Wilbur’s cancer journey.

Butterscotchbitesfinger

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My beautiful Great Dane Wilbur is 2 years old, about six months ago we noticed he had lost some weight. And more and more weight was lost as time went on, at first it didn’t bother us as we just assumed he was loosing a little and that wasn’t a bad thing because he was a little fat before.
Well about a week or two ago we noticed his backbone could be clearly seen and that just didn’t seem right, not in such a young dog. We took him to our local vet and asked them, the vet pointed out he was loosing muscle not just fat. They took blood, ran urine and stool samples to test for parasite or any other sort of problem that could be detected, all came back totally normal. They offered to run more tests but ultimately said we should take him to a specialist hospital because it would waste our money for them to run more tests and then send us to a hospital when they could just send us straight there.
So we decided we would get them to book us in for some time next week as we didn’t view it as urgent, except it was about Thursday night and our usually happy boy was feeling a but under the weather. Serious concern because he never is usually under the weather, my mother quickly called the vet and they suggested we bring him down just for a check up. This is 9pm at night and it’s a school night for me, I went down with them and they came and got him from the car park because of Covid we couldn’t go in.
The emergency vet was on and checked him, asked us routine questions, what has he eaten? Has he had access to rat poison?
We answered and so they took him in for an ultrasound after saying it could be cancer. Obviously we are very anxious at this stage, we had assumed it wasn’t anything serious but now it was turning into a bigger fiasco than we had originally assumed.
They ran the ultrasound at about 11;30 at night, discovered a large mass in his abdomen. Anxiety, fear, sadness all emotions that rushed through me, did this mean he had cancer? My mum, being the medical person she is (she’s a nurse), asked him how big the mass was. He replied the size of his fist. What an emotional roller coaster this has been.
We left him there overnight for their medical team to have a look at the next day, they ran a CT scan on him and it showed a tumour. The vet said she suspected it was cancer but none the less they couldn’t be sure it was without taking a small scrape of the tumour to run some tests on.
So another night, our plans of having him home that night are slipping away. They kept him overnight and phoned us about 11am this morning, we asked if he could be operated on, the response was no. The tumour is intertwined with major blood vessels which means it can’t be operated on, she told us it was a common cancer in dogs. A cancer called Lymphoma.
We don’t know if it has spread or not because the CT scan isn’t a PET scan, but it’s treatable with Chemo and we will also be changing his diet due to the fact Cancer is proven to feed on sugar so if we slowly reduce the amounts of sugar he is having we will see it starve hopefully. My mum is also big into natural remedies and natural health foods so she has a plan for him to coincide with the chemo treatment all of which she discussed with the oncologist.

So, this thread will be about Wilbur’s journey with cancer and his road to eventual recovery. In my household we hold the mentality that positivity is key, that you always have to see the brighter side of life, I mean Wilbur has brought so much love into our lives.


A little bit of a backstory about Wilbur:
When he was 11 weeks old (we had only had him 3 weeks) he ran behind the horse and Hudson kicked out striking him in the head, he broke every bone in his face and we rushed him to our local vet. He was heavily sedated and they put a tube down his throat to open his airways, he was essentially left for the night to see if he was alive in the morning. Wilbur was awake and he even sat up to greet the nurse.

Wilbur’s a fighter, he has always been one, that’s why I have so much faith he will make it through this and live for a while still yet.

If you made it this far in the post my serious congratulations to you, I know it’s long but I felt the need to share with my fellow people of BYC my ups and downs and my dogs hopeful recovery. :)


Edited to say: Wilbur has T-Cell Lymphoma.
 
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Callender Girl

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A canine cancer diagnosis is devastating. I know because my heart dog, Holly, a Keeshond, was diagnosed by a local vet. You are lucky to have a nurse in your family, a hospital willing to work with you and a good dose of positivity.

The first vet told me -- over the phone -- that Holly had cancer, and she was going to die. I was at work and felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. Despite her assurance that nothing could be done, I went over her head to the practice owner and insisted on getting a referral to the state veterinary teaching hospital.

For the next 18 months, Holly received the best possible treatment as we made the 120-mile round trip once or twice a month.

She also couldn't be treated surgically, and chemo isn't cheap. But it was worth every penny. Holly lived a pretty normal life for that last year and a half, although the drugs would sometimes make her vomit.

It seemed like the whole hospital staff loved Holly, and they treated her like a star. I think that positivity helped her, and it sure helped me.

Wilbur has already proven that he is a fighter, and it sounds like he's surrounded by a warm, loving family that will help him along. All my best wishes for you all!
 

TwoCrows

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Oh gosh, I am so sorry. :hugs Our dogs get so intertwined in our hearts, I know how painful it is to see them suffer. :hugs

I will be following Wilburs journey here, seeing you through these tough times. Stay positive and brave for Wilbur, he knows your emotions and thoughts, he knows how much you love him too. 🐶
 
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Butterscotchbitesfinger

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A canine cancer diagnosis is devastating. I know because my heart dog, Holly, a Keeshond, was diagnosed by a local vet. You are lucky to have a nurse in your family, a hospital willing to work with you and a good dose of positivity.

The first vet told me -- over the phone -- that Holly had cancer, and she was going to die. I was at work and felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. Despite her assurance that nothing could be done, I went over her head to the practice owner and insisted on getting a referral to the state veterinary teaching hospital.

For the next 18 months, Holly received the best possible treatment as we made the 120-mile round trip once or twice a month.

She also couldn't be treated surgically, and chemo isn't cheap. But it was worth every penny. Holly lived a pretty normal life for that last year and a half, although the drugs would sometimes make her vomit.

It seemed like the whole hospital staff loved Holly, and they treated her like a star. I think that positivity helped her, and it sure helped me.

Wilbur has already proven that he is a fighter, and it sounds like he's surrounded by a warm, loving family that will help him along. All my best wishes for you all!
That’s so nice to hear. My family and I try to have a balance of natural supplements and medical treatments, the way I view the situation I’m in is that if we support Wilbur and get him to regain his weight back and give him a fighting chance he may be able to beat this. And the vets have said because he is so young if it comes back he can get another round of chemotherapy.
We are so lucky to have him insured. They have been amazing. He was kicked in the head and that alone cost us almost $7000, they covered $4000 of it. Get this, my mum insured him two days prior. If that’s not dumb luck I don’t know what is. They also cover cancer treatments, overall the vets have said it will end up costing $12,000 if it’s A if it’s T it’ll cost $14,000 to treat. The pet insurance covers $15,000 per year. I can guarantee we have used the cover every year, they really won’t miss us if we ever decide not to reinsure lol.
Wilbur has already started Chemo. He had his first dose at about 2pm this afternoon. I am of the mind set that he will fight this and make it through.
 

TwoCrows

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That’s so nice to hear. My family and I try to have a balance of natural supplements and medical treatments, the way I view the situation I’m in is that if we support Wilbur and get him to regain his weight back and give him a fighting chance he may be able to beat this. And the vets have said because he is so young if it comes back he can get another round of chemotherapy.
We are so lucky to have him insured. They have been amazing. He was kicked in the head and that alone cost us almost $7000, they covered $4000 of it. Get this, my mum insured him two days prior. If that’s not dumb luck I don’t know what is. They also cover cancer treatments, overall the vets have said it will end up costing $12,000 if it’s A if it’s T it’ll cost $14,000 to treat. The pet insurance covers $15,000 per year. I can guarantee we have used the cover every year, they really won’t miss us if we ever decide not to reinsure lol.
Wilbur has already started Chemo. He had his first dose at about 2pm this afternoon. I am of the mind set that he will fight this and make it through.
He is still so young, he still has the power to get through this!
 

Butterscotchbitesfinger

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Oh gosh, I am so sorry. :hugs Our dogs get so intertwined in our hearts, I know how painful it is to see them suffer. :hugs

I will be following Wilburs journey here, seeing you through these tough times. Stay positive and brave for Wilbur, he knows your emotions and thoughts, he knows how much you love him too. 🐶
Thanks, it means a lot to have so much support. Who knew 2021 could get much worse lol. But I never thought I would say this, I am relieved to be in lockdown because as much as I hate it and it annoys the crap out of me I can be here with him and keep and eye on him, monitor him.

thanks, we will be. We very much are in a positive mindset and we hope that’ll rub off on Wilbur.
 

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