two weeks ago, his lungs were clear according to chest x-rays.

I just want to do what is best for our beloved friend. He's been our loyal companion since before we were married, and welcomed our two daughters along with us. They are now 2 and 5 and I don't even know where to begin with supporting them through this.

So now we are going to wait to see if we got clean margins this time, and whether the lymph gland shows signs. We are inclined to proceed with the vaccine but it would require a highway drive of an hour each way and he gets so anxious in the car on the highway, never mind how anxious he would be getting the vaccine. That said, from what I read, it seems like our best bet at giving him more good time. I sure don't want to put him through any further surgery - I'm already questioning whether this second one was a good idea - but he currently (well, not currently, as he is still recovering from the anesthesia, but hopefully by tomorrow) is his happy, food loving, walk loving, people loving self.

It seems like there is just no way to know how this will progress. For some, it seems their dogs beat the odds and got far more time with less treatment. For others, it seems even with treatments, their time was short and difficult.

I will share an update, but for now, I hope for all who are reading this in the hopes of getting a glimmer of hope or a piece of information that will help make a decision easier, that you find that here.

Nov 21, 2016
Our Beautiful Beagle, Ralphie
by: The Deans

On July 25th, I went to the Veterinary hospital with our then 11 year old beagle for a surgical consultation. Ralphie was put under sedation to have a CT scan, but the machine was down. They did a visual inspection of his mouth and x-rays to try to identify the problem. Needle biopsy confirmed he had metastatic malignant oral melanoma, stage IV.

Surgery was not an option. His only treatment options were the vaccine and radiation. We decided since he was already in stage IV to let him live the rest of his life without intervention and just spoil him.

The life expectancy for stage IV is 4 weeks--that was 4 months ago.

He is still doing well, and the tumor in his cheek has somehow shrunk on its own (I have no idea how). We thank the lord daily for giving us another day with our precious baby Ralphie. He is still eating, drinking and going potty without issue. We feed him dry food softened with broth and baked sweet potato mixed in. Sweet potatoes have cancer fighting properties (Hope they help fight the cancer).

Still, the worry is there when his day will come, we remain hopeful and try to keep him happy as long as possible. Surgery isn't always the answer despite what the vets say. Since the cancer, Ralphie has celebrated his 12th birthday and goes on ventures as much as our schedules allow. Love them, spoil them, do what is best for them.

Nov 08, 2016
Italian greyhound- oral squamous cell carcinoma
by: Veronica

Zoey our beloved Italian greyhound is 15 years old and has been diagnosed for the second time with cancer. They say it's squamous cell but I've heard it's incredibly difficult to differentiate from oral melanoma at times.

First time she had cancer, she had a mast cell tumor and was 4. Now at 15 our battle seems much more difficult. Vet says given her age and the fact that the cancer has infiltrated her jaw bone in an area that isn't a viable area for surgery that we should just take her home and make her comfortable.

We refused to accept that.

We have been giving her supplements like manuka honey and turmeric and she has been taking tramadol, doxy, metacam. Just added flaxseed oil as well. Despite our best efforts she is losing a lot of weight. She went from 12.4 pounds to 9.3. She's a little bag of bones. She's happy enough and still her inquisitive self. We just need her to eat. Any suggestions? Desperation is setting in quickly. I've had her since she was 8 weeks old. She's like a child to me- she's 15!

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Nov 01, 2016
My precious little Yorkie with the great big personality
by: Mary Anne Ketcham

I have been reading all the letters from grieving fur baby owners.

My little buddy, Molly, is 12 years old and a friend gave her to me 2 years ago. She has been the love of my life. At the time I got her I was going through some serious health issues and one of my dearest friends had passed away from cancer. Just weeks after my dear friend passed away we woke up one morning to our darling female chihuahua, Digit, gasping for air. We rushed her to the vet and the vet said our Digit was gasping for air because her lungs were full of fluid. We had to make the horrible decision to let her go peacefully. I was broken-hearted but knew in my heart that she wasn't suffering any more.

Well, back to my funny and very, very sweet Molly. Molly's presence has been such a wonderful comfort to me at a time when I lost a dear human friend and our precious Digit. Well Molly was diagnosed with oral melanoma about 3 months ago. To say that my heart is breaking is an understatement. Molly has been right by my side through all of life's sad times the past two years. She has been here for me and now I am trying with all that I have to be who and what she needs from me. The tumor has been cut out three times already and it is still growing and growing. It bleeds most of the time and, of course, she has a difficult time chewing. She still races to me when I enter the door, even if I've only been away for a few minutes. I cannot bear to think about putting another beloved pet down in less than two years, but I know that I will have to probably make that heart wrenching decision sooner rather than later.

Every pet that we have had the pleasure of sharing their companionship as family members have all had unique personalities. Miss Molly has personality plus and will be missed, certainly no less, than our other precious fur babies. She is my faithful friend and loves me unconditionally and I want to be that faithful friend for her and not allow her to suffer. Please pray for me to make that decision when the time is right.

Sep 30, 2016
Prayers for my baby girl
by: Anonymous

My American Bull Dog just had a massive aggressive tumor growing between her toes we had to amputate 2 toes last week. I'm hoping when we do x-rays today it has not spread.

Our animals become part of our family. They give us unconditional love and affection. I'm hoping for a good outcome that we took it all out. I'm so devastated and worried about my baby girl.

I read a lot of your stories. God bless you all for taken care of your babies till the end. So sorry you had to go thru the heartbreaking and sadness. Everyone have a Blessed day! I ask for prayers please.

Thank you.

Sep 22, 2016
by: Susan A.

Hi everyone,
I'm so happy to come across this page. Thank you to everyone who has contributed. We all do NOT want to be here, writing this, and it is absolutely heartbreaking...!

My beautiful golden/Irish setter/choc lab mix, Cody, was diagnosed with melanoma on the back of his tongue in December 2015.

In January the Oncologist told us he had 1-2 months. He told us of a Vaccine at Univ. of FL, a clinical trial, so we did that and also did radiation therapy on his tongue. The tumor completely disappeared and he was doing great for so many months! Then in August I took him back for a booster at UF and his mouth was perfectly fine, but they saw a big tumor in his lung... devastating.

We did chemotherapy with "Palladia", a chemo drug, and he felt Ok on it, it just gave him diarrhea and they gave us meds for that.

One month later the lung tumor shrunk by 30% because of the Palladia, but the vet told me that he saw a little ridge in the back of his tongue, behind the original site...could be nothing. About 5 days later, i could see his lower lips swelling and took him back. The vet was astounded at how quickly that thing grew in 5 days and now the tumor is re-growing - now under his tongue and on his lip, and no doubt again in his lung.

That was last week. I am so, so sad, he is my baby, before my daughter was born. Even now he is slurping up water so loudly, and eating very carefully though he's still eating, and having fun outdoors at the dog park and on walks. He is definitely more tired than usual and I can tell he's not feeling his best in the house...lots of very smelly drooling now too. :(

I was looking for advice on when you will know "it's time" with this hideous disease. I am basically, horrifically, waiting for his throat to be blocked so he can't drink or eat, or for him to really have trouble breathing. The vet told me 1-2 weeks, and we are on our second week. So so sad, my poor sweet boy.

So, for advice for new people with this horrible diagnosis, here's what I learned:

- Radiation completely made the tumor on his tongue disappear for 6-7 months. But it came back right behind it, and they said in general, radiation the 2nd time works for 1/2 the amount of time the 1st radiation worked that's about 3 months. We decided no. It costs $3000.

- The Palladia chemotherapy really worked to shrink the metastasized tumor, but it does NOTHING with the original site, if it returns.

- I have no idea if the Melanoma Vaccine worked or not. They said the Vaccine works on the microscopic level, not on big tumors, that's why we needed radiation. I would have thought there would be no metastasis with the vaccine but he had the lung tumor. I don't know if it was there when we initially discovered the disease or not.

- They told us that this was a very aggressive tumor.

I am so sorry you are going through this with your beloved baby.

I want to come back here when it's over... I am dreading it, but I will try so you who are going through these last stages will know what to look for as I'm living it.

I'm trying not to feel guilty... every moment counts!

God bless you.

Sep 04, 2016
Marley's Mom
by: Anonymous

@ Bisquit's mom. I really sympathize with you. It's very heart breaking to know that your beloved family's pet is dying right before your eyes.

My Marley (chihuahua) who was only 8 years old was diagnosed with melanoma last year in December. We did the radiation treatment which indeed shrunk the tumor located in his mouth. He did great for five months but the tumor return like a vengeance in May. There wasn't any other options because it had metastasized to his lungs. We just embraced the fact that we would make him as comfortable and show him that we love him so much.

The oncologist told me and my daughter we would know when it's time to have him euthanized. Right there in her office I couldn't control my emotions because he was my baby and I didn't want to lose him.

Yes of course the time did come on 6-8-16 to make that heart wrenching decision. My daughter was in Tampa and she sent me a link and told me to check out Laps of Love. It's an organization for in-home euthanasia that helps dogs and cats make a peaceful end-of-life transition in the comfort of your home.

Marley got his wings and crossed over to the rainbow bridge. It was a very dignified and peaceful final day and he was surrounded by his loving family. I miss my lil man and I love him wholeheartedly. Just the other day, I suddenly couldn't control my emotions but I know he's running, leaping and chasing butterflies in heaven.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and everybody else going through this painful ordeal.

Aug 30, 2016
Going on two years
by: Bisqit's mom

We have been fighting the disease also. They told me after the last one to give up because treatment would be too hard in her old age. She a beautiful 15 yr old border/heeler mix and I got her as a rescue when I was 18 and she has been there to watch all of our children grow. This year I am afraid will be her last. Her eyes are getting hazy and she doesn't eat like she used to and the cancer smells so bad.

My heart is breaking... I wish she would fade away in the night. I want her to go on her own at home, happy, with all of us.

Jul 14, 2016
by: Anna Gabriele Schwarz

Our Golden Tuuli was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma on March 18th. He had a strange growth in his mouth that started smelling really bad, otherwise we would have missed it. We hoped for a wart - went to the vet and had everything removed. The diagnose came back not looking good, relatively small but highly malignant.

Although a born optimist I just "knew" that this was the beginning of the end... We had exactly 100 good days, where basically everything was normal. The last 10 days were a rapid decline. He was weak and slept all day. The mandible lymph node was becoming so large and he started whimpering... He started smelling again and we just again "knew" that everything he did, he just did because we wanted him to... can't explain.

We had to let him go, the vet came to our house and if not for the presence of death everything was beautiful. We are so happy he is safe and not in pain anymore, but oh, we miss his every move. I really circled my life around this beautiful dog - outdoors most of the day. The hardest thing is absence of the physical presence, he was big and beautiful and everything was golden. He was only 9 years and 5 months old when we had to let him go two days ago.

If you can please just say a little prayer and cuddle your dogs for us...

Blessings from Germany - sorry for any mistakes, I'm not a native speaker although I lived in your country for a couple years.

Jun 18, 2016
Rojo (red in spanish)
by: Edwin

June 15 2016 my mother was walking around with my little sister of 4 years, when our dog 14 years of age started to whimper and kept getting closer. She looked at him talking to him and noticed a growth in his right lower head line. My father came and looked at it saying it could be an infection or swelling caused by the heat. Meanwhile my mother kept saying its cancer.

Thinking it was an infection we gave him some antibiotics and penicillin waiting for the swelling to stop. Alas waiting for my parents to take him to the vet. June 18 2016 took him to his veterinarian who diagnosed him with melanoma.

I was shocked trying not to cry in front of my dad, thinking about how I could've spent more time with my dog. All those promises of taking him hunting and swimming.

The doctor gave him a steroide Injection. Now he is back home and our family is spending even more time with him, waiting for next Friday to put him to sleep and bury him. We couldn't afford surgeries and my dad taught me how this is life even with people. You can cry when you have up your time with this animal and worried about it, cared for it, and accepted it as part of your family.

Please don't take anything for granted but also realize that time is very very precious. Thank each and everyone of you for these stories knowing that so many people care for their companions. Prayers for those families with animals with this aggressive and invasive cancer.

May 18, 2016
by: Margaret Girard

My baby Tucker was diagnosed with this horrible disease on March 11, 3 days after having the growth, a lymph node and tooth removed. The growth just came out of nowhere and he had just been to the doctor in December.

Tucker was a beautiful Jack Russell who just turned 14 years old in March. I have had him since he was 8 weeks and could not have asked for a better companion, 3rd child, best friend - you name it.

After talking to doctor regarding his diagnosis, we agreed it would not be best for him to do chemo and to keep removing the growth every time it would come back. The decisions we make for our pets always make you wonder "am I doing what is best". My god I wish he could speak...

Unfortunately Tucker had one good month after surgery and progressively got worse. My family had to make the gut wrenching decision to put him to sleep on May 12. Thank god he went peacefully and with dignity. My heart is broken but I have to move forward without Tucker.

May 17, 2016
Seiji my 17 year old maltese
by: Kelvin Lee

I'm glad I found this page. My dog Seiji is a Maltese mix of 17 years. He's been getting older and more senile over the last 2 years especially but just 2 1/2 months ago I noticed a golf ball sized lump inside his left cheek when I was brushing his teeth. It shocked me because I brush his teeth every week and I never noticed anything out of the ordinary.

I took him to the vet immediately and a biopsy was done and a week later I got my results and it was a very aggressive melanoma which could not be removed with sufficient margins. I consulted different vets and read up on the condition and came to the conclusion that I would not put my 17 year old dog through chemo, especially with its rather poor track record of recovery. He already suffered pretty badly after the first op which partially removed the growth.

It's been 2 months since we decided to make the most of his last few months but I'm very torn up inside. I look at his past photos and he is such an adorable dog but today he's carrying a growth that has distorted his whole face and bleeds everywhere. He is frustrated when he tries to rub the growth out of his face with his paws or his sheets and I have to calm him down. Recently the tumor secretes a really pungent sour foul odor which fills the whole house and reminds us of his impending and slow death. This is really the worst feeling.

I know in the end I will have to decide his fate for him but when I see him still eager to eat and having the strength to bark for attention, I can't bear the thought of putting him to sleep. I fear I may be murdering my own child.

Yet at the same time I don't know if I want to wait till he is always in pain and suffering before I end it for him. He is clearly in pain sporadically but should I wait till he is in total misery before I do the deed? This is a horrible dilemma for me to have.

The only thing I use to comfort myself is that I know he's lucky to have someone who is thinking always of how to minimize his pain, albeit at my own expense. If I could be as lucky when I reach the end of my own life journey, I would be a blessed man.

I would be keen to hear everyone's advice, if you have any to share.

Nov 08, 2015
My baby chi chi
by: Terry

My dog chi chi has a possible malignant tumor in her mouth and I say possible because the vet said it may be malignant, not positive but maybe.

I treat chi chi who is between the age of 14 - 16 yrs old ( she is a rescue pet no one at the shelter knew her age) with raw manuka honey 15 plus active, does it treat cancer I'm not sure when I read the facts about manuka honey and dogs with cancer it did say it treats and prevents cancer in a dog, but for now chi is a little more active, eating more than she usually did in the 11 yrs my sister and I adopted her.

I'm sitting here crying over the fact that chi might not be with us much longer but also over all the sadness everyone here is going through, you all will be in my heart through this difficult time.

Apr 23, 2015
Oral Melanoma
by: Katy

My Dog Louie - 12 years old was diagnosed with a tumor on the back o this tongue yesterday. As I look back I can see the signs that I wish I had caught sooner. I keep hoping the doctor will tell me he can slow the growth of the tumor to give me more time but no. He has a difficult time eating but I am giving him soft food. My Vet says the same thing - I will know when it is time - but I want to know a time frame. I am a social worker and have no interest in his suffering I just hope I will know the 'right' time and that I will do the right thing for my old friend.

Dec 13, 2014
Wendy, a foster dog in Hong Kong
by: Anonymous

I started fostering Wendy knowing she had an oral melanoma with mammary tumours that had been removed. She had previously been a breeder dog and had been rescued by HKDR. I only want to give her the best possible end to her life seeing as she had been subjected to such a horrible life as a breeder dog at a puppy mill. I have been told she only has a few months to live and that for a dog her age surgery is very invasive.

Wendy is now still here after 5 months so I know she is a fighter but tonight I have noticed that she is leaving pools of blood over my bed. Her appetite is still very good and she still has a lot of energy but I know her time is getting closer now.

She may be a foster dog but she's just as much part of my family as the other dogs and I know it's going to be absolutely devastating when I have to make the choice to let her go. My biggest concern is knowing when and making that decision at the correct time. I can only hope she'll let me know when.

Jun 30, 2014
Dog melanoma
by: Debi

Our Scarlett got oral melanoma and she fought a hard battle but sadly we put her to sleep in December 2013. She was diagnosed in April of that year. She was eating up until she passed but the tumor got so large and was bleeding all the time and the odor filled the whole house. She got very winded and slept a lot, she stumbled and fell but never seemed to be in pain, we kept her medicated very well.

Sadly you will know when it is time. I'm so sorry that you will have to go through this. We lost our old girl at 15 1/2 years and miss her every day.

Just give your baby all the love you can until you say goodbye and know you will see each other again someday.

Jun 29, 2014
by: dee

My little cocker spaniel is only 7 yrs old and got a tumor in her mouth. It was removed and the vet told us it is oral melanoma. I've started her on the Budwig diet but I want to know what signs or symptoms she'll display as this progresses. So far she's eating and the only thing I notice is that she's more tired than usual.

My heart is shattered in a million pieces. Cancer sucks.

Oct 26, 2013
Agressive Oral Cancer
by: Frank

My sweet little dog Candice was diagnosed with oral cancer in early August. Due to age (nearly 15) I opted not to go through the “stuff”. We got some pain pills and enjoyed the time that was left. The tumor grew quickly and by mid Oct., it looked like a tennis ball growing off the side of her face. That's when I made the decision for the “final” vet visit. As hard as it was, she died in my arms on Oct. 25. A piece of my heart went with her. Cancer is just as ugly a disease in dogs as it is in people. May there soon be a cure.

Jun 19, 2013
My Cookie
by: Anonymous

My little sweetheart, Cookie, is dying of this terrible disease. She is my 12 and a half year old Yorkie, and she is my baby.

We just got back from the oncologist who told us the end is near. I am devastated, I love her so very much. She has been my best friend, my soul mate, my everything. I am so sad I do not know what to do. She looks at me with those big brown eyes as if to say "why are you so sad?" She wants to be in my lap, and I listen to her labored breathing. A part of me is going with her, it will never be the same. God bless her.

Jun 02, 2013
Melanoma in the mouth
by: Larry

Our darling terrier Susie-q was diagnosed with melanoma in her mouth in September of 2012. I would do anything to save my little sweetheart's life. She was operated on 3 times.

It is a very aggressive cancer so we took her to another vet hospital. She received 6 weekly radiation treatments, also she received the melanoma vaccine, 4 of them in 2 week intervals at $700.00 each.

All this and nothing helped our Susie. The cancer won as it always does. Our beautiful little girl lost her battle almost 7 months to the day of her diagnosis. She was 2 months shy of her 14th birthday. We loved that little dog and miss her dearly.

Apr 09, 2013
Our Brenna lost her battle
by: Dina

I commented on the post regarding our mini schnauzer and her battle with this terrible disease.

Brenna lost her battle and had to be put down on March 12th. When we left her to go to work in the morning she woke to eat and go potty. My father-in-law came over 3 times that day to check on her and let her go potty we could not think of her being alone all day.

When I returned home that day she tried to come to the door to say hello, but only made it halfway and started to have a seizure. She couldn't even hold herself up anymore and seemed like she lost her vision. She was moaning and looking at me with those beautiful brown eyes of hers and I saw the life gone from her. It was so difficult to witness, but I knew it was time she told me. I sobbed for a bit and held her tight and told her she was the best dog ever and loved by us very much. I called my husband who was on the way home from work and told him what was going on. He had called our vet to tell him how she was doing and the vet told him sounded like she was getting close and to call him anytime even after hours if we had to bring her in.

We brought her in that night and stayed with her the whole time - our faces were the last that she saw when she left this world, but she was no longer in pain our dear friend even though we were saddened from her loss and still miss her every day.

Our vet was right - you will know when it is time. Keep your loving pet as comfortable as possible and as close as possible until it is time. This is a horrible disease that seems to creep up quickly, so aggressive...

Apr 09, 2013
My Scarlett
by: Debi Clarridge

Scarlett is 14 yrs. old and the biopsy came back today with killing results. I feel like my heart has been ripped out. It was in her mouth and at her age we decided not to put her through the chemo, just make her comfortable and as pain free as possible.

The vet explained how aggressive this cancer is and somewhat how it moves thru the body. Her time is 4-6 months which could be sooner instead of later. I have lost many dogs, but it is hardest when you have to make the decision when it is time. Friends say well she has had a good life. I think that is insulting, when you are losing someone you love and is family.

Please just give me advice on how to do this with her. Her appetite is great and for her age she gets some spurts of energy, to look at her I know her mouth is sore, but that is all I'm noticing right now. I hate death!

Mar 29, 2013
by: Diane

I too know how hard this cancer is. In December 2012 I noticed my standard poodle Harley licking his paw. Called the vet and took him in. It looked like he tore his toenail. The vet treated him three weeks with the infection. Still did not go away. He recommended surgery to remove the infection. We did and after two weeks was healed. Harley was doing well.

Then he started to cough - every time he jumped down from the couch. Called vet and treated with antibiotics for 10 days. Still had a cough so made an appointment to have a chest X-ray. It was bad news. His lungs were full of tumors.

I was devastated. Made an appointment with cancer specialist. She told me it was a classic case of melanoma. It started in his foot. She wanted me to put him down that night. He was having a hard time breathing. So on February 7 I had to let him go. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. But now I am on a mission to let everyone know so hopefully it can help someone else.

I still miss him so bad.

Mar 11, 2013
Our Mini Schnauzer has Oral Cancer too!
by: Dina

I am so glad to come upon your story. Our mini schnauzer, 10 1/2 years old, has malignant oral cancer as well. We noticed in September that she had really bad breath and found the tumor on her inner cheek when doing oral care. We did oral care a couple of weeks prior and the tumor was not there.

We took her to our vet and he did surgery on her and sent it for pathology. It came back malignant and were told it is a very, very aggressive type of cancer. We could travel miles and miles to get chemotherapy or get the shots (the cost was overwhelming) and were told that it may only extend her life 6-9 months.

After she had the first surgery she was acting like a puppy, we were amazed. Now 6 months later we found another tumor on the same side. The vet said it was the cancer again and was going to have it removed again. She was placed on antibiotics because of the loose teeth by the tumor and eye drops because her left eye was draining and her third lid seemed displaced a little.

Fast forward two weeks and before her surgery she started falling a lot and throwing up, we called the vet and he did x-rays and found that the cancer had spread to her lungs, the tumor is pushing on the eye. Nothing can be done; it's so aggressive and grows so quickly before your eyes it seems. She is now on steroids, she still has a schnauzer appetite and is right there whenever there is food; she greets people at the door and loves going for her walks, but is weaker.

The vet told us we will know when enough is enough for her - she will give us the clues. When she stops eating or moving around. We are very, very saddened as she is our first child before our son. She is one of the family, at the same time as any of my human family I would not want her to suffer with pain and decreased quality of life. We are preparing ourselves and at the same time caring for our loving companion and waiting for her to let us know when enough is enough.

Aug 20, 2012
Louie my fur baby
by: Anonymous

My bff Louie has had two oral tumors removed in the last five months, he has oral osteosarcoma.
It's breaking our hearts watching a perfectly healthy now 13 year old Maltese silky fade away before our eyes.

The vet has done their best and apart from having his jaw removed (he's too old to go through a major operation) we are keeping him comfortable on pain relief, antibiotics and homeopathic Medicines.

The third tumor is now huge and starting to bleed constantly. We know it's not long and he is such a strong minded and faithful boy - Still wanting to go for walks and spend time with us in the garden and in the house, but his quality of life is worrying us. He loves the beach but we can't take him there now as the sand cannot get in his mouth. We let him hang out with his other doggy friends and we know they can sense he is on borrowed time.

I'm going to be a basket case when the time comes but I don't want him to suffer. The vet tells me that I will know, but his beautiful big brown eyes tell me he doesn't want to give up yet. He's such a trooper. Even our cat knows something is wrong and they have been together for almost 10 years... So sad :(

Jun 25, 2012
My pugs with cancer
by: joonbug66

Just last summer, the day after the kids got out of school, I found myself driving my pug JoonBug to the emergency Vet Hospital because what had presented, and was being treated as, a bladder infection, is now bladder cancer. The tumor is so big they must syringe out the urine. I have to choose to put her down. I take her home for some vanilla ice cream, let my children say goodbye, and cry all the way to my vet. I never thought the pain would be so incredible, my heart was broken. She was 14 years old, she was my first baby. I cried for days and days for my Joon.

Exactly one year later, I am sitting in the vets office with a weird black thing on my second Pug's mouth, Benjamin. Of course you know that it turns out to be Malignant Melanoma. I can't believe it. My heart wants to shrivel up. My kids (8, 10) are totally in tears. It seems so remarkable that he really looks great for his age. But what I am reading from you all is that this is not uncommon. He wanted to go on his regular walk right after the surgery. He seems like himself although I have noticed some heavier/louder breathing from him.

I wonder how long I will have with my last little guy. The house will feel so empty. He is my velcro. Two pugs ending with cancer, I never would have thought. And the thought of having to hold him to be put down if he does not die on his own and is in total misery, to do that again... tears, tears tears...

Prayers to each of you. I understand the pain and the love for our animals. They are part of our families.

With love, Benny and Joon's Mom and children

Jun 07, 2012
My condolences
by: Mike from Toronto

Hello everyone,

I would like to give my most sincere condolences to everyone here (pets & owners alike) who has been affected by this terrible disease.

I just found out today that my German Shepherd, Sky, has oral melanoma. To say that this is devastating news to my family and myself is an understatement.

I came across this site to learn more of this disease but more importantly to read your comments/stories. I've read all of them. I will dread that day when we will have to say goodbye to Sky but when that time comes, I will tell myself the following. I would really like to tell all of you to take solace in these words as well. Did you give them a good home? Did you love them unconditionally as they have loved you? Remember the good times that you've shared together because I guarantee that they will do the same.

Jan 19, 2012
Cuddles and Love
by: Lacey's Mom

I have left comments on here previously about Lacey and although she has passed away and we still miss her every day, I just want to express the importance for dogs to have regular oral care done at the vets. We need to press for more studies and treatments.

I can and do relate to all the pain and sadness you all are going through and my only hope is that one day Cancer has a cure for us humans and our canine family members.

Be strong and promise your baby that you will not allow them to suffer.

Enjoy what time you have left with them with lots of cuddles and love.

Jan 12, 2012
The Beagle who beat the odds and lived longer
by: Anonymous

I had a beautiful beagle called Pepe. He was a wonderful dog, filled with spirit, love, and energy.

On July 2011, I noticed that he had a difficult time eating his food. I brought him into the vet, where they conducted various test. I was informed that Pepe had a tumor on his left upper jaw. They doctor's ran additional test to confirm that it was melanoma. I was told that surgery would be risky considering the position of the tumor. I was told he would only have 3 months to live at the very most. I was informed that the combination of NSAIDs and anti-inflammatory medication would be the best approach. I was heart broken when I was told about the news of my dog. I felt powerless as an owner, however I wanted to provide the best quality of life for my dog.

Pepe continued to have high energy and provided unconditional love to everyone. I was dreading the month of October because based on what the doctors had told me, I was under the impression that he would pass away at any moment. The month of October came and went by. Pepe remained a fighter and lived every moment of his life to the fullest. Still wagging his tail and running around it was so hard to believe that he even had cancer, considering his high level of energy and love. The month of November and December went by and he still remained an active member of the family. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend one more Christmas with him. Pepe was a survivor and fought every day for his life.

Unfortunately I was faced with the difficult task of putting him down on January 11, 2012. The night before he was unable to eat or drink, thus resulting in the decision to put him down. Pepe showed love and wagged his tail up to the very moment he was put to sleep.

In my eyes, Pepe certainly beat the odds for a dog with such a heavy prognosis. It was a gift that he lived longer and he will be missed.

Jan 11, 2012
Oral Melanoma Story
by: Anonymous

I appreciate everyone sharing their stories here.

As for my story, my husband and I found out on last Halloween that our dog, Dutch, an 11-year old Springer Spaniel, had malignant oral melanoma. Given its location in his far upper jaw under his eye, we were told by 2 vets and a vet surgeon that it was inoperable. I was also told that radiation and the vaccine would probably not work either given its location. We were also told that expecting him to survive a few months more would be very optimistic. At the time he felt good. The only indication there was anything wrong was a small bump on his muzzle.

He has survived for over 2 months after the diagnosis, and only in the last 2 weeks has he shown a rapid decline. We are giving him pain med from the vet, and feeding him only his favorite foods. He has started to paw at his mouth a lot which has brought about a bad sore. It is pitiful to watch.

We have decided to have him put to sleep when he stops eating and having any interest in life. It may be another week or another 4 weeks. We love him so very much.

Nov 17, 2011
Daly - Melanoma
by: Anonymous

Daly has had a number of fatty tumor lumps all over for a few years for which the vet was not concerned. Then she developed an open sore on her foreleg that would not heal. It was removed in Feb 2011. We did not have the money to biopsy the removal. The vet said if it came back it's probably cancer.

In the mean time, she developed new lumps in her neck/chest area that grew to the size and shape of a small bar of soap. Then in Oct we noticed a new lump a few inches higher than the one removed and she suddenly developed occasional coughing, wouldn't eat sometimes, and had labored breathing. I took her in and they aspirated the new lump and a couple lumps in her neck - diagnosis was melanoma.

Very devastating. The vet prescribed 10 mg a day prednisone which is relatively inexpensive along with Previd AC twice a day for her stomach so she would eat. These helped perk her up, but now she seems to have turned back for the worse. She pretty much just lays around most of the day until we are home from work at which time she is up but her breathing is labored. Some days are worse than others. She still barks her greeting, wags her tail, and looks forward to walks.

We want to cherish every remaining moment we have with her.

Aug 16, 2011
Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Toby
by: Marie

Toby developed a black lump on the outside of his mouth, lower jaw. The vet removed the lump and sent it off for a biopsy. 4 days later I received a phone call advising me that the tumor was Malignant Melonoma. I was in total shock!

Toby is only 7 years old, very active, happy, has a hearty appetite and is a total sweetheart.

The Vet gave me a phone number of a "specialist" to go and have a consultation with and maybe get some type of options that were available .... I know I will not put my best friend thru any type of radiation as this makes them deathly ill! I am going to try to purchase some NuVet Plus and keep a very close eye on Toby's progress. If he shows signs of fatigue, loss of appetite etc., I will definitely not allow him to suffer and decline into a poor quality of life. He is too precious to me for that .... I am just not in a financial position to spend thousands of dollars on treatment even though I feel Toby is still a very young dog to face this traumatic disease ...

My thoughts are with everyone that is going thru this. It is the toughest thing anyone can go thru.

Jun 21, 2011
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry to hear about Lacey. She knows that you loved her very much and knew you were with her to the end.

I know I will be going through the same thing with my Baxter. He seems to be laying around more and more each day and I know it is a matter of time it will attack his lungs.

Time only lessens the hurt a little bit, maybe in time you'll get another baby.

God Bless.

Jun 21, 2011
Lacey Update
by: Anonymous

I was so optimistic in my last few comments but sadly Lacey passed away yesterday. Silently the cancer spread to her lymph nodes and lungs.

This last week several tumors came on with a vengence.

She is not suffering anymore and at peace.

Jun 21, 2011
spidle cell carcinoma soft palate
by: maggie Thomas England

Monty our black lab, was sadly diagnosed with this disease in Feb 2011 - our wedding anniversary, to be exact. My husband and I are so sad that our hearts are breaking.

It has been four months now and the growth is larger although it has not occluded his airway and he is still eating and drinking and enjoying his walks and play times. He is 9 years now and we would have hoped that he would have had another five years.

However we are taking each day and thankful that we have him still each day. We will know when the time is right. He has had two close shaves where the growth began to bleed but after each episode he has returned to his usual lively self.

I know that in my heart he will let us know and he will have stopped enjoying his food and stopped enjoying his walks etc. I feel that god has given my husband and I a reprieve for a bit longer allowing us to build up all our strengths that we shall need when the time comes. Until then we shall carry on enjoying Monty and he us as long as we can. God will let us know when we can no longer have him.

Jun 09, 2011
Lacey update #2
by: Anonymous

Lacey was diagnosed in February 2011 and the vet told me she would deteriorate fast.. I however don't see any signs of this cancer only normal aging symptoms.

Lacey is a lhaso ahpso and is 12 1/2. She has gained weight and the tumor has not grown back.

My advice to all of you is to enjoy every day you have left with your loving companions. Keep them comfortable and don't let them suffer and be there for them when it is time to put them at rest.

Jun 09, 2011
by: Monica

It breaks my heart to read all these stories but what breaks my heart even more is my Bax is only 7 years old!

I also took him to have his teeth cleaned and our vet called and said there was a suspicious black lesion in his mouth and wanted to do a bx, of course I said yes!

Well, the Saturday of Memorial weekend he called and gave me the horrible news. It was melanoma. I am devastated. I have changed his diet to all raw. No more vaccines for him now and I have been putting Flaxseed oil and an immune booster as well as giving him essiac tea as I have heard this is good for cancer.

It is still too soon to tell if anything is working but I have to do something. I can't afford the melanoma shot and my vet said he can't get it. He would give me a referral to go to the VSEC clinic but it is expensive to walk through the door and he said it will not cure him and I realize that. I just want him with me, confortably, for as long as I can. He is my world, this little guy. I noticed a month ago that he seemed a little stiff when he got up from lying down so after reading these stories, I can only assume it is the cancer. I have never prayed so much in my life but it is all I have right now. And my Bax.

May 30, 2011
Update on Lacey
by: Anonymous

My lhaso was diagnosed 4 months ago with melanoma after having a lump removed from her mouth. The lump has not grown back and besides symptoms of her age (12) she is doing great.

I haven't done much in changes but increase her quality of life. More walks steak regular massage. I spoke to my vet and although surgical removal of the lump is not a cure she said my Lacey might just be that 1% it does cure.

May 29, 2011
by: Pickles mom

In January 2011 pickles yawned and I saw a weird growth inside her lip. It was red and looked like it was bloody. Now Pickles sits on my lap every night and has been for 6 yrs. So how could this tumor get past me? I check Pickles as she also has a cancer called spindle cell which I found 3 yrs ago.

I took her to the vet the next day & he said it was probably nothing but of course the next day I was called and he told me the news - melanoma. What to do?

I looked on the internet, talked to the vet and was told there were not very many options. Chemo may work to give a few extra months and I thought for whom, Puckles or me? So, I decided not to do anything (what she doesn't know won't hurt her).

May 22, 2011, Pickles has a great big tumor removed from the location and it has been a very difficult recovery. This removal had to be done and she lost 2 more teeth and to my dismay I found another on the ground yesterday. She has her halo off and is drooling and licking her toes constantly but is alert and wagging her tail and also still has her appetite.

This is the last time I will put Pickles thru any surgery (of course I say that today but who knows) because this recovery for her has been maddening, the whimpering, drooling, licking and scratching tells me she is uncomfortable.

Till the next tumor appears I will hold on tight, not cry any more and help her celebrate her life with her sister (golden) Lexi and her brother Kittwa who are also giving her constant care.

I don't know if I'm doing the right thing of letting her go without fighting any more but I just can't put her thru anything else. Pickles will be her until her tail stops wagging or I'll know when.

Don't know how to prevent this cancer and can't blame myself but I hate the C word! Pickles is a long hair dachshund and is so beautiful I will be with her till her last breath.

Lovingly Pickles mom

Apr 28, 2011
Just another sad story.
by: Susan

I am sitting here reading all of your stories and crying as I relate to you all.

My Black Lab Golden retriever mix, "Maddie" 12 years old, was just diagnosed with oral melanoma also. An incredibly large and hideous tumor growing so rapidly in the lower part of her mouth. She is having trouble eating and drinking. Had her to the vet just yesterday. I've decided to let them do the surgery just to remove it and biopsy it if nothing else to make her a little more comfortable and maybe give her some more time? They will be taking xrays first and blood work. Vet says if it has spread to her lungs they won't go ahead with the surgery.

Am I foolish to try surgery? Ive given it so much thought. Yes she is 12, this seems to be a common age for these things but if you saw her you would never know she is that old. She still has so much life in her I just can't say no and just wait for her to choke and die! I am so upset to know that this is so common and so many people are experiencing this incredible sadness and pain. We just don't want Maddie to suffer yet we don't want to lose her just yet. Tomorrow I will know more. Good luck to us all!

Mar 21, 2011
Faithful and loyal golden retriever
by: Marge

Comet was diagnosed with Melanoma on her foot a week ago. Surgery was done but the cancer has spread into the toes. The doctor says she will go fast and I cry each day looking at this wonderful dog that has been part of our lives for 14 plus years. She is so gentle and follows us everywhere and loves riding in the car. She shares our home with Bosco, a very large bloodhound, and Komeko, our loving cat. Both the other animals are being so nice to her because they know she is sick and they too will miss her.

So far she seems to have no pain but I know that when she does we will have to give her up and not let her suffer. How hard it is to watch and wait for the end to come. Comet will be missed as all our other animals of the past have.

Mar 14, 2011
My Heart Hurts So Bad
by: Connie

I am sitting here reading all of the letters from everyone, and tears are just pouring down. I cannot stop!

I found out three weeks ago that my Rottweiler has melonoma. She is 14 years old and a people lover. Her favorite thing is to go to the puppy groomer for a bath! I am sure they will wonder what became of her.

A little over a month ago I had noticed she had black bumps on her leg and I assumed that it was caused by licking, so I didn't think too much of it. Finally I said it was time to take her to our vet where we were informed of her melonoma. It seems to happen more than I knew.

My husband was crushed, and I have thought that I can handle it when the end comes, but after CRYING SO MUCH when reading your letters, I'm not so sure.

The vet gave us several options, but considering her age, and experience with saving my 20 year old siamese cat, which didn't work, and lots of $, maybe at 51 years of age, I do know better now?

Our vet also said that we would know when the time was right to put her to sleep. He said maybe 2 months. I'm still wondering what those signs will be. I'm worried as I watch her. I can identify with others, I hope also that she will just die peacefully without my help. Don't get me wrong, I WILL NOT let her suffer, but I don't like to decide when that end is here.

My heart goes out to all of you and your precious pets who go through this!

Mar 01, 2011
One Great Pug
by: Anonymous

In late December of 2010 I noticed something strange bulging from between the lips of my pug Tori, who is 16. She had lost a little weight around this time too.

In the 6 days it took to get her in to see the vet, I watched it grow in size. The vet confirmed that it was cancer. In early January it was removed. The only way to get "all" of it would have been to remove part of her jaw. We just couldn't do this to her. The vet said the surgery would make her more comfortable and maybe buy us about 3 more months with Tori.

Eight weeks after surgery, I watched it grow back. It's now March and it is now quite large; she is having trouble drinking water but she is getting her food down still. She sleeps a lot and she is drooling out of one side of her mouth; thick and foul smelling. She is losing weight even though she eats a lot.

The mouth tumor continues to grow and is becoming as grotesque as before the surgery. I don't think she is going to be with me much longer. I keep hoping I just wake up one morning and find her dead in her basket looking like she is sleeping.

Tori has been a great dog; a great friend and I will miss her so very much. Such a shame to end this way.

Feb 18, 2011
Full of Sadness
by: Anonymous

I am full of tears as I write this as I just found out an hour ago about my Lacey (12 years old lhaso)... she had her growth removed on Monday and it came back as this horrific cancer... The vet said 2-6 months and I will have to consider putting her down as her quality of life gets worse.

Can anyone tell me where to buy NuVet plus as I read above it may slow things down?

Feb 17, 2011
Tobie will be 15 next month
by: Katie

I just got the call from the vet yesterday that Tobie has malignant melanoma in his mouth. The tumor is huge and has most likely already spread to his lungs because of the size (approx the size of a strawberry).

The only option is chemo and to remove the tumor they would have to remove one side of his mouth.

I love him too much to put him through the pain and side effects just because of my not wanting to let go. I am beside myself with fear. He is still acting like his good ol' self, but I don't know how much longer that will last. The vet said I'll just wake up one day and he won't want to eat anymore and he will be lethargic and then I'll know it's time to say goodbye.

I have had my baby for 1/2 of my life and he has been the one constant love through everything, I cannot imagine life without him.

Jan 18, 2011
Kenya is in month 2 of diagnosis
by: Andre

Kenya's a 10 year old great dane, has always been very healthy, eating a well thought out diet that is home cooked.

Once diagnosed, I increase the protein, remove the beans, lower the amount of carbs, add fresher veggies, and increase her super foods, or super greens. She's always been on enzymes (N'zymes brand).

Since she has a heart murmur, surgery wasn't an option - we took her in immediately after realizing there was a lump.

Today, you wouldn't know there was anything wrong with her - besides a large tumor hanging from her mouth.

We've researched all we could and haven't found anything, but this story resembles our situation. We've only come across the surgery and treatment options. Our biggest battle is in keeping her spirits up when there is obvious infection and foul odor. When she's depressed, we are depressed.

I know we are doing what we can, but I would love to hear if there is anything else we should try. A few other things we are doing: Beet Juice, Goldenseal/Echincea, BSST, green tea, buttermilk for pH balance, Alkaline water only for pH.

We love our Kenya, and we're certainly treating her health better than our own. I sincerely wish everyone luck as I know the difficulties involved.

Jan 04, 2011
Thank you for Sharing your story about Haley
by: Anonymous

Your story is very moving; I hope your little girl Haley enjoys her last few months with you all, her loving family, who have tried everything to save her and make her happy and comfortable, xxx.

We've just received the devastating news that our much loved Golden Retriever 'Chewy' has had a malignant melanoma removed from his mouth, during a routine dental check-up and cleaning. The vet believes he got it all out, but says that this type of cancer is rather nasty and long-term prognosis could mean only 3-6 months before it affects the lungs etc. Not a very nice way to start 2011... :(

Chewy is 14 years old and has had the most wonderful life - he's simply the best and I can't imagine our family without him. We've been blessed to share 14 years with him, but we're greedy and don't want to let him go... especially not to cancer.

My husband and I have recently had a baby boy, who's now 6 months old and it breaks my heart to think that he won't remember Chewy when he grows up. Chewy doesn't deserve cancer, it's so unfair. We'll discuss options with our family vet, but think at the mature age of 14 years, we'll let him live out his life in peace and just give lots of love, kisses and cuddles, as well as manage any 'hiccups' that arise as best we can.

Good luck and love to everyone dealing with a similar situation... it's simply awful.

Jody (Australia)

Dec 02, 2010
Fellow Pet Lover
by: Anonymous

My prayers go out to you and your friend. My dog was diagnosed melanoma in March 2010. I chose not to have the invasive biopsy surgery or the cancer surgery. I knew this would throw her immediately into a poor quality of life and misery. So instead I chose to let her life out her quality life (at the time she was doing just fine. I just happen to notice the tumors in her mouth). However, I simply was not ready to face life without her so I went online to look for some type of natural remedy and I found a product called NuVet Plus. The short of the story is, by July the tumors had shrunken to almost nothing. I ran out of the product for about 6 weeks and the tumors returned. I bought some more product and after about 6 weeks, the tumors are once again going down. Anyway, that was March and it is now December and my dog is still here and none the worse for the wear.

Hope things go well.

Jul 19, 2010
We Lost our Dog Blue to High Grade Lymphosarcoma
by: Dolly

I feel for you. We have also lost our dog, Blue, to cancer. It was very hard.

After he had biopsy to be sure of the cancer and what kind he had, it attacked him quickly. Before he had stitches out from biopsy, my girls and I decided to put him to sleep. Blue could no longer get up and it took a lot of effort to get him outside. He was having dark diarrhea and vomitting the same, and was no longer eating.

I had tried a more holistic approach with supplements and homemade food. He was a 6-yr-old Catahoula Leopard, very active like a cattle dog.

When he could no longer get up, it was time to not let him suffer any longer. It would have been selfish of us to let him be that way, that is not how we wanted to remember him.

We do have his ashes with us and light a candle that is sitting by his ashes almost every night. I also have a tattoo of his face on my back with his favorite toy, ball and chuckett. My story is also on this forum.

Our thoughts are with you,

Dolly and her girls

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