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Suspected brain tumor, looking for input.

Discussion in 'Dog Health issues and questions' started by xJazerx, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. xJazerx

    xJazerx Super Boxer

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    This is a very hard post to write, but I am looking for, maybe some further insight? We lost our boy last week, not even a month after his 6th birthday. We are utterly heart broken.

    This is going to be a long read, so please bear with me, I want to be thorough. He went from perfectly healthy to 3 weeks later, he was gone.

    We believe it was a brain tumor/brain cancer. After much research, I decided that pursuing the MRI and treatment of cancer would not be a road we would take. For those that haven't had to go down this road (and I pray that most of you do not).. brain cancer has a very grim prognosis. It costs 10-25k on average, and you may only get just a little bit more time, months even. Not only are the finances incredible, but it can be real hard on the dog (surgery & radiation are invasive). We opted not to go this route, but to do what we could for him in terms of making him comfortable, helping him, and praying it was something less severe that he could recover from.

    It all started just a few weeks prior to his passing. He began acting just a lil lazier than normal. He would still joyously go for walks, run around outside, but we noticed he seemed just a bit more tired than normal. I wouldn't say depressed, but kind of like he was moping around inside a lil more. It was minimal. JUST enough that we could notice it. I also noticed on a few occasions rather than turning around he would just backup. This seemed slightly abnormal. He was still eating both his meals per day though was less "ravenous" about eating.. This went on for 2 or so weeks. He also seemed less interested in doing commands he has excitedly done/known his whole life.

    On Sunday, 2 weeks ago, he had his first "episode".. he got up from looking out the window and stumbled almost completely falling over. I began to panic... he was able to walk but was very stiff/careful and would stumble quite a bit. I decided to bring him to the emergency vet. By the time we got there I couldn't get him out of the car. He was having a hard time even sitting upright in the back of my car. They wheeled him in on the gurney. At that point once they got him on the floor he was laying down stiff legged and unable to get up. Trying to right himself, but unable to. Very disoriented. The vet even called what he was trying to do a few times "alligator rolling". They did blood work on him (all normal) and they kept him overnight, and stabilized him with fluids/steroids. I picked him up Monday morning and he was wobbly but walking again. I had done a ton of research that night and was really hopeful he just had a case of Idiopathic Vestibular Diseases (he had text book symptoms). Everything was happening to his right (his stumbling/nyastagmus/tilt, etc).

    Over the next few days he needed less and less assistance (with me holding his harness to help him walk). His nystagmus became more and more sporadic, etc. His appetite came back and on Wed I was even able to take him for a short walk down the street. He was on prednisone (the dose where you slowly wean down over two weeks or so). I began to get a lil concerned when on Thursday/Friday he stopped progressing. He just sorta stayed the same, so I scheduled with his regular vet to see him on Saturday morning. It was a good thing because he began to go downhill Friday as the day progressed. Symptoms started coming back, more stumbling, more circling if left walking without assistance,etc. When his vet saw him he said to give him another week to finish out his steroid treatment and if not improving by then we should see a neurologist, if not for the MRI, than at least another opinion on any other options, etc. Over the next few days he slowly got worse. He needed help walking (holding his harness), he would often be laying there with his eyes/head sort of going in small semi circles, like hes watching the world spin. He was often panting more and his tongue would always hang out the right side. He was still eating with assistance though he was not as coordinated with moving the food in his mouth. The last 2 days he could only eat hand fed boiled chicken breast, and it was hard getting him to even drink the broth. You could see it in his eyes, he seemed distant. He was himself, but he wasn't. It was harder to get his attention, for him to actually look/focus on you. Wed morning after I fed him while he was in his comfy/safe pillow corner I made him by the couch.. he started breathing labored. His heart was racing and his gums were pale. My hubs rushed him to the vet, but there was nothing they could do.

    I feel like the only possibility is a brain tumor, I think it sounds like a Glioma. This happened so fast. Basically a week of vestibular symptoms. I had been heartily praying that all it was, was idiopathic vestibular syndrome (benign and resolves on its own (with supportive care) over a period of days to weeks)... but unfortunately, it wasnt. Has anyone experienced anything like this? I didn't feel it was necessary to spend thousands on an MRI to still be in the same position of not moving forward to treating a tumor, and if nothing was there, just sitting and waiting to see if he improved anyways.

    Thanks for reading. I am still in shock that my baby is actually gone :(

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  2. Roge

    Roge Boxer Insane

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    I am so sorry that you have lost your beautiful boy .. Godspeed.
    My parents lost their boy last spring to a brain tumour and it all happened in 1 week , he showed no sign of anything being wrong but took a seizure on the Sunday lunchtime and was very disorientated When he came to they called the vet who made a house call within an hour but she really could not do anything she gave him a couple of shots and within the hour he was back to normal until next morning, he just had no interest in anything and just wanted to sleep but was still eating, on Wednesday he was in pain and the vet called again gave pain meds but said it seemed as if the tumour was advanced then on the Friday morning he was in pain again and his paws were cold but would take treats to eat , the vet made another house call but my Parents didn't want to drag it out for him any longer so the made the decision to help him cross the bridge.. So in 6 days he went from normal to passing ..
    In one sense it was a blessing that it didn't drag on but then again the speed at which it all happened left everyone reeling ..
     
  3. xJazerx

    xJazerx Super Boxer

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    Thank you. This is my first Boxer, my first dog, and first dog to cross the rainbow bridge. I had a strong connection with him so it's been incredibly difficult.

    He never had a seizure, just severe vestibular symptoms.. Hence our hope of them letting up and it possibly just being a vestibular episode. His symptoms only let up after the initial higher doses of prednisone, but soon returned.. I began to dread the worst at that point, but I wanted to give him a fighting chance to recover :(
     
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  4. Linda/NJ

    Linda/NJ Boxer Insane

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    I don't have any advice but I am very sorry you lost your boxer and so young as well. It is very very difficult thing to go through.

    Hugs to you~~
     
  5. rena

    rena Boxer Booster

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    I'm so very sorry....I don't have experience with brain tumors, but do understand the extreme difficulty of losing your boy so young and suddenly. It is just devastatingly heartbreaking. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. Godspeed dear Dante angelicon
     
  6. Jan

    Jan Reasonable Moderator Staff Member

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    I am so sorry for your loss! What a handsome boy he was. Fortunately, I haven't have any experience with a brain tumour. I think that boxers are a very stoic breed. By the time that they start showing symptoms, it is just too late. They can't tell us that they have a headache. :( I actually knew a lady that had bad headaches and was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She was dead in 6 weeks. Some forms of cancer, just progress so rapidly.

    Godspeed Dante! Run free at the Rainbow Bridge.
    angeliconangeliconangelicon
     
  7. Caney Creek

    Caney Creek Boxer Insane

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    I am so very sorry about your loss sadicon he was a very handsome blog and so young. I don't have any experience with brain tumors but my girl Caney was recently diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma and like you we have chosen not to go the route of surgery and chemo. She well be 10 years old tomorrow and I don't feel it is worth it to put her through that kind of stress. We are trying a raw diet andnaturopathic treatment in hopes that it will give her a little more time with us but our main focus is for her to be happy and comfortable.

    Lots of (((hugs))) to you and your family. It is so hard losing a best friend.
     
  8. xJazerx

    xJazerx Super Boxer

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    Thank you all, I truly appreciate your support. Please give your babies an extra hug & kiss for me on their big soft blocky heads. What I would do to do that just one more time :(

    Caney Creek - I wish your girl the best with her diagnosis.

    Jan - That is wild, how sad.
     
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  9. joeys mom

    joeys mom Boxer Insane

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    I am so so sorry for your loss :( ... I was in your shoes almost 4 years ago and had to help my Boy to the rainbow bridge ..... at the age of 2 he started having seizures every 4-6 weeks. We thought it was a possible brain tumor so we took him to UT Knoxville for a mri. We were told the same you were, cost could possibly be $10,000 and would only give us another year, with 6 months of that being in recovery from the surgery. After many exams and several opinions we decided against the mri...... we were afraid of how the sedation would affect his seizures and if they confirmed a brain tumor We couldn't see putting him through surgery had we been able to even afford the cost. We treated the seizures with medication but ultimately, lost him 3 years later to Lymphoma and had to help him peacefully in my arms to the rainbow bridge.

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, Your boy sure was handsome loveicon hugs to all.
     
  10. msnitsirk

    msnitsirk Boxer Booster

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    I'm so very sorry to hear about your loss. Last Thursday I lost my beloved Sammie as well. She also went downhill in a matter of weeks. I suspect some kind of colon or stomach cancer, but like you, I was not going to put her through the extensive testing and treatment to find out exactly what it was when my decision was just to keep her comfortable and hope for recovery. We did blood and urine tests all mostly normal and tried the same things with meds and boiled chicken etc. While I might like to know exactly what it was, I try not to focus on that part as it does not change the outcome or what I could have done for her. Sammie was 10 so while that stings, I understand why you might be looking for answers since your boy was only 6. My thoughts are with you and I hope you find peace. I know for me it's going to take awhile but it should come in time for both of us with the support of this community.
     

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