Shocked & Sad

I mentioned in a couple of other posts that our dog Luca was probably going to have surgery to repair a torn CCL. When I first brought him to the vet when we noticed he wasn’t putting weight on his right hind leg, the vet said that it was probably a torn CCL and the surgery would cost approximately $5000. He said to come back in a few weeks because it might be something that would heal and we’d go from there. He gave Luca a pain/anti-inflammatory medication. As time went on Luca had some days that he would run around like nothing was wrong, then he’d have a bad day where he would limp again. Finally, I decided that surgery was inevitable and after figuring out how I was going to pay for it, I scheduled him for his x-rays. He would have to be put under for the x-rays, so I dropped him off first thing in the morning and waited at home for the call to pick him up. When I went back to get him the vet brought me in to look at the x-rays. He said that Luca’s knee was fine, but the news wasn’t good. He has bone cancer. :worried: I just stood there with my mouth hanging open.

Bone cancer is very common in large breed dogs and it’s aggressive. It usually metastasizes to the organs quickly. The vet also x-rayed Luca’s chest but there was no cancer there…yet.

So there’s nothing that can be done for my sweet boy. The vet told me to let him do whatever he wants - let him enjoy life and that’s what we’re doing. Other than limping, you’d never know he was sick. He still eats like a horse, he gets treats galore, he’s lavished with hugs and kisses, I took him to my mom’s cabin so he could wade around in the lake (it’s one of his favorite things to do!) I take him on short walks in the woods - walking is tough for him but as long as he’s off-leash he can kind of hop-run. And he can move pretty fast like that. He goes into the brush and sniffs around, shoots back out, and has a huge mastiff grin on his face.

The vet said we’ll know when it’s time. My heart is broken. I learned when my son was diagnosed with cancer that I can only take one day at a time. If I look into the future, I can’t breathe. Some will say, he’s just a dog, but he’s our big, squishy, laid-back, gentle giant that has given us so much love. He’s our boy, a part of our family.

F&%K cancer!

I’m new around here, but this … just breaks my heart.

I’m so sorry for the news, and hope that every moment with Luca is indelibly etched in your, and your family’s, memories.

Holding my Sammy just a wee bit closer today …

Thank you so much :blue_heart:

So sorry to hear this. I lost the Best Cat Ever to cancer two years ago. He was on chemo for 11 months, and had no idea he was sick. You’re doing the best thing ever by loving Luca the way you do.

You are. Keep doing this and come back every day to tell us what he loved doing today.

One of our guys got lymphatic cancer and we bought him an extra year by going through more and aggressive chemo regimens, which he hated during the drip. Finally there was only one left and the doc said, “It’s $1,000 a session and has a one in three chance of killing him,” so we stopped.

He lasted about two months but, like your guy, had a good time until the very end. We had him running on a slack lead on Sunday, made an appointment Tuesday to put him down the next day, but he didn’t make it – we had to take him in that evening.

We knew when it was time and, yeah, it breaks your heart every time, but it’s part of what you sign up for when you take stewardship of a four-foot.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pour a big one and raise it to Luca, and Topper too. (Tousles the head of Ari, one of Topper’s successors.)

Thanks, everyone

The vet said we could throw the pharmacy at him but at what cost - both money and his spirit? It’s not feasible to spend thousands of dollars on trying to keep him alive for a few more months and have him scared and sick. I’d rather remember him running through the sun-dappled woods with the beautiful colored leaves all around him, running up to me looking for a treat.

I can’t imagine what our other dog Romeo will do when Luca is gone. Romeo was 5 mos old when Luca (at 2 mos) entered his life. He will be lost.

And every year the leaves will be back to help us enjoy the memory.

So sorry about your friend.

I agree with the vet that you’ll know when it’s time. Until that day, enjoy every minute. Sounds like he’s lucky to have you.

I can’t tell you how sorry I am.

I think that is very much the right choice.

I hope the good time remaining will be longer than expected.

Boy, what terrible news. I am so sorry for you and Luca! It’s great to hear that he still has good days and is acting well. It is going to be a long, hard time for you. I lost my baby Dolly to cancer in 2014, it is terrible to watch play out.

But, no regrets. No regrets about the life you gave him and the love you gave him and the choices you make now and down the road. It will be hard but your Luca will always love you.

It is the most loving and brave owners that do this.

We’ll be here with you all the while. {{ :fallen_leaf::dog2::maple_leaf:}}


I’m terribly sorry, it’s the worst. Your dog is lucky that he has you to care and love him.

There’s no such thing as “just a dog”. I lost my 15 yr old mini schnauzer last year and I would rather have lost an arm. I don’t care what anyone thinks about that. You just love 'em as hard as you can and go on. We have another now. I try really hard not to compare him to Yeager and let him be his own little dog. He is a joy for sure even though he is not Yeager. And that’s ok.

I had a dog that had a spinal injury – Iris. We were on the verge of paying for extremely expensive surgery for her, because we didn’t want to give up on her. The specialist vet called to explain how involved the rehab was going to be, to give us a last chance to back out if we couldn’t handle it. We did back out, but only because we realized how much she was going to hate rehab. She hated being carried. It scared her. We realized it was kinder to her to let her go. We gave her a last evening of the best of everything she loved, and had her euthanized at home.

It’s so hard. My sincere condolences. I hope that whatever time you have left together is as happy and comfortable as possible, and that the support you get here and elsewhere provides you some comfort.

I lost my doberman Jake to bone cancer. It was a little over 4 months from diagnosis to the end. On his last day, he was eating, and running after motorcyclists (from the safety of my fenced yard), then just crashed. He was gone before the vet could euthanize him.


Hugs to you, and Luca.

Seeing a beloved pet suffer is not easy, nor is losing them.

I’m so very sorry about this news, TRC4941. Your story of learning about your son’s terminal cancer was one of the most gut-wrenching things I’ve read on this board. :anguished:

You are all so kind. Thank you.

Yesterday he went for 2 walks in the woods. I don’t force him. I let him decide. And he does. I was getting ready for the morning walk and he got off the couch and waited by the door. So I took him with and he seemed to have a blast sniffing and roaming around. When I came home from work, I said to the boys, “Mom’s going to get changed and then we can for a walk out back.” When I came downstairs, he was off the couch, wagging his tail and raring to go. This morning he didn’t get off the couch. I asked him if he wanted to go and he looked the other way. But when Romeo and I got home, I said, “Luca, do you want to go out for a little walk?” He hopped off the couch and we took a short walk behind the house. So he seems to know that the regular walk in the morning (about an hour) is too much for him sometimes. He’s happy to just do a 15 minute walk.

StGermain - I wish Luca could go like that. Making the decision when to euthanize is so horrible. I’ve had to do it many times, it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever had to do.

While I’m petting and loving on him, I look at his big paws and squeeze them, I bury my face in his soft neck and floppy ears and I look into those big brown eyes. I think to myself, these parts are all healthy parts and they shouldn’t have to be “thrown out”. I know that sounds really weird - I can’t explain it any other way.

I know we’ve given him a wonderful life, so we have no regrets there. And he’s given us more than we could have asked for.