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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2808
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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Dr Jo, hope you remember me and the zeg, we were on 2 days

Customer Question

Dr Jo, hope you remember me and the zeg, we were on 2 days ago, about the big tumor at the base of the anus, OK got the results of the x-ray to see if the cancer spread, vet said lungs look good, but the lodes looked bad, we talked about an aggresive plan
but he said most likely not, since the lobes looked bad, i said what you told me about trying to clear the tumor out for the poop to run easier and he didn't want to do that my ??? are; 1. what do you think of not clearing a way , the tumor is the size of
1/2 a baseball now 2. i'm worried if we don't do anything about the tumor he might scatch it and bleed to death the vet give me pain pills and stool softers, stupid me forgot to ask forthe meds to delay the tumor from growing , they are bad about returning
calls but ill chase him around, im an ugly dog when needed
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.


I'm back online, and typing in a response now...

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

I'm so sorry to hear Zeg's lymph nodes look bad. I assume that means it looks like the cancer has spread to his regional lymph nodes. The unfortunate fact is that means no surgery will "cure" him of his cancer. Radiation and chemotherapy can be helpful in some cases, and you would need to have Zeg seen by an oncologist to determine if that would be the case.

The most likely reasons your vet did not advise doing surgery to "debulk" or reduce the size of the tumor in order to make it easier for him to poop would be:

  1. This is a more advanced kind of surgery than he is comfortable performing
  2. The tumor is too locally invasive and cannot be removed in such a way that would leave Zeg with a functional passage for poop

(typing more)

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

I understand you're worried about what will happen if nothing is done about the tumor. This is a really sad situation, and the outcome isn't going to be good in the long run.

It's quite possible that nothing can be done to help Zeg at this point. I'm sorry. It sounds to me that your current vet thinks Zeg's tumor is already too big and his cancer is too advanced for treatment to be helpful.

Your only option in that case is to seek a second opinion from a more qualified/experienced veterinarian. A board-certified surgeon and/or oncologist would be a good place to start. They're the most likely types of veterinarians who would be able to help Zeg.

I wish I had better news for you.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

Yes... it's true that Zeg might experience severe bleeding or other problems from this tumor. Bad things happen when you have inoperable cancer. It's a terrible situation to be in.

I'm glad you have pain medication for him. If this vet is correct that Zeg's tumor is too large and his cancer is too advanced to do anything about, providing him with pain relief and stool softeners are the only things you can do to try to buy him a little more time where he feels okay.

Depending on the exact nature of the tumor, there may not be any drugs that are likely to delay the tumor from growing. Again, that's information the pathologist or oncologist would need to provide your vet, based on the exact diagnosis.

I'm so sorry to be the bearer of this kind of bad news. My heart goes out to you.

It's quite likely that the most important thing you will need to do is be a guardian of Zeg's quality of life. You're up against a problem you're not going to be able to fix. That means you need to make sure Zeg doesn't suffer. If he cannot be kept out of pain or in a state where his quality of life is good, the kindest thing --- even though it's heartbreaking to consider --- would be to provide him with the unselfish, loving, and compassionate gift of humane euthanasia.

Struggling with a decision for euthanasia is one of the hardest thing any pet owner ever faces. There are some online tools to help with that. I'll provide a link to one example of one below.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

Please understand I do not mean to offend or upset you by mentioning the possibility (and likely inevitability) of euthanasia. I do so only because I want to be sure I speak for what is in Zeg's best interests. It sounds to me as if your vet has said Zeg's cancer is inoperable and has already spread. That means he cannot be cured, and that the priority now is keeping him comfortable.

I'm so sorry.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you, ***** ***** me with the rest of life, these is a bad time for zeg , i love him and will only think of his comfort, he loves sitting outside watching traffic and hid sister barking at evryody, i think correct me if i wrong but his appetize is still very good and won't that be one of the first to go ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
hello are you there ? your most likely dealing with many, must be popular cause you seem to have alot of compassion in these troulbed times. i'm hoping i'll have zeg for a couple of months, he's and i talked about his bucket list the other day, and its *****, *****'t think i can do the sky drive, everything else i'll make happen.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

Hello... sorry I wasn't there to respond last night. I'd gone offline shortly after completing my post.

I know your heart is breaking at this difficult time, and I'm glad you love Zeg so much. That will give you the strength you will need to carry on and care for him. His dedication to his favorite routines and rituals (like watching traffic) will be a key thing in allowing you to assess his quality of life, and it's good he's still enjoying those things.

You're correct that appetite is also a huge indicator of quality of life, but I will caution you to acknowledge that some dogs never lose their appetites. It's possible that if you rely on his appetite only, you may wait too long.

It makes me smile to hear you talk of his bucket list through the tears. It shows you've got the right attitude about all of this. After all, we all have to die at some point in time. Why not set out to die well, just as we try to live well. Good for you and Zeg.

My thoughts are with you.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.


How's Zeg doing today?

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Zeg. How is everything going?
Dr. Jo