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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32731
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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Dear vet, Im grieving now as I lost my dog to Hemangiosarcoma,

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Dear vet, Im grieving now as I lost my dog to Hemangiosarcoma, I feel so guilty in so many ways.
It didnt come to me straight away, and then I must have felt too guilty to tell my vet. I now know that I should have said something as soon as the thought rose, but I ignored it , not wanting to believe that I could have caused his cancer.
My dog Archie brushed passed me to get out of the garden gate when I had a watering can of path clear weed killer in my hand to clear the drive. It splashed on his coat, I used the hose pipe to rinse it of and didnt really give it much further thought. I cant even remember how many weeks later it was when he was diagnosed. It was in operable, he had chemotherapy but lost his life after three months. I still couldnt tell my vet or the Oncologist and now cant find out any info as whether this could have caused his cancer. Should I have sought immediate veterinary advice, should I have done anything different?
Thank you, Deborah
Deborah, I am so sorry to learn you have lost your dog Archie. My name is***** am a licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you. 1- To make sure I got this right you believe that you caused Archie's hemangiosarcoma because you mistakenly splashed weed killer on his coat? 2- Where was the hemangiosarcoma, spleen?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi I dont know if I caused it. I didnt seek help, it didnt occur to me that I need to do anything other than rinse off with a hose pipe.
Im not sure now where the hemangiosarcoma was, he had a few small lumps on one flank, the vet thought they may be cysts, but within 2 weeks one had grown to 3 or 4 inches from about 1 inch. It was drained and sent off for tests. Im afraid I have forgotten most detail. He had tests and scans with an Oncologist. They told me it had spread all over his abdomen , that it was in operable, that there was a shadow also on his lungs, and to do more tests, needle biopsies could spread the disease further. He was offered IV Chemo, but Archie gets so upset at the vets, nervous, he wees and nips so has to wear a muzzle. I chose tablet form at home. I cant remember them mentioning the spleen. When he passed his flank was grossly distend, his belly genital area and hind legs were swollen, he had developed sores in the last two days that he continued to lick so that I had to clean and dress ,and he to wear a cone. He still wanred to go on short walks, eat and drink, but very thirsty. He had wee in his urine as he was incontinent one on the bed, and his poos were orange the last two days. So I arranged for the vet to come to my home, I regret that this may have been too soon, and have so many regrets I dont know in which order to think of them.
I think it may have been weeks after the splash I noticed the lumps, at the most 6 weeks.
He was very fit and well, he did have lupid onychodystrophy, his nails would grow curled and then drop out. He wasnt medicated as we bathed them and they didnt ever get infected.
Im sorry Im not so clear.
Deborah, I really do know how difficult it is to lose a pet. I can assure you that you did not cause this type of cancer in Archie. I am not just saying this to try to make you feel better. You see, weed killer as a poison tends to have a very wide safety margin in dogs; we often see dogs that drink weed killer and nothing happens. When we speak of hemangiosarcoma there is no evidence that weed killer would cause this type of cancer. Plus, it was splash in the skin and you did the right thing of washing it off. Again, I can assure you that this was not caused by the weed killer or anything that you did. Unfortunately, hemangiosarcoma is a common cancer in dogs; we don't know what causes it or how to prevent it. I am really sorry for your loss. I hope this explanation or understanding brings some peace for you. I will have you in my thoughts and prayers tonight. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Dr. Peter
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you , you have helped me so much. I miss him terribly , he is still at the practice, waiting for cremation, he will go on Wednesday. I wanted to see him again, I went there but the vet advised me not to see him in his frozen state, but I feel that I need to .They advised to ring the Blue crosshelp line, who were very helpful. On theirr suggestion I wrote him a letter and along with this gave them his blanket and favourite toy. I walked in the woods this morning I took his lead and collar, part of hoped to see him.I didnt expect grief to be like this.
Deborah, I would agree with your vet about not seeing him in a frozen state. Giving the grief that you are going through seeing him frozen can make things much worst. I would recommend you seek some support from family, friends or maybe your vet has a person that you can talk too. Again, I am really sorry. I know how difficult this is for you. You're welcome.
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