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Should I get Chemo for my dog?

Discuss Lymphoma, Hodgkins Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

Should I get Chemo for my dog?

Postby woodley90 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:26 pm

I have a Boxer mix that was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. I love her to death but the Chemo treatments can get very expensive. I have some money and a pretty good job, but, on top of my own medical bills and student loans, this would wipe me out. I struggled with being broke for a couple years recently and I'm not sure I can do that again (I'm talking about not being able to eat). She is only 6 but from what I have read the treatment will only give her a year max, average is about six months from what I understand, although her quality of life should be pretty good. If I do this I will be paying for it long after she's gone. Part of me says I can't risk it financially for a few extra months, but part of me feels terrible with putting her down so young. What would you do?
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Should I get Chemo for my dog?

Postby kulbart » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:29 pm

Chemo is different for dogs than it is for humans.

My previous then four-year-old dog was diagnosed with aggressive cutaneous melanoma & the treatment plan on offer was surgery plus four sessions of chemotherapy [carboplatin]

Few dogs have side effects & fewer still are so severe enough that the symptoms outweigh what could be gained.

My dogs SAILED through chemotherapy, was so relaxed he wasn't even sedated when it was administered by a drip & walked out the veterinary referral hospital following each session & hopped back into the car.

With his type of cancer the prognosis post treatment was six months to one year of excellent health, with no dog surviving for more than two years. He lived life to the full for all but FOUR additional years, & chemotherapy was anything but grueling.

If a treatment was not covered by my pet insurance cover I would take into consideration the dog's general health [cancer aside], how grueling the treatment would be, recovery period & whether or not it was in the best interest of the dog.
If it was, then I would pay for it on the zero interest credit card I keep for such an eventuality.

If you cannot finance the treatment then you have no option other than enjoy whatever time she has left & decide with the oncologist when to euthanize to prevent suffering.
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Should I get Chemo for my dog?

Postby riddock » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:34 pm

Honestly I haven't personally seen a lot of success with chemo for lymphoma.. lymphoma is one of the nastiest types of cancers out there, and even if it gave your dog another six months, is it worht putting them through the months of chemo to get it? Personally I would not do it, which is sad because my breed of choice is one notorious for dying of cancer. If it were one of my Berners I don't think I would do it for lymphoma.. if it were a different type of cancer I would.

So sorry for your situation.
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Should I get Chemo for my dog?

Postby stephanos6 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:47 pm

We too had to make this decision. Its very hard. You have to look at the dogs pain. Our dog was 14 and he survived 2 years without drugs.The time came when we had to do it and it was very hard but all I had to do was look at his eyes and I knew. I can't tell you what to do but you can make the most of his time left. You have to do what you feel is the best for the dog.
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Should I get Chemo for my dog?

Postby alberic44 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:54 pm

I would not put my dog through that. It is better to just put her to sleep. Give her a week or two of special fun and treats before having her euthanized. Lymphoma is not well treated with chemotherapy. My husband survived Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. My friend's Morkie, Heaven, died of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.
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Should I get Chemo for my dog?

Postby tristan » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:56 pm

my aunts boxer had cancer (not sure what kind) and they just let her live until it got too bad. I'm not sure what condition your dog is in right now but if chemo only gives her a year how much different is it than letting her just live her life until you feel it is too much for her?
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Should I get Chemo for my dog?

Postby arend » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:01 pm

I would enjoy a few weeks of extra fun with my dog and then put her to sleep. To spend that kind of money to give a year is not worth it in my opinion. It is money you could use on giving another wonderful dog a good home or on something worth while in her name.
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Should I get Chemo for my dog?

Postby garran » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:04 pm

If you put her under chemotherapy, her last year will just be miserable because of all the side effects that comes with it. You've already given her a meaningful life, just make the best out of her last few moments before you put her to rest. Best luck to you!
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Should I get Chemo for my dog?

Postby harman » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:15 pm

Put her down, its an ordeal (mentally and physically) even for a person. It's just cruel to put an animal through it when it doesn't understand whats happening. Let it go - it IS the decent thing.
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Should I get Chemo for my dog?

Postby albrecht » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:25 pm

Having been thru chemo myself, I would never put a do thru it. Let her live out her life until the quality of life is no longer good.
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