The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Cancer In Dogs The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Cancer In Dogs
Showing posts with label Cancer In Dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cancer In Dogs. Show all posts

Saturday, November 11, 2017

How To Prevent Cancer in Dogs

As Pet Cancer Awareness Month draws to a close, the takeaway is in preventative care. Although many types of cancer in dogs are genetically influenced and unpreventable, regular vet check ups and at-home examinations are the key to early diagnosis. There are also several lifestyle changes you can make for your pet to ensure they’re living life to the healthiest.

Also known as a wellness examination, your dog or cat’s yearly veterinary check up is not something to be missed. Many pet parents fear the fee from wellness visits, which isn’t covered under most pet insurance plans. According to Veterinary Centers of America, the largest pet healthcare provider in the country, your pet needs check ups at different rates depending on their life stage.

To read more on this story, click here: How To Prevent Cancer in Dogs


Monday, February 8, 2016

Warning Signs That Your Dog May Have Cancer

There are many symptoms that point to the possibility of dog cancer. Each one of these symptoms can be caused by another condition. However, if you notice your dog having a few of these warning signs at the same time, it's best you bring your dog to a vet for a check-up.


Collapsing is a major warning sign for dogs. This is because dogs are usually active and playful when they are awake. If a dog is always napping or sleeping instead of greeting you when you are near, it is a sign that there is something is out of the ordinary happening. Pay attention to the baseline of activity of your dog so that you will automatically notice when it is collapsing from lethargy.

And don't wait out to see if your dog is fine after some time. The symptoms of collapsing, lethargy, and weakness are usual signs of dog cancer. Bring it to a vet for attention as quick as you can. This is particularly true in the large breed dogs, like the Great Dane or Saint Bernard breeds. Even though they may collapse and seem fine the next time, it could be a sign that there's a tumor of the spleen.


It is quite rare for a dog to be cough. Though it can happen if something gets caught in its throat. For example, when it chokes on food or when a piece of fur or dust enters the dogs mouth. Also, some small breed dogs can develop coughs due to problems with their windpipes. We wouldn’t be too concerned if your dog only coughs once or twice every once in a while. Some dogs do that to clear the airways to their lungs.

However, if your dog is coughing continuously throughout the day for a few days in a row, bring your dog to a vet quickly for a checkup. It may be a sign that your dog has developed infections in the airway due to dirt, or grass that it sucked in. There’s also a chance that your dog may have bronchitis or pneumonia. Worst case scenario, your dog might have lung cancer.

Weight Loss

When it comes to dog cancer, weight loss is one of the top symptoms that vets tend to see. Just as sudden weight loss is a big health warning for human beings, it’s a bad sign for dogs as well. It is certainly good practice to weigh your dog on a consistent basis. This will give you a true measure of its weight as opposed to just trying to guess by sight.

The presence of gastrointestinal tumors can cause sudden weight loss in dogs. Dogs stop eating as much as they do because of these gastrointestinal tumors. And even if your dog eats as much as it usually does, it can still lose weight due to cancer. So no matter whether your dog belongs to a big or small dog breed, if you realize that your dog is losing weight either quickly or slowly, bring it to a vet for immediate attention.

Mouth Changes

When it comes to detecting oral cancer, your dog’s mouth offers a lot of clues. Oral tumors can grow quickly and spread around the rest of a dogs body. It is among one of the most challenging cancers to treat, so the earlier you detect it, the better. It is also more common amongst larger dog breeds compared to smaller ones.

Though you may not be as experienced as a vet, there are several tell tale signs that tell you that a dog potentially has cancer. Firstly, you can check for bleeding of the gum. This shouldn’t be too hard to spot, as traces of blood would be left on the ground or on the fur near its mouth. Secondly, look out for any unexplained loss of teeth. A weak gum would leave loose dog teeth and may eventually fall out of the mouth. Also, look out for swollen glands near the neck area. That’s where the lymph nodes of your dog are located.


Nosebleeds in dogs are another telltale sign that your dog may have cancer. Though, this cancer symptom is much more alarming for an older dog than it is for a young dog. Sometimes, a nosebleed could instead point to a condition known as coagulopathy. This is a condition where the blood has lost much of its ability to clot and could lead to continuous bleeding. Other times, it could be because there are tumors in the nasal airways that cause the bleeding.

For younger dogs, nosebleeds could occur when the there are foreign objects blocking the nasal airways. It may require surgery to remove those foreign objects. In any case, do bring your dog to a vet immediately if the nosebleed persists for longer than a day. There are a few options to treating nose cancer in dogs, one being radiotherapy. Though it does take quite a bit of time and investment, radiotherapy could well bring the spread of the cancer under control.

Diarrhea or Changes in Bathroom Habits
Occasionally, your dog may have diarrhea from eating the wrong foods. Dogs sometimes like to scavenge the table or floor for leftover foods and this can cause disease and infections in the intestine. The result is loose excrement. Besides infections from eating the wrong foods causing diarhhea, it could also be caused by dog cancer. Tumors in the intestine could be upsetting its functioning. So, if you find your dog having persistent diarrhea, bring it to a vet immediately. The vet will perform a diagnosis by performing a fecal examination. If not, the diagnosis can be done through either ultrasound examination or colonoscopy.

Vomiting is another cause for concern. Like diarrhea, vomiting could be caused by a dog eating the wrong foods. It could also be caused by intestinal tumors affecting the dog's digestive fuctioning. Another sign of intestinal tumors is if blood is found in a dog's urine or feces.


Discharge from your dog’s nose or eyes usually happens when there are foreign objects caught inside. Your dog’s immune system then secretes discharge to protect itself against the foreign objects. Sometimes discharge can also happen because of allergies. Infections could be another reason. The discharge that comes out is usually watery, but when it is a yellow-green color tone it could indicate an infection.

In rare cases, the nasal discharge is a sign of cancer. In this situation, nasal discharge is a symptom of facial tumors, whereas eye discharge is a sign of eye tumors. Monitor the discharge that comes out from your dog’s nose and eyes. If it comes and goes within the day, chances are that the discharge was due to a foreign object or a temporary allergy. However, if there is continuous discharge over several days, bring your dog to a vet immediately to have him checked.


Seizures are a neurological condition where there are unusual, uncontrolled spikes of electrical activity in your dog’s brain. Signs of seizure include sudden bursts of activity, like chomping and chewing, shivering, and foaming at the mouth. At times, they lose so much control over their bodies that they can unknowingly poop or pee during a seizure.

The main thing you should do when you see your dog having a seizure is to make sure it is not near any sharp objects or furniture near its head. Then, gently comfort your dog by stroking it’s fur. Never put your hand near its mouth when its having a seizure as it may unknowingly chomp on your hand. Seizures in older dogs may be a strong sign of dog cancer. If you have an older dog, or if you find your dog having constant seizures, bring it to a vet for a diagnosis immediately.

Skin Changes

If you see any lumps or changes on your dog's skin, it could either be benign or cancerous. When you see this, it's best to bring your dog to a vet to check on it. When you pet or touch your dog, take the opportunity to feel for lumps or swelling. You can even schedule in routine checks on its skin.

If you do spot something unusual on your dog's skin, the only way to tell whether it is benign or cancerous is to take a sample. So if you do spot something unusual, bring your dog to a vet quickly. Also take note of sores that don't heal or lesions that cause constant itching on your dog. They too could be a sign that your dog may have cancer. This cancer symptom is more common among older male dogs. So if your dog falls into that category, pay particular attention to its skin.

Weight Gain

If you see your dog rapidly getting bigger, it may be a cause for concern. Just as sudden weight loss may be a sign of cancer, so is sudden unexplained weight gain. Of course, it's important to know when the sudden weight gain is normal and abnormal. Normal causes of sudden weight gain could be a sudden increase in your dogs meal size. Another normal cause of rapid weight gain is if your dog has been under-exercising.

And when assessing its weight, be measure it objectively. Sometimes, our eyes play tricks on us. Your dog may look bigger at certain times of the day, especially after meals. So the best way to objectively know if your dog is suddenly putting on a few pounds is to routinely weigh it. If you do find that your dog has sudden unexplained weight gain, bring it to a vet immediately for a cancer diagnosis.

General Pain or Discomfort

If your dog is in constant pain and discomfort, it’s a sign of potential dog cancer. So how to tell if your dog is in pain? The most obvious indicator of stain is when the dog is vocal about it. If for no telling reason your dog starts to whine, it could be in pain. This is especially true if it whines when you’re near it. It could be trying to communicate it’s in pain to you. Another sign is if it is panting heavily when the weather is not hot or when it did not perform any strenuous exercise. Lastly, your dog could be in pain if you notice that it has lost its appetite to eat. Generally, dogs love to eat and have a good appetite for food.

When you constantly notice these signs that your dog is in pain, it is a cause for concern. Bring your dog to the vet immediately for an expert diagnosis.

Unusual Odors

Dogs are well known for having bad breath. A dog’s bad breath comes from the accumulation of bacteria in its mouth. It could also be due to bad digestion after a meal. But if you consistently smell unusually foul odors from your dog’s nose or mouth, it could be because there are tumors there. Other signs of mouth cancer include continuous drooling, swelling of the gum, and bleeding from the mouth.

Do check with a vet quickly when you notice these signs. An expert diagnosis is needed to ascertain where your dog has tumors in its mouth. Mouth cancer can spread quickly to other parts of the body so early detection does a lot of good.


Monday, January 4, 2016

A Couple Whose Dog Died Battling Cancer is Now Battling Stafford County and a Criminal Charge

A Virginia couple whose dog died battling cancer is now battling Stafford County and a criminal charge.

For about eight years, Travis and Aaren Evans say Buxton, their Labrador Retriever, was a part of their family. He even served as a volunteer dress-up friend to their 5-year-old daughter.

Travis Evans, who purchased Buxton, is now facing an animal cruelty charge, a Class 1 misdemeanor, after he brought Buxton in to a county animal shelter to be put down.

“I can’t have a misdemeanor on my record and try to keep a career to support my family. They can destroy my family," Travis Evans, a local government employee, said.

The couple told WUSA9 their 8-year-old Labrador Retriever had been fighting cancer.

“He was actually a good dog, we never had any problems with him until he had cancer," Evans said.

A few months before July of this past summer, Aaren Evans said Buxton had a biopsy done on an amputated toe. That is how doctors discovered the cancer. Travis Evans told WUSA9 by the time they got the results back, Buxton had another growth on his paw.

On July 2nd, Travis Evans said Buxton suffered a seizure but appeared to bounce back, so they did not take him to an emergency appointment Aaren had made.

Days later, the two said the 8-year-old lab was visibly weak. They said he was collapsing and decided it was time for euthanization.

On a tight budget, they chose to take Buxton to the Stafford County Animal Shelter, where the service is done for free for county residents. They claim, twice, Travis Evans was told they did not need to bring any documentation of Buxton's medical history.

Travis Evans went alone and said when he got to the shelter, a county animal control officer claimed the dog was seizing and soon after accused Travis Evans with not getting Buxton emergency care.

Depriving any animal of necessary food, drink shelter or emergency veterinary treatment is considered “cruelty to animals” according to a Stafford County code. But the couple says the shelter never told them to go to an animal hospital first and claims a shelter staff member lied about this in court.

“I’m up at night thinking 'did we do something wrong' because, at the first trial, they’re making us out to be monsters," said Aaren Evans.

WUSA9 called Stafford County for a statement but was told their animal control offices are closed on Sundays. The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office is also closed for the holiday weekend.

The Evans' attorney, Jason Pelt, told WUSA9 over the phone, the couple already knew their dog was very ill and added, "the Stafford County courts completely overstepped their boundary."

“He had cancer. That’s what happens to dogs with cancer. That’s awful ... And for this to be happening to us afterwards is awful," said Aaren Evans.

The couple's attorney appealed a judge’s ruling. Travis Evans will now go before a jury for Buxton’s death on February 23.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Canine Cancer Has Become a Dog Owner's Greatest Fear: Why Cancer Plagues Golden Retrievers

If a golden retriever gives birth, gets stung by a bee or sprayed by a skunk, veterinarians want to know.

Scientists are studying the popular breed to find out why their lifespans have gotten shorter over the years and why cancer is so prevalent.

The Colorado-based Morris Animal Foundation recently got the first lifetime study of 3,000 purebred golden retrievers up and running after signing up the first dogs in 2012. The nonprofit says the review of health conditions and environmental factors facing golden retrievers across the U.S. can help other breeds and even people, because humans carry 95 percent of the same DNA.

"Canine cancer has become a dog owner's greatest fear," said Dr. David Haworth, president and CEO of the foundation, which invested $25 million in the study. "You don't see dogs running loose that much anymore, we don't see a lot of infectious diseases, and the vaccines we have today are very good, so our concerns are warranted."

The vets haven't learned enough yet to improve or prolong the retrievers' lives, but key factors could lie anywhere, said Dr. Michael Lappin, who has 19 patients from Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, in the study. When he graduated from veterinary school in 1972, golden retrievers lived 16 or 17 years. Today, it's nine or 10 years.

Golden retrievers die of bone cancer, lymphoma and a cancer of the blood vessels more than any other breed in the country.

Lappin plans to get his families together in a few months to see if they have found ways to make life easier for their dogs, especially because the most helpful data about cancer, obesity, diabetes and other chronic conditions won't emerge for six or seven years, researchers say.

Early exams showed 33 percent of the dogs, which are 1 to 5 years old, had skin disease or ear infections; 17 percent had gastrointestinal illnesses; and 11 percent had urinary disease.

The dogs get medication to treat the conditions, but vets can't treat them differently because it would skew the results, Lappin said.

Marla Yetka of Denver says her nearly 2-year-old golden retriever, Snickers, joined the study and has been suffering from skin problems. Yetka uses oatmeal shampoo on her pet, but she's looking forward to talking with other participants about their remedies.

"I have too many friends who have lost goldens," she said. "Is it what we are feeding them, their environments, their breeding?"

Pet owners keep tabs on everything, from a move across country or across town, a change in climate or time zone, new children at home, different food or behavioral changes. Most keep journals so they don't constantly call the vets when their dog gets a thorn in its foot, eats a spider or devours a bunch of bologna if it tears into the groceries.

The vets collect blood, waste, and hair and nail samples annually to test if the dogs get sick, hoping to uncover a common thread or early warning sign among dogs that develop cancer or other diseases.

Doctors also check for changes in temperature, blood pressure, energy, diet, sleeping patterns or other factors that could explain illnesses.

"Everyone involved will feel the burden it will take to be able to say, 'I am playing a role in stopping cancer in these animals I love,'" Haworth said.

So far, seven golden retrievers have died of conditions such as cancer and gastrointestinal problems, and one was hit by a car, Haworth said. Another dropped out when its owner died. The dogs come from every state; about half are male and half are female; and half are fixed and half are not.

Those who brought dogs into the study, including both veterinarians, hope golden retrievers get a shot at the longer life they used to enjoy.

"I'm glad I found the study and feel in some small way, I might make a difference," Yetka said.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

6-Year-Old Police Dog, Nero, Beloved K9 at the Oviedo Police Department, Laid to Rest in Emotional Ceremony

Oviedo, FL -  Nero the beloved K9 German Shepherd, made a lasting impression on the Oviedo Police Department.

After 6-year-old Nero was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the department decided to put him down. On Friday, they laid him to rest at local animal hospital. His fellow officers had their hands up in salute and police dogs sat at attention, while Officer David Capetillo walked him for the last time. Nero was given a ceremony with full honors - a testament to the love and loyalty he exhibited during his time on the force.

Nero had spent the last four years of his life working as a police dog, proving himself as an invaluable member of the team. Training video shows just how agile he was, capable of easily bounding into the bed of a pick-up truck to attack a mock suspect.

"He and his K-9 officer, David Capetillo, are credited with numerous drug busts and are also credited with tracking numerous criminal suspects, lost children and missing, endangered adults," said Oviedo police in a statement.

Nero had also played the part of local celebrity. He and Officer Capetillo had performed demonstrations at several events throughout the year, said the department, including each of the DARE graduations at four elementary schools in the city.

Thank you for your service.

Oviedo Fl. police officer David Capetillo walks past an honor guard of fellow K-9 officers from the Central Florida area as he walks his partner, Nero, to the veterinarians office one final time. Nero suffered from cancer and was laid to rest on Friday March 20, 2015.  Ed Ruping, Oviedo Fire/Rescue

Oviedo Fl. police officer David Capetillo walks past an honor guard of fellow K-9 officers from the Central Florida area as he walks his partner, Nero, to the veterinarians office one final time. Nero suffered from cancer and was laid to rest on Friday March 20, 2015. Ed Ruping, Oviedo Fire/Rescue

Officers from the Central Florida area salute after Oviedo Fl K-9 Nero was laid to rest after four years of service to the City of Oviedo police department. Nero suffered from cancer and was laid to rest on Friday March 20, 2015. Ed Ruping, Oviedo Fire/Rescue

Oviedo Fl. police officer David Capetillo and his wife Lt Heather Capetillo walks past an honor guard of fellow K-9 officers from the Central Florida area. His partner, Nero, who was diagnosed with cancer earlier in the week was laid to rest on Friday March 20, 2015. Ed Ruping, Oviedo Fire/Rescue

Condolences on The Lake Mary Police Department Facebook page:

Asking for thoughts and prayers today as Officer D. Capetillo and his family say goodbye to Oviedo Police Department’s K-9 Nero . It was discovered that this sweet boy has an inoperable tumor on/in his heart. A gut wrenching decision was made to hold his paw while he crosses the bridge today. Officer Nero, we thank you for spending your days dedicated to your work and your handler. As the Capetillo and Oviedo Police Department deal with this loss, we send them our love and support.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lymphoma in Dogs

Canine lymphomas are a diverse group of cancers, and are among the most common cancers diagnosed in dogs. They collectively represent approximately 7-14% of all cancers diagnosed in dogs. There are over 30 described types of canine lymphoma, and these cancers vary tremendously in their behavior. Some progress rapidly and are acutely life-threatening without treatment, while others progress very slowly and are managed as chronic, indolent diseases. Lymphomas may affect any organ in the body, but most commonly originate in lymph nodes, before spreading to other organs such as the spleen, liver, and bone marrow.

What is lymphoma?
The term “lymphoma” describes a diverse group of cancers in dogs that are derived from white blood cells called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes normally function as part of the immune system to protect the body from infection. Although lymphoma can affect virtually any organ in the body, it most commonly arises in organs that function as part of the immune system such as the lymph nodes, spleen, and bone marrow. By far the most common type of lymphoma in the dog is multicentric lymphoma, in which the cancer first becomes apparent in lymph nodes.

Other common lymphomas in dogs include cutaneous lymphoma (lymphoma of the skin), alimentary or gastrointestinal lymphoma (lymphoma of the stomach and/or intestines) and mediastinal lymphoma (lymphoma involving organs within the chest, such as lymph nodes or the thymus gland).

What causes lymphoma in dogs?
Unfortunately, the cause of lymphoma in dogs is not known. Although several possible causes such as viruses, bacteria, chemical exposure, and physical factors such as strong magnetic fields have been investigated, the cause of this cancer remains obscure. Suppression of the immune system is a known risk factor for the development of lymphoma in humans. Evidence for this includes increased rates of lymphoma in humans infected with the HIV virus or are on immune-suppressing drugs following organ transplantation surgery. However, the link between immune suppression and lymphoma in dogs is not clearly established.

How is canine lymphoma diagnosed?
The best way to diagnose lymphoma is to perform a biopsy. A biopsy is a minor surgical procedure to remove a piece of lymph node or other organ affected by cancer. The most common methods for lymph node biopsy are Tru-cut needle biopsy, incisional wedge biopsy, or removal of an entire lymph node (excisional biopsy). The larger the biopsy sample, the better the chance for an accurate diagnosis of lymphoma.

We routine perform biopsy procedures to diagnose canine lymphoma at the Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital (PUVTH). Dogs are placed under heavy sedation or general anesthesia to perform a biopsy. Although discomfort associated with this procedure is typically minimal, we often prescribe oral pain medication afterwards just to be sure your dog is comfortable following the biopsy.

How is canine lymphoma treated?
The most effective therapy for most types of canine lymphoma is chemotherapy. In some cases, surgery or radiation therapy may also be recommended. There are numerous chemotherapy treatment protocols for dogs with multicentric lymphoma. As discussed below, most dogs with lymphoma experience remission of their cancer following treatment, and side effects are usually not severe. Currently, the protocols that achieve the highest rates of remission and longest overall survival times involve combinations of drugs given over several weeks to months. The protocol we use as a “gold standard” for the treatment of canine multicentric lymphoma is a 25-week protocol called UW-25. It is based on a protocol called CHOP that is commonly used to treat lymphoma in humans.

The UW-25 protocol may not be appropriate for all dogs with lymphoma. Different types of lymphoma may be treated with different chemotherapy drugs. For instance, the most effective drug for cutaneous lymphoma is thought to be lomustine (CCNU). The veterinary oncologists and oncology residents at the PUVTH will help you decide on a chemotherapy treatment protocol that is appropriate for your dog.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Never Allow A Veterinarian To Euthanize Your Pet Without A Second Opinion

I wrote this story back in January 2011. It tells what happened to me when my little shih-tzu, Domino became sick.

Today is January 23, 2011, and it is my Birthday. I am writing this story to hopefully help someone who may be going through what I experience with my dog, Domino a 12 year old shih-tzu.

Domino no longer goes to the groomers. He get’s so upset that he has a seizure, and I always received a call to come and pick him up. He is groomed at home. I have the equipment, and my son usually cuts him with me standing close by supervising.

On January 18th I decided that I could give him a haircut without my son. Why I started shaving him in the middle of his back, I don’t know…clearly I had no idea what I was doing! After shaving what looks like a large belt area around him, I realized that I should have waited for my son. I did notice that he started lying down on the table and would not stay standing. When my son saw it we laughed, and decided not to finish because he seemed to want to just lay down.

Later that day, I noticed that Domino was lethargic and he already hadn’t eaten in a few days. Since his Veterinarian was out of town, I made an appointment with a local animal clinic for the next day. I was given an 11:00 a.m. appointment and arrived promptly the next day.

We met with the Vet who asked us a few questions, and quickly took Domino off to a back room. I stopped him and showed him where I had tried to groom him. I did not want him to mistake it for hair loss. When the Vet returned we were told that x-rays were needed, of course, I agreed.

When the Vet returned he showed us the x-rays. He showed us a round item on the ex-ray that he explained was a “tumor on his spleen”. He kept pushing surgery, but also saying at the same time. “he probably won’t make it though the anesthesia, most don’t”.

When he saw my hesitation, he began to tell me that Domino will not make it through the night without the surgery…ah, didn’t you just say…“he probably won’t make it though the anesthesia”. Finally, realizing that I was not going to let him do the $2-$3 thousand dollar surgery, he said…"look just put him to sleep, get yourself $500 and go buy a puppy!” As his words registered in my mind…I asked God to numb my tongue! Fearing my response, my son, the Minister decided that we should leave. We paid our bill and left without so much as looking back.

I cried all the way home hugging my little Domino, who was looking at me as if to say, “Mommy what’s wrong?” After I arrived home, I got on the internet and looked for an animal hospital to get a second opinion. I found one, made an appointment for the next day.

I then called another animal hospital where my little Sugar had passed in 2008. To make arrangements for his cremation, believing that he was not going to make it through the night, I wanted to be prepared. I asked what I should do if he passes after they close at 6:00 p.m. I was then asked if I had a home freezer. I immediately asked, “do you mean a food freezer”, thinking …I know she is not suggesting that I put him in the freezer! She immediately corrected herself and said, “I am sorry, I did not mean to ask you that”.

I got off of the phone thinking why am I making cremation arrangements for a pet that is still walking around like normal? I was getting sick to the stomach from listening to her describe the different urns and the prices. I finally agreed to come in and pick up a brochure, which I never did.

Later that same evening, while sitting and wondering what to do next, I started thinking of what the Vet had said earlier. I was so upset, I was thinking what if he does die tonight? I called my son and decided to take him through emergency at the animal hospital.

We met with a Vet and made the mistake of giving him the release form from the first Vet. I also told him about the haircut and that it was not hair loss. You could clearly see that he had been shaved. Hair loss falls out in patches. He smiled and took Domino with him. Later another Vet came in, he was so young he looked like he was in training. He introduces himself and says “Domino has several tumors (now its several tumors not just one like the first Vet said) and he has blood in his belly”. I almost jumped out of the chair! I asked him to repeat himself and he did. I asked how he knew they were tumors without taking an x-ray…he told me he could feel them! He actually said, “I can feel the blood slushing around in his belly”. He then said that he stuck a needle in his belly and drew blood! He also told me that his heart, lungs and liver where fine. They never offered to draw blood! He immediately hands me this sheet with the surgery already totaled up. He then says, 80% is due now by credit card only, and you can pay the balance when the dog leaves the hospital.

I am sitting there about to hyperventilate, when the first Vet comes back in. The first thing he does is apologize for the Vet at the clinic where I took him earlier that morning. He called him by name and said, “while his bedside manner is not the best…he is a good doctor.” That’s when I realized that he knew the Vet that I had went to earlier in the morning. I am sure that it is not unusual for Doctors to know each other.

Without taking any x-rays or blood work, he began to tell me a similar story that I had heard earlier only he was a little kinder. He pushed the surgery and told me that he may live a day, weeks or a month after surgery…but definitely not 6 months. He then said “we can put him to sleep now or you can have your Vet do it.

I told him that if Domino was going to die, he was going to do it at home with me. He then said, “it might not be a pretty picture, he could start thrashing around and having a seizure”. He then said, if money is the problem, we can open him up to see what is going on, that would cost between $700 - $900. What! I am thinking…are you saying that for $700 - $900 you will open him up…then what? Does the $700 - $900 include closing him up!

My head was about to burst! I told my son to put Domino’s coat on him. As I was standing at the front desk ready to pay my second Vet bill for the day. I noticed in the little business card tray the same business cards that I had seen earlier in the animal clinic. I asked the nurse if they were associated with that clinic. She said yes. I had actually ended up in the hospital that was associated with the clinic that I had gone to earlier in the day. I had no way of knowing since they were listed under two different names.

Here’s what his release paper said:

Advised that animal should be pts (put to sleep) immediately.
Suggested surgery
Massive hair loss (What!…didn’t I tell you that I was trying to groom him!)
One thing both Vets’ noticed was that Domino was not in any pain or discomfort.

I arrived home and held Domino close to me. I said a prayer and I told God if you must take Domino, I will understand.

I was so traumatized…I had not eaten since breakfast, and had no plans on eating or sleeping. I slept on the sofa with my little Domino in his bed next to me watching him all night. I finally dozed off, and woke up frightened. I touched his little body and could feel him breathing.

I am still afraid to go to sleep at night, fearing that I may wake up in the morning and he has passed. I have left little Domino’s fate in God. He has the last say…not man. He is doing so much better. He is acting normal, but I am still having a little problem with him eating.

Some wonderful friends on my facebook page, “All Animals Welcomed”, suggested a appetite stimulant called Nutri-Cal. He has started eating a little.

I am still a little shaken not knowing what his regular Vet is going to find when I take him back. Please know that I can not reveal the names of the Clinic or Hospital. I will say that I will never enter either one of them again with any pet that I may have.

My happiest Birthday gift was when I woke up this morning and saw my little baby standing, waiting to go out and do his business! I still think what if I had made the wrong decision? I would have missed at least 5 days of life without him. I guess I would have never known.

By no means am I suggesting that all Veterinarians are bad. I have had my Vet for 14 years and there is some reason that I keep him. When I first met him I was bringing in my little Sugar, who crossed over the Rainbow Bridge in 2008. She was only about 6-8 weeks old. One of the things he let me know, was that he was not about money, but more about caring for your pet. He said, “Please bring her in for all of her shots, or if she is sick. Do not avoid it because you don’t have the money”, “I will always work something out with you”.

My little Domino crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on February 25, 2011. I had 5 more weeks from the time that the Vet suggested that I put him to sleep to spend with him. I was with him we he quietly passed. I chose to allow him to die at home.

I hope this story will help someone in making a decision on their pet’s life. Never allow a Vet to euthanize (to put to death ) your pet without a second opinion.