Duncan crossed the bridge to be with his brother Butch 3 weeks ago today. I know he is in a much better place. I want to tell his story so if someone else has a dog with his type of cancer they might mention his medicine to their vet.
A little over 2 years ago my sweet Duncan was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma. The first place it metasisizes to is the lungs and once there is usually very aggressive. My vet told me he would probably have about 6 months as it was already in his lungs, altho not terribly, when he was diagnosed. He was put on Deramaxx (doggie anti inflammatory) which didn't do much for his pain. I was talking about him at work one day when one of my coworkers who is a vet mentioned a medicine that had been shown to have not only pain relief but some anti-tumor activity. He went to U of CO for Vet school and this was found there. So I talked to my vet and Duncan started on Metacam in Oct of 2010 (he was diagnoses in Aug). The first thing that happened was he completely stopped limping so I knew his pain was being blocked. I had chest xrays done every 3-4 months so I could be prepared better for his time. Each time the vet was SURPRISED that his lung tumors were not growing. It also seemed to shrink the original tumor that was in his front leg elbow. The first xray that showed any growth was last Nov and even then his breathing was not being affected. What was happening tho is his pain wasn't managed too well. He was on some other pain meds as well as the Metacam but the combos pretty much stopped working. The muscles in his affected leg had pretty much become nonfunctional so he couldn't use that leg anymore. I took him in for a full body feel up as I thought I felt something that didn't belong. Well the vet did find another lump, not what I thought, but that was NOT what I wanted to hear. He was also anemic. So I knew his time was coming soon and I had to decide. I made the decision that when his bottle of Metacam was done it would be time so I was now prepared for that time frame. what I wasn't prepared for was 2 days after making that decision to see him limping on the back leg where the new tumor was found. When I saw that I knew I could not allow him be in pain for another 2-3 weeks so I made that terrible call to my vet.
I am incredibly lucky to have worked with the person that told me about Metacam and the antitumor activity so I had at least 2 more years of love from my sweet boy. My vet also is happy to have that new knowledge to pass along to others that might have this disease. Metacam can have effects on the liver but Duncan didn't have any issues there. As I left the clinic that last day I told my vet that I hoped to NOT see her for a very long time (I have 2 other dogs) and she agreed! This picture is from last Nov.
~*Never trade the thrills of living for the security of existence*~
Awwww, debiga, I so understand why you waited for a while to post about Duncan ~ he was a beautiful guy who out-lasted the vet's expectations and your suggestions re the new medication that some might not have been aware of? Duncan lives on and might just help others have a little extra time as well.
I know you miss him everyday ~ mornings are the worst ~ but take comfort that you had him for an extra year or so. He's waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge when it's time.....
PS. And I think he left this world a "Hero" - no telling how many other dogs will live longer because you found the courage to share your story - thank you....This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
What a beautiful dog Duncan was, you can see the soul in those eyes. It's not easy to loose a precious member of the family, I know from experience too. You took good care of him obviously and didn't extend his life so long that he would be in unnecessary agony... you're a good Mom!
Posts: 887 | Location: Florida | Registered: Aug 22, 2003
debiga, my heart goes out to you. Cancers have taken canine companions too many too soon. 15 yrs ago Metacam extended quality of life without shutting down my pupper's senses. Eventually allowed me a few more days to deal with the eminent loss of my best friend - until we went for one last ride (windows open) an off leash run, and shared a big choolate candybar!This message has been edited. Last edited by: tessa89,
Posts: 5029 | Location: NE of S.F. | Registered: Apr 13, 2006
I'm so sorry for you. We have a 12 year old golden that is starting to have trouble getting around and I know we don't have much time left with him. Our last golden died at 11 just 6 months after he had surgery to remove a tumor on his side. The lab report gave him 6 weeks to 6 months and we were fortunate to get the 6 months. He died in his sleep and looked so peaceful. We waited a while before getting another, but we got a call that a 3 year old needed a home immediately and couldn't say no. Now 9 years later, we are facing the fact that his time is almost here.
Posts: 177 | Location: California | Registered: Sep 17, 2005
Deb, I'm so sorry to read about Duncan. I know you miss him so much. A year ago I had to let my 12-year old pointer Bobo go, after 3 surgeries for the removal of rectal tumors. The last one was malignant, and the doctor also found a spot on his lung. We opted for treating him with melodic am and keeping him comfortable, and so he had another year of a quality life. Each time I would call to get his rx renewed they were amazed that he was still alive. I firmly believe the melodic am (metacam) gave us more time together.
Oh Deb....no no no no! Just read about your sweet Duncan. I remember pics of him from awhile back! Had no idea that he (and you) was dealing with this. I feel so sad for you. Gosh, it's never easy. So many of us know that and have experienced it.
I realize that it is part of life, but for some reason, seems like we are never truly ready.
So glad that the meds gave him extra time.
Sending love and thoughts your way~
"Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened"
Posts: 2867 | Location: Kentucky, USA | Registered: Oct 19, 2005