Loving Baker

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.

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  • I missed this. I am so sorry, Diane. It seems like we often don't put the clues together until after the fact.
  • The uveitis was most definitely related to the lymphoma.  The vet said there is a channel running from the brain to the eye & it seems to make sense now.   There are also barriers to the eye & brain & I am guessing this is what kept the chemo from being effective for Baker.  It was so tragic & we’re still very fragile.

    Thank you so much for your kind words...I’d be very interested to hear about Toby & know I send condolences to you.   You’re right...this is so very difficult.

  • I am so sorry, we lost our Toby in January, do you think the utevitus was connected to the cancer? Toby had utevitus more than once, I will always wonder how he got so sick so fast, always makes me wonder if something got overlooked, although we never took chances with anything, had regular blood labs, always went to the vet at the first sign he wasn't feeling good....praying for you, I know how difficult this is to lose our furbabies so unexpectedly.... Baker was adorable!

  • So sorry to hear about Baker.

  • I am so sorry for your loss! Hugs to you!

  • I am so very sorry for your loss.  We have been down the lymphoma path, and you are right about your situation seeming very different.  I've followed a lot of lymphoma dogs since we lost our Sophie, and none ever sounded like this.  I think in your case I would have just been chalking the behavior up to age since he was 10, so I wouldn't blame yourself for not catching that.  My wish for you is that one day thinking of him will make you smile rather than make you sad.  We have little things happen around here all the time that make us think about Sophie and make us laugh when we see them happening.  Particularly if pillows get pushed off the sofa.  She did not allow pillows on the sofa.  She thought they belonged on the floor.  Maybe one day your heart will be open to a new little one joining your family.  It is hard to be sad with a puppy in the house.  Hugs!

  • I am so sorry for your loss, and thank you for sharing your story. 

    I lost my heart dog to a mystery illness, and like you all the tests (and we did them all) came back normal. I still don't know exactly what it was. I suspect cancer we just couldn't find. Her chest x-rays were abnormal but they couldn't determine why. I don't know if it would bring me more peace to know, but I still wonder. And I think of her every single day. 

    They are always in our hearts.

  • So very sorry for your loss.  Safe journey for Baker across the rainbow bridge

  • I'm so sorry, Diane. Hugs to you and your family.

  • Diane, I am so sorry for your loss.  Thank you for sharing your story.  Hugs to you.

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