Vanessa has Cancer


Vanessa, our 13-year-old Chesapeake Bay Retriever, was diagnosed with cancer this afternoon.  She had been limping and not bearing weight on her right rear leg for about 1 week.  She had knee problems previously so we initially were thinking it was that.  But it seemed worse this time, more that her hip hurt than her knee, and her appetite has been off.  So Tom and I did talk about that it could be something worse like cancer to prepare ourselves for tough decisions.  Initially the vet thought it might be her knee since she had some instability there, but when he checked her hip, she was much more painful there.  So the above x-ray was done which shows a large mass off of her pelvic bone.  It is most likely an osteosarcoma.  The only good news was that there was no evidence of metastases to her lungs yet.  He said she could live 10 days or 10 months, and that uncontrollable pain or lung involvement would be the end point.  In the meantime we will make her as comfortable as possible with pain medications and spoil her rotten.  Vanessa is the best dog I have ever known, and I really want to do right by her.  Right now she seems happy, and I will do my best to try to keep it that way.  Here is an iPhone photo of her at the veterinary clinic.

Vanessa at vet

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18 Responses to Vanessa has Cancer

  1. Michelle says:

    I’m so sorry about this rotten news. I hope you can keep her comfortable and happy for awhile. I know it won’t be long enough, though….

  2. Donna says:

    Thanks Michelle! That is my goal.

  3. sheepsclothing says:

    so sorry. that kind of news is really hard to hear. give the girl a pat for me. I recommend mac and cheese for dog spoiling. with grilled chicken.

  4. Liz says:

    So tough, I’m so sorry. She’s a beauty! I went through this in 2013 with my 6 yo German Shepherd, Jack. We fed him bacon and peanut butter near the end; he loved it! Whatever time she has left with you, certainly won’t be enough for you two but it will be wonderful for Vanessa.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Liz! I will try it make it wonderful for her despite the pain and disability. And she will be getting bacon and peanut butter 🙂

  5. Mary Ann says:

    I’m so sorry, that is heartbreaking for you, I’m sure. She is beautiful.

  6. I am so sorry! Praying for you and your family two and four-legged! Melody

  7. Donna says:

    It is painful but we do get a chance to spoil her, not worrying about her diet, exercise, bathing, toenails. And we get to say goodbye. It sounds like Jewel doggie did OK. My only hope is that Vanessa’s cancer will not progress quickly or be too painful.

  8. Lois says:

    I am so very sorry Donna. Every second of their (always too short) lives is precious, and even more so when we know that the end is nearer than we had expected. Praying that her next months are happy ones, and that she can be as pain free as possible.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Lois! It is all very precious now. She wagged her tail today for a soup bone so I consider that a good day. Hopefully there will be some more.

  9. My heart aches for you as I know how difficult it is to get this kind of a diagnosis. I hope you find comfort and peace at this time and enjoy many, many good and memorable days.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Kim! I know you deal with this more than I have to and do so admirably. The vet called today saying that the radiologist thought it was more likely a chondrosarcoma or fibrosarcoma so may have a somewhat less aggressive course. He offered to do a biopsy but I would rather not. But the radiologist also thought there was evidence of metastases in the lumbar spine so that is not good news. We will just take this day by day and hope it is obvious when it is the right time to say our final goodbyes.
      I must say that posts and photos about Todd and your other dogs bring smiles to our faces so thank you!

  10. Jody says:,,and..your..sweet..furry..friend..Donna.

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