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Old 03-10-2010, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Australia
6 posts, read 23,744 times
Reputation: 10

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My 12yo TerrierX, Tara, (profile picture) was a rescue from being dumped at 6 weeks old. I flew her home from interstate with the intention of finding her a good home, she never left MY home. She was one of my babies before I had my babies and has always lived inside with us. Although she is 12, she acts like a pup and even accompanies me on a daily 10km walk.

Recently she was getting crusty muck blocking the right nostril only. It was easy enough to clean off with a damp cloth and after a week she started to develop a squinty eye with some slight swelling on her cheek under the eye.

Off to the vets we go and she is diagnosed with sinusitis. A strong course of antibiotics is prescribed and over the next 3 days there is no improvement.

Back to the vet and it is discovered she has a dental abscess and she is admitted for surgery the following day to have the offending tooth removed and the abscess drained. Blood works done prior to operating and everything was fine. Was told results were excellent for a dog of her age.

She is sent home with stronger antibiotics and 4 days later her third eye lid becomes more visible than normal and there is very sticky green muck coming out. I am unable to give her her tablet as her jaw is firmly clenched and if I do manage to pry them apart, she yelps. Back to vet who says there is some inflammation so her prescribes some anti-inflammatory meds. He is unable to administer the pill so he gives her an injection and sends me home with the tablets to try.

Post op appointment, vet says that the tooth extraction site is looking good but the eye (slightly sunken in) and external puffiness is worse. He says the eye is very dry, no bacteria or parasites found, and gives me some viscous drops to put in regularly. Says that the inflammation may be obstructing the tear duct from lubricating the eye. Still getting the nose plug and really thick green muck still being produced by the eye.

Another 4 days later I'm back to the vet. He can't understand why the eye is not responding to treatments and orders a nasal X-ray, not before he gives me this ointment that costs AU$120 for a small tube to put in.

Took her in yesterday for the the X-ray and nasal flush. He said there was a mass (he called it a lesion) that was inflamed and red that he could not get past through the nostril so he went in through the mouth and found the other end if it. He suggested an MRI to locate the lesion but he said that surgery was improbable due to the fact that to get to it, they would have to go through the hard palette of the roof of her mouth.

He found some suspicious cells from her nasal flush and I have requested that the sample be sent off to pathology. She is not 'sick' at the moment. He has basically said that things will get increasingly worse and that palliative care should be considered for her comfort when the time comes. Worst case scenario is 1 month.

She is not off her food nor has her behavior changed in any way, except when she sees me coming with the eye drops or ointment....

Is this cancer? Has anyone else heard of or experienced what I have described above?

I'm not ready to part with her and I want the 3-4 years he said I would get after seeing her blood results. She is my baby. I will try anything, I'm just not ready for this.

Pathology results are expected Monday.

Any advice, ideas or anything would be most welcomed. Sorry for the length of this post, I just wanted to give readers the most information I could.

Thanks so much, in advance, for any help offered.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,864 posts, read 60,136,783 times
Reputation: 19257
This is a long thread from owners who have had dogs with nasal cancer:
Nasal cancer
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:38 AM
 
Location: Australia
6 posts, read 23,744 times
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Thanks SouthernBelleInUtah. While informative, Tara is not displaying nose bleeds or trouble breathing. Her eye seems to be the worst thing for the time being. Guess I'm hoping that her symptoms aren't the same therefore it isn't?
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
4,922 posts, read 11,251,655 times
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Just looked at Tara's photo, she is adorable. While I am praying that she does not have cancer I will say there are different types of cancer that can be found in the sinuses and they can behave differently as well as just the location could cause different symptoms. Add to that that dogs are all individuals ( just like humans are) so they do not always present with the same symptoms for the same illness.

The green drainage is suggestive of infection and while that too could be related to cancer it could be an abcess from something like a foxtail or other grass seed imbedded up there, or maybe even some sort of fungus ball.

There is really no way to know until test results are in. Despite the cancer it was very rare that Dash even at the end acted " sick" so how they are acting is not a good gage for something being or not being cancer . Alot of time when you see human cancer patients that act sick it is due to the treatment not the illness which is why in too many cancers it is not found until the later stages. Cancers are sneaky and do alot of damage before symptoms show up.I am certain the same applies to animals.

Henry who is a dog my parents had developed thick green drainage from one side of his nose then his nose got very crusty looking and they looked at alot of things that your vets have looked at for Tara. They tried antibiotics , steroids and different creams applied to his nose finally the vet said he was afraid it was some type of cancer and they did a biopsy and it came back as discoid lupus yet it was not looking like the ususal discoid lupus they vets see so they did a 2nd biopsy and it also came back as discoid lupus so you never know.

I will keep my finger crossed that Tara has just some infection and that it is not a resistant bug as those can be very hard to treat. Keep us posted on what you learn. Hugs to both you and Tara as I know how hard the wait is. Jan
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Australia
6 posts, read 23,744 times
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Thank you so much Jan, for your original thread. You are most admirable for documenting your and Dash's experiences so that others may learn. I am most sorry for your loss.

I guess we all know that some day our babies have to go, but it doesn't make things any easier. I always hoped that my bubs would die of old age in their sleep, without pain or complications. In an ideal world, maybe...

7 years ago I had the difficult task of deciding the fate of my then, 8 yo Malamute, Jamiel. She was my first, live on your own, your responsibility, pet. She developed, what we thought were hotspots. A barrage of creams, tablets, baths and blood tests did nothing. We even shaved her whole body to make sure her fur wasn't aggravating or further infecting the sores. All she had was her gorgeous tail and the fur on her head. We found a total of 12 big crusty sores all over her body. Finally we decided to do a biopsy. It was on a Thursday and the vet said we would get the results the following Tuesday. I got a call on Friday morning. It was a rare form of lymphatic cancer that presented itself in the nodes of her skin, not in the usual lymph nodes. I was devastated to say the least. My vet, Andrew, said if she were human, she would be sent home to die. I decided that I wouldn't wait that long and said goodbye to her that evening. I'm feeling the same thing all over again and it sucks, big time!


What makes it worse is that I have a 14yo DobermanX, Ebony, that is WELL past her useby and she's still going happily despite arthritis and just being old. I'm going to loose them too close to each other..... I got Ebony and Jamiel at the same time in 1995, Tara came 2 years later. I feel like my whole world in caving in on me.


Tara has been my shadow for the past 12 years. She was with me when I was up and down, when I had my babies even when my husband left. We have been through so much together. I can't even go to the toilet or have a shower without her being there. She even sleeps in my bed, I said IN not ON...LOL


I want to believe, with all the pieces of my being, that it is some agro infection, but it doesn't seem that way. I know it happens and has happened, but it never happens to you. You know what I mean?

So sorry for the drivel, just me venting I guess. My mum is the only person who can understand and that I can talk to about this. Most of my friends are not animal lovers, such am I. I thank God for places and people like this and for the support and understanding. It's always worse when it's happening to you.

Will let you know what happens.
Thanks.
Maree

Last edited by Nuttaa; 03-11-2010 at 06:46 PM.. Reason: Photo too big.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,864 posts, read 60,136,783 times
Reputation: 19257
Such beautiful dogs! so sorry for the anxiety you are going through. Let us know what the vet says. <<hugs>>
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
4,922 posts, read 11,251,655 times
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I think most of us here understand what you are going through and understand the need to vent to someone that does understand.

A year and 1/2 ago the day I was taking Dash down to LA ( 90 miles away) to meet the hoslistic vet my other older dog was at my vets having a large nerve sheath sacroma removed. My heart was so heavy that day as I knew Dash's cancer would kill him and now my other dog had cancer too. I mentioned it to the holistic vet and asked her if I should be concerned about something in my environment she asked me a few questions including one about if there had been alot of stress in our lives and I said well in 2004 my mom found out she had stage 4 lung cancer( she was a non smoker) The dogs and I drove the 120 miles each time she had chemo so I could go with her and stay with her for a few days and when she did die at the end of 2006 it was the dogs that got me through it. Then just as we got over that as best we could my 20 yr old niece was killed in a car accident and my sister and her husband found themselves parents again for her 2 yr old son. Then sweet loveable Henry my dad's dog with the lupus died. So yes stress had been a part of our life since early 2004. The dogs were like sponges for my stress the for my grief. After learning that she felt the cancers in both dogs especially the same year may be due to stress as it does weaken the immune system and allow cancer a foot up.

Anyway I drove home that day thinking what will I do both dogs now have cancer and I will loose both? My vet felt he got all of the nerve sheath sarcoma and Jazz will be 14 in May .It has been 1.5 yrs since that day so I guess even God felt taking both my dogs too close to one another would not be a good thing. I know my time with Jazz may be limited at her age but instead of thinking about that I just try to enjoy each day we do have as for a 14 yr old she is in great shape and still very active.

Believe me I do understand how you may feel your world is caving in. Despite these past few years where a black cloud had been hanging over me or so it seems I have learned a couple important lessons. One,as bad as I think things are there is someone out there that has it even worse. Two, that the question is not "Why me?" but rather " why some one else and not me?" Despite it seeming that all my friends are not having to deal with so much loss and grief one day they will and I will be where they are now as we all all have to go through tough times during our lives so to say It is not fair is not true as one day we all get hit. I know I am not being
singled out to be hit with grief it happnes to all of us. I also know that I will survive the losses and grief and move on with my life.This life is temporary for us all so each day is a gift and in the ned it is all equal.

By the way all of your dogs are beautiful. Thanks for sharing the photos of them. That is a great photo of Tara . I will continue to send positive thoughts and prayers her way. Jan
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:13 PM
 
1,688 posts, read 7,475,376 times
Reputation: 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuttaa View Post
So sorry for the drivel
It's not drivel and you've nothing to be sorry about.

You need to make sure you look after yourself too you know. The stronger you are in yourself, the easier it is for Tara too. So you go ahead and vent here if it helps.

Keep us posted.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:32 AM
 
Location: Australia
6 posts, read 23,744 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for all your kind words and compliments on my Babies. They are beautiful but, I AM biased...

Rang the vet this afternoon to see if results were in yet and they were.... All cells normal. Which means nothing, really. No wiser to what we are dealing with.

I asked some questions that I was too distraught to think of initially but I still don't understand. All I get is, 'It could be this or that... we don't know...' Apparently they couldn't get to the site of the lesion with the probe they had as it wasn't small enough to get into the spot they needed to go. No biopsy possible, which is why they did a nasal flush.

Have an appointment with Andrew on Monday to discuss further options. Have been on the phone all day calling specialists who may be able to get a better look and even a biopsy before going down the road of an MRI. One guy I spoke to was very helpful and their clinic philosophy is to be as least invasive and cost affective as possible. The cost plays some factor but I really like the idea of not putting Tara through anything she doesn't really have to. Poor love goes through enough with me cleaning her eye out and putting creams and drops in it very frequently.

As for myself, I have been off work all week with a nasty bacterial infection, guess stress wears down your immunity...

Had lots of could be's thrown around today, could be something lodged in her nose, something to do with her eye itself, growth.... But no definitive diagnosis or prognosis.

So hard to make any kind of decision when you have no facts. Sooooooooooooo frustrating. Will keep you posted after Monday's appointment.

You are all so wonderful! You really can, easily judge the character of a person by how they treat those that can do nothing for them.

Love and Light
Maree
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:44 AM
 
Location: Australia
6 posts, read 23,744 times
Reputation: 10
Appointment with vet today didn't shed too much more light, other than her eye is getting worse.

Tara has been prescribed Rimadyl for the pain....

Have been referred to a specialist, which I suspect, would be purely to diagnose the problem. Andrew said exactly what you did Jan, ' It may present differently but usually ends the same way....' We touched on possibly removing the offending eye, when it gets to that point, but it would just be a band aid.
I'm so affected that I've had to start on anti-depressants....

Will let you know what I decide. I can't write too much more....

Maree
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