Sadly, we lost Baker last week from lymphoma. The story is somewhat different, I think, and I wanted to share some of our experience in the event another DK dog is affected the same way.
He had been acting a bit 'off' (not wanting to climb stairs, little things like that) & it's easy to pass that off as sore hips, because he was 10 years old. Thinking back, at that time, he was losing the fun parts of his personality...Baker was a smiler at everyone he liked, a real, big smile. My granddaughter tried & tried & no smile. Every night at 8:30, he would run & get a toy to prance around with...stopped doing that. Lots of little things that made Baker Baker were no longer there but we didn't put it together.
A few weeks later, his right eye started weeping & almost instantly clouded over. We ran to the emergency vet who diagnosed uveitis (inflammation in the center of the eye) & told us she suspected cancer. The canine ophthalmologist drew some fluid from his eye for testing, which came back positive for b-cell lymphoma. He had no swollen lymph glands, just the eye that kept getting worse & was ultimately removed.
He had X-rays of his abdomen & lungs more than once, extensive blood work, ultrasound of his abdomen & lungs, every test recommended by every vet (we had 3) & all tests came back normal. Again, no swollen lymph nodes ever.
He was on chemotherapy for 9 weeks with the blood work prior to a treatment always fine. The vets were pleased with his progress.
Suddenly, he took a turn & was falling down, disoriented, & very weak. We let him go when the emergency vet detected high blood pressure & a slow heartbeat, which, after testing with medication, indicated the cancer was in his brain.
Was it there all along? I suspect so, perhaps in the area where it allowed him to function but robbed him of his personality.
We had no pet insurance, but there was no question that we would do anything to have more time with him. He was wonderful, one in a million, & was loved so much by so many.
What I'm trying to say...if your dog is acting 'different', pay close attention & try to put two & two together. I don't know if it would have made any difference in the end, but we missed it & the vets missed it. We were hoping for a lengthy remission period & ended up with none.
These doodles are exceptional dogs & we all hope for long lives for them. Get pet insurance so you can do all you can if your beloved dog gets sick.
We will miss Baker forever.