Story told by Nancy C.
Our dog Gus, a 6 year old Chocolate Lab was born March 2001, died Feb 2008 of Systemic Histiocytosis. He was a wonderful dog who accompanied my husband everywhere, from riding in the truck to going aboard his lobsterfishing boat.
In November 2007 he came down with a bad cough, we took him to the vet and they found an enlarged lymph node by his lung. They sent him home with an antibiotic, he responded well to it but the cough never went away completely. Then at the end of December 2007 a growth appeared on one of his eyelids. After much testing he was diagnosed with the systemic histiocytosis. I had never heard of it before. This was only the second case that my vet had seen and the first dog didn't have a good outcome.
The growth continued to grow and didn't respond to any of the medications given. The other eye started to grow tumors and then he lost his eyesight. One early morning in February 2008 he had a seizure, we couldn't bear the thought of watching him go through another one so we made the decision to end his life. The vet thought the cancer had gone into his brain. It was hard taking him for that final vet visit, my heart was breaking. My husband couldn't do it. I sat with him with his head in my lap, it was very peaceful and didn't take long.
This happened in the winter with 2 feet of snow, so we had him cremated. If this had happened when the ground wasn't frozen I think I would have had the vet come to our house to do it and then do a natural burial out back of our house. It has only been a week and half since he's been gone and it still doesn't seem real, everything happened so fast. He was such a joy to us.