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Old 11-20-2006, 07:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I've never posted before, and unfortunately I am not posting under the best circumstances. My beloved Basset Hound, Hamlet (he's the great guy in the picture), passed away on November 19th after a short battle with lymphoma. We found out he had it Tuesday night, and it was as bad as it could possibly get. The reason for my post is that I don't want anyone else to have to go through this. Hamlet showed very few signs, and of course never complained. Looking back, there were a couple of things that should have tipped me off, but I thought it was just Hamlet being Hamlet.
He would cough occasionally, not unlike after he ate grass, but his breathing was somewhat laboured.
He had a bit of a lump by his throat (which I found out was a swollen gland.)
He stopped eating all of his food - very unusual for a Basset! But he was 9, and was getting to be a little fussy.
On walks, his breaks got to be more and more frequent.
He had trouble walking up the stairs.
Those signs all point to arthritis, which is what I thought he had. We were at the vet 3 months ago, and he was given a clean bill of health. The coughing started 3 weeks ago, I noticed the swollen gland 2 weeks ago, and he was diagnosed with cancer less than a week ago... and 6 days later, he is gone. I don't want anyone else to go through this. It is the worst experience in the world. His last 5 days on earth were great, though. We made the most of them, and he did everything that he liked to do.
So here are my questions... does anyone know where I can donate some money in Hamlet's memory to research cancer in dogs? Also, I am concerned about my other Basset, Broadway. Does anyone have any recommendations for how I deal with her mourning? She saw his body after he was euthanized, and didn't react very well. She ate tonight, but only after we went for a long walk. She doesn't want to go outside without me, and she has been looking around the house and yard for him. I expect this is normal - does anyone know if there's anything I can do for her, other than give her all the attention I have?
Thanks, and please think good thoughts for my best boy Hamlet.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sincere condolences on Hamlet's passing. He was truly lucky to be loved so much.

From experience I can tell you that dogs do go through a mourning period for their animal companions. Besides the extra attention, rides, and cuddles, I think the best thing for you to do is keep Broadway on her same daily routine.

Murray became very clingy and a little depressed after his old dachshund-friend Hansel died. We would find 65 pound Murray squeezed into 17 pound Hansel's bed- we let him do it because it seemed to comfort him. We held him, took him for rides, and invited his Westie friend McGuffy over to play with him- anything to make him forget his depression and perk him up. In a few weeks he was pretty much back to normal.

I hope something I wrote will help.

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Old 11-20-2006, 08:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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does anyone know where I can donate some money in Hamlet's memory to research cancer in dogs? [/b]
not Specifically cancer but you may want to consider Canine Health Foundation which sponsors a whole host of research into canine diseases

The center for comparitive oncology

The National Canine Cancer Foundation

The Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund

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Old 11-20-2006, 09:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We are so very sorry to hear about your losing Hamlet to cancer. Belive me we understand. On December 10th of last year my husband took our seven year old male Basset, Bubba for his usual walk. It was a very cold day around 15 degrees, not unusual in SD. When they returned we noticed that Bubba was breathing harder than usual, thinking it's the cold air and he's getting older. We watched him for about an hour with no improvement and called our vet.

She took lung x-rays which showed spider web like things in his lungs and found one slightly swollen lymph node. She stated it could be viral bronchitis, a fungal infection, or cancer. We took him in the next morning to be put to under for testing, and she did a trachea wash to get cells from his lungs. These were sent off and and we waited, and Bubba was put on antibiotics in case it was fungal. He began to eat less, didn't feel well, at times, and at time was his bouncy self. The results came back negative for cancer three days later. But the vet did say that it was possible cancer cells were not picked up in the wash and if he didn't improve a biopsy of lung tissue would give us a divinitive answer, but to give the antibiotics a chance. She had also consulted a plumonary canine specialist at the University of Iowa Vet School and this was his recommendation.

Over the week end he was much worse, labored breathing worsened, shivering, not eating, and took him back on Monday. She found that all lymph nodes were now very swollen, new x-ray showed more cobwebs in lungs, and scheduled a lung biopsy for the next morning. She felt that it was Lymphoma Cancer. Bubba looked at us that next morning with eyes that said, "It's time" and we made the decision to have him put to sleep. instead of the biopsy. Our vet cried and the clinic staff cried as hard as we did. He had been in their care ever since we had him and he was boarded there when were were out of town. He spent his last days in our arms, and we slept on the floor beside him when he couldn't make it up the stairs those last few nights to our bedroom. It was 10 days from his first symptom until he went to the rainbow bridge.

We do know your pain and sorrow, and it was one of the worst things we had ever been through also. Just know that you made the right decision for Hamlet. If you do find out about where you donate to cancer research for dogs do post the info.
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ATB: Bubba - (Trumbull's Surley It's Stormin Norman) Sept. 8, 1998 - Dec. 20, 2005
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I am very sorry to hear of Hamlet's passing. I went through a similar experience with Sadie in May/June. She had a few signs that something was wrong with her, but the vet did not think it was serious. By the time things got serious, it got bad fast. We suspected something was wrong in early May, she was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma in mid-May & I had her euthanized June 9th. I hardly had time to get used to the idea of her having cancer when I had to make the decision to send her to the bridge. So, my heart goes out to you. I know how hard it is.

As far as your surviving baby, I second the suggestion to keep things as routine as possible. After Sadie died, Spencer was not himself for a good 3 months. He is a nervous dog to begin with, and he had 3 bouts with colitis in the 3 months after Sadie's passing. I believe they were due to the stress of losing her. Sadie was 1 1/2 when I got Spencer as a pup, so he never knew life without her. I would be careful of giving too much attention, though. Every dog is different, but I know that would have stressed Spencer out also. I just tried to do what we always did to give him some level of comfort. And be patient - Spencer went through a period of doing some uncharacterisitic things - waking me up at night, crying and just being generally very needy. Eventually, he settled into his own routine and is now doing ok on his own.

Good luck. I am thinking of you at this difficult time.
Amy, mom to
Sadie (ATB, 6/9/06) & Spencer (ATB, 8/19/10) - always in my heart
and Clifford (gotcha date 7/2/11).
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm very sorry. Having lost one basset to lymphoma (he seemed right as rain until we noticed a lump under his throat), and two to hemangiosarcoma, I know what you are going through. In addition to the AKC Canine Health Foundation, there's the MOrris Animal Foundation, that supports research on cancer, as well as other canine diseases, and will allow you to indicate what fund you want your money to go to.
So far as your other dog goes--this may not be the time for you to consider it, but when the time comes, a companion will help a lot. I'm normally not a fan of doggie day care settings where they allow the dogs to socialize, but years ago, when we lost our female, we picked out a puppy for our home, but our male was left alone for several weeks until the breeder would let us bring her home. In the interim, we took our male to a boarding facility every once ina while where they had doggie day care for the day, rather than leaving him home alone. According to the reports, he would just sit and watch the other dogs. It seemed to calm him and held him over until we could bring his little pal home.
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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So sorry about Hamlet. He sure was loved. Hope Broadway learns to live life again without him. In my thoughts.
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you all very much for your posts and your condolences. Broadway is doing ok. She's sad, and does look for Hammy before walks, before bed, and in the morning, but she's been doing well other than that. We sure do miss him.
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I am sorry for your loss and will remember both you and Broadway in my prayers.
Copper,Dolly,Patty,Nellie,Bunny and their mom Karen
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Old 11-22-2006, 07:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I am so sorry for your loss. When we lost our precious Maggie Mae last January I was heartbroken. She went on her own. She suffered from old age (15 1/2 yrs) and heart disease. I should have seen it coming "soon" but I was in denial. I really thought she would be with us much longer. Now I know that was wishful thinking and I didn't want to see her very old and getting weaker. The pain of losing her was so bad. I cried for days. I couldn't eat or sleep. A friend knew how much pain I was in and suggested joining a grief forum. It is PetLoss. com. I helped me tremendously to just "talk" about her. I could just ramble on and felt like the members there were listening and could relate to my overwhelming grief. They did and that helped me so much. The pain does ease and you never get over it, just get use to living without them. Go there and take a peek. I hope that gives you some comfort.

May he rest in peace with our other furbabies who have gone before him.
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