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I am looking for similarities
in all individual cases of
Histiocytic diseases.
I wonder if we all tell our
stories we might come up
with some commonality
between the specific
situations in which all of
our pets got this disease.
So please email me the
details and I'll put your
pets story on Shelley's
Histio Website


Ik ben op zoek naar
overeenkomsten in alle
individuele gevallen van
Ik hoop dat wanneer wij
onze Histio verhalen
vertellen, wij overeen-
komsten ontdekken over
de manier waarop onze
huisdieren deze ziekte
hebben opgelopen.
Stuur mij de details en
ik zal het verhaal van uw
huisdier op de Histio
website van Shelley zetten.

flag usa WARNING !

These stories are all
different. Individual
symptoms, situations
and circumstances
may vary and response to
therapy is not always the
- Disclaimer -


Deze verhalen zijn allemaal
verschillend. Individuele
symptomen, situaties en
omstandigheden kunnen
verschillen en de reactie
op therapie is niet altijd
- Disclaimer -

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German - Hund
Maligner Histiozytose
French - Chien
l'Histiocytose Maligne
Italian - Canis
Maligni Histiocytosis
Spanish - Perros
Histiocitosis Maligna
Dutch - Hond
Maligne Histiocytose


usa flag To ENGLISH website
nl flag Naar NEDERLANDSE website
contact Contact me


Histiocytic Sarcoma

Mixed breed
July 30, 1999 - February 13, 2011


I remember the day I first saw her in the outside kennels from Lifeline Puppy rescue in Brighton Coloradothey had at the rescue.  She was so tiny they put us in a kennel of our own to get acquainted and she ran around and seemed so happy.  I paid for her and took her home on the spot.  We had some rough times as a puppy she chewed up a few rugs and other things but mellowed out as she got older.  The other neighbors would bring over their dogs to play with Gilda she was quite the socialite in our old neighborhood.  She liked to sit on her picnic table in the front yard and the UPS driver would stop just to give her treats… she would hear his truck coming and if she was in the house would bark until I would let her out to see him.  She loved to go for walks and at our first house we went every day after I got home from work.  gildaWhen my company moved to the suburbs I sold my house in Denver and moved to Aurora.  I picked out the house with Gilda in mind it had to have a big fenced in back yard lots of room for her to run and not near any major streets in case she got out of the yard somehow.  Right after we moved I got Gilda a dog of her own, Daisy.  Daisy and Gilda were best buddies for 6 years until out of nowhere the cancer came and took our Gilda from us.
I have always been overly cautious when it came to using chemicals on my lawn or in my home.  I follow all the instructions and keep the animals away until it is safe.  I have been wracking my brain trying to find out how she got the cancer.  I am so worried Daisy or the cats will get it.  Daisy has seizures as it is they started a year ago. Was I concentrating so much on her illness I didn’t see Gilda was ill also ? Do I have radon gas or was my house built on a land fill ?  I lost a cat to an unknown neurological disorder 2 years ago (same house) I came home one day and he was lying at the bottom of the stairs one pupil blown I rushed him to the vet they couldn’t figure it out and we had to put him down.  So now I have 3 unexplained health issues with my animals and I can’t figure it out.
Gilda and Daisy have both been on diets they were both on Hill’s RD so when Gilda started losing weight I was not concerned at first.  Then the diarrhea started.  I took in a stool specimen and it was negative.  Then I noticed she wasn’t eating much.  I took her in to the Vet and they noticed the pale gums immediately and I was amazed at her weight loss 20 lbs.  how could I not notice she was so thin ?  She was furry and it was winter but why didn’t I notice it sooner ?  Then the vet felt her stomach and said she thinks she feels a mass.  They did bunches of lab work Gilda was anemic and I went back the next day for the ultrasound that confirmed her spleen was quite enlarged with tumors inside it.  They said she had a 50-50 chance that it was cancer.  Given those odds I knew I had to give her the chance I would never be able to live with myself if I hadn’t .  They did the surgery that day. I remember the doctor asking if I would be available by phone in case they opened her up and they found numerous tumors.  I paced the floor and watched the clock that day dreading the phone call that might come.  The phone call didn’t come until the surgery was over.  She had done well and they removed her spleen which weighed 5 lbs. (click here for graphic spleen photo) It had not ruptured (if it had she would have gildabled to death) they could not see that the tumor had metastasized to any other organs, they biopsied the liver, the chest x-ray was clear no sign of tumors in the lungs or heart and now we had to wait for the pathology results. Sounded promising right ?  They were expecting the results back in a week it took almost 2 weeks.  They said it took so long because the pathologist wanted more slides made to be sure of the diagnosis.  I took that as good news that they couldn’t tell it was cancer from what they had or they would have reported their findings right away right ? WRONG because HS is a rare cancer and Gilda was not a pure breed she did not fit the criteria for HS.  I thought I was prepared for the phone call when it came but I was not.  My heart hurt.  Gilda on the other hand was doing fantastic, running around the yard with her sister, full of energy and since the splenectomy eating well but she still had the diarrhea.  We battled that up until the day before she died.
When I got the confirmation it was HS (I even got a copy of the pathology report I am in the medical field I needed to see it for myself) I immediately made an appointment to see an Oncologist to hear our options.  I knew there was no cure and from everything I had read on the internet Chemo would only give her a little longer and I was concerned what her quality of life would be during the treatment.  We saw the Oncologist on February 8th 2011 she told me I should have 2 good months with Gilda.  She was wrong Gilda died 5 days later.  Up until 3 days before she died she was doing fantastic no one would guess she had cancer and was dying.  The Oncologist told me my options and I decided on palliative care.  We started Gilda on Prednisone that day.  I had been feeding her a rice and chicken/turkey diet since the day I first realized she was sicgildak with the diarrhea.  I continued that adding vegetables & eggs basically the cancer diet and gave her treats whenever I could sneak her one (the other dog was still on a diet) I hugged her and kissed her every time I walked by her.
Then 2 days after seeing the oncologist I noticed she was having problems going up and down the stairs.  I had a neighbor help me build a ramp into the garage from the kitchen so she could go outside without having to do the stairs but I never could get her to use it coming back into the house only going out.  Then she started to fall down…. her back legs were giving out.  I slept in the living room with her the last 2 nights of her life because she couldn’t climb the stairs and she was too heavy for me to carry.  Her last night alive I remember waking up around 2 and looking over at her on the floor next to me and she was looking at me.  I petted her she did not seem to be in any pain but I still had pain pills left over from the surgery and I gave her one anyway she went right back to sleep.  The morning of her death she could not walk at all.  I could not get her outside it was like the lower half of her body was paralyzed. She pooped on herself and looked at me like she was sorry.  I told her it was okay…. but I knew it was time.  Her quality of life was gone.  But damn it the oncologist said I would have her for 2 more months not 5 days this wasn’t fair I was so angry with God at that moment.  I called the Vet it was a Sunday and I wanted someone to come to my home so she would be in her element and not stressed.  I couldn’t reach anyone only answering machines.   I called my vet back who has an emergency clinic also and they said bring her in.  I called a neighbor to help me get her into the car.  She still did not seem like she was in any pain she never whimpered once.  She was very calm I think she understood what was going on.  She was ready……I was not.
They helped me carry her from the car and put us in a room where they tried to put in an IV but it took numerous tries before they succeeded.  Gilda did not even finch as they poked her over and over.  When they injected the IV with the medication I was holding Gilda in my arms she looked up at me and in her eyes I saw her telling me it was okay.  She laid her head in my lap and took her last breath.
Since then I have tried to come up with what might have caused this cancer.  She liked to lick hand lotion off my legs did that contain something that caused it ? She would stick her head in the shower when I was shaving and try to lick the shaving cream off my legs did that cause it ?  Insecticides ?  Fertilizer ?  Something in her food ? Vaccinations ?  I was a good Mom, I thought that I had taken all the precautions I could have.  Then why do I feel like it is my fault ?  I gave her a great life I said many a time I wish I could come back as my dog in my next life.  She was always happy and never went without.  I know in the end I did everything I possibly could for Gilda and I think she knew it also.  That does not ease the pain in my heart .  Only time will ease that.
Story told by Karen H.


Be sure to seek the advice of your veterinarian about any question you may have
regarding your pet's health and behavior.
No diagnosis can be done without a veterinarian actually seeing and examining the patient.