Golden Retriever Mason's Fight with Lymphoma

Golden Retriever Mason's Fight with Lymphoma

by Heidi

My beautiful, not quite 4 year old, Golden Retriever Mason was diagnosed with Lymphoma on Memorial Day Weekend 2011.

It's now only June 27th so we've only been in this thing for 4 weeks. The sad part is how fast this cancer is moving. I feel as if I'm racing the clock.

After the diagnosis I did tons of reading, online research and talking to others who had dogs with cancer. Anyone who I talked to who went the chemotherapy route were sorry they did. They ended up losing their beloved pet and felt that precious time was spent taking their pet for painful and unpleasant trips to the vet.

Additionally the only possible result was a non guaranteed remission and potentially thousands of $$ spent.

I decided on homeopathic treatment. I tried researching and was overwhelmed by the possiblities out there. How much of a dose, how does it interact with other meds? Finally I found a link for Homeopathic vets that would do online consultations. This would allow me to keep Mason at home (no travel and no vets office). THe first phone consult was scheduled for Monday, June 13th.

Unfortunatly before my first conference call his lymph nodes or something caused him to stop eating, I panicked and took him to an emergency veterinarian (of course it was a Sunday). He gave Mason a prednisone shot and some pills to taper off of over the course of 3 weeks.

The following day I talked to the Homeopathic vet, who did not like him getting the shot nor remaining on the Prednisone. I felt sick because the shot immediately allowed Mason to feel better. I knew/know it was only a mask and not a cure but you are so happy when they feel good.

Anyway I promised to taper him off by the end of the week. I was told to only give Mason homemade Only Organic foods. 50%/50% meat/veg mix. She prescribed Mason several remedies for his immune system, vitamins, probiotics, etc.

He did great for the following week. I saw signs of improvement. Was it the prednisone or the homeopathy? About 5 days after I stopped he prednisone I notice his glands are swelling again. I panicked and called his vet as I didn't want to go into the weekend with him not eating and me worring. She tells me that it is expected that his nodes would swell once the prednisone wears off and prescribes some homeopathic pain managaement remedies. He did not eat today (Monday) but he does not breathe or behave like he is in pain.

I have such high hopes that this treatment will save my special Mason boy. We love him so much. I fall apart when he's not well and ride a high when he has his moments where he wants to chase his ball down the hall.

Anyone who has been through this I would love to hear your story. Short or long, good or bad. It helps to make decisions.

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Nov 01, 2020
3y.o. Golden, waiting on results
by: Anonymous

October 1st our Golden Retriever, Dallas, was lethargic during his morning walk when we discovered swollen lymph nodes so bad the whole side of his face looked swollen. We took him to the vet where they hoped it was an allergic reaction of some kind. He has been on antibiotics all month and on an antihistamine for part of that time. The major swelling reduced, but he still has many lumps and majorly swollen glands. Last week they aspirated a node to check for lymphoma. We are waiting on the results. We are devastated, hoping for a simple answer but realistic that we could be facing lymphoma. I have started feeding him meats and vegetables and brown rice with turmeric and turkey tail sprinkled in. I plan to reach out to a holistic vet this week. I am interested in learning what a healthy real food diet looks like and anything else that will give our sweet boy relief. He's thrown up 3 different times over the last week and a half, but besides that and low energy, you wouldn't know he's sick. I'm doing a lot of reading, but it's truly overwhelming.

Jan 23, 2019
T-Zone Indolent Lymphoma
by: Molly's mother

My Golden retriever, Molly, at the age of 11.5 months, was diagnosed with T-Zone indolent lymphoma. I made the decision to not do chemo. Instead, we’ve done a "holistic" treatment with a multitude of Chinese herbs, CBD and mushroom drops. Additionally, our vet told us to remove all processed kibble and we are now cooking for her: 125 grams of organic ground beef, organic quinoa, and a 1/3 cup of the Honest Kitchen vegetable base mix (2x a day). Now, 2.7 years later, at the age of 14.2 years old, the lymphoma is progressing but she is still with us. She is having Vestibular Disorder issues (balance problems) that come and go and our vet suspects it’s being driven by the lymphoma along with some occasional mild seizures. I suspect that this could be her last year, but feel very blessed that she has been with me for so long. Molly is a certified Therapy Dog and gave years of love and service to Alzheimer patients before her retirement 2 years ago. She’s had a wonderful life full of love and I will have a massive hole in my heart when she leaves us. Until that time, I give her all the love she deserves.

Oct 31, 2018
4 Days and Our Beloved Dog is Gone
by: Parker's Mom

Today is Tuesday, October 30, 2018. Our precious lady Parker is an 8 year old Golden Retriever that passed away today from a vicious Gastrointestinal Lymphoma.

She started vomiting on Friday, but I thought it was due to feeding her a bit of chicken pot pie. She proceeded to play and act happy as usual.

She vomited again on Saturday, but went out and wanted to play with her frisbee and enjoy being outside.

Sunday was different as she vomited, plus had tarrish looking feces. We took her on to our Animal Emergency Center. They took x-rays, performed an ultrasound, and done blood-work. She was placed in doggy ICU.

Our girl seemed to decline before our eyes. They aspirated an enlarged lymph node next to her thyroid. Almost 24 hours later we learned it was lymphoma. The insidious cancer raged through her GI tract like a tornado.

Goldens don't complain or whine, so we had no idea that she was so ill, until she just couldn't shake it off anymore.

We have been blessed with her witty and extraordinary personality for 8 years and 4 months.

I wish we knew how we could eradicate this disease from this breed!

May 05, 2018
My 9.75 year old yellow lab just diagnosed with Lymphoma
by: Carla Sieh

Hello. I’m crying non stop with this Lymphoma diagnosis. Lost my dad this time last year from this and now my beloved yellow lab.

He’s on Prednisone from the day he was diagnosed. We opted not to do chemo as he is almost ten and I heard older dogs don’t respond well.

My cousin sent me a Tagamet/Benadryl cancer remission concoction. We are still on prednisone but give him this protocol 3 times a day. My vet says it won’t do anything and it can possibly only help mass cell cancers. We are trying it anyway.

His breathing is quite fast due to prednisone and he’s not eating his food for 9th day. He will eat people food and his jerky treats...and cheese.

I cry 24/7 and am talking to my husband saying we need a plan so we aren’t frantic in front of the kids when it’s his time. Deciding on home euthanasia or at the vet. Ashes or bury him. This sucks and I am so sad that my body physically hurts. He survived Blastomycosis in 2016 only to get this damn cancer two years later.

If you want the Tagamet/Benadryl protocol email me. It may work for your dog if it has tumors. The Lymphoma is all over and inside my dog so it probably won’t. I’ve read dogs actually go into remission from this.

Mar 22, 2018
It’s not fair
by: Anonymous

I was watching the news a little while ago and they had a headline about Golden’s dying from cancer. I immediate tuned in to see what they had to say.

Two months ago I lost my three year old golden to cancer. I still mourn his death and have been left with so many questions.

After watching that short segment on the news, I started googling Golden’s with cancer and came across your story. I’m so sorry for what you went through or are still going through. I’m curious to how everything turned out?

Losing Rufus was the hardest thing I have gone through and I wish I had someone to relate to. I felt like he was robbed of his life and didn’t deserve to go so early. He was so healthy and sweet and just like that he was gone. He had a spinal tumor that caused him great pain. The surgeons were hesitant to removing it bc of the location. We did a stereotactic radiation treatment that cost over 10,000. The treatment shrunk the tumor and killed the cancer cells.

I was hopeful it would work and it did temporarily. Three months later his symptoms returned and we found out the cancer spread to his lungs. Two days later we had to put him to sleep. I’m still looking for answers. Where did this cancer come from? Was there something I could have done? Did these surgeons give us bad advice? I would love to hear how your golden is doing and anything else you’ve learned about cancer in Golden’s.

Dec 18, 2017
The Three
by: Anonymous

My aunt has had four golden retrievers in the last 13 years. Three of them have had lymphoma. It is a horrible thing watching the dogs suffer through the medication and the side effects.

Each of them have gone through their own chemo, each reacting in different ways.

Her first golden, Sadie, passed away shortly after they found out. It was diagnosed too late and spread too fast. She passed away when she was 12.

Her second golden, Ellie, held on for a little over a year which was amazing. She passed away when she was ten.

Her third golden, Riley, is fighting lymphoma and has been showing better progress than the others, hopefully the saying "third times the charm" will ring true for my aunt and her special dogs. Riley is eleven and still plays with the other puppies in our family like he is five.

Her fourth golden, Grace, is only one and we hope to God that she does not get this vicious cancer, too.

It really is a horrible disease and I am sorry to anyone who has experienced what my aunt has gone through three times.

Wishing you all of the best.

Dec 14, 2017
Lost my golden to aggressive lymphoma Tuesday
by: Heartbroken

My almost 9 year old beautiful golden baby was healthy and showed no signs of being sick. I did blood work on him every 6 months.

Monday was a normal morning ate fine went outside to potty took my son to school. 11:30am he started vomiting and acting like his belly was bothering him. Went to the vet where I work. We did X-rays and blood work. Both showed nothing!!!

Thought maybe he had ate something he wasn’t suppose to. Went home, supper time rolled around, he wouldn’t eat or move from his couch. By 11:30pm still no moving, no interest in anything.

We took off to the emergency vet an hour away, we arrived and his tongue and gums were white. They took him immediately. Dr came and talked to me, he said Wrigley had internal bleeding and he suspected he was septic.

I visited with my baby before they sent me home. He was scheduled to have ultrasound in the morning and they were going to treat him until that time. I got the phone call at 9 am Tuesday, lymphoma!

My family and I left immediately and visited with our baby for a couple hours and took him his favorite tennis ball and Christmas gift. We said "see ya later" to our baby at 1:09pm Tuesday.

It happened so fast without warning. This has been the most difficult thing I have ever endured and am not doing well. I miss him so much!

Nov 04, 2017
Heart broken
by: Anonymous

My Jack Russell died of an aggressive GI Lymphoma.

She was fine up until Thursday night and started throwing up. After that she laid around all day Sat and Sun so we took her to the vet Monday.

They did blood work, nausea meds and other test. They recommended an Ultrasound so we went and they recommended emergency surgery.

She died the following Thursday.

In one week my dog went from spunky and fine to death. I have read that chemo could help. I wish I knew of the diagnosis to have done that. It went all in one week and I'm thinking chemo would not have helped.

I really miss her and am really sad.

Oct 24, 2017
My Sweet Jameson
by: Anonymous

On Saturday, my sweet four year old golden, Jameson, was diagnosed with lymphoma.

Like many of the comments I read here, it all started with loving on him and finding lumps in his neck, the day before. With an 11 y.o golden as well, I never thought it would be Jameson with cancer.

We, like most of you, have also decided not to pursue the chemo - I can't justify putting him through it for 21 weeks - for maybe another nine months with him. We are now waiting to start the pred.. We're being told if we can hold off until his breathing starts to sound raspy that we may have longer with him. My question for those of you that chose to just to do the pred... How long did your dog respond to it before the lymph nodes started to enlarge again?

Oct 09, 2017
Ryder our 2nd amazing airedale
by: Anonymous

Four weeks ago on his 2nd birthday, our puppy boy was diagnosed with genetic lymphatic cancer.

Like all of you we are devastated! His prognosis was not good for chemo so was put on dexamethasone after undesirable prednisone side effects. Took him on mini vacation to lake for probably his last boat ride.

We did all of our homework this time (or thought we did) before acquiring him from breeder. Sadly our first baby Ralph had to be put to sleep at 5 years old. He had suffered from pancreatitis all of his short life which left him with weakened bones and joints. In a 2 week period at 5 he lost the use of his legs but wouldn't have survived surgery due to discovery of enlarged heart and risk of not surviving surgery and passed away. Our hearts like all of you are broken.

Between these two dogs, one could sing and talk on the phone, the other could dance. Both could say ''I wuv you '' literally!!!

The few days we have left with Ryder will be precious. I feel for each and every one of you and your pain.

Aug 09, 2017
by: Anonymous

On July the 11th I found out my golden retriever has lymphoma. He will be 6 yrs in 2 weeks.

We have him on prednisone. Today Aug. the 9th he will be getting one every other day.

I know the lumps will just come back. My last golden who was 6 yrs died 6 yrs ago from the same thing. He lasted 10 weeks. Right now you would not know that Baxter is sick. I just wish there was more I could do for him.

Apr 01, 2017
Our Golden
by: Chris

On Thursday we got the "dreaded" news - our 10yr old "Odin" golden boy has lymphoma :( .

He was great until 2 weeks ago. Then all of a sudden he wasn't eating much (very uncommon since he usually does a back flip for even a piece of dog food).

To say we are heartbroken is an understatement! We will do the prednisone but not chemo due to age, side affects and we feel like it would be only for our benefit. He will eat wet food and treats still.

3 months ago we lost our beloved Jack Russell to liver failure and cancer, losing dogs is so hard. We "rescued" our golden just over 9 years ago. He has brought us much joy and love. It is hard to imagine a life without him.

My heart goes out to everyone who loses a pet to cancer.

Mar 20, 2017
Yorkie of Strength and Courage
by: Rox

My little girl who I had since she was 7 wks was diagnosed with stage 4 Lymphoma 10/14/16. Both my husband and I have shed many tears over the thought of not having our little girl in our lives.

She is such a trooper as we research often to fight along with her. She will be 10 yrs old July 12th this year (2017). We chose not to take her through grueling bouts of chemo, instead chose steroids. I also found on the INTERNET, a vitamin, LifeGold, which the dose is given by the weight of your pet. I also give her lots of raw veggies and quality dog food.

The Vet stated that my little girl has already broken a record by still being with us. She said typically there is a 6 to 8 weeks life span for pets on steroids being diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma. She now has many swollen lymph nodes around her neck and a couple on her lower belly.

She is still eating, drinking and body functions are normal. She just began breathing heavier. We are monitoring her closely and will not let her suffer.

We are truly blessed to have a fighter and a trooper who we love to pieces! Fight for your pets because they fight hard to stay with us as long as they can.

Mar 14, 2017
Prayers for Honey
by: Karen

My 12-year old Golden, Honey, was just diagnosed today with lymphoma.

She's had some problems with her eyesight, but two days ago she stopped eating and drank a lot of water. Vetted today and received the diagnosis of lymphoma. Heart broken.

Because of her age, I've decided to not do chemo, but allow her to do whatever she wants until she can no longer go on. I don't want her to suffer. She will start prednisone tomorrow. Vet says she will feel a little better, but the outcome will be the same. She might have 6 to 8 weeks.

Honey is the best dog. Loves everyone. Most loving dog I've ever had. I cannot imagine our home without her. Please remember us in your prayers.

Things can's get much worse. Tomorrow I have to have my 17 year old cat put to sleep for end stage renal failure. My heart aches so.

Mar 08, 2017
Sarah Smile RIP
by: Dave

Today our Sarah went to sleep. Last night we found 3 more large lumps on her neck and she could barely swallow water & would/could not eat. We gave her some more Prednisone & Tramadol for pain and she snapped out of it & was able to eat/drink.

We decided that the end is now near. We took her to our Vet today and Sarah went to sleep. How sad, in less than a week my beautiful girl is gone.

A Great & Loyal Friend who always had a smile on her face except for yesterday & today. My Sarah is gone but will never be forgotten.

We will always love you & cherish the time we had.

RIP Sarah Smile

Mar 03, 2017
Sarah Smile
by: Dave

Two days ago I found 3 golf ball sized lumps on my Sarah's neck. She is a beautiful & wonderful 8 year old Golden Retriever. My wife & I fell in love with her the first time we met her.

This week has been hell. We took her to the vet yesterday and was told that most likely she had lymphoma, but we wanted her tested to be sure. I don't believe that I ever cried so much in my life. She is now on prednisone & has been coming back to life even though I know it will be over soon.

Like others, I refuse to put her through chemo or surgery. Watching her play in the snow today with our other doggie again brought tears to my eyes.

Our vet told us 2 months would be ideal, but I don't believe she will last that long, and I will not let her suffer just so we can have her longer.

My other dog, a border collie, knows she is sick and is protecting & watching her all the time. We are trying to decide the right time to end her life but I really don't know how to handle this - she is so sweet.

It's amazing how we fell in love with our Sara Smile, and putting it into words has helped. Thank you for providing this forum.

I love you Sarah.

Mar 03, 2017
My odie had lymphoma
by: Sue

My odie was only five when suddenly he stopped eating but began drinking water at an alarming rate. Being an emergency room nurse, I had a feeling these signs were not good. I was worried so we took our boy immediately to the vet. His blood calcium levels were sky high. My heart sank. My fear of him having cancer was coming true.

Along with this I was very disappointed in the vets. No one wants to do or take on your pet. They want to send you to specialists. i felt very frustrated with the vets . None of them seemed to want to do anything other than chemo.

We chose to give Odie all natural foods, vitamins and minerals. He lived a healthy life for three months. Then suddenly the cancer took him.

We had three great months with our Odie and we kissed him and hugged him as we let a vet put him to sleep. Our lives are not the same without him, but I am glad we did not subject him to painful shots and chemo. We were with him and hugged him as God's angels took over. He fell asleep knowing we were there.

It has only been three days and I am so sad. I want him back but I believe I will see him again some day.

Feb 24, 2017
by: Anonymous

Our Cody is 10.5yrs old. The oldest golden we ever owned (lost 2 at 7 to CHF and 1 at 7.5 due to PICA).

One night as I was loving on him, I felt large balls on his neck. I had to get him to vet anyway for his annual check up and phenobarbital levels (he has epilepsy).

As I made the appointment, they asked how he was doing. I said great, but he has some lumps in his neck. They appeared concerned, but continued to schedule the visit a week from then. 15 mins later they called back with a cancelation that day. I knew it wasn't good if they wanted him in that quick. Then the conversation happened - age, breed, symptoms - he has lymphoma. Got an FNA and it was confirmed. He was acting normal, playing with Linus his 9mo golden brother.

We decided not to do chemo. My husband just lost his job and we didn't have the $ nor did we want to put him through that. I have him on CBD, prednisone, and immune support supplement. He got crazy gas and bloating.

Thinking it was the immune support (mushroom/ herb), I stopped that and he's on rice and chicken. The nodes have come down a little and we are weaning his dose down. I try to add his food back in and he immediately starts gassing. Other than that, he is his normal self.

Vet is giving him 1-2 months. We are only 2 weeks into it. This will be the hardest pill to swallow. He's the best dog ever.

Jan 11, 2017
My precious golden retriever Sadie
by: Anonymous

I hope my recent golden retriever's lymphoma can help others make the difficult decisions on treatment.

My precious Sadie was diagnosed with Lymphoma in August at age 10, on a routine exam the vet felt some enlarged lymph nodes under the neck, no health issues, just a little appetite loss, the next ex more nodes where felt in other parts of her body. The vet said we should aspirated a node to check for that dreaded word Cancer. I told the vet to call me the next day when I was home from work.

The call came with bad news Lymphoma. My wife and I could not believe it, we where devastated. Our Sadie has Cancer. This dog had a life that some kids would dream of, walked every day, showered with love...

We were given 3 options, do nothing, prednizone or chemo, we did not want to put her thru chemo. They gave us on average 4 months left with her.

I can tell U prednizone gave her great comfort for 4 months, we had to put her to sleep 3 weeks ago.

I can't believe she is gone, lots of crying, house is so empty. She was my best friend. Hopefully a cure will come some day. And we will be reunited in heaven. The rainbow bridge says it all.

Best of luck and god bless, the memories are with me for life, she is so missed.

Dec 21, 2016
Reply to Fighting Annie
by: Anonymous

My Boxer Brooklyn was found to have Indolent T-Cell Lymphoma recently. We meet with our vet to form a game plan on Monday. I was just wondering what route you went!!


Dec 06, 2016
by: Anonymous

I'm devastated, just waiting for the conclusive test from pathology to tell us what we already know.

I can't begin to think how we can say goodbye to our gorgeous girl Ellie, she is only 9 and is the most mischievous but gentle girl.

Symptoms have been noticeable for a few weeks but initially thought to be just a skin infection.

We won't opt for treatment despite our need to keep her with us as just like others - the treatment can be just as awful as the disease.

Thinking of everyone going through this heartbreaking time. xxx

Dec 01, 2016
I'm so sorry
by: Anonymous

Please keep us updated on Chester.

Nov 28, 2016
Chester, an amazing Golden
by: Carolyn

I am so sorry to hear about your stories.

My sweet boy Chester, a beautiful golden, has been diagnosed with lymphoma just on Saturday... We are heart broken. He isn't eating but drinking.

I don't know how I will ever say goodbye. I don't want such a great friend to suffer. May God bless everyone struggling with similar situations. Would so love a miracle...

Sep 26, 2016
Goodbye Jake...
by: Anonymous

Jake, our 13 year old Golden Retriever, collapsed about four months ago. Carried him to the vet who said he probably had lymphoma given the swollen lymph nodes. Considering his age, I didn't see the point in needles, tests, cancer treatment, etc.

And though he likely had lymphoma, vet was not sure that's what caused the collapse, so we gave him a B-12 shot and put him on antibiotics. He fought though whatever it was and made a full recovery after about four weeks. In fact, he recovered before my back did because I had to carry him in and out of the house for a week, and at 85 pounds, he's not a small dog.

Maybe a month after that he started having nose bleeds and one nostril became necrotic, which slowly spread to the other side. Shortly after the nose bleeds started his glands became rather enlarged and breathing labored so we put him on prednisone.

It's been four months since we learned of his condition, and now he only gets up to eat, to go outside to do his business, and greet guests; the latter of which is the only thing that can elicit a tail wag.

Over the past week he has become somewhat unstable on his feet, bloated, and is clearly not enjoying life. I have an appointment with our vet in 30 minutes to have my beloved dog, friend, and family member put down.

I have had eight dogs during my life, and Jake the only Golden. He is far and way the smartest, sweetest, gentle soul I have ever known. We feel blessed to have had him in our lives for so long.

Aug 26, 2016
by: Anonymous

Our 10 yr old yellow lab was diagnosed with lymphoma yesterday. He is a member of our family and a piece of our life that brings us such joy.

We are so torn on using chemo but leaning against it as so many of you have pointed out, it delays the inevitable and can cause such discomfort for the animal. Such a horrible choice to have to make as we all want to do everything we can to help our dogs fight this horrible disease.

May 06, 2016
by: Anonymous

My four year old Golden named Brinkley started to cough and had this gagging on and off. He was eating and drinking but I decided to bring him to the vet whobI trust dearly. Brinkley had X-rays, blood work and it all came out fine. The doctor did say not all but a couple of lymph nodes were swollen. He gave me an antibiotic for ten days which we just started but I've been sick to my stomach and unnerved by the unknown.

Mar 30, 2016
Lymphoma Sucks
by: Anonymous

Our 8 year old Golden passed today, 16 weeks after being diagnosed with advanced lymphoma. It started in his liver and gut, and we first became aware of his disease after he started vomiting and didn't want to eat.

We chose not to pursue chemo because it would not greatly prolong his life and his quality of life would suffer from constant trips to the vet. We started him on Prednisone a few days after his diagnosis and were granted 3 1/2 months with a happy, playful, hungry pup.

A few days ago he became weak, needed help getting up, and finally didn't want to eat. His breathing became labored and his hair started to fall out. He would try to rally and be his normal self, but finally he became too tired and he decided it was his time to go.

For other pup parents who do not wish to try chemotherapy, I would recommend asking your vet about Prednisone. It really helped our dog to live out the remainder of his days as his normal self.

Mar 15, 2016
by: Clover's Momma

My sweet Golden, Clover, was just diagnosed with a mass cell tumor on her nose (inoperable area) and lymphoma. While Clover is almost 11 years old, it still pains me to think that life is nearing the end for my sweet old girl. Clover was my 15th birthday present and has been my best bud ever since.

I am really struggling on what to do for my poor sweet Clover. How did you all make the decision to undergo chemo, go the homeopathic route or just ride out the rest of their time? I do not want her to suffer or be in pain, but I also don't want to spend the rest of the time we have left together carting her back and forth from the vet.

Mar 03, 2016
Young Golden Cancer
by: Lynn

It's with a crazy heavy heart that we had to put down our English Creme Golden today, who was only 2 y/o. Massive liver and lymphoma. Liver was most likely cancerous too. Although prevalent in Goldens, a two year old??? On top of that from a high priced breeder. I go from sobbing to anger, and not sure it will stop anytime soon.

Jan 20, 2016
So sad
by: Nancy

Our sweet 12 year old golden/Saluki mix was diagnosed with lymphoma yesterday. Other than the enlarged nodes she is not showing any signs of disease. My husband and I have decided against chemotherapy. I am still researching other treatment and hoping that we can keep her pain free and happy with whatever time she has left. That's what we've done for the past 12 years. My heart goes out to all of you other pet owners who are having to deal with this sadness.

Dec 26, 2015
by: RFarr

Our chocolate lab Sarge (age 4yrs, 9mo) started to have a raspy bark a week ago, it almost sounded like he was choking if he tried to bark. A few days later he had what looked like conjunctivitis, with eye drainage. We took him to his vet 2 days before Christmas and she prescribed an eye ointment for conjunctivitis but recommended blood work to rule things out.

Over Christmas my heart knew it was going to be bad news, his breathing started sounding labored, still raspy throat, his eyes were getting worse and the right eye started showing a bright red spot. I sensed his vision was affected. This morning the vet called to tell us he has lymphoma and it has spread, including to his eyes.

We questioned why when he just had his yearly check up in Feb, they never knew he was getting sick. She said it often comes on quick and fast, back in Feb, he showed no signs.

I have cried all day, he is too young and I am not ready to let him go. We chose prednisone therapy but his vet believes he only has about 4 weeks left, 8 weeks if were lucky. My heart is breaking, our crazy, wild, rambunctious Sarge is dying and it's tearing me apart inside. I do not want to watch him suffer so if it comes to this I pray for the strength to let him go.

Mar 24, 2015
My Middy
by: Anonymous

My pit mix is the love of my life, and was diagnosed the end of August 2014. I have had her on Prednisone and Tramadol since then.

I only give her 10 mg of prednisone a day and 50 mg of Tramadol once a day and now twice a day. Her breathing has become very labored but just wanted to give all the newly diagnosed fur babies a little hope because mine has survived almost 9 months so far. I know it is drawing near to the day but these 9 months I can never regret.

Good luck and God Bless you all. Hope you find this as a little bit of good news. When she was first diagnosed I thought I only had weeks and feed her everything she wanted, she gained 20 pounds over the first 3 or 4 months so just know they could have longer so enjoy and love them as much as you can!

Jan 17, 2015
Fighting Annie Update
by: Anonymous

Annie's results came back yesterday confirming that she has the slow growing indolent lymphoma. Our vet is not an oncologist but is consulting with others. We are uncertain of the treatments and success rates if we didn't do the chemo which for this is a lifetime protocol. I have read such conflicting information about this. Does anyone have any information or experience with Indolent Lymphoma?

Jan 17, 2015
Daisy girl
by: Burdell Hanna

Our Daisy girl was diagnosed with Lymphoma just this week 1-14-1015 and we are heart broken, can't stop crying, want to go homeopathic, don't want her to suffer at all. Just can't believe this dreadful news, she need everyone's prayers. We know how all of you out there feels now.

God bless!

Jan 14, 2015
My 12 yr old Golden, Diabetic and now diagnosed with Malignant Lymphoma
by: D's Mom

To say we are devastated over the diagnosis is an understatement :-(

We found out on a Thursday night, husband & I both spent the weekend crying and giving her extra love. We have moved to acceptance and what are we doing about it? Of course as bad as we want her with us, we just can't let my sweet baby suffer. She is showing no signs at all of illness other than the swollen lymph nodes. She is eating, going potty, playing and acting completely normal.

We had our first Oncology visit today. We are going with the multi-drug chemotherapy treatment, which will consist of weekly treatments for 9 weeks, then every other week until the 6 month mark. While the Dr says that dogs tolerate chemo very well and have an 85% remission, I know there is no guarantee. We started our first chemo injection today. I will move forward with weekly treatments, as long as she does ok. If I see that she's isn't tolerating it well and becomes miserable I will put a stop to it.

My concern is only for her and her quality of life. She is the sweetest, smartest, very silly always keeps me laughing. I am hoping and praying that she can tolerate it and go into remission while having a good quality of life.

If you have a fur baby going through chemo, I would love to hear your experience. Good luck to all and our four legged babies.

Jan 10, 2015
Fighting Annie/8 yr.
by: Anonymous

I'm so glad that I found this site with stories like mine, unfortunately.

March 2014, the vet noticed Annie's lymph nodes slightly enlarged. They have always been very soft and very slowly growing. I have brought her to the vet for check ups and they were never really concerned but finally in December 2014 when the fine needle aspirate came back positive for lymphoma, we went to seek counsel with a specialist.

Annie is the best dog ever! She is a member of the family and I would do anything to keep her going healthy and happy. The specialist wanted to start chemo right away since she thought we were catching it so early. So early??? It's been since March! We had blood tests and another aspirate to determine B cell or T cell. Different treatments and one appears to have a longer remission.

That's where we are torn. From everything that I have read online and here, the Chemo sounds difficult and stressful and what do you really get out of it? 4+ months of hell to have 6+ months of a happy dog again to have to go through it all again? She is so happy right now. Starting chemo will make her so sick and take my sweet Annie's delight away.

I'm devastated and constantly googling. I feel for anyone who has ever had to go through this. The chemo would be for US, not her. But I'm hoping for T-cell indolent lymphoma, in which case would give me more to hope for. Less aggressive chemo and longer remission. I just don't know... so, so sad.

Jan 03, 2015
My 7 Year Old Golden - Ginger
by: Raisin man

Well, like many of you who search and find this page after the fact, my golden retriever Ginger has contracted what we believe is lymphoma. She has a large mass just behind her right front quarter, and her left lymph node is swollen and pretty hard. There is a small lump in her back left abdomen. The left shoulder/neck lymph node swelling was noticed around 12/23/14 by my mom who was visiting for the holidays.

In the last 10 days it has gotten larger and I can really see that it is wearing her down. We are giving her some supplements with her normal diet but the reading I have done does not give me much hope.

Like many of those who have lost a beloved golden, I can honestly say she has been my best friend during times when it seemed no one else could understand my troubles. I am heart broken but the statistics are tough to beat. In the end, we are are going to meet the same fate, but it is hard nonetheless.

I would be interested to hear more stories of your goldens as we honor their memory during and after the fight!

Nov 18, 2014
3 year old with lymphoma
by: Chritine from Texas

My Golden, Babygirl, was diagnosed November 15, 2014 with Lymphoma. She is not exhibiting any signs at all of the cancer. She plays, eats, drinks, etc as normal. However, the large lumps under her jaw and groin are obvious. I am taking her to the oncologist Wednesday morning in Dallas to find out the extent of her cancer. I am hoping (and praying) we are able to treat her with Chemo and extend her life. She is a part of our family.

I am astonished at the statistics of goldens who develop cancer, I have read it is almost twice of any other breed (60%). This is the most loving, caring and intelligent breed I have ever come across and it is shameful nothing has been developed to help these wonderful animals!

Oct 17, 2014
So Sorry about Mason
by: Susan

My golden retriever Copa Cabana was diagnosed in August of this year. She is still going strong. We tried chemotherapy for 4 visits but unfortunately she was not one of the dogs that do not have a hard time with it. She did. So I made the painful decision to stop the treatments and it's been about a month since we stopped. She is on a heavy dose of prednisone (40 mg/day) which, while it helps her, has thinned her skin so she is experiencing wounds on the inside of her paws (she always laid like a frog) so that inside of her foot is hitting the floor when she lies down. She does pant quite a bit but that is also from the prednisone. She is also taking pain meds, Tramadol and that helps too.

However, on the good side she is walking 1/2 mile a day and, while that isn't a lot for a healthy golden, it is good for an ill one that is going to be 12 years old. She is eating, sleeping.

I wish you the best of luck with Mason. My vet said that lymphoma has one of the highest rates of remission of all canine cancers if the chemo can be tolerated. Let me know how Mason is doing - and you as well.

Oct 17, 2014
by: Craig

Our beautiful, happy, loving 4 year old was diagnosed yesterday, October 16th.

To say I am heartbroken is not even close to the emotions I am feeling. She seems healthy, no symptoms to this point.

On Wednesday I was playing with her rubbing her head and found lumps on her neck. I did some research and found one on the back of her leg, so I immediately knew it was not normal, took her to the vet and it was lymphoma. We have our first oncology appointment today, not sure what route we are going to take.

Aug 22, 2014
Golden retriever with lymphoma
by: Anonymous

Our 9 1/2 year goldie was diagnosed July 7th with lymphoma. We started chemo 2 days later. The first 2 treatments went well. After the 3rd however, he was very ill. After 2 days of IV fluids and nausea meds he was still so weak and would not eat or drink. He was miserable and after a week we made the decision to put him down. If we had to do it over we would not have started chemo. But at least we know we tried. Best to you all in your decisions.

Aug 20, 2014
My beautiful Copa Cabanna
by: Susan

was just diagnosed with lymphoma. She had a tumor on her spleen and liver. Four weeks ago had her spleen removed and tumor removed from her liver - both biopsied and came back as benign. Two weeks later she crashed and had another surgery to remove one of the lymph nodes. Came back today as medium stage lymphoma.

We have to wait to have her stitches removed next Thursday to start chemo. I have always fed my dogs a grain free diet, with a mixture of dry food and veggies. Have given them supplements and salmon oil to keep them healthy.

My 7 year old competition show dog died from cancer almost 4 years ago, broke my heart and now his sister is here at 11-1/2. I'm so sad and hope I am doing the right thing.

I look to some of you and see your dogs experienced this tragic disease at such a young age and here I am sick over Copa and hoping she will be one of the ones who go into remission.

I do read that this cancer has one of the highest remission rates so I am hopeful. I am praying for Copa and will pray for you and yours as well.

Aug 11, 2014
by: Anonymous

Our precious Teddy, 3yrs 4 months old, just diagnosed with lymphoma Aug 1, 2014. Broke my heart! He is starting prednisone tonight.

Blessings to all of you, thanks for sharing your story.

Aug 10, 2014
3 year old Golden diagnosed with Lymphoma
by: Tracy


Our 3 year old Golden Cami was diagnosed with lymphoma earlier this week. We took her to the vet because she stopped eating and was showing signs that were consistent with a respiratory infection. Unfortunately the symptoms of a respiratory infection are the same as lymphoma. We were in disbelief until the lab results came back confirming the diagnosis. How could our young, healthy, and very energetic baby have this?!

I am also 9 months pregnant, due in two weeks, and after the vet cautiously recommended that if we chose to pursue chemo that we should keep the dog away from the baby (due to the unknown transmission of chemo via saliva...I still think this is overly cautious, but we also don't want to risk anything with the baby), we knew we wouldn't be able to pursue that method of treatment. We also were concerned that if she started having accidents in the house that her urine and feces would be toxic.

We currently have her on prednisone, and she is responding well. She has always eaten the best food (half Honest Kitchen, half Orijen), now she is getting boiled chicken too. She also gets yogurt, scrambled eggs, and occasionally bacon. I think her diet is very good, I'm reading The Dog Cancer Survival Guide and we're adding supplements to her diet too. We added K9 Immunity Plus yesterday. I'm looking into other supplements too.

Unfortunately, she is now starting to show side effects from the prednisone, most notably excessive thirst and incontinence. She urinated twice in her sleep last night so I will be picking up some doggie diapers today which hopefully will help manage the problem. Does anyone have any additional advice about this?

I'd love to hear from anyone else going through this and learn what is working (or not working) for your dog.

Also, my deepest sympathies if you find this page because your dog has also been diagnosed with lymphoma.

Lots of love.

Jun 26, 2014
Golden just diagnosed with Lymphoma
by: Kathy B

Our beautiful, intelligent, and ever so sweet 7 year old golden retriever was diagnosed yesterday with Lymphoma! He has been the best dog we've ever had and we are just devastated. His energy level is so low, he doesn't even raise his head when we talk to him, but that beautiful tail still thumps to show his love.

I'm waiting now for the vet to call to let us know exactly what we are dealing with and what are our choices for courses of action. I don't know that we want to do chemo. He has always had such a wonderful spirit and we can't stand the thoughts of him suffering. (I know this sounds crazy, but he "smiles" all the time and he hasn't been smiling lately!)

If anyone has advice, we would appreciate it. Thanks!

Sep 04, 2012
Have Hope!
by: Lori D

My seven year old golden, Heather, was diagnosed with lymphoma in April 2012. The diagnosis was preceded by gastric issues that were being treated with antibiotics. It wasn't until April that she showed signs of swollen nodes. We started her on a conservative round of chemo - cytoxan one week, one week an infusion, one week off, but always on Prednisone. She was in remission for four months and the quality of her life is wonderful! Just found out one month ago she was out of remission and we repeated the conservative round of chemo. She is back in remission and doing great.

As long as she feels good and is our happy Heather she will be with us. We are prepared to let her go when she is not. Please concentrate on the QUALITY of your pup's life. Heather has done so very well on a little bit of chemo and a lot of love. She really has not been sick. Keep in mind that YOU are in control of the cancer - the cancer is NOT in control of you. You are making the decisions for your dog.

Jun 25, 2012
Cancer Sucks
by: Michelle

We had a golden named Max who was also diagnose with Lymphosarcoma. He was 10 and was recently put down. Just all of a sudden started getting getting skinny and stopped eating one day.

When we brought him to the vet he was given steroids and they kept him for about 3 days to monitor him with fluids and meds. He left there happy, eating and was full of energy. Two weeks later he had the worst diarrhea he could have. He got another round of meds and it just kept coming back.

Totally not fair to him, but decided it was time. He was so happy till the end. My husband said it was the worst thing he had been through. We both decided to get another golden right away.

Best decision for us, what a joy all over again.

Apr 19, 2012
Labrador with Lymphoma
by: Anonymous

My Yellow Labrador CoCo just tunred 6 years-old in March. She had all the syptoms described and was diagnosed yesterday with lymphoma. I am a wreck. I did not expect to grow so attached or feel like this. Not only that I just assumed she would live a long life.

I am devastated and very, very upset. We took her to the animal hosptial yesterday, where they did an ultrasound to confirm. When I saw the masses in her abdomen I wanted to scream. I will meet with the oncologist today to discuss our options. Of course chemo was mentioned but will only give her 3 to 6 months. We talked about that last night and have decided to bring her home today for a few days for my family members who love her soooo much to see her one last time, and then have her euthanized within the next couple of days. I don't know if I can do it. But I do believe in my heart it will be for the best. I don't want her to suffer.

The hospital gave her a shot of steriod and an IV to hydrate her and give her energy. I know it will give us an appearance of hope, but from all of the reseach I have done so far, the prognosis is grim. I also spoke with a coworker who went through the same thing with her pet. She said that it was the most selfish thing she could have done, because with all the Chemo, medications, and Vet visits, her dog suffered and died anyway.

I love my CoCo with all my heart. I am so sad right now. She is the most adorable and sweetest dog. Anyone who is an animal lover and especially a dog lover, would fall in love with her. So much personality; so sassy. I love it!! And I am going to miss her energy. She helped with my healing process when I was going through a very difficult time a few years ago. Always greeted me at the door; tail wagging; toy in mouth. And when I can't sleep at night, she will always get up and go with me for a ride to the store. My partner in crime...LOL! I am going to miss her sooooo much. Keep us in prayer as I will all of you pet owners who are going through the same thing with your pets.

Nov 14, 2011
It breaks my heart
by: Anonymous

Our dog, Buddy, was diagnosed 4 days ago with diabetes. I had him at the vet again today to have swelling around his neck checked. The vet took a needle biopsy and sent it to the lab to be checked. He thinks it is cancer and we should know in 4 days.

I am to keep him comfortable, give him his insulin and not worry too much about the diabetes at this time until we know exactly what we are dealing with.

Aug 11, 2011
Wheaten terrier 4 and 1/2 with lymphoma
by: Anonymous

Our soft coated wheaten terrier was diagnosed on July 3rd. We opted for prednisone and he did great for the first four weeks. I am seeing him slow down this week and I am a wreck. He is still eating, drinking and going for very short walks. It is heartbreaking as he is only 4 and a half years old. I know he only has limited time and it is so hard to see a once playful, mischievous pup now look at me with those sad eyes. I only hope I know when it is time and don't wait too late....

Aug 09, 2011
Waiting to find out
by: Anonymous

I am praying for your Golden.

I have a 13 year old named Sandy. He is a member of our family. He goes everwhere we go.

I noticed swollen lymph nodes last Friday. He had a biopsy yesterday and the vet found a tumor way back in his mouth. It has been sent to a pathologist, and we will get the results this Friday.

We are so worried, we are sick. He doesn't seem to feel bad, but I know how fast that can change with cancer.

I just found this web site and your story. I am so sorry. I will keep Mason and your family in my prayers. I know with the time God spent creating animals, he loves them as we do and he can heal them. Good Luck!

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