I want you to know what happened because hemangiosarcoma is common, and many people have shared similar experiences in the comments below. Our rescue pit bull Scooby entertained extended family with his usual antics on Mother’s Day 2019. He jumped into my husband’s lap at the table knowing that’s where he was most likely to source scraps of the expensive poached salmon I ordered from a restaurant down the street.

Pit bull rescue with hemangiosarcoma
He was my perfect boy.

As usual, we pulled his bed over to the table so that he could snore away while we played some card games after our meal. He and I later curled up in bed to enjoy the penultimate episode of “Game of Thrones.” It was business as usual.

Monday came and went without much fanfare. On Tuesday morning, everyone (including Scooby) enjoyed their usual harried breakfast routine before school departure. I went out to yoga, and my husband headed out for a beach jog but noticed on his way out that Scooby was a little uneasy, which wasn’t entirely unusual. He was a nervous dog, had just turned 10, and loud construction noise radiated from a neighbor’s house. Noise, trucks, and strange men talking scared him, so he wasn’t behaving out of line.

When I returned home, Scooby wasn’t at the door to greet me. He was lying on the living room rug and wouldn’t even get up for food, a highly unusual event. The dog loved food. I had to coax him up. 

A few hours later, we were sitting in the vet’s office. Fecal and blood tests were run and returned with normal results. His physical exam didn’t reveal anything unusual, either. Maybe it’s his thyroid. Perhaps it’s the result of a hypoallergenic diet that included grain-free food, a topic for another day, but one dog owners should be aware of. Dinner was refused, but he slept well and woke up on Wednesday morning with tons and tons of energy.

Relief swept over the entire family. The only thing out of the ordinary was that he was extra hungry from having skipped dinner. I’m so glad we indulged him with a little bit more bacon and other treats throughout the entire day.

We took our usual walk, and he eagerly jumped into our bed in the middle of the night to sleep with us. I wrapped him in a blanket, and he snored away until he, per usual, bolted out of bed after hearing my daughter wake up for school. Breakfast came and went, and so did our housekeepers (which caused him stress). 

My radar went up again when he refused his usual midday Greenie snack, which he gets while we make lunch. Instead of being tired like he was on Tuesday, this time, I could tell he was uncomfortable. Maybe he just needed sleep, which seemed to work wonders on Tuesday. Instead, he tossed, turned, and shivered in his bed next to my desk. He still barked to announce the mail carrier’s arrival and moved with me to other rooms in the house.

I knew something was wrong, but at the time, it was impossible to tell if it was indigestion or something more significant. After studying him for a few hours (which I regret), I called the vet again, and we were summoned in for a chest X-ray to rule out cardiomyopathy. I wasn’t sure if we needed to go to the vet, given his recovery the previous day, but went anyway.

He never came home (or even whimpered once throughout the entire ordeal).

An ultrasound revealed fluid in his abdomen, and a sample taken revealed that it was blood. She told me that dogs with this condition go to surgery or heaven. Given that it was rush hour to the nearest pet emergency room, they gave him an IV of fluids (and lots of hugs — he always held everyone’s hands in the vet’s office, which was funny) to keep him comfortable during the car ride, left the catheter in, and sent us on our way. 

We’re not strangers to the veterinary hospital where our local emergency room is, given that we were there at least every six months to have his hemangiomas (more on these later) lasered off. So, he sniffed the same plants and dog area on the way in and politely sat down as a couple cut the line in front of us. I had to push my way in. We didn’t look like it, but we were as emergency as it gets, which I now understand more than I did then. 

An ER tech immediately came to get him. Rather than the usual paperwork I fill out when there, I verbally agreed to specific procedures and a do not resuscitate order (DNR). (This was hard. I had always indicated yes to resuscitate because his laser surgeries had always been minor, and the surgeon’s staff agreed with this choice because if things went south, we’d make a decision later.) Our vet had already called ahead and sent the X-rays and test results.

He was rushed away, though my husband points out that he walked himself throughout the entire process. Dazed, I sat in the waiting area. Thankfully, the most social and well-behaved cat on a leash distracted everyone in there. People in the waiting room at this time of day are usually not there for happy reasons.

It didn’t take long for them to call me into a room where I waited for the ER doctor. She confirmed that her ultrasound showed fluid in his abdomen. Since our vet extracted blood from it, and he had a history of hemangiomas on his skin, I had two choices.

  1. Ultrasound his entire body. I would only do this if I was consenting to surgery. Surgery with a condition like this typically extends life by a month, if it is even successful. And, he was going to need a blood transfusion first, which takes time that he wasn’t going to likely have. The cancerous blood already washed his major organs.
  2. Euthanize him right away because he was bleeding to death.

That’s a lot to process out of the blue.

I called my husband, and we agreed to number two. The ER doctor flat-out told me this was the most humane thing to do. I trust this hospital and its staff and do not regret this decision.

I spared no expense on Scooby throughout his entire life (including TPLO surgery which he healed brilliantly from). I would have paid ridiculous sums of money to save him if I could have. Number two was about his quality of life. And it needed to be done as soon as possible.

My next decision, though, haunts me. I wasn’t sure how quickly number two would occur. Is it normal for a 12-year-old child to see her best friend euthanized? (The answer, I later learned, is yes.) There was more paperwork (a blur), and then I was led into the room where it happens. It took a little bit of time for Scooby to arrive, and I was told to take as much time as I needed with him. I only took a few minutes because he looked terrible and had obviously slid downhill to the point where there was no question number two was the right thing to do. I was the only other family member there, but he and I were bonded. I was his person.

By the time we were in that room together, though, my daughter and husband probably could have fought traffic to be with us. I didn’t make that calculation, nor did I ask what the time frame would be. If you’re ever in the same position, ask how long you have. I wish they could have brought his favorite blanket and held his hands, too. Everything happened so quickly, but no one wanted to prolong his suffering. 

I spooned him like he was used to and told him what an amazing dog he is. A deep sedative put him to sleep, and then a second shot stopped his heart. I felt it stop beating on my arm immediately. It was quick.

A few days, many tears, and many Google searches later, I now understand what happened to my perfect boy.

Pit bull with a squeaky chicken
This rubber chicken was one of his favorite toys.

Hemangiosarcoma

I’m not a veterinarian. I’m writing this as a pet owner who has gone through a dog’s sudden death by aggressive cancer called hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessel walls. I hope that if you see the same signs that I did, you will not hesitate before calling the vet, which will hopefully allow you to give your dog the best quality of life and the least amount of pain until the very end. 

This silent killer usually shows no clinical signs until the end is inevitable. I’ve now read multiple stories from other dog owners in shock at how their dog can drop dead a few hours after being wholly energetic and fine.

Dogs very rarely die from heart attacks, but they do suddenly die from hemangiosarcoma. The Golden Retriever Club of America National Health Survey revealed that the chances of golden retrievers developing hemangiosarcoma in a lifetime are 1 in 5. Pit bulls, Labrador retrievers, and German Shepherds are also prone to the disease. 

The most common place for malignant tumors to grow is on the spleen, but they can grow anywhere there are blood vessels and spread to other major organs. Since you can’t see them, you and perhaps your dog won’t know cancer exists until things have progressed to the point of no return. If tumors are isolated to the spleen and haven’t burst, the spleen can be removed, which may buy your dog some time but not usually more than a month. And, chemotherapy might be recommended to extend life a few months beyond that, hopefully. It’s a no-win situation. 

I should have known he was at risk for this cancer, given his history of cutaneous hemangiomas. Hemangiomas are the benign form of hemangiosarcoma. I had not linked the two, and it’s probably a good thing because I would have obsessed over his every ailment even more than I already did. 

Cutaneous hemangiomas are likely (but they’re not sure) caused by the sun. They look like blood blisters. He has one on his cheek in this photo.

Pit bull with hemangioma
The bright pink spot on his cheek is a hemangioma.

Cutaneous hemangiomas grew on him quickly and in all sizes, even though we kept him out of the sun and covered him in dog-safe sunscreen when he was in the sun for walks and short outings. They ranged from light red to nearly black. Four months before he died, a rather large one appeared on his leg that had grown to the size of a grape. Our surgeon wasn’t worried, and we always sent the suspicious-looking ones to the lab. The rest were lasered off.

His history of cutaneous hemangiomas combined with burst tumor(s) internally is why the ER vet didn’t hesitate to recommend euthanasia.

Warning Signs to Look For

Scooby’s symptoms were sudden lethargy and lack of appetite. They think the reason why he experienced this on Tuesday and seemingly recovered for one day on Wednesday is that the bleeding was light, somehow clotted, and he made more blood cells to compensate for the loss of blood. On Thursday, the day he died, the bleeding restarted more forcefully.

I debated whether or not to take him to the vet on Thursday afternoon and would have taken him in a few hours earlier had I known to check his mouth. Pale gums and tongue indicate anemia. Combined with lethargy and lack of appetite, it signals that something is wrong.

His gums were fine on Tuesday, as were his labs. On Thursday, his gums were very pale. I wish I had known to look at his gums because then I’d have known it wasn’t indigestion. Before going to the vet on Thursday, we had no idea he was ill.

Other symptoms that are common with hemangiosarcoma that Scooby didn’t have include a distended abdomen, seizures, collapsing, arrhythmia, and abnormal breathing. 

Long Days Afterward

Hemangiosarcoma causes dog owners extraordinary pain because we’re forced to make immediate decisions we’re unprepared for. We question what we did wrong (which is probably nothing) and wonder how we missed the signs (because there weren’t any). The loss is sudden and traumatic. It took a long time for me to recover.

The other point of this post is to let people going through this same miserable trauma know that they are not alone. There are a lot of us. You’ll soon see what I mean when you start talking about it to others. I’m updating this post in 2023 because I want you to know that you’re going to be okay. And, because there are so many similar stories still being told in the comments of this post years later.

One of the many things I needed to reconcile with is that Scooby was not the type of dog who would have handled a long term disease well (not that anyone does). He liked to be within a few inches of or attached to a human at every minute, and this does take a lot of moving around, given that we have a tween in the house. If I could have carried him in a Baby Bjorn all day, he’d have been cool with that.

We felt he deserved whatever we could give him, as we’re confident he was abused before he came to us. We are desperately trying to take comfort in the fact that it was a “good” way for him to go because he likely didn’t experience much discomfort until his final day.

He was so loved, and proof that rescued pit bulls can make brilliant family dogs. It was just his time.

Update: Four Years Later

I originally wrote this post in June 2019. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Scooby and how he died, but the pain is much more manageable now. We did rescue another pit bull, Ruby, which was unimaginable at the time we lost him. She’s different and fabulous and goofy — and she doesn’t replace him.

I read all of your comments and emails and want you to know that although the feeling of loss doesn’t completely go away you will — eventually — feel better and realize that what happened wasn’t your fault. There are more people than you realize who understand what you’re going through.

And when you are ready, maybe you’ll be able to open your heart and home to another dog. It helped us tremendously.

My rescued dog Ruby who is a pitbull.
Ruby

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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496 Comments

    1. Thanks, Sharon! It has been much harder than I thought it would be but we’ll get through it.

      1. Katie – My sincere condolences to you on the loss of your adorable Scooby. I don’t care how many years it has been; I know you still love & miss him like it was just yesterday. Thank you for writing this article. I just came across it, & it has helped me to feel not so alone.

        This horrible thing w/ Hemangiosarcoma just recently happened to us on Memorial Day w/ sweet Lizzie Grace, our beautiful 10 1/2 year old Yellow Lab. Never sick a day in her life since she came to live w/ us. My heart is beyond broken. 💔

        She showed up in our yard at age 3 1/2…..had escaped a muddy outdoor pen which she shared w/ several male Labs. Her owner just wanted her to have puppies & be a good hunting dog. She did neither well…..Thank God! I prayed he would let me keep her when he came to pick her up at our house. Best $350 I ever spent. She was the sweetest dog I have ever met in my entire life.

        Our vet diagnosed her w/ heartworm right away. I prayed in the car all the way to the vet the day we were to begin her treatment. I suddenly felt a calmness come over me & knew what I needed to do. When we arrived at the clinic, I told our vet I wanted another heartworm test. He questioned me, but obliged. He looked a bit shocked & skeptical as he came back in & told us the results were negative. He asked that we come back in 2 weeks to retest. Future tests continued to be negative. I was not surprised.

        Lizzie & I completed an obedience course &
        Lizzie received her Canine Good Citizen award. We next passed the test to become a registered therapy dog team.

        Lizzie was a good & faithful servant & such a great comfort to countless children & adults. She made a difference in the lives of those who needed her sweet spirit to give them a much needed lift.

        But most of all…..my sweet Lizzie made a huge difference in my life. 💗

    2. This is exactly what happened to my dog Captain. 2 days before he died he ran 4 miles with my husband while he was biking. It was so sudden. A year later it’s still shocking. He was a german shepherd mix. The sweetest boy. I’m sorry for your loss and thanks for writing about it. I came across your blog when searching hotels but saw this and thought “that’s what happened to MY boy”.

    3. Thank you for sharing this post. My husband and I just went through this today. Our fur baby Dean went to heaven. He is a German shepherd. We went a head with the surgery and his pancreas burst. They found a secondary cancer in his stomach too, so they called us with the decision of proceeding on with the surgery, or let him go to heaven. We chose Heaven and that was a hard decision. Like you posted the onset is sudden. Dean started yesterday with vomiting around 4 something. He was lethargic, he collapsed, didn’t eat food, and his belly was bloated. Dean would of turned 8 next month. We just thought that he is getting a little older and was getting a little belly. It was larger this morning. You are bombarded with fast decisions to make with the fast onset. We called the vet around 9 am today and they got us in at 10:30. At the vet’s, they took his temperature and it was 104. The vet had taken him back for xrays and there was a tumor on his pancreas the same cancer that took your fur baby. My husband and I have gone back and forth with would of should ofs and with the information in your post helps us realize that the outcome would of always been Heaven. We are very raw right now, kind of in shock, denial, and disbelief. It happened so fast. Thank u for posting.

      1. This happened to my Siberian Husky only 3 days. I am still mortified by the fact that I had to make such a dire choice. I am struggling with the survivor’s guilt of the ordeal. My husky had a mass covering the length of his abdomen, compressing his intestines caudally towards his pelvis. He collapsed and could barely stand up. He ran a fever and was severely anemic. I wasn’t sure that he would survive stabilization for even a few days to go under surgery. And the prognosis was so horrifying. Nevertheless I seem to feel guilty still. Thanks for sharing this because it shows that I am not alone.

        1. Thank you Katie for sharing and for all those others on this blog who have shared their stories.
          A few days ago, my daughter and I had to say goodbye to our 10 1/2 year old beagle Coco. Coco was one of a kind and was insanely intuitive, particularly with supporting my daughter and I through our period of personal grief,.
          On Tuesday morning, she was fine so I headed off to work. I came home at lunchtime which I rarely do and Coco was fine initially but I will never forget then how she just suddenly froze in confusion and couldn’t move. I tried to entice her with a treat which she didn’t want (not beagle like at all). I knew then that something wasn’t right. I had to go back to work so made her comfortable but at work I couldn’t get her off my mind so left work early for the day and rushed home. She was a bit better but definitely needed to be taken to the vet.
          After an ultrasound, my daughter (via phone) and I were told that she had a splenic Hemangiosarcoma which had ruptured and only had a couple of days at best. Recommendation was to euthanise. My daughter was 3hrs away but was on her way. I asked if I could take Coco home so that my daughter and I could have time with her. The vet gave her a 24hr dose of pain meds.
          The next day, Coco seemed like her puppy like self. We took her for a walk, played with her and couldn’t understand the prognosis received the night before. We even phoned the vet to make sure we understood correctly and whether surgery was an option – not in this case. When we returned to the clinic with Coco we asked again and was told that sometimes the bleeding stops temporarily and the body absorbs the blood allowing the dog to be a bit more active. However we were told the tumour was very large and nasty and it was just a matter of time that Coco would be in severe distress. Sadly we decided to keep the good memories as our last,
          This blog has helped me through processing the decisions made over that very short period of time with knowing that others had similar stories as well. I don’t usually share but thought as other stories have helped me, mine may help someone else.

        2. This just happened to our siberian husky (13.5yo). We found a mass on his side, had a biopsy done at the vet and they said it had blood in it but wasn’t 100% cancer. After researching online, we found this article and asked our vet if Hemangiosarcoma could be the culprit. They said it was possible. We were so glad that we found this article so that we could love on our boy and ensure that our young children knew he would pass “soon” but to make sure they enjoyed their time with him while he was still healthy.
          We were lucky that we had another few but awesome months with him, but then in less than a day, he quit eating, quit drinking, then couldn’t walk or get up. We had a home vet scheduled for the next day to “put him to sleep” at home since we knew a car ride wouldn’t be an option for him. He didn’t make it to the next day and passed while we were all petting him and keeping him company. It all took less than 24 hours going from eating and running to being unable to walk.
          Thank you for this article. It gave us so much extra great time with our husky and then when his time came, we had relief knowing that it was his time and God gave us peace.

        3. Just came upon this site after losing our beautiful 11 year old Pyrenees very suddenly just two days ago to this terrible disease. We had noticed he had become more lethargic as of late and had booked him a senior wellness checkup but sadly he won’t make that. Instead a sudden rush visit to the Urgent care Vet from which he never returned. We are devastated by hisudden loss. We have also previously lost 2 Golden retrievers to this but still nothing that prepared me for our latest loss. I urge everybody to donate to the Morris Animal Foundation who are currently conducting research on Hemangiosarcoma. It is way past time for some strides to be made against this hideous disease that has taken far too many of our beloved pets 💔

      2. We lost our pit bull baby the same way June 10, 2021. My kids didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. Your story is my story right to last detail. Thank you for sharing. My heart is broken. This is the first due baby I’ve had to say goodbye to this way. I’m not sure I could ever have another if this is how it ends.

    4. I feel like I could have written this article. Our sweet 10 year old Jake, a chocolate lab, just passed last Tuesday, most likely from this. It was so fast and unexpected; we are devastated.
      Thank you for sharing, and sorry for your loss of Scooby.

    5. This too happened to me 3.5 weeks ago. A lump appeared on my 10 year old Chocolate Lab’s torso on a Friday and I took him in for an aspirate. Nothing. We scheduled a biopsy for Tuesday but he didn’t live until then. Friday night I noticed he was unusually tired, which I thought was for a busy day at the vet and a nice walk, with cold paws and a little shivering. It was cold out so I figured he was chilly and wrapped a blanket around him. He looked so cute I even took a picture. Little did I know it’d be the last. I woke up the next day and he couldn’t stand, was lethargic and cold to the touch. I immediately took him to the vet where they took an X-ray and found blood surrounding his organs. They told me they suspected ITP and we rushed to the ER for the worst news of my life. Rex would likely not even survive a surgery, let alone another day. I could see his suffering and knew there was no other option but say goodbye. I had to make that decision right then and there, one of the most excruciating and shocking experiences of my life. I had to say goodbye to my best friend in the same room I said goodbye to almost 3 years earlier. I have been told the skin lump I found was unrelated but am grateful I took him in for that. It is comforting to know that I was at the vet the day before and they too found nothing wrong. Not due to negligence on either part, there was just no way to know. I am so lucky to have been with him in those last moments for if I’d found him dead in my home I’d likely had died from pure confusion, regret and sorrow. This is the first time I’ve never regretted the timing of bidding farewell to a pet. I knew it was the right thing to do. My heart is broken and I hurt for his twin sister so deeply. They’d never been apart. Now I have my baby gurl who looks just like him and it’s hard to not see them as a pair. I am suffering. It’s not just hard the first few days or weeks and people send condolences on social media then just carry on with their lives posting stupid things getting more ‘likes’ than my posts about missing my dog. I know it’s just FB but it hurts. What have we come to in this world where we can focus more energy hating the president than we do on our friends who are grieving in isolation. If you’re reading my novel here, you get it. You understand my pain of such a sudden loss. I miss Rex so much it hurts. If anyone has suggestions on how to navigate my healing process please share. I know I’ll never get over it, but I want to be the best mom to his sister and that includes not crying around her all the time. She is already hurting more than me. I’m so sorry for all your losses. Love.

      1. Hi Meg,
        I’m just now seeing this, so I hope you find my response so many months later. I am deeply sorry for your loss. Rex sounds like a wonderful boy and special companion. I hope you have found some comfort but it can take a long time for the immediate grief to pass. Eventually, you will remember happy times and see pictures of Rex without the sudden rush of pain that is so common at first. I would suggest journaling about your feelings, or some people find comfort in poetry they write about their furbaby. If you want to do something more tangible, you can plant a special flower garden or a tree in your baby’s honor. Another idea is to sponsor a pet online through a shelter or other animal welfare organization. It always helps to share with like-minded people, so don’t worry about FB – you have to seek out forums or articles like this one to get the perspective of other pet owners. I have lost several pets to cancer over the years and it is difficult each time. But there is a measure of peace and healing that comes with time. Hang in there, Meg. You are not alone.

        1. Hi Meg
          I am sorry for your loss My Heart is braking too my beautiful Husky Angel, our Baby, We lost her 2 days ago from the same thing. She was onely 9 years old. Within 2 days we had to put her to sleep at the emergency clinic. hardest thing we had to do. she was the sweetes girl, loved everybody and other dogs as well. The pain is unreal. One day she was playing normal, next day she was at the clinic. Thought she would be fine until the next day having to go to emergency clinic. Ultra sound gave us the hardest and most unexpected news. We lost our precious Angel an hour later. Don´t understand how or why. Hope you are doing better. Thanks for sharing.

    6. I too lost my American Bulldog Apple at 10.5 years …
      I am having a hard time with losing her…
      I have another Bully MnM, 7 years, who is exhibiting the same symptoms as Apple…
      Now i need to brace myself for that as well.
      I also lost my Dad to cancer and Brother this year as well…
      This has not been a merciful year….
      2020 has been brutal to be honest.
      But i know in all things seen and unseen…
      YAHWEH ELOHIM is in control of all Creation…
      Life is a gift of which should never be taken for granted.

    7. Hi I have just lost my Westie Jock. It started off with him being sick and continued multiple times and we took him to the vets. We thought that he just had an upset stomach and everything would be ok. The vet came out with a form which we signed to give him any treatment that he needed. They phoned us later that day and said Jock was stable and that the x rays came back fine and they had him on a drip and were giving him pain meds and something to settle his belly.
      In the middle of the night we got a phone call and the vet told us he was gone. His abdomen was filled with blood and it was coming out of his mouth, nose and rectum. I am absolutely devastated he was my little man. He was always happy and I miss him cuddling into me on the sofa.

      1. I’m so sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing your story. I think that is what is so hard for everyone. You think it’s something fairly common or normal and then it’s quite the opposite. 🙁

    8. Thank you for sharing. I’m currently going through it and will lose my little girl, Gracie, very soon. I’m completely heartbroken and don’t know how I’m going to get through it.
      Early August 2020, after a normal walk she showed signs of distress. Within the hour of observing her I took her to the ER. She had emergency surgery to remove her spleen due to rupture. The surgeon also removed a section of her liver that had tumor growth as well.
      I chose chemo therapy for her to give her some more time with me. As long as her quality of life remained it was worth the expense.
      After she recovered from surgery, her energy and behavior was better than ever! I hung onto hope that she would have several more months with me. Last week, she would have started her 5th round of chemo but the scans showed tumors in her abdomen with surgery non beneficial.
      The vet recommended not continuing the 5th round of chemo. The Dr did give me some other chemo therapy options but I just couldn’t put her through anymore hospital stays at this point.
      The Dr told me 1-2 weeks now.
      The first week is over so I’m preparing for the loss soon. She is still eating and drinking normally and wanting her 2 walks a day. I just can’t put her to sleep with all of her normal routines and behavior I am seeing as if today.
      I say goodbye to her everyday knowing the end is near. I’m grateful it’s been 4 months since our ER emergency surgery but I’m completely devastated and forever heartbroken.

      1. So sorry. It is so hard to deal with this horrible cancer. I’m presently going thru this with my golden. Chosing no surgery as She is 11 1/2. Enjoying every minute with her. Presently taking I’m unity and yunnan baiyao.
        Telling her i love her always.

    9. Hi I recently lost my pet to the same disease and when I took him to the vet Monday morning I was told to take him to a specialist. The same day. I first didn’t understand what was going on and how quickly I needed to make a descion until I got the the er. He was stable at the time. I chose the surgery to remove his spleen and the cancer an tumor had spread to the kidneys. My dog lost a lot of blood. And didn’t not make the surgery. I’m still in shock. I just can’t help thinking I did something wrong. All I wanted was to help stop the bleeding. And they told me surgery was the only option to try but there were risks involved. He never woke up. He didn’t suffer which I’m glad that’s what I never wanted for him. But I didn’t know this disease was so horrible. Because. He was still eating. I really feel like I need counseling I’m very very depressed thinking over and over on what I could have done differently

    10. I lost my beautiful long-haired sable colored German Shepherd, Frazier on 09/28/2020 suddenly to hemangiosarcoma. We had just returned from a week’s vacation with Frazier, our other wonderful long-haired German Shepherd dog, Charlie, and our two sweet cats, Rusty and Nicholas. Frazier was going to go to the Veterinarian the next day to have a small bump on his foot looked at. On the Sunday night before he passed away, he wouldn’t eat his dinner. He had eaten lunch that day so we weren’t terribly worried that he wasn’t hungry. He seemed a little, but not excessively tired, but we had driven about 8 hours that day and thought he may be worn out from the long car ride and just needed to crash. We thought we would ask the veterinarian about it the next day, as Frazier had an appointment scheduled but sadly that day never came. While on vacation, he did all of his favorite things, i.e. walked, looked at deer while in our vehicle, went on a pontoon boat ride, had some yummy meals and treats, snuggled with us and slept in the bed at night. We adopted him after he was rescued by the Humane Society who found him under a snowbank with a fractured leg. It was rumored that he and 40 other stray dogs on a reservation were going to be shot so the Humane Society fortunately took all of them under their wing, so to speak. Frazier was so loving and grateful for everything and everyone. He was handsome, sweet, intelligent, fun and we called him the “peacemaker” because he was intuitive and didn’t like anyone to disagree with one another. He would go up to everyone and smother them with kisses. He was 10 years old and 6 months when he died. He would follow me around everywhere and in fact, it was like we were joined at the hip. I miss him so much. Don’t get me wrong, I love me dog, Charlie so much as well as my two beautiful cats. Frazier and I just had some kind of a special bond that I can’t explain. I would rather have had the illness than Frazier and would gladly be sick instead of any of my pets. I feel so helpless that I couldn’t save him or even recognize that he was so deathly ill. I feel like a failure as his pet mom. I’m not sure that my life will ever be the same. I cry all the time and feel so empty inside. I need to be there for my other pets so I try to give myself a kick in the butt to make sure that they know how much I love them, but it’s hard not to cry and be sad around them. If someone has any encouraging words or thoughts, I would be most appreciative. I hope that I will see my dogs and cats who have gone before me in heaven someday. I hope that they will know how much I loved them and still do. I’m not sure how to let go of my buddy, Frazier. This is one of the hardest things I have ever gone through and I have gone through a hell of a lot in my lifetime. God bless all of you who have suffered a loss of a pet. You are in thoughts and I am praying for all of you.

    11. This happened to me to my 7 year old miniature poodle, took her to the vets as her teeth were quite bad on 30th December told to come for a scan on 2nd and died on the 4th the most heartbreaking I have her been through. She was so young has anyone else had this at such a young age is it something Did and didn’t notice, I also have another mini poodle from the same litter and now scared to take her to the vets in case they say the same she doesn’t have any of the above suptoms is

      1. I have refrained from looking anything up online about this cancer. My wounded heart quite honestly avoided any additional scenarios of the pain this devastating, sudden, bewildering, numbing moment in time that will change everything as you was knew it. I have really enjoyed reading your story. I am on post day 9. When I say enjoyed, I mean by the immense love and joy you too shared with your fur baby. Charly was my boy. He was 10. He was full of energy and life every moment of every day. His partner in life is bella. She is 12- just turned 12 a few days before Charly left us. I have to somehow find the stamina to stay strong for her. She really does react to my sorrow as if she is right on board. Our story in Charlys ending was devastating. It never is easy, and I have lost a few fur babies in my life, but, I always seemed to have just a little time to accept they were sick, or, had developed a terminal illness. This was different. This left me with visions I know will haunt me for the rest of my days. Like Scooby, Charly would on occasion skip breakfast. This day he had no desire. Our concern came later in the morning when he chose to lay his head on my husbands lap, rather than make his stance at the backyard wall where he would bark through the crack at his friend for 5 years. The one he never met face to face. He was so lethargic. Just wanted to rest. I had a few errands and told my husband if he was no better when I returned, we would take him in to the vets office. I knew. When I came back home and he had barely moved his position, something was not right. We live in the desert of Las Vegas. Temps today around 115f. I honestly thought he may have been bitten by a scorpion, or, spider. That was what I had set in my head. The only possible explanation for my boy. A picture of health. Even had some health insurance on him, especially after past experiences that left us with many years of pay off. It was the sane thing to do, yet, Charly in all those years, never used the service. Once at the after hours clinic – we knew we would not see our vet. We were assigned a sweet, young, fresh new graduate that was clearly working alongside one of the main doctors. She was quite timid. In a situation like this..timid can mean insecure, unsure. That is how she came off. Within a very short time Charly was taken to the back for evaluation. She would intermittently pop in to talk $costs – followed by procedures that the Main doc had requested. (Never did have a face to face with the doctor who actually worked on him) Xrays, ultrasound, abdomen tap – for blood, which was positive. Tumor recognized on his spleen of which they say was large. Within what seemed minutes we were instructed to take him to the surgical center which happened to be located 20 minutes across town; for emergency sugery remove the spleen. $COST talk again, this time in the thousands. What option do I have? – do what you must for him. My husband, looking back now, I was so pleased he asked what his prognosis would be after all this. The sweet, insecure appearing doctor tells us, his spleen will be removed, if cancerous, he will need aggressive chemo; but, only if it is cancer. “Do you think I can pick him up tomorrow after recovery, I asked?” ” I see no reason why not. You should be able to take him home.” she said. Four vet techs wheeled him outside to put in the back seat with me. His head rested in my lap with my hands under his head. Half way into our journey, charly reared his head high in the air, took a deep breath, and with weighted force he fell back into my hands. His tongue hanging to one side, and his breaths very shallow. My husband and I lost it folks! We belted out our prayers for mercy louder and louder. I begged God to keep him alive until we got there. Still 15 minutes to go. My boy was dying right here in my arms. I blow into his nostrils. I know he hears me as I tell him how much I love him. Be strong! We will get through this storm too! My husband got lost, and I got stupid mad. We began taking this burning stress of pain out on each other. What seemed like hours, we made it. Charly was rushed into the back. I was literally in emotional shock. My voice was rattled and labored. I was shaking like it was 30degrees, and crying from the visions of what happened the last 30minutes of our life. Some humans are so kind, still. A lady across the room held out her arms and came to hug me, while another lady brought a cup of water. So loving. We were called back. The surgeon was very candid. We knew charly was in trouble, but to what extent we did not know. Once he realized that we had not been given the honest outcome of this situation from the first vet clinic, he was apologetic. Charly likely had this tumor rupture at that awful moment in the car. The blood moving at a rapid rate into his cavity. We learned that without a doubt this was cancer and had began its dirty deed of invasion to other organs. We learned that letting go of a pet this sick was not only humane, but of pure love. We were devastated beyond words. What started out as a potential spider bite – brought us to the end of our boys life. But…we were also grateful to have the truth. Our decision was to let him go. I knew I would be in his face, in his eyes, focused dead on him to make sure he knew how amazing his job was on this earth. Assured him over and over of the undying love we had for his crazy self. Life without that much entertainment will be paralyzing for awhile. I did all those things and more. His daddy did the same. Know this..in some way, you will know a small part of you dies in that moment. It is okay to feel that depth of pain and sorrow. I am still fresh with just 9days ago losing our best friend. The one we just knew would be with us into old age. We had time to release him. I hope and pray that this experience is not duplicated by too many. I know I am not alone. Scooby, Charly and all the quad-trillions of fur babies each have a story of their time with us. Thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully I haven’t worn out my welcome in writing such a long testimony –

      2. In 2018 we lost our sweet little boy Tango, a long haired chihuahua, to this horrible disease. One moment he was fine and the next he was lying on his side in the snow. Rushed him to the vet and had to deal with it all during a blizzard complete with power outages to boot. Surreal and still heartbroken. Miss him every single day.

      3. I am glad to have found this story. We just lost our baby, Reco, a 9 and half year-old be able, this afternoon. I am sure it was the same illness, hemangiosarcoma. I, too, was faced with making quick, unexpected, end-of-life decisions for my dog. For the last week or so, he had been lethargic, not eating his regular dry food (though he’d eat wet food, Milkbones, and human table food, if offered). As he’s aged, he’d been gaining weight, so I did not immediately notice or get alarmed by his belly. And, he would be lethargic and sleep all day one day, then show signs of his normal energetic self the next. But, it was such a sudden decline. He seemed weak. He vomited yesterday, but I wasn’t alarmed because he would vomit from time to time when something didn’t agree with his stomach. All of a sudden, he wouldn’t jump in the back seat of the car without being helped. Over the past week, I sorta felt he wouldn’t be with us much longer, so I took him on car rides with me almost everywhere I went. He loved car rides, but those last few weren’t even normal. While he would still hang out the window, he wouldn’t pace from driver to passenger side window like normal. He’d hang out awhile, then he’d sit on the seat facing the rear of the car and kinda just zone out. He’d lay flat on the seat. He rode with me this morning to grab some paint supplies from Home Depot. As he was hanging out the window, the wind blew his lips apart and I could see his pale gums. This alarmed me. When we got home, he was pretty lethargic and went out back and lay on his side on our concrete patio instead of his outdoor bed. This is when I got concerned and called my vet. I told them his symptoms (pale gums, lethargy, not eating regularly, bloated stomach) and they told me to go to the ER Vet. I was there within 30 minutes. The doctor said she was concerned about Reco’s distended stomach and quickly did an ultrasound. She came back and confirmed his abdomen was full of blood. She explained my 2 options; the same two you were given. It was all a blur. My heart broke. She explained how surgery normally would but you a few weeks, at most. I called my husband, who was at the barber. I explained what I’d been told. I told them I wanted to go wait for my husband outside in my car while I had a moment to think. My husband arrived, and we went back inside. Ultimately, we decided to euthanize our baby. We filled out some forms and made a payment. They placed a catheter in his arm and let him come in the room to spend some time with us. They gave us a blanket to get on the floor with him and said take us much time as we needed. He didn’t seem to be in pain. He smelled around the room, gave us doggy kisses. We hugged and held him, told me we loved him and how great of a dog he was. We didn’t want a lot of time because it was so painful to us knowing what was to come. We buzzed the doctor, and she came in a few moments later. We all got on the floor with our baby, and my husband and I embraced him and told him we loved him and it was okay. The doctor explained the two injections she would give and that it would really take less than a minute for the entire process. She said it would not burn or cause our baby any pain. He fell asleep, and she confirmed his heart stopped. I just remember letting him and telling him I loved him, and that walk back to my car was so cold and long. I miss him so much already. It’ll never be the same. RIP Reco (2011 – 2022).

    12. Thank you for this! I type this as I’m lying on the sofa with my 10 1/2 year old boxer/lab who was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma 4 days ago. Her abdomen is full of blood, and she is exhausted. Like you, the diagnosis also came as a big shock, as she ran 5 1/2 miles with me only 1 week ago – and seemed just fine. X-rays revealed a tumor on her spleen, and possibly her liver as well. I am heartbroken. Mocha is my first dog – and has been my favorite companion the past several years. She has run/hiked thousands of miles with me – helped me train for several races, spent hours in the mountains with me in search of peace and solace. She got me out when I needed it most, and has brought me (and my family) a tremendous amount of joy. She is my “person” and the loss will be devastating. I was planning for another fantastic 3+ years with her. I’m sure you expected the same with Scooby!

      I plan to have a vet come to our home to euthanize Mocha, when the time seems right. Though I’m not sure when that will be, I hope I know. She perked up a bit on Thursday and Friday, but today seems so exhausted again. And her abdomen seems more full, which makes me think she has had more internal bleeding. I’m staying by her side and giving her as much love as I can, which will hopefully match all the love she has given to me.

      Thank you for your words. Knowing you understand my pain is somehow helpful. ❤️

      Much love, Lisa

      1. Thank you for posting this. I am sorry for your loss. I am looking for answers as I am still in shock. 4yo male mix(cattle dog/Great Pyrenees / Pomeranian / terrier) loss of appetite and vomit in late March diagnosed with “garbage can-idis” X-ray showed nothing. better with anitbiotic and anti nausea. A few weeks later sick again. Barium X-ray showed nothing. Fecal showed nasty bacteria. Better with antibiotics. Appetite slowly returning.
        5/19 bloody vomit and stool extreme pain. Exploratory surgery reveals some kind of cancer and vet said his Bowles were dead. I don’t know if he had this condition or if anything is related. Vet was shocked when he opened him up and sent tissue to pathology. Still waiting for results. This dog showed no pain until the day he died. He was a very active healthy farm dog. He was my soul dog, my go anywhere, easy going, never had to train dog. I still can’t believe he is gone. My Georgie Porgie

    13. Thank you so much for your article. We lost our loved one, Lucy, on Christmas Eve very unexpectedly. She had a growth that had started weeping, so we decided to take her in for blood work. 2 hours later she had passed. They told us she had hemangioscarcoma and had blood pockets all around her spleen. We were devastated and at a loss of how this could happen so suddenly. I had been doing research and came across your article. It made so much sense and gave me some peace that it wasn’t something we missed or the vet did.

    14. Thank you so much for writing this. I just learned yesterday that my 10 year old mastiff/lab has this cancer in his spleen. I am very fortunate to catch it before it ruptured. But he has lost so much weight. He is going downhill fast. Although one minute he is weak and limp and then the next he is acting normal. But I have made the decision to not wait until his mass bursts and he is bleeding and suffering more. I have set up a appointment to have a vet come to the house tomorrow and put him to sleep. I have been an emotional wreck all day. But I know in my heart this is the right thing to do. And I am so grateful I am able to say goodbye as I know that is so rare with this cancer. But the mass is so big attached to his spleen it is just a ticking bomb I can not make him suffer

    15. not good I found this article – I took my rescue German Shepherd in to vet this morning – he stopped eating and being a devoted food lover I knew it was serious. He also could not chase ball which is 2nd only to food AND he is my boy who was obviously mistreated before he wound up on the street. We had a rough 1st year, but now devoted to each other. In reading the clinical signs – he has them all. also, coupled w/ myleopathy he is having a bad time . It seems like yesterday I lost my last Shepherd which was heartbreaking and now just five years later it does not look good. The Dr. sent out for blood work to be verified because it shows low platelet (not good if they operate) & they were going to do the advance diagnostics waiting for result – I shld. know tomorrow unless the chest xray shows something in which case she will call me tonight. hate those long nights hoping the vet does not call! I just want my boy home.

    16. This happen to my Jarvis last night. He was just a few months shy of 8 years old and I was just SHOCKED to see how quickly his health took a tail spin. I had this feeling deep down in my gut on the way to the emergency vet that I wasn’t going to be coming home with my baby but I was praying I was wrong. Thank you so much for posting your story it really helps me to feel a little better about deciding to euthanize him. (You know those constant questions everyone asks of if you did the right thing and if there is more you could have done even though the vet says its nothing you can control) i miss my baby so much. We are having him cremated and bringing him back home.💗

    17. Thank you for writing this. I lost my dog to hemangiosarcoma 3 days ago. It was sudden and tragic, as well, and a million questions and what-ifs have plagued me since. I found comfort in reading about how you handled similar difficult decisions.

    1. i read your comments with tears streaming down my cheeks that just coming . The pain is incomprehensible! Heaven was just under eight years old and this monster of a disease claimed his life in a matter of days. I was told as I decided on a necropsy, consumed with guilt; thinking I had missed something
      -or had somehow in-advertantly, caused it, desperately needed answers. So i had a
      necropsy. I howled when I my angel boy had cancer in his lungs, heart, spleen and liver. OMG; Heaven was my whole world and I simply cannot imagine my life without him. I am a 100% disabled veteran. I sell
      tupperware to get me out of the house and be social with people vs. alone. He was my “tupperpup” and
      adored by everyone that met him”. To die from this Cancer still is crippling to my heart. I want to push for
      advocacy that our beloved pets our furr-babies are tested for this regularly so that it
      does that have the chance to invade their bodies and claim their lives and destroy ours. Is there anyone that will help me fight for such legislation if it may be possible. I am starting a tupperware fundraiser
      today in honor of my Golden Retriever who would have been 8 in november. “Heaven’s Hope”if you want to contribute i have several choices for you, you decide to sell a sheet or sheets of products and
      have them shipped to you and then distribute them locally. I have several items for you to choose
      from once a sheet is filled you can go to the next and so forth. if you like you can choose
      the option to have one for yourself as the tenth one. The profits go to agency you choose.
      if you are interested; my name is MarciEllen Gerber my website is MarciEllenGerber.MY.Tupperware.com
      my email is navyveteran89@gmail.com (210)376-1983.
      Thank you for your support. speaking of, I would very much like to form a virtual
      support group for dog owner that also have lost their sweet furrbabies to this monster cancer
      if you are interested please pm me. I know I need support to get through this unbearable time
      in my life. After, all i have been through, i though Heaven and I were full speed ahead t
      to be “Mermaids in the Sea”I could not have been more wrong! love and kisses to all of you
      also mourning and missing your little persons and furrbabies. Yours truly, MarciEllen.

      fd

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for posting about this. Sadly, we too, lost our sweet Honey Bear to Hemangiosarcoma. Honey was a Pit/Shepherd rescue, and a truly amazing dog. Similar to your situation, it was sudden and seemed to come out of now where. We took her to the vet and were given the same options, she was 11 yrs old, and already bleeding to death when they took her vitals. We took her home and had a service come out the same day, this allowed us the privacy to grieve and have our last moments with her in the comfort of our home.

    It was incredibly devastating, but we actually had a couple of warning signs that we were not aware of at the time. She had a couple of random days where she wouldn’t move much or eat, but always bounced back to normal the next day. We later found out that this was most likely due to internal bleeding, and she bounced back once her body absorbed the blood. Apparently, the tumor was slowly bleeding but we were not aware of it until it ruptured.

    Being a pet owner, dog lover, and puppy foster for a local rescue organization, I believe awareness helps us take better care of these precious lives and enjoy them while they are with us. Thanks again for talking about this!

  2. The same thing just happened to our boxer three days ago. We are hurting and heartbroken. We definitely understand your pain!

  3. We lost our 5 year old Boxer/Pit mix a month ago to a ruptured splenic tumor, which we believe to be a Hemangiosarcoma. I have a picture of him begging for my daughters food from that morning. I noticed he looked kind of out of it that afternoon, but my daughter was cranky and had just fallen asleep, so I got my food and went back downstairs to where she was. I will regret that forever. Why didn’t l just bend down to check on him? We took my daughter to urgent care because we thought she had an ear infection, she didn’t. We then went to target after. I regret the whole evening. We were out while my poor bub was bleeding to death. I was his person, he was my soulmate, my heart dog. When we got home he was so lethargic, we rushed him to the emergency clinic. I was a vet tech for years, how did I miss this? I knew he was going to die as soon as I saw his gums, I knew what had happened.
    I’m devastated, guilt ridden, and lost. Losing him this way has traumatized me. I cry myself to sleep every night.

  4. So sorry to hear about Scooby what a gorgeous dog , we are in shock after taking our beautiful dog George to the emergency vets last night only to be given the horrendous news that it was Hemangiosarcoma of the heart and devastated that was to be the end of or George’s life story we are all very upset and i can’t stop crying i just wasn’t ready to say goodbye ?x

  5. So Sad to read about Scooby and all these other very sad stories ours is much the same our beautiful! 10 yr old Bullmastif staff cross George who was lagging after his usual nightly walk and off his food also restless during the night a vet visit on Friday 19 th and looking up his symptons we thought maybe Pneumonia but antibiotics and fluid retention tablets didn’t work his gums were pink too so he didn’t seem to be anaemic and another appointment needed for an ultra sound as none was available . Friday night he was in our bedroom and slept right through wrapped in his blanket and his favourite pillow but Saturday came and he was struggling to breath and just couldn’t sit down or lie down he was struggling badly our youngest of 5 Chase was home from his graduate Geo job in the mines and they were best friends like his brother Chase would say well we all decided Emergency vets visit -it was to be George’s last ride in the car an ultrasound and a a syringe to draw blood from around his heart showed he had Hemangiosarcoma of the heart he was given oxygen to help him and came in looking weak but with a wagging tail pleased to see us this made me crumble we were given our choices which was none as I asked for as much info on his prognosis and we knew what was the right decision for George by this time his gums had lost their colour and his legs were struggling we did have his blanket and favourite lamb toy with us and we said our goodbyes but I was a mess our brave boy hadn’t even whimpered just endured it all driving home without him was horrendous I have had trouble dealing with losing our beautiful boy all of us have I think perhaps because up until this he has been so healthy and looked so young for his age my chest hurts and I’m constantly crying we will miss him so much our house feels empty and his face isn’t looking through the glass door waiting to greet us anymore when we arrive home . Our son Chase didn’t make his 7 hour drive back to his job he stayed home an extra day and we comforted each other but nothing will help just time he was such a special dog and will be in our hearts forever along with our lovely memories . Xx

  6. Sorry for your loss. I just found out 48 hour ago my “Perfect Boy” Has a large tumor on his Spleen. It does not appear to have metastasized (at least they could see on ultrasound). But at Ten and a half with the quality of and length of life left I’m finding it difficult to justify putting him through such an ordeal. I don’t want him to suffer or, god forbid, blead out alone at home with no on around. but he’s stable and being spoiled for now. Other than his grey face and the ticking time bomb in his belly he’s really got the body of and attitude of a much younger dog. He had all the good food and treats, regular exercise slept on the bed and all the loves, rubs and squishes a good boy could want. I’m sad and angry as he’s been such to best boy his while life and this is so undeserving. I’m hoping I can be brave for him but I suck at this kind of stuff.

    1. Hi Shawn, this is the exact situation we are going through right now. Just found out today about the enlarged tumor on his spleen but he is stable and doing well for now. What did you end up doing in the end and did your baby live a while after finding out the issue?

      1. Hi Courtney. I’m sorry to hear about your dog. We just got the same diagnosis for our 9 year old miniature schnauzer. The vet says he has a 50/50 chance of survival depending on whether we do the surgery and they find out it’s cancerous. We are trying to decide what will be the best quality of life for him. Sending strength to your family.

  7. Just to let you know, you’ll never really get over this. The same thing happened this January to our beloved, crazy, energetic whippet-shepherd mix. Apparently, Java was fine most of that day, playing and acting normally. But by the time I got home from work, she had already collapsed once in my daughter’s room. And while trying to get in touch with our local vet, Java wobbled on her legs and collapsed again. Her stomach was so distended it felt hard and when I checked her gums they were an eerie white. Realizing immediately it was serious, my wife and I grabbed Java and we jumped in the car. At the vet’s office, she tried her best to be happy, wagging her tail and wanting attention from all the staff. We didn’t wait very long, but it felt like forever due to the anxious situation. The vet did a X-ray and showed us that a large amount of fluid was obscuring the view of her abdomen. The vet said that it was likely blood and she immediately referred us to an emergency vet for an ultrasound. On the drive to the emergency vet, I could tell Java was cuddlier than usual, sticking tightly between my legs in the passenger seat. Again, we didn’t wait long, but it felt like forever, especially when they took Java from us to examine her. Minutes later, they brought us into a room and we met the emergency vet. He explained that he had drawn a syringe from her abdomen and that it was full of blood. He said that it was very likely, based on her breed, that she had hemangiosarcoma and that she would need emergency transfusions and surgery to remove her spleen. Interestingly, they wouldn’t do the ultrasound that we came there for because they already knew Java’s situation was serious. Then things became worse. Java’s prognosis with surgery was only a month and with the additional cost of chemotherapy six months. Having no pet insurance, the estimates ranged from $9,000 to $14,000 to begin her emergency care without any positive outlook. It was a horrible gut punch to find oneself in such a situation with no good options. Why was this happening? Why was it so expensive? What were we going to do? Our dog was facing her imminent demise with or without intervention. We were completely overwhelmed, but it certainly didn’t seem wise to me to extend her life for months only to have to return to a vet again for an eventual euthanasia. It was especially devastating when we had to call our daughter, who was home studying for her finals, to tell her the news. She wouldn’t get a chance to hold and love her dog again and she couldn’t, due to poor cell coverage, have one last, sad interaction via Facetime. In retrospect, we maybe hesistated longer than we should have making that quick decision on what to do. It’s especially bad when I think that that whole time Java was still bleeding out into her abdomen. It was horrible! Eventually, we opted to say goodbye to Java and we were escorted to a special room with couches and blankets. Once inside, Java was preoccupied with standing or sitting by the door, probably wanting to get away from the whole situation. The emergency vet and the tech each dropped in to see how we were doing and when they did Java perked up a bit to see someone new. The tech tried to tempt her with a toy and hot dogs, but Java just wasn’t interested. By that point, I think all her energy was being used up just to keep going. Finally, we were able to bring her closer where we could pet her and say our last good byes. My wife and I were both crying and in shock. Java was always so hyper, like in your face. She was an explosive ball of energy her whole life and to see her like this was unreal. I did my best to pet her in her favorite spots and to tell her she was a good dog and that I loved her very much. As we left, our old friend was lying there peacefully as if fixed in a dream. I’ll miss her always and there really isn’t a week that goes by that we don’t find ourselves thinking of her and how her life was cut short. It’s an absolute tragedy.

    1. You did the right thing. I went through surgery with my dog once and the recovery, when you’re a dog and don’t understand why you have to lay around and take meds, was incredibly difficult and no fun for anyone so I can’t imagine going through that only to extend life by a few weeks (and who knows if my dog would even be feeling good during those few weeks anyway). It’s a rotten thing to go through and I have so much guilt about it. We did rescue another pit bull and that has helped a lot but as you said, I think about Scooby what feels like all day every day.

      1. Thanks for reply. I’m glad you have another dog to focus on. We do too, thank goodness. Bo is a Belgian Malinois, who we adopted last summer. He’s so sweet and very much a puppy. Java was his teacher and it’s been a hard adjustment without her around. Bo’s flooded with affection every day. I guess that’s Java’s legacy. Lucky for him.
        I too have done my research on hemangiosarcoma. Like you explain, it’s common and like most things in life it’s off people radar until it affects them directly. Before Java, we had another sheperd mix, Jambo, who lived to be 17 years old. He had odd bumps on his skin, which now I suspect were cutaneous hemanigiosarcoma although no diagnosis was ever formally made. Java, unfortunately, had the more lethal spelenic kind and she never saw her 10 birthday. Both Jambo and Java were Helen Woodward rescues, who were neutered and spayed very young. That may have been part of the problem. When dogs, especially those breeds suspectible to hemangiosarcoma, don’t have their protective hormones during development, they may have increased risk to the disease later in life. Veterniary research on hemangiosarcoma is about a decade behind and more needs to be done on hemangiosarcoma and prevention.
        I wish only good things for you, your family, and your sweet, new furry friend. Loss is hard, grief is persistent, but life goes on.

        1. I’m so sorry to all of you for the loss of your fur children. I just wanted to tell you that I lost my sweet boy (a grey border collie) at 11 years of age, only a few days ago, so it’s very raw. I read your reply and felt the need to tell you that we didn’t spay my boy until he was 5 years old, as we wanted to have one litter between him and my other dog (which we did) and he still got this awful cancer. Hope that bring some peace to your ‘what if’ thoughts. We also only vaccinated him twice because my other dog had a bad seizure after being vaccinated once when she was only 3 and we decided never to vaccinate them again (I’m adding that because I hear lots of people linking vaccination with this cancer also). It seems it’s a terrible form of cancer that might not matter what you do/don’t do. In saying that, I’m so fearful now of a genetic link as our third dog and my parents dog are from his litter- they are now 8.5 years old.

  8. We are going through this right now. She had a bad day Friday night into Saturday and vet claims it’s this. Then today she is pink again and warm and energetic. I just don’t know what to do. I’ll take it day by day but it’s definitely like a ticking time bomb. But how can I euthanize when she’s perked up now?? So sad

    1. We lost our golden retreiver to this horrible cancer a month ago he lived 7 weeks from being diagnosed he had a ultrasound test to confirm it and blood tests we are all devasted he showed us nothing but loyalty love and happines

      1. I’m so sorry to read this. I’m glad that you were able to enjoy some last moments knowing about it. That’s the thing about dogs. Nothing by loyalty, love, and happiness even until the very end.

  9. So sorry for all your losses. I lost my first German Shepherd to hemangiosarcoma when he was almost 10 years old. On July 25th of this year, my beautiful female German Shepherd passed away in her sleep at 8 1/2 years old. I chose not to do an autopsy but now questioning if she had a heart issue or hemangiosarcoma. She had been playing all night, happy, ate…then went to sleep in her dog bed. I found her the next morning as if she had been sleeping deep. To say that I am beyond devastated is an understatement. She had her share of skeletal issues, with hip dysplasia, spinal degeneration and arthritis in her knees. I had her at the vet every month for chiropractic care, what i thought was the best diet… I guess I was foolish to think she wouldn’t have other issues… As i did with my first Shepherd, I scoured the internet…The only things I can think of are cardiomyeopothy or hermangiosarcoma.. It helps to know that she went in her sleep and had a great day and knew she was loved more than any other…..

  10. This has been very helpful.Its now nearly 16 months since our beloved German shepherd, Zion died from this terrible disease. I still cry a lot and the suddenness of his death traumatised us completely.Iv been going for grief counseling but the pain in my heart is still too much to bare sime days.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing! Truly! I’m sorry for your loss. We just found out that our blue pitbull has a hemangiocircoma near his penis (he’s got white fur there) and I have been a mess knowing that the vet’s recommendation of surgical removal is not fool proof. He’s almost 10 and like yourself my boy and I’m his person. My biggest concern at this point is recurrence.

  11. We just had the same experience and outcome last night with our 6 year old rottie. Still trying to process it all. Thank you for making me feel a little less alone.

  12. I lost my 9 year old boy to hemangiosarcoma. The day we found out he had it was the day he died. He passed the beginning of August. I remember a month before that, he had a little trouble getting up but the vet told us they thought he had arthritis. I said I didn’t think he did because he gets round just fine and walks fine. It’s just getting up. He still had his appitite and acted perfectly normal. Once we gave him medicine for arthritis, he wasn’t having issues getting up any more so I thought maybe it was arthritis. Then august 3rd….we left to take the kids to the park. We came home and our Jack did not greet us at the door. I ran into the kitchen and he was just laying there. I rushed over to him and he wagged his tail but was so weak. My heart broke as we rushed him to the emergency room. The vet immediately took him back and did an ultrasound. She said they saw a mass and his abdomin was filled with blood. We agreed to the surgery and so they did the surgery but came out and called us back in the middle of the surgery. The cancer was spread through his whole insides. It was covered in his abdomin and his diaphragm. The vet said at this point, they can remove his spleen but the cancer has spread through his whole entire body. She said they would give him a week or 2 at the most to live but he would spend that time recovering from surgery and I didn’t want him to be in pain trying to recover from surgery and dying from cancer. So we had him put to sleep. I hugged him hard. I cried so hard I bursted blood vessels in my eyes. He was my first baby. Had him since he was 8 weeks old. My heart still hurts and I cry every day. Every day.

    Walks everyday with him, hugs and snugs on the couch, he loved our children when they were born and cared for them like his pup’s. He helped them with first steps being there and walking along side them as they learned to walk. He was there for my son’s first day of kindergarten. He was so much apart of our life. He was family. We did everything with him. He’s gone. I spent a week in bed. My husband had to take off work to take care of us all because I was not able to. Even though I’m back on my feet doing normal daily routines, I’m broken inside. I am in agony. It’s been a month and I sometimes feel I can’t go on. My baby boy..

    1. I’ve just experienced the same thing…my boy; Alfie (a white GSD with hip dysplasia since a pup and who was a month from his 10th birthday) was my husband’s dog originally but in the last 9 weeks whilst my husband has been away on training had become like velcro to my side. I first noticed he was a bit under the weather on Tuesday 17th September 2019 – didn’t want to eat, not interested in his favourite treat, drinking more than normal, panting heavily and was a bit unsteady on his back legs. I thought it was his hips as we had been told by our vet to gradually reduce his Metacam for his hip pain, so I increased it a little. The following day he was very lethargic and just wanted to lie down. He was the kind of dog that slept most of the day anyway but it was different. I gave him breakfast and sat on the floor with him whilst he ate and then had a wonky chomp (his favourite). I let him and our other GSD; Barney, out into the garden and he just lay on the patio. I was concerned and notice his gums were so pale they were verging on white and didn’t react when I applied gentle pressure. I got him to the vet and he walked in on a loose lead (never happened he usually pulled like a train even in his elderly years) and he half heartedly barked at another dog (Normally reactive to other dogs and wanting to show his dominance). The vet did bloods which showed nothing other than a bit anemic and did an ultrasound which showed his abdomen full of blood. I was hit with the choice of operate or let him go for the big sleep. A teary call to my husband who was 5 hours away and we decided to operate and give him a change. I saw him, gave him kisses and told him to be a good boy and I’d see him soon. I was sent home to Barney but then got a phone call from the vet telling me that they had removed his spleen which had ruptured and stopped the bleeding but that just prior to stitching him up, they had checked his liver and found this cancer in a 4cm tumor about to rupture and the kindest thing would be to let him go. It broke my heart and I went back to say goodbye after he had gone and took Barney so he could understand. Barney (notorious for going beserk at any vetanary member of staff) went nuts but immediately started nudging and licking Alfie’s body. It was heartbreaking. I took Barney back to the car so I could say goodbye to Alfie without Barney going mental. The vet had done a keepsake paw print for us and I stroked and kissed him telling him to still be a good boy and that he was very much loved. We are having him cremated and his ashes returned to us to keep and today I have printed a photo so I can still see him. I have been in tears constantly and it hurts that Barney has lost his brother and playmate, that the loveable old man is not trotting beside me or popping in when I’m in the bathroom and I only make one meal not two. My husband hasn’t been home yet until tomorrow and I know it’ll hit him when he walks in and Alfie doesn’t greet him at the door with a toy and a wagging tail.
      The vet said it was so quick and I got him there as early as I could and I know he didn’t suffer much but I’m still so devastated and didn’t realise how much I loved him. I knew I did, he was my boy and one of my furry children but I didn’t realise how much I’d miss him. Due to his age we had talked about when the time came but this was so quick and unexpected. Right now I don’t know how I’ll get over it I’m just so broken, upset constantly and struggling to eat or sleep. I just want my little man back so much. I’m trying to be strong for Barney and when my husband comes home and the realisation hits but I’m crumbling more and more as time goes on and he’s not here.

      1. The love we have for our pets runs deep. I have a 10 year old Coton “George” that, 1 week ago, had a large mass removed from his neck that grew from the size of a pea to the size of a quail egg in just 3 weeks. The results of the biopsy – hemangiosarcoma. An ultrasound today revealed a very large mass on his kidney that is at risk of rupturing. I am struggling with when to put him down. While not himself, he is eating, wagging his tail and generally happy, but is at great risk that the mass will rupture. I don’t want him to suffer, but don’t want to put him down too soon. Assuming it is a visceral HSA, left untreated survival rate is 1-2 weeks, or I also read 1 month (treatment would add very little time and be very hard on him so it’s not an option). Seems in humane to put him down when he’s getting around fine and happy; but equally in humane if the mass ruptures because I waited too long.

        I wish I knew what to do….

    2. I am not handling this well at all. My son’s rescue ended up being mine and my husband’s goofy big dog. Roscoe, the only big dog I’ve ever owned. Part lab, GSD and possibly pitty. Best dog hands down. Diagnosed with cancer 10 days after dental cleaning. Wouldn’t eat, liquid stool, losing weight, ended up with no appetite. Still wagging tail and playing. Ended up taking him to emergency vet the evening after vet appt the previous day. Mass on spleen and enlarged lymph nodes. He received fluids and meds, went back to pick him up and found out devastating news. Took him home on meds, but he is not the same. Tires easy, anxious, doesn’t want to be left alone. If he does ok over weekend we will have to make the decision to euthanize. How does one go on? I’ve lost dogs before and the pain and grief is so intense.

  13. I lost my darling dog to this horrid disease on Sunday 15th September. I knew it was coming. Six weeks before I had taken him to the emergency vet with a distended stomach. He received an emergency spleenectomy to remove his spleen and a large tumour which had ruptured. I was warned that this was an aggressive cancer and would return but he recovered so well I convinced (deluded) myself that he would be ok. We had another precious six weeks together before I awoke at 4am on Sunday morning to find him acting quite sleepy, trembling gently and with pale gums. I rushed him to the vet, knowing that he wouldn’t be coming home again. He died peacefully, with his head in my hands. I collect his ashes tomorrow and I’ll scatter them in his favorite woods where he played as a youngster. This is just so incredibly painful, I’m sorry anyone else has had to experience this but I find comfort in knowing I’m not alone.

  14. Thank you for sharing your story. I was shocked to see Scooby had passed as I had come across your post regarding TPLO recovery which helped me with Phoenix’s recovery this past January. I’m sorry about Scooby. I’ve come again searching for owner accounts about aftercare of hemangiosarcoma post splenectomy. I know I’m fortunate that I’ve gotten this far with a live dog. Phoenix had a splenectomy today and I know the biopsy will come back positive for hemangiosarcoma.
    I lost Phoenix’s littermate Harlow 2/28/2016 to this cancer. Harlow was misdiagnosed for 2 months. Pancreatitis after I pushed back on the vet regarding arthritis. I’m sorry but arthritis does not explain anemia. Pancreatitis … maybe but she still wasn’t getting better. I opted for another vet with a 2nd opinion but I was a day short of her ultrasound appointment when her spleen ruptured, I elected a splenectomy. Post op they said everything went great, she was alert and ready to go home same day after surgery. She was 35 lbs post op and died 3 days after surgery from a secondary complication, her blood did not clot. They couldn’t figure that out before they sliced her open? I would pay 1000xs over to go back and not let her die for 2 months and suffer post op. I would’ve never done that to her had I known. Looking back I realized she was too anemic to recover at that point from surgery even after the blood transfusions. I honestly believe she lasted 2 months bleeding internally because she was a pitbull. She was absolutely stoic for those 2 months just worried eyes and a lick of I don’t feel good while I gave her arthritis and pancreatitis medication! It was so wrong!
    This go around with Phoenix, I didn’t mess around. I recognized the yelp when I touched her belly. The lethargy and pale pink-white gums. I went to our new vet and asked for blood work (anemia confirmed) and an ultrasound same day (splenic masses confirmed) scheduled for surgery next morning. Slept restlessly I was scared her spleen would rupture. In the morning, this time my directive, do not cut her open if she’s too anemic for her blood to clot. I’d like another blood panel pre-surgery. I don’t care if we ran one yesterday, I can wait. Are you good with the blood results and her ability to clot? Yes, she’s a 33 which is lower than 40and that might be as her blood is currently clumping/clotting the current internal tear. If she was lower …18 or 4, but I strongly believes she’s clotting and I would keep her overnight post op to monitor. She was 53 lbs during the ultrasound, 51 lbs pre-surgery and ~45 lbs post op. She’s staying a total of 3 nights (my request for 2 additional nights) with the vet for monitoring.
    This time around I’ve made sure I advocate for Phoenix and mDr. Coffman and his staff support my internal guide I have for this girl (my last girl). Even my work, I’ve unapologetically dictated my schedule, time off, work conditions/assignments to my bosses/co-workers to take care of Phoenix.
    I know it may be 2 weeks to 3 months is all the time I may have … if that … and I’m fine. As long as it’s kind and loving … what I owe to my dear, sweet Phoe. 12 years of friendship, happiness and unconditional love even when I was less than what they deserved.

  15. I am so glad I stumbled upon this post. I lost my boy 7 hours ago. He just turned 10 in July. He was a beagle bulldog who had hip surgery when he was 5 but was a little fighter and acted like a puppy ever since. His only loves in life were myself and food. We have a 14 month old boy which I know has been hard on Benson, not being my whole world and often being sent downstairs so he wouldn’t trample the baby or jump up and steal his food from his highchair. I’m feeling so guilty about every single minute I didn’t spend cuddling with him and making sure he knew how loved he was by me.
    This morning I came downstairs made coffee, made a bottle for the baby and fed Benson, who is usually drooling by his bowl at 658 before I even get out of bed. He didn’t get out of his bed when I poured him food. He was so lethargic, he couldn’t really even get up. He got up off the couch once and could barely walk. I called the ER vet bc something wasn’t right. He vomited at about 10am and it looked partly black which I now know was probably blood. I thought of he just ate something bad and he’ll be fine. He then limped into the dining room and collapsed on the floor. He’s quite lazy but this was different. His breathing looked labored and he had this blank stare. I called my husband and told him that to come home, that the baby was napping and that I was going to bring him to the Er. My husband could barely get him in the back of my car. He usually gets anxious in the car but the whole ride to the Er, I wasn’t sure he was even conscious. I had to basically carry him (70lbs) from the car to the lobby and he was wobbly and confused. They looked at him, yelled for triage and a nurse came out picked him up and took him back while I stood there sobbing. They brought me to a patient room where I just sat sobbing, having this gut feeling something was wrong. 5 minutes later the vet came in and said there is fluid around his heart and in his abdomen. We will test to see if it’s fluid and clear or if it’s blood. If it’s blood, it’s most likely cancer and if it’s clear, it may be heart failure which means they could drain the fluid but he would inevitably be back with the same issue at some point, however that was the best of the possible cases. She left and said she would come back once they drained the fluid. She came back in saying it was blood, meaning it was Hemangiosarcoma and that they could keep him for monitoring for 12-24 hours, that they understood euthanizing could be the best thing but that they wouldn’t pressure or push that. My husband and toddler cane, we went back to see him. He was hooked up to monitors and shaking and had heating blankets on him. I kissed him and said I loved him and decided to have them monitor him for the rest of the day. She told me if the fluid doesn’t return, most people would take their dogs home but know this could happen again but that he may improve today and be ok for a while. I decided to go home while they monitored him but ultimately decided if fluid doesn’t return, that I’ll come back and pick him up tonight. If he could recover and maybe stay fluid free, I didn’t want to jump the gun and I was too scared and shocked to consider the latter, especially if the fluid wasn’t returning. 3 minutes after I left, I got a call from the vet saying they checked the abdomen and it was full of blood, meaning the cancer had metastasized and spread to his organs. She said they either needed to do immediate surgery to remove the mass or they needed to put him down quickly. She said surgery wasn’t recommended and that given how bad it is, the most humane thing to do would be to euthanize. I continued to drive home while my husband found a neighbor to come supervise while my toddler napped, grabbed his favorite blanket and a jar of peanut butter, sobbing the whole time like is this really happening? We got back to the Er and brought into the comfort room to wait for Benson to be brought in. My husband is not a huge dog lover and while we’ve been together 6 years, I’ve had Benson for 10 and love this dog with ALL of me. My husband was surprisingly crying pretty hard when they wheeled Benson in. He seemed to be in a lot of discomfort, partly sedated. His belly had been shaved, his gums were white and he could barely open his eyes. They put him on the couch next to me and he didn’t even have the energy to get into his comfy spot behind my knees. They said to take as long as I wanted with him but seeing how much pain he was in, I rang the bell pretty quickly. I held my boy, my first loves face as they inserted the medication into his iv. Within seconds, his breathing stopped. I am without a doubt, in one of the saddest places I’ve ever been in right now. Did I make the right choice? Did I ask the right questions? Should I have done more? Were they sure and correct that it was hemangiosarcoma? I am sure that this was not a place Benson deserved to be in going forward but it happened so fast. Yesterday he was drooling by my toddlers highchair begging for puffs and today he’s so sick he had to be put down? I can’t wrap my head around it and I can’t stop blaming myself for not giving him the chance to fight. Maybe he could have. Maybe we was being selfish bc it would be too hard on me to see him in more pain. The house feels empty. 10 years is a long time and for a lot of those years, it was just us. I was his person, his love. If I was sad, he protected me. I am scared that this happened so suddenly, that I’m going to have a hard time processing it all and feeling confident I made the right choice. I just wish I had more time. I wish I had slept on the couch with him last night. My heart is so heavy and I’m scared it’s going to take me a long time to feel ok about this. I’m sure no one is reading my long saga, but for the past 10 hours, I can’t figure out wtf just happened. To say my heart is aching is an understatement. I miss him so much. I wasn’t ready for this. Does it get easier?

  16. It’s been just over a year since we lost our Pointer to hemangiosarcoma of the spleen. My husband came home for lunch break to let him outside and he couldn’t stand. When we got to the emergency vet the tech peeled back him gum area and even though I’ve never owned a dog I knew we what I saw was just freakishly wrong. I’ll never forget my poor babies white gums. We said goodbye to our baby and he almost didn’t even make it for the shot. He was already so far gone. I am so sorry to all of you. I think of him EVERY DAY. I am commenting because I had never heard of this and I really feel like it’s a silent killer. There’s no signs this is happening.

  17. We just lost our sweet Zoey last night. We are still trying to wrap our heads around the sudden nature of this tragedy. Zoey is a Lewellen Spaniel/Border Collie mix. She is 9 years old and is very healthy and active. 7:00PM she was fine. by 8:30 she was holed up in the bathroom and couldn’t walk. We brought her to the Emergency Vet in Windham N.H. near where we live. They brought her in, less than 10 minutes later we got the news. She has a Hemangiosarcoma that ruptured. The options were limited at this point. She was too far along to stabilize and we had to decide to put her to sleep. Before the Dr came in with the drugs to perform procedure, she was gone. We were with her and it was peaceful and without pain. We are trying to wrap our heads around this. Tuukka her 9 year companion brother ( a Chessie/Aussie shepard mix) is showing signs of depression. I’m trying to keep his routine and give him extra exercise. We just didn’t have time to prepare.

    1. We lost our boy Chance yesterday in the same way. I can’t stop crying. I have severe guilt because before they could even find a place to give him the medication he was gone. I struggle with wondering if we took too long to say goodbye that he may have suffered in pain to go on his own instead of getting the medicine to save some suffering all so we could say goodbye. Ive been searching for another story like ours where the passing came when they were getting the medicine ready. Thank you for sharing your story so that we know we aren’t alone, even if I can’t forgive myself. I truly wonder if you can die from a broken guilt ridden heart.

      1. I get it! I felt guilt for some time but once I could see through the grief I came to peace with it. It’s not your fault and it was quick. My husband keeps reminding me that we will be lucky to have a swift end no matter what as so many suffer for long periods of time. Dogs, from what I understand, also don’t have a sense of time that we do. He was ready, otherwise he would have waited for you. It will get better, I promise. I did feel like I was going to die, too, in those first few days.

  18. It hurts so much reading all this and i’m so sorry to all of you who lost your beloved furbaby ;( I had NO idea this awful sickness existed until last weekend. I lost my beautiful german shepard, Luna, Oktober 12th. She was 9 years old. So vital, so full of life, such a puppy at heart.. she was everything to me and i’m beyond devastated. I‘ve been reading so much about hemangiosarcoma after her sudden death and i can’t believe the vet never told me about the risk earlier so i could’ve taken an ultrasound on her seniorcheck a few months back. My heart bleeds. I feel guilt.anger.pain. I would’ve done everything to save my baby.. but she gave up fighting in my arms after a tumor cracked on her spleen ;( Reading these stories make me see how common this is, and that i’m not the only one who has been in this traumatic situation. It all happened so fast ;( our pups did not deserve an ending like this.

    1. I haven’t counted the first half of what she mentioned. I had suspected bloat so for the secondary concern of spleen because he seemed to be descented more on that side. I took him to the emergency vet and sure enough they found a tumor on the spleen. It didn’t bleed a whole lot but it was enough to put her down to feeling really bad just did she described. But she’s been like this for 2 days. I couldn’t get an appointment for surgery until tomorrow. I am terrified it will explode before surgery. There is a possibility that this could be benign. His blood work is pretty much perfect except for being a little low on red blood cells from the bleeding. she has gained weight recently, and had a big appetite and was active before the event. Of course this may be similar your baby as well. But I’m hoping it’s benign because if it is it will be a cure. But if it’s not? We actually caught it kind of early. If it is malignant then I will still have some time with her. Anyway wish us luck and throw a few prayers this way. Please. I am so afraid. I’ve never had a dog go through such a critical surgery.

  19. We just lost our German Shepherd to hemangiosarcoma yesterday. He was just over 10, like so many others mentioned in the comments here. My deepest sympathies to all of you whose beloved dogs have had to deal with this merciless cancer.

    Misha had just recovered from a gastric infection, and was in really great spirits on Sunday morning, demanding that my dad take him for a longer walk than usual. He had a good late breakfast, and three hours later couldn’t get up for his afternoon walk. Luckily the couple who live below us are vets, and they very kindly rushed with us to their clinic and got in their support staff. An ultrasound revealed massive tumours on the spleen, in the liver and in the stomach. The vets very gently told us that he had a few days more at best, possibly only a few hours. They gave him blood replacement and a clotting agent to perk him up and give him a bit of ease, and a big dose of painkiller. They asked us to carry him home, and make him as comfortable as possible, and give him anything he might want to eat. And to call them when the inevitable final collapse began and if we felt he was going through prolonged suffering, so that they could help him on his way peacefully.

    Our boy insisted on walking out of the car and was able to walk in and out of the elevator and to one of his favourite cool spots in our living room. I knew he was beginning to fade though, so I sat on the floor with him for the next 90 minutes which were all that remained of his time on this earth. My parents were in shock at the abruptness of everything, and were trying to go about their usual evening routine, but it quickly became apparent that he wasn’t going to make it through the evening.

    Five minutes before the end, he managed to get to his feet, looked out of our balcony one last time with his tail wagging, and then flopped down next to my mum, and began to fade rapidly. He did suffer at the end, I’m sorry to say, but mercifully only for a minute or two, and was gone before we had even collected ourselves enough to think of calling the vets. He died surrounded by and being stroked by his human family, our other two dogs, and our tomcat Percy. And just like that, this wonderful, loving, gentle and brave spirit that had filled up our lives and protected our home for 10 years was reduced to a still handsome but ravaged 30 kilos lying motionless on our floor.

    We took him to the crematorium almost immediately, and before he went in I uncovered his lovely face one last time, and stroked his incredibly soft ears and his greyed muzzle.

    Two things make it hit even harder: Coming home to a quiet welcome from our other two, less boisterous dogs instead of riotous barking and jumping from all three dogs instigated and led by Misha. And even worse is looking at our three young cats, who have been ‘brought up’ by Misha, from the time they were tiny enough to fit in his mouth. Looking at them, and remembering how kind and gentle he was with those frail little babies brings an unbearable lump to my throat and probably will for a very long time. I remember how he let the kittens jump on and around him, how he grinned at them and rolled over onto his back when they played with his feathery tail, whimpering slightly when they actually got their tiny claws and teeth through his thick fur. I remember how fiercely protective he was of them, growling and barking at any stranger who approached them. And I remember how he and Percy, the tom, would spend hot afternoons lying side by side in the shade.

    The really hateful thing about hemangiosarcoma is how little time most people get to prepare themselves. We had barely two hours from knowing that his time was near to his death. And we felt completely powerless, since in his case there wasn’t even the ‘bad’ option of a surgery, due to the liver and stomach tumours.

    We’re an animal loving family, and have gone through the grief of pet-loss before, but this seems particularly cruel. In time, I’m sure we’ll go from actively missing him to gratitude for the blessing that his life was, and laughter and a feeling of warmth and fuzziness at the memories this wonderful dog shared with us.

    I pray that every single one of you who are experiencing this same grief reach that place of acceptance and peace in your own time. I have no doubt that the selfless, generous souls of the animals who have left us wouldn’t want us to grieve a moment longer than necessary. God bless you all.

  20. I am so sorry for everyone’s loss. I lost my German Shepard last Friday 11/15/2019. Levi was only 6 years old. He was not eating well for a few days & seemed a little off, but seemed like nothing too bad. I looked at his gums & they looked a little pale to me, so I called the vet. Took him in & while in the room noticed his stomach looked a little bloated, as did the vet when she came in. Took him back & came in with a vial full of blood, which was what was in his belly. His blood work was pretty good, a little anemaia. Emergency surgery showed her the spleen was not to bad, but his liver was in rough shape…needless to say he was euthanized….So hard to believe you take your dog to the vet for something you think is not to serious & 3 hours later he is gone. We are heartbroken & just feel such a loss….Camilla feeling all the same emotions as you, pain, guilt, anger, loss. I pray with time we can all heal. xo

  21. I’m so sorry for your loss! We just lost our beautiful Chocolate Lab/Dane mix named Chase last night suddenly. We rushed him to the Hospital an hour before and the doctors ran tests and immediately advised that he had so much blood in his stomach and his blood pressure was at 40. He was just running around hours before, and this downfall happened so quickly. From the tests the Doctor diagnosed him with Hemangiomas and didn’t give us very promising survival news. Chase looked so tired and was in quit a bit of pain at that time. The Doctor advised that with the surgery we would be lucky to get 3 months if he makes it through the surgery, and that recovery would be painful for Chase with the hard chemo that he would require as well. My sweet boys were full of tears when they told us. We had to make a decision fast as the Doctors said his blood pressure was not good at all. We didn’t want him in pain anymore and his quality of life just wouldn’t be the same . He loved to catch the baseball and frisbee, and he just wouldn’t be able to do that after this surgery and would be very sick. We didn’t want him hurting and he didn’t deserve the pain. We adopted Chase from a local shelter and had 14 amazing years with this beautiful loving dog. The Doctor advised that the best thing would be to euthanize since the surgery was not very promising. It was the most gut awful news and my boys became historical. With tears. I just had to leave the room with them in order to hug and calm them down. I felt I didn’t want a 9 and 11 year old to witness Chase being Euthanized. We went back in the room and hug and kissed Chase telling him and kissing him over and over that we loved him more then anything and promised that we would one day see him in heaven and run again. I felt like at that moment my heart just dropped but I knew I had to be strong for my boys and be there for them the most. My husband stayed back to hold Chase in his arms until his last breath as my boys and I hugged and waited in another room. It was so fast and surreal as my husband walked out 2 minutes later and let us know that Chase is at peace. I just lost my breath at that very moment.
    As we left the Hospital, I really thought this was all a dream and we were going to get home and Chase would be there to greet us at he door with a wagging tail and bark, but instead it was silent and quiet not what we are use to. We all sat on the coach where he slept all the time and weeped for hours hugging each other and talking about great times, and all the happiness brought to our lives. It’s not going to be easy, he definitely was one of a kind! I just know my husband and I have to be stronger and be there for our boys to talk and wipe their tears when they get sad. That beautiful boy will always be in our hearts forever!♥️

  22. It is two months since my last post and the missing and longing for my Zion child, 6 year old GSD doesnt feel better.we have taken in a long haured gsd, Boots who has indeed climbed into my heart..im able to start speaking to her about her Sbrother and explained that he is at the rainbow bridge whete we will all meet up one day.She will never take his place but filling up her own. Tonite i have finally acvepted that im not ecoexted to acceot losing my child and is helping me.Much love to you all.

    1. I can sympathize with you completely. Only we opted for the splenectomy after my 9 year old Plott Hound’s tumor bursted and she had the same symptoms as Scooby. Katies tumor turned out to be hemangiosarcoma as well and we also opted for chemotherapy, which was covered by our pet insurance, along with the surgery. Katie lasted just 2 1/2 months, tolerated the chemo very well (doxorubicin) and Yunnan Bayao supplement . We fed her red meat (steaks rare) and she was living the dream until she had another bleed. At that point our Vet recommended we put her down. With heavy hearts we had to do what was right for Katie. Sure insurance would have paid for exploratory surgery to find out what was now leaking blood in her abdomen (liver, etc.). However, Katie’s immune system was already taking a hit from the chemo and who knows what her quality of life would have been after surgery. There are a lot of studies out there on this particular aggressive cancer, some seem promising but they are blind clinical trials (you either get the pill or a placebo).

  23. Thank you so much for this post. My experience with hemangiosarcoma is almost identical to your story- including both debating the morning of whether and when to take him in and the sadness for my sweet boy having been abused prior to joining my family. I lost my Cider last week seemingly out of the blue and reading this article and comment string brings me comfort knowing that I’m not alone in this experience. I feel grateful that the disease came on so swiftly and that he was not in prolonged pain. As hard as it was for me to not have time to prepare to say goodbye, I’d much prefer his quality of life over my own emotions. In so many ways, the road to the ultimate outcome could have been so much worse- prolonged and painful. It’s wonderful that people can share their stories and connect with with strangers over the internet through shared experiences. Thank you again.

  24. Thank you for posting this about your very loved Scooby. I came across it while searching on “hemangiosarcoma.” I fostered (failed) a 10 year old chocolate lab (Coco) in August of this year. I knew she had some health issues and we could afford to address them. Our ability to financially and phsycially take care of a senior dog, and her incredibly sweet face (and personality) took me about 1/20th of a second to decide to adopt her. Yesterday morning she was her normal self and by noontime we had to euthanize her. It was (is) heart wrenching. I was her person and she way my girl. My husband and kids always rescued and were our dogs’ people but this girl was mine. She snuggled next to me on the couch and would like in her bed next to me while I worked, and went EVERYWHERE with us. Coco did not miss a chance to ride in the car. My husband and I even decided to fly our kids to Florida the day after Christmas but we were going to road trip with Coco so she could ride. Sadly, our scenario unfolded yesterday exactly like you describe yours. In retrospect, she was a little more tired at times over the past couple of days and would lay down between our backyard and the front door, which we thought was because her paws were cold in the fresh snow, so we would just scoop her up and carry her inside. Now I realize she was most likely having intermittent bleeding. I have been reading non-stop about Hemangiosarcomas, what could I have done differently, should I have caught it, and did I make the right choice (resounding yes). I am heart broken but appreciate you putting your heart out here for others, like me, to find. It is devastating to say the least. I am grateful though for my four months with Coco, incredibly sad and thankful to find your post. Much love.

  25. We just lost our beloved dog this afternoon from the very same thing. He experienced all of the early symptoms you describe…reading your post was almost exactly what happened to us. We are grateful to have had him for 12 plus years. They are special creatures…truly our best friends.

  26. I am devastated reading this for I just lost my beautiful border collie aussie mix Mac to this horrible disease yesterday. He had just turned 11 on new years day. No signs, no symptoms, no change in appetite, no nothing until 2 days ago. I came home from work, he greeted me as usual, then collapsed in my arms urinating on himself. Immediately went to the vet, a chest xray done with abnormalities noted of either lung cancer or fungal infection. I was then sent the next day to a specialist for an ultrasound. Then came the diagnosis with a mass in the spleen bleeding into the abdomen with fluid around the heart with suspected mass in heart, and cancer everywhere. Horrified and devastated. Brought him home and made dreaded appt for euthanasia for later in the evening. Wanted to have 1 last day with him. We ended up bringing him to his appointment early for he collapsed again in the afternoon. He walked into appt like there was nothing wrong with him. He did not look like a dog that was dying. Now I am questioning myself if I did the right thing for he did not want to die. He would not sleep after given the sedative. He finally went peacefully with the phenobarbital but he did not want to die. After reading this post I also understand how sick he really was and that I did the right thing. I am still so devestated, heartbroken, and very angry. He was too young and I feel cheated that I should have had 3-4 more years with him.

    1. You did the right thing and, sadly, you were cheated. I think we feel tremendous amounts of guilt because we’re the ones making life and death decisions for our pets. This disease is difficult and I’ve received emails from vets who have gone through the same shock with own pets. I still feel like I should have noticed something earlier but I get that there really wasn’t a way for me to. You will feel better eventually — life will not be the same but you’ll be okay, one day at a time and Mac will have left this world very loved.

  27. I have lost 2 labs to this disease, both at 10 years old. Both had the expensive surgery and neither lasted very long. The first, my boy Reese, only lasted a couple weeks. The second, Carmel, lasted 3 months. She would have a low day and the only thing she wanted to eat was turkey so we roasted 4 of them over the 3 month period. We opted to not do the chemo drugs because the warning labels said you had to be careful with all excretions and I couldn’t imagine not holding her and kissing her in her end days. We also had a puppy arrive 3 weeks after her surgery. She is a lab as well and turned out to be a gift from GOD because Carmel absolutely loved her.
    Last day we had her we carried her in her favorite blanket with her fav toy in the back of our suv. The vet agreed when he saw her, took a quick blood test to confirm, and administered the final shot. We held her and told her we loved her the whole time. One thing I did differently this time- I found a local animal crematorium and I drove her there. They were so kind- I wanted dignity for her. They called me the next day with her ashes and I created an Ofrenda in my living room. It has helped me and I pat the box everyday and say a prayer for her.
    Btw- Carmel had a tplo surgery at 5 years old just like your Scooby.
    I wonder what is causing our dogs to get cancer at such a young age. Flea meds, heart worm meds, vaccines? I wish I knew if someone was working on that.
    Healing takes a long time and this new pup, Monterey, is filling my broken heart with joy.
    Keep in mind that DOG spelled backwards Is GOD. I hope all of you who have written here find a way to heal
    Kathy

  28. I wanted to say I suffered after my first dog died because I knew so little and I second guessed myself. It was awful and didn’t help with the healing process. In fact for 10 years- I doubted my decision to put Reese down so soon. I beg you not to do that. It is obvious everyone here LOVED their babies and that decision is one of the hardest you’ll ever make. This particular cancer is brutal and will kill your dog. There is no cure. It’s just a matter of time. Each person has to do what’s best for the Dog and for your family. Don’t look back or have regrets. After they are gone, when you think of your sweet companion, Embrace not Erase, and focus on the joy they gave you. Joy is such a precious gift and they woke every morning with joy and a dog smile. Remember that.

  29. I’m reading these stories as I dread that in a few hours I’ll be putting my beloved boy down. I guess my husband & I were lucky, we experienced the exact same collapse, white gums, rush to er vet last Friday night, to be told Charlie our ten year old Basset Hound was filled with blood & ultrasound saw a liver mass. Options were surgery immediately, take him home to have a few good days with our boy & hope the next rupture would not end his life in a very painful way, or euthanasia right then & there. We were shocked. Our forever ‘puppy’ with more energy than some of his actual puppy playmates! We took him home Saturday night as the er dr told us he was running & making friends with every employee in the back of the hospital. I was going back & forth all day Sunday between surgery or putting him down, not being able to believe our ‘child’ who was eating drinking & playing normally was ill. By Monday morning, he was a bit lethargic & gums were a little less pink, he didn’t want to eat much. I called for an in home vet service to put him down, but they couldn’t come until Wednesday morning. Tuesday we were blessed with Charlie being alert, energetic, & wanting to snack on his favorite Romaine leaves & jerky all day. Hemangiosarcoma went from having not even been on my radar to my research keeping me up at night. I’m so sorry to all those who lost their dogs in a much more traumatic way, while we’re literally watching him breathe & making sure he doesn’t appear to be in pain every moment until his appointment later today, we had a few days to say goodbye. Thank you all because now I know we’re not alone.

  30. Thank you so much for sharing about Scooby. And thank you everyone who has posted their heart wrenching stories. It has brought me some comfort during this difficult time. We lost our beloved Bleu on February 9, 2020. He was a 12 year old Lab mix and just a Prince of a dog.

  31. I just wanted to thank you for sharing this. I was so shocked and saddened when I saw your Instagram post about Scooby’s passing. Sadly we lost our Emma two weeks ago today. They did not tell us specifically that it was Hemangioma Sarcoma (they did find a tumor on Spleen) but nearly everything you described is what happened with our Emma.
    As hard as it is,understanding what was happening based on your description helps me know that we made the right decision and did the best for our sweet girl.

  32. I am so very sorry to hear about Scooby. I know that you were the best possible mom and family for this beautiful boy. We are currently dealing with this as well. We found out my mother’s Schnoodle has lesions on her spleen, liver and lung. We do not know what to expect, or how long we have. It is devastating. She lost her last two dogs to cancer. Different kinds. This pain is just too much.
    But I am so very sorry, and wish you peace and comfort. Thank you for sharing.

  33. Thank you so much for this post. My soul mate, Sandy…a 10 year old male Golden Retriever has a sudden loss of appetite and blood counts showed severe anemia. Prednisone brought his appetite back, but I just felt it was more than anemia. His swollen belly kept making me think Hemangiosarcoma. I studied and studied both anemia and Hemangiosarcoma (which killed my previous two dogs!) Yesterday I found your post and it was heaven sent. I knew then. I talked to my vet on the phone, he agreed that was probably the case. The decision to put him to sleep was made for the next day. That night was his first night with crying. I gave him plenty of Tramadol. This morning I cuddled Sandy in the back of the car we had so many adventures in while my wonderful vet peacefully sent him on his way. I am so thankful that I didn’t try to wait until the Prednisone course was done in hopes that his blood count would be up. I am thankful I saw the truth. Your post helped me see that and that is what saved Sandy a lot of pain. I was also fortunate to be able to take off work for these last 2 weeks or so and spend all that time with my dog. Thank you for telling your story. It made a difference for us.

  34. So sorry for your lost, came across your post googling this disease. My dog Skittles (10 years old, golden mix) got this diagnosis today and I am devasted. I see her change by the minute and think that she may not make it until next week’s appointment with the specialist. I hate to see her suffer. Thinking I should euthanize her tomorrow, even if this is totally killing me. I am not sure who rescued who here, but I still can’t understand why her previous owners surrendered her. We have been thru so much together, everyone loves her. I am lost

    1. I am really sorry as it is a horrible decision to make. I opted for sooner rather than later because I saw him and I knew and the vets were unequivocal. I didn’t even feel that I could wait for my family to get to the hospital (he was declining rapidly). It’s the unknown though that is difficult because Scooby did, they think, clot and was okay for a few more days. You’ll probably know in the morning. We have a 24-hour veterinary hospital that is quite good. If you have similar nearby maybe you can call them with questions if they arise overnight.

  35. I just went through a similar experience with my 8 year old rescue, Mason, last week. So I completely feel your pain. Unfortunately, the undetected tumor apparently burst, unknown to me, and I had to carry him to the car and rush him to the emergency room. The Coronavirus pandemic complicated matters too. I had to wait in my car and talk to staff by phone. When the doctor told me that he was confident Mason had hemangiosarcoma, I was both surprised and devastated. He had had his annual bloodwork just weeks before. Nothing significant had shown up. He had had a similar episode to this one about four months ago, but he recovered. He had also had a major gastrointestinal problem three months ago, but neither the numerous x-rays or numerous ultrasounds had caught it either. It’s an insidious disease. Since it had burst, I was forced to make decision immediately. I decided on euthanasia. I thought it the most humane. The prognosis was three to six months if surgery was successful. I didn’t want to put him through the agony of the major surgery, long recovery, and having to deal with a missing spleen for a large part of his remaining time. He had suffered through enough when we first got him: some kind of serious trauma to his hip, maybe being hit by a car, before we adopted him, went through femur head removal surgery, and a year long hip rehab to restore the use of his back leg, which he had stopped using. It just didn’t feel right putting him through more. So, I understand the pain you went through with Scooby. It is the most difficult decision any pet owner has to go through.

    1. I am really sorry to read this. I think you did the right thing. It is such a shock but it does get easier I promise.

  36. Thank you for sharing your story, I’m sorry for your loss. We adopted a senior dachshund 1 1/2 months ago and just found out today he’s suffering from Hemangiosarcoma on his spleen and most likely liver too. We brought him home until his quality of life becomes too affected. I knew I wouldn’t have years and years but had no idea he would be going this fast. It’s heart breaking.

  37. This just happened to us yesterday. Our beautiful just shy of 13 year old Rottie/Lab Mix had to be put down yesterday. We aren’t naive to the fact that she was old, but she was such a healthy and happy 12 year old dog. She was just seen by vet not too long ago and everything looked great. We thought we had at least another year and a half because of how healthy and active she was. I went outside because I was surprising her and our other dog with a cheeseburger from McDonalds and she tried to stand and collapsed instantly. She started to seize and urinated herself. She wouldn’t take water or food. She couldn’t walk. 30 minutes before this, she was fine! We had to find neighbors to help us carry her to the car because she was 85 lbs and could not move. We rushed to the ER vet 30 minutes away and they had to take her without us first because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We sit in the car with our 2 year old daughter waiting to hear something. We thought maybe she got hot from the sun? Maybe heat stroke and just needs fluid? Everything except this made sense. They call and get a more detailed history and put Sophie into an oxygen tank room because her breathing was labored. An hour goes by and they finally call us with news that an ultrasound showed a ruptured mass on spleen with free fluid everywhere. She was bleeding internally. Our Options: 1. Emergency Surgery to remove spleen. 2. Euthanize. We were told statistics and that most of these cases- this rupture is due to cancer. Her red blood cells were very low. Pale gums. Labored Breathing. Lethargy. If we choose the emergency surgery- we could do chemo after, but we are still looking at 4-6 months. We asked them what will her quality of life be after the surgery? The vet said that she can recover decently after 2-3 weeks, but more often than not, these tumors will reappear and probably on the liver. She would be in pain. We didn’t have much time to think about it because she was bleeding internally. We couldn’t bring her home and think about it. We had to make the decision soon and fast. We told her we would call back. We sit in the car shocked and in denial on what is happening. We call our close family/friends who knew Sophie. We tell them. Then we talk and we know that we have always talked about her quality of life being the most important thing. One of the hardest decisions we ever had to make. We chose option number 2 as well. With TONS and TONS of hesitation and reassurance from vet that this is the best thing to do. We wanted to get the surgery, but we knew it would be brutal on her afterwards especially almost being 13 on June 1. They allowed us to go in and sit in a room with Sophie. We sat and spent time with her for 2 hours. Tried giving her treats. She was so happy to see us, but anytime she put her head up- the heavy breathing started again. She just stared at us and we told her how much we loved her. She was the best dog in the entire world. We think she knew she was going. There was never a right time to put your animal down. If we chose the surgery- it would have been for us and not her. We put her health first. The last thing I thought when going to the ER vet was that we weren’t bringing our beautiful dog home that day. Last night was so hard and today even worse. Our whole world has crashed. Our routine is off. Our other dog is searching for her sister. I know time will make is “easier”, but this hurts more than I can ever express. Such a shock. We miss her so much already. Our house feels so empty without her. The only comfort is that she is no longer in pain. We know we made the right decision, but I think the shock and how fast this happened has made it difficult to accept it. Especially not knowing she had this tumor and then all of a sudden it ruptures and hurt her quickly.

    thank you for sharing your story.

  38. Thank you for your blog. It really does help knowing how common this condition is and how we are not alone in having to make heartbreaking decisions. My beloved Jagger first showed symptoms of lethargy on Good Friday. I watched him closely during the day, debating whether to take him to the emergency vet but he seemed to come good by the afternoon. Two weeks later it happened again, but his symptoms were worse. Took him to the vet to have him examined. After a physical exam and having bloodwork taken, the vet suspected a possible mass on the spleen from our description of symptoms (he was kind of back to his normal self again when we had the appointment) but his bloodwork showed a clean bill of health. He didn’t have a distended abdomen or pale gums. We were advised that we could go ahead and get X-rays or ultrasound, but not totally necessary at the time. We opted to wait and see if it happened again, and of course it did, 8 days later. This time he was admitted straight away and an ultrasound confirmed the vet’s suspicions that he had a mass on the spleen that was bleeding. As his red blood cell count was still in the normal range, she thought he would be a great candidate for surgery, and that he could possibly last for years if the mass was confined to the spleen. She was completely honest though and told me what could happen when they go for surgery and to be prepared. I had no idea when I dropped him there that he would never be coming home. Unfortunately when they opened him up, he also had several spots on the liver, with one of those bleeding too. She called me mid-surgery to advise me on the findings, but said realistically he would only have 2-3 months at best if he recovered from surgery. I couldn’t do that to him so chose to have him closed up, cleaned up and brought to consciousness enough for me to say goodbye. As soon as he heard my voice as I entered the surgical ward he started crying for me. I dropped everything and ran to be with him. I managed to calm him down, held his head in my hands and showered him in kisses and tears and told him how sorry I was. I think he knew it was goodbye. I will never forget how he looked at me. When I was ready the vet gave him the first injection to put him back into a deep sleep, and then the second to stop his heart. I am so grateful to have been with him at the very end, and that he knew his Mummy was with him. I am also grateful that I didn’t get the ultrasound on the first vet visit, as that bought me an extra 8 days with my boy that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I know it was the right thing to do in euthanising him, but 10 days later it still hurts so much. I know it will get easier though, and will get another pup when the time is right. Thank you everybody for sharing your stories. It really does help knowing we are not alone.

  39. Thank you for sharing this. I just lost my German Shepherd, Luna, in this very same way yesterday. She was 8 1/2 years old. My family is devastated (my eldest son especially because he raised her from a pup and they were best friends). I took comfort in hearing your story because I am still struggling with our having to make the choice so quickly.. I keep wondering if there was something I could have done to realize this was happening sooner. Thank you again for sharing your experience; maybe I’ll be able to finally sleep tonight knowing we did the right thing for her.

    1. I get it because actually a few days ago the woman who did our home check for Scooby when we rescued him had missed my postings about his passing. I told her that it took me a long time to get beyond the guilt that I felt for missing the fact that he was sick. I’m okay with it now. He probably didn’t know. Or, if he did, it wasn’t for very long. I am sorry for your loss. It is tremendously hard on the kids not to mention us but you will find peace eventually, I promise!

  40. Hi, I lost my baby, Cocoa, on Monday, today is Wednesday and I have been crying off and on all yesterday and today. Cocoa was my 14 1/2 year old black miniature poodle. He was such a wonderful dog and although I did not expect him to live forever, he seemed healthy and played like a puppy up until the end. I just assumed that he would probably live a few more years. On Sunday he was fine and energetic and was so excited to bring me his ball to play fetch. And, as I played with him I delighted in how energetic and healthy he was. Monday morning he seemed fine and ate breakfast. I was busy about the house on Monday but let him out multiple times to play in the yard and potty. I did not notice anything unusual. At 6 pm I returned home after being gone for 2 hours and went outside with him. He took a few steps and then just stopped. He was unresponsive when I called him and his eyes had a blank stare. I knew something was terribly wrong. I told him to sit and then down and he did so and then just lay there inert. I checked his gums and they seemed pink enough but his gums are mainly black so hard to tell. I shown a flashlight in his eyes to see if his pupils were contracting and I could not tell but it seemed they were not. I called my husband who was out of town and told him something was terribly wrong and I would take Cocoa to the ER. I got him to the ER within 30 minutes and they carried him in and I waited in the car because they were not letting people in because of covid. The doctor on staff obviously knew what to look for given his sudden symptoms and immediately did an ultrasound. She came out to the car and she was so kind and honest and told me that usually these tumors are malignant and have already spread so although he could have emergency surgery to remove his spleen to stop the bleeding (the tumor had ruptured), she said that if it was her dog she would end his suffering. I agreed with her and she said I could come in and hold him. She told me I could take all the time that I wanted but I told her to get the syringe because I did not want Cocoa to endure any more pain. Despite my grief, I would not have wanted my dog to have a weeks, months or years of pain and suffering from illness or age infirmity. Even if there was statistically a good chance that the tumor was benign, I still would probably not have put my elderly dog through a painful surgery. Having him happy and active to the very end is what any dog owner would want. I understand the logic of that and am grateful that his end was quick but I still can’t stop crying because he was such a big part of my life and I loved him dearly. In hindsight, there were in fact, several, short lived episodes in the three months prior that were clues that something was wrong. He had one day when he did not eat breakfast and was very lethargic. The tumor was probably bleeding slightly (and internal bleeding causes a lot of pain). There was a second episode where he would not come out of his crate but was fine a couple hours later. I assumed it was arthritis or other age related ache or pain. Even if he had been diagnosed prior to the catastrophic bleed, there is treatment for this disease.

  41. Thank you, all of you. I started at the beginning and read everything. Because of your comments, I am going to be better prepared in the days and weeks to come. I have known for six months that my almost 15 year old Afghan, who has congestive heart failure, also has an abdominal tumor. It is, most likely, a splenic tumor. But it doesn’t matter. Surgery is not something I would choose for her. Comfort care–hospice care, is what she is getting now and euthanasia at home, if her tumor ruptures or if she shows signs of pain or distress.
    Your comments were especially helpful as you described your beloved pets as having bad days and good days. We used to walk miles every day; now we take the same amount of time to walk around one block. But she rallied on Monday and took me to her favorite pet food store, a round trip of more than a mile.
    I know that it isn’t going to be very long.
    I have contacted a local agency that is available 24 hours a day for home euthanasia and/or cremation. I am relieved to know they are there for us. It is very difficult to choose the right time, isn’t it? Or make the right choice. Or feel that we have made it. I do not want to wait too long. I do not want to her to suffer. And I do not want to lose her.
    I thought you made very good decisions. Hard decisions, but decisions that were best in the circumstances. I hope I can do as well. I offer my condolences, my empathy and my thanks.

  42. This same thing happened to our pit mix just 2 days ago. She was only 5 years old. I am still in shock. This comforted me in knowing I made the best decision for her. Thank you

  43. I am so glad I found this post. Just on Monday, we had to put our 7 year old sweetheart Tucker to sleep. He had always been a bit of an anxious dog. A forever puppy. But just two months ago, his anxiety got worse and he was becoming harder to deal with. We couldn’t figure out anything wrong with him, he wasn’t showing the classic signs of anything being wrong health wise (he was eating, walking, drinking, etc.), but looking back I realize the big personality shift should have signaled something deeper was wrong.
    We took him to the vet at the beginning of June to make sure we hadn’t missed something. They diagnosed him with severe anxiety, which was a relief to us. We catered to his anxiety and tried to make life more bearable for him and for us. Then, two weeks ago, he became extremely lethargic. He wouldn’t even jump up to greet me anymore. A few days ago, he wouldn’t even sit up for a treat. Then we noticed his breath rate had spiked to 55 breaths a minute. That was when we called the vet and set an appointment to check on him. At 1:30pm on Monday, we were told that he had a massive tumour in his gut and the only options we had were to take him home for palliative care and let him pass naturally or to euthanize him. My little sister (who was his fur momma) made the difficult choice of putting him out of his misery. She even held him as he passed. It was heartbreaking.
    We were blindsided. We felt so guilty that we didn’t see the signs. We knew something was wrong, but we couldn’t figure out what! Until it was too late. But knowing that it is a common thing with this sort of cancer is a bit of a relief. It is also a huge relief that we don’t have to worry about Tucker anymore. It had taken over our lives. And now we can fully focus on our two other dogs, Tucker’s sisters Sophie and Brandy.
    It’s only been about three days since his passing, but I have already accepted it. I sure do miss him. It’s crazy how much a little animal can affect your life in such a BIG way. We will miss him for a good while, and I know that the initial sorrow will subside. For now, I am gonna get comfortable with grief hanging around for awhile.

  44. Your post has been a light in an otherwise dark and painful week. We lost our little staffy girl to what I believe was the same thing just last Thursday. Your experience mirrors mine exactly. She was her normal self but maybe a little tired and lazy. Then again it was really hot here and she was kind of couch potato anyhow. She ate her breakfast and played with her brother Thursday morning, and then returned to napping. Same old, same old until dinner when she wouldn’t even lift her head. She was a little piggy so that was really unusual. I tried treats and even a cheese stick but she wasn’t interested. I noticed her mouth was cold when I was trying to give her treats and then saw that her gums were completely white. From there it was the same experience you had: a frantic trip to the emergency vet, xrays, and then the bad news. She was in so much pain and barely wagged her tail when they took her into the vet, which was also not like her because believe it or not the vet was her favorite place on earth, haha. It felt like such a rushed decision and I’ve been struggling to understand what happened in those two hours. But seriously, your post has lifted a weight off of my shoulders. Thank you for sharing and I am so sorry you lost your boy. These pitties are just so special and it’s so hard to let them go. But I know we both made the best decision for our babies.

  45. Today my heart is broken as all of yours have been. Yesterday our German Shepherd, approximately 10 years of age, was taken from us after his tumor most likely burst. I just had him at the vet on Thursday for a puncture wound. They gave him antibiotics and I brought him in early Fri. morning for surgery to remove what we thought was a foxtail. No foxtail-they flushed the area, glued it back up and sent him home with an extra dose of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory, pain meds. Sat. he was fine. Did his normal walk, good appetite. Sunday morning another good walk. I had my husband give him only half his breakfast so he could take his meds as we feed our Goldendoodle at the same time as our shepherd at a later time. He obviously wasn’t feeling well and I thought it was an upset tummy from his meds. He wouldn’t tough his remaining breakfast which literally has never happened before. He was also drinking a lot of water. About an hour later I looked as his distended stomach and off to the emergency hospital we went. On arrival his gums were very pale so they rushed him in. They called us later, blood work looked good giving us a false sense that all was well. Still needed to do the ultrasound. Then came the bad call….4 1/2 inch tumor on his spleen and his stomach full of liquid. 80% change it’s cancerous and chemo would only extend his life for a few months. Up until we arrived at the vet to say goodbye, I was in a state of shock, quietly thinking my husband would say go ahead with the surgery and it wouldn’t be cancer. Covid19 is bad enough changing our world, but not being able to touch our boy without gloves while we said goodbye was very difficult. We had to make our goodbyes fairly short as he was obviously struggling. The thing that kills me is he was quietly shaking the entire time we were with him. Did he know he was leaving us? Today, as yesterday, I can’t stop the tears and my grief is overwhelming. Thank you so much for sharing your story of your loss of your Scooby and allowing us to process our grief.

  46. We lost our sweet girl pittie nearly two weeks ago and this post has brought me some peace. You’re pretty much describing my experience that night. No prior symptoms, nothing unusual that morning and then suddenly that evening she refused her dinner, treats and even cheese. She seemed tired and for a minute I thought it was just an upset tummy. But when I touched her face it was like ice, which made me take a look at her gums. They were white and really almost grey. I immediately called her vet and was told to take her into an emergency clinic. From there it was the same story: fluid in her chest and abdomen, most likely cancer and very slim odds of her surviving more than a week if the fluid was drained. The vet said the most she had ever seen a dog live afterwards was a month. I felt the same as you, that I almost rushed through the euthanasia. But then again, I knew it had to be done and I had to get it over with before I lost my nerve. Besides, she was just falling asleep when they brought her into the room, which was unusual because she loved being at the vet. One time she got into a pretty serious fight and was bleeding from several wounds, but she was so excited to see the vet techs and vet that she wiggles her body and shook blood all over the office, haha. She was such a loving little clown. But I do wish I would have asked how long we had. I wish I would have held her longer both before and after. I miss her soft fur, her smile and her sweet piggy noises. This has been such a major loss for our family and I’m not sure if we will ever be the same after.

  47. My heart goes out to everyone on this thread who has and is suffering from what this horrible disease takes from us. I stumbled upon these postings looking for anything that would give me comfort or an understanding of what I went through Sunday morning. During a regular wellness and vaccination appointment for our 12 year and 3 month old Golden, I mentioned to the vet that he seemed to be panting a little more than usual. He mentioned that we could have blood work done, but since we just had some done for some earlier minor surgery, it wasn’t absolutely needed. Since he was an older boy, I didn’t want to take any chances and opted to have it done. After I called him for the results (a story for another time), he noted that his red count was slightly down. He said it could be a number of things, and noted that we could have an ultrasound done if we were concerned. Again, taking no chances, we proceeded with the ultrasound, which showed a mass on his spleen. They warned us that it most likely was hemangiosarcoma, but that there would be no way of knowing without surgery.

  48. My heart goes out to everyone on this thread that has lost so much to this horrible disease. I stumbled upon these postings Googling “Hemangiosarcoma,” looking for something, anything to assuage my guilt and ease my pain from the loss of my 12.5 year old Golden. I’ve found it comforting to know that I am not alone. At a routine wellness/vaccination check in May, I mentioned to my vet that Jag was panting a little more than usual. He noted that I could have a blood test run, but almost talked me out of it because we had just had one about 6 months earlier for some minor surgery. Since Jag was on the older side, I wasn’t taking chances and had the test. It showed a low red cell count, which our vet said could be a number of things, and noted that we could have an ultrasound done if we were concerned. He mentioned the possibility of a tumor, specifically on the spleen. We had the ultrasound done, and that’s what was discovered. When he told us of the results, he informed us of the possibility of hemangiosarcoma, but explained there was no way of knowing without surgery. We quickly took our boy to an animal hospital that had surgical specialists and an oncology team. He had surgery and we were able to bring him home the very next day. This was mid-June. The first night was tough, as he had some difficulty getting up and vocalized some pain, but after that he bounced back fairly quickly. Since he was not permitted to climb stairs for two weeks, I slept next to him on a cot in the den during that entire period. Somewhere along the line, we received a call from the surgeon who confirmed that it was hemangiosarcoma. We opted to speak with the oncology team to discuss our options and ultimately decided to proceed with chemo. She was confident it would be well tolerated and would not impact his quality of life. There was no evidence of spread and his mitotic index was low, which sometimes is an indicator of lower rate of spread. We were told the statistics, maybe about 6 months median, and that this was an aggressive cancer. We chose to proceed with chemo, and put him on a regimen of I’m-Yunity. Between then and now he had two chemo treatments, 500 I’m-Yunity pills, traveled with us to North Carolina and upstate New York, where he slept with me in my tent on the banks of the upper Delaware River and acted like a pretty happy old boy. He continued sleeping most of the days on my home office floor, and climbed the steps each night to lay in his doggie bed next to ours. The only big difference was he didn’t seem to have the energy for very long walks and he panted a lot, but we were in the middle of a month long heat wave. He also started refusing his dry food, but we were fine with more wet food, sardines, salmon, chicken, liver, eggs and cottage cheese, all of which he ate without much hesitation and supplied him with the protein and omegas we thought would help him in his battle. My wife even foolishly though he could “beat” it, or at least go well beyond the median numbers, and I too was cautiously optimistic we could make a good go of it. This Saturday was like any other day with him. We were relieved, as we always were, when he ate everything presented to him, we had a nice walk, and he heartily greeted some friends that spent the evening with us. At about 11:30 PM Saturday night, I cleaned up downstairs, took him out (he would always wait downstairs until I went up to bed) and we went up to bed. At about 3:30 am Sunday morning, I heard a commotion. He apparently had jumped up suddenly, maybe had cried out, and was in the process of having a massive diarrhea attack. I rushed him downstairs and out into the dark back yard and when I looked back for him, found him collapsed in the yard. While my wife cleaned up the bedroom, I sat with him in the darkness waiting, on 3 hours of sleep, hoping beyond hope that he was just feeling bad, that maybe things hadn’t sat right in his belly. Although a rupture was in the back of my mind, I just didn’t think it was possible, or didn’t want to believe it was. We had gotten the tumor, they said everything else looked clean, he had had two chemo treatments, he was taking I’m-yunity, he was eating well and it was only 2 months since surgery. It just couldn’t be, I thought, even though I knew collapse was a sign. After a while he sat up and then moved to a new place, but again he went down. Finally, after too long, my wife and I got a blanket under him and carried him inside (he weighed over 90 pounds). I negligently had not made a habit of noting his healthy gum color so could not tell definitively if his gums were pale, but they were cold. We finally made the decision to get him to the emergency room. I rode in the back hatch with him and touched him and let him know I was there. But it was too late, and by the time he was in their hands, he was fading, if not gone. I know the end result would almost certainly have been the same, but I am tortured over the time I delayed in bringing him to the ER. I’m fairly certain the best they could have done was keep him alive temporarily, but the ultimate decision would have been to put him to sleep. I try to rationalize things, for example, by thinking that what happened saved me from possibly making the selfishly wrong decision to open him up again to fix the hemorrhage, and expect things to go back to “normal.” I don’t think I would have done that, but I would have been tempted. I tell myself, and it’s all true, that he had a great, and actually a relatively long, life. He was fed quality foods, had new toys and chews constantly and, more importantly, had a ton of quality outdoor and family time. He was taken to nearby lakes and trails and went for walks in the large expanse of woods behind the house or through the neighborhood nearly every day. I was fortunate enough to start working from home 2 to 3 days a week when he was just 3, and full time when he was 8, so we spent nearly every day together. Part of what helped with the cold New Jersey winters and short days were my late afternoon excursions into the woods. “Jag and I are going woodsing,” I used to say. Yet I can’t get the thought out of my mind that I failed him in the end. I hope that part of the problem is that it’s just absolutely incomprehensible how this disease silently progresses, and then springs devastation seemingly out of nowhere. I know I should be blaming this horrible disease, and not myself, but I can’t stop. We are devastated, numb and heart-broken. The entire world looks and feels different and there is absolutely no joy. I miss him terribly. This posting is so long, I don’t expect anyone to read it, but I had to get it all out. My sympathies to all on here that have gone through this in some form.

  49. We are going through this very thing right now with our pup, Niko. He’s a 10.5 year old Alusky ( Alaskan Malamute/Husky mix) & was diagnosed with a splenic hemangiosarcoma 1 wk ago tomorrow. We were told we have have 1 to 6 weeks left with him. It is devastating – especially during this Covid-19 mess. Work is hard ( I’m a Special Ed Teacher & need to be lesson planning right now but am “here” seeking solace instead ) and now being home is hard, too. I’ve been feeding him steak every day since the diagnosis ( helps with the anemia from the bleed outs, supposedly). It is just truly dreadful. I can’t stop weeping. This is so difficult & I’ve had pets my whole life. This just came out of nowhere. We thought we’d have a few more years with him. He’s been such a joy & comfort.I don’t want him to suffer & will take him in to be euthanized when he it’s time. – which could be any day now. He’s still eating & has an appetite for now. I’m glad I came across this article & these comments. God bless each one of you reading this. I’m so sorry we are all going through this or have gone through this.

    1. I’m so sorry for what you’ve gone through. I’m in the same situation right now. My sweet girl Lucy, a 10 year old beagle mix I adopted at 3 months old, has a large mass on her spleen. CT scan showed a lung nodule and changes in the liver so it looks like it’s already metastasized. She was completely fine until a few days ago when she had a decreased appetite and energy level. We are not doing surgery since it’s already spread and she wouldn’t have much time, but I’m struggling deciding when to put her down. The last two days she’s rallied-is eating all the yummy food I’m making her, has been playing with her toys, and even went on a short walk today. I feel awful putting her down while she’s relatively ok but I know her spleen could rupture at any moment and she could bleed out. I hope to save her the traumatic ending that so many other posters have had to endure. I’m so grateful for this thread because I have also been really struggling with how quickly this came on and how difficult a decision this is. My Lucy is the sweetest girl with the most beautiful brown eyes and she’s been with me through everything.

  50. I lost my beloved dog to this cruel cancer this evening. It’s 4:40am and I’ve been relentlessly googling the web trying to find out what we could have done different. Your post brings me comfort and I thinks it’s a sign to go to bed for me. Thank you.

    1. I lost my golden retriever the same day. The tumor was on her spleen. One month away from her 11th birthday. It has 100% destroyed me this year. While comforting to know I’m not alone, it breaks my heart to read all these comments. We had no idea. Nothing detected at her December checkup to a cantaloupe sized ruptured tumor on August 26th.

    2. I lost my beautiful loveable Daschund Jax to hermangiosarcoma yesterday. He was diagnosed on the 13th May. I’ve never been more shocked in my life.
      Thank you for this article on Scooby and to all the people who wrote responses. It helped me so much to understand this dreadful disease in the pet owners words. It also helped me to reconcile with having him put to sleep, the last 48 hours of his life left him lying in his basket with all the symptoms I read about in your stories my heart goes out to you all.
      Thank you Katie for sharing your story, it has helped me so much.

      My vet was super sensitive and wonderful but letting go was very sad.

    3. I sit here wracked with guilt that I let my sweet 9 year Golden Retriever suffer longer than she should have because I thought she had a stomach bug and wanted to wait and see it if would resolve itself before taking her to the ER. She went from playing with her toys to dead in less than 24 hours. She vomited her dinner and was panting heavily, lethargic, and unable to get out of her bed. I let her rest, thinking her tummy was upset and that was the cause of her discomfort. By the time we took her to the ER she was barely hanging on long enough for us to say goodbye. She had fluid and tumors around her heart, suspected hemangiosarcoma. She was the sweetest, most gentle girl. She only suffered for one day but I wish I could have made her suffering even shorter. I miss her beyond words.

  51. This is heartbreaking to read but even worse because i had never heard of hemangiosarcoma before yesterday, when my best friend, a 3 year old Belgian Malinois named Finn, died of this horrible disease. He had his annual check up on August 6 and was fine. He had been panting lately but it has been a beastly hot summer so i was panting as well. It had finally cooled down a bit and we were looking forward to getting back on the trails, hiking in the Shenandoah valley, one of our favorite pastimes. Finn seemed a little depressed so i increased his visits to our dog park so he could play with friends. In early September. he stopped following my every footstep but still hounded me enough to be slightly annoying. It was with confused concern i noticed he continued to pant, even though it was much cooler. I wrote it off. By Labor Day i was concerned enough about his change in energy and engagement that i resolved he needed to see his doctor. The Labor Day cookout was his last. He vomited 3x and i was frantic. We woke up together on Tuesday and I reminded him he would need to see the doctor today and get whatever was wrong with his tummy resolved. Less than 8 hours later, he died in my arms at the vet specialist’s office. He had a mass the size of a basketball in his stomach, originating from his liver and compromising his spleen, kidney and intestines. As la Jolla mom did, i had to make the most painful decision of my life on the fly. The surgeon said he would not be able to resect or remove the tumors without Finn bleeding out on the table. The choices were: wake him up, take him home and watch him bleed to death or euthanize him while he slept. I don’t think I have ever screamed so loud and in such agony. My sweet, inquisitive, goofy buddy- who went virtually EVERYWHERE with me,who was my constant companion and touchstone- would never come home again. The vet’s office allowed my request to keep him sedated until I got there and, despite COVID, with a mask on i went to an exam room. They wheeled him in shortly thereafter. He still had the ET tube in and was covered with a green plaid blanket. I kissed him, told him i was so sorry but we couldn’t fix his tummy. I kissed him and cried and held him as he took his last breath. Two years ago, i lost my nana. Last July i lost my German shepherd. Now my last puppy- and he was still a puppy- is gone. I returned home with the new toy i had just bought him that had arrived in the mail and and empty collar. Nothing can stop this pain. His empty bed. A silent house. A broken heart. The doctors said i couldn’t have known but that doesn’t make the pain less. I wish every owner of a susceptible breed would be told about this so we could be more vigilant. I don’t know if that would help. I just know a part of my soul left me yesterday and nothing will ever bring it back. I love you, Finn. Forever.

  52. I found your blog post yesterday, I lost my boy today to Hemangiosarcoma, it’s hard because he looked fine but was not holding any food down and the X rays showed us too many masses. But thanks to you I was prepared with a blanket and even though it sounds silly and small it made a huge difference while holding him down on the floor and not having to go through this on a cold floor. Thank you for telling your story, I’m heartbroken and thankful.

  53. We just went through this unexpected illness and euthanasia of our dog Sammi last week. Over 2 days she deteriorated. We are in a state of disbelief and grief. Thank you for explaining this disease so that we don’t blame ourselves.

  54. Our 8 year old boxer has hemangiosarcoma. In May, she was fine one minute and not fine the next. I thought she had hurt her leg and that is why she wouldn’t get up. She had torn her ACL and had had surgery for that in December. My husband and I could not get her to get up, so we got her into the car and took her to the ER vet. Due to Covid, we had to wait in the car while she was checked. We were blindsided when the dr. called and told us she had fluid in her abdomen, a huge mass on her spleen and that our options were to euthanize her or do surgery. She then told us she felt confident it was hemangiosarcoma and if that was the case, gave us the survival rates. We were given the option of doing surgery, which is what we decided. We did not want her put to sleep if there was any possibility it wasn’t cancer. She came thru the surgery and there was no metastisis that they saw. The biopsy confirmed it was hemangiosarcoma and we decided to not go the chemo infusion route. We have started her, just in the last 3 weeks, on the chemo oral pill. We were told the average survival time would be 1-3 months. She has now survived almost 5 months, but we know this can change at any time and change quickly. We are just trying to let her live her best life, with eating the best foods, for whatever time she has left. I have been reading the comments and as much as I love my vet, I feel like the severe panting that she was doing every single night, which I had discussed with the vet several times, was never addressed. They never mentioned possible cancer, and I had brought it up to several drs. different times. After reading the comments from others, I see their dogs were doing a lot of panting also. Not that it could have changed things, but I wish they had done an ultrasound just to see. We had no idea she had a tumor on her spleen until it ruptured!

  55. My border collie had the operation, he was like a puppy again for nearly 3 weeks( he is 12) this morning he isn’t well and I need to phone the vets, it’s time and my heart is breaking 😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢

    1. Thank you so much to everyone for posting their stories. It helps to know we’re not alone. We lost our amazing 7 year old collie, Quinn, on Aug 2. We didn’t know what it was at the time, but thanks to this article, I think it’s pretty safe to say this odd what it was.

      We were playing in the backyard with our sweet collies when Quinn ran back to us from the side yard, took a couple steps back and then collapsed on the ground. My husband ran over to see what was going on and we found him panting, gums pure white and he couldn’t get back up. My husband picked him up and we rushed him to the ER. They keep him back there in the room for about 2 hours until they finally called us back. The doctor was very young and told us that his heart was filled with fluid, and mentioned the word tamponade and ascites. Then she said it was highly suspect of cancer. She said we could take him to the ER that was 45 minutes from there because they were open 24 hours or we could euthanize because he wouldn’t make it through the night. They could not send him home because his condition was so severe. We asked to see him, they brought him in, and he just laid on the floor, calm as can be. Gums pale white. No excitement. No emotion. We held him and pet him and told him we loved him. We decided to help him cross over because 6 years prior, we lost my other sweet girl to something similar. Her illness turned into a horrible cough and she couldn’t, eat, sleep, breathe, lay down. We kept her in the hospital for a few days where she died under anesthesia awaiting a ct scan. I held so much regret for letting her go through that and not being able to spend her last few days of life with all of us but in a cold hospital cage. I couldn’t let Quinn go through that. When the vet came in, he got a burst of energy. Jumped up, walked around, drank a whole bowl of water, threw up his dinner from that night and looked at us with the saddest eyes. They gave him a shot, he fell asleep. Then another and he was gone. It took seconds to completely shatter my heart. I’m lost without him.

      Now I still have regret. I cry every single day still. Thinking I should’ve swooped him up and took him to the other hospital since nothing was confirmed. But I didn’t. And I have to spend my life wondering if I should’ve.

  56. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing. I’ve been spending the major part of the last 24 hours trying to find answers. This post is the only one which gave me a bit of comfort in this extremely sad and traumatic experience. I’ve been reading everyone’s stories and my heart is beating and crying with yours. We woke up yesterday morning to our Lenny lying lifeless on the kitchen floor. Lenny was a loving and exceptionally sweet 9, almost 10, years old Shepherd-Rottie mix. My partner adopted him as a puppy and Lenny was 6 when they came into Lhasa (my now 6 years old Bernese-Rottie mix) and I’s life. Lenny and Lhasa eventually became inseparable and I instantly fell in love with this big goof. He has been such a source and a bundle of joy. His unexpected and sudden absence is hurting so very deeply. There is nothing that could’ve prepared us to find him like this yesterday morning. He was aging like any dog would typically age, skipping some meals but always hungry for treats – so we just thought he was his old fussy self, he wouldn’t chase the ball anymore, but we’ve recently gotten some backyard chickens and he would proudly herd them back in the coop the second we would let them range as if it was his solemn duty. We didn’t think for a second that he could be ill. He still had a spark for life and brightened everyone’s life around him. My heart aches so much to know he died overnight while we were asleep, without us being there next to him to at least comfort and surround him with all the love he deserved in those last moments. I still can’t fathom he is gone. After doing a bit of research and talking to a vet, I was told it was probably a case of hemangiosarcoma. A few more hours of research into this dreadful disease led me here, and although it doesn’t take away the awful pain and emptiness we feel, knowing we’re not alone feeling completely devastated after undergoing such a distressing ordeal brings a bit of solace. There is a long road ahead of us as we go through the motions of grieving Lenny. Thank you for sharing your stories, and for reading mine. Hopefully by sharing, more can be done to prevent this from happening to others, or at least prepare future puppy parents for what it entails.

    1. We lost our beloved white lab named Tommy exactly a week ago today, a day my husband and I will never forget. Worst day for us so far. The pain is unreal. Our tears don’t stop. He was 13.8 months and although maybe at the high end of his life span, for us he went too soon. I beat myself up obsessing over what I could have done different to extend his life. The guilt haunts me daily. Somehow I don’t think I did enough.
      When he hit 13 in March, he began slowing down and could no longer go on long walks which we handled by just walking him twice daily just shorter walks. As the months passed,his hind legs were deteriorating and losing muscle mass. I upped his protein, less kibble and more chicken/turkey/ground beef, veggies. I added joint supplements plus cbd tincture and cbd treats. This bough us time with him but eventually, around October, he was slowing down even more. We thought it was old age, as his appetite was great. Come the first week of November, he had an unusual episode where he couldn’t get up, although an hour earlier he had been fine. We managed to help him up. But he couldn’t walk, like he froze and then became wobbly. The next day he didn’t get up for breakfast which was a red flag. He barely got up that day and somehow I just knew something could be terribly wrong. However, he bounced back up for another week. Then at the beginning of November, I noticed that he was losing chunks of hair, not normal shedding. There was noticeable patches of hair loss on the flank area. A week later, he had another episode where I thought he was going to collapse. He had a hard time getting up, became wobbly, and labored breathing followed by panting. This lasted for about 20 minutes. We kept constant watch on him and slept the rest of the day but woke up starving the next morning. Something else we took note of was that he was starting to cough frequently. I had a sick feeling that this wouldn’t end well. We took him to the vet and the vet said on the outside he just looked like just an old dog but that he actually looked good for being an old dog. I pointed to the amount of hair loss but this was not a red flag to vet, although it just didn’t seem normal.He told us just to keep brushing him. Two days later, his labs though, revealed that he was anemic. My heart sank when the vet said that he could possibly have a tumor that had bled and mentioned hemangiosarcoma. Two days later, the sonogram revealed that he did have cancer that had metastasized to all his organs, spleen, kidneys, chest, liver.. Our beloved Tommy made it one more day. The day of the sonogram, the radiologist told us that after we dropped him off, be began to have diarrhea. We brought him home and prepared for the worst day of our lives. We scheduled our goodbyes to be done in our home the next day but sadly he didn’t make the appointment. That night and into the next morning, he had severe diarrhea that was gushing out like water. Every minute was an eternity as we waited for the vets office to open. We tried to give him water but he threw it up. He looked miserable so that morning, we loaded him up, stopped at McDonald’s, bought him two breakfast sandwiches, which he scarfed down, and took him to an emergency hospital to be put to sleep. As he walked to the door of the hospital, he was still smelling the bushes by the entrance as he tried to poop again. Having to say good bye to Tommy, our first dog, was horrific. A week later and we are still grieving tremendously. Reminders oh him are everywhere. His dog hair at every corner of the house, his collar, his meds, his bed. We are just taking it a minute at a time.
      The vet followed up with us and told us that the diarrhea was likely his body was shutting down. We are having such a hard time letting him go but the vet told us we did the right thing. We know we did because there is no way we would let him suffer more, but saying goodbye is engraved in our minds. I am hoping we can get past these terrible memories so we can focus on the good ones.

    2. I’ve been reading this all week now and wondering when I would be strong enough to share my storey, after reading everyone’s heartbreaking experiences due to this horrible disease after doing no end of research also know as the silent canine deadly killer…. Hemangiosarcoma!.
      My baby girl was going to be 10 on the 31st august, a fawn French bulldog called lulu… lulu was fine the night before as we went on our usual hour walk (yes she loved walking and could have walked forever!) got to 4am and she woke me up to go let her out for a wee which isn’t unusual as that’s what she done every night as she sleeps in the middle of my husband I in our bed and always has so her waking me around 3-4am to be let out for a wee isn’t unusual after just having bladder stones removed in dec.
      the next morning we all got up as usual and went downstairs lulu is always the last to get up so it wasn’t that unusual she use to often stay in bed of a morning later than our young son (was too comfy I guess) so it come some time later and my partner and I said lulu should be up by now… as this was a weekend and it was always her fave park when we where all off together as a family, so we goes up to check on her straight away we knew something wasnt right as she was panting which she never ever does when she just wakes up, so we tried to coerce her down with saying her favourite word “come on lu get your lead lu” reluctantly lulu with very limited energy gets off the bed with her tail wagging and comes down stairs, I said to my partner I think it’s just somthing she ate the night before as she was spoilt and we had a Chinese which wasn’t unusual for lulu to sneak a bit (how wrong could I have been!) I again said to my partner look she seems ok now as she is on the way from the house into the car on the drive with my toddler for the journey to the park about a five min drive from where we live. We got to the park and lulu with hardly no energy still got out the car to her fave place she was walking so slow and I said to my husband let her off the lead and then we will know for sure as lulu once unleashed would usually absolutely bolt after the squirrels or to chase my young son to which this time we struggled to even make it a five min walk through the gate and then just lied down on the grass immediately I knew this was somthing serious, my husband had gone ahead a little earlier with our young son to catch him up in the hope lulu and I would catch them up which heartbreakingly never happened, I called my husband and said lulu won’t walk any further and is on the floor on the grass my husband immediately ran back with our young son and carried lulu straight back to the car where I then dropped my husband and son straight off home and rushed lulu to a out of hours vets as it was a Saturday, when we go to the vets lulu walked in surprisingly and the vets said because it wasn’t unusual for her to suffer with her joints anyway that they think it may just be a flare up of her arthritis as her heart rate was normal and no temp and by then her breathing had calmed down a little and bare in mind it was a very humid day that day in the UK so we felt reassured and retuned home with lulu along with painkillers and anti inflammatories from the vet, when we got home lulu walked back into the house and all our faces lit up with delight as we thought the worse was over, I immediately put a pain killer and anti inflammatory over her food but lulu unusually did not eat and did not want her food again which was not like her, we stayed at home the whole day monitoring lulu as we where still at this point then so worried as she wasn’t acting her self, lulu went into the garden for most of the day lying under the trampoline, slide and garden furniture like she just could not get comfortable and kept moving around slowly… lulu then began to vomit but it was white so again we thought it’s just somthing she ate the night before (how stupid where we!!) it got to a little later in the evening and she was still out there so we brought her inside as she seemed to be what we thought was shivering because she was cold, so we put her on the sofa and put her fave blanket on her to get her warm… by this time I most definitely knew my life was probably never ever going to be the same again… I came out into the utility bit to ring the emergency vets and by this time my husband was shouting me that lulu has just fell off the sofa, I ran into the living room and seen lulu on the floor next to my husband who was in shock, lulu had gone all stiff like having some sort of seizure is the only way I can explain it and then had vomited blood, straight away we put lulu into the car and my husband rushed her down to the emergency out of hours vets this was 11pm by now, I had to stay behind as my son was obviously in bed at this point, my heart was aching and in bits waiting for the phone call to tell me (she was ok!) my husband called and said the receptionist come out and had told him it’s nothing serious and not to worry, well at that point all my prayers has been answered and I straight away thought yes it will be just her arthritis no doubt which the first vets said in the afternoon and that they would return soon, about ten mins after that I got another phone call this time from the vet who said “Stephanie this is serious lulu is really ill and that she’s got a tumour on her heart that’s ruptured and that she’s just collapsed and I’ve had to perform cpr and resuscitate her, well that at that time I died too!! I immediately got my neighbour to come sit in the house to watch over my son whilst i rushed straight down… I was in utter shock how can my baby girl be fine one day then critical like this the next I still don’t understand it to this day. So I got to the vets room no 6 I’ll never forget it and there my husband was in disbelief, the vet come in and explained to us that what she had just done and that I’d surgery was an option which she didn’t think it was then lulu would most likely not survive this, and even if it was an option and if she did survive it it would only add months to her life even just weeks, so we where faced so quick with making the hardest decision of our lives. The vet said she was going to bring lulu in so we could see her and say our last goodbyes as she vet explained she was very very tired but not in any pain, I knew deep down in my heart I couldn’t have put my baby girl through the massive surgery even if it was an option as her quality of life wouldn’t have been what she would have wanted and I honestly couldn’t stand the thought of her going through surgery and not surviving which the rate was quite high due to how her tumour had already ruptured and age was also against her as we didn’t and couldn’t bare to think of her in any pain the vet advised the kindest thing to do was to say goodnight to her and put her asleep. It’s been a week today since our lives have changed forever I miss my baby girl sooooo much and there isn’t a day, an hour or a minute that goes by that we don’t think of her, the house just isn’t the same and where finding it hard to come to terms with it. This cruel wicked illness strikes without warning ans it’s left me feeling guilty about what if, what if I had found it sooner, what if I had caught it before it ruptured, what if there was someone out there that could have saved her as money wasn’t an issue when it come to lulu as I would have sold my house in a heartbeat without a doubt to get it. Even after it I called the vet as everything was a blur that day/night and felt it was all a horrible nightmare that I was going to wake up from eventually, I needed answers from the vet about all the answers she gave me that night that I just couldn’t understand, the vet was very kind and explained everything in detail and after no end of reading all your heartbreaking stories it’s giving me some type of comfort if any to know that am not alone. I am so so sorry for each and everyone of you for your loss as I do know how your feeling I am just praying that better days are coming where I will be able to make sense of all this however this is the only place where I feel I can make sense of any of it if any, and I would like to Thankyou all for being so brave and sharing your stories to help others as I know how hard this is.
      Sending Much love to you all and may we all heal in our time.
      Lulu was the best dog ever and she was my best friend we had a bond like no other we where inseparable and joined at the hip, lulu saved me but I just feel so guilty that I couldn’t have saved her 💔

  57. My beautiful 10 year old long haired German Shepherd dog named Frazier died suddenly on Monday, September 28, 2020. My sister, our other sweet long haired German Shepherd named Charlie and our two cats, Rusty and Nick went on vacation to Wisconsin the week prior. The weather was lovely, maybe a little too hot for the boys at times, but the nights were cool. Frazier, Charlie, Rusty and Nick went on several pontoon rides; they went leaf peeping; Frazier was in the car one day and came face to face with a deer outside the car window. He didn’t even breathe, he was in seventh heaven. He would sleep with me on a comfortable bed at night and enjoy the cool crisp northern air. He went on picnics with us, met lots of people who adored both of the dogs. Frazier was a rescue. He was found by the humane society with a fractured leg under a block of ice. Therefore, if he wasn’t found, he would have died and we wouldn’t have been able to adopt him at 8 months old. He was a corker. The first night we brought him home, he reached up on the kitchen counter, took a steak off a plate that we were going to grill and paraded it around in his mouth like a king. He was always full of antics. He loved his bunny and squirrel chases. He was so affectionate and met me at the door with tons of wonderful kisses. He was the peacemaker in our family and I would even say the “glue that holds it together, as he would go up to my sister and I when we had our sibling quarrels to kiss us to make us stop fighting. He loved car rides and he was my buddy when I would do yardwork and lay out in the sun. I always told him that I adored him and would die without him. In fact, I prayed that I would be the one to go before my precious dogs. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Over the last month, Frazier who was fairly food motivated refused to eat a couple of meals. We called the Veterinarian and she said that if he didn’t resume eating the next day, to bring him in. Well thankfully he did resume his good appetite. Also, in the past 3 weeks, he had a couple of bouts of diarrhea. We had changed their food so we blamed it on his adjusting to a new dog food. He had energy throughout the vacation and didn’t seem to miss a beat. Not until Wednesday of that week when he didn’t want to eat his dinner. The next day, he ate two very good meals again and so we were relieved that he was back on track. I had discovered a little spongy bump on his foot so we had scheduled a veterinary appointment on that Monday to ensure that it was not something serious. He was scheduled to go through eye surgery on the 14th of October as he had a cancerous tumor on his eye that the Eye Doctor said was not at risk of spreading. She did want it removed so that he wouldn’t have vision loss down the line if it got bigger. I would take him anywhere anytime for services even if I had to mortgage the house – that’s how much I loved him. We all adored him in the family and my sister is devastated as well by his loss. Needless to say, we decided to stay in a hotel overnight instead of driving home and then going 90 miles to see his vet the next day. We loved this vet so we didn’t mind the travel time. On Sunday night, the 27th, we were all exhausted. I got Frazier and Charlie some chicken for supper (they were used to having boiled chicken every night) but Frazier refused to eat it. Again this worried us but we thought well, he has this appointment tomorrow and he did eat lunch that same day which seemed like it stayed down. On Saturday, he had a bout of diarrhea but it seemed to have cleared. He was such a good dog, he never went in the house. Anyway, my sister decided to take him out to go potty before we retired for the night. She said that he was very interested in the good smells and seemed to enjoy his walk. She said that he briefly sat down but then got up soon thereafter. When I opened the door, I saw him just standing with my sister in the hallway of the hotel, kind of hesitating to return to the room. I went to walk him back. He jumped on the bed and later lay on the floor in between our beds. We both periodically pet him before we fell asleep. I was zonked from driving so much so I was practically in a coma and didn’t hear anything. My sister got up about 5:30 am to use the bathroom and she said that Frazier looked up at her and wagged his tail a little bit. She acknowledged him and again went back to bed. She got up again around 8:30 am and decided to take Charlie out followed by Frazier. When she went to put the collar on Frazier who had since moved to the head of her bed on the floor, she called my name and said: “Mary, I think he died”. I will never forget these horrible words. I flew out of bed and sure enough there was our precious boy lying cold on the floor. After checking for a pulse, etc., we put a blanket on him and gave him kisses and pet him profusely. Poor guy, he was covered with tears as we could not stop sobbing over him. We still have not stopped crying and probably won’t for a very long time. Maybe never! We had to call the veterinarian because we wanted to know what could have taken our sweet Frazier, therefore we inquired about an autopsy. He agreed that this was a good idea. Therefore, we put him in our car and drove him an hour down to a clinic who does autopsies. My sister sat in the back seat with Frazier’s head on her lap, and pet him the entire time. When we arrived at this clinic, the woman at the desk was so cold – she told us the price and then proceeded to tell me that they didn’t accept my type of credit card. We were whaling in tears at the time and she didn’t even say that she was sorry for our loss. When we had to leave him with the people in the bay area who take him into the clinic for the autopsy, I thought I would die. This was probably the hardest thing I have ever done was to say goodbye to him that way. My sister is more rational than I am, but I agonized about what could have happened; what did we miss, did he get poisoned somehow while we were by the lake or the one day he swam, did he get infected with any algae, etc. I still am torturing myself with why and what if’s. We couldn’t stand the wait any longer so we called the person who performed the autopsy. Even though the receptionist was cold as ice, this doctor was fabulous. He would have remained on the phone with us as long as we needed him to do so to answer our questions. The autopsy is not finished but he suspects that Frazier succumbed to what he calls a “very bad actor”, i.e. hemangiosarcoma. He said that most of Frazier’s organs looked good, but he did not that his spleen had a tumor that likely burst and there was a start of a small tumor by his heart. We asked him how we didn’t see the signs and he said that with this disease, a dog can be energetic, running up to catch a frisbee and drop dead. He said that we can be thankful that he probably died relatively painlessly. He is still checking out additional causes. I can’t believe that he is gone and I will probably never forgive myself that I didn’t know more about this dreaded killer and see if I could have done something to ward it off. Thank you for all of your commentary as it helps to know that we are not alone. Frazier gave me so much love and so much to our family and strangers, etc. I pray he is at peace now and I look forward to the day that I can meet my dear buddy and friend at the rainbow bridge so that we can resume the second part of our journey together. God bless all of you for your losses.

  58. I’m laying in bed reading your post almost a year after I lost my pup Mac to the same circumstances. Still trying to figure out if there was anything I could’ve done differently.

    Hemangiosarcoma is a nightmare. Mac was almost 12 years old and my best friend. He was a blonde lab/pit/something mix with white paws and a white mask. 75 pounds of pure love. He helped me survive my pregnancy, as a single mom to be, and was truly the only guy who never let me down. He was never a cuddly dog and only wanted to be petted when he felt like it, but he changed during my pregnancy. He would lay his head on me and fall asleep, which was unheard of. He stayed glued to my side, more than the usual.

    He had such a strange personality for a dog. He acted more like a human from his facial expressions, to his ego, to his selectively antisocial tendencies. He looked forward to opening his birthday and Christmas presents and unwrapped them with his teeth and paws in a hurry to see what was inside. He gave hugs and knew all the tricks. Everyone loved him and he was welcome anywhere. Even rode in a cop car three different times lol.

    I had to have him put to sleep just one week after giving birth to my son. In the five days after we came home from the hospital, I didn’t get to pay him near as much attention as I would’ve liked and still beat myself up over that to this day. My life was just a flurry of crying, feedings, and diaper changes. Mac was an old man in a dog body so when he got very lethargic those last few days, I just thought he was tired from the baby keeping him up. I still joke to this day that he decided he was “out” cause he couldn’t take all the crying. He made a point to lay on the couch with us and sniff Eli, checking out our new addition to the family. He loved him. It was obvious.

    It happened so fast. One of my friends had brought over some Arby’s and Mac loved their cheese sticks as much as I do. He wouldn’t come to me to take it that evening though. I tried harder. He finally got up slowly and came to take it from me. I knew something was wrong. I looked him over that night and noticed his belly was swollen. I started googling and knew I had to get him to the vet. I had to have my sister take him To the ER cause it was around 1am and the baby was seven days old and breastfeeding. It broke my heart to send him off and somehow I knew he wasn’t coming home.

    She called me when the doctor came in the room and put me on speaker like I told her to. His stomach was full of fluid from the X-ray and they wanted to run more tests but I was close to broke after being off work for a couple weeks. I sent her with my last $300 and told her to spend it all if they can figure out what was wrong. The doctor decided to draw fluid anyways, even though I couldn’t pay, and it was blood.

    We got the same two options, surgery or euthanasia. I was sitting there on the phone, with the baby asleep on my chest, trying not to completely fall apart. I could’ve borrowed the money for the surgery, but they said it was unlikely that he would survive it, and if he did, at his age, it would be extremely hard on him. I told her I was on my way and hung up the phone. I started pumping some breastmilk and called my mom to have her come watch Eli.

    When I got to the vet he was laying in the back seat of my sisters car. He was tired. He didn’t really wanna get up but he hopped out of the car to see me, wagging his fluffy tail. I spent a few minutes with him in the parking lot. I gave him hugs and he hugged me back one last time. It had been raining but I think it stopped so we could have a few good minutes outside. My house shoes were soaked through. I didn’t care about anything in that moment except my best friend and how sorry I was that I was so focused on the baby those last days I had with him. I didn’t know he was sick until it was too late. I wanted to sit on that wet pavement with him forever. I didn’t want to go inside. None of it felt real. I only spent a few minutes because I didn’t want him to hurt anymore and you could tell he was just tired. He had started to have trouble breathing by that point so we went inside and I had them hurry everything along from there.

    I know God’s timing is perfect even though it hurts sometimes. If I hadn’t had the baby to keep my mind occupied, I probably would’ve grieved myself to death. Mac had a great life but I wish he could’ve spent more time with us, with Eli. Hemangiosarcoma is a brutal killer but I’m just glad it doesn’t seem to be a painful disease. For all the pain he took away from me, he deserved that at the very least.

  59. We lost our pup on Monday after liver surgery to remove a hemangiosarcoma mass. I am suffering from guilt of putting him through the surgery, even though I know he wouldn’t have lived long without it. Our dog was a BEAUTIFUL red merle australian shepherd. He had one icy blue eye, and one copper-y brown eye. His left ear stood up higher than his right. I got him when he was 6 weeks old, just 3 months before my husband and I started dating. We are expecting our first human child in March, and I can’t believe he won’t get to meet his little brother.

    A week before his surgery, he has very similar symptoms and they came out of nowhere. Now, looking back, I can see a few other warning signs, but not many. We took him to the ER and they found the mass. We were able to bring him home a day later and spend the next 5 days with him as we went to an oncology appt and dropped him off for surgery on Monday. Because of COVID, they had to come get him from the parking lot and we weren’t allowed to go in. The surgery was tough on him, as the mass was close to the base of his liver. The doctor thinks his heart went into shock. We woke up to a phone call at 12:06 am that his heart had stopped and they were doing CPR. I’ve never experienced anything more traumatic in my entire life. My heart breaks that he wasn’t with us as he went to heaven.

    I’ve woken up at 12:06 am every single morning since that day. I don’t know how it’ll ever get easier. I just want him back and I wish we didn’t take him to surgery.

  60. We hadnour gorgeous golden retrevier put to sleep last week he took ill twice in 7 weeks had ultrasound done first time so he had 7 happy weeks with his family we are all in bits even though we knew he had it he collapsed at home was fighting for breath his gums had turned nearly white

  61. We lost our 12 year old Boston Terrier, SuzieQ, to this at 6pm tonight. I am absolutely shocked and devastated.

    She has Cushings Disease which, along with skin issues, also causes a bloated abdomen; so since her energy had been fine, she ate/drank/pooped/peed like normal, any abdominal swelling we chalked up to the Cushings that she’s had for months.

    This morning, she had a runny nose (like a cold) and was breathing through her mouth. Seemed disinterested in going down the stairs, but again, she was old so this didn’t alarm us. We called the vet to see about getting get an antibiotic for her “cold” but the earliest appointment was in two days. I gave her immune supplements, knew she’d be safe with my husband and daughters all day, and headed to work. That was at 11am.

    Husband texted all day saying she seemed fine aside from the “stuffy nose/mouth breathing”: stealing food from our kids, licking hands, being a dog.

    At 7pm, I received a frantic call from my husband telling me to get home immediately, that Suzie had just laid down on her side and wasn’t breathing right. I was home within **5-7 minutes** since I work close but she died he said maybe two minutes before I walked in.

    I still grabbed her and drove to the nearest pet ER but, as I knew would be the case, she was gone.

    I am absolutely sick thinking she was going downhill all day and we didn’t know; but I’m seeing this is common. I am sick that she died in my husbands arms and not in mine (or at the vet in a calm manner). It’s now 4am and I cannot stop crying and seeing her laying on that table; I read that she likely would have gone into shock rapidly and not suffered but I feel so much guilt for not having her in this AM when the “stuffy nose” started. I just want to bring her back and tell her I’m sorry.

  62. I lost my 9-year-old Siberian Husky to Hemangiosarcoma 2 months ago. The most painful decision I had to make. Until now, not a day passes by that I feel my heart break over and over, wondering if I made the right decision. I miss her so much.

  63. I feel so sick right now. I lost my beautiful sweet Lucy at 10 years old to what was presumably hemangiosarcoma yesterday. Like many others, she was completely fine up until last week when I noticed decreased energy and appetite. Vet visit revealed a large mass on the spleen. Went to the ER for more work up which showed abnormal liver tests, anemia, and low platelets. CT showed an “abnormal” liver and a nodule in the lungs. The vets thought it was pretty clearly indicative of metastatic disease and we knew the surgery wouldn’t give her much time so we opted for euthanasia. I feel awful about this decision though because we didn’t have a formal diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma from a biopsy. And because she was feeling relatively ok-wasn’t in a lot of pain but clearly low energy and uncomfortable at times. I didn’t want to put her down in that state but I was afraid of the large mass bursting and her bleeding out. She was the best, sweetest girl. I don’t know how I’m going to get over this decision.

  64. Thank you for sharing. I loss my Brucie Kaboosi (Akita) on 10.14.20. It was sudden. I was not prepared. I lost Julibaby (Huskie mix) in 2014. I euthanized her. It is never easy. It doesn’t matter how it happens. The most important thing that I’ve learned is to never take their lives for granted. Give love always. Provide your beloved pet family members with a beautiful quality of life. It took three years before I could even talk about Julibee. The loss of Bruce was drastic and sudden and I obviously still cry deeply. I had a dream the second night after Bruce died. It was Julibee!! She was super happy! I hadn’t dreamt of her since after I put her down. Actually, it was also the second night after she had died that she visited me in a dream. That dream provided me a lot of closure. So this morning 10 days later, I finally had a dream with Bruce but it wasn’t closure providing. He was buying veggie pizza with me at costco, typical Brucie! He way laying down though so I didn’t see his face. But honestly, I’m just happy he came to my dream. I saw two rainbows at night the night he passed away. It also get really foggy and misty. I felt he sent me those signs. I’m hoping Bruce and Julibee are running around happy in their next life energy form. I love you guys. You were my heart! You are still my heart and will live with me forever! Thank you for this article and letting me get these feelings out. May God shine light on all life in this world. xoxo

  65. 8.5 yr old female white gsd, developed a lump immediately after a “required” rabies vaccine. vet said to wait, prob a hematoma. Worst advice ever! The lump continued to grow, and after 4 weeks went to an internal med vet, to aspirate(inconclusive result) and do other diagnostics. We had 3 vets inspect the lump which was now the size of half a grapefruit on her left shoulder. Never got a solid answer but after researching figured it was a subcutaneous hemangiosarcoma. A few days after the last vet visit the lump,(fluid filled sac protruding from her shoulder) doubled in size in one 24 hour period! It has since spread down all the way down her left leg and is continuing around the nape of her neck. It is like a water hose is injecting fluid between her skin and muscle! Moving incredibly fast now.
    I know my girl has a predisposition to this disease but firmly believe the rabies vac set it off, and i might have had a chance to save her if the vet would have checked it when small. WARNING: the vaccine manu is “aware” of injection site sarcomas, and NEVER forget to document where the shot is given!!

  66. Hello Katie and all that have shared, especially those of you who lost a pup,

    I too have had to put pups down and lost others to disease, although not this one. Know that your pups were living their best lives with you all, and the love in their hearts for you will be with you always. I will pray that God comforts you all and wraps his arms around you.

  67. We are going through the same thing with our rescue pit bull, Bella. 2 years ago she was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma and luckily we were able to have her spleen removed along with a basketball sized tumor that had grown on it. The vet didn’t give us a great prognosis and said we will be extremely lucky if she lives another 6 months, but given the terrible life she came from before being rescued we wanted her to have as many days as possible living her best life. Before Bella was rescued she was used as a bait dog and had her teeth filed down so wouldn’t hurt if she tried to bite her attacker. Meeting Bella you would have no idea the life she came from because she is the most gentle, loving dog I have ever owned. Unfortunately, a month ago we learned the cancer is back and since it’s spread there’ not anything that we can do. The vet has been keeping her comfortable, but as we watch her start to decline, our hearts are broken and we have started to consider euthanasia. We are fortunate that there are several great vets in our area that will come to your home to make it as comfortable as this can be.
    In a brighter note, we were in LaJolla at the beginning of October and always love visiting your town. We are animal lovers, so our favorite thing to do is watch the sea lions and seals. It frustrates me that people don’t seem to realize that they are wild animals and people need to keep a safe distance. There was a sea lion with a fishing lure hanging from it’s mouth and the park ranger was trying to keep people away from it so it would stay on the rocks until Sea World got there to remove it and no one was listening to them. It was almost as if the people didn’t think it didn’t apply to them.

  68. I lost Buffett Monday afternoon. He had just turned 8 years old a beautiful white English Lab with the softest coat. For a few days before seemed a little tired intermittently but still chased the ball in the backyard until you made him stop. He had one day where he vomited while eating, but he had a bowl to help him eat slowly and a few nights later did not want to eat his dinner. Monday morning he had a piece of chicken for snack and wasn’t interested in his chewy. His sister Lola had spent the weekend since my daughter was out of town and all was pretty normal. My daughter drove home and came over to pick up her dog and let the dogs out in the backyard, Buffett was his normal over the top self greeting her wagging his tail until she took him outside She threw him the ball once and he retrieved it and started to run to get it again but his backs legs gave out and he fell over. My daughter ran to him, he was breathing hard and his heart was pounding he lost control of his urine and bowels and seemed at ease not at all agitated or anxious. He stopped breathing quickly, my daughter was holding his head in her arms. I drove home as fast as I could Buffett had passed.
    As all the other posts out of nowhere a perfectly healthy( just had his 6 month check up in October- healthy all labs WNL weight 76 pounds) dies suddenly.
    We did have an autopsy and the doctor said Buffett had cancer: hemangiosarcoma a tumor on the right side of his heart that had grown causing a hole in the pericardium and the cancer had metastasized to other areas as well.
    The autopsy gives some closure and reassurance there was little we could have done especially for my daughter. He was doing exactly what he loved when he died chasing the ball and being held by my daughter
    As someone else said we have many dogs, cats, guinea pigs, this is the first One who chose me as his person. I miss him and am truly grateful I had the last 8 years with him.
    Thank you for posting this blog and letting people share their experiences and to know you are not alone.

    1. You are definitely not alone. I’m glad that you had an autopsy so that you daughter can feel at peace that there is absolutely nothing she could have done to save him. Not all dogs could be as lucky to pass while being held by a loving family member, too. Thank you for sharing your story! It really does help the people who come here looking for answers.

  69. It’s November 2020 we had our lovely German shepherd Dali a big black strong boy. He became our rock because my wife left me and my three boys for a builder we got in to do work on our family home, Dali was there to protect us and comfort us and now his gone. It’s the same it was quick a d sudden one minute he was ok next he just went off his food I took him to the vets in one week 4 times they could not find snything on his scans it was only when I got a second opinion from another vet he found fluid blood in his tummy an X-ray revealed cancer had spread everywhere
    How could this be he was fit well healthy no weight lost he was only 9
    We miss him so much it hurts we don’t know what to do me snd my children just want him back
    We are going through hell with my wife and our Dali made it easier it’s terrible we want him home

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. You are not alone. I promise that you will feel better eventually. There was nothing you could have done and I’m so sorry for the horrible timing. It’s extra tragic when you’ve already been dealt a big blow. 🙁

    2. First of all thank you to Katie for this article on Hemangiosarcoma which I have just found. Dean we are going through the same & it is brutal. We lost our German Shorthaired Ponter on Sat 28/11 he was 8yrs old and would have been 9 in Feb next yr. The shock of that day is immense, Sonny was fine all day but fell.ill on his way back from his walk with my partner Rob. We rushed him to the emergency vet & after examination it was found he had a large mass on his spleen which had burst. An operation was vaguely mentioned but this would only give Sonny a few wks. We had no choice & we are devastated. We have no children so Sonny & our little cat Fred were our fur babies. No warning & no symptoms is hard to take, he did have a skin cancer removed last yr but all scans were good. As i said before this really is brutal, we hoped to see Sonny in to old age, he was such a lovely dog in everyway. I can’t say our experience at the vets was a good one, firstly because of Covid & secondly because everything we were told was said ovee the phone, we feel some anger over that. The more we read about this disease the more we realise whar we are up against & there was nothing we could di to save him. Dean, we cry everyday at the moment, can’t sleep properly, eat properly life is very hard so we understand all that you & your family are going through. We want our Sonny boy back too. Please take care & just like us take one day at a time & stay safe.
      For some reason today has been particularly bad emotionally & i know that’s how this awful process goes. Love from the UK x

  70. Hello Katie,

    Thank you for sharing your story, it has brought a lot of comfort and closure for me. I am so sorry for your loss. Our Australian Shepherd Snickers, also died of hemangiosarcoma just this past Friday November 13. She had no symptoms before hand to let us know something was wrong. The night before she passed she had black diarrhea which we bagged a sample of to take to the vet next day. She was up at 2:00 in the morning drinking water and then went back to sleep by our son who was sleeping on the coach next to her bed. That morning she did not get up to eat and when I left for work she waved her tail (yes we picked her at 3 days old so they would not chop her tail) licked my hand and laid her head down. I had felt he stomach and it was soft, not swollen of distended.
    My husband and kids took her to the vet at 10:00 they saw a mass on her spleen and too her into surgery. They removed the mass on the spleen and took about 2 liters of blood out of her stomach. She was still leaking blood and upon further probing saw that her liver was riddled with tumors that they could not remove or stop the bleeding from.
    We were able to go see her when they brought her out of surgery and she was just coming out of the anesthesia. They said Snickers, had too many tumors and they could not control the bleeding. So we spent time with her, and the doctor then came in and put her to sleep with each of us holding her paws and stroking her fur.
    I of course researched this and it is the primary cause of non-accidential death in Australian shepherds, about 7 out of 10. It has been suggested that when your Aussie turns 5 you should have annual blood testing for cancer and ultrasounds for tumors. Also, if you dog starts licking her paws uncontrollably, that is a small sign that they may have pain in other parts of their bodies.

    My son is in his Sophomore year of college and my daughter is graduating high school this coming spring. Snickers was definitely the family dog, and was going to be our transition to our kids leaving us as empty nesters.
    I miss her and just wish I had known about this type of hereditery cancer. I can’t second guess myself, we had 9.5 beautiful years with her and the only way she could have survived is if she was in God’s operating room. God Bless all of you who have taken the time to write and share your stories.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story! That is the first I have heard about black diarrhea but it does make sense given the disease. And it is interesting to know how common it is in Australian shepherds (my childhood dog was half border collie half Australian shepherd… such SMART dogs). I hope that you can find some peace.

    2. have been through exactly what you all are talking about with my Cooper GSD.
      Heartbroken beyond words. Cooper was just 8 and he leaves behind his twin brother
      Henley. Absolutely devastating. He was the life of the house. The clown and the love he gave was endless. His brother is so sad it breaks my heart all over everyday. This cancer is horrific ,Hemangiosarcoma,
      I just want to know if there is any diet, supplements, or medication that can prevent this from happening to his brother?
      Please tell me anything besides just waiting for Henley to develop this killer.
      My Name is Nicole
      nicolebognetti@comcast.net

  71. I’m so glad that I found this post! We lost our rescue Pit Bull Thor on Monday (11/23/20), to the exact same thing. It was so sudden! We had not expected it at all. I’m comforted to know that others have experienced this as well, and that there are literally no signs until its basically the end. I’ve kicked myself for thinking that I missed all these signs of our dog being sick, but in reality, its just the nature of the disease. Thanks for posting this.

    1. Oh I’m so sorry for your loss! It’s not your fault and it will get easier. The more you talk about it, the more you’ll realize how common it is and you’ll probably save someone else from the same kind of guilt because they’ll be able to recognize it and know that it’s just one of those things. Doesn’t make it any easier, I know. Hang in there.

  72. I am so thankful to have found your post while searching for more information about hemangiosarcoma. We lost our beloved French Bulldog, Lexie, to this horrible cancer on Friday, Nov. 20th. She was days away from her 13th birthday. As I read through the other heartbreaking stories of so many dogs dying at young ages, it helped me realize how lucky and blessed we were to have Lexie as long as we did. Though, it does not make saying goodbye to her any easier.

    On Friday morning, she was a bit more unstable than usual. She had arthritis in her hips and back for the last year with some muscle wasting and was on several medications to help including anti inflammatories, gabapentin for pain, among others. I really did not think much more about it at the time. The day started out pretty normal. I let her sleep out on the patio in the sun for part of the morning (one of her favorite activities) while I was working and then brought her in for lunch. Her appetite was normal other than wanting to be fed by hand that day (yes she was spoiled!). Honestly, I was always happy to do it when she wanted it because it gave me more quality time with her as she was getting older. After lunch, I took her upstairs with me to the office. She wanted to sit in my lap while I was working. I put her down at one point when I needed to join a Zoom video meeting. She walked over to her bed in front of my desk and went to sleep. Around 3:30 pm, she woke up and tried to get out of bed. She stood up, stepped out of the bed and then completely collapsed. I ran over to her and picked her up screaming her name. She was completely limp in my arms and was not breathing. I ran downstairs with her and she starting breathing again. She lost control of her bowels and bladder. I rushed her to the emergency veterinary hospital. They took her back to the ER immediately. Due to Covid restrictions, I had to wait in the car for the vet to call me with an update. The wait was excruciating. The vet eventually called with the terrible news. The X-rays and ultrasound showed fluid around her lungs and heart, multiple tumors in her lungs and liver, and large masses in her chest cavity. They did a thoracentesis to try try remove some of the fluid around her lungs to relieve some pressure and help her to breathe easier. Unfortunately, they discovered that the fluid was blood. The vet said she was certain it was hemangiosarcoma because she sees so many dogs in the ER with it. They recommended euthanasia as they did not think she would make it through the night. I knew it was the right decision although it completely broke my heart agreeing that was the best option. I told the vet that I could not do it there because Lexie hated going to the vet and especially the ER. Having been to the ER a few times over the years, she knew nothing good ever happened there even though all of the vets and staff were wonderful with her. They let me take her home after we were able to find a vet who would come to our home and do the procedure. We were able to spend a couple of hours with her before the vet arrived. She died peacefully in my arms at 8:20 pm on Friday, Nov. 20th. I could not imagine doing it any other way. I wanted her to know how much she was loved. I kept one of my hands on her chest while I held her in my arms. I felt her very last heartbeat after the second injection and I knew the exact moment she passed and left this world.

    Losing Lexie has been almost unbearable. She was the sweetest and most loving little creature. I have had many dogs over the years and I have loved them all; however, Lexie was truly special. She will always have a very special place in my heart. The grief is still very deep right now. I truly appreciate everyone who shared their experiences here on this blog. While I wish none of you had to experience losing your pets to this horrible cancer, I found some comfort knowing I was not alone.

    Knowing how common this is, I think we have to find a way to encourage and support more research in the earlier detection and development of new treatment options for hemangiosarcoma. What a great legacy that would be for our beloved pets that we lost to this disease.

  73. I was informed by Jack’s vet today that he most likely has subcutaneous hemangiosarcoma. He suggested a biopsy, but probably not surgery because it appears quite imbedded in the muscle near his spine. I am opting for ultrasounds of his inner organs to see if it has metastasized. Then I will know how to proceed as the disease progresses. He is an 85 lb. German shepherd rescue, 10 years old. I’ve had him 3 years and he’s the best. If something happens at home, I would not be able to get him to the vet. So I’ll need to have him euthanized, hopefully at home, before he gets too far along. But he’s had the lump since May and it was diagnosed as muscle problem connected to his arthritis. Maybe something could have been done when it was smaller. It’s too large now. Quite a lot to digest.

    I’m glad I ran across this article.

  74. This has just happened to my best pal Santi on 01/12/2020. He was his usual self throughout the day then at 7pm just couldn’t move, didn’t want his bowl of tasty chicken and was shaking. To cut a long story short the very next day I had to make that terrible decision to put my poor boy to sleep. He was a rescue dog and only 11. He was the fifth member of the family. I’m still in shock and grieving but your article really helped me to understand what happened. Thank you. Jonathan 🇬🇧

  75. Katie, I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet boy, Scooby, and what you had to go through. But I really want to THANK YOU for writing this. I have been tortured with guilt because we had to put down our sweet girl, Zoe, three days ago. It all happened so fast, just like in your case. We were faced with the unimaginable choice and no time to think about it. We trusted the word of the emergency vet, but later I wondered if we had asked enough questions. Perhaps we had another option. Or we could have at least brought her home to spoil for one more day. It’s been agony thinking about it. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It helped me realize that we did the right thing. She was failing so fast, and we couldn’t bear to put her through the pain of all that surgery and chemo. In the end, she couldn’t even stand. I’m sitting here crying just typing this, the pain is so raw. But I really needed to hear your words today. Thank you.

  76. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for this blog post. I was crying myself to sleep for several days after we had to put our sweet Zoe down when I came across your blog. My story is just like everyone else’s here, but the guilt was eating me up. I thought we did something wrong. I thought we were pushed into a quick decision we weren’t prepared to make. I thought we could’ve done more to save her. But after reading your post and all these comments (and crying for every one of you), I realized that there wasn’t much we could’ve done. It was just an awful, horrible, traumatizing thing that happened to us. And I thank you for speaking out and letting me just mourn my sweet furbaby without the guilt. My heart just breaks for anyone going through this. Hugs.

  77. Adding to the gratitude for the blog and the comments. It’s only been hours since losing our hound/vizsla rescue at 8 years old. The reason I started researching so quickly is that, unbelievably, this is the second dog in 3 years that we’ve experienced this with now. The first time was on Christmas Eve, so at least we were spared that this time. Both had hemagiosarcomas of the heart, which both vets told us are very rare. Seems from all these comments maybe not so much. It’s possible tumors started elsewhere, we chose not to do autopsies. Unfortunately both dogs died without us there – 3 years ago because it was Christmas Eve and the vet said to go home, they’ll call if “any issues.” When they laid Scarlett down on the table to do the ultrasound, she died almost instantly. Today it was due to COVID my husband was in the parking lot when the vet came racing out to get him and by the tone he got inside our Rhett was gone, also right as having an US. It’s hard not feeling confused, mad, and wondering if we or the vet should have done anything different. It’s just very sad and tragic.

  78. I lost my beautiful standard poodle 3 weeks ago with hemangiosarcoma of the spleen. It was sudden. She was fine the day before, she was 13years old. 15 years earlier, my standard poodle Bunni, 12 years old,, also was diagnosed with this , only it was around the heart. After draining 2 bleeds, she for 3 months , and I was glad for every day. This is a terrible disease.

  79. My beautiful gsd died on Wednesday he was nearly 13 years old. He lasted 6 months from the time we found out he had a tumour. He also had osteoarthritis which he had had for years and was treated with acupuncture and metacam.I know it’s not great giving a medicine like metacam because it thins the blood but ever time I stopped it he would be crippled and no quality of life.
    He had an infection the week before and refused food I took him to the vet and she gave him a shot of antibiotics and metacam because he wasn’t eating.On the Tuesday night he vomited about 3 pints of blood I couldn’t get him in the car or a vet to visit because of Covid restrictions. He lived for 10 hours and died in my arms.I blame myself that he had such a horrible ending. I think giving him the metacam made things worse.He was such an amazing strong brave boy I am riddle with grief and guilt.

  80. This is not the club I wanted to be a part of, but here I am. We lost our sweet Charlie on Thursday, December 10th to this awful disease. He was a pit boxer mix and only 8 years old. I find some comfort in reading everyone’s stories because we too have been beating ourselves up because we didn’t know our baby was going through this. He had a normal day, took 2 walks and the next day we rushed him to the emergency vet. I would have gone into debt for him but the cancer had already spread to his lungs. It was too late. His belly was full of blood and he was anemic. They gave him fluids and we asked to bring him home. We were hopeful for a few days or weeks with him. Vet said the bleeding may stop and he might get some energy back. That never happened. The next morning his gums were pale again and he barely moved. He just couldn’t get comfortable. He drank soooooo much water. Then when he threw up his dinner from the previous night along with his medicine I knew the time to let him go was now. He even attempted to get up to relieve himself and took 3 steps, laid back down and peed. We wanted him surrounded by love in his last moments so we had a vet come to the house. My husband, my two sons age 17 and 21, and our two other dogs said our goodbyes and I’ve been crying non stop. I find a little peace knowing he in no longer suffering, but I just miss him so much. He had such a gentle soul and I’m so thankful to have had him in our lives. It just wasn’t long enough.

  81. We have only today had to euthanise our beloved American Bulldog thanks to this evil disease, which, in his case, manifested in retching up fluid. I had no idea it could be so aggressive nor strike so quickly. My only comfort is that he was spared collapse and maybe pain. He has left a huge void and I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. He was ten and a half years old.

  82. Thank you so much for this article. It has helped me and my wife so much. I won’t go into our own story, because it is like so many of the previous ones. We lost our boy Dew. He was a pit and was 8 and half. He was the best dog we have ever had. It’s been almost two weeks and it still hurts so bad. We love you Dew.

  83. We just went through this same scenario with our sweet Pete on Wednesday night of last week. He was nervous in general and had to take a tummy protectant, but bloodwork was always ok. He was just seen as a nervous dog with a sensitive tummy. He was the sweetest. The week before everything went south, he was having trouble getting around, but still ate and drank fine. We took him to the ER vet and they assumed arthritis since he was 10. His follow up with his vet went the same, but he was on meds and acting like a puppy again. So happy and full of life. The morning of I just thought he was tired from the meds because we changed dosage times, so it seemed normal. By that night I knew it was too late. Our ER vet is 45 minutes away, so we went. We got the news and the same info as you did. We were devastated. He wasn’t a complainer at all, so I was like of course he was sick and didn’t let us know but I felt guilt. Thankfully we were able to be with him and they gave us as much time as we needed. I finally pushed myself to say ok we’re ready when I could tell he was just too tired. He curled up in my arms, at 55 lbs that was a lot but I didn’t mind, and at the first push of the syringe his heart stopped. I have peace knowing he’s no longer in pain, but I still had questions so I stumbled across this. Thank you for sharing. It really does help with processing everything. It’s only been going on 4 days and it’s rough. We just miss him and his brothers miss him. I know you understand ❤️

  84. I am writing, because last night, 12/21/2020, we lost our second dog, Jackson, to hemangiosarcoma. We are still grieving the loss of Bentley who died on 2/19/2020. The boys were brothers from the same litter, born in August 2008. My dogs were Bichon Frise’s, not a breed mentioned in information regarding this silent killer.
    We have such frustration that there are tests that can and should be done during a pets life to catch disease EARLY as it should be with humans. BUT, like with humans, money is the driving factor. Vets, and medical doctors, should be obligated to inform owners of all options instead of making assumptions. Regular testing would drive costs down and perhaps healthy lifespans for pets and humans UP.

  85. I can’t believe I just came across this blog-We just lost our beloved Nikki-our 12 yr old shepherd/husky mix to a hemorrhagic splenic mass yesterday and we are devastated; So sudden and traumatic-she was her usual energetic, playful self Until Sat nite when she suddenly had an odd episode of looking confused and became off balance Briefly then slept the rest of the nite without going out to do her business-we had to help her off the couch then She couldn’t jump back up which is her favorite place; Sunday morning she was a little better then as the day progressed she continued to get better-ate then went out and by nite was her normal, happy self Again; Monday morning she was fine-brought her to our vet and they said normal physical exam and drew bloodwork panel-but I have to medicate her to go to the vet (she was a rescue-very high strung, unpredictable and very protective of her momma) she was pretty sleepy and lethargic the rest of the day but I attributed it to being medicated; she later ate a little, perked up again towards evening and was going down the deck again to do her business; Tuesday she was OK but still not her normal energetic self and we got the bloodwork results of Mild anemia and low platelets with some kidney values sl elevated-so they said to bring a urine in as soon as we could get one and depending she might need an abd scan to check if she might have internal bleeding; the rest of the day she slept more than usual and drank but ate less than usual; by evening she rallied again and was playful, more responsive and able to jump back on the couch-we were so happy to see our girl back! Then Wed am-she had definitely gotten worse-lethargic, confused, unsteady and needed help walking; called our vet-said to bring her to the ER vet; they did an abd ultrasound and said her belly was full of blood and saw tumors on her spleen that were bleeding-then did a chest X-ray and said lungs looked good but more spots on her liver-said it was “prob” cancerous-couldn’t say for sure but we could do surgery or put her to sleep considering her age-WHAT😱 we said we want the surgery to save her life in case it wasn’t cancer until they said it would be $10,000-wait-WHAT?😱😳😳 are you kidding me?? We have care credit but not that high-we asked could we put down half then make payments? No-have to put 7,200 down with balance due when we pick her up😱 so we sat there-IN the CAR-I was distraught as we tried to figure out what to do-we did not want her to suffer or have cancer Rx at 12-we could have split it on a a couple credit cards for the surgery but they said well there’s no way to know if she will be OK and she might not even make it thru it😭😭 we just wanted to see her but they said we could only come in for the euthanasia-so we said yes and thought when we see her We would make up our mind; they said they were very busy-by the time they finally let us in to some room to sign papers but no Sign of Nik-they said they would bring her to us?? Well 10 mins later-she barely got to the doorway-ON A LEASH-and within minutes she collapsed-we went right too her but she went into shock and the person-don’t even know who she was said she’s dying and quickly gave her the shot right there in the doorway to the hall😩😩😩 dont even think she knew we were there-WE ARE SO ANGRY AND DEVASTATED🤯😡💔 why didn’t they tell us she was so critical? They certainly should have known-Why couldn’t they let us in her room to be with her while she was obviously dying-prob So frightened-ALONE and IN PAIN😩😩😭😭😭 never even met the vet-this was HORRIFYING-I am sick with grief💔💔 we couldn’t even quickly give her the benefit of the doubt by saving her life With the surgery- we had to agonize not only about what was best for her but over how to afford that ridiculous amount-we expected for it all to be expensive but $10,000?? That’s unconscionable-it feels like extortion when you’re at your most vulnerable😱 I’m never going to get over this-our beautiful, healthy furbaby-we couldn’t even be there for her when she needed us most😩😩💔💔💔😔

  86. I can’t believe I just came across this blog-We just lost our beloved Nikki-our 12 yr old shepherd/husky mix to a hemorrhagic splenic mass yesterday and we are devastated; So sudden and traumatic-she was her usual energetic, playful self Until Sat nite when she suddenly had an odd episode of looking confused and became off balance Briefly then slept the rest of the nite without going out to do her business-we had to help her off the couch then She couldn’t jump back up which is her favorite place; Sat morning she was a little better then as the day progressed she continued to get better-ate then went out and by nite was her normal, happy self Again; Monday morning she was fine-brought her to our vet and they said normal physical exam and drew bloodwork panel-but I have to medicate her to go to the vet (she was a rescue-very high strung, unpredictable and very protective of her momma) she was pretty sleepy and lethargic the rest of the day but I attributed it to being medicated; she later ate a little, perked up again towards evening and was going down the deck again to do her business; Tuesday she was OK but still not her normal energetic self and we got the bloodwork results of Mild anemia and low platelets with some kidney values sl elevated-so they said to bring a urine in as soon as we could get one and depending she might need an abd scan to check if she might have internal bleeding; the rest of the day she slept more than usual and drank but ate less than usual; by evening she rallied again and was playful, more responsive and able to jump back on the couch-we were so happy to see our girl back! Then Wed am-she had definitely gotten worse-lethargic, confused, unsteady and needed help walking; called the vet-said to bring her to the ER vet

  87. I just lost my mini dachshund, Felon Bubba 11 years old, yesterday. It was all so sudden. Christmas Eve he wasn’t all perky and kissing me like usual. Just laying on the floor which is so unlike him. I swaddled him up and figured he wasn’t feeling good. Christmas Day came and still not feeling good but wasn’t able to walk or eat or drink. I had to give him pedialite and water in a syringe. And a blended syringe of his favorite wet food. He ate and drank willingly. But then his stool was bloody. And it was about midnight-3 am. I had to wait for the vet to open. 8 am yesterday I took him in and said something is wrong! They said he might have cancer in his tummy. There’s a mass and fluid in it. He was breathing heavily and I can tell he was in pain. I told them do anything you can to help him. They said surgery would just prolong his suffering because cancer wounds and internal organs don’t heal good. That they would most likely tear and fluid would come back into his tummy and Ide have to take him back for more surgery. The doctor said that the best thing for him would to be put to sleep. I held my baby for 2 hours waited for my boyfriend of 11 years to get there, the one who gifted felon to me our first Christmas, and we sat there crying and crying and asking so many questions, finally and regrettably I had to make the decision, to let him go to sleep…. felon had this little smile on his face but was still huffing and wincing. I cried so much and put my lips between his eyes like I do before bed and seconds later his heart stopped. I still can’t face the fact that it was best. I keep thinking what if we did surgery and it worked. If I had just took him in the first day. I have 11 years of his stuff around the house and cry every hour from picking up something of his. But I know in my heart that he isn’t hurting anymore and he had a good long spoiled life. It’s never easy. And death is never fair. I hope that this depression will not consume me. Everything feels so wrong without him.

  88. And thank you for all your stories. They are helping me to realize how I made the right decision. And that I’m not alone. I am so very sorry for all your losses too!! Each story made me cry and feel for you. #AllDogsGoToHeaven

  89. Gosh, Katie…We share a nearly identical timeline and course of events. It gave me chills to recount the experience so explicitly. The only difference: we knew where the bleeding was coming from and chose an emergency splenectomy. It “bought” us 37 days — 36 of them came with the delusion that he was somehow “fine” — and on day 37, we repeated the ordeal for a second time and ended up with your outcome. There’s a reason it’s called “the silent killer” in the vetinary world. If only I had known then what I know now…

    At this moment, my feelings surrounding this entire 5-week ordeal are overwhelming and the pain intense.

    I completely agree with Jeff K. and feel grossly compelled to find ways to facilitate greater education and awareness on hemangiosarcoma, and to encourage and support more research, and the development of new treatment options. Hey, there’s 114 of us here with similar stories and undisguised trauma, we’ve got to be able to work together to mobilize something in some way.

    I can’t thank you enough, Katie, for sharing your story and holding space for those of us trying our best to process. Praying for peace and understanding for all.

  90. Gosh, Katie…We share a nearly identical timeline and course of events. It gave me chills to recount the experience so explicitly. The only difference: we knew where the bleeding was coming from and chose an emergency splenectomy. It “bought” us 37 days — 36 of them came with the delusion that he was somehow “fine” — and on day 37, we repeated the ordeal for a second time and ended up with your outcome. There’s a reason it’s called “the silent killer” in the vetinary world. If only I had known then what I know now…

    At this moment, my feelings surrounding this entire 5-week ordeal are overwhelming and the pain intense.

    I completely agree with Jeff K. and feel grossly compelled to find ways to facilitate greater education and awareness on hemangiosarcoma, and to encourage and support more research, and the development of new treatment options. Hey, there’s 114 of us here with similar stories and undisguised trauma, we’ve got to be able to work together to mobilize something in some way.

    I can’t thank you enough, Katie, for sharing your story and holding space for those of us trying our best to process. Praying for peace and understanding for all.

  91. Thank you to everyone who has written and shared their heartbreakingly sad stories of losing their beloved fur babies to this very devastating disease of Hemangiosarcoma, as none of us would wish this pain or heartbreaking loss on anyone, as we have all unfortunately had to live through. My heart break is very new, as on Dec. 20th, 2020 my family had to make the hardest decision five days before Christmas to help our sweet German Shepherd Mix named Sadie Jane, who was 10 yrs. 8 months old, cross over the Rainbow Bridge…Never would we have imagined ending this very tough year with the devastating pandemic happening all over the world, that we would have to say goodbye to our sweet fur baby. My heart goes out to everyone who has also experienced this. Yesterday, as I left my vet’s office with my beloved Sadie’s ashes, clay paw prints and tufts of her beautiful fur in tiny vials with angel wings on them, through my tears I looked up and saw a rainbow in the sunsetting skies…I’d like to think that was a sign that my sweet girl had been reunited with her big sister Jewel, who passed 8 years ago the end of October, after also having a ruptured tumor, most likely Hemangiosarcoma as well…So as I finish writing this, it is now 2021 and the start of a new year without our beloved fur baby…May we all heal, and maybe one day, take a chance to love again, forever honoring our so loved &
    cherished fur babies always…Hugs

  92. All these posts are so heartbreaking, the exact thing happened to us yesterday. Our almost 8 year old german shepherd, Annabelle, had a small bump on her shoulder a week ago and I because suspicious. She immediately became lethargic, lost her appetite and hard to walk. (She’s a tripod, missing a left rear leg.But she keeps forgetting that.) Took her into the vet 3 times, they found an infection. Antibiotics made her stomach upset, so I fed her by hand. Otherwise she was getting better, except the bump was still there. We thought she strained a muscle because of her handicap. The day before she passed, yesterday 12/31, she was full of energy, playing and jumping around like a puppy. The following morning, she hesitated to walk, wouldn’t eat and I noticed her belly very swollen. Felt like a water balloon. Called the vet immediately and brought her in. He did an X-ray and saw her spleen was 10x it’s normal size with a tumor on it, and her abdomen was filled with blood and filling fast. She was deteriorating as we were in the vet. The vet said she was too weak for surgery and no surgeon was working on New Years weekend. The spleen was about to burst. My wife and I had to make the unthinkable decision to let her go to heaven. The void in the house is extremely painful. Everything we do and our daily routine reminds us of Annabelle. Annabelle brought such joy and love to our family. Thank you all for sharing.

  93. I lost 2 dogs to this horrible cancer. Taylor passed going on 8 years ago my happy girl. And my boy Eli its going on 3 years in febuary. I miss them both dearly!

  94. Thank god for your story. I just went through this this with my 13 year old lab/Shepard mix. She was never sick and within a month from a happy healthy dog to a frail shell and then fading away. The vet looked at her and though it might be a respiratory infection a d gave me antibiotics. Which seemed to help but then she just stopped everything and just lyed on her bed until my daughters said goodbye to her and within 5 minutes she was gone. Is there any way to stop or prevent this from happening. It will bother me for a very long time I do Certainly know this.
    Thanks for your post.

  95. Hello. Two days my border collie just stood up and I could immediately tell, as she could, something was wrong. She lost her balance then laid on her side. I thought she had a stroke. She got up with assistance and walked a bit but she then threw up. We took her to the vet and was told she had a tumor that burst and was bleeding out. She had to be put down. I’ve been crying like baby. It was so acute and unlike an old dog dying of old age. What was so hard is when she stood up. I could tell she obviously knew something was going on. It was so quick. My heart is broken but I know time is the cure.

  96. Thank you for this article. We are devastated by the loss of our rescue dog, Apollo. He has a growth on his heart that burst and it all happened so fast. I have so much guilt though because I saw signs of lethargy and he fainted but we knew he had a heart condition and those had happened before and we had started a new a drug regiment to help his weakness and arrhythmia . So when it happened again on. Friday night / Saturday, I called our normal vet and was trying for advice and was monitoring but thought it was just part of the cycle we’d been through before. By Sunday it was different though and I was worried, like clock with though he started to get some energy back and was acting pretty normal and himself again that evening, so I relaxed. Hoping to again call the vet Monday and get advice on if we needed to change meds or add something to the regimen. That was my thinking that we could still adjust make things better. Just a few hours later though, around 9:00 pm, I rushed him in to the emergency after another collapse and that clearly was different and we were told he needed to be euthanized. He likely wouldn’t make it surgery and had lots of blood in his abdomen. He was 13 years old an while we knew we were getting close to losing him. The shock of how it happened that night even though we’d done everything we could to monitor him has left me feeling so guilty and lost ( chest X-rays and ekg just three days before showed no bleeding or concern , two weeks before that an ultrasound ekg and chest ex ray showed the same ). I miss him so much and would give anything to hug him. All of your stories have helped me know the vet was right and it was time to give him a peaceful passing but I was not ready and dont know when I will feel better.

  97. My heart aches and goes out to every person here who is suffering or has suffered through this awful nightmare. My girl Nikki died suddenly on Monday, February 8. Like so many here there were few or no signs prior to that awful morning. Looking back yes, she seemed tired sometimes, more reverse sneezing then usual but she had allergies, but just nothing out of the ordinary for a senior dog or that pointed to the horror that was happening in her body. She’d had labs done in the fall, all looked good. She just had her 11th birthday on January 27th. On the morning she passed we’d just come off a great weekend, she was energetic, played ball and trotted along with me as I did barn chores etc. I was happy that she seemed so healthy and seemed to be aging so well. Same thing Monday morning, ate her breakfast, played with her toys, nothing seemed off. I left to run a couple errands, came back 1-1/2 hours later and she didn’t great me at the door like she always does without fail. Ran to the back patio and found her there collapsed, she couldn’t even lift her head but her eyes found me. I knelt and held her and saw those awful, stark white gums and tongue and I knew. I held her and frantically dialed my vet and my husband but by the time I was off the phone with the vet I could see she was fading so fast. So I just held her and loved her and cried torrents of tears into her fur and then my God she was gone, just like that. She was a Velcro dog, she only ever wanted to be beside me and that’s where she was when she passed. I’m so very grateful she held on until I came back home to her one last time and that I was with her when she passed. I didn’t have to drag her to the vet where she was always scared nor did I have to give the authorization to put her down. And now she is buried in the yard. Where she would want to be. But I am utterly shocked and shattered, just so lost without her. This last week has been brutal, the void is enormous. I ordered her a beautiful headstone with her picture on it and cried torrents of tears when I opened the box and saw it. I just don’t know how to move on without her. Reading this article and all the comments, I feel less alone, but I wish none of us were going through this pain.

  98. Hello, everyone.

    My sweetest love passed today. 100% unexpected. I don’t know what happened. I’m so confused and in shock. My mind literally can’t even fathom this is real. She’s gone. She’s really gone.
    Her name was Susie. My Susie Marie. She was a beautiful 10 year old corgi/chihuahua mix. She was a gift when I was 15/16 and I’m 26 now. I’ve had her practically my whole life. She has never once left my side, even after I became a mom and struggled to find balance between being a mom to my daughter and being her mom. I feel so guilty. I feel like this is my fault. I should have caught it. I should have notice and done something sooner but she was fine. I just took pictures of her a few days ago outside playing with my daughter and now she’s gone. I’m heartbroken. I’m devastated. She was my world. My life will never be the same.

  99. Hello from Mexico!
    I was shocked to do a Google search for hemangiosarcoma and come across a picture of our pitbull, Rocco! But then, it turned out to be your beloved Scooby!

    I adopted Rocco in 2015 from an animal rescue organization in Playa del Carmen, Mexico called Playa Animal Rescue. Since then, Rocco has been my constant companion. Moving with me a few times around Mexico, accompanying me on exploring different hikes and walks. And sleeping in my bed, of course!

    In June 2016, Rocco was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma after I noticed a few red growths on his belly. After his diagnosis, he had a splenectomy as a precaution. He had numerous visits to cauterize the growths and even remove them via surgery when they got too big for cauterization. They grew fast and furious, especially around his penis. That’s when his vet recommended to remove his penis. I know, it was shocking for us, too but he had an incredible vet and surgeon and after a week, he was back to his normal goofy self. We continued to do chemotherapy using a three times a week treatment for six weeks at a time called Palladia. While that seemed to work fine and without side effects in the beginning, eventually, as the chemo built up in his system, his personality changed. He became lethargic and skinny. I made the decision at that point to stop chemo. He bounced back after a couple weeks and was back to normal. But all the time, those damn tumors coming back.

    Well, here we are 56 months after his diagnosis (and estimated life expectancy of 36 months) and the tumors are monsters. His vet is coming tomorrow to do a checkup. His appetite and everything continues to be normal. Energy, love of walks, begging for food, sleeping in bed. But the tumors bleed and grow.

    I am INCREDIBLY thankful to you for this blog post because I had NO idea that he could bleed internally as your Scooby. I mean if I thought logically, I probably would have realized it was a real possiblity and it could be very quick. Thank you for sharing the signs that Scooby exhibited and what to expect. I will be sure to keep a very close eye on my boy. He is almost 9 years old and I can’t imagine life without him. However, I will do right by him and if necessary, make the heartbreaking decision to put him down.

    Again, thank you so much for posting this. I know how hard it is to lose a good boy. I lost my Rottweiler in 2012 to cancer and another of my beloved pups to cancer in 2020. It’s heartbreaking and overwhelming that we only have them for such a short time but honestly, I wouldn’t live my life without dogs.

  100. Thank you for this post. I needed it for sure. Just lost my sweet girl Betty (chocolate lab 7 yrs). Yesterday was the first signs. Happened so fast. She was euthanized today at 2:30. I’m in shock. Complete disbelief that she was fine on Sunday and died today. I’m not new to loss. Lost my mom was she was 49 from cancer. Thought losing a pet wouldn’t be huge like my mom but I was wrong. I miss my girl.

  101. I just read your story so heartbreaking, I put down my Pitbull 3 years ago with the same cancer, once diagnose he went paralyzed about 3 weeks later. I had to put him to sleep it was the hardest thing to do. Now yesterday I had to put down my shepherd she was fine and then went paralyzed, so I wondering is she had the same thing.

  102. Hello. I cried and read through each of your posts and I am so sorry for your losses. My 6 year old dogter went in for a biopsy of her liver, and they found diffuse hemangiosarcoma. The wait list is over a week until I can get her into an oncologist.

    I called one my best friends who is an ER anesthesiologist and asked her to tell me about death by internal bleeding. She said, “It’s honestly the best way to die. You kind of go into a coma and slip away without feeling a thing.”

    I’m a medical researcher working on cancer for almost a decade and I’ve never heard of this cancer before. It is the worst thing I could ever imagine for my dog and I’m now watching her every movement and worrying about when she’ll slip away. It’s torment.

    There isn’t alot of reasearch out there about hemangiosarcoma because it doesn’t affect humans, which is soul crushing and infuriating.

    My heart goes out to you all and I hope it’s of some comfort to know that these deaths were all painless <3

  103. Micky, my 11-year-old border collie, who suffers from spondylosis and IVDD, has just been diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma as well. My heart is breaking. He is so brave and so beautiful, and he is still so full of life. I have no idea how to carry on. I am finding some comfort knowing that I am not alone. I don’t know what to do. I love him too much to just let him go.

  104. All I can say is thank you and thank you to all that participated in opening their hearts and souls about the lose of their furbabys to hemagiosarcoma. Still hurting tremendously my Belle died October 11th 2020. I asked her if she could hang around for my birthday October 8th and she did

  105. Like many others here, I just lost my beloved Havanese, Napoleon, today to this (or we heavily suspect it was this). He was my first pet and he lived with me since I was 16. He made it almost 14 years. He was literally the happiest, healthiest little dog the entire time until he peed the bed and started acting lethargic suddenly last Friday. He was due for his annual so I took him in for a full work up and vaccines and took him home. He did not get any better and I thought he was having a vaccine reaction so took him back to the vet. His bloodwork showed anemia and they did X-rays and found a splenic mass. We took him home again for a little while and I cried and cried worrying about my first baby. He has always kissed my tears away and even in his pain he came over to check on me. We took him to the emergency vet for ultrasound and confirmed our fears and surgery was the only option. We decided to take him to the vet school 2 hours away to see if they could do anything. They wanted to keep him overnight. I stayed at my family’s house nearby and waited near the phone. They called in the morning saying he was okay and then find out he had passed out last night but recovered and hoped to get into surgery soon. They call me a few hours later to say he was in cardiac arrest again and I was freaking out because I was twenty mins away and didn’t get to say goodbye because of Covid. My family get there as fast as we can but he had passed already. This has been my worst nightmare come true. We were able to take him hime to bury him and let his body nourish the earth. I don’t know how I’m going to manage going home and him not being there. My other dog who has been with him since she was a puppy and now is seven luckily got to say goodbye today too. This post has definitely given me some comfort as I lay awake not able to sleep. My heart is breaking for Napoleon aka little doodle dog and everyone else who experienced this loss. I feel a bit better that I didn’t put him through surgery and he decided it was time before trying something that obviously wouldn’t have helped.

  106. My wife and I had to make the extremely tough decision to put our sweet boy Teddy to sleep yesterday, 3/22/2021. Teddy was an (estimated) 8 year-old rescue. My wife adopted him in 2015 from the local pound. He was three years old at the time. I got the honor of loving and caring for Teddy two years later, when we met and started dating in 2017. My dog, Kirby, and Teddy got along from day one and quickly became the best of friends and the closest of brothers.

    This past Sunday, we were enjoying a weekend at my family’s cabin when I noticed that Teddy was slow to get out of bed. When I took the dogs on their morning walk to do their business, Teddy had a significant amount of blood in his stool. Allie (my wife) and I immediately packed up and headed home. The drive was long (about five hours) but once we got back, we took him to our local emergency vet right away. They did a physical exam, full blood work-up, and x-rays, which showed a large mass on his spleen. In addition, his platelet count was extremely low. Unfortunately, their ultrasound technician was not in the office that day so they could not investigate further. We took him home and he slept in our bed all night. I will always cherish that last night with him.

    The next morning, we took Teddy to his primary vet, who graciously squeezed him in for an emergency ultrasound. We waited around all day, nervously awaiting a phone call, since we couldn’t be in the office due to Covid. When the vet called, she let us know that Teddy, a sweet, 17-pound schnoodle, had a splenic tumor the size of a grapefruit and another smaller tumor deep in his liver, as well as some fluid in his abdominal cavity. Because of his low platelet count, she told us that even trying to perform a biopsy to get a better idea would most likely cause fatal bleeding and because it had spread to multiple locations, the most humane thing to do was to put Teddy to rest before he could suffer. She explained that she fully believed it was hemangiosarcoma.

    Allie, Kirby (our other dog and Teddy’s best friend), and I all went to the vet, where we were ushered inside and able to spread out Teddy’s bed, one of his blankets, and a pillow from our own bed. They brought Teddy in and gave us plenty of time with him, which we spent telling him what a good boy he is and thanking him for being a part of our family. When we were ready, the vet helped Teddy leave us gently. He passed nestled in Allie’s arms.

    There’s so much I wish we could have done, but despite the “what-if’s” and guilt that comes with grief, I know we did the right thing. Teddy left this world just as loved as the day he came into our lives and that will never change. Life is going to look different from here on out and we have a long way to go before the pain starts to subside, but I am just so grateful to have been given the honor of caring for our sweet Teddy. I take comfort in the fact that we were able to let him go with dignity, comfort, and love. The vet reassured us he did not suffer and that there was nothing we could have done to prevent this because it is such a difficult cancer to detect and treat.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I found myself relating to so much of it and it helps me know we’re less alone and that we did the right thing. This is the first pet we have ever had to put down and Teddy was my wife’s first dog, so the pain is unimaginable. Thank you for bringing a bit of comfort.

    Rest easy, TT. You’re the best boy and we’ll love you forever.

  107. First off, thank you for everyone sharing their grief of their loved ones who have crossed over the rainbow bridge. May they all rest in peace, and make new friends <3

    This is our story…

    My sweet boy, Manolo, a mantle Great Dane, suddenly fell ill on January 26th. He was rushed into the ER after noticing his gums were cold, and he was very lethargic. They medical team treated him for a pleural effusion, confirming blood around the heart (sac) and in the chest cavity. We were able to tap the fluid out, and the ultrasounds did not reveal any proof of tumors, but they did notice a nodule in his spleen. They suggested not to do a CT scan or MRI since this would most likely not show any new evidence than what was found on the ultrasound (if there was a tumor might be microscopic) and ultimately, with Hemangiosarcoma and they wouldn't be able to do anything for him. They gave him days, to weeks to live…

    We brought him home the same day, and started our research on all possibilities. He was recuperating relatively well from the tap for the next few days and celebrated his 8th birthday on February 1st. We celebrated BIG with our close family and friends, and took what would be our last walk together…

    On February 2nd, we went in to rescan the ultrasound of his heart/chest to check if the fluid has returned. He did not show any evidence of any fluid build up at this point but the spleen showed more nodules and they did not feel a pulse "dead" on partial of his spleen and recommended to remove his spleen as a biopsy would give us answers, and eliminate the possibility of a painful hemorrhage. They also noticed he started clotting and put him on blood thinners. They said he was strong enough to handle the anesthesia and surgery. During the surgery they noticed his pancreas hardened and took a sample as well.

    Thankfully, he survived the surgery and came home. He ate like a king while in recovery, making him rib eye steak, grilled chicken, and salmon.. On day 5 of recovery, I noticed his breathing became more labored, crackling, and didn't want any food…I was worried he got pneumonia. He started a slight nose bleed as well, and I sent the surgery team and the ER team videos and photos. They told me to keep an eye on him, and as he did not get better, I brought him in the next day back to the ER. He again had fluid in his chest built up and his blood count levels were low. There was nothing else they could do.

    He passed away peacefully in my arms at home at 1:00AM Monday morning, February 8th, a week after turning 8 years old..

    Today marks 2 months grieving… I can't help to beat myself up and replay the timeline and medical advice given…Did the doctors do the best for him? This was supposedly the best, most highly recommended hospital in town. But my thoughts now are –
    1) Should he have had the surgery – was it really necessary if he only had a few days / weeks max?! Why didn't I get a second opinion that day before consenting to the surgery?! Did I cut his time shorter than what we were already given?

    2) The results of the biopsy came back benign, non cancerous, so still no definitive answers – was it cancer of the blood vessels? And, the sample they took of pancreas – was lost! The hospital didn't even call me once biopsy results came in, I had to harass them for them, and just received a FRWD email from the lab as if I were trained to read the report….Also, during the surgery they called to ask if I wanted a plexi performed as well (stomach stapling to avoid bloat) WHICH he already had, so they didn't even look at his medical history before calling me?

    I had ask to schedule to sit down meeting with me to review what had happened after he passed (after spending $11K!) as this was unacceptable to just send me a frwd email. Where we left off, is all evidence they were able to collect points to that being the most viable possibility even if they couldn't see a tumor on the exams.

    I am a fairly reasonable person but now with more time to grieve and left with a hole in my heart, I can't help but to be upset with my choices, feel remorse, and disappointment with the hospital as this was not handled with care and compassion.

    Thoughts?

  108. First off, thank you for everyone sharing their grief of their loved ones who have crossed over the rainbow bridge. May they all rest in peace, and make new friends <3

    This is our story…

    My sweet boy, Manolo, a mantle Great Dane, suddenly fell ill on January 26th. He was rushed into the ER after noticing his gums were cold, and he was very lethargic. They medical team treated him for a pleural effusion, confirming blood around the heart (sac) and in the chest cavity. We were able to tap the fluid out, and the ultrasounds did not reveal any proof of tumors, but they did notice a nodule in his spleen. They suggested not to do a CT scan or MRI since this would most likely not show any new evidence than what was found on the ultrasound (if there was a tumor might be microscopic) and ultimately, with Hemangiosarcoma and they wouldn't be able to do anything for him. They gave him days, to weeks to live…

    We brought him home the same day, and started our research on all possibilities. He was recuperating relatively well from the tap for the next few days and celebrated his 8th birthday on February 1st. We celebrated BIG with our close family and friends, and took what would be our last walk together…

    On February 2nd, we went in to rescan the ultrasound of his heart/chest to check if the fluid has returned. He did not show any evidence of any fluid build up at this point but the spleen showed more nodules and they did not feel a pulse "dead" on partial of his spleen and recommended to remove his spleen as a biopsy would give us answers, and eliminate the possibility of a painful hemorrhage. They also noticed he started clotting and put him on blood thinners. They said he was strong enough to handle the anesthesia and surgery. During the surgery they noticed his pancreas hardened and took a sample as well.

    Thankfully, he survived the surgery and came home. He ate like a king while in recovery, making him rib eye steak, grilled chicken, and salmon.. On day 5 of recovery, I noticed his breathing became more labored, crackling, and didn't want any food…I was worried he got pneumonia. He started a slight nose bleed as well, and I sent the surgery team and the ER team videos and photos. They told me to keep an eye on him, and as he did not get better, I brought him in the next day back to the ER. He again had fluid in his chest built up and his blood count levels were low. There was nothing else they could do.

    He passed away peacefully in my arms at home at 1:00AM Monday morning, February 8th, a week after turning 8 years old..

    Today marks 2 months grieving… I can't help to beat myself up and replay the timeline and medical advice given…Did the doctors do the best for him? This was supposedly the best, most highly recommended hospital in town. But my thoughts now are –
    1) Should he have had the surgery – was it really necessary if he only had a few days / weeks max?! Why didn't I get a second opinion that day before consenting to the surgery?! Did I cut his time shorter than what we were already given?

    2) The results of the biopsy came back benign, non cancerous, so still no definitive answers – was it cancer of the blood vessels? And, the sample they took of pancreas – was lost! The hospital didn't even call me once biopsy results came in, I had to harass them for them, and just received a FRWD email from the lab as if I were trained to read the report….Also, during the surgery they called to ask if I wanted a plexi performed as well (stomach stapling to avoid bloat) WHICH he already had, so they didn't even look at his medical history before calling me?

    I had ask to schedule to sit down meeting with me to review what had happened after he passed (after spending $11K!) as this was unacceptable to just send me a frwd email. Where we left off, is all evidence they were able to collect points to that being the most viable possibility even if they couldn't see a tumor on the exams.

    I am a fairly reasonable person but now with more time to grieve and left with a hole in my heart, I can't help but to be upset with my choices, feel remorse, and disappointment with the hospital as this was not handled with care and compassion.

    Thoughts?

  109. I am so very sorry to hear all of these different versions of the same story. At the same time I am comforted that all of you understand what I am feeling. I am still devastated and in disbelief that my boy was playing fetch at 7:30 Saturday morning and was gone by 10:00 a.m. I took him to the vet on Tuesday because he wasn’t interested in eating for a couple of days which was NOT usually the case. However his check up was normal, his bloodwork was good, he even had better kidney levels than the last time he’d been in. He was given some fluids for slight dehydration and prescribed bland food in case he just had a tummy bug. He had perked up quite a bit by the end of the week and on Saturday morning he asked me to play. I feel responsible because I’m sure the activity caused the bleeding to intensify and put him into complete shutdown. I’m so grateful that I took him immediately to the emergency vet rather than waiting or I may not have know what caused his passing. I thought perhaps he was suffering from bloat and would need emergency surgery so I rushed. I had to wait in the car due to Covid precautions, but they called me almost immediately to say his heart was slow, and surrounded by fluid as were his lungs. His abdomen was also partially full. The doctor explained what causes this condition and helped me understand that because of the severity of his situation and distress he was in euthanasia was the right choice. I still can’t believe how quickly it all happened. The vet kindly drained the fluid around his heart so that he could have some relief and breathe easily while we had our goodbye visit. I managed not to sob while he was there so that he was calm while I petted him, let my family talk to him over the phone and told him what a wonderful boy he was. As he went to sleep he was relaxed and looking directly into my eyes. Thank you all for sharing your stories and I am so very sorry for the loss you have each suffered.

  110. I lost my baby girl, Darla, very suddenly just two days ago. I am utterly gutted.
    I don’t know how to get through this. She was my entire world.

  111. I found such a relief in reading all of these stories. This Monday we had to make the same heartbreaking decision for our dog Chewy. She was a 17 year old Labrador-Pit mix; she was my best friend in a whole world. As many of you wrote, and the stories are eerily same, we had no idea she was this sick, until it was too late. She was perfectly fine on Sunday, going on her usual walks, sneaking bacon, splashing in her pool. She didn’t seemed herself that evening, but we thought it was her arthritis and she will be better in the morning, as many times before. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Chewy was a creature of habit, and on Monday she didn’t want to be doing any of her usual stuff. I still didn’t think anything of it, even though it was nagging at me. I had to go to work that morning, so I asked my kids to check on her and there was really no progress. She didn’t want to get up and was panting, yet still took all of her treats. Once I got back home she finally got up and went in a backyard to go pee, wagging her tail. I was so happy, and like a fool, I thought she was getting better. No, soonest she got back in a house she went back to lay down on a floor in a bedroom and was heavily panting and groaning. I have, at that point, discovered that her gums were very pale and super cold. I called my husband to come home from work, knowing that something wasn’t right. We rushed her to a pet emergency to be told the exact diagnosis as all of you…hemangiosarcoma. The doctor told us that her heart rate was high, she was on oxygen, and her stomach was full of fluid and blood, the doctor said her organs were literally swimming. At her age there was never an option for my family to put her through surgery and so much pain and recovery. We made the decision of euthanasia. It was single handedly the hardest decision I ever had to make. We were all allowed to go the room to be with her, but I honestly believe she was almost gone by the time they brought her back. I hope with all of my being that she knew we were there. She was loved immensely and she loved all of us back. My heart is shattered to pieces, my pain is almost physical and I have no idea how to go on with my days without her. Like many of you, I question myself about everything. If it helps any of you the doctor told me that certain breeds of dogs are more prone to this cancer, Labrador is one of them. The cancer doesn’t present itself with any symptoms, until it’s always too late. I find relief that I am not the only one. I think that I have done something right by her, she was 17 years and three months old when she passed away and lived a great life. I will miss her always.

  112. We have lost our beautiful fur baby to spleen cancer back in October 2020.My beautiful Denzel was my soul mate of a dog and i miss him everyday ,still cry myself to sleep.He was a rescue dog and very loyal and lovable.He started to put on weight and i thought that maybe it was because i gave him to many rewards ,so i started to put him on a diet and weight his dinner every night.He never lost weight and did not understand why as he was full of energy.Loved going to the bech for a swim and having a good pkay with mum dog.One day my husband said he did not want to eat his mornings biscuits which i thought was a bit strange as he loved food.Anyway he ate less and less and kept putting on weight. So i thought this is not right so i took him to the vet and had blood test done .They all came back good and still he was not eating so i asked for an ultrasound and this when i found out that he had a large tumor on his spleen and they gave him 3 weeks to 3 months to live.To say i was devastate with tbis news .So we decided to see a specialist and they told us that that it could be the less agrassive one ,we were hoping that it would be but no he had the agressive one with some spread.He was put on Prednisone/Macrolone 20mg tabs to help him for his appetite it did work but it made him very restless at night crying ,so i slept on tbe floor with him consoling him.His last day with us i tried to take for a short walk as he love his walk and he was so weak that we can home.That night he had very bad gastro and can up to me about 4 or 5 time to say Mum i need to go to the toiletas he did not want do it i side. unfortunately we had put to sleep the next day and decided it should be done at home typical of Denzel he just purked up a bit .The vet gave him an injection and he went to sleep than woke up so another i jection was done and to my horror he leaped up as he did not want leave us then went down and tongue hanging out some blood coming out from his nose and he was gone.It had to be the worst ever euthanasia i had ever experinced and cannot get it out of my mind.I know he was sick but i cannot get over loosing .The love he and i shared was magical I will always miss him and love him.Just writing this tears me up.My husband got me a dog because i when into dipression he is a nice pup and does bring a smile to my face and has helped but still a long way to go.My beautiful boy Denzel i love you

    1. This has just happened to our beautiful staffy killa(kyla) she was sick the night before next morning everything seemed normal we went out so she can go toilet she was walking slow but she was 14 so I put it down to age she ate all her food to I went to work as normal my partner works from home and she usually sleeps through most of the day but at the same times in the afternoon she always goes to him but that day she didn’t so he got up to check on her and she was sleeping on the living room rug again he just thought although it seemed wierd she probably got an upset stomach as she was sick again that day I got home from work and she seemed really tired but again I just thought she does this when she has an upset stomach so we decided to take her for a toilet like we always do when I’m home from work she was alot slower than normal but she had pee than just laid down I tried to get her to get up but she just didn’t want to I started to panic as I never seen her do this so I picked her up and rushed he back inside as we got in she just stood staring at the wall so i placed her in her bed in the living room she just stayed there which was deffo wierd for her as she would always come to me 20 mins or so later she got up and laid back down on the rug but she was groaning and moving to different spots then she started to bark but it wasn’t a normal bark and killa wasn’t a dog that barked ever so I knew something was seriously wrong I had my partner call our vets who asked us what colour her gums where I checked they where white they said we would to need to get her to a vet ASAP so my partner had to find an emergency vet as it was 22.00 whilst he was on the phone to the emergency vet i sat on the rug with her and she got up to come to me and then she just fell to floor I burst into tears as I knew something serious is going on my partner is telling the vet on the phone she callapsed as I picked her up to rush her to the car she was limp we drove as fast as we could to the vets they rushed her out the back the wait was so long the vet came out and said its not looking good her temp was low and her gums where white and although her heart sounded OK her lungs where crackly and she was anemic and she seems very saw on her stomach and the could be something internally going on whilst the vets is talking i can her killa barking in pain the vets said we had 2 choices either have scans blood test done but she might not last and even if she did the result could be the same or put her to sleep all I could hear was her pain and I told the vet we always promised her we would never let her suffer and I can hear her barking in pain so we made the choice to put her to sleep we hugged and kissed her while we was sobbing and while the vet gave her the injection, a week before this we had taken her to the vet as she seemed to be limping and had a swollen leg and big lump on her shoulder the vet took samples and said the lump was fatty tissue so was nothing to worry about I don’t know if they are connected to the events that happened a week later but for a year or so killa would have days where she was off her food during this time we had taken her in and out the vets who said nothing was wrong she seemed healthy even after she had scans and blood tests done at that time a year ago they found nothing and the last few months she would have days where she was really slow than other days back to her normal self running around to say I’m devastated is an understatement I watched my girl take her first breathe and now her last within 5 hours that night she was gone I had no clue as to what was wrong I had to the vet call a week after we had her pts to try to explain to me what had happened and although we didn’t have scans ext the vet said it was most likely internal bleeding from a ruptured tumour or a chronic long term illness after reading this post and every single one of the comments I’m pretty certain this is what happened to her I’ve never felt the pain I am now I miss her so so much the house is so quiet I can’t cope I cry all the time sometimes so much I’m actually sick I’m so sorry to everyone that has had to go through this it’s very traumatising.

  113. I am so sorry for your loss. We just went through this same thing with our puggle, Lucy, just over a week ago. She had a tumor the size of a fist on her back leg that she chewed at, so we took her to the emergency vet. They patched her up and for a week she had to wear a cone, until her surgery last Tuesday. We were not aware that this horrible tumor was cancer (Hemangiosarcomas). The surgeon at the emergency vet said he didn’t think it was cancer and wanted to charge $5-6k for the operation. Apparently he was a specialist. Our regular vet removed it for a fifth of the cost (and cared for Lucy way better than the other guy would have). Her sister from the same litter has bladder cancer and we honestly thought Noma would go first. Post surgery everything went fine, but because of the type of tumor the blood had trouble clotting. She never really recovered post-op. She was tired, not eating or drinking except for the water we gave her in a syringe and by the next day, was back at the vet for fluids. They couldn’t get her to eat or drink by Wednesday evening and her breathing was labored. She was struggling for the oxygen that the cancer cells were robbing her of. For the first time in my life I had to be part of the decision to let her go, and be there while she slipped away. Lucy was a wonderful dog and so sweet, and at 14yo, we gave her the best life we could. My pitbull misses his friend as much as we do. The pain is still very raw for our whole family. Tonight we are picking up her ashes and bringing her home.

  114. So very sorry for your loss ❤
    I went through the same hard decision yesterday. Had a beautiful Bernese boy and we were supposed to celebrate his ninth birthday in a month ❤
    I’m devastated 😔

  115. Hi My name is Lisa Moore. I just lost my dog Teetonka to the same disease your Scooby passed away from. I’m very very sorry for your loss. It really is hard to lose our babies like that. My dog was an American Bulldog and he was my baby. It happened on March 2, 2021. Teetonka was just fine. He went up to my husband because he wanted to go outside and then he came up to me. I was finishing up something and I was going to take him outside. He all of a sudden he sat down and stared at the wall underneath my desk. It still haunts me because I knew after wards that it was when Teetonka knew something was wrong with him. It makes me sad. I feel like crying because I couldn’t help him after I found out he was sick. Well a couple minutes after that my husband called him to the back where the back door was. Teetonka went right to his bed. My husband called to me and said Teetonka is acting odd. I said oh. I got up and he was breathing heavy and his gums were pale and he couldn’t get up. I thought oh my God. We called the emergency vet. Which is an hour away. They don’t have emergency vets in the area where I live. My husband and I got him into the Jeep. I had to take him by myself. My husband had to stay with my elderly mom. I finally got Teetonka to the vets. They got him out of the Jeep. Then not too long after that the vet came and told me that he has bleeding in his stomach etc. I called my husband. The vet said it would cost 5000 to 6000 dollars for surgery and he would have to have transfusions and he may not make it through surgery and if he did he would only live two to maybe six months. I couldn’t believe it. I can’t remember really after that. The day before he was running and playing in the backyard with my husband. I was heartbroken. I couldn’t believe it. He had just gone to the vet for his physical about six months earlier. I haven’t cried that hard that I could remember. I miss my boy everyday. He was like my child and now he is gone. The vet said his blood looked odd to him. Meaning I think he saw cancer. The vet knew. I hugged him and I told Teetonka I was sorry. I told Teetonka I didn’t know anything was wrong with him. I know I will miss my boy everyday. Yes it gets easier or I should say we get used to our babies not being with us anymore. I’m not the same and I know I never will be. I know I was very lucky to have such a great dog like Teetonka. He was taken from me in a blink of an eye. I understand how it feels to lose your baby. Again I’m very sorry for your loss.

  116. My husband and I just went through a very similar situation. Thank you for sharing your story. I am sorry for your loss. My Freddy was only 5 1/2 he was a cocker spaniel, he had a tumor on his heart. Lossing him has completely devestated me, like you there has not been a day that goes by that I do not think of him. I miss him so much.

  117. Thank you for sharing your story. I just lost my beloved golden retriever Shandi this past Sunday, May 2, 2021. It happened in less than an hour. Up to that point she had been a happy lovable, laid back, beautiful, 9 yr old girl. She followed my husband to the backyard, rolled on the lawn and an hour later passed in my arms. After speaking with our vet today and going over the course of events and symptoms she experienced he determined it was a hemangiosarcoma. We are thankful (if anyone can be thankful losing such a loved family member) that we could be with her during her last moments and that she didn’t go thru it alone. This will definitely take a long time to heal from and she will forever be in our hearts. Sharing stories will hopefully allow others to be aware of this unfortunate disease and to speak with their vets about if they have any concerns or questions.

  118. I lost my adorable Bearded Collie to this cancer of the spleen. She was absolutely fine the day before, playing football with us all. The next morning I woke up and she had soiled herself in the house, which she has never done. She wouldn’t stand up, eat or drink. We took her the vets and she was bleeding out into her abdomen, very sudden, very poorly. RIP my best friend – miss you so much. 😢xxxx

  119. May 6th 2021: First of all, thanks for sharing! My partner and I went through exactly what you and your family went through. We just had to put our 11 years beloved Ima (golden retriever /black lab mix) yesterday. She’s the sweetest dog on the earth and it happened so fast! I noticed yesterday morning, she doesn’t want her treats, go for a walk or car ride. Its not her so we went to ER and she never came back home. I am so grateful that our vet was able to give Ima euthanasia in our van which was her second home because we always travel from West coast to East coast. It is hard for all of us! Again, Thanks for sharing your story as it really helped to know that we aren’t alone! So sorry to hear about Scooby.

  120. Thank you for this. My 7 year old dog was just diagnosed. I am devastated and in shock

  121. It has been a comfort reading your article. We sadly lost our beautiful beagle girl, Pepsi, to the same condition, today. Heartbreaking. At the moment the only consolation is that she didn’t suffer for very long. Your story is an exact replica of ours, thank you for posting. Best wishes, Theresa from Portugal

  122. I came across this article after finding out from an autopsy yesterday that my sweet 13-year-old doxie Coco died from hemangiosarcoma. Two weeks before she passed, we had started out our day like any other–she enthusiastically ate her breakfast and followed me around in the kitchen hoping for some treats. I held her and she licked my face. Just an hour or so later she collapsed. That was the beginning of two weeks of multiple vet appointments and stays and not being completely certain what was happening with her. A couple of days before she passed away, I knew she wasn’t coming back from this. I had hoped to feel some peace from understanding why she was so ill and to find some comfort in knowing I had done all I could, but this is going to take a long time to heal. I’m so heartbroken and I really feel for everyone else who has had to face something like this.

  123. So sorry for your loss. My baby girl Tara was diagnosed with a tumor on her spleen. Doctor’s say that she will possibly live a few months longer if I have the spleen removed. So torn on what to do. I’m not sure if I want her to go through the pain and healing process to only die anyway. She is a big German Shepherd that I rescued 8 years ago. She is the smartest dog I have ever had. My protector. Thank you for sharing your story.

  124. This is exactly what happened with our 10 1/2 year old boxer.
    We had no idea.
    Heartbreaking.
    Thank you for sharing.

  125. This happened to my Labrador Jet last week, he became weak, not eating and couldn’t walk properly, bloods and a scan revealed a tumour on his spleen, he had surgery on Friday to remove the spleen, he’s at home recovering and we are awaiting the results of the tumour, I haven’t slept properly for a week, he had been bleeding slowly internally for a while but it had stopped, however his blood platelets were none existent so had to wait 3 days for surgery to give me a chance it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions for me, he is my world x

  126. Thanks for the info, we lost our beloved Crosby the Vizsla today from this very cancer. Reading your post is like looking in the mirror, event for event, symptom for symptom. Crosby was 6.5 years old

    The tears are flowing…

    We are devastated and heartbroken as a family- with love to our special Velcro buddy -Darlene, John, Charlie, Owen and Crosby’s 1 yr old brother Luca!

  127. Thanks for your article. I hope others find it helpful. Sorry for your loss. I lost my 7 year old yellow lab a year ago from hemangiosarcoma. Very sudden. Elected not to have surgery. Hi risk. Poor prognosis. Grieving still, but thankful for the gift of 7 great years with an amazing companion.

  128. Thank you for sharing this. Last night I lost my rottweiler, Xander, to this cancer. I’ve been crying ever since. I don’t know how I’m going to make it without him. He was my everything. I miss him so much. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one. I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish our babies could live forever.

  129. Thank you for this article. It has helped me so much as I feel so much pain, loss and guilt around the loss of my baby. He was 14 years old (our best guess) and after a seemingly normal day three days ago, refused his evening meal and would not get up. I called the emergency vet right away and they told me I would have to leave him there due to COVID. Because he hates the vet and didn’t have emergency signs (breathing was okay at this time and his gums weren’t pale), I decided to monitor him at home (something I now regret). I stayed with him all night but could tell he wasn’t comfortable so at 5:30am I brought him in to find out the same fate. For all the reasons you mentioned in your blog, I decided to take him home and say goodbye there. The vet said there wasn’t a lot of fluid so she gave him lots of pain meds and I brought him home. I was able to get a vet to come to the house a few hours later and in our backyard we said goodbye. It was a beautiful day on Mother’s Day so he was able to spend his last hours in the shade on the grass. I am still in shock over everything that happened. I was hoping we would have our summer together but I’m so thankful we were hardly ever apart during the pandemic.

  130. Thank you for this story. We had to put our 10 year old German shepherd to sleep on Saturday from a Spleen Tumour. As you have described, it was all so sudden and decisions were so quickly needing to be made, but we also chose to put our boy to sleep. The vet also saying we made the harder choice but the right choice, that so many people opt straight for surgery to avoid the pain but in most cases with these tumours, they just prolong the suffering to the dog. We didn’t want our Rex’s last months, or year at most to be in and out of vets etc.

    I found comfort reading your story and again thank you for this. It is hard to describe the grief you go through losing a fur baby, but it is comforting to know there are others who went through a similar experience. We had a week between episodes and exact same thing he clotted his own bleeding the first time and it hit him harder the second and we had no clue what was coming the following week. The mid week check up was completely good! A little arthritis and a little upset stomach but he was full of energy and himself. It was such a shock to be saying goodbye the following Saturday.

    My heart goes out to you and I know the pain you must of went through and still go through missing your Scooby xo

  131. Thank you for this, we just experienced this today and this week with our rescue out Lola. This helped me have such a better understanding and less guilt of how I missed it.

  132. Ty for sharing the illness and your dog, our dog was just diagnosed with a large spleen tumor and is scheduled to have surgery in the morning. I am feeling very quilty for not recognizing scuttle changes in behavior.

  133. Thank you for sharing. I lost my female lab to cancer a few months ago. My male lab mix, 12, was find Sunday May 2. Monday am he wouldn’t get up. Not usual, so I brought his food to him. Gobbled it down but I knew something was wrong. Took him to the vet within 2 hours and his abdomen was full of blood. I opted for surgery. He made it through like a trooper. Acting perfectly fine 3 weeks later but the biopsy came back and in fact he has hemangiosarcoma. I’ll soon lose my boy to cancer.

  134. I’ve just lost my sproker spaniel lm devastated it was so sudden he was having dribbles on the floor for a few months took him to vets and he had fluid round his abdomen give me tablets but still continued to dribble was panting for a few days but he always did then a pile of blood came out of him and his back legs went breathing went funny and within an hour he was dead x

  135. Thanks for your article on your beloved dog. My sweet girl Muppy (Momma puppy) went to heaven on May 21st because of this disease. I never thought that I wouldn’t be returning home that day without my girl. So heartbreaking right now. I’m not sure I will ever get over it. But at least we know we did everything we could.She was a pure bred American Pit Bull. We rescued her when she was two. She was so scare of everything but with love she turned into the most loved,funny,Miss personality you would ever meet. I wish we had more time together. Now we are left with photos and memories. She most loved walking with my husband on the trails in the woods. Every day she got out to do her favorite thing. My husband walked their favorite trail a few days after. It will never be the same. We’ll get to enjoy her through Lina one of her puppies who is now 10. Mups was almost 11 when she died. Her first irresponsible owners allowed her to get pregnant when she was only a puppy. My daughter named her Muppy because of it. We loved her so much.

  136. At this day I cannot stop crying & grieving for my fabulous loving one of a kind Pit Bull Tyson. He went to doggie heaven yesterday. He was also rescued by my wonderful Grandson at 4 months old. That was almost 10 years ago. He passed away also suddenly in one day due to Hemgiosarcoma. He started to bleed over the weekend but did not sick at all. He wanted to go for his walks & ate as usual. Off & on the bleeding would stop & it was coming from a dark brown spot you could hardly see unless it started to bleed again. Scheduled him with vet on Monday for Tuesday 8:00 AM. The Dr. as he was going to remove area felt a mass & took X-ray & discovered a tumor the size of a football which covered his liver. He called & gave us information he could not operate & gave us the decisions we could make. Knowing our precious boy he could never have been confined for 4 to 8 weeks during recovery period plus the odds were not in his favor. I cannot thank Kate Dillon for writing “We Suddenly Lost Our Dog”. Plus her dog Scuby looked just like our Tyson.

  137. Thank you for sharing your story. I just unexpectedly lost my dog Liberty this past Friday, and the pain of her loss is still very fresh. I had no idea that her heart was encapsulated in malignant tumors. I had even had her to the vet for a reoccurring UTI about 10 days earlier. All her labs came back healthy with the exception of the e coli bacteria. She had been on meds and a few days prior, seemed to get some of her spunk back. The only signs, that I wish I honed in on more, were some lethargy, reduced appetite and a cold mouth. I wish I would have noticed more. Instead I kissed her on the head, hugged her and told her I would be back in a bit. I mentioned to my husband that she seemed a little off, so he checked on her when he got home. He told me that she did seem off, and apparently struggled to walk. We ended up taking her to the Emergency vet. My husband and even the vet didn’t think at first that she was in such a dire situation. After running tests, they found the hemangiosarcoma encapsulating her heart. There wasn’t even enough time for my children and I to get there. Instead, we facetimed to say goodbye to my girl. Saying good bye, was apparently enough to get her excited and then pass on her own. Although, I am thankful to have gotten to say goodbye, I am devastated that I wasn’t the one holding her, and that I left in the first place. After reading your story, I can relate on so many levels, and even find some peace in knowing that I’m not alone. Thank you for sharing your story and helping others like myself get through such a confusing and emotional time.

  138. I am so sorry to read your story. Our twelve year old standard poodle has been diagnosed this morning and will be put down as soon as everyone can get there. What a sad, horrible shock.

  139. i am so so sorry, we went through exactly the same a few weeks ago, he was only 8 so quick and shocking. my thoughts are with you

  140. I lost my malamute Kyla to this last night. Your story is the same as mine. Fine one day and collapsing the next. The pale gums and an ultrasound later revealed a spleen tumour which was bleeding into her belly. She never came home. I held her face and told her how good she was and she could sleep now. All within an hour of arriving there. ❤️❤️

  141. We lost our 10 year old German Shepherd, Roxy, last Friday, June 4, 2021 to this cancer. We had no idea she had this until I came home that morning and she would not get up. Checking her gums, they were almost white. Rushed her to the vet, where we received the horrible diagnosis. The tumor on her spleen ruptured and she was bleeding to death. Minutes to decide surgery or put her down. We decided to let her go. You are left in shock, just stunned. Never thought in a million years She would not come home. She was my shadow and my shadow is now gone. You really have no way of knowing until it is too late. Heartbreaking.

  142. Thank you thank you thank you for this.

    I recently had this exact same scenario play out for me and my Jack. He was fine one day and then suddenly not…..I had to make that heartbreaking decision as well and I have sifted through article after article to make some sense of it and reading this really helped me to understand that putting him down was the best choice for him….thank you

  143. Thank you for sharing your story of love and loss. We have two staffie sisters who have both been diagnosed with this disease within two weeks of each other. They are 11 years and 10 months atm. I am so afraid I will miss the signs and that they will suffer. Your story has helped me to be aware of the signs, and I so hope I can make the call at the right time. I hope you are ok and one day able to give your hearts to another rescue baby. From Donna Sunshine Coast Queensland Australia.

  144. We lost our boxer 2 weeks ago to this horrible disease and your story mirrors our experience completely. Within 24 hours we went from having an active, funny 10.5 year old boxer to a lethargic, terrified boxer. It was a shock and I am not sure our hearts will ever heal from loosing our beautiful boy as suddenly as we did. Reading this article and the comments has given me piece of mind that we did the right thing. I hope he knows how loved he was and always will be. RIP my beautiful Champ and thank you for this article. We feel your pain x

  145. Thank you so much for this post and everyone who commented what had happened to their dogs. It was so helpful and comforting to read everyone’s stories and to understand more about this shocking disease. It took me hours across a few days but I read every single comment before mine. Here’s what happened with my dog to contribute to this ‘database’ of info:

    Our purebred husky Luna was a rescue (I’d be curious if rescues, especially previously traumatized ones, develop more cancer due to their emotional blockage and also genetics?) and suddenly died at the age (estimated) of 8/9 on the morning of Monday June 7, 2021. We’ve always assumed that huskies were healthier than most other breeds and that she’d at least live into her teens, so her passing was a huge shock. Like many others, she seemed normal until Monday morning around 8am, although there were some small signs that we mistakenly attributed to her broken leg from two years ago. I will cover those signs later in this post.

    I was still sleeping when my fiance cried out for me to come downstairs because he thought something might be wrong with Luna. He said that right before he called out for me, she made a disturbing sound that he’s never heard before. (Later, using the info in all your comments, I’m guessing this was when her tumor burst) When I ran down, her breathing was very strained, her eyes were glassy and starring off into the distance, and I noticed her tongue was very pale. My fiance noticed her gums and said they were very pale as well. We immediately got ready to take her to the ER, but then even then I never would have guessed cancer – I thought it was maybe some sort of poisoning. She then collapsed even more and hid her head under the couch and pooped while lying down. She was not responsive at all and my fiance picked her up and we quickly drove to the ER which was about 1.6 miles away. On the drive she didn’t seem to be breathing as deeply as usual and seemed to go in and out of consciousness. At one point I touched her stomach/back area to make sure she was still breathing and she lifted her head in a half growl/half gasping for air.

    We are not sure if she lost consciousness completely in the car, it was such a rush to just grab her and hand her over to the vets. They asked for permission for CPR, which we gave. We were not allowed to follow them into the emergency room but only had to wait maybe 5 minutes in the waiting room until the vet came to tell us that they only managed to get a single heartbeat back before she died. Like all of you before me, this was absolutely unexpected and potentially the biggest shock of my life. I fully expected it was actually going to turn out to be something minor and that she would come back home with us to live for several more years. The vet explained about her stomach tumor bursting and causing a lot of internal bleeding, and said that she wouldn’t have felt much pain as she was just going in and out of consciousness. From all my frantic research the days following, I’m guessing this is roughly correct, except for the moment her tumor burst.

    Finally I’d like to touch upon the signs in the weeks leading up to this. She had broken a leg two years ago (she scaled a 10 foot wall!), had two surgeries and was still going to physical therapy every week. One week the therapists said that they tried some new exercises with her so she might be more sore than usual, and strangely this was the exact same time as when she started refusing walks and was more lethargic than usual. Later she was so sore she fell on her hind legs a few times and could not climb up the stairs by herself, but everyone attributed it to her physical therapy exercises and expected her to improve within weeks. She also bounced back sometimes, some days more energetic than others. Also, the therapists said she should lose weight to put less weight on her legs and this was also about the time she refused breakfasts (but was still so enthusiastic about dinner and treats). We thought it made perfect sense when she lost weight, from 50 lb to 38lb, over maybe a month or two. The night before she died, she slept in a different place than usual. I console myself with the knowledge that even if we detected this earlier, she would still have died around this time or even may have had to be euthanized. I know given Luna’s personality, she would not have wanted a prolonged, painful surgery with a low chance of success and she’d rather take her own life than allow anyone to euthanize her. She was strong willed, fierce, decisive and yet scared of everything she didn’t control, so the way she died makes perfect sense (she would rather give up quickly and die than have to go through surgery or not have control of the timing her own death as in the case of euthanasia).

  146. I dont know what to do for my dog first she has fibrosis of the lungs so she has labor breathing but thay told me she has a nagule on her spleen and blood shows inflation in kindeny and liver she still gets up and walks by very slow and out of breath the vet couldn’t tell me how long she has or if I should put her down its all I p to me and I dont know what to do I don’t want to lose her but I dont want her to suffer and I surely don’t want her to bleed out after knowing that she has this on her spleen will she pass in a week two or tommarow should I let her pass on her own or put her down just 6 days ago my little dog died and now this im heart broken

  147. I have just found out that my beautiful Stafford x has a tumour in her aorta. We are a bonded pair to and I feel heartbroken that I am going to lose her. The vets have warned me she could experience sudden death 😢 I cannot stop crying.

  148. I wish I had seen this in January when we had to make a sudden and difficult decision to put down our beloved Wilbur, a 12 year old Husky/Elkhound mix. He had zoomies on a Friday afternoon, slept a lot on Saturday which was quite normal for him, Sunday went to grooming in the morning at 9am. Came home at 1130am barely walking. Did not want food, treats, chicken broth, water, nothing. Tried standing up and would fall down. We thought the groomers dropped him or something. Did not go outside all day and night. Monday morning he still did not want to stand and snapped at his dad when he tried to assist getting his legs up. Huge red flag. We told the vet we were coming in and discussed finances on how to pay because we had just started to refinance our home and large expenses are frowned upon. We wanted to do whatever we could to help him though. As we were talking, he leisurely walked past us and out the dog door like nothing was unusual. Lol. That dog made me laugh. Got to the vet. His bloodwork was not good, hardly any white blood cells, red blood cells elevated, labored breathing, and the X-rays revealed a huge mass. They said he had 2-3 days. Mind blowing considering he was running around three days prior! We decided to end his suffering and put him to
    sleep. It was the most heart wrenching decision we ever made. Our three other dogs would run into the garage and one of them would refuse to come back into the house, almost as if he was saying where the hell is he? Bring him back! This went on for two months. Whenever we talk to him in his memory box and hold his plaster paw print, the other dogs will perk up when we say his name. This morning, we took another of our dogs to the vet for acting lethargic, wobbling when walking, just acting really blah. Painfully we received the same news! We are both in shock. Splenectomy with chemo after would run between $3k-$5,500k. We left him overnight and the vet is giving him fluids and doses of yunnan boiyao which helps with blood clotting. His bloodwork is normal and it doesn’t appear to be spreading but I have a feeling we will be saying goodbye later this week or this weekend unfortunately. Literally no warning signs prior to today. It’s not your fault and nothing can change what happens. Just be there for your dog when it’s time to say goodbye so they know they’re safe with you there. They know your scent.

  149. Thank you so much for this post. We lost our dog, Dew, to this only hours ago. Its absolutely crazy less than 24 hours ago she was completely fine, and now she’s gone. We had absolutely no idea, and she was my first dog as an adult and my “soulmate dog” so I’m only just starting to comprehend how big of a loss this is.
    Reading this made me feel less alone. It’s something I was never going to be ready for but we thought we had so much longer left with her, she was 9 so not super young but still the youngest I’ve lost a dog at.
    Hoping the pain dulls over time but right now it still doesn’t feel real. I know I’ll lay awake wondering and grieving for so many more nights to come, but it helps to know that (while unfortunate) I’m not alone, so thank you.

  150. Thank you for the this post. We enlist our max yesterday and I feel so guilty that I didn’t know something was wrong with him, he went downhill on a Sunday and was euthanize the following Sunday-my heart is literally broken.

  151. Thank you for sharing your story. My beautiful twin soulmate Duchess died from a heart tumour and mass in her lung. She was a 10 year old Shepard/Pitbull mix. Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions I wasn’t allowed to go with her 6 months before she passed to get a needle sample from her paw, which would have told me about her underlying condition. The SPCA sedated her 3 times, upon sedation and due to her separation anxiety from me not being able to go into the exam room with her. They were unsuccessful in retrieving the sample, which could have saved her life. Not for long, I suppose, she was 10 years old and I wasn’t going to open her body up to have surgery if she would have only lasted another month.

    Anyhow, 6 months after SPCA wasn’t able to get a sample, I noticed her breathing was laboured, she was negotiating stairs, not eating her food like she used to, I switched to raw and home cooked, she seemed to enjoy that much more rather than the kibble. I took her in again and had to sedate her, they noted her as being unremarkable, I assumed it was due to old age. Because of the misdiagnoses, I figured everything was fine, a week later I noticed her gasping for air, I brought her in the next day and they declared she had a heart tumour and mass in her lungs. The SPCA let me into the building and I had stated that I wasn’t ready to let her go and I said on the phone before going in that I didn’t give the SPCA permission to euthanize my Duchess. It was really sad as I was so unprepared to deal with her death. Even though I felt forced into euthanasia and I can only describe not knowing what was wrong with her for so long that by the time the SPCA did put her down, the grief and shock was akin to her being in a car accident. She was literally out of my life within a minute of the pain sedation and then the drug to stop her heart. It’s been a painful and long grieving process. I blame myself for not taking her home to say her good byes to my other dog Bebe, friends and family. You sharing your story has helped me to heal a bit in knowing that even though I wasn’t ready, I helped her to not have any pain upon dying. It was the humane thing to do for her, but regarding myself and how fast I had to put her down. I feel constant shame and guilt, I don’t know why but I still do. It’s been 6 months since she has left to go to heaven, I cry and still circle in my grief. Hopefully, one day I can cry tears of joy instead of sorrow knowing how much I loved her and how much she loved me. I rescued her, gave her a good life, a beautiful home, made sure she was safe and gave her so much love. Thank you for you post, these animals are blessings in our lives. People say oh I saved my dog but really they save us. I miss you my beautiful daughter Duchess and I can’t wait to see you again in heaven.

  152. First of all, thank you for this site. The many stories posted by the many families who are heart broken and doubting their decisions.

    Dogs are a funny creatures that work their way into your heart and into your daily routine. They only ask for companionship and love back in return. A dog gives you it’s life and you only have to give it a part of yours.

    As all of you have written, we have went through a similar situation with our 11 year old Lab. I won’t write a huge backstory on it as it is the same and different. It is a haunting experience having to make the choice to end the life of one of your family members. As I wonder through the house in the morning, there is not the usual knocking sound from the tail wag as my first of the morning greeting. The daily routine is definitely changed and life seems a little bit less without purpose.

    This is the hardest part of it all. Life continues and does not take a pause. There will always be that little missing piece in your life. A hollowness that you know will never be filled. Dogs are part of your life but we are all of theirs.

    I know in the end that we did all we could and maybe writing this is a way to make peace with my decision. My heart goes out to everyone who has gone through this and will be going through this. In the end it just plain sucks but be there for your dog till the end. You owe them that little part to hold them in their final moments.

    Rest in peace Molly. You are loved and will always be in our thoughts.

  153. Bless you for pouring out your heart and story about your beloved Scooby! Our JJ was just diagnosed with this and I just had the courage to start reading up on it. We ironically had gone on a vacation to celebrate my husband being cancer-free, and we came home to JJ laying on the kitchen floor without a wag or bark. It was a jolt. I took him to the ER thinking he was just stressed that we were away, or dehydrated. They kept him overnight and I was shattered by the call with the diagnosis. JJ has been home for a week now. He was quite the first day, but has been fairly perky with every day. I was looking up how long he can take Yunnan Baiyao after this batch is over…and I came across your beautiful light that you have paid forward! I will now brace myself – stay present and grounded in gratitude for whatever minutes, hours, or days we have left together! Bless you and Scooby!

  154. This just happened to my Douge De Bordeaux yesterday. I had a surgery the day before. When I can home yesterday she was thrilled to see me as always ( and her little brother a frenchy). She was almost 9 and seemed In Good health. I came inside from sitting by the pool and she had collapsed in front of her water dish. I quickly laid by her side and she seemed to know I was there. My mom and kids were nearby and just like that she was gone. Just heartbreaking. I’m just so thankful it didn’t happen the day before as I would have hated to not kiss and hug her. She was sweet and beautiful… my baby girl.

  155. Hi Kate—our 14 year old golden doodle Cici was euthanized two days ago with the very same medical emergency.

    Am fit to be tied. It happened so suddenly—no warning whatsoever. I found her suddenly on the floor unable to get up. We rushed her to the vet hospital—she was anemic and breathing rapidly—and minutes later we were putting her down. Have cried non stop for the last two days. Our entire family is gutted by the loss of our beloved girl.

    Your post has helped me out this in perspective. I was feeling so angry and guilty that no one fought for further intervention. The vet said “there’s nothing we can do” and I didn’t believe him. I thought there must be something they could give her—afterall she was fine just mere hours ago. Making the decision to euthanize her so quickly was a gut punch and I felt so guilty after that. But your post has helped me know that we made the right decision.

    It is so heartbreaking losing your beloved family member so unexpectantly. I wish I had known more about this hemoabdomen condition in advance . I was just so ill prepared for this catastrophic event in our lives.

    Again thank you for sharing your story.

  156. I lost sam, my beloved golden to hemangiosarcoma about eight years ago. It had spread to his lungs and he couldn’t breathe. He also had an enlarged spleen. Now my golden angel Lily has it. She had it in her spleen, which had caused some bleeding and on and off lethargy. But she was in good condition and her anemia had improved even before she had her spleen removed on June 4. I treasure every day I have with her now, almost a month later. She’s taking a Chinese herb to control bleeding, Yunnan Bauyao, and Turkey tail mushroom to build immunity, and has had one dose of chemo so far with no adverse side effects. But she does have health insurance. The chemo is 500 dollars per treatment. The spleenectomy was 2500. Her quality of life has been good, and she recovered very quickly from the surgery. I spend all of my time with her. But it’s great to see her back to her happy playful self, if only for a matter of months.

  157. Hi Katie,
    Thank you for writing this article and I’m sorry for your drive and sadness. Hemangiosarcoma is awful.
    My story…I had Mr Wilson, Willy to his friends, a goldendoodle. Happiest dog, enthusiast galore, smiles, frowned, loved his friends two and four legged. He was almost autistic, understood love and fun…and after outings he hummed his stuffed Elmo to relax. He’d pose for pictures.
    At age 11 he had an intermittent limp. No had no arthritis or hip dysphasia. Multiple vet visits: xrays of leg, blood work ( results were that if a two year old dog) kept being told range of motion was perfect.
    I watched him lay down….working at finding a comfortable position, his breathing seemed different and in final months his bark was much lower. But, he chased bird shadows, went on walks (but he seemed to want to stop little earlier than usual).
    Trip to v a emergency hospital to have ultra sound to see what was going on….in parking lot sitting in my car, the vet I never met said he had splenaic cancer, 2 on spleen, one on kidney and something in pelvis. Given three choices; aspirate, terminate or release. I had him brought to me ASAP.
    Shock set in….complete sucker punch. How a concern became dire.
    I researched and researched. Next day lung X-ray showed tumor in right lung. Still blood work looked fabulous.
    I had three weeks after that dreadful day. I turned to holistic treatment, yennen baiyio and turkey tail… they are mushrooms used by Chinese under tons of research. YB stopped and Bledsoe immediately. I used high potent middle pill twice, one the last day.
    Still shocked, 6 weeks later. Still researching this ugly nasty disease.
    Willy did have ‘growths’ under skin and e dry one I had aspirated and examined for what it was all cane back benign. That should have been a clue to look…..but what would I have done if I knew early, put him through a painful surgery and recovery, perhaps shortening his life more so.
    He was the absolute best dog ever…footprints on my heart and soul. I loved him as much as he loved me.

  158. Thank you for this article. It helps. I lost my hound girl this way two weeks ago, and the pain and shock are overwhelming. She was fine at dinner, helping me grill and chasing squirrels. By the next morning, I had rushed her to the vet, learned of the cancer and her internal bleeding and made the decision to kiss her face, tell her she’s my good girl and I love her, as she went to sleep for the last time. She was 11, and I wasn’t ready. Reading your story solidifies that I made the right decision for me girl.

  159. I lost my baby 2 weeks ago to hemangiosarcoma. Tuesday all day she was fine…at 2AM Wednesday morning she had her first seizure. She was diagnosed Wednesday morning and we were able to have one final night at home with her to love her and say goodbye. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge Thursday morning.

    The suddenness, with no real warning signs, is what devastates me so much. Reading your story breaks my heart because it’s so very much like what we just experienced.

  160. This happened to my handsome little patterdale Jip 2 week ago on the friday he was his happy little self then Saturday is when he started being poorly Tuesday is when we had to make the hardest decision of of my life and say goodbye to my boy couldn’t see him suffer any longer. I am still in shock how fast this horrible disease took him. Every day i read about other people’s story’s.My life and my home is so empty without him my heart hurts so much all i do is cry

  161. Thank you for posting your story. My Daisy went to heaven late last night. She’s an Australian shepherd/Rottweiler mix…9 years old. I knew something was off with her when she just wasn’t acting like herself and was getting more lethargic throughout the day. After reading more and more about the condition, I know we made the right decision by letting her go humanely. But it’s very hard. Dogs are our family.

  162. I’m so sorry that you had to go through this, but you have no idea how much telling your story has helped me with my own experience.

  163. Hello i have just read your article as i lost my beloved dog Ollienon saturday to the os dreadful
    decease .. she was 11 with hardly any illness in her lifetime and yet she died so suddenly that we are in utter shock ans i just can’t comprehend any of it .. it’s now 1.00 o’clock in the morning and i am sitting here looking at her casket crying my eyes out asking why …. it’s haunting me if we missed any signs with her , and we have racked our brains trying to think but there is nothing -apart from being a big tired and depressed looking but we put that down to the hot weather … but she showed none of the other symptoms that i have read up on ….. the only reason we took to the vet was that i felt there was something not right and sure enough the vet said her temp was very high , and she was given 2 injections and was told to come back in the morning to re check her temp again … however later that day she become quite lethargic and i rang the emergency number to bring her in … she was kept in overnight on a drip and then the sequence of events on the following day of thinking she had an infection to then calling us to say she had cancer of the spleen and had to be put down straight away … my partner went to the vets so see her for the last time i couldn’t go .. and now we are haunted by her sudden death .. she is everywhere in the house and garden yet she is nowhere … my nightmare of trying to come to terms with her passing will be with me forever .. thank you for writing the article as it has shed a light on the darkness surrounding the horrible decease .. kindest regards Sharon Vaughan xx

  164. So sorry for your loss of your beautiful boy. We have just gone through the same thing with our 7 year old dog, also a rescue. We had no idea she was sick, her only symptom was she was a bit more lethargic than usual. We spent 5 days investigating and were sent to vet specialist who picked up by ultrasound a hemagiosacoma tumor in her heart, too advanced for any treatment. The vet told us to take her home to say goodbye, but the kindest thing was euthanasia. We took her home, spent her last day doing all the things she loved! It was almost like she had sprung back into life, she was her normal self! The following morning she was not well and we knew it was time. We only had her for 2 years but loved her so much. This was 3 weeks ago and the shock and grief is just horrible. I miss her so much

  165. It’s been almost three weeks since we lost our precious boy Toby to hemangiosarcoma. Toby was a miniature schnauzer and poodle mix and just turned 13.

    Our story is very similar to everyone’s here…

    On that day, he woke up in a very good mood. It was Saturday. Toby played with his ball, barked at squirrels from the balcony, had some breakfast with us, played with his stuffed toy. Then we went for a walk, and my husband was leaving shortly to go to work.

    We went to the park nearby. There was another dog there, and Toby run to greet him. Everything was normal.

    He sniffed around, and then all of a sudden, he vomited. Toby always had GI issues, so it wasn’t unusual for him to vomit. The owner of the other dog gave him a treat, and I thought the treat didn’t sit right with him. (We have known the dog and the owner for years and knew his treats are absolutely safe. And Toby had the treats many times before).

    Then Toby laid down, and all of a sudden looked at me like he was scared. This made me kneel beside him to check on him. He seemed fine, and I petted him and talked to him. Then tried to make him get up. He got up and seemed a little bit better. He made a few steps and then laid down again.

    It wasn’t unusual for him to lay down on the grass during our walks. He loved just laying there looking around. I was watching him closely and saw him putting his head down. At this point, I got really worried because he would never lay down like this when he was outside. I picked him up, and his body was just limp.

    I run home, put him in the car, and drove to the emergency hospital. The door to the hospital was closed. I knocked, and the receptionist called the emergency team. They showed up in about 30 seconds. There were 5 of them. Only 15 minutes have passed since Toby put his head down at the park until I gave him to the emergency vet tech.

    What followed was a nightmare. My husband came. The emergency vet came out to talk to us. Then she came out again with his blood results. Then she came out and said that he is getting worse and if we want her to do CPR. My husband said yes, please save him. Then she came out again and said his heart stopped twice. She was able to revive him, but if it happened again, she won’t be able to save him. And then she came out and said he was gone. She said he had a ruptured tumor.

    We were beyond devasted. It started as a perfect Saturday. He was just happy playing less than two hours ago. We couldn’t believe it. What tumor?

    Seven months prior, Toby had a lot of tests done, including an ultrasound. He was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease and a heart murmur. He had a lot of bumps on his belly which were tested and confirmed to be fat deposits. Toby was cancer-free.

    We still wanted answers, so we went to see Toby’s regular vet on Monday. He requested all the paperwork from the emergency hospital and told us Toby had hemangiosarcoma of the spleen. And that it grew after all the tests we did seven months ago.

    I was feeling so guilty because I didn’t bring him to the vet earlier. Even though he seemed to be okay, for some reason, I worried about him a lot in the last two weeks.

    One day I smelled a really bad odor coming from him. It was really bad, like the smell of old blood. I checked him out, and he seemed to be fine. My husband also said he didn’t smell anything unusual. Toby also had diarrhea a few times during the last two weeks, but it wasn’t much, just a little bit of loose stool. His tummy looked bloated one day, but he had Cushing’s, and it’s one of the symptoms of Cushing’s disease.

    Otherwise, he was happy playing, running, going for long walks, demanding his treats. Just a day prior, he chased around a much younger dog at the park, and the dog’s owner commented that Toby was in great shape for his age.

    I still worried about him and booked an appointment with his vet for Monday, but Toby died on Saturday.

    I still wonder what if I brought him to the vet earlier? What if he could have the surgery? Could we save him?
    I’ve read a lot about this disease, and I realize the prognosis isn’t good most of the time, but I am still wondering if we did something wrong?

    Reading the comments here and on other websites, I realize that Toby did pretty well compared to most other dogs. He made it to 13. But because he was in such great shape and being a small mixed breed, we were sure he would be around for another couple of years.

    He had this amazing positive energy. He played every day. He just enjoyed life so much. Even being an older dog, he was very active and very alert. He always participated in everything we were doing.

    We miss him so much. The apartment is so quiet without him.

    I work from home, and he was always by my side. My life was scheduled around his walks and playtimes. We had him for 12.5 years, and I don’t even know how to live without him. I used to think I was the kind of person who loves to be at home, but now I can’t stay here. It seems like he is on the balcony sleeping and will come back inside soon.

    We have a budgie, and in the evening, we would play with Toby, and our budgie would chirp, and it was my happy time. And now my small happy world has shattered, and there is no going back.

    I know that time heals and all that, and I know we can always get another dog, but it won’t be Toby. We miss him every moment of every day. My husband woke up crying this morning because he had a dream about Toby.

    I’ve read the article and all the comments twice, and I am so very sorry about what everyone had to go through. I wanted to share my story with those who would understand. It helps to know that we are not alone in this.

  166. Thank you for letting us know we were not alone losing our precious pup. I am sorry you list your pup to. We had no clue she was dying but after we saw the signs. It was 4th of July 2021 Sophia was always afraid of fireworks and of course lots of thunder n lightning this month but she hid way in the back of our closet and hid in places she never did before. Wednesday I came home from work she greeted me and still barked at anyone walking by. That night she would eat took her to vet X-rays and they saw fluid and a mass in her stomach. Went to ER she was diagnosed the next morning the tumor in her stomach the size of a grapefruit… at 5 pm that night she was gone … we fed her biscuits and water and she started to do the hiding thing again. We just miss her the pain is unbelievable. Thank you again my Schnauzer is in heaven 💔

  167. I’m so glad I came across this article. I couldn’t find anything else where I’ve read about others who have gone through this and at the same time, my heart breaks for anyone else who has had to endure this pain.
    It has now been close to 7 months that I have been going through the pain and heartache. I search daily what I could’ve done and what signs I missed.
    Riley was a 7 year old Goldendoodle. My son’s best friend and although our family members each have multiple dogs, Riley was the one who was special to everyone.
    My son is an ER physician and when COVID had just hit, my son was sent across the country to work 24/7 in a hospital hard hit with COVID patients so he trusted me to take Riley to care for him until things got better. I was so nervous something would happen to Riley while he was in my care so if he sneezed I rushed him to the vet. One day while brushing him, I felt a lump on his leg. It came back it was cancer but slow growing and very early stage. The surgeon said I could wait to have it operated on but I had to have it done immediately, which I did. All was fine, clear and he was healthy again. Six months later, on Dec 30, 2020, at 2am, Riley was barking that he wanted to play so I was throwing his toys and he was running back and forth, all 110 lbs of him just like he did when he was a 2 year old hyper Goldendoodle ( they are very active) . The next morning , he wouldn’t eat. I tried every type of food and nothing. I thought he didn’t feel well from running so much but I was still concerned so I texted my son to ask if he ever had not to eaten and then I had asked friends if their dogs had ever done that. I have small dogs so I thought possibly larger dogs are different.
    I still felt something was wrong so I brought him into the vet. It was now New Years Eve, day. My vet was off so it was one I had never met. I had to drop him off and leave him there until he could be seen. She kept him in a crate for 6 hours until he was seen and then told me it was arthritis and SHOVED a bag with a bill for $160 just for the meds for his diagnosis “arthritis” and abruptly said she is in a rush, I need to hurry and get him because she had to leave ,she had plans for New Years Eve. She apparently never even examined him, not even checked his heart rate. I picked him up and while he was panting like this 110 lb dog that ran around a track 10x’s. When we got home, he then just plopped on the floor and wouldn’t move. His heart rate was 65 beats per minute while sleeping, I tried to get him up to take him to the emergency and he tried so hard to urinate and he couldn’t even do that. He then fell to the ground. I had to lift him up to get him in the car and take him for the 30 min drive to the Emergency Hospital. They came out to get him, he stared right in my eyes as they took him and he just gave me a sad look. Within 1 minute they came running out panicking asking if I agree to CPR. I said, yes but I was still not understanding what was going on.still thinking the vet told me, arthritis. I never in my life would have imagined the dog was dying. I got the call 5 minutes later that Riley had passed and I could finally go in to see him. I had to call my son to break the news to him and the vet had said it was a Hemangiosarcoma. There was no blood when aspiration was done, his gums were nice and pink at the time I took him there, his tongue was normal color and there were no other signs that showed he was bleeding so for months I have been torturing myself trying to figure out what I missed and the guilt that he was at the vet in a crate suffering for 6 hours. Most of all, I didn’t get to kiss him goodbye when he looked me in the eyes with such a sad face when I kissed him all the time when he wasn’t sick. I now know he was telling me, goodbye. I also don’t understand why there was no blood when aspirated and they insist it was a Hemangiosarcoma in his heart. They tell me that can happen when it’s not in the stomach . There has not been a day that has gone by that I have not cried over him. It was so traumatic and devastating that even close to 7 months later I can’t get every detail of the last 48 hrs before he died out of my head. I have had dogs my whole life, I just lost 4 of my own within 18 months but as devastated as I was over their deaths, losing Riley and how quickly we lost him has been the worst!

  168. Has anyone heard about a program called GDF11 for dogs/cats with hemangiosarcoma? Our Yorkie mix has a ruptured spleen, and was bleeding inside. He has his spleen taken out and was diagnosed with this fatal blood vessel cancer. He slid about 3 weeks post op, still feeling fine, but I know it’s short term. He will even ally die from this soon. We heard about this program that is a “PATIENT PAID” ($500 upfront to start study, and $2500 if your dog lives past 3 months) study of some sort, with the company GDF11 Rejuvenation Inc. Supposedly they have 50 dogs in the problem, and states none has died in while in the 90 days trial period. They also state that yours could be the first fatality , because it’s still in its infancy, and doesn’t know long term outcomes. Any info will be appreciated.

  169. Wow. Just wow. This really spoke to my heart. Thank you. We had the same thing happen just this past Monday 7-26-2021. Our 9 year old American Bulldog, Stella was fine all weekend and suddenly was not ok Monday morning. She played and played with the neighbor dogs up until Monday. I knew something was not right when we could not get her up. Took her to the vet that afternoon. The vet was pretty certain that she had a mass on her spleen. The vet pulled a syringe of blood out of her abdomen that was not clotting. She explained to me that it looked like either a huge mass or multiple. Options were euthanasia or emergency surgery. The closest surgeon was about an hour away. The dockside she may not even make the trip. Stella, I think, told us that she was ready. The vet told us that even if she made it thr ok ugh surgery, it would maybe buy us 1-4 months at best. I know in my heart that we did what we had to do, but damb does it hurt. She was one in a million and it is painfully sad. I am so happy though that we were blessed to have her for almost 9 years. I know it will get easier to as time goes on but I think they all take a piece of us with them. I’m sorry for your family’s loss. God bless you and th as nk you again.

  170. Thank you for writing this. We just lost our loving yellow lab three weeks ago to this very same thing. It is so sudden that you believe it’s a dream. I still cry for her and so does my husband. We look for her at every turn and hope she’ll be there. I have never loved a pet so deeply as I did her. She was my baby. Our house feels so empty without her, she would have been twelve years old August 12, 2021. I never new about this and was totally shocked to find out. It’s a rough thing to watch your pet be in such pain and not know what’s wrong. It’s heartbreaking. Again, thank you for writing this.

  171. I just lost my dog on July 30, 2021 to this horrible disease, I took him to the vet at 12pm Friday and by 7pm that evening he was gone. I had no clue he had this he wasn’t eating , laying around which for him was not normal, vomiting, wouldn’t walk much and wouldn’t jump up on the sofa or bed, he had a history of eating things he shouldn’t so we thought that was the case on Wednesday, but by Friday he was no better so I took him in, thinking we get meds like before, but instead was told that Bear (my dog which was a Elkhound lab mix that was 11 years old) had this horrible disease, and was bleeding internally, we decided for enthusiasm as it was the kindest thing we could do for him. I miss him so much and just started this grieving process.

  172. I am going through a Google rabbit hole and your story solidifies what happened to my sweet girl. The silent killer. I am so sorry for your loss.

    1. These posts have been a godsend. Three weeks ago I lost my beautiful baby girl to this miserable disease. Izzy, a black Lab, just turned 11 but acted more like 5… in fact I used to brag that she would live forever since she was so healthy and had no hip issues at all. I’ve been in shock since and barely able to function but reading these posts has helped so much. In mid July she had an out of the blue “episode” where she collapsed and started panting. Rushed her to the ER at 11 at night. I was able to take her home by 2:30 am as she perked up but prognosis wasn’t good… they found a mass that turned out to be a hemangiosarcoma in her muscle. It was spreading and a subsequent CT showed lesions in her lungs i.e. inoperable. I knew at that point my life would be changing forever. Long story short we got 2 1/2 weeks with her before I knew I had to let her go. I couldn’t watch her suffer anymore. I know I made the right decision and I’m so grateful for many things … that she was able to celebrate her 11th birthday, that I got 2 1/2 weeks to say goodbye, that I was able to have a service come to the house to put her down on short notice (she hated the vet!). She was such a good dog she even died right. But that does not compensate for the shock, the overwhelming grief, and even the anger that this happened. Each day since has been a struggle but I cry less and less each day. And when I’m feeling completely overwhelmed I come back to these posts. I’m so sorry everyone had to go through this but so thankful you all shared your stories and your grief.

  173. We lost our beautiful boy Boodles from this awful cancer on Sunday, at just 3 and a half years old…He was the most beautiful and loving German Shorthaired Pointer (more human than dog)! We have had 6 pointers (two still with us, thankfully) and have absolutely adored every one of them for their different personalities, but Boodles was like no other, so in-touch with emotions and would be right by your side all day.

    He’s always been so healthy, but on Saturday night he took a bit of a turn as my brother came home (1:30am). He would normally be first at the door to wag his tail and greet us with love no matter the time of day/night, but this time he was nowhere to be seen. Assuming Boo was fast asleep my brother went in to the kitchen to make a snack, Boodles bought himself into the kitchen and dropped to the floor, going extremely stiff in the legs, but thankfully came around within seconds…We are regrettably familiar with seizures as one of our past GSP’s suffered with epilepsy (who has unfortunately now passed), however due to him coming around so promptly we decided it might have just been the heat from the day, so he stayed down with my parents so they could keep an eye on him through the night. In the morning he was no better, so he was taken in to the vets so we could hopefully be advised that he was just a bit under the weather (we had been informed from numerous people that there has been a dog ‘bug’ going around), so we just wanted to be safe – as far as we were concerned he was the healthiest of dogs and still so young, so it can’t have been anything too serious…They put him on pain relief and did some blood work, to find out he had high white blood cells and they suspected infection as his liver and kidney enzymes were raised.

    The vets decided it would be best to keep him in for further observations and tests, so we could expect our next update when the night shift vets took over, however an hour later we received a devastating phone call to advise that Boodles had had a massive seizure and hadn’t recovered/come around. We spent all night in absolute shock, wondering what on earth could’ve happened to have made our healthy young boy so poorly.

    The following day we needed answers, fearing he had consumed something toxic, we asked the vet to perform a necropsy and she came back to us quite quickly to say she had found a pocket of blood surrounding the heart and a 2-3cm tumour on the heart with a hole in it (probably not the terms she used but similar), we had been informed that Hemangiosarcoma is unfortunately not uncommon in ‘older’ dogs, however to have been the cause of death for a dog who hadn’t even got to his 4th birthday was a big shock to all.

    We were all of the understanding that our boy would be back home within hours after being checked over and it would hopefully be nothing to worry about, however he never returned, and due to the short time in between him going in and him passing, we were never able to say goodbye, or give him one final kiss and hug…It has now been three longndays since Boodles passed, and our home is so quiet, our two other pups are noticeably broken and mourning their pack leader, which is horrible to see…

    We are absolutely devastated as a family, but comforted by this post and some of the comments, knowing that we are not alone. We know that we gave him the happiest of lives within his 3 1/2 year, he was so loved by our family and friends. RIP our beautiful boy, from North Devon, England.

  174. Thank you for this post. I found it as I was searching for answers. We are one of the lucky ones whose dogs mass was attached to his muscles/skin and caused a bump we could see. He will not survive this but we may have a few more weeks/months with him depending on how far the caner has spread. I’m hoping for longer but will not allow him to live in pain as he starts to decline. I feel your pain as I try hard every day not to break down and instead enjoy the time we have left. xo

  175. Thanks for sharing this story, Katie. Scooby sounds awesome and was lucky so to have you as his person. My beautiful labradoodle Lily, 13, died suddenly 6 days ago. She went for a walk the day before, had a great appetite clear through dinner and even had some
    playing with her brother in the yard around sunset which I am so grateful to have. She
    couldn’t walk or eat when we got up the
    next morning and died around 8am before we even had a chance to take her to the vet. I knew she was really close to dying because of her rapid/shallow “different” breathing. We are devastated while at the
    same time glad she didn’t suffer for long and was able
    to die in her favorite
    spot on the sofa with me petting and talking to her. But wow – even though she was 13, it it was so sudden, and we are gobsmacked and in total shock and so so sad. Based on
    what I’ve read here, I know
    this is what she had. The signs were there, but so
    subtle. She never lost her appetite until that
    day. I’m only recognising the subtle
    hints in retrospect and am indeed being very hard on myself. She had been staring at me a lot, acting slightly different, more panting (she was a tough cookie, but a nervous dog)and I knew she was trying to tell me something. Her brother, Tuck, 2, had also been sniffing at her ears, which may have been a sign. Thanks for sharing

  176. Thanks for sharing your story. We lost our lab mix to this about 2 weeks ago. It was sudden, tragic, and just heartbreaking. I see the research hasn’t changed the outcome or made it easier in the past 30 years! Hope that changes for us and our beloved pets.

  177. I just lost my cocker spaniel
    Vinnie age 9. We had taken him on holiday he had been fine until be got back from the beach. He was sick and started breathing like his stomach was coming out of his chest. We phoned the emergency vet as it was 8 at night we rushed him over and within 2 hours our beautiful baby had been put to sleep there was nothing they could the hemangiomas blood had seeped into his tummy blood tests shown he had sleenic cancer and
    hemangiomas I couldn’t believe it I miss him so much my husband blamed himself as I did for not seeing signs. But he had lost weight but he was on a reduction diet food. Other than the night he was sick we seen nothing to point to him being poorly. I feel so guilty snd I miss him so much. But reading your account of your poor baby has helped thank you

  178. I have a soon to be 5 year old white boxer with blue eyes that was diagnosed with cutaneous hemangioma a few months ago. He is very pink. I will definitely be on the lookout for any behaviors that might indicate he has the Hemangiosarcoma. He eats a good large breed kibble and I cook for him too. Food that has lots of fresh veggies and fruit that have antioxidants in it. He’s mostly an inside dog, but he hates to be left alone so he goes wherever we go. I put sunscreen on him and bought a uv blocking shirt out of the boys department, but he probably won’t have any more trips to the beach! It’s a fine line giving him a good quality of life to enjoy the things he loves and keeping him out of the sun. I was told he got this from being a white boxer and the sun. He has two white siblings from the same litter, one of which his owner runs races with, that haven’t had this. Hopefully they won’t. I am so sorry to hear about your sweet baby and I thank you for the information that might help others!

  179. This exact thing just happened to my beloved dog last night. She played ball and ate dinner and did her usual things, and then suddenly she couldn’t keep anything down and was super lethargic. I took her to the vet ER and they told me she had fluid build up in her chest and abdomen and this heart tumor I had no idea she had. She had a history of mast cell cancer, but that doesn’t usually lead to this. Thank you so much for sharing this, because I have been thinking so much about what I should have noticed but didn’t and, sounds like this comes on pretty sudden in general. Thanks for the words of hope, too.

  180. Your story of your beloved Scooby pulled at my heart strings. It’s obvious he was loved so much and he deserved it. You did good by Scooby. 💕. The reason for my comment is I have a beautiful mini schnauzer I saved from roaming the streets in South TX. He is the best fur baby I’ve ever had. And I’ve had many pets since a young girl. I’m 72 now. Never been w/o one. My JD has bumps. Not too many. Don’t know what the were, and vet did not tell me. I was told they were benign. Nonetheless I had them removed. They missed 5. The bumps are not real big; about the size of a marble the biggest one and it was removed. That one was on the middle of his back. My question to you is, are mini schnauzers prone to the illness your Scooby had? Today for the first time I put him in the pool with me and straight away I knew he did not like it. I took him out. I thought he was going to run around but he sat behind me and then just fell sideways! I quickly wrapped him in a warm towel and massaged him. He is good seconds later. That never happened
    Before, but then again he had never been in the pool. Any advise you give me I will take
    Seriously and he already has an appt next week to get his injection and get his well being exam. Plus I am mentioning what happened today. Thank. You.
    Sorry for the loss of your fur baby Scooby.

  181. Thank you for sharing Scoobys story. I lost my 13 year old basset hound suddenly today to leukemia. I am currently googling to learn all I can about what happened to my sweet boy.

  182. I feel like the same thing happened to my Shepherd/lab mix 3 days ago. Sadly this happened later into the night and planned to take her to the vet in the morning. Sadly she didn’t make it to the morning.
    She stopped eating and a little bit of vomiting, very lethargic she wasn’t short of breathe but her breathing was weird to say the least. Difficult if stand or walking. Then she was gone.

  183. Hi , im so sorry this happened to you and for your loss.
    Id just like to say thank you for this post i came across it today after losing my boy max 2 days ago from the exact same thing.im from the uk and he was a staffy cross breed.
    I just still cannot believe he is gone and how fast it all happened. This could literally of been my post it is almost identical to what happened to us. I just can’t stop thinking about it and googled things wondering if this could of been prevented. We are just waiting to get his remains back which will be another hard day to come..
    Thank you for sharing your experience it has in someway brought me some comfort.

  184. Thank you for your article. I am living your nightmare now with my bonded 13 year old Shih Tzu. A little over a week ago my little guy who also stays glued to me stopped following me from room to room. His back legs became weak and we made the trip to the emergency room. After blood work and MRI, blood transfusion and plasma we were told he had multiple masses in spleen and stomach area. He has Hemangiosarcoma and no surgery won’t help him. He has not been in pain, and after transfusion and plasma he has been better so we brought him home to have a little more time with him. It has been a week and a half and today he woke up and I know our time is short. I don’t how you have managed your loss but this is truly breaking my heart. Your words helped.

  185. I I am so very sorry for your loss. I too experienced a cancerous tumor on my dog’s heart and lost her 5 days ago. She was my soumate, and as you stated, there are no symptoms per se. She ate every meal, though some days didn’t relly want to, she knew I loved seeing her eat so she obliged. One evening she jumped up on the sofa, then leaned back and screamed, pased out and went limp. I rushed her to the vet and they resuscitated her, thank heavens,ran multiple tests and I scheduled a surgery to remove the blood from her heaert sac. Diagnosis was pericardial effusion and after the drainage, she was like a puppy again. We put her on some meds and I took her in for check ups for weeks and finally when it all seemed OK, they said wait a month and we’ll see if she’s still in good shape. She was not. This time they noticed what they believed was a tumor in her heart. I had a echocardiogram scheduled a few days later. so they could find the position of the tumor to remove it, (a very dangerous surgery) She still seemed fine. But the next day, I checked her gums, near white and rushed her to the vet. He said the tumor seemed larger in just a few days. He felt she’d be ok for 24 hours so we could do the procedure. At 6am the day of the procedure, she rushed to my side, (she always slept with mne) and collapsed, her breathing was laborious. I cried out her name and started trying to calm her in my tears. She let out another blood curdling scream and she was gone.
    Thank you for your story. I try to read as much as I can about these shocking illnesses. I’m so glad she got to go in my arms where she felt safe and protected. That scream will never leave my mind, she didn’t deserve that much like your handsome fellow. I know I’l find a way to live with this althought th pain will always be with me alongside the love that I can recall. Your story helped

  186. Thank you so much for this article.
    I’m grieving terribly for our beautiful 15.9 yr old gentle Staffy.
    She too died suddenly last week the day before my birthday.
    She had almost the same story as your beautiful Scooby.I feel terrible guilt for not noticing how sick she really was, but it was unspecific until she lost weight suddenly, went off food for a day or two and ended up with a distended belly.
    We too had to make the sudden decision after an ultra sound.
    I never thought that we wouldn’t be bringing her home that day.
    I too feel that we did the right thing to euthanise her.
    But she was suffering.
    It’s actually the second time I’ve been through this and I still didn’t notice the signs.
    Her gums were still pink!
    It’s only been a few days and I feel sooo sad.
    I don’t know if I can ever go through it all again.
    Enjoy your lovely new pup.
    Rescue dogs are beautiful.
    Thanks again for the story.
    Regards
    Jo

  187. First off, I would like to thank you from one rescue pittie mom, to another, for giving your baby the perfect home. My Duke looks like a brother to yours. Mine has more white though with just a patch of brown on his eye. He was diagnosed with dermal hemangiosarcoma 4 years ago. During surgery, they weren’t able to remove all of the cancer due to being located and growing deep into a veinious area of his belly. He’s now 14 years old and his time is limited. He’s declining. I drive him from California to Phoenix for his cryotherapy. He has another appointment next week. But this time, his whole body is covered in them. Question, did you put your guy on a special cancer free diet? I’ve taken Duke off of all dry food. I’m just curious if you put him on a special diet. I have Duke on a raw diet. Or a homemade cooked diet. I’m sorry for your loss. I thank you for giving your baby a loving home. I wish all pitbulls had good parents such as yourself and I. Saving one pittie (or 2, or 3) at a time.
    Kimberly Koonce

  188. This just happened to my dog. I am devastated and I have never ever felt this kind of sadness before. Although your post made me feel better, it was comforting or reassuring to know someone else thought it was traumatic. Bc it was nothing more or less for me, anything other than traumatic. I miss my boy so much, he was my companion – it was just him and me. A rescue, a pitbull. He was 12. I only had him for 2 years but he changed my life for the better … he was my entire world. Two years is not long but right now I cannot even remember how I lived without him. I never thought it would be this hard. Thanks for sharing your experience, it helped.

  189. Thank you for writing this, this just happened this weekend to my Bear (German Shepard mix) and your story has helped us since his death also happened so fast, within hours. I really thought we didn’t see the signs and felt very angry at myself. He also had a facial blister that was determined to be benign almost a year before he passed away. Thank you for helping us feel less alone in our sadness.

  190. Thanks for writing this. I just Lost my dog today the exact same way and it was a comfort to me to know that I was not alone in this awful disease and how it took my Ernie from me so quickly!!

  191. We just lost our 11 year old Shetland Sheepdog rescue, Skippy the same way! I can’t tell you how much it has helped me to read this blog. I was questioning everything, asking my husband what I could have missed and looking over videos that I had taken of him sunning on the front porch that morning to make sure I wasn’t crazy. He seemed normal except for a cough and on that last day, he had labored breathing. We were at the emergency vet only 2 days before and they told us he had an enlarged heart and to make an appointment with a cardiologist. I had an appointment but I wanted our family vet to see him in the meantime to see if he needed medicine for a heart related issue … never in a million years did I think that I would hear that his situation was dire and we needed to let him go. Even our vet was not prepared for what had happened. His gums were pink and he was his happy self until they laid him on his side for a sonogram, he went blue. They were able to bring him back and saw on the sonogram that his abdomen was full of blood and a needle biopsy confirmed it. Our Doctor said that it was most likely caused by a tumor in his heart. We knew we had to let him go and heartbroken is an understatement. We have no children, so our fur babies are our world. I too would have done anything to help him but we were so helpless and he had gone downhill so quickly we were left with no choice. I still can’t wrap my brain around it and I’m not sure my heart will ever recover. Thanking you all for sharing your stories.

  192. Thank you for writing this. We just lost our beautiful Labrador Retriever on Monday with the exact same timeline you describe. We are in total shock and grieving deeply. How could we have missed this? This was our daughter’s wedding weekend and over the course of three days our amazing dog’s health declined, we brought her to the Vet ER, they told us she had tumors in her heart and was a risk for sudden death. They advised us that euthanizing her was best. This is the cruelest disease I can ever imagine. It’s comforting to know we are not alone.

  193. We just lost our beloved Flat Coated Retriever Memphis this past Wednesday in the exact same way. It has been one of the traumatic things my family has experienced due in part to having to make the immediate and seemingly extreme decision to put him to sleep. I was his person and he stuck to me like glue in the house. So the guilt I have carried wondering how I missed the signs have been weighing on me ever since. Your story gave me some peace in knowing there was nothing I could have done. Thank you for sharing.

  194. Thank you for this. I am actually an oncology nurse (human), I was able to see signs with the onset 2 weeks before today, the day I have scheduled a home euthanasia. 2weeks again however, his physical was normal, labs revealed slight anemia. I took him back this past Thursday, physical and abdominal X-ray, and ultrasound revealed a mass the size of his abdominal cavity. Sarcomas in the human world are just as devastating. My Godrick was given a Chinese blood clotting medication, my veterinarians way of letting him be spoiled for 2 days before the inevitable.
    Your article made me feel a little less guilt for a scheduled euthanasia, I know eventually I will look back and feel 100% better, right now I feel guilt… thank you again for unclouding my brain and remembering that it’s not about me, it’s about our babies we have promised to love and take care of until the end of their days. ❤️

  195. I’m blessed after reading your article about your love to Scooby. Even though I realize my dog has HSA today, your story reminds me of how blessed to see my dog is still laying next to me after splenic mass was removed 2 weeks ago. Definitely, we will cherish the remaining days in hours & seconds (1-2 months) my dog has with us. Thanks for your sharing!

  196. Thank you for sharing this story. This happened to us just this week, Sunday/Monday. We have asked ourselves over and over where we went wrong, what sign(s) we missed, what we were supposed to check. (His regular vet visit was 5 weeks ago and bloodwork was all great.) We’re still going to test our water, as this was the second fur child we lost in 1.5 years this way, and we just cannot bear to have it happen again.

  197. Thank you for this story. I am facing the same decision with my almost 12 year old Goldendoodle today. When his symptoms first appeared, we assumed he had just hurt his back doing some crazy thing again. But after he collapsed a day ago and an emergency visit to the vet late yesterday, the xray shows a very large a mass on his spleen and his abdomen is full of blood. The hardest thing is making the decision to help him along because I know he will most likely not survive the surgery – and he absolutely hates the vet hospital so that would be so traumatic for him. So we brought him home for the night, fed him all of the things he loves and will help him to doggie heaven today. This is the hardest decision in the world. As much as I want to keep him with us, I know that quality of life will be just terrible for him. I appreciate your story very much.

  198. I had to say goodbye to my sweet girl Reagan (German Shepherd) on Monday and I had almost the same story as you. I’m just so heartbroken 😞 not sure how to survive this. She was only 7

  199. Your story is our story. We did opt to have spleen removed in the hopes of having another month with our dog Scooter. She did well with surgery. Unfortunately, probably due to metastasis we only got 10 more days. The day before her staples were to come out she was bleeding internally again. We put her down. Such a heartbreaking experience. She was a member of our family for 11 years. She brought us great joy! You are not alone ❤

  200. Thank you for sharing, Katie. We lost our sweet girl yesterday, and as I try to type through tears, all the last minute symptoms were identical. I wish we’d taken her in sooner to avoid some of her pain at the end, but she’d perk up and be mostly normal. It helps knowing there was nothing we could do, I’m just working through the guilt anyway.

  201. It is 2021, and I realize “I’m late to the party” I NEVER wanted an invitation to. Our Lab mix, that we also adopted from a shelter, is (estimated) 9 years old. We’ve had him since 2014. Yukon experienced very similar symptoms– he stopped eating all his food, would eat maybe a 1/4 of it. I feel so guilty because he had been a diet for months and I was actually happy– maybe he’ll finally lose those 5 pounds! But by a week later I noticed he was refusing all of his meal. I woke up the next morning and he didn’t want to get out of bed. I knew something was very wrong. When he got up, he looked like he’d lost 12 pounds seemingly overnight. It was horrible. Our vet checked his gums (white) did blood work and an xray. An eternity later we were given a terminal diagnosis of Splenic Hemangiosarcoma. And a prognosis of 2 days to 2 months. Our vet prescribed prednisone and told me to take him home and love him. That was 4 days ago. He ate canned puppy food for me up until this morning. He is refusing food again. The vet said I’d know when it was time. (She helped our other Lab pass 2 years ago.) My heart doesn’t want to even acknowledge that there even IS going to be a time. This disease doesn’t give us time to even wrap our heads around the idea of losing our best friend. I’ve cried for nearly 4 days…it just doesn’t get easier to accept. Thank you for your article. It helps to know others have gone through this as well. All the best to you from NY state.❤

  202. Thank you for sharing your story of Scooby and hemangiosarcoma. I lost my 13 year old pit bull / pointer mix just 2 weeks ago from this horrible cancer. Looking back he was a little lethargic than usual (I thought from the summer humidity) and wasn’t as interested in his normal food. I thought he was just getting sick of it since he was eating the healthiest food I could find. I started to notice his stomach was getting bigger. Then one day out of the blue we walked back into the house and he was super wobbly and collapsed.

    I immediately knew something was seriously wrong. I rushed him to his vet and the ultrasound found his spleen was enlarged (why his stomach was looking bigger) and he was internally bleeding from a ruptured mass. We got him to emergency surgery where they removed his spleen and we were more than thankful that the surgeon didn’t notice any visual signs of it spreading yet (otherwise he recommends not waking them from the anesthesia).

    After about a week from healing from the surgery he seemed to get his energy and happiness for life back. He was eating ravenously and seemed back to his old self. But then the biopsy report came back with the worst news imaginable. He did in fact have hemangiosarcoma and we were told he had 1-2 months left. A gut punch to say the least.

    We quickly did some research and got him on Yunnan Baiyao herbs that help to stop the internal bleeding. Also started giving him turkey tail mushroom supplement that supposedly helps to slow tumor/cancer growth. Where we live there is a great university oncology department and we had an appointment to see if chemo was an option. From my research dogs need a way smaller dosage of chemo and handle it way better than us humans. We were willing to do anything to extend his life as long as he wasn’t suffering all the time and he had more good days than bad days.

    While waiting for his oncology appointment we decided we better take one last trip to his favorite beach. We rented a convertible so he could smell all the smells on the way there. The 3 days we spent on the beach were near perfect. He seemed back to his old self and we soaked in every minute of it. I wish the trip never had to end.

    Just a few days after getting back he had a bleeding episode. Turns out an emergency trip to the university oncology found he already had 4 tumors inside his liver, one of them big (he may have had them all along). We were able to take him home that night and the ER vet said enjoy the time left with him.

    Then the next evening the last bleed came. He stumbled into his “safe spot” in the house, collapsed, was drooling badly, breathing heavily and then started passing out. We quickly picked him up and took him to the nearest 24 hour vet. We knew it was time.

    We were able to say our final goodbyes to him and be there with him when we put him to sleep. Heartbroken and devastated don’t even begin to describe the pain of losing him. During the grieving process we keep thinking we could’ve done more for him in some way or another. I miss my boy more than anything and feel like I’ll always have this hole in my heart.

    If this had to happen I’m at least grateful we had those 3 weeks with him post-surgery. I know many aren’t as lucky. We didn’t leave his side for a minute the entire time post-surgery. Reading your story of Scooby helped me know we were not alone in dealing with this. I take some solace in knowing the pain will subside some even though I know I’ll think about him and miss him every day.

  203. I am so sorry to read of the loss of your Scooby. I am currently in the midst of losing a 2nd dog to a splenic hemangioma. The first was our 9 year old Boston Terrier. Perfectly healthy and acted like a puppy. Full of life and energy one second. The next second passed out on the floor in the middle of a medical emergency. At the time I had never even heard of this type of tumor and was in complete shock. Vet’s prognosis was dire. Had to make a split second decision- life saving surgery (with poor success rate and limited life expectancy after surgery) or humane euthanasia. I chose peaceful euthanasia as I couldn’t justify surgery with such low percentage of success. Three years later, I found myself in the same dreaded situation. This time an 11 year old bully breed. Sudden vomiting, couldn’t walk, lethargy, refusing food or water. I checked her gums. Pale white and feared the worst having been down this road: That day I was sure I was saying goodbye to my best friend. Miraculously, several hours later she regained her strength, could walk, gums returned to pink, and she was eating and drinking. I knew she wasn’t out of the woods and took her to the vets for answers. A few tests later, my worst fears confirmed. Splenic hemangioma. This time it was not a life or death emergency decision. The mass on her spleen had stopped bleeding on its own but was a ticking time bomb to put it the way the vet did. My choices were surgery to extend her life one to six months (if I was lucky), leave it alone and just wait for a rupture and possibly painful death, or humanely euthanized. I chose humane euthanasia. It was an even more difficult decision this time around because although very old and considered geriatric by breed standards, she was happy and exuberant. I took my chances and brought her home, scheduling an at home euthanasia later that week. Her final days were filled with walks in the sunshine, car trips, tons of love and attention, special movie night with popcorn, a pool day on the lounger, and so on. All the time loving my girl to the fullest. Watching her as happy as could be but with a silent deadly killer. The decision to peacefully put down a dog who on the surface seemed healthy, made this terrible decision all the more harder. Our dogs know that we would rather break our own hearts and have the burden of all that pain for ourselves rather than to let them suffer . That is the definition of true, selfless love. Again, thank you for sharing your painful story. It surely will help someone else in this horrible situation to make sense of what seems unimaginable.

  204. Oh my God, how I needed to see this today. We lost our almost 12 year old lab to this 2 days ago. He had gone to vet for his Lyme shot 2 days before and was fine, checked his gums, remarked a bit of tarter but put it off until next time. He had some of my roast the night before, peppy and then in morning, was lethargic and wouldn’t eat. He drank but no food, had to help him outside to go the bathroom. I never expected what I heard, the check of gums, the “this is serious” and the cancer name not penetrated my skull. We had ultrasound to help my denial but he was put down as his blood pressure dropped within hours. I kept thinking “Did I miss something?” The shock was awful. When I told a few people, it was always “He was fine”. Most cancers aren’t like that. It will be a long heal and I hope to welcome another one day but the devastation of the quickness of this was shocking. I am glad he wasn’t in intense pain and your story helps with mine. I hope you are having a wonderful time with your friend and your memories are less painful.

  205. Thank you for this post. I am so sorry for your loss, I understand this pain. This exact situation happened to our family in 2017… Our GSD, at exactly 10 years old, collapsed on a Saturday morning out of the blue. She had actually just been to the vet 6 months prior for a full checkup and blood-work. She was in “perfect” health, or so we thought. It really is a silent killer. Our girl showed no symptoms whatsoever until her very last day. A day we’d like to think she chose for her goodbye. It had been the first day in I couldn’t remember how long that we were all together on a Saturday morning. So, we too tried to find comfort in the suddenness of it all, hoping that she never suffered and that we made the right decision. It does get easier. I do think about her every day, but with a smile on my face rather than tears. The good memories will overcome the trauma of that day, I promise.

  206. Thankyou for your post.
    I lost my German Shepherd 5 weeks ago.. initially we thought it was a possible tumour on the lungs.. how’s this week his sister has been diagnosis with splenic and liver cancer ( hermangiosarcoma).. my beautiful boy losing his appetite less than a week before he passed.. had a vet high temperature that responded to antibiotics.. still no appetite.. very lethargic.. but wanted to come for his walks.. then laboured breathing began.. no other symptoms.. under sedation he crashed whilst having X-rays then had a fatal heart attack when my son arrived to say goodbye.. this is the most traumatic and tragic thing I’ve even experienced.. I knew immediately when he’s stopped eating it was hugely serious.. I’m struggling beyond comprehend to deal with losing him so suddenly and unexpectedly at such a young age 💔💔💔💔

  207. My almost 11 year old Husky shepherd has Hemangiosarcoma found in his spleen. It ruptured. We did not euthanize. He had emergency surgery and is now going through chemo. It’s been 12 weeks since his diagnosis. I will not give up – he is fighting, I can tell. He’s been doing great so far and has been called a miracle dog by vets. There is hope.

  208. We lost our lab last month and it was almost identical. He was 12, just had a checkup 2 days before, was fine, and had appetite night before. Morning he was listless, wouldn’t eat, just drink and had trouble standing. The diagnosis was quick and I felt shell shocked. My vet told me euthanizing was the most humane and since my pup loved being with us, was anxious away from home, I knew he would be miserable if he even lived through surgery and still would die in a matter of weeks. A horrible disease but i feel we did the right thing but you always have a lingering doubt.
    We are welcoming a new pup into our lives and I hope to shower as much love and attention on him but will never stop missing my Gideon and his imprints will stay with me always. God bless you and your family.

  209. We lost our dog to this Friday. Exactly the same story as you. We had no idea either, it was a sudden onset to an otherwise exceptionally fit 11yr old spaniel. We did manage to have him euthenised at home with my 4 children present, but in order to do that he came home for a further 24hrs he didn’t need to go through (my only regret). But he was on strong pain killers. But because he was so fit (didn’t blink at a 10 mile off lead walk a week before) his heart just kept going while he led on the floor struggling to breathe. With hindsight he shouldn’t have left the vets with us to come home one last time.

    Oh what a terrible disease this is, I had never heard of until now.

    As all dog owners will agree, losing a pet is devastating. However, this was the worst scenario I can think of. If I’d written a horror story of how awful it could be this was it. He was so fit. He wasn’t even grey. He had a unique relationship with every person he met. He was a polite genius. Text book perfect. My eldest daughter used to have him in her flat at University (against the rules but he was so quiet and well behaved no one knew he was there). She had the next 12 months planned with him. He was going to be her listening ear and support while she wrote her dissertation. She spoiled him, slept with him, filmed him several times a day and her routine was based around his needs and wants.

    We are all still reeling. I have to go to work tonight (3 days after his death): he was just a dog right? This is going to take years to heal from. We are having him cremated and the vet did his paw print. But his things are everywhere both here in our home and in my daughters flat. Our routine was around this dog, he always came first. Our futures were still planned around his needs. I can’t even force myself to vacuum the carpet as his beautiful white hair will be gone forever. When do I wipe the mud out of the boot of my car? The endless lists of ‘lasts’; last time he visited my father, I bought that ham and it was the last thing he ate – it’s still in the fridge, when I wrote that shopping list with no idea he was going to die, the endless searching for clues of his existence, the endless remembering his death. Sorting the mental timeline. Oh the pain.

    I am never getting another dog. If there is one disease to make sure you never want to take the risk this is it. And I’m a registered nurse. Never in my life have a seen such a destructive, sudden and horrific process to dying as this disease. And to the sweetest, gentlest, kindest soul I have ever known. He really didn’t deserve it. Brutal.

  210. I am sorry for your loss. My dog died of this horrid disease a month earlier than yours, actually on my birthday. Max had lumps all over and the vet said they were nothing, that some dogs just had them. I came home two months earlier to find him sitting on the couch shivering with a pleading look that I had never seen on him before. I scooped Max up or rather forced him to get off the couch (he was 95 lbs and impossible for me to lift), called my daughter who got there in ten minutes, and we rushed him to the vet. She said his spleen was buurting and he needed surgery right then. She said if they found cancer they should not wake him up. I was inconsolable as I had just lost my father who lived with me two months earlier and begged them to save him. He came through the surgery, but three days later the results of the biopsy came back and they told me he only had two months at most. She suggested chemo which would give him maybe four months, but death was inevitable. No chemo. He would have hated that. He was almost normal after the surgery and I thought they were mistaken, but they assured me it would happen and suddenly. I had all the people over that he loved and made playdates with my children’s dogs, and let him eat anything that he wanted. I took him to parks he liked and the beach. I remember thinking I was accumulating happy memories to savor later. I also arranged for him to be euthanized at home when the time came. The time came on my birthday. I took him for a walk, he played with a doggie friend along the way, and on his way back, lied down and wouldn’t get up. I had to get my son-in-law to come help me get him home. He came with Max’s best friend and when Max saw him he got up and managed to get into the house. I called the woman to come then and she did. It was beyond traumatic as I am sure you know. We surrounded him love and I held him as he was injected, while lying on his favorite couch. Max lasted exactly two months after his spleen burst, as they predicted. R.I.P. Max.

  211. Thank you for sharing your story. I lost my furbaby, Bob, to this yesterday (17 November 2021). We received his diagnosis late on 16 November. He had not been eating, and initially just appeared very tired. By the time he was diagnosed, he couldn’t stand on his own for very long. The tumor was affecting his surrounding organs and he had bleeding. We chose to ease his pain and put him to sleep instead of surgery with a low chance of survival. He was a beautiful, fury chow mix, with an incredible sense of humor. He was about 14 years old, and my companion for 11 years. Your story gives me comfort that we made the right decision for him.

  212. My heart is aching. This exact thing happened to our Baxter yesterday. We had about two hours to decide what to do. We chose euthanasia because it seemed like the kindest thing for our best friend. We are having trouble wrapping our head around it. He was romping and playing ball the day before. Thanks for sharing your story. It helped. ❤️💔

  213. I’m so heartbroken for your loss. I lost 2 of my babies last year 9 days apart. Different causes but the heartache is constant. Its so unfair the things that happen to them, they never deserve it. I miss mine everyday, and feel guilty if I cry over one more than the other.

  214. Thanks for this. We lost our best guy 5 days ago. Super healthy 10 year old Great Pyrenees mix. Had a few strange intermittent symptoms. First vet visit was 5 days before he died. Hopeful at the first visit that it was low thyroid and maybe kennel cough. Not to be. Came in Tuesday evening with a huge bloated belly. No Emergency vets would take him. Had a regular vet appt on Wednesday. No better in the morning but seemed to be eating, wagging his tail, and happily greeted his human sister and doggy niece when they arrived for Thanksgiving. I knew it was something scary, but never thought we’d be letting him go that evening. Emergency vet drained fluid but he actually got worse. We’re devastated. He wagged his glorious tail just before he died when I said “Gussy go beach?” Also promised him we would smile every day thinking of him. And didn’t let him see me cry. He was my best nurse through chemo, a widowmaker heart attack, 2 major hip surgeries, and an 8 level spinal fusion. I hated worrying him so much and happy to have been able to walk him in the woods and at the beach he loved so much again. Best dog ever. Best boy Gus. Love to all who have been through this

  215. My senior rescue dog Diamond from St Croix had emergency surgery on Memorial Day weekend 2021 for this. I had to make a quick decision of try or not. I had to give her a chance. She just finished 5 chemo treatments in Nov 2021 and so far is doing well. She runs and plays, enjoys tussling with my other dogs, and eats fairly well. I don’t know how long she will live but I’ll take every day she has.

  216. My baby is going through this right now. It came out of no where. He had just been to the vet last month about his back and was supposed to have a chiropractor appointment that Monday but he had a growth show up befor and his arm pit had started to bleed from it. So we took him in early and he was admitted to the hospital. Turns out he has this tumor and it was not even noticeable the month before. My heart is breaking as we set here on Christmas day. We had the blood transfusion so he could come home and everyone could see him before. It’s so strange because he is up moving around and eating and sleeping somewhat normal but not quite. The vet said he had weeks and that because he seems fine besides the anemia and huge tumor. I just wanted to say thank you for the post. I kept trying to figure out if we messed up somehow. Maybe I should have sent him sooner or he spent to much time in the sun being a white dog. But now I know we would have never known what caused it or if we did the right thing. I do know we are spending as much time with him while we can befor he gets to bad. Thank you again.
    A broken hearted dog mommy! 🐕💔

    1. I feel it necessary to comment to keep this conversation going into 2022 after losing our sweet Behl this week. I know I would have had a complete mental breakdown if I had not found this article about Scooby with all of the testimonies that followed. The trauma that this disease leaves in its wake is like a tsunami and you are left gasping for air, searching for answers, in shock and devastated beyond belief, all within a matter of hours. That is real trauma that is hard to recover from. I agree one hundred percent with one of the commentators that noted the number of commentators, and asked the question: can’t we pull together to do something to increase research and catch this disease earlier? I literally just got off the phone with the surgeon that tried to help Behl, and she said three more dogs arrived today with the exact same diagnosis. How is this happening at such a dramatically high rate, and I never even heard of this type of disease after owning five dogs? My heart goes out to anyone that has or will suffer this experience with their pet.

  217. My English Bulldog, Big George, was diagnosed with this Monday, Dec. 27. Today is Dec. 30. I am waiting. He is sneezing and has diarrhea. I can look back and see the two days he slept and didn’t eat. I do at least have this week of unknown, waiting for the other shoe to fall. But I have been able to think through his end-of-life plan. I took him to the vet in October and had every scan imaginable done to make sure he was healthy. He was. But he’s not now. I’ll miss him so…9 years of the greatest love two creatures can know. The love isn’t over but his presence soon will be.

  218. Thank you for sharing this. Last Monday my rescue border collie of 7 years suddenly died. My heart is broken. He showed no signs of being sick. He was always with me and this year he hardly left my side as I had a knee replacement and later developed clots in both lungs. He was so special and I feel I let him down by not picking up on the cancer😢

  219. Thank you for sharing your story. I suddenly lost my Shelby Nov 2015- 2 days before Thanksgiving. Nothing to be thankful for that year. I lost my best friend. I’ve never been without a dog in my life until I lost my girl. She was a beautiful, docile, playful and loving Rottie/Shepherd mix. I was able to give her 8 amazing years-hiking, long walks, daycare and providing support as a therapy dog for the disabled. She was loved by all and she loved everyone.

    My heart still hurts from losing her and it doesn’t get easier. I still cry for her, as I am reading your post and writing this.
    Shelby will always have my heart and I truly hope to see her on the other side of the rainbow bridge. RIP My baby girl Shelby. 2006-2015

  220. It happened to my Celeste too, on December 17th.. She was a large mixed breed and I had her since she was a pup. she would’ve turned 10 February 2nd. She’d just had knee surgery on December 1st and a potential kidney problem was discovered in her blood tests. she was doing better but on the 16th at around 8 pm, she vomited but we weren’t concerned because sometimes she’d eat some of the cat’s treat and she was allergic to chicken so she would throw up. But later her breathing became labored and it took me too long to realize it wasn’t indigestion and her gum was cold. I rushed her to the emergency vet but it was an hour away and by that time she was very weak. They took her from me and when the vet came to see me, she gave me the bad news. internal bleeding probably from a tumor. the choices were emergency surgery costing about 7000$ to start with or euthanasia. I didn’t have the money for surgery after her knee surgery weeks prior but the chances weren’t good. And it was already too late. the vet seemed relieved when I said I would go ahead with euthanasia and after the paperwork when they took me to a room with her, I saw she was already gone. the vet said her heart was still beating but she was gone and I wasn’t there with her at the end. I feel so much guilt. I should’ve realized sooner. Did I caused the tumor to rupture because of the lifting harness I was using to bring her outside? It’s been difficult. Logically I know I did everything I could her whole life. Surgery in her shoulder when she was a pup. All the visits at the vet when she wasn’t feeling well. The shots and medications for heartworms, tick, etc. every year. Hypoallergenic food and treats because of her allergies. knee surgery so she could have a quality of life and so we could go on walks again, etc. But still I feel like I failed her at the end. Reading all the comments helped a little.

    Thank you to everyone who shared their stories. I feel a little less alone in this difficult time. I’m so sorry for all of your loses.

  221. I lost my Hugo at the beginning of December. My experience was so similar: fine, until he wasn’t. I know the tumors (one on his heart, one on his spleen) grew in a matter of months, because he had an X-ray at the beginning of the summer after he inhaled two pounds of kibble and almost gave himself bloat.

    I did know to check his gums, so I was able to get 24lbs with him at home before he passed.
    He was my service dog for years, my entire heart and soul in a dog. He was barely 7. I also adopted another pit bull, an older boy who wasn’t likely to get adopted, but who has the sweetest personality. I resonate with what you said about it not being a replacement. I have two dogs in my little 1br apartment, and Hugo’s absence is still so, so loud.

    Thank you for writing this. I know logically that I’m not alone, but knowing that someone else went through something almost exactly the same is still cathartic.

  222. I too,have lost several dogs and cats in the past twenty years to cancers of all sorts.
    One I lost to diabetes and she was almost fourteen years old.
    I really believe we need more research into finding why our animals are suffering and dying from all these cancers.
    I am really fed up with vets saying that the way things go with certain type dog breeds.
    No, it isn’t fair that our dogs and cats should be regarded as more like statistics, than our darling loved ones by these vets, either.
    I seriously want to know why our little loving companions and doting pals that steal our hearts away,end up dying from all these cancers.
    My heart 💜 hurts for all you that have suffered through losing your sweet darling family pets to these cancers and what can be done to investigate why these deaths are so often occurring these days.

  223. As a pediatrician, I am seeing a large increase in hemangiomas in babies. I feel it is due to the estrogen IV affect of soy that is in all our foods. Soy is in many dog foods. I feel it is killing humans and animals. Any study cannot replicate eating a small amount every day for 10 years. That is why studies of soy on humans often show it is fine.
    If it is fine, why does the AAP recommend against giving baby boys soy based formula?

  224. Thank you for sharing , We just went through this 2 days ago . Our Niah was also a rescue pit-bull off the streets at 6 months old. she was our baby as yours was too. I did allot reading and I keep beating myself up did i do the right thing by letting her to doggie heaven by putting her to sleep. It’s been really hard couple of days. She did have the bleeding and pale gums couldn’t walk, it came on so sudden. The ER vet did find blood in her abdomen and mass on her spleen and was explained , that they could do surgery but it would only spare her life any where from1-3 months if she makes through the surgery . I have been doing allot reading and diffidently will watch for any signs with our other Male pit.
    Thanks again for sharing and so sorry for your loss.

  225. Thank you for this post. We have adopted many senior dogs and have had the honor of making their last years or months special. But we atypically rescued a one year old pit bull from Louisiana who was the gentle soul who made the life of several senior dogs more comfortable and fun. She was such an undemanding dog and I was sure she woul live forever. At 12, Ana stopped eating and a day later she was diagnosed with this terrible disease. We were somewhat fortunate because after her spleen was removed we had four more months to spoil her and say good bye. Our vet was so wonderful and at a time during the pandemic was surging, he came to our house and gently euthanized her under her favorite tree.

    Every day I think of her.

  226. Vito is are 3rd German Shepard diagnosed with this cancer. He is a family member and my mom’s best friend. As a vet tech, I am frustrated with my mom for not euthanizing him yesterday when we found out that a biopsy of any kind was too risk. His abdomen is extremely distended, anemic, extremely low platelets, pale gums, lethargic, panting, and a cough. Our vet explained that it has spread very quickly involving coagulation, liver and spleen. They went over how rupturing at home would be extremely awful for Vito and the warning signs are already there. I am heart broken for her as her daughter and can’t seem to get her to listen to me about giving him a peaceful death. She is waiting 2 more days cause she has convinced herself that he is not that bad. He is truly the most stoic dog that never shows pain and I don’t think he will until it’s too late. I am at a lose for what to do to help Vito and my mom

  227. The emotions are still raw from this only 3 days ago. I miss my baby dearly. He is a pitty mix, full of allergies and on a no-grain limited ingredient diet. To find your story I googled “did I make the right decision…” What weighs on my mind is that an xray of the chest/abdomen showed no other tumors but he had skin lumps of all shapes and sizes that appeared to be just fatty lumps when aspirated. It is so much to process in such a short amount of time. He had a melon sized tumor that burst. But our baby went with dignity as well and that brings me some peace.

  228. I lost my best friend to this today, He also was a rescue pitbull. Reading your story, was exactly what We(Colby and our family) have experienced. Thank you for writhing it!

  229. Thank you for this… my beloved Italian Greyhound Billy just went through this exact same thing. We had to make the most difficult decision and go with option 2, as you had to. Countless hours searching the web, to better understand what happened, and your article has helped me immensely, though not numbing the pain and loss. Could I have done more? Should I have done more? Your article has helped bring some peace that we made the right decision.

  230. We just lost bennie on tue through bleed in hes belly i have cried non stop blame myself still got all he stuff out he died on hes owe rushed to vets he was gone in ten mins going to the crem today comeing home next fri I feel lost sick cant sleep keep kiss hes pic I cant cope we are heartbroken total he was 8 this Yr never ever get another dog hate my house cos hes not here

  231. Thanks for your article. We had to say goodbye to Finn our wonderful loving boy
    yesterday. He has hemangiosarcoma
    Totally unbeknownst to us.
    Your article gives us solace in our time of grief. Thank you for sharing your loss so folks like us can process our losses with your shared experience. This helps

  232. Thank you for sharing your story, I am sorry that you lost Scooby, especially in such a way. My little chihuahua mix, Bernard, passed suddenly two days ago from this. He was about 13 or 14 years old, but was very active. He’d had the best morning, doing all of the things he loves. Then he got tired and snuggled up next to me.

    I got up to retrieve a package from the porch, he ran upstairs with me. Bernard jumped on the sofa and then vomited and collapsed. He never regained consciousness. I rushed him to the vet, they worked on him. When they called me back into the surgical area, the vet told me his heart had stopped twice already. He explained what was happening, that his abdomen was full of blood, and that I had a choice to make. It was the hardest easiest choice I’ve ever made.

    My heart goes out to everyone who has lost a beloved dog this way. It’s scary, it’s traumatic, it’s painful to witness. I don’t know how long this will hurt, I’m taking it moment by moment.

  233. I am so wondering if this is what happened to my titan but we called him tiny. Are there any other signs possibly to let us know just the not knowing and wondering what if or what could I have done. He was overweight he was 201 pounds a 10-year-old Newfoundland. Of course I couldn’t have taken him out carried him we couldn’t do that it was physically impossible and now I’m wondering if I finally found the answer I just don’t know what to do I’m having a hard time dealing this has not been very long and he was my best friend. I’m emotional no I can’t continue on you can email me if you have anything else you think might help me I don’t understand all this right now. With Newfoundlands it’s hard to tell if they have anything on them as for the fact they have two layers of fur that protects them swimming in the cold as rescue dogs. His favorite time of year was the winter he play outside when it was zero with no problem whatsoever but that’s The type of pet he was I read somewhere that Captain Murdoch on the titanic had one and its swim by the lifeboats and alerted the others helped helping save a few of the passengers. I’ve read that a few places I’m not sure that it’s true but that’s the way to describe their coat it’s two separate layers of fur. Thank you so much for this article I don’t even know how I found it but I was searching for answers.

  234. Hi Katie,

    Thank you for this story. We just lost our Maltese, Maru, with this cancer. It was sudden, and decisions needed to be made in a matter of minutes. We didn’t know anything, blood tests and xrays came out normal, but it was already too late. Everyday we beat ourselves into thinking what we could have done, what signs we could have spotted and how we could have prevented this weeks before his tumor ruptured. I was in the middle of my google searches on this disease and saw this article. Everything you depicted occurred with our Maru.

    How have you dealt with this sudden death? How have you moved on to accepting new pets in the home? Albeit, we lost our beloved Maru just 3 days ago.

  235. Thank you, for this article! I came across it googling after making same hard decision on my 12 year old mixed lab last night and now trying to understand what happen and so sudden. Reading it and seeing similar what happen to my Daisy, let me know I made right decision and shes not suffering no more just still sudden and painful. But reading this gave me little relief and release, glad I came across it!

  236. Thank you for your post, it has really helped give us some peace that we did the right thing for our special boy, Gus. My heart goes out to each and everyone of you, I know your pain and it is agonizing. I am going to write a very long post and explain all of my dog’s symptoms in case anyone else has some of the odd symptoms that he had, maybe it will help someone.

    Gus was an 8.5 year old Bouvier des Flandres, our special boy, our whole world. We loved him so much and I still can’t believe he’s gone. It’s been 5 days, the hardest of my life. He had epilepsy, and had previously had IMHA, and had torn both CCLS (inoperable due to the IMHA), so he had a long history. In November 2021 he had a seizure and hit his head on the side of our bed, which caused a laceration above his teeth in his gums. He got a bad infection from this, and our vet ended up doing an ultrasound at that time because his body seemed to be having a really hard time, more so than they would have guessed from a tooth infection (high temperature and blood cell count). At that time our vet said that his organs all looked really good for his age (8.5 years) and were especially surprised at how good his liver looked because he was on a lot of meds for his epilepsy.

    His ALP was pretty elevated, but our neurologist said this can be normal with epilepsy meds and since it had been rising slowly she wasn’t too worried (Though we thought the jump was more than a slow rise, but we convinced ourselves that the vet knew best).

    Over the next two months he declined pretty steadily, which we are easily able to see looking back, especially through pictures, but at the time we thought he was just getting old. He still wanted to go on walks and eat, but he had trouble standing up which we attributed to his torn CCLS. He started panting a lot and had a lot of water droplets coming out of his nose, and seemed more tired that usual. He was drinking more, and still eating, though no as much or as enthusiastically. In hindsight we should have known that something was very wrong, but we attributed all his symptoms to his other health issues, I think we were in denial. We had just had an ultrasound, many vet appointments, neurology, and bloodwork and nothing had come back alarming.

    At the very end of January he had an episode like so many here have described. He wouldn’t eat the wet food we hid his epilepsy pills in, and he seemed a little out of it. We thought he was just tired from a long walk and especially tired of having to take so many pills. My husband took him out before bed and when he came inside he laid down immediately and seemed basically unresponsive. We were scared, but at this point he had had over 100 seizures, so we thought maybe this was an odd seizure. He usually had the full body, grand Mal type, and we had never seen this behavior, but our neurologist told us “everything is normal during a seizure” so we thought it was just an odd one. After about 20 minutes of this he kind of came out of it and we were relieved and just attributed it to epilepsy.

    About a week later, we both started noticing that his abdomen was looking rather large. We thought, he was getting old, losing muscle tone from his torn CCLs, or just changing shape with age. Then he stopped wanting to eat unless it was chicken or eggs and we knew something was wrong. We took him to the vet and they did some blood work, which came back with almost identical ALP from a couple months ago, but a low Albumin and a high WBC. He had gained about 5 pounds, even though he wasn’t eating very much, which I found very odd (I now suspect this was an increase in blood, filling his tumors). They suggested an ultrasound which we scheduled for the next day. I had to drop him off and wait for the vet to call. She called about 2 hours later and told me the terrible news. He had a large tumor on his spleen which had metastasized to his liver, which she diagnosed as hemangiosarcoma. She recommended euthanasia within the next couple of days to save him from a rupture.

    My husband and I immediately went to pick him up, they had anesthetized him for the ultrasound and he wasn’t in pain. He was very peaceful. We took him to get a puppacino, took him home and fed him chicken and hard boiled eggs (his favorite) and took him on one more walk. We were both barely holding it together, crying a lot, and we knew we couldn’t keep it together for long. He was so peaceful and calm and I was afraid once he fully came out of the anesthesia he would start to get very nervous seeing us cry so much, and then he would not have a peaceful passing. We were both terrified that if he had a seizure he would rupture one of his tumors. We decided to take him back to the vet and put him to rest that day while he was at peace and not in pain. He was very calm, and lay on the blanket they put out, resting his head of my husband’s leg. I laid behind him and held him in my arms. We told him not to be afraid, that he was the best boy, that we loved him so much. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

    I have beat myself up so much in the past 5 days, questioning whether I should have waited longer, given him more time, had more special moments with him. It has given me some peace to read all of your stories, to know there was no recovering from this cancer, and that it was only a matter of time before things got much worse for him. I am so sorry for what everyone has had to go through, some of you have had much more traumatic experiences than us, and my heart breaks for you. Thank you for reading, my best wishes to you all for your healing and peace.

  237. Hi I just lost my dog to cancer. My dig never showed and anything that she was hurting. She was having problems with mouth her tongue was swellon and she was bleeding. Took her to vet and they thought it was a infection from her teeth so they made an appointment for dental. But she was not getting better with antibolics and pain medicine. So I call the doctor and said bring her in right away. I need and they said it maybe cancer and we will do a biopsy on her tongue. We’ll I took her in she show no pain and look ok. I told her I love her and see her later. Well later never came the doctor called me and said her entire tongue was a tumor and there is nothing we can do. We still have her under and the best for her to let her go. I said she was ok what happen the doctor told she is not ok she is suffering pets do not show the owner they are in pain because they want to make you happy. I had to make a hard decision especially when told her she is coming home now I have to say good bye to best friend. I just do not understand the vet said her entire tongue was cancer and she is suffering. So sat with her and told how much I loved her and that she was the best dog I ever had. I never thought this would this bad but it is killing me. I felt I let her down and left her

  238. We just had to put our staffy down for the same issue this morning, the cancer had spread through liver and onto lungs, the most gut wrenching thing his that how quick it is, one day he is normal the next severe lethargy and couldn’t walk, I’m writing this through tears which is hard to admit for a tough as nuts old school Aussie guy but he was my best mate and have to make those decision at the vet to put your mate down when you though you were taking him in for constipation is a real shock.
    Thank you for your words it really
    Helped
    Terry

  239. Hello, I don’t even know how to start my comment but just to say that your article is so powerful and helpful. My sweet dog “Java Bean” a rescued mutt with all kinds of mixes but mostly AMSTAD, had emergency surgery about 10 days ago. She is 8 to 9 years old. She was seriously anemic which I missed the signs and I keep on beating myself for it. Fast forward, she had emergency surgery to remove a ruptured spleen and tumor. Last night, the surgeon confirmed that it is cancer (Hemangiosarcoma) and she only has 3 to 6 months. I am so devastated that I can’t even function. But reading your article has been very helpful. Thank you for sharing

  240. Boomer was our very special American Bulldog mix. In mid December we noticed the same symptoms that you described. We rushed him to the specialist for an ultrasound and our worst fears were realized. We were told the odds were 50/50 with surgery. Apparently the odds are far less that. Had we known then what we know now we would have had him euthanized immediately.

    This morning Boomer woke up feeling fine and ate like a horse as usual. Around 1030 I noticed he was not well. We couldn’t get into our vet until 3pm so we had 3 or 4 hours to cuddle and make him as comfortable as we could. The last 90 days was blessing and a curse. We did have some time to spoil him a bit but also were saddened quite often knowing the end was near.

  241. Kate thank you so much for this extremely helpful article. We lost our beloved dog Dec 16th, 2021 and just tonight am I able to research hemangiosarcoma, which is how I found your article. I’ve been so gutted by the sudden loss of our ten year old dog. Our story is so much like yours. Goku was a Rhodesian ridgeback…a feisty healthy boy who had never had any health issues. In a way I’m grateful that we didn’t have to schedule a euthanasia…everything happened so fast that we literally got the diagnosis at 3pm and were in that little room with a wonderfully compassionate vet at 5:30. I’d been researching to find out if we could have done things differently, and your writing has been the jewel that I found with all this searching. Thanks you from the bottom of my heart for this story. It’s been truly helpful. It’s good to know that someday this won’t hurt quite as much as it does right now.

  242. I woke up Monday morning to my Boston Terrier in distress. He normally runs up to me but I noticed he wasn’t around. I had to look for him. I found him lying on the rug by the back door. He looked up at me and was panting. I ran to him and felt he was cold. I picked his basically lifeless body up and took him to his bed. I covered him with a blanket to warm him and try to stimulate him. I was in sheer panic. We played as normal the night before. And as of 9pm the prior night, he was fine. He took his last breath within 15 minutes of me finding him. I was traumatized. How can my fun, loving dog die within 8hrs without a single symptom!? We payed for a necropsy and were told he had a hemangiosarcoma on his heart. It’s only been 5 days. I’m grateful I was there for him for his last breath. I miss him deeply. Thank you for sharing your story. It wouldn’t wish this upon anyone but knowing others can relate is helpful in healing.

  243. This same thing happened to my baby Violet. She was a 9 year old mini dachshund. She was completely fine, playing with a toy – went downstairs and didn’t come back up. When I went down to find her, she was just laying there unresponsive. I scooped her up and drove straight to emergency vet. When they told me I would have to consider putting her down I was in complete shock. It was almost a year ago and I still can’t believe it. My heart goes out to anyone that has experienced this.

  244. My pupper, Fin, just died suddenly a few hours ago. He was largely fine until he wasnt. He didn’t eat his breakfast which was abnormal and norm. Food was his thing but he was also a trash hound and often ate stuff that made him feel not so good for a few hours and then he’d bounce back and be fine. This time, not so much. We have been assured there was nothing we could have done but that doesn’t help any. A long road ahead to get over him but it makes me feel a bit less lonely reading this post. Thank you.

  245. Oh my goodness… Your experience is almost identical as ours which happened yesterday… We lost our beloved dog Charlie to this horrible illness… As painful as it is to go through I was looking for some sign that we didn’t do anything to dispose him to this nasty condition… You have reassured us that it was not our fault so we thank you for that… We are naturally heartbroken 💔

  246. Thank you for sharing your story, Sharon. Our beautiful boxer girl, Bella was recently diagnosed with a subcutaneous hemangiosarcoma. It has grown very large over the month that it’s taken the vets to diagnose it, and is about the size of an orange, underneath her right armpit. They did x-rays and labs and nothing showing metastatic disease showed up. The canine oncologist/surgeon we were referred her said that surgery was too high risk, and gave her a prognosis of 3–6 months. I consulted a holistic veterinarian, and did research online, so am giving her yunnan bai yau and some turkey tail herbal formulas. They seem to perk her up, but my worst fear is that this tumor will burst and she’ll bleed out. I don’t want to euthanize her too soon, but I also want to avoid a traumatic death….for her sake, and ours. Any suggestions are appreciated.

  247. The same happened to our dog Matilda yesterday! The day before she was fine, ate well and jumped to her bed to go to sleep. The next day she didn’t eat and went to the sofa to rest. After a few minutes she couldn’t get up. We took her to the vet and hours after they made an ultrasound that showed her tumor and the bleed.

    We had to put her to sleep as her decline was so sudden. She was 15 years old, the best dog one can have! I will miss her every day. And thanks for your post, I wanted to know people who experienced the same as we did.

  248. Your article comforted me as I had to have my sweet Corgi Nabokov put to sleep last night for the same reason you did with your precious dog.

  249. I just had nearly the same experience with our 7 year old Buster 24 hours ago! Its as if I wrote this!!! So heartbreaking! 3/13/2022

  250. Thank you for writing this. My pretty pitty princess, Walnut had this apparently and declined quickly from a Mon to Weds… where I had to make the same decision. I miss her everyday and love her brother a little more knowing he is up in age and slowing down… the love we have for them is immeasurable and the love they have for us is forgiving and unconditional. I am grateful I got to be a rescue mom to all my babies, but every loss takes a small piece of my heart with them 💙💯🐕🌈🙏🏼🙌🏻

  251. Thank you for writing this. I, too, just unexpectedly lost my best friend to hemangiosarcoma. I’m devastated.

  252. I am going through this now and my family and I are having the hardest time. I really could use another person here with us that has gone through this to help us see when the right time will be. I live in San Diego too. Please help us six one nine five seven one nine six six six please

  253. My heart goes out to all of you. I lost my sweet chocolate lab Duncan to hemangiosarcoma three weeks ago. I adopted him from a rescue when he was three years old and we bonded quickly and deeply. He helped me move on after the recent loss of my first heart dog, Max, and was there for me when I lost my brother in 2017 and my father in 2020. We had wonderful adventures hiking and swimming and we loved just hanging out on the couch together. Like all of you, I had absolutely no idea that anything was wrong. He had just received a clean bill of health at his check-up in November. On Monday we had a great time at the dog park. On Tuesday, we had a nice walk. Tuesday night, he refused his dinner and seemed lethargic. Wednesday morning he wasn’t feeling any better so I called his vet. She asked me about his gums and when I saw that they were almost white, my heart just sank. She sent me straight to the emergency vet. I had gone through GDV (bloat) with my German Shepherd, and was thinking maybe that was the problem here. My shepherd had classic signs (retching with nothing coming up, crying in pain, unable to get comfortable), and after emergency surgery, she healed well and lived another three years. Duncan didn’t have those symptoms, but I was still thinking there was hope. After tapping his abdomen and finding that it was filled with blood, the emergency vet did an ultrasound, then brought him back to the exam room so we could wait for the results together. I laid down with him on the floor and tried to be strong for my boy. The vet came back into the room and told me that my sweet Duncan had tumors on his spleen and liver and that at least one of them had ruptured. He was extremely anemic and the vet was quite sure that the cancer had spread throughout his body. She told me there was no way he would survive surgery and recommended that we euthanize him right away. I wanted him to have his last hours at home, so I took him back to the car. Duncan perked up a bit and even took a few treats when we got home. His regular vet called me about a half hour later. She had read his report and told me she wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t make it through the night. I called a wonderful vet service in the area that does home euthanasia and made an appointment for the following day. I spent the night on the floor next to his bed and we slept cuddled together (well he slept, I was just soaking in his presence for the last time). On Thursday, I said goodbye to my second heart dog. I am still in shock; I had assumed that I would have him around for a few more years and it just doesn’t make sense that he’s not here. His little brother (dachshund/maltese/chihuahua) is also lost without him. It is heartbreaking to learn how common this terrible cancer is and read your stories. It is also reassuring to have my decision confirmed and to come to understand that there was truly no way to know what was happening or to prevent the tumors from growing. I hope you all find peace in memories of happy times with your babies and in the knowledge that you gave them the best life and the kindest end. Take care of yourselves.

  254. Dear Katie,

    I just googled “I hate Hemangiosarcoma” and found this write up; however just 6 months ago it’s your TPLO write up that helped me through my aussie’surgery and recovery.

    I owe you two thank you’s.

    The more I read about Hemangiosarcoma the better I feel that I am not alone. A month ago it took my baby from me and I still cannot get get over how quickly it all happened. It is a stealth and insidious cancer that shows no mercy. Although Jenny did not have to suffer long, that was the most difficult decision I’ve had to make in my life.

    Thank you for this post. I believe it’s a sign that I found you again tonight.

    Scooby and Jenny were running free with new knees and are now running free up above❤️

  255. My daughter lost her sweet boy Jack last week 3/19/22 just the same as all these stories. The no eating, lethargic, low iron, temperature at the vet, pale gums. He dropped a few times to the ground and had a distended belly which we took him to emergency. Two choices. Surgery to remove ruptured spleen or put him down. Daughter opted for surgery. We saw him before surgery. Vet called during surgery there were masses on other organs as well. We let Jack go while he was still under. Like the other owners these fast choices broke our hearts but we couldn’t let our fur babies suffer any longer. Rest In Peace Sweet Boy Jack, Smartest of them all.

  256. Thank you so much for this post. I just lost my beautiful German Shepherd of 9.5 years. Her cancer had spread to her lungs. She was fine, then one day she suddenly started coughing and within 14 days she was extremely ill; shortness of breath, chocking, lethargic and finally refused to eat. It’s been such a devastating experience. Your post has helped me bear the burden. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

    Dogs are a gift.

  257. I’ve just lost my beautiful boy to this today. For several weeks we’ve gone through a tentative diagnosis of mobility problems and arthiritis, slipped disc and getting older.. to this.

    My boy was 11 and presented originally with a reluctance to walk, lethargy and lack of appetite. Out of nowhere too. Took him to the vet, had bloods done and it showed platelet count was really low, but at the time everything else looked fine and over the weekend he had picked up and was like himself again with nothing wrong. Was told that it can happen like that sometimes and the readings can misread the blood panel and chances were it was ok so repeat in a couple of weeks just to check.

    Booked xrays and scans were cancelled as he wasn’t presenting in any way like a poorly doggo and no point going through with them for a healthy dog (vets recommendation which I happily agreed with)

    Two days later he slumped again, would barely walk and had no interest in food. Back to the vets again and saw a different vet who thought it was a slipped disc as she did a test by curling his toes underneath his feet and when he didn’t correct it, she said it was spinal with messages not going from the brain to his legs which made sense as he had occasionally been dragging his back feet. Painkillers were given to take daily with a recommendation for short walks only and the days that followed were some good and some not so good.

    A little under two weeks later I noticed his belly was looking larger than normal. He was a bit of a floofy lad anyway so it was sort of hard to tell until you touched it and realised it wasn’t just fur. His breathing had become a bit more exerted too, like it was taking a bit more effort. So phoned the vet again and got an appointment for this morning and took him in.

    We agreed to go ahead with xrays, scans and blood work again and although my beautiful boy was alert and didn’t show any signs you’d expect from something serious (temp normal, eating, drinking and toileting normally) I knew he wasn’t right and the vet agreed there was some cause for concern.

    Got a phone call about an hour after leaving him to say the news wasn’t good. His abdomen was filled with blood and they’d found a 4cm mass but couldn’t tell if it was on the liver or spleen but lft had come back normal so I’m guessing spleen. Had the whole thing explained that surgery wasn’t really an option due to the low platelet count (in the 20’s and should’ve been 500+), plus it wasn’t guaranteed that it hadn’t spread everywhere. It was an obvious but heartbreaking choice to go with the less invasive option.

    My two sons and I went back up to say our goodbyes. We were given as much time as we needed and the really horrible part was how happy Charlie was to see us when we went in, like nothing was wrong at all. We all hugged and petted him and told him he was the bestest boy, then the vet came in and administered the injection. It was over really quickly and he died in my arms while we all told him it was ok and how much we loved him. My heart is broken but I know it was the best thing for him. Even if the surgery had been successful, it would only have prolonged his life by a few weeks and that is not something any of us deserved. A life lived in pain is not what any living being should have.

    I found this blog while looking for what could have caused this and I am so grateful for all your stories but at the same time, wish nobody else had to experience what this feels like. I can’t believe he’s gone – it just feels surreal. My other dog (they’re both Border Collies) knows something is wrong because we all keep crying, but she has a different personality anyway and isn’t as much of a velcro dog. I’ve had her from puppyhood but Charlie came to us as a rescue, unwanted by his elderly owners and to be honest, was an absolute nightmare when we first got him. It took a long time for us to bond but when we did, we were inseperable. I’m going to miss him forever.

  258. I can’t believe what I’m reading, this exact thing happened to us 5 days ago and I’m a complete mess. Our 10 year old Bulldog presented with the same symptoms, I came home from work, he didn’t come to greet me and few hours later he was gone. I’m in pieces, I don’t feel like I’ll ever get over this 😞

  259. Thank you so much for your post. Today, we put Leo, our 11 yr old German Shepard, down. All that you wrote provides amazing comfort to that we did the right thing. I never heard of this cancer, but it truly came out of left field. He was totally fine this morning and well, all the symptoms you described were present. Hence why I know we did the right thing. He will be greatly missed by all. Especially his buddy Zeke, our 9 yro Lab.
    Thank you again.
    -Eileen

  260. We lost our Sadie girl (GSP) 2 days ago to this horrible disease. Today is her birthday and she would have been 12. Our story almost mirrors your story and It’s hard to wrap your head around. I had two weeks and 3 episodes (collapse, no appetite) of which she fully rebounded after the first 2. By the 3rd time I knew letting go was the right thing to do for her. I am so grateful you wrote this article and shared your experience. I am so sorry for your loss as well. .Great love = Great loss. Sadie was my shadow and my soulmate. I was hers and she was mine.

  261. Your experience was heart felt, my puppers who’s also a rescue pibble, will be 12 in December, my son who 15 at the time , says “mommy, can we keep him” my son who’s now 27, I try not to think about it. But reading your story , I could not help but to start crying. It brought me my share of memories at the vet removing the bumps on his body , countless surgeries; But You did a beautiful job caring for him, my wish is to be brave like you, when that day comes.

  262. I cried so hard reading this. My 8yr old Pom passed away Feb 20,2021 from this terrible cancer. He lived 3 weeks after diagnosis. I didn’t know what the dark spot’s on his little belly were, the vet examined him multiple times & told me they were nothing to worry about. He was never clingy but had started to become so. Didn’t want me out of his sight. Thought it was due to us being stuck inside together during the pandemic. His appetite changed a bit, nothing to worry about said the vet because bloodwork & physical exam were normal. Then one afternoon he peed olive green on his potty pad. My gut knew something was terribly wrong. Took him in the next morning. She hated to tell me what she then suspected. I have so many regrets altho I know I couldn’t fix it. The pain has been unbearable at times, I still have my meltdowns. People need to be aware of this insidious cancer. It can strike any breed at any time. I am so sorry for what you had to go through. I feel your pain.

  263. I’m so sorry. I just went through this and it was very similar, I brought my Bella to the vet and came home without her. So heartbreaking 💔

  264. It’s even difficult to write this , a week ago my Jacob had surgery and was diagnosed with this . He is a 13 yr old Jack Russell , I was told he needed a surgery after seeing a mass on his spleen , with fluid around the mass , the cost 8,000. I found a vet who told me if I see cancer after I open him up I won’t even do the surgery, he went ahead and removed the mass and the spleen, sent them to pathology . On Sunday morning I received a call saying he had hemangiosarcoma , I was in shock , I had to actually read in detail what it is , the surgeon just said the diagnosis and said contact a oncologist , He is not showing any signs of pain or loss of appetite, I’m taking him to his vet in the morning I want him to live whatever time he has without pain , without suffering , for some reason I think he looks fine he wants to run and eat and play , they already removed the mass , maybe his vet will be able to give me more answers on what’s the next step.

  265. I wanted to let you know that I just had to put my dog down for this same reason yesterday, and my heart is broken. Hearing your story has helped me find some relief, knowing that we did whatever we could for our furry best friends, and were there with them to love and comfort them until the end.

    Thank you.

  266. Going through this right now. Severe pancreatitis brought us to the emergency vet and they did an xray which showed abnormal growths in the abdomen. They suggested to have an abdominal ultrasound. Consequently my vet told me that there is a very vascular growth in abdomen. They can not pin point the blood source but it looks like it has spread. As we are treating the pancreatitis he is feeling better but will be put down on Monday as the vet gave us maybe two months. I don’t want him to suffer and don’t want to chance a rupture. I’m really upset and wondering if I’m making the right decision.

  267. We too lost our beloved Frug yesterday the same way. Charlie was almost 9 and gave us 9 years of joy. He was half Pug and half French Bulldog. He will be missed terribly too! Dogs give us a felling of being loved! Puppy hunting next month!

  268. 6 1/2 months ago my life hasn’t been the same. I lost my baby girl Mya, Rhodesian Ridgeback/PitBull a brindle passed on Oct 29,2021 to Hemiangiosarcoma of the spleen and passed within a week of getting sick and just days of them actually diagnosing what she had. She would’ve been 6 today. She was my everything. She was spoiled. She was the best dog you could ask for! I was a mess after loss of her. It’s getting better. I know we deep down we did make the right decision. God bless.

  269. Thank you for taking the time to share your story. I’m so sorry for you losing your beloved Scooby. We had the same thing just happen, hemangiosarcoma, and had to say goodby to our sweet Sammy 2 weeks ago. She was a 9 year old Australian Sheppard and full of life and happiness. It’s a horrible disease and it snatched her away in her prime. We also had her brother, Leo, there when we let her go. I think it was the right thing for him to be there, and is hopefully helping him as he works through losing her. I know we’ll all never stop missing her. Thanks again for sharing.

  270. So sorry this happened. It is happening for our Opie right now. It is awful. I have him by my side right now watching everything. This is the end as we did everything else. So painful for all.

  271. I lost my sweet pit bull to hemangiosarcoma yesterday. Thank you for this account. Our experience was almost identical. She was much older than your dog and it was very difficult to differentiate what was happening on the day she die from the other senior ailments she had been going through of late. This account helps put it all into context and reaffirms our decision to end her suffering immediately. Thank you.

  272. Thank you for writing this. I’m sitting here crying my eyes out for suddenly having to put my pomspitz who was almost 15 down last weekend. He had the energy of a 6 year old pup and was full of life up until he suddenly seizures and collapsed. Nothing could have prepared me for the word ‘cancer’ when taking him to the emergency vet and then having to put him down 30 mins after as I felt it was the most loving thing I could have done for him as he was suffering. I can’t help the guilt though, or the feeling of his soul leaving his little body in my arms. I have another dog (his father) who’s almost 16 and I dread losing him. I’m sorry for the loss of your dog. You sound like a great pet mum x

  273. thank you for this my dog has this and started his end to life seizures i think tonight. he gets sent to his heaven saturday morning. i keep breaking down. i am so broken i dont know how to deal with it. he is 14, and has been apart of my life for almost 11 years (apart of my bfs family for 13).this is so hard, thank you for this article!

  274. Comforting reading your piece regarding Scooby. Same experience with my German Shepherd,Una, a month ago. Almost exactly. Thank you for sharing.

  275. I just went through this hell for past 1-4 wks. Thank you. As I’ve been rushing to learn and prepare for the final steps (googling many things all at once about my dog’s recent condition and how on earth to prepare for ‘the end’ of which i didn’t want to face at all. I had an unrealistic ‘goal’ of 14 for her) I came across your article. Sad but comforting and relatable and I think it helped me ‘know what i had to do’ and feel the support that i was making right choices. I read this article thursday (yesterday) and last night was the last time I saw my baby Julie. She was rushed to the ER about a month or so ago with sudden Vestibular Disease (extreme vertigo like isues) and with the little arthritis she already had the whole ordeal was heartbreaking, seeing her try to walk again and trying to be positive that she would bounce back from the days and weeks it takes after such a vestibular episode. I was glad she was ‘better’ (no longer dizzy and could walk without falling over) but I could tell there was no going back to her previous self. Many days it was just like she aged overnight. Other days great and running around Then last week i found her listless in my back yard, urinating herself while standing and looking dazed.
    I ran inside the house to get her harness (had been using it to help her walk during the vertigo weeks) and by the time I ran back outside she had waddled behind the shed and collapsed. I carried her to the Vet where they did an untrasound and xray and said she had a massive spleen tumor and internal bleeding and that was why she collapsed. I was like, “Did you see this in the xray taken just last month when sh was rushed here with the Vestibular collapse?” They claimed you could vaguely see it in the corner of the ‘chest xray’ vs this ‘abdomnial’ xray and that in that month it had grown extensively.
    Ultimately they gave a blood transfusion and fluids and oxyen and she was up walking and eating again after several hours. So I took her home for a few last days of cuddles, eating like the Queen she was and doing anything I could to get some tail wags and suck in every doggie smell of hers I had grown to love (fur, breath, dirty ears). Her last ‘snack’ was a cooked bubba burger at 3pm. She was reluctant to eat it the first one or two tries – I knew this was it “it’s happening” “it’s time”. I was so scared. I checked her gums “Yep, white white white”. She then gobbled up the burger which made me happy and i knew i had to start packing. I finished up working and closed laptop, loaded her dog bed and blanket and my purse and her leash into the car, locked up the house and walked her to my car where I had to pick her up to get in. She stayed with me until we got to the vet (I had called them to tell them I was on my way – they said they were ‘pretty busy’ :/) but then collapsed when i tried in vain to see if she could walk into the building with me. They ended up bringing out the stretcher… I had to say good bye. It’s been about 24 hours about now and I’m still ‘worrying’ about her like i have been for weeks now (sleeping on the couch so I can hear her every move). She was almost 13. I miss my baby so much. She was the prettiest american style black lab you’ve ever seen. The PRETTIEST black lab ever. I keep looking around expecting to see her. My 2 little ones have been looking for her. This is so hard but I am also thankful to know that others do or have gone through what I just went through and am going through. Thank you all.

  276. Holly passed the Rainbow bridge last night due to this horrible cancer. Last Thursday we took her for a check up on her diabetes and get a continuous monitoring sensor. We asked for ultrasound just to make sure she’s all right. The vet fount a 10cm diameter mass on her spleen, and some Smaller on her liver. We forgot about diabetes and Cushing she had. We went for surgery telling the vet to arrange it for Holly asap. Everything was ok for 3 days but Sunday night she started feeling sick, her legs ice cold, her gums white, she couldn’t stand and panting a lot. Gave her red pill Yunnan, no difference. Went to er , crying and holding and kissing her, and the doctor said her abdomen is full of blood. She’s a 12 years old black lab having diabetes and Cushing and thrombosis on femoral artery which we handled, but this? There’s nothing we can do, so decided to put her to sleep. I’m agonizing now, I can’t believe she’s gone forever, oh, oh, dear god, give me strength.

  277. We planted a magnolia on the front yard to remember our sweet Holly that was put to sleep on May 9th, 2022 because of this horrific cancer. You’ll be in our hearts forever. We miss you so so so much, is unbearable.

  278. OMG – ABSOLUTELY HEARTBREAKING TEAR JERKER…..I JUST LOST MY 25 YR. OLD SIBERIAN HUSKY…. SCOOBY WAS A TRUE WARRIOR.

  279. Thank you for this account of your precious Scooby. We just lost our good boy ollie to this. Reading your experiences and feelings mimicked ours. It provided some comfort that we did the right thing letting our boy go. It was also good to hear after time the sharp edges of the loss smooth a little. But it’s so hard. We who have loved a dog like this know.

  280. I just experienced this with my beautiful prince. It was so sudden and tragic that i was searching fir answers of what we could have done. Your story helped me more than you can imagine. Thank you so much for sharing.

  281. I just want you to know reading this really helped me understand more in the decision We had to make so sudden with our pit bull. Thank you for sharing. 🙏🏼

  282. Thank you Katie so much for this article. It helped me reading it. My baby Copper 8 and half year old Labrodoodle passed away 7 days ago. He was whizzing and coughing (which he did before and I was told it was allergies) on Saturday. On Sunday it got worse, his breathing was worse and his cough was worse and he kept trying to throw up. I could see his stomach moving up and down. I rushed my baby to ER and after checking him and taking some tests I was told his heart is ok and they do not see anything else but to take him to his vet tomorrow.
    3 hours later my baby passed. I rushed him to same ER except this time I did not walk out with him. They said it was a rear form of cancer in his spleen, it was ruptured. I just keep thinking about how much he suffered and I didn’t do anything. It breaks my heart how he went too early and too sudden. I want to know if he knew he was dying, was he scared and if forgives me.
    I am trying to concentrate on his amazing life instead of his last days.

  283. I’m so sad you lost your dog. I had a rescue pitty, all white, and he became lethargic and within 2 weeks of what they were calling a idiopathic thrombocytopenia, ( no platelets) he also developed ascites in abdominal but they could not tap him because he was bleeding. He went from healthy , Perfact lab work , had a TPLO, his second one , opposite leg, then 3 months later, he passed away. Our stories are similar, including ER visit, hospitalizations, but drs were hoping we could get his platelets up . Sadly, he died in his yard just as we were going to bring him to be euthanized. It was awful. We miss him dearly

  284. Reading this, still crying. Lost my 11 year 4 month old doodle same way except she was losing weight so fast along with the lethargy. This is how I noticed something was wrong (later I realized even though she was eating, she was going out her doggy door to throw up all her food after each meal). Took her to the vet, did bloodwork and x-rays. Vet noticed a very large tumor on her spleen. Did an emergency blood transfusion and surgery to remove the cancerous spleen since she was not producing red blood cells which made her anemic (but she did not have bloating or any blood in the stomach). I brought her home that evening to care for her and give her all the love I possibly could give as I always did. I lost her 15 days later. It’s now been 2 months since she left my side and I’ve broken down every single day. The pain is too much. Thinking it won’t get better, I recently decided to bring home another furbaby. Not to replace her but to give me life again. I’m made to be a dog mom.

  285. I just lost my 11 year old rottie on Friday kind of unexpectedly although he was old for a Rottweiler…I’ve been googling everything to see what I missed and landed here…he had just been treated for a UTI 2 weeks before…his hind legs were starting to fail…I miss him so much 😢

  286. Just want to say I found your TPLO post 4 years ago when our terrier mix was having that done and now we are waiting for an X- ray to confirm a tumor on her spleen. She is 11 1/2 and I’m heartbroken but want whatever is best for her, she seems to be doing ok right now but has been on steroids and is eating better. I suspect that she may decline soon now that she is off the steroids. Thank you for sharing your experiences – it has helped us tremendously.

  287. Thank you for sharing this. I just found out today the shocking horrible news and am crying right now. My sweet orange and white Brittany dog was running, jumping, swimming, and chasing squirrels and rabbits 3 weeks ago and now he is at death’s door. Nothing showed up on any of his wellness exams twice a year, bloodwork, or the first set of x-rays and ultrasound taken 10 days prior. I just made a call for an at-home euthanasia appointment tomorrow. The ER vet gave him maybe a week. I’m totally in shock and ripped apart with grief. Thank you again for your story, it is helping me cope right now.

  288. This helped me out just a bit. Just lost my dog to the same today. He was okay, had to go to the vet today for some tests, and we get a call saying he needed to be put down today. His name was Guinness, and he was a rescue pit/lab mix. I hope he’s up there playing with Scooby <3

  289. This just happened to me and my wife. Our 11 year old boxer/bulldog mix was being really picky about food. Took him to vet, they did x-rays (which didn’t show any masses/blockages/concerns) the only symptoms on those days were he wasn’t eating and he was panting a lot. The vet noted that his heart rate was high, but we couldn’t discern a cause. Fearful because of his age and boxer’s being notorious for tumors, we called her sister and her niece (who grew up with him) saying hey..something’s not right maybe you should come see him. He seemed to rally on the weekend with his people around him. But last night, without real warning, he went into the bedroom and laid on our bed and began heaving/breathing awfully and his gums had turned ghost white. We rushed him to the emergency vet and that is where we first hear the term hemangiosarcoma and that the most humane thing to do was to let him go. When they brought him in, it was clear in just the 20 minutes he was with the vet things had really slid downhill.

    In retrospect, he had a large area on his hind leg that we couldn’t get to stop bleeding/swelling that our vet thought was an infection caused by a mite or bacterial cause. That may have been our first clue about this cancer as I see it can also affect the skin.

    Thank you for writing about Scooby. We have spent all night wondering what did we miss….and in reading about the disease/cancer I see now it’s just sudden. You experience echoed ours so closely that it really did make us feel better. Nothing any of us could have predicted would have led us to what was actually going on in time. Our only solace now is that he did not suffer long.

    Pets really should outlive us. They are balls of unconditional love that don’t deserve the short lives they get.

  290. It is with mixed emotions reading this — I just lost my dear pup a few days ago to the same decease! It is healing to hear from another dog owner’s perspective as the pain from the sudden loss of a loyal companion is excruciating.