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Beckham, Hungarian Vizsla
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I am sad to share that our 8 year old Hungarian Vizsla purebred (named "Beckham") was shockingly diagnosed with Stage 3 Cancer this past Saturday--spleen and lungs--and confirmed via ultrasound today (Monday). No real warning signs and now the cancer is too advanced to treat. I am sharing the experience with hope that it will help someone else someday.

Our high-energy, beautiful, loving Beckham has brought us so many wonderful memories over the past 8 years. He is seriously one of the most handsome dogs I have ever seen. (I guess we all think that about our Vs;-) ). The only real signs of aging have been: (a) a few white hairs starting to show on his snout/muzzle; (2) 1-2 small, soft fatty deposits inside the skin on his chest (which we have experienced with other aging dogs); and (3) his belly not quite as svelt as a couple years ago. We have heard a weird hairball like cough over the last month or so but seemingly nothing out of the ordinary. On Thursday, we heard a weird gasp/wheeze and it then went away. On Friday, Beckham seemed to have sporadic labored breathing and was a bit lethargic. On Saturday, I woke up to take him outside to do his business before our walk. He seemed lethargic and then as we walked to the door he collapsed from the back legs and ran into the wall. I had him sit and I petted him as he gathered himself. When we went outside, he seemed unsure about walking down the stairs but did. He did his business outside. I had to help him a bit up the stairs. He loves to walk. So, I was still going to see if he wanted to go on a walk. When I put his leash on him for his walk he seemed tired and his walk/gate seemed a bit off--like he was dizzy or something. About 4 minutes into our walk he stopped . . . and as I gave him some slack, he turned around for home. When we got back home and inside our secure yard, I took off his leash. Rather than bounding up the stairs and heading inside like he typically does, he went to the grass and leaves and laid down. I knew something was wrong. After 5 minutes, he had the energy to walk up the stairs. It was 6:30 am and our Vet was not yet open but I did the online Petriage app with key symptoms of labored breathing, abnormal breathing and gait uncoordinated. The reply was "urgent" and Vet confirmed. When Vet opened, we did emergency drop off for blood work and X-Rays. At this point, while nervous and concerned, I thought it might be an inner ear issue or that he ate something bad.

At noon, the Vet called and said Beckham was enemic (low on blood--possibly from internal bleeding). The Vet said there appeared to be fluid in his belly and it looks like a cancer process had taken over his spleen and moved to the lungs. The Vet expressed concern that the pattern looked like it was advanced and in more than one organ. As such, not treatable. She said she was having a second radiologist review the slides in the afternoon. When she called back, she said the radiologist confirmed the diagnosis. It appeared to be cancer that had started in the spleen and had "metasticized"/spread to the lungs. There was the odd chance it was a rare fungal infection common in the south and midwest (we live in Seattle) but very unlikely. In a bit of a shock, I discussed options with the Vet. One option was to pay to transfer him to another critical care animal hospital to keep him until Monday--when they could do an an ultrasound--to be sure of diagnosis. (That option was not easy as there are limited Vets due to Covid with some animal hospitals closed.) Or, we could put him down right way. Or, if we were not scared to possibly have him die at home, pick him up, see if he makes it to Monday and bring back for the ultrasound. If he continued to go south, the Vet would meet me at the office to put him down. (She left catheter in just in case--gauze and tape over it.) She did not think he was in pain but the internal bleeding had taken a toll on him. I updated my family and we decided to go pick him up, have him home with us, hopefully he'd make it to Monday for ultrasound and we could then, with full information, make other decisions at that time. The Vet sent him home with Yunnan Baivao Capsules to help reduce the internal bleeding.

We had some serious cuddles with Beckham on the couch over the weekend. Saturday he was wiped out. By Sunday, the Yunnan Baivao Capsules seemed to be helping and he had a bit more energy. On Sunday he walked around and was going to the bathroom outside as normal. When I went to the door to head on a walk he actually acted like he wanted to come with me. Instead, I had a sad, lonely walk. Not the same without my dog. Beckham was drinking water but not eating much. Last evening he began to eat more. This morning, more energy still.

I also did lots or reading and research on cancer in dogs and cancer in Vizslas over the weekend. Cancer in dogs is much more common than I had realized. For Vizslas, cancers starting in the spleen are the most common type. Sadly, no real signs of it unless you happen to do an ultrasound. Some types of cancers are also captured in certain bloodwork. We did all the regular Vet visits over the years and no real issues. One online source said tumors can get really large in dogs before you even notice them. Sometimes, like with Beckham, the cancer is aggressive and takes over several organs before you even know they are sick.

Early this morning, I took Beckham to the Vet for the ultrasound. Unfortunately, the ultrasound confirmed the diagnosis: cancer started in the spleen and then spread to his lungs. The cancer is now throughout both organs. The tumors started to burst which was causing the internal bleeding and leaking of fluid to his belly. Shockingly, Beckham this morning was in good spirits. The Vet said she pushed on his stomach and other areas and he does not seem to be in pain. She removed the catheter as that was bugging him. We again discussed options and we decided to bring him home until he either appears to be in pain or dramatically worsens. Dogs with his advanced cancer can last a few days, a few weeks or even a month or two. The resources say as he gets worse, he might stop eating, stop drinking, have extensive diarrhea, lose control of his bodily functions, or have extensive labored breathing. Right now, he almost seems normal but we know that wont last long.

I am not sharing this to scare anyone. I am sharing so that you can learn from what I experienced. Reading posts online this past weekend helped educate me, understand what Beckham was going through and prepare me for what is ahead. Also, I am sharing this so that you appreciate every minute with your beautiful Vizsla!
 

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I’m so sorry to hear about Beckham! Your story matches ours exactly. We lost our beloved girl at age 10 last April to the exact same thing. We had no idea that she was sick. It came on so quickly. Literally one day she was running through the fields and the very next day our lives were turned upside down! We were also sent home with the same Chinese pills to stop the bleeding. Gidget perked up and seemed to be back to her old self for 3 days. I believe that this medication gave us the 4 days that we needed to shower our girl with love until we had to say goodbye. We are still heartbroken and miss her everyday. For months I beat myself up thinking what did I miss..were there any signs that she was ill? But honestly, there were no signs. Gidget had her 10 year check up in January and was pronounced healthy. 3 months later she was gone. Again I am so sorry. I am praying that you have a lot more time to give lots of love to your sweet boy.
 

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What an absolutely lovely looking Vizsla Beckham is. I am feeling your anguish, I would be devastated. Every single moment with him is so precious.
 

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I am very sorry to hear this, and thank you for sharing Beckham`s story. The biggest issue with this breed that they tend to hide feeling unwell till the last minute.
 

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Unfortunately tumors on the spleen are way to common, even in other breeds.
Dogs can live without a spleen, but if it's cancerous, most of the time it's already spread to other organs before they let us know there's a problem. Dogs are just so stoic, when it comes to some health problems.
My sister lost her 12 year old English Setter, in the same way. Lou, Lou was off her food. Acting hungry, but then not wanting to eat. Otherwise she was still very active, and appeared normal. Test revealed she had a large tumor on her spleen. Smaller tumors were found on liver, and kidneys.
They could only take her home, or have her PTS. They chose to spend time with her, before letting her go.

Hugs
Your family is dealing with the hardest part of loving a dog.
 
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I am sad to share that our 8 year old Hungarian Vizsla purebred (named "Beckham") was shockingly diagnosed with Stage 3 Cancer this past Saturday--spleen and lungs--and confirmed via ultrasound today (Monday). No real warning signs and now the cancer is too advanced to treat. I am sharing the experience with hope that it will help someone else someday.

Our high-energy, beautiful, loving Beckham has brought us so many wonderful memories over the past 8 years. He is seriously one of the most handsome dogs I have ever seen. (I guess we all think that about our Vs;-) ). The only real signs of aging have been: (a) a few white hairs starting to show on his snout/muzzle; (2) 1-2 small, soft fatty deposits inside the skin on his chest (which we have experienced with other aging dogs); and (3) his belly not quite as svelt as a couple years ago. We have heard a weird hairball like cough over the last month or so but seemingly nothing out of the ordinary. On Thursday, we heard a weird gasp/wheeze and it then went away. On Friday, Beckham seemed to have sporadic labored breathing and was a bit lethargic. On Saturday, I woke up to take him outside to do his business before our walk. He seemed lethargic and then as we walked to the door he collapsed from the back legs and ran into the wall. I had him sit and I petted him as he gathered himself. When we went outside, he seemed unsure about walking down the stairs but did. He did his business outside. I had to help him a bit up the stairs. He loves to walk. So, I was still going to see if he wanted to go on a walk. When I put his leash on him for his walk he seemed tired and his walk/gate seemed a bit off--like he was dizzy or something. About 4 minutes into our walk he stopped . . . and as I gave him some slack, he turned around for home. When we got back home and inside our secure yard, I took off his leash. Rather than bounding up the stairs and heading inside like he typically does, he went to the grass and leaves and laid down. I knew something was wrong. After 5 minutes, he had the energy to walk up the stairs. It was 6:30 am and our Vet was not yet open but I did the online Petriage app with key symptoms of labored breathing, abnormal breathing and gait uncoordinated. The reply was "urgent" and Vet confirmed. When Vet opened, we did emergency drop off for blood work and X-Rays. At this point, while nervous and concerned, I thought it might be an inner ear issue or that he ate something bad.

At noon, the Vet called and said Beckham was enemic (low on blood--possibly from internal bleeding). The Vet said there appeared to be fluid in his belly and it looks like a cancer process had taken over his spleen and moved to the lungs. The Vet expressed concern that the pattern looked like it was advanced and in more than one organ. As such, not treatable. She said she was having a second radiologist review the slides in the afternoon. When she called back, she said the radiologist confirmed the diagnosis. It appeared to be cancer that had started in the spleen and had "metasticized"/spread to the lungs. There was the odd chance it was a rare fungal infection common in the south and midwest (we live in Seattle) but very unlikely. In a bit of a shock, I discussed options with the Vet. One option was to pay to transfer him to another critical care animal hospital to keep him until Monday--when they could do an an ultrasound--to be sure of diagnosis. (That option was not easy as there are limited Vets due to Covid with some animal hospitals closed.) Or, we could put him down right way. Or, if we were not scared to possibly have him die at home, pick him up, see if he makes it to Monday and bring back for the ultrasound. If he continued to go south, the Vet would meet me at the office to put him down. (She left catheter in just in case--gauze and tape over it.) She did not think he was in pain but the internal bleeding had taken a toll on him. I updated my family and we decided to go pick him up, have him home with us, hopefully he'd make it to Monday for ultrasound and we could then, with full information, make other decisions at that time. The Vet sent him home with Yunnan Baivao Capsules to help reduce the internal bleeding.

We had some serious cuddles with Beckham on the couch over the weekend. Saturday he was wiped out. By Sunday, the Yunnan Baivao Capsules seemed to be helping and he had a bit more energy. On Sunday he walked around and was going to the bathroom outside as normal. When I went to the door to head on a walk he actually acted like he wanted to come with me. Instead, I had a sad, lonely walk. Not the same without my dog. Beckham was drinking water but not eating much. Last evening he began to eat more. This morning, more energy still.

I also did lots or reading and research on cancer in dogs and cancer in Vizslas over the weekend. Cancer in dogs is much more common than I had realized. For Vizslas, cancers starting in the spleen are the most common type. Sadly, no real signs of it unless you happen to do an ultrasound. Some types of cancers are also captured in certain bloodwork. We did all the regular Vet visits over the years and no real issues. One online source said tumors can get really large in dogs before you even notice them. Sometimes, like with Beckham, the cancer is aggressive and takes over several organs before you even know they are sick.

Early this morning, I took Beckham to the Vet for the ultrasound. Unfortunately, the ultrasound confirmed the diagnosis: cancer started in the spleen and then spread to his lungs. The cancer is now throughout both organs. The tumors started to burst which was causing the internal bleeding and leaking of fluid to his belly. Shockingly, Beckham this morning was in good spirits. The Vet said she pushed on his stomach and other areas and he does not seem to be in pain. She removed the catheter as that was bugging him. We again discussed options and we decided to bring him home until he either appears to be in pain or dramatically worsens. Dogs with his advanced cancer can last a few days, a few weeks or even a month or two. The resources say as he gets worse, he might stop eating, stop drinking, have extensive diarrhea, lose control of his bodily functions, or have extensive labored breathing. Right now, he almost seems normal but we know that wont last long.

I am not sharing this to scare anyone. I am sharing so that you can learn from what I experienced. Reading posts online this past weekend helped educate me, understand what Beckham was going through and prepare me for what is ahead. Also, I am sharing this so that you appreciate every minute with your beautiful Vizsla!
I’m choked reading this. Thinking of you and Beckham. Thanks for sharing I will remember as my V grows.
 

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I am so,so sorry. Sending prayers. It’s a heartbreaking to loose them so early. When they should be in their prime. My heart goes out to you.

I lost my 1st V to cancer at 7. No warning. One morning she was incontinent and barely able to stand. I rushed her to the ER vet with no idea what the problem was. They did ER surgery, and said there was a burst tumor. After more tests they determined that she’d need chemo. I just couldn’t bring myself to put her through it. It would have only extended her life by 1-2 months, and she would have been miserable from the treatments. I took her home and gave her all my love. I took time off work to be with her for her last days.
 

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Beckham, Hungarian Vizsla
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Beckham passed away last night, 12 days after his surprise cancer diagnosis. We miss him already.
 

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I am so very sorry for your family's loss.
 
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