So… our collie has Cancer.

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  • So… our collie has Cancer.
  • Premier Icon rickon

    Hi Chaps,

    Our 10 year old Border Collie has been diagnosed with skin cancer, we’re in the process of referral now.

    She’s incredibly fit, and anyone who learns how old she is is very surprised as she looks about 5 at most.

    It’s a real crushing blow to my missus, as she’s her best friend – we spend so much time together, she’s done grade 1 scrambles, been up winter gullies, been climbing, run at trail centers, been up every mountain in North Wales, many in the Lakes, and some in Scotland.

    She’s had an amazing life, I just don’t want it to end just yet.

    Has anyone else been through the same, and come out the other side OK?




    fingers crossed and hoping it’s not as hard to treat as internal cancers.

    Excuse me as I now need to give the spaniel a cuddle and remind her how special she is….(I am dreading her getting old)


    Sorry to hear that—always a big blow to have that kind of news about a dog. Veterinary treatment of dog cancers has come a long way, so hopefully they can interdict with good outcome.
    Hoping for the best for her

    Premier Icon footflaps

    White cats get skin cancer quite easily on their ears / noses and they seem to survive quite well after surgery – they just cut out the cancerous bits….

    Really sorry about your dog, I wish you both all the best for her treatment.

    Sorry to hear about that Rickon,

    We went through the same with our Scottie 2 years ago.We unfortunately had a gobshite vet for the first few consultancies who insisted the blood in his urine was down to obesity and put him on a diet.No weight loss after 3 months so we insisted on a new vet who diagnosed cancer in the first 5 minutes.After the tests we were then given medication for the dog and told he would have 12 weeks maximum.He couldn’t even get out of his basket after 2 days of his tablets so we decided to let nature take it’s course and gave him his favourite food for meals – pork sausage,chicken fillets and white fish – the little bugger ate better than me and had the best 10 months of his life.
    The hardest decision I ever had to make was deciding one weekend that enough was enough,I’m a fairly big lump but it’s making me fill up now thinking about it.
    Good luck and all the best

    Premier Icon rickmeister

    Footflaps, thanks for the heads up, we have a 95% white cat who is just getting over a scabby nose…

    Rickon, its a tough one but I hope your vet gives good advice and treatment and it works out for the best..

    I have gone through some poor experiences with vets who could have cured things but failed to diagnose properly or act quickly. What I would suggest is getting your collie referred to the nearest Veterinary College if your vet is at all slow or lacking in proactive attitude. On the plus side, I know of several cats and dogs that have survived cancer surgery and have been fine and dandy for many years after. Animal treatment, like human treatment has progressed lots in recent years.

    If you need to refer to a veterinary school, your vet should be able to do that for you, though some are very reluctant as they see it as loosing money for themselves.

    Re the effectiveness of going to a Vet School – my cat was booked in to be put down at the local vets as they said its illness was untreatable long term and he would die soon. My cat was lying about, no interest in life, clearly distressed, loosing huge amounts of weight. We found out about Langford Veterinary Small Animal Hospital, a part of Bristol University by ourselves – not suggested by our vet.

    We were very lucky, our vet agreed to phone them and refer us. Our cat was with the hospital by the same afternoon of the first enquiry.

    They had him for a about 4 or 5 days days and diagnosed pododematitis combined with a stomach problem and when we picked him up, you could not tell he was even ill – only 1 week from when he would have been killed. He was still thin, but jumping up on things and trotting about.

    He is still on medication every day and would get very sick without it, but there is hope he will recover fully long term as he has a health issue that does resolve but takes ages. Ironically it is not all that rare in cats and although the local vets knew about it, they did not bother to investigate recent treatments for it.

    Over 1 year on from nearly being killed he is still happy and normal in himself, no longer in pain, no longer slowly starving to death and to all intents and purposes seems normal in every way when observed.

    Since then we have referred to Langford for a couple of issues for another cat. While we were last there, they were operating on a dog who had a tumour on the brain and they were accessing it through the roof of the dogs mouth. Last I heard they fixed the dog and it was doing fine.

    If your vet is not doing well, refer to the veterinary schools as soon as you can. Its expensive if you have to pay for it yourself and dont have insurance, but ours gave a quote before any investigations were done so we knew what choices we had.

    No experience here but all the beat to your doggie and family from myself and George the springer spaniel.

    Premier Icon rickon

    Thanks everyone, our vets are very good. I’ve had her referred to a cancer specialist in Glasgow. She’s insured, and I’ve worked hard this year so my bonus will go all on her if she needs it.

    The problem is the tumour is on her bottom, so its not easy to remove without making her incontinent. I’ve looked at research and there are lots of other options for treatment, but I will fall back to whatever the cancer specialist recommend.

    I’m starting a dog training school next year, and the thing that started it was 8 years ago meeting our first collie. She taught me a lot, i just hope I can teach her more.

    Big Dave

    My cocker spaniel Freddie was diagnosed with cancer of the anal glands back in early 2011. After a successful operation to remove the tumour and affected gland the vet suggested seeing a specialist. I wasn’t impressed by the severity of the treatment they were suggesting nor the astonishing cost. I found the specialists were very aggressive in trying to sell their services so I did my own research into the particular form of cancer. Having already lost a spaniel to the same form of cancer many years ago I knew that it was pot luck as to whether the treatment would work and my online research backed up my gut instinct. I decided he was better off having a happy life and not being subjected to further medical treatments and major operations, especially as it is a form of cancer that always comes back and is ultimately fatal.

    Fast forward to today and the tough little bugger is still with us and living the live of a spoilt rotten dog. He’s over ten years old now and whilst I keep an eye on his health he has so far beaten the averages in terms of life expectancy for the form of cancer he has. I know it will come back but I’m happy to have not gone down the treatment route, it would have traumatised him too much and ruined his quality of life. Every day with him is a gift and I’m sure he is happy to not spend anymore time than is necessary in the vets and as much time as possible on the beach. Or asleep. Or eating. Or attacking the post…


    We lost a lovely collie mongrel thing to lymphoma at age seven. Fingers and stuff crossed for you.


    All you can do is hope for the best, I guess.

    We lost a dog to lymphoma. He went through about 8 months of chemo having been told he’d have 6 months to live. For two or three days every 3 weeks he’d be really sick, off his food, no energy, but the rest of the time he seemed kinda OK – doing whatever he’d normally do. Part of me even thought he would fight through it as the swelling in his glands disappeared. Then he got sicker. And it takes hold pretty quick. He had some rough days, for sure, but dying isn’t fun. And I think the good days outweighed the bad by a long way.

    Premier Icon jamj1974

    Fingers crossed for you Rickon.


    We had a collie with skin cancer. Lived for another 5 year after treatment. All my thoughts.

    Premier Icon woody21

    Fingers crossed, our Yorkie was diagnosed with kidney cancer, he was given 6 months. Like Sausagefingers our dog ate better than me and we had a further three wonderful years with him. Stay positive

    Premier Icon footflaps

    Footflaps, thanks for the heads up, we have a 95% white cat who is just getting over a scabby nose…

    Worth getting him checked out. If he likes sun bathing then you really should put sun cream on his ears and nose.


    She’s had an amazing life

    Good on you, so many animals don’t.

    Premier Icon rickon

    Thanks. Both our collies had wonderful lives, I’ve taught mine so many tricks, given demonstrations at shows, done agility, taught him to properly swim, taught him the names of lots of different toys and rooms.

    I’ve got one tired collie (which is hard to achieve) lying between me and the missus, on his back, tapping me with his paw, asking for cuddles.

    If I had the time and money I’d start a Border Collie sanctuary for all those collies who are unloved and unwanted.


    I feel your pain , our 11 ish yr old collie cross had a front leg removed due to bone cancer at the beginning of the year and we were told at the time that there is a high risk of it spreading. He’s coped brilliantly since the op but recently developed a cough so took him for x-rays last week. Unfortunately the cancer has spread to his chest and they think he will be lucky to see Christmas :-(.
    He’s been a fantastic dog and he’s going to get spoiled rotten for as long as he seems happy but I know I have a hard decision to make soon. Medication is doing the trick at the moment , he’s bright and energetic so just going to take each day as it comes.


    Really sorry to hear this. Hope everything works out for the best.

    Just given my Labrador a load of fuss. Makes you realise/remember how fragile these animals can be. 🙁


    Makes you realise/remember how fragile these animals can be

    My parent’s 14 year old black lab has just had a major stroke. She is one of the most gorgeous dogs I have ever known.

    They always break your heart, in the end. 😥

    So sorry to hear this and hope the treatment is successful. I believe it can be, especially if spotted early. I am dreading my baby getting old 🙁


    Give Pip a smooth from us 😥

    Premier Icon rickon

    Been to see the Cancer specialist today, without treatment she has a few months left.

    The treatment is either removing part of her bowel and anus, which has a high risk of her becoming incontinent from that end. And given how upset she gets when she’s pee’d herself I wouldn’t want to put her through that.

    The other options are Radiation or Chemo, which we’re exploring as a palliative therapy, which my extend her life, but would hopefully give her less discomfort and enjoy her time more.

    Rubbish day really, she’s an incredible dog, will really miss her.

    Sorry to hear of another going through this Rick.

    We are waiting on our options for a brain tumour with our hound at the moment, but unless the Vets convince us otherwise, I don’t think we will be putting him through any Radio, or Chemo. The stress of being apart from us would be more than we’d want to put him through on it’s own 🙁

    Premier Icon rickon

    I discussed Radio and Chemo at length with our vet, although not an oncologist, he has a very good understanding of the processes for Radio and Chemo.

    The side-effects are no where near what humans experience, typically we’d go for a long period and every day for a high dose of radio, which makes you incredibly weak and ill. Whereas with dogs its a much less aggressive procedure.

    I wouldn’t rule it out, but i’d be aware that it requires the dog to be under a general each time you have radio.

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