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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 15138
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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Our boxer had lung cancer in February with lobe and chemo to

Customer Question

Our boxer had lung cancer in February with lobe Tony and chemo to follow due to staging of the cancer. Three weeks ago we noticed her head to be slightly tilted she was started on ear drops because ear tissue showed some bacteria and yeast . We were away for a week with the dog sitter initiating the drops. Our vet saw her the next week and thought she might have had a slight stroke. Few days later she was coughing and got up to have her legs give out. She laid there for five minutes and then got up like nothing happened. We called the vet and he said her bp might have dropped and recovered. She was fine eating playing no problems. Three nights later we went to bed she climbed in with us. 2 am or so she got up jumped off the bed she collapsed we got up immediately and she was awake lying on her side we waited 20 min then picked her up out her in bed. She was alert and 10 times attempted to get up with her front legs then just laid back down . At this point she just laid there picking her head up breathing was deeper I checked her gums due to she appeared to loose coloring in face and felt cooler. Her gums we're loosing color and I knew she was dying within hour and half from jumping off the bed she passed. Maggie was 10 yrs old and we know boxers life span can be shorter. We thought she was doing great post lobectomy and chemo. What is your impression ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.


I am so sorry to hear about Maggie's passing. What a shock that must have been. My sincere condolences.

My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.

I see staging was done when the decision was made to do lobectomy and chemo. What tests were done to do the staging: abdominal ultrasound, chest Xrays, brain scans?

What kind of lung cancer did she have?

When we see things like head tilt, her legs giving out, and then the final terrible episode of collapsing and dying, it can be due to neurologic (brain and spinal cord) problems, or heart problems (weak or irregular heart beats that cause a decrease in the oxygen supply to the brain). Blood clots and blood pressure abnormalities may also be the problem.

She may have had a heart problem, and was having episodes of "syncope", not enough blood and oxygen to the brain. Another possibility is that her cancer spread to her brain and caused these episodes, and her death. It would help to know what kind of lung cancer she had; some lung cancers are more likely to spread to the brain than others.

I am so sorry for your loss, my deepest sympathies. Please let me know what else I can answer or help with. Rebecca

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Maggie had primary lung tumor mast cell bx showed high grade so we did chemistry post op vet and oncologist did testing to make sure it was a primary tumor before we proceeded to surgical intervention. Her recent blood work showed thyroid being .5 so we were going to start in replacement I feel she might have had drop blood pressure which did not recover. I am questioning did we miss something. I am a nurse and can't stop thinking we could have saved her. It is tearing me up
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Chemo not chemistry
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

I doubt you missed anything. Unfortunately, this wonderful breed is more prone to cancer than others. Spread of cancer to the brain is one possibility, and if an MRI was not done as part of the staging, there may have been metastasis to the brain.

If an echocardiogram and EKG was not done recently, heart disease or metastasis is another possibilty.

Without an autopsy, there is no way to be sure of cause of death, as you must know in your profession. I am sorry for your loss. Please let me know what other questions you have.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much I was so happy to at least know my husband and I were right with her holding her until her last breath just so hard
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

That must have been so sad. Of course you did the right thing.

Is there anything else I can answer? Kindly consider rating my answer; you can always get back to me with more questions and updates after rating. Rating me is the only way the website knows to credit me for my answer.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

Can I help with anything else? Let me know how you are doing.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

How are you doing?