ペッパーは明るく素直で とてもSweetなジェントルマンでした。シープドッグとしての素質も備えていたし、オビディエンスもしました。フリスビーはとても上手だったし、泳ぎも得意でした。私の趣味に付き合ってドッグダンスもして、海外へも行きました。彼は私のSoul mate でした。
2015年の夏ころから何となく元気がありませんでした。ちょうどその頃 私自身も人間関係に疲れていました。同居しているもう一頭のボーダーコリー 16歳の世話も大変でした。ペッパーも10歳になっていました。だから元気がないのじゃなくて、周りに配慮した行動なんだろうと勝手に思っていました。
10月21日に同居犬が老衰で亡くなりました。16歳4か月でした。その頃のペッパーはさらに元気がなくなっていました。だけど、私はそれを 同居犬がいなくなった寂しさからだと考えていました。老犬介護で時間が取れなかった分を取り戻そうと あちこち出かけたりしましたが、その時は楽しそうに元気なのに帰りの車中では ぐったりと寝ていました。遊びすぎたのかと思っていましたが 今思えば腫瘍から出血したことによる貧血状態だったのでしょう。摘出した腫瘍には出血をペッパー自身が治癒した痕跡がたくさん見られました。
12月ころには食事を出してもためらうようになり、ポツリポツリとのんびり食べていて、変だなとは思ったけれど 完食します。その頃サプリメントを変えたりしたので そのせいだとばかり思っていました。
なるべく普通に 快適に 穏やかな日々を少しでも長く一緒に過ごすための治療であるらしい。納得できました。
だから、美味しくて 楽しくて 泣かない日々を目指しました。
5月末くらいから微熱 下痢 貧血 食欲不振 が繰り返されるようになり、抗癌剤治療は停止されステロイドを中心とした緩和ケアに移行しました。
私は今 1歳半のジャーマンシェパードと暮らしています。この子がこの先どんな病にかかるか、または健康で天寿を全うできるか、見当もつきませんが、唯一私がしなくてはいけないことは 今、この瞬間を、大事にそして全力で共に過ごすことだと思っています。
I knew about the existence of tumors that can develop on the spleen of a dog.
As a matter of fact, my Labrador had a tumor on the spleen at the age of 14 1/2 years and it was removed by surgery. About one third of the diagnosed tumors of the of spleen (hemangiosarcoma) is said to be benign. However, even benign tumors on the spleen may burst because of their fragile constitution.
Many dogs around me suddenly die due to this splenic tumor.
The spleen seems to have the function to "evacuate dead blood cells, trap foreign bodies and kill bacteria in the blood, and has the ability to regulate the circulating blood volume and to produce blood cells". Therefore, a rupture of the deceased spleen is accompanied by a serious internal bleeding leading to the dog’s death.
My Labrador’s tumor was fortunately benign, but its size was that of a newborn's head: it weighed 1.7 kg! It was a miracle that the tumor had not ruptured. I noticed that his abdomen was very swollen, too much, to be just du to obesity. Therefore, I went to the veterinarian. And in fact, the tumor was found.
Fortunately, the surgery was successful, and he was able to live another year in good health. He died at 15 years and 7 months.
However, 2/3 of the spleen tumors (hemangiosarcoma) are malign. Among these malign tumors, 2/3 are so called angiosarcoma growing on the blood vessels. These are extremely aggressive.
My important Pepper (border collie) died of this angiosarcoma!
Pepper was bright, happy, obedient and the sweetest gentleman one can imagine. He was also a bright sheep dog, and we practiced the canine sport obedience together. But his favorite activities were frisbee and swimming. Together we trained my favorite sport’s activity dog dance and for competitions we often travelled abroad. He was my soul mate!
I still haven’t recovered from my Pepper’s premature death, which has been the most devastating experience in my life. This tragedy seems to be a test sent by God. I have never had the courage to write about his cancer story. But I’ll try to remember all steps on our common last way. I’ll try to remember everything – while teardrops run down my cheeks. Perhaps this will help other dog owners – and me to overcome my deep grief.
The tumor was discovered on February 25, 2016.
In the ultra-sound examination showed a tumor measuring over 8 cm in diameter. The next day, Pepper underwent an emergency surgery to remove the tumor and the spleen. The pathology examination confirmed the diagnosis: angiosarcoma. Pepper’s life expectancy was 2-3 months.
The veterinarian informed me, “The tumor must have developed already several months before the first symptoms were visible.”
These words by the veterinarian recalled past events and observations:
In fact, in the summer 2015 Pepper – then 10 years old - showed some loss of vitality. I explained his fatigue by the fact that my second, 16-year-old border collie had become infirm and ailing: It took all my energy and time to look after him – and perhaps Pepper resented this.
On 21st October 2015, my second border collie – then 16 years and 4 months old - passed away. Pepper at that time became even more lethargic. But I thought it was due to grief and loneliness after the death of my older dog.
After my old dog had passed away, I tried to make up for the lost time with Pepper, and we undertook many excursions and long walks together. Pepper seemed very happy and cheerful, but whenever we returned home or to the car, Pepper went to sleep visibly exhausted. I thought I had done too much with him.
At hindsight, however, Pepper’s condition was probably due to an internal bleeding of his tumor. As a matter of fact, scares on the spleen, which had been removed after the surgery, could be seen.
Around December of the same year, Pepper lost appetite, became food-picky. But since after some hesitation he had eaten his portion, I was contented. I explained his loss of appetite by the fact that I had started adding a new supplement to his food.
Moreover, I noticed that Pepper at that time showed some discomfort and pain in his legs and hips. So, I went to the veterinarian to show him Pepper’s condition, but I would never have linked these symptoms to an internal decease, such as a cancer on the spleen.
At the beginning of the new year, I was stunned to see that the color of his urine had
turned dark yellow. It seems that this is due to a physical reaction to an internal bleeding.
When we went for one his long walks, which he normally loved so much, he just wanted to return home. I believe that Pepper at this time suffered from anemia due to an internal bleeding.
Finally, the tumor was discovered.
I don’t have any regrets: it was impossible to find the tumor at an earlier stage, because I know that angiosarcoma is fatal in any case, even if found early when still small.
Is was just destiny. . . However, I find it very difficult to accept - I am very sad.
Because angiosarcoma is a cancer derived from blood vessels, it seems that it will - by its nature - enter the blood circulation and create metastasis all over the body. The veterinarian told me that dogs might only survive an average of 150 to 180 days, even after the surgical removal of the tumor followed by chemo-therapy.
Moreover, the veterinarian explained that the purpose of chemo-therapy for dogs and cats in Japan is not to completely cure the animal, but to prolong their average life expectancy and the time the pet can stay comfortably and peacefully at home. Therefore, the vet explained, it might be necessary to interrupt the chemo-therapy because the side effects become too painful: the dog loses appetite, suffers nausea or risks hospitalization.
This convinced me to spend the last few days with Pepper as comfortably and enjoyably as possible – just we two – and I tried not to cry.
For about 2 months, Pepper felt very well indeed after the surgical removal of the spleen. He seemed as if he had never had been diagnosed with cancer. He seemed completely cured. Pepper was transformed back to the cheerful and happy dog of the past.
But my heart bleed with grief. All good intentions to console me and show sympathy didn’t really help, on the contrary. Sentences like: "Everything will be all right!" "Pepper will cure!" "Cheer up, miracles happen!” just broke my heart, because I knew that they were not true, alas.
On April 30th, 2016, Pepper was ultra-sound-screened and two metastases of about 2 cm in size were found on the liver. The metastases had unfortunately grown despite chemo-therapy. Just before his death, big tumors had also developed in his belly.
Then, by the end of May 2016, Pepper showed heavy side effects such as fever, anemia and loss of appetite Therefore the chemo-therapy was stopped, and we changed to palliative/hospice care centered on steroids.
Because of the massive loss of blood, Pepper suffered from oxygen starvation and therefore I rented an oxygen tent.
In the end on his life, Pepper couldn’t eat anymore.
Pepper took his last breath early in the morning on July 5, 2016, two days after his 11th birthday.
Pepper cared for me until the end, and I will be thankful to him for all my life. I loved Pepper so much and I miss him more than words can say. I just want to hug you again, my darling.
Life goes on: I am currently living with German Shepherd, one and a half years old. I have no idea what kind of disease this darling will suffer in the future or how long he will live, but the only thing I have to do now is to spend this very moment together - with all my strength, love and care.
Border Collie - born 02/06/2008 – passed away 29/10/2017
My name is Jules O'Dwyer, I am a professional trainer for assistance and guide dogs for the blind, My work place is my home in Belgium, which offers a favourable situation for the working dogs in training who live alongside my own beloved family dogs.
All my dogs are special: some are old, some are rescued, some are planned and some just happened... Chase was one that I felt came into this world just for me… 😊 He was bred by my best friend and coach Christine Matheus, and I have been with him from the very first moment when he was born
I have competed in Dog Dance - in both Freestyle & Heelwork to music - as a hobby for many years and have had some very special moments, achieving some important international titles on the highest levels. But most importantly, I share every minute of my free time with my furies, training, playing, travelling and enjoying performing together.
I have been very fortunate in the last years to be able to compete with two very different characters of dogs: Matisse and Chase.
“Chase was my talented Heelwork-to-Music-dog.”
Chase was a mummy’s boy, and wherever I went, even if I only left a room, Chase would follow me. He knew every of my thoughts, he lived to make me smile, whenever I turned to look at him, in whatever situation, he was looking right back at me. He was very special.
Chase has never been sick or injured, he was naturally fit and had a great condition, a real athlete, he was fed a quality diet his whole life.
It all happened in a very short space of time: At the end of August, Chase and I stood together on the winner’s podium in Leipzig, where he had won the Open European Championship in Heelwork to Music. And only 8 weeks later our lives were to change dramatically.
At the end of October 2017, I had left home for a film shooting in Poland. Chase wasn’t happy at all, to say the least, about being left back at home while two other dogs were accompanying me on the trip.
As soon as I arrived in Warsaw, I called home and was told that Chase was still sulking. However, as a consolation he was promised a walk in the woods by my partner, just the two of them in blissful togetherness, to cheer him up.
However, on this walk Chase suddenly collapsed, one kilometre from home. My partner had to carry his unconscious body in an uphill struggle. Finally home, Chase still being unconscious, my partner loaded him into the car and rushed to our vet
Our veterinarian quickly determined with an ultrasound scan that the pericardium, the sack surrounding the heart, was filled with blood, putting the heart under pressure as it didn’t have the room it needed to fill it with the blood it had to pump.
We are very lucky to have a canine heart specialist in our area: He did further tests, and decided that if the situation worsened he would have to perform a pericardial tap, to drain the blood and allow the heart to function.
Meanwhile, Chase had come around and was acting like nothing had happened. The heart specialist didn’t want to risk doing the puncture, a life-threatening procedure in itself, until he knew more about what had caused it.
Before his collapse, Chase hadn’t shown any symptoms what so ever, no pain or discomfort, no lethargy, no lack of appetite, nothing. As a matter of fact, he was the fittest he had ever been until this first collapse.
The following day he collapsed a second time, so he was rushed to the clinic to have the pericardial tap and so to relieve the pressure around his heart. The procedure was a success, Chase lay still on command throughout the operation, with only local anaesthetics to numb the area of the puncture. He was very brave!
I was still Warsaw and hadn’t been informed about the first collapse: I was too far away, and working, so I was kept in the dark to spare me the stress and panic. But after the second collapse and after the specialist had been forced to perform the tap, my vet insisted I was brought up to date, just in case it all went wrong.
Chase was back to normal and on my return flight I felt elated with the positive news: The blood hadn’t returned, they had found no tumours anywhere. I was full of hope and couldn’t get home fast enough to finally hold my boy.
Alas, my elation was short lived, he collapsed a third time that afternoon!
This time, the blood had returned in only 2 hours since the last ultrasound scan, only now double the amount as before the puncture! The heart was now pushed by the blood into a tiny. And what more is: now something else became visible: An aggressive tumour (hemangiosarcoma metastasis) was attached to his heart.
We knew this was the end: There was nothing left to do. So, we decided to spend the
time we had left just glued to each other.
48 hours later, Chase woke me up at 6am. We had slept together on the sofa and now he stood pointing towards the door: he wanted to go outside. I walked with him down to the grass field, chatting to him when he collapsed a last time, mid trot.
I gathered him up into my arms, he took 3 short breaths, and then he stopped. He had lost his brave battle and had to leave us.... anger, frustration and disbelief!
My only consolation is that everything happened so fast, Chase showed no signs of stress or panic, I don’t think he was aware of anything when he collapsed so suddenly - other than my voice and soft kisses hopefully...
From the first collapse to the last, only one short week had passed., just seven days from first incident, diagnosis and to his departure!
This was probably the worst experience in my life and I am still having a tough time after losing my special boy.
Chase will be remembered fondly by many, not just for his Heelwork to music achievements but also for his role in winning Britain’s got talent (he was the famous tightrope walking dog).
To us, he was a family dog, he was my dog in a million, I am grateful he was a part of my life and we spent so many happy times together, I’m only sorry he didn’t get to be an old dog, he was robbed of that.
9 years old is not old, but whatever short time he had to live, this time was certainly quality time.
Rest in peace my wonderful, handsome Chayko, I will miss you forever!
Quand Yvonne m’a annoncé son intention de faire un cadeau de Noël à tous les propriétaires de chiens, à travers son merveilleux site, Alice-Ribbon Project – the Power of Love, j’ai été projeté en arrière :
À la veille d’un autre Noël, celui de 2004.
C’est à ce moment-là qu’a vu le jour le site www.obe-rythmee.fr (aujourd’hui défunt), qui avait pour vocation de répandre la «bonne nouvelle»: que l’éducation canine pourrait se faire par des méthodes douces, et que chien et maître pourraient devenir de vrais complices en faisant des chorégraphies sous fond musical.
Fast-forward jusqu’en 2015 :
Deux Tervuerens, Spike et Savanne, vivent ensemble. Leurs vies se sont mélangées, pour n’en faire qu’un.
Ils sont suivis par une excellente équipe de vétérinaires, à 10 minutes de la maison ou ils habitent.
Frère et sœur de portée, ils ont les mêmes origines génétiques. Mais ô combien de différences au niveau de leur santé !
Spike a eu un cancer testiculaire, heureusement dépisté à temps et soigné.
Savanne, n’ayant jamais eu de maladie grave, est foudroyé par un AVC, intervenu dans la nuit du 10 mai 2015, après une promenade où les voisins ont commenté « qu’elle avait l’air beaucoup plus en forme que son frère ».
Notre équipe habituel de vétérinaires l’ont accueilli d’urgence, une belle soirée de dimanche, à leur clinique.
Tout le long de la route, je pensais qu’elle allait rejoindre le « Big Sky », comme disent les indigènes des USA ; je me préparais au verdicte : l’euthanasie était indiquée.
Pourtant, on a décidé de faire des analyses de sang, donner des médicaments, etc.
Elle a survécu 4 jours.
Nos voisins se sont mobilisés pour l’aider, quand je ne pouvais pas être là. Elle voulait être dans le jardin - son bien-aimé jardin ! - mais on veillait à ce qu’elle ne reste pas trop au soleil…
Elle buvait uniquement à la syringe, on se relayait pour l’abreuver et marquer les doses d’eau qu’elle a consommé.
Ce qu’on a échangé, elle et moi, durant ses derniers jours, c’est difficile à décrire.
Mais je crois que c’était de l’amour, dans l’état pur.
Je me souviens d’une soirée, ou le vent rugissait dehors. Elle était sur son tapis, par terre, et j’ai amené un coussin de chaise longue pour passer la soirée auprès d’elle, allongée par terre moi aussi.
Faisant écho du vent, je criais tout fort ma peine et mon amour. Ma pauvre Savanne, je crois bien que tu as compris.
Après deux jours encore, il m’a fallu te laisser partir dans le « Big Sky ».
Est-ce que j’ai bien fait d’attendre ?
Spike, après avoir souffert d’un cancer de testicule (heureusement soigné à temps), a vécu heureux, jusqu’en septembre 2015. Quatre mois après la disparition de sa sœur.
Il présente des symptômes anormaux, surtout une perte de poids, bien qu’il mange normalement.
Le vétérinaire de mes deux chiens étant occupé ailleurs, j’ai eu une consultation avec un « nouveau » vétos qui m’a assené une diagnose fulgurante :
C’est probablement un cancer de l’estomac.
« Quoi ? » dis-je, « mais c’est pas possible ! »
« Bien sûr que si !», dis celui-ci, en m’étalant les informations auxquelles il a accès, mais pas moi.
À ce moment-là, le grand public n’était pas au courant de la tendance des Tervuerens à souffrir du cancer de l’estomac. Maintenant, il y a tout une page de Facebook sur le sujet.
Spike a été soigné. Son poids remontait.
Périodiquement, je passais au cabinet de mes vétos, pour le faire peser.
« Champion des poids-lourds ! » j’exclamais, chaque fois que son poids restait stable ou augmentait.
Mais « l’ennemi invisible », à l’intérieur de lui, restait invincible.
Il m’a offert un dernier Noël, celui de 2015, tout en chaleur et en beauté.
Il a tenu à m’accompagner jusqu’à mon départ en retraite, février 2016, toujours (apparemment) bien portant.
Au mois de mars, après un voyage en Angleterre, je le retrouve affaibli. Malgré les soins prodigués pendant mon absence.
Le 1 avril, j’ai dû me rendre à l’évidence. Il cherchait à rejoindre sa sœur, dans le « Big Sky ».
Comme elle, il ne jurait que par son jardin. Mais, il n’est pas parvenu à se relever pour y aller. Il m’adressait des regards de désespoir.
Maintenant, grâce au site d’Yvonne, je sais que j’aurais pu l’aider en mettant une serviette dessous lui, en guise d’harnais, car moi, je n’avais pas la force de le soulever du sol et le porter dans le jardin.
Là, j’ai compris qu’il fallait appeler au secours.
Lui faire partir au « Big Sky », mais depuis son jardin, qu’il aimait tant.
C’était un vendredi soir, les vétos habituels dans notre clinique étaient trop occupés.
Avec un désespoir grandissant, je me suis mise à téléphoner à tous les cliniques, privés ou autres, dans tous les alentours.
Pas un seul véto qui pourrait « se déplacer » pour faire de l’euthanasie à domicile ce soir-là.
Donc, mon pauvre Spike, j’ai du me résigner à trouver le moyen de t’amener à une autre ville, dans une autre clinique ou te ne connaissais personne, pour te faire les dernier soins de ta vie.
Merci, mille fois merci, à notre voisine, sensible amatrice d’animaux, qui a vu que j’avais « perdu mes moyens » et a alerté notre voisinage.
Merci, mille fois merci encore, au voisin, footballer costaud, qui a soulevé Spike d’un seul coup et l’a placé dans ma voiture.
Et merci à la clinique ou il a trouvé son soulagement.
Cette clinique, c’est dans un très bel endroit, avec vue sur le Jura.
Juste après la disparition de Spike, j’ai vu un oiseau s’envoler. En direction des montagnes.
– coming soon –
Iatka Spring Spangle was her Kennel Club name but to us she was our little Fly. Born on April Fool’s Day 1/4/2001 but she was no fool. Clever, honest, enthusiastic, wanting to live life at a thousand miles an hour and loving every second!
Many people will remember Fly from her appearances at Crufts, winning the Heelwork to Music Final in 2008 and taking 2nd place in 2013. She was placed highly in the top 10 every year from the inaugural HTM Final at Crufts in 2006 and throughout her life, never missing a year. To our delight she went on to win the first ever Open European Championships which was held in Denmark in 2011. Fly was selected for Team GB every year that they competed at subsequent OECs.
Sadly she was never to defend her European Title due to hemangiosarcoma.
2013 was proving a great year in competition with a second place at Crufts and the OEC to look forward to later in the year. This was the first opportunity that we had to defend her title and we were putting a lot of time into ensuring that we had the best chance.
One morning in early September I noticed a lump on her right foreleg, it was perfectly round and the size of a large pea. We saw the vet that same day, the lump was aspirated and a small amount of fluid was collected. On analysis we discovered that it was hemangiosarcoma. At the time I understood the seriousness of the diagnosis but was hopeful that we had caught it quickly enough.
Before we booked the surgery the vet made me aware of the potential size of the wound and the length of time that it would take to heal. It was not long before we were due to travel to the OEC and I was given the option to have the surgery on our return home as the wound would not be healed in time to travel to The Netherlands. Wait? NO WAY! Any delay meant a greater chance of the disease spreading and there wasn’t a rosette or title in the world that was worth more than the health of any of my dogs!
From first discovery of the lump to the removal of the tumour was less than a week. We observed and palpated her lymph nodes to check for any obvious spread of the disease before surgery and made sure to take wide margins from the site. This left a large wound, too large to close with stitches and so we had to achieve the healing process with regular dressing management.
Fly was the perfect patient throughout the procedure and all of the follow up treatment. The regular dressing changes were uncomfortable for her but her behaviour was nothing short of excellent. A couple of weeks later I left for the Netherlands with Erin (Team GB Freestyle Reserve) and Allan stayed home to continue Fly’s dressing treatment.
The wound healed very well and it was a relief to us all when it could be left open to the air with no more bandages to change or boots to be worn when going outside. We decided not to take the option of further treatment and continued to make the most of every day that we had left with our special girl.
Fly was very keen to get back into training, she had missed it terribly. We returned to the routine that we had been working on for Crufts 2014 but it soon became clear that we had lost a lot of training time and the routine was very demanding and complicated, we would not be able to do it justice. We made the decision to use a simpler piece of music with less challenging moves and just enjoy our time together in the ring. In January we qualified for the Crufts Finals and at Crufts 2014, at the age of 13 Fly came 10th. I don’t think anyone has ever been happier with last place! A great achievement; I was so proud of her and so happy to still be able to enjoy life with her.
We had 2 more wonderful years together after her surgery and made lots more memories. Although she was selected for Team GB 2014 we bowed out gracefully when I realised that her hearing and was failing and we couldn’t achieve the standard that we had previously enjoyed. It was good to see our reserve dog do so well in our place and I still enjoyed the trip to Germany supporting our Team as HTM Team Leader.
Fly continued to enjoy her dance training of course and if she did an incorrect move she was never wrong – it was my fault for not speaking loudly and clearly, I could tell that by the look on her face, I was wrong and she was right, just as it should be J
We finally said goodbye to Fly at the beginning of 2016. I don’t need to explain to anyone who has lost a dog how that felt, she took a little piece of my heart with her. I am eternally grateful for the extra time that we had with Fly following diagnosis, I know that there are many who are not so lucky and my thoughts are with them as I write this.
Fly is always with me, in my heart and in her precious ashes contained in my necklace.
My Shmy (Australian Shepherd) passed away for more than two years now, and I still cannot forget how, after she was diagnosed with cancer, we tossed from despair to hope: it was impossible to realize that we are powerless when faced with this terrible diagnosis: Cancer. Losing dogs is very difficult! Losing a young dog, still full of strength and life, is simply unbearable
People say that time heals, but I really miss him so much still
Yvonne asked me to write an article about my Shmy’s cancer story, in order to make him an Ambassador for her “The Alice-Ribbon” internet link in favour of canine cancer awareness. It is a very necessary and important task and I promised her to help to promote this site among as many dog owner’s as possible to allow our dogs a dignified life before and during a cancer diagnosis and an equally dignified end of life!
I also tried to write a sad history of Shmu's illness, but I'm not good at it: it just hurts so much!
She was ill for exactly one month. It all began with a slight limping of the hind legs in the turns, and I suspected that it was an unsuccessful jump that had caused an injury in the back. However, medical examinations of her back did not confirm this suspicion. Worse, a blood test made by the veterinarian showed results of a suspected lymphoma (blood cancer). 10 days later, Shmu had a first epileptic fit. A MRI-screening showed multiple sites of inflammation in the brain and the veterinarian now suspected a generalized brain tumor and we immediately started radio-therapy. But the treatment indicated after such diagnosis did not work. Shmu stopped moving his tail, then became blind, when it became clear that nothing was working, and the painkillers were not working anymore, I let her go….
My dog had died from cancer, a very fast and aggressive form. We could not do anything
I cannot believe that she is no longer with me