Babayo
  I lost my pug Yo-Yo 3 months ago. It's taken me this long to want to write about it.  The pain is still as intense as the day he died.
  A few weeks before Thanksgiving I noticed that Yo-Yo seemed a little tired but I didn't think much of it. I also noticed a tiny bump underneath a skin fold on his neck which ultimately proved to be a highly malignant, subcutaneous mast cell tumor, but I was still not alarmed. I brought him to his Vet the following Sunday after Thanksgiving, By that time, he did not have his usual enthusiastic appetite. I was getting very concerned. However, the Vet thought he merely had a digestive problem. The Vet even felt his neck quickly and didn't express any concern. I should have asked the Vet to pursue it further, but I was in denial thinking it could have been a swollen gland. To make a long story short, I rushed Yo-Yo back to the Vet a couple of days later because the lump was much larger and he was having difficulty breathing. I was still clinging to the false belief that he just had a serious infection. By this time, the Vet was very concerned. He aspirated the lump, but he did not tell me what he found. Mast cells are very easy to see on a quick examination, so in hindsight I thought this was very cowardly on his part not to mention his suspicions. Instead, he told me to take Yo-Yo to Tufts small animal hospital nearby, which I did. They put him in a special oxygenated chamber to help his breathing. By this time, I was suspecting cancer but I was still hoping that it might be a treatable infection. No one there at tufts wanted to give me any off the cuff diagnoses until they had definitive test results.I stayed in the ICU with my poor terrified Yo-Yo for several hours. His nose was pressed against the glass. We maintained eye contact the whole time and all I could do for him was to say I love you, I love you. I finally left him, satisfied that his condition was stabilized. As I was driving home, the attending Vet called me on my cell phone to tell me Yo-Yo had passed away from respiratory arrest I was barely able to drive back to say my last goodbyes and kiss him one last time.
 It took a full 2 weeks after Yo-Yo died for me to find out the cause. Neither my own Vet nor the attending Vet at Tufts had bothered to call me. Fortunately, I had ordered an autopsy ( they are careful to call it a necropsy- because animals are less than humans?), and thus I found out that he had mast cell cancer that had metastasized throughout all his major organs. A concerned liaison person at Tufts finally got the attending Vet to speak with me directly. I received a lot of support from family, friends, and even strangers. I really believe that most people think the bond between our animal partners are as strong as the bond we have with our human loved ones.This makes it inexcusable the lack of communication I had with the veterinarians that took care of my dog Yo-Yo. It's tough to deal with the emotions of pet owners, but it's a big part of the job. I have a another dog and she is now under the care of a new veterinarian who takes an integrative, holistic approach to treatment.
 In parting, I wanted to express publicly to Yo-Yo that you were my beloved heart dog. You were a bold, can-do spirit, one of the few pugs that enjoyed agility with a couple of titles and many successes.We were a great team. You were by my side in everything that I did. We will meet on the other side. I love you.


Carolyn J Jordan
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gizmomybaby
Babayo am actually nearly crying here at your story , the bit where yo-yo was in the oxygen chamber and you sat so close to him is heartbreaking , Iam deeply sorry for your loss ofbyour baby and I think you where let down a bit , I understand your story I was attending the vet for 3 months with my son and it was all different story's to one night he took ill went back the next day to be told hes been checked for this and that they where 99% sure it was a nasel tumour sign a form for a scan and bring him up tomorrow weel put him to sleep , as if my son was a pound of mince I collapsed grabbing on to the walls . To cut the story short I fought back went to a holistic vet put my boy on CANABIS OIL with all alternative food and medicine he went on for 25 months which sadly came to an end last August 7 month ago . I will never fully heal . Plz know am thinking of you and your courage to come on here and share your story is amazing youc did the right thing , you will meet so many beautiful people on hear that I have met and they have so much compassion and understanding as wee are all on this very hard journey. I think yo-yo was very lucky to have you , plz take care sending love and hugs Annemarie candy gizmo xxx
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Babayo
Hi Annemarie (gizmomybaby),
 
 Thank-you for your kind words. I can't believe that vet was so callous and cruel to want you to put your baby down right away. I'm glad you had the presence of mind to immediately take him to a holistic vet. I have another pug 14+ years with age related health issues. She's on CBD oil now too. It's amazing stuff. I'm sure your boy did so well (25 months is amazing) because you cared enough to seek out alternatives. People like you lift my spirits. -Carolyn
Carolyn J Jordan
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catiebee
Carolyn, I'm so sorry for your loss and for how poorly you were treated by these vets! They really added insult to injury. I'm sorry, too, for how deep and wide the grief still is. 

By the way, Yo-Yo is a terrific name.

I hope that writing here will help you much. People here are very sensitive and caring and we well understand how heartbroken you are. I wish the pain didn't last so long and was easier to heal from.

Take care of you--and hugs to you!




Catie
-Missing Marissa deeply
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Purzel
Carolyn,
I am very sorry to read about your tragic loss of your sweet Yo-Yo. You were poorely treated by your vets and I am glad to read that you found a vet now you can trust. Even tho it took my vets (5 of them in a very modern clinic) more than a year to agree that I, yes I, detected a cancer in Max which was then successfully removed, I still believe that it is not easy to be a vet and I know that Mast-cell-tumors are not easy to be detected unless you do a thin-needle biopsy on those tumors. They are very tricky. To find the right diagnosis is not always easy and very often the right diagnosis is found when it is too late to save the patient. I listened very carefully to many people here in my area who have lost their beloved fur babies and most of the times the diagnosis simply came too late. The tragic truth about all this is that our fur babies cant talk about what is bothering them and very well -as this is their natural being- hide their discomforts.

It is so tragic the way you had to see your beloved one press his nose against the glass and losing him when you did have hope that he might survive is heartbreaking - my heart goes out to you.

Carolyn, it will surely take some time for you to overcome all the things you had to experience during Yo-Yo's final days but know that you have done everything possible to save him from any suffering.

Silvia (with Max forever in my heart)

[hundi]


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RileysMom
Carolyn,

Oh my, does my heart go out to you!! I read “mast cell tumors” and felt an immediate, impending doom. My own little girl passed away very quickly from mast cell tumors too. She was diagnosed at the beginning of November, and though we didn’t know it at the time, also had them internally. As far as I am concerned, they are the devil incarnate. I hate them with every fiber of my being. I am so sorry for your loss and all you’ve been through.

I’ve also struggled with vets in my area, and feel for you on that front too. I REALLY want to have a holistic, integrative vet in my area as it matches more of my philosophy, but there are none yet so far. Glad you have found one though! I think that can make a huge difference in the level of care.

I wish I could say something more comforting on the vet issue, or say something to help with understanding, but I cannot. I’ve had too many negative experiences myself, and I don’t feel the fault lies with me, as it can with some very “pushy” or unreasonable pet parents. I think there are those that do care and try, but that they are becoming few and far between. Maybe they chose the profession because of a love of animals, but that doesn’t always mean they provide the best of care or are as knowledgeable as we need them to be. It’s one thing to love your own pets or to believe in the concept of caring for animals, the reality of caring for many other people’s animals is quite different, I think. Unfortunately, we live in a world that is dominated by prescription medicines instead of the art of diagnosis and prevention. Maybe one day we’ll find a balance...

It’s funny... when I saw my dog’s bump, I researched and correctly identified it as a mast cell tumor. It just matched everything they describe about them, and looked like the pictures of them. The vet I took her to had no idea what it was, didn’t think a fine needle aspirate was necessary, and was completely surprised after surgery when the biopsy came back as an MCT. He is not a new vet, he’s been in business since the 80’s, so you’d think he would know. It kind of confused me too, especially because everything online says how easy they are to identify with a needle biopsy, the cells are supposed to be very unique in appearance. (Though I don’t necessarily hold this against him, he actually seemed to care about my dog and even consulted with an oncologist when he knew what it was. That’s more than what my previous vet was willing to do.)

But the only comfort I can give you on that end, is it sounds like by the time Yo-Yo’s symptoms manifested themselves and became known, it was already too late. A correct diagnosis would have done nothing for his life at that point. I don’t think that is necessarily very soothing, but it seems to be the case. At least there is that, for as much as it is worth.

I am sorry for the hurt and pain. Please talk here as much as you need to, and we will listen with understanding. So many hugs to you!!
Val
—Loving Riley, Rosy & Axl always 🐾

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Babayo
Hi all,
Yes, mast cell cancer in some ways is the most horrible of the cancers because it can mimic so many other benign lesions. What makes my situation so horrible is that my older female pug (now almost 15yrs.) at age 8 had 2 mast cell tumors, one under her eye and another on her shoulder. She was treated at a marvelous veterinary oncology clinic. It was a long process of surgery, radiation and immune system support that brought her through successfully. I did look for suspicious bumps on Yo -Yo , but my focus was looking for those little pink bumps on the skin. His cancer started from a deep subcutaneous tumor on his neck which spread to a nearby lymph node. He did not have a chance by the time he got to the hospital, so in the end I’m grateful that he died quickly on his own.
Polly, my older pug, may well die from mast cell cancer, but at this point each day is a gift. I guess the lesson here is mast cell cancer is a trickster. You can go through it once, but it can happen again in a completely different way.
Carolyn J Jordan
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Purzel
Carolyn,
I hope you are feeling a little better today.

Yes, you are right mast cell cancer is horrible and one cannot predict anything about them and they are one of the most common cancer in dogs which is terrible. You do have Polly and she is an older dog now - so you can cherish every day with her. You will never know, she might be around for quite some time and she might need some extra hugs now that Yo-Yo is gone. 

I wish you comfort and have you know that you are in my thoughts
Silvia (with Max forever in my heart)

[hundi]


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RileysMom
Carolyn,

I would say that is very true with MCTs. Everything I read online about them sounded so much more positive, with dogs lasting at least over a year from diagnosis. But in my case, and now yours, we see that definitely is not true for all. I am very sorry for your loss and hope for some comfort to come to you today...
Val
—Loving Riley, Rosy & Axl always 🐾

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