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zeus may be nearing the end,, need answers please!
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Member Since:
6 October 2008
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14 October 2008 - 3:06 pm
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hi  everyone. i havent posted much on here. i think zeus is in his final stage of bone cancer. its only been a little over a month since hes had his leg amputated. he slowed down alot in the past few days, hes more tired and he has a cough associated with runny eyes and runny nose. his breatheing also seems to be differant. ive also noticed 3 new lumps on his body. i spoke with the vet over the phone and she says if its the cancer in his lungs thats causeing the symptoms than zeus may only have 4 to 6 more weeks to live. this is so heart breaking and i didnt expect him to loose his fight against cancer so soon. he hasnt had an x-ray since hes been diagnosed at the end of august. there was no sign of cancer in the lungs at the time but we all know that it very well could have been there, just too small to see. i cant afford to have him seen at this time so i was hopeing for some insight from some of you that have already lost a precious dog to this terrible disease.

have any of you had to deal with these symptoms and if so, how much time did your beloved fur baby have left?  any input would help a great deal. im sorry for asking these questions because i know it can be hard to relive. but i have nowhere else to turn and i thought that maybe someone in the group might be of help and willing to share thier storey. i would greatly apriciate it.

im not ready to loose zeus, hes a fighter and hes been so brave, i just think he deserves a fighting chance, a chance for a better, longer life.

 

completely heart broken,

-tara 

MI
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14 October 2008 - 3:14 pm
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Hello,

While I can't offer any advice on symptoms of the cancer spreading, I can offer my prayers that there is a chance that perhaps he has a cold and its not the cancer.  I'm usually an optimist, maybe too much of one, but you never know.

I'm anxious to see the responses also as I need to be aware of what to look for too.  Dexter's amp. was 3 wks. ago today and some days she looks tired and breathes hard and I worry.

My thoughts are with you and Zeus.

Sherri

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14 October 2008 - 3:22 pm
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Dextersmom said:

While I can’t offer any advice on symptoms of the cancer spreading, I can offer my prayers...


hi sherri! thanx for replying. im also hopeing its just a cold but he does have 3 new lumps and his breatheing is differant. when he first had his amputation done, i was also nervous with his breatheing because he would pant more easily but then i soon realized that its just because he has to work harder to walk now and  it does make them more tired afterwards but this is differant with zeus this time. hes not panting and he takes shorter breaths.

good luck with dexter!

-tara

Member Since:
21 March 2008
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14 October 2008 - 3:25 pm
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If you can't afford to have him seen by a vet, you are going to monitor him closely, and you are going to have to get him some medication to ease the pain.  I am sorry to hear about your dog.  I went through this, and there is no easy answer.  I ended up keeping my dog Ben until the end, spent a lot of money, but God still had other plans.

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14 October 2008 - 3:31 pm
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 Tara,

    You don't know for sure unless you get an x-ray. I went and had one done and paid for some of it and the rest I paid what I could when I could. It cost me about $180 for some peace of mind. Also by listening to his chest with a stephoscope can tell you if the lungs sound clear.... A good vet will work with you. Hang in there..

Kim&Buster

Kim & Angel Buster

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
–Anatole France

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14 October 2008 - 3:33 pm
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thank you knut for your reply. i still have pain meds for zeus that he is takeing. he doesnt even really seem to be in alot of pain but then again, he never really showed a "weak" side even after his biopsy and leg amputation. ive been watching him closely already and im hopeing maybe he just has a cold but sadly,my gut feeling tells me thats not what it is.

im so sorry you lost ben  Frown

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14 October 2008 - 3:38 pm
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hi kim! i know your right, an x-ray and check up would tell me what i need to know but i just dont have the funds right now and our vet does NOT take payments at all. we already spent ALOT of money on zeus and i dont regret any of it. im sure i can have him seen in about a week from now but my reason for posting this was to get some experianced insight.

thanx kim!

Michigan
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14 October 2008 - 3:48 pm
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I'm so sorry to hear Zeus is having these problems.  Please check and see if the vet will work with you on making payments.  Ours does.  Even if it isn't cancer it could be something serious like pneumonia.  If it is cancer in his lungs remember how long our dear Jerry lasted after he got lung mets.  At the very least the vet can give Zeus something to make him more comfortable and help with his breathing.. 

We will keep you in our prayers

Connie & Radar

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25 April 2008
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14 October 2008 - 3:53 pm
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You can see if he is running a temp.. to rule out infection. Sorry i can't be of more help...

"Adult Dog: 100 to 102.5 degrees F. (rectal) (Average: 101.3 degrees F).

 

Kim & Angel Buster

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
–Anatole France


Member Since:
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14 October 2008 - 6:25 pm
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I wish that Zeus felt better!  I agree that taking his temp is important.  A temp higher than 102.5 would be cause for concern. Most of the time lung metastasis causes shortness of breath, anorexia, and cough.  Runny eyes or nose is more compatible with a cold or allergies, but could be pneumonia. 

Have you tried talking to your vet directly?  If you can't pay today but can next week they might take a "hold check".  This means that you post-date a check for the day that it will clear.  Since you have already spent a lot with them I would be very surprised if they wouldn't work with you on this. It really is very important to get an xray to rule out metastasis versus pneumonia or other disease. He might just need antibiotics!

Pam and Tazzie

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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14 October 2008 - 7:58 pm
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Tara, we are sorry to hear he's having complications, but hold tight, take a deep breath, and let's see what can be done here.

We know how hard it is not to panic and think that a cough is "the" sign, but oftentimes it isn't the sign of the last stages.

Pam and Tazzie are right (remember, Pam is a vet). The slowing down could be caused by something as simple as a cold. You can start by taking a rectal temperature, and then going from there.

Here is our experience: "the cough" sounds very, very deep, like a bronchitis cough. It comes from deep in the lungs/belly, and sounds much different than one coming from the throat. How does his sound? Shallow? I had a cough many months ago, and it turned out it was allergies.

Zeus' breathing sounding labored...does it sound wheezy and as if there is stuff in his lungs, like when someone has bronchitis? That's what mine sounded like. If he is just panting and breathing heavy, it could be like you said, he's just working harder to get around. One month still isn't that long of a time to allow for a complete recovery. It took me slightly longer than that before I could play hard and not get tired too fast.

From what we have seen here, dogs that are in their last stages tend to slow down suddenly, within a week or so, and oftentimes its their back legs that give out right away. Mine did. Getting up to go potty gets tough. Walking more than 10 feet is exhausing. Those are some bad signs. How is his walking?

It's hard to self-diagnosis this, at the very least, get an x-ray. Ask your vet to post date a check, beg them to take a payment, go to another more sympathetic vet if necessary. But you'll drive yourself crazy until you know. Once you have an x-ray you can take it from there. 

Hang in there Tara, we are thinking of you and sending lots of love. You are doing the best you can do, and Zeus knows that. Love eachother well, things are going to be OK. We are here for you.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Wendy
12
14 October 2008 - 9:18 pm
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Tara,

I'm very sorry to hear about Zeus. We are going through the same thing with Henry. Two weeks ago today they discovered the cancer was in his lungs and gave him 6 to 8 weeks. Last friday we got another x-ray and the cancer spread in that short amount of time. Henry developed a cough and it almost sounds like he is gagging on something. Just going out to go potty tires him out. It's amazing how much he has changed in the last 5 days. We started Rimadyl tonight to help his back end out and he is getting weaker. Everything is happening so much faster than we thought it would. I wish you all the best

Wendy

On The Road


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14 October 2008 - 9:37 pm
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Wendy said:

We are going through the same thing with Henry.


Wendy, we are deeply sorry to hear about Henry. It's so heartbreaking, we know it's not easy to cope with, but for his sake, try try try your best to stay strong, and make sure that the time you have left with him is one filled with love and hugs. Like my Dad said to my Mom when I was very ill, "there's plenty of time for crying...later."

One thing that did help alleviate things for my cough, was Robitussin and Prednisone. It did work for a while, and allowed a few more quality weeks together. Did your vet recommend any of these? Just a thought.

We send our love to you, Henry and your family. Be strong my friend. We are thinking of you.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Sandra Thomas
14
14 October 2008 - 9:45 pm
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I'm so sorry to hear that your dog, Zeus, is having some problems.  A good question to ask yourself is, if the x ray were free, would you do it?  It is possible that you really may not want to "know".  As for me, waiting for those test results is agony.  Every time my dog, Luna, had a test, I was on pins and needles waiting for the test results, because I knew that those results could literally mean life or death.  I think that often the people taking those tests and reporting those test results have no idea what emotional suffering you go through just waiting for those results.

I agree with Jerry, and others in the forum, who are advising you to get the x rays done.  At least it will give you a better idea of what was going on.  When we had Luna's chest x rays redone four weeks ago, the nodules in her lungs had doubled in two weeks.  That told us that at that point, the cancer was moving very aggressively.  Combining that knowledge with her "new" symptoms of stumbling and staggering, and we knew something was going on. 

As for the payment of the testing to the vet, I think looking for another vet who will work with you and give you a payment plan would be a great idea.  Sure, there are a lot of vets out there who won't do that, but there are others who will.  Make some phone calls and see what you can find out, it can't hurt to make some phone calls and you might find someone who could help you.

The other thing is that whether you use your current vet, or a new vet, it is important to have a "game plan" in place with the vet, or at least in your own mind, of what you would do in various situations.  I discussed these topics with our local vet right after Luna got her diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma.  Find out if the vet will come to your home and if so, what he would charge to do that.  Shop around if you have to, use the phone.  I know it's bad enough having to think about these things without "shopping around" but it might be the best thing you can do for your dog to be "prepared", just in case.   The one thing you don't want for your dog is for your dog to suffer.  Your dog won't suffer if you are prepared and have a compassionate vet on "stand by" to help you if you need it.

I agree, too, that sometimes symptoms can be something else.  At one point, we thought Luna was "dying" because she was acting so strangely.  She was whining and whimpering, we thought she was in pain.  So, did the vet, based on our account of her symptoms.  Luna would frantically go from one room into the next, and in and out of the dog house in the yard, and wasn't eating.  I was very worried.  This was after her first surgery to remove the femur bone from her right hind leg, but before her amputation.  At that point, we were just waiting for the inevitable.  When these symptoms showed up, I figured that this was "it" and that she was in the final stage somehow.  So, did the vet, and she gave us some very strong pain meds, including a Fentanyl pain patch.  They won't give you this patch to take home, they have to apply it at the vet's office which means shaving a little place on the skin so the patch will stick.  They figure you might use it instead if they just hand it to you.  At any rate, after a short while on the patch, Luna started staggering around.  The medication was too much for her, and that was what was making her stagger, but that still didn't explain why she was having these symptoms.  The vets did all kinds of tests on her, chest x rays which were ok, abdomenal ultrasounds were ok, bloodwork was ok.  Then we figured out what we thought was going on after we got her home.  Luna was in  heat and was going through "pseudo pregnancy".  She thought she was pregnant, or already had had "pups" and was running around trying to find a spot to "nest".  She also was carrying her toys around in her mouth constantly and putting them together around her.  I have a pet owners vet book which is excellent and we looked this condition up and it said to try squeezing her nipples to see if she had milk . We did and she had milk!  So, we had finally figured out what was going on (Luna was only 2 and a half years old at that time).  I called the local vet and told her what we had discovered and she said that she thought we were "right on the money".  So, that story goes to show you that we thought it was something bad, but it ended up being something totally harmless.  We had sat in the vet's office all afternoon, for five hours, while they did all of these tests on Luna since they had worked her in on an emergency basis.  I know I could have gone home, but I wanted to be there for the results and just be "near" her in the waiting room.  When the vet came in to tell us the results, I really thought that she was going to say that things were really bad and that we should put her to sleep right then and there.   It was a miserable and emotionally painful afternoon full of worry.  In the end, Luna was ok and could go home.  She had not been in pain and hadn't even needed that pain patch, but no one knew what was going on.  So, of course, testing can help show what is going on, but it can be costly.  So, I would say at least the chest x rays would be in order, with a vet who will work with you on payments.

Please keep us posted on how your dog, Zeus, is doing.  My heart goes out to you at this time; the worry is so hard to go through. 

Sandra

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14 October 2008 - 11:43 pm
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tazziedog said:

I wish that Zeus felt better!  I agree that taking his temp is important.  A temp higher than 102.5 would be cause for concern. Most of the time lung metastasis causes shortness of breath, anorexia, and cough.  Runny eyes or nose is more compatible with a cold or allergies, but could be pneumonia. 

Have you tried talking to your vet directly?  If you can’t pay today but can next week they might take a "hold check".  This means that you post-date a check for the day that it will clear.  Since you have already spent a lot with them I would be very surprised if they wouldn’t work with you on this. It really is very important to get an xray to rule out metastasis versus pneumonia or other disease. He might just need antibiotics!

Pam and Tazzie


hello pam and thank you for replying. i think i may go ahead and see if the vet will take a post dated check.  i would love for zeus to have an x-ray done to see whats really going on. im also worried about the lumps that he has developed.  i have spoken with the vet prior to reading these replys and she said the same thing you are saying. it could be the cancer in his lungs thats causeing the symptoms but it can also be an infection or a cold. she really wants to see him and shes anxious to check out the lumps as well.

tara

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