Lost My Boxer to Liver Cancer

Lost My Boxer to Liver Cancer

by Stephen
(Columbus, OH)

I lost my 8 year old Boxer (Madison) on July 8, 2010.

In January this year, I found out that my dog's brother had died of liver cancer so I had been watching for signs.

In April the first thing I noticed was that Madison was gaining weight so I took her to the vet and found her liver count was very high. I kept watching her and she lost weight over the next month which I had expected. She had developed a constant thirst and therefore excessive urination.

I took her back to the vet the first week of June and her liver counts were more than double what they were on her last visit. Given the history of her brother I knew what I was facing. She had become lethargic and was beginning to lose muscle mass in her back legs to the point that she couldn't get into the car by herself. Her thirst had become insatiable and she would drink as much water as I would give her. She also had begun to sleep on the cool, hard ceramic tile in the foyer rather than on carpet in my bedroom as she had always done. I knew the end was near.

Finally, last Monday she wouldn't eat and for the first time in months didn't drink all the water I put out for her. It was obvious the time had come and I called the vet. The vet agreed that she was in pain and ready to be put down.

It was the hardest decision I've ever made yet it was the most unselfish because I was doing what was best for her. I called my kids and it was heartbreaking to watch them tell her goodbye for the last time. We were all crying and hugging her and then we got her treats out and decided to have her do her tricks one last time. She did them all and we spoiled her as much as we could. She ran out of energy and that confirmed for me that I was doing the right thing. I could even see it in her eyes.

The vet came in the next morning on her day off to put Madison down and I sat there and held her and cried like a baby. Then I brought her home and buried her in the yard where she loved to run.

This house is so cold and empty now and I still expect to see her when I walk in the door... I know how all of you feel who have gone through this with your dog. It's a horrible thing to go through but she is much better off now.

God bless you all.

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Jan 05, 2018
My Beautiful Bailey
by: Lesley Wilson

When I read your story it was as if I wrote it myself.

My sweet little Daschund has just been diagnosed with this devastating disease. The only thing missing was my girl has a bloated tummy and the amount of water she was drinking. That is why I took her in. I set my alarm so I can let her out a couple times in the night.

Thank you for your honest evaluation of your dear Boxer. I am so sorry as I will be too, but I will not let her suffer as hard as this will be, because all my heart will go with her when the time comes. She goes everywhere with me.

Jul 16, 2016
Just got the news
by: Jeroen

I took my boxer, Mosh, to vet today to have her sterilized ... one hour later the phone rang ... the vet had found a tumor, the size of a grapefruit, on her liver, so she did not get sterilized. We just went over to take her home as soon as she was awake and up and running and she ran to us with that large smile on her face, all happy to see us again.

What a day, still can't believe it! We adopted her a year ago and yet my heart is breaking up like it never did before!

She's only 6 years ... way too young!

Reading these posts sure helps me to learn what I need to watch but having her put to sleep is gonna be close to impossible! I don't want her to go! Also, reading these post I know that the time we have left is very limited.

She drinks and urinates a lot, sleeps on the cold floor, but she eats well, still plays like a puppy, likes to go walking and running but best of all she has no pain ... yet! This being my first dog, how do you tell when a boxer is in pain? They just don't show that. Any guidelines will be helpful.



Apr 08, 2014
by: Tony

We were told today that our beautiful boxer Lottie has a mass on her liver, her 10th birthday is 14 May.

The symptoms and speed are all as everyone else has described our sadness is indescribable. She has brought great pleasure and love to our family and friends and will leave a massive void but many happy memories.

We won't let her suffer or watch her waste away but we will be with her to the end of her journey thanking her for the unconditional love she brought to our lives.

Sep 07, 2013
My Best Friend Buster P. Brown
by: Scot

I just found out yesterday my boxer and best friend Buster has 2 large masses in his liver. He has been my best friend, my buddy and my pal for the last 11 and a half years. I can't even begin to tell you how much he means to me.

I have read all of your stories and my heart breaks for all of you just as much as it does for my friend. Right now he doesn't show any signs of being sick, but I know what is to come and feel helpless because the tumors are so big and they are in a bad place to remove. He has been on a wellness plan his whole life and we have been to a specialist. I have given him medicine, special foods and there is just nothing else I can do to save him.

I know the end is close, but I look at him now seeming so healthy and happy, I just can't imagine coming home and not having him greet me with his normal butt wiggle and face licking.

I just write this to say THANK YOU to my best friend Buster P. Brown. Thank you for picking me up when I needed it and never complaining even when you didn't feel good. I will cherish the time we have left and I will never forget you.

Jul 13, 2013
My 7 year old boxer Harley
by: Anonymous

My 7 year old boxer has always been in perfect health until about a week ago. Only within the past few days he has lost appetite, throws up constantly, and just lays on the ceramic tile all day long. He has trouble getting up because his back leg seems to be giving out on him. He has been back and forth to the vet all week and they still cannot tell if he has a mass in his liver until his swelling goes down. It's killing me to know whether or not he's in so much pain.

He's our big teddy bear of the family and I don't want to let go. The vet says if the antibiotics don't kick in in the next 2 days that it would be best to put him down...I'm still hoping for the best. Prayers needed.

Feb 27, 2013
I understand
by: Anonymous

10 weeks ago I had to put down my soul-mate and best friend, Skippy, my 15 year old Lhasa. I cry for him like a baby every day. He had a liver tumor. I feel like I lost a child. I am so sorry about Madison. We have to be thankful for the time we had with our pets, and trust that they are waiting for us in heaven. No matter what, Skippy gave me a lifetime of joy for every tear I've cried.

Take care. I understand completely.


Sep 10, 2012
Our Beloved Bucko
by: Anonymous

We lost our Laddiebucks (cross collie) on Saturday who we think was 15 but are not sure as he was mistreated and followed me home when I was pregnant with my eldest son, he chose us.

He had very much the same symptoms as the other poor things, loss of weight, appetite, increasing thirst / urination, pale gums and his back legs were becoming weaker which we thought was arthritis. He also had lumps which we were told were harmless fatty lumps.

He would sleep on the coolest floors tiles/ wooden flooring with his legs splayed. I initially thought that he must have had diabetes but when I took him to the vet she told me that the pale gums were a sign of something more serious going on. We were devastated to find that he had liver cancer after blood tests and x-rays were taken.

On Friday night his back leg and front paw kept going into spasm and for the first time through the night he was crying in pain. On Saturday he just couldn't stand up and we knew it was time to let our best friend go.

Up to the end he was our Bucko still trying to run for his ball, pull the socks off my husband's feet and sit in the middle of the kid's lego if he felt he wasn't getting enough attention.

The house feels so empty without him - he even picked the house we lived in. We are distraught but after reading this website I feel that we have done the right thing, maybe not for us, but for our baby dog.

Sleep well Bucko xx

Mar 15, 2012
by: Barbara

My sweet husky girl just turned 12 and was diagnosed with liver cancer today. I am devastated. The vet said another month or two. How can it be that fast? While she has had some problems lately she still eats pretty good and always wants her walk. Always has kisses for me. I am going to miss her like no other pet I have ever had.

Feb 18, 2012
Thomas is at peace in heaven
by: Rosy

Today I put my precious dog Thomas to sleep. He was 13 and a half. He had liver cancer and also some small lumps in the chest area. He wasn't vomiting but was panting and I thought it was due to the heat. He was still walking but his appetite was less than it normally was. I thought it was his kidneys as he had renal disease also, which was diagnosed a year ago. I took him to the vet today and was shocked at what the xray results said.

I spent a couple of hours with him and took him for a walk outside where he smelled the trees and poles. I also gave him lots of cuddles and kisses, and stayed with him while he was put to sleep.

He is at peace now and in heaven with my mum and dad and Garfield.

Jan 11, 2012
Zoy Suey
by: Carrir

I just found out this evening that my loving, great tempered dog, Zoe, has a mass in her liver. A few weeks ago we thought she hurt her back, because she was losing control of her back leg, so I took her in to get it checked out by the vet. The vet did a complete blood test and x-rays. Turns out she did hurt her back, but she also had something strange on her heart. Her blood was normal.

The vet put her on pain pills for a week, then prednisone for the back issue. During that week she began to lose weight.

One day after she started the prednisone, she began vomiting a lot. She vomited all weekend and had an incredible thirst for water, but she would vomit every time she had a drink. So, we limited her water intake, but she was determined to get water - she tried to get it from the birdbath and the bathub.

On Monday, she went back to the vet and got fluid. She had lost ten pounds. Tuesday she went back and got more fluid and an ultrasound. That's when they found a mass, most likely cancer. She also had another blood test and this time her liver levels were really high.

Zoe is 12 years old, so she's lived a great life. She loved kids and her first instinct was always to lick you silly - even when you annoyed her. But the end came fast, paying attention to tiny changes in your dogs behavior, like walking slower, moving different, sleeping different, or eating different should start off an alarm. Now that I look back, they was probably several small things that might have been clues.

Jan 05, 2012
by: Sherri

I found out this week that my 9 1/2 yr old boxer Davidson has liver cancer.

I have been noticing some weakness in one back leg, but I thought it was back pain and brought him to the vet to see if they could give him a shot or something. The vet seemed to know immediately what was wrong. He said it could be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

I have had Davie as we call him since he was 6 wks old, along with his sister Harley. I don't know what I am going to do without him. I know Harley is going to miss him too. He is the perfect dog. The vet told me one day he will just not want to get up, and then I will know it's time. I just do not know what we are going to do without him.

Dec 21, 2011
Lost my sweet dog to liver cancer today
by: Mary

Skipper was nearly 11 years old. He had a couple bouts with intestinal infections this year but two weeks ago he got sick again, we treated him for infection again but he did not bounce back and got worse, much worse. At first we thought it was side effects from anitbiotics - he threw up a lot, lots of diahrea, was getting tired and was drinking a lot of water way more than normal and going out to pee more than normal. He would like to lay on the cold ground or cement, I thought to cool his tummy and make him feel better.

I talked with the vet this morning and brought him in. Since he had lost a lot of weight and muscle mass, we decided to put him down. After we did the vet came in and said he had a tumor on his liver. He showed me where to feel for it, it was a hard lump of a mass.

I am glad we got Skipper to the vet to help him go on. I am shocked as to how fast this thing moved on him - till even last week he did not complain but tried to live normaly even to go on walks. He never showed like he was in any pain. The vet said he more or less felt like we do with the flu, just tired and icky feeling.

I will miss Skipper so much.

Dec 08, 2011
8 year old weimaraner
by: Anonymous

We just lost our 8 year old weimaraner to liver cancer today.

He had rapid weight loss, and quit eating and drinking and started throwing up all the time. Took my poor week and lethargic boy to the vet this morning. The vet said he needed to be put down and he actually passed on his own before the vet could euthanize him.

He had lots of fattty tumors over the past 3 years but was told they were not cancerous.

Looking at all of his symptoms I should have been more aware that something serious was wrong.

I will miss him greatly.

Sep 16, 2011
Rest In Peace My Dear Milo
by: Shelagh

On Wednesday, we said goodbye to our little hero, Milo.

He was about 12 (we don't know for sure, b/c he was a rescue), and a handsome fiesty black and tan dachshund.

He began vomiting about a month ago. Blood work indicated elevated liver enzymes, and later, pancreatic involvement too. He had always been a chowhound, so we knew that when he lost his appetite, it was serious. He became jaundiced, and also seemed to be in discomfort. I thought we should be able to do more for him, but he didn't respond to any of the drugs (antibiotics, prednisone), and they decided by process of elimination that it was some kind of cancer. His liver became so enlarged it was crowding out other organs; in the meantime, he was losing weight because he couldn't eat. In less than a month, we were looking at euthanizing our dear friend of 9+ years.

We made the decision to put him to sleep to spare him the suffering. It is one of the most horrible and painful things I've ever had to do. I will never forget those last moments, no matter how hard I try. I am sorry to all going through similar things.

May 05, 2011
Sheltie Diagnosed Today with Liver Cancer
by: Angie

My sweet 12 year old Sheltie was diagnosed today with liver cancer. Vet originally was sure it was Cushings, so after repeated blood test and then an ultrasound today, confirmed she had 3 large mass tumors on the liver.

Same symptoms as others have posted. Loss of appetite, excessive water drinking/urination, lethargic, loose stools.

I'm still in shock. I'm hoping she can live for a few more weeks pain free.

This will be one of the hardest things I've ever had to go through. She's my best buddy and my life will never be quite the same without her.

Mar 17, 2011
Ali a loving dog (boxer 6 yrs and 10 months)
by: Clementina Lunar

Yestarday we found out our beautiful and loving boxer has liver cancer, he is very lethargic and tired.

Ali got sick in December of last year but after taking medication he got better. My son, Ali's owner, moved to San Francisco to attend school. Ali got even more lethargic. I thought he was upset because my son left and the symptoms came back.

We decided to celebrate his legacy by throwing a birthday party to gather the people who care about him and, at the same time, to help us to get through this difficult time.

Jan 07, 2011
My beloved Ty
by: Anonymous

I lost my beautiful, sweet Collie Ty today to liver cancer. For about a month he was lethargic, ate very little and drank excessive amounts of water. The first vet diagnosis was bronchitis because of a chronic cough.

Ty was about 8 years old (he was a rescue) and was the best dog. I wish I had been able to get an accurate diagnosis earlier but, after reading this website, I guess it wouldn't have helped in the long run. Be watchful for the symptoms and get a seond or third opinion. I feel so guilty as I write this through the tears.

Oct 09, 2010
My Ella
by: Anonymous

I have a border terrier who I adopted a year and half ago after she was rescued. Sadly on Tuesday past she was diagnosed with liver cancer. The vet operated but they could not get to the tumour. I am now coming to terms with what I have been told and I am dreading the day that I have to make the most difficult decision for her.

Sep 22, 2010
Sabre 1993 - 2010
by: Terry

Our 13 Y/O American Eskimo was just diagnosed this week with cancer of the Liver with possible kidney involvement. He has lost his appetite and we are continuing to look for new ways to entice him to eat. We are also having difficulty with getting him to take fluids. We are devastated with the thought of losing our boy.

Aug 03, 2010
My Lola

I just lost my 8 year old boxer Lola today! Same situation. Almost could have been a carbon copy! I am sad to say it was very hard coming down the stretch... I will miss her little booty shake and her unconditional love!

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