My Poor Boy has Lymphoma

My Poor Boy has Lymphoma

by Jenny

My mixed breed dog, Harpur, has just been diagnosed with Lymphoma after 5 weeks of various symptoms. I can't describe how I feel other than heartbroken.

I found him in an animal shelter 10 years ago when he was about 2 years old and we've been companions ever since. Apart from the occasional bouts of sickness, he's been a healthy, happy dog.

Around 5 weeks ago, his face suddenly became swollen around his nose area and he was panting more than usual so I took him to the vets. The vet suspected a bite allergy so prescribed him a course of antihistamines. The swelling finally went down after about a week, but then his ears became very sensitive, hot and slightly swollen. I also noticed the usually smooth fur on the top of his head had a tufty appearance and when I investigated, his head felt bumpy. Concerned, I took him back to the vets and had his bloods tested. Unfortunately, there had been an error with one of the test results so at this stage, I only got the results of the liver and kidney function which were all fine.

The vet still suspected an allergy but Harpur was developing more and more symptoms as the days went on, including: runny nasal discharge (which was mostly watery but twice became thick and greenish), dry crusty nose and a dry non-productive cough.

At this stage my concerns were growing and started to suspect an infection. The vet gave him a shot of antibiotic and advised I monitor him. There wasn't any improvement and by this point (last week) he'd become quite lethargic, had visibly lost weight, his panting had become excessive, his breathing rapid and was looking really sad and fed up.

I took him back to the vets yesterday and had all his blood work redone (including the ones where the error had occurred)and booked him in for an x-ray and ultrasound which he had done today.

The x-ray showed he has an enlarged liver and spleen and the ultrasound showed his lymph nodes are swollen. The bloods showed his lymphocytes were off the scale at 80%, all consistent with lymphoma. I'm now waiting for him to come round from his general anaesthetic so I can go pick him up.

I have some impossible decisions to make. I can't quite take it all in at the moment so I came here for some advice and support. I feel heartbroken at the thought I don't have long left with my beautiful boy.

Thank you for reading.


(Submitted Tuesday, May 21, 2013)

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Dec 07, 2013
I know how you feel
by: Anonymous

I have a mini schnauzer whom I love dearly. She is not yet 7 years old. I am so disappointed in the number of responses I've read on this and other sites re dogs being misdiagnosed by vets.

My girl was diagnosed with lymphoma on 11/25/13. This was after being told that she was overweight by a local vet (the 2nd one I'd seen). I had taken her to a new vet at the beginning of Oct because I noticed she was bigger on one side than on the other. He took x-rays and said she had a slightly enlarged liver. He prescribed Science diet hepatic food and Denosyl.

Her abdomen got larger so I took her to the 2nd vet mentioned above. I knew she was not overweight so to the 3rd vet I went. My regular vet for many years had died so I was looking for a new one. The 3rd vet looked at her paw (because she was limping) and said she needed more x-rays on her abdomen which I didn't have the funds to pay for at the time. 6 days later I took her back for the x-rays and her liver was very swollen and she was having trouble breathing. He said I needed to immediately take her to the emergency clinic which I did. That vet looked at the x-rays and said they would try to get some fluid off her abdomen to help her breathing, and later said they weren't able to get enough but the little they got they did screen and came back with the lymphoma diagnosis. They said it had spread and there was nothing I could do without having an ultrasound (cost of $600.00), or just take her home until she began to suffer then put her down. They also said she probably wouldn't last much more than 3 weeks. They did nothing else.

I took her back to the 1st vet and he drained lots of fluid off her abdomen, gave her a shot of Laisk and some pills to help her breathe. None of which was done at the emergency clinic, go figure. I guess you need to have lots of money to go there or they don't care.

It has been less than a week and thanks to taking her back to the 1st vet, she is breathing better and her abdomen has gone down. If she in fact does have lymphoma (her fluid did have a pink tinge which means there is some bleeding) I don't know how long I will have her but I won't let her suffer. She has never been sick a day in her life.

I am praying for her every day.

May 22, 2013
So sorry
by: Mary Ellen

I am so sorry to hear about your dog who has Lymphoma.

I too lost my beautiful Chocolate Lab Coco who was 9 years old. He had Lymphoma and Leukemia. He was our best friend. We also tried medicine and watched him lose weight got sicker.

When we found out he did not have long to live and we did not want him to suffer any more we had no choice but to put him to sleep and end his suffering. It was the hardest decision we had to make but the humane thing to do. He will never be forgotten and will always be with us. The best dog we ever had.

When pets start losing their quality of life the best choice is to end their suffering. Your pet will let you know when it is time - ours did.

Hope this helps a little.

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