Originally Answered: What to do about a Dog with Lymphoma?
Your experienced in owning a dog, but how many dogs have you had with a serious illness, how many dogs especially young have you had to make to make a decision about euthanizing or have had to euthanize, the hardest part is of euthanizing is not the loss especially with a young dog, though it hurts like heck, but living with your decision, the guilt and the what ifs, that is the part of deciding to euthanize that hurts the most. It is easy for you to say let her go but it is not your decision to make and you are not the one that ultimately plays god with her life or the one that has to live with the guilt afterward, because their will be guilt a lot of it, if they listen and take your advice, and then they start asking what if's and the guilt starts eating at them, they will hate themselves for listending to your advice and may come to resent you as well. And it would be all the worse if they run into a dog that successfully made it through treatment.
Knowing their wishes try to be supportive even if you do not agree.
Are you aware lymphoma is common in goldens? and it is considered treatable in most cases especially in the younger dogs,
are you aware that radiation's purpose is to shrink a tumor? even with one treatment if shrunk down enough to help with her breathing(this is why your brother would be upset with you, as he knows at least it can buy her additional quality time at minimum , but mostly he hopes it can cure so she can live a full life and grow old)
Are you aware that successsive treatments may actually eliminate the tumor entirely ?? and though the tumor may affect her breathing through her nose ,most dogs mainly breathe through their mouths. Though it is uncomfortable for her she still can breathe okay as long as her throat is not blacked
Veterinary oncologists don't give false hope to owners, they tell you what it is involved, the options and what the risks are and chances of surviving and the cost , they are brutally honest, which allows owners to make well informed decisions, this is what they deal with every day, they support whatever decision the owner decides without judging
Dogs have many of the same types of cancer as humans which include lymphoma, the National Cancer Society has been pouring millions of dollars into animal clinical studies, so their is a lot of new treatments available that are at clinical stages, in hopes more can be learned thru trials on companion animals to find new ways to treat cancer in humans, The newest advancements in surgeries, medications, even sports injuries and therapies start on companions animals, racing greyhounds or race horses . I know OSU veterinary comparative on cology department has recieve 8.9 millions dollars for cancer research, and many other veterinary facilities also recieved funding for cancer research
In the case of experimental research studies on some types of cancers treatments can often be payed for in part, so worth seeing what it available
You may be able to help your brother find treatments at lower costs of further treatment for after the radiation is done since radiation alone is often not enough it is usually paired with a chemo type treatment (just as a note dogs don't have a severe the effects as humans) bone marrow transplants are also looking promising in dogs, THere are also trials looking for the gene that causes lymphoma hoping to find the same in humans so there are several clinical studies going on across the country, your brother may possibly be interested in participating in one of ongoing clinical studies maybe it will serve to help his dog, the future of other dogs or even a human down the road, If treatment does to prove successful for her, he will know that she did not die in vain that what they learn from her can one day help others with similiar cancer. Depending on the study they may only require the treatment vet to take sample or give the meds, other require you to go the facility where the research is laking place. A google search of dog clinical study lymphoma may turn up more places than in the link
27 years ago I had ovarian cancer surgery mother of a toddler at the time, I was one of the lucky ones that beat it, now have 2 grandchildren back then there was not the amount of technology and info known like today, my brother had prostate cancer surgery 22 years ago also underwent chemo, he has since had 2 children both now teenagers, 3 years ago lost my 9 year old greyhound to osteosarcoma unfortunately there is no cure for, my next 2 greyhounds will more likely die from it as welI , if no cure is found , one of my foster dogs lost a battle with hemangiosarcoma, also lost my grandmother to cancer. and recently a friends son died if it, I am no stranger to cancer, I know how evil it can be and I also know how common it is, with our companion animals it is worth the effort to try, even if they don;t make it because of what is learned in trying to fight it, my granddhildren or great grandchildren could very well be the next victims more answers and solutions are needed to ensure they too can have a chance of beating it