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My Dog has cancer, possible travel to UK for treatment

  • 18-06-2022 8:25pm
    Registered Users Posts: 11 Baileycoco2017

    Hello, I am hoping to get some advice. Our beloved pet Ted has cancer. It's scarcoma in the muscles. He is only 1 and a half year old German Shepard and full of life. We are trying everything possible to keep him alive. So far we have gotten him a CT scan and with the results we made the hard decision to get his front leg amputated. He is recovering well but the surgeon has told us it is possible they may not have gotten all the cancer and it will come back. In Ireland, they do not offer radiation therapy and our surgeon has told us he will need it for the best chance. He has given us the option to drive to Liverpool and leave him there for 4 weeks and somebody can foster him while he undergoes this treatment. Unfortunately, both of us cannot go for 4 weeks due to work. He would need to stay there for that long as the radiation needs to be spread out within a few days. Firstly, has anybody gone through this? Or know anybody that has gone through this. I'm nervous to leave him with strangers too. I feel I need reassurance that he will be ok if he goes over. If anybody has any information on anythint to do with this. I would be so grateful.


  • Registered Users Posts: 77,306 ✭✭✭✭ JP Liz V1

    Did your vet give you a vet clinic or hospital in UK to contact? If so check their website or social media for reviews or recommendations

    I hope it goes well

    I'm sorry I have no first hand experience or advice

  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Baileycoco2017

    It's Liverpool university. Unfortunatly there is nothing online in reviews or social media. Thanks anyway

  • Registered Users Posts: 845 ✭✭✭ airy fairy

    I don't have advice, but I think pets are members of a family, and because of that, you are obviously going to try anything to keep them with you.

    Has the vet sent his file to Liverpool for a vet to see, and has does your doggie have a fighting chance to overcome this cancer? If the answer to this is, he has, then it's a no brainer.

    I wouldn't be too concerned about the fostering while in Liverpool. If it's been suggested, then it's a normal thing that's being done and the foster parents would be quite capable and loving. People don't do things like take on animals unless they love animals themselves. You could possible catch a ferry, and train booked in advance, cheaply once or twice in the month.

    As I said, if the vet thinks it's worth a shot, then grab it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Baileycoco2017

    Thank you for that message. That's very kind and understanding

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,274 ✭✭✭ cocker5

    No advice unfortunately.. just wanted her to say so sorry to hear your pup has cancer .. and so so young that’s unbelievably unfair ..

    I lost my guy to cancer (nodular liver cancer) 3 years ago in August.. and unfortunately he only showed symptoms when it was too late we lost him 3 weeks to the day he was diagnosed by CTs .. if I was offered any chance to try and save him I would have grabbed it with both hands and tried ..

    so sorry I hope it all works out for you and ur pup xx

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,040 ✭✭✭ NSAman

    So sorry to hear this. Don’t really know about the uk. We had an 18 month old lab pass from cancer. Spent a fortune on his operation and subsequent treatment but to no avail. Still miss that little fella to this day.

    they are members of your family and part of you. Fostering as others have said while in the UK, should not be an issue. Pass all records to the uk for an opinion. I know you will do everything for him, but get some advice first from the uk vet.

    hope the doggo recovers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 620 ✭✭✭ greyday

    A while back my dog had cancer, the vet said it was treatable, it was the worst advice I ever took from a vet as the dog wasted away to nothing and was obviously in pain, we brought him to another vet eventually to be PTS and were asked why we had not done it earlier before his quality of life that suffered to the extent it had, when we told him the first vet was adamant all along that the dog had a good chance of survival, he nodded and told us we should have believed our own eyes, I hope you can save your dog but I suggest you dont put him through unnecessary pain also if you notice him suffering.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,605 Mod ✭✭✭✭ DBB

    Sorry to hear of such a shocking diagnosis for your young dog OP, very tough on you all, I'm sure.

    Are you sure you can't get the radiation treatment he needs in Ireland? I know there are a few practices that offer chemotherapy and radiation therapy, but perhaps they can't offer the specific treatment your fella needs?

  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Baileycoco2017

    Unfortunately with the cancer he has, sarcoma, chemotherapy is not very effective. Also, there are no places in the whole of Ireland that offer radiation to dogs which I never knew. It is not a service that is offered. I have looked into it and it's true. There was one vets in Dublin that had it on their website and when I called they said they didn't do it. Heartbreaking.

    It's been one week since his amputation and he is almost back to his happy self so I don't believe he is in any serious pain. It is obviously hard to tell with pups as they mask it well. He's adjusting well to the amputation. I understand what you mean about putting him through all of this but unfortunately the alternative is death. We have had long hard conversations about it and it's a tough decision to decide to fight it but it is the only option when it all comes down to it.

    I can't seem to find any blogs/sites/discussions/ articles or anything online about people putting their dog through radiation in Ireland. It's mad. Surely there has to be something out there?

  • Registered Users Posts: 531 ✭✭✭ Springwell

    There used to be an arrangement with a human hospital and UCD vets for radiation treatment but some non-pet lovers got wind of it and a stop was put to it as "wasting resources" and "blocking spaces for humans", despite the fact the treatments were carried out after hours and the owners paid the equivalent of the human private treatment route.

    Liverpool and the fostering scheme is by all accounts very succesful and well run. I've only known one dog go there myself but he had several happy years after his treatment.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3 Elle87

    Hi, I'm not sure if this is helpful at all but I'm an Irish veterinary nurse living near Sheffield. I work from home every day now as I manage a practice and could help with fostering if there's any hospitals closer to me that could offer the same treatment. Wishing you the best of luck!

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,933 ✭✭✭✭ Gael23

    All I can add is consider that with pets you always always choose quality of life over quantity.

    I would advise you consider the trauma that being in Liverpool would cause him, and you, of being separated for so long. I know you say there are foster options but it won’t be the same for either of you. You say he’s not in pain and enjoying life and and I would just consider is the kindest way forward to keep it like that for as long as possible.

    I don’t mean an any way to sound uncaring but we have been down the route of unsuccessful vetinarry treatment and we weren’t able to be at the vets when he died which is something I will always regret. I would have a frank conversation with your vet about the chances of the treatment working before you make a decision