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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


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nl flag Naar NEDERLANDSE website
contact Contact me


Malignant Histiocytosis

Golden Retriever
Born in 1995 / died in 2005


Story told by Nancy Bocian

Because I was so close to my Golden, Webster, I always worried about the time I'd lose him.  I had spent a long two years without a dog before I got him; and he was my cheerful sidekick who wanted nothing more than to be with me, though he tolerated my absences patiently.  He loved to suck on his soft toys, chase squirrels, and get his tummy scratched. When he was a puppy, I brought him to school with me a number of times; and my third grade students would sit quietly in a circle waiting to get a chance to pet him. Last year I got to teach many of these students as high school seniors. The first thing they said when they saw me, was "How's Webbie? Can you bring him to visit?"
Webster's greatest joy was to be with people. When the doorbell rang, he'd race around wildly trying to find a toy to bring to the visitor whether it was my daughter or the Fed Ex man. Webster's second greatest joy was to hike with my daughter and me. He'd run around us and ahead of us yelping with delight, I think for the sheer pleasure of our company and the chance to smell some new scents.  On November 9, 2005 he was as bouncy and chipper as ever. On December 1st, I had to release him from his suffering. Here are my journal entries that recount his terrible descent.
Friday, November 11
- Webster didn't want to eat his breakfast today.  I put some of his favorite organic powder with garlic on it and he gobbled it up.
websterSunday, November 13- I think I need to buy some dog food to add to Webbie's kibble. He simply isn't interested in it.  Did he get spoiled when he was at Carrie's house? (Carrie's my daughter who had kept him for a few days at the beginning of November.)
Tuesday, November 15- I think I need to take Web to the vet. Something is definitely not right. His appetite is off though he'll eat most new things; but he's drinking more water and panting more.
Wednesday, November 16- I couldn't get an appointment with LuAnn ( my vet) as it's her day off. I decided to go anyway; so blood work could be done.  A vet I've never met examined Webbie. She checked his lymph glands, his tummy, his gums... pretty much everything and found nothing.  But she drew blood. The results should be back tomorrow.
Friday, November 18- LuAnn called last night. She said that there were no tests results that were way off; but taken together seemed a bit "suspicious." When I asked her to elaborate, she was a bit evasive, but then said she was concerned that something was wrong with his liver.  I think she's right. He doesn't want to eat unless I really tempt him. I pray he doesn't have cancer.  I started crying hysterically last night. I love him beyond measure.  He was supposed to go for a liver function test today; but he threw up during the night and I didn't know whether he had eaten any of the food back; and he has to go without eating for 12 hours. Tonight I will sleep close to him on the bed. And hopefully, I'll be able to wake up if he gets up to throw up.
Saturday, November 19- Webbie had his liver function test today.  He had to have blood drawn and then eat and two hours later have blood drawn again.  It was an effort to get him to eat enough. I fed him on the floor of the examining room coaxing him to eat the ID food they put in a bowl.  I scheduled an ultra-sound for Tuesday in case this test comes back positive. I can always cancel it. I want to know what he has and treat it as soon as possible.
Sunday, November 20-  Carrie stopped in. As always Webster was delighted to see her. I fed him boiled chicken and rice and he devoured it! I'm so glad there's something he likes. He's eaten three meals of it today so far.
Monday, November 21- The results of the test were negative!! And Webster has been enjoying his meals a little more, I think. LuAnn felt I needed to go ahead with the ultra sound because we still don't know what's wrong with him.
Wednesday, November 23- I found I found out yesterday that my beautiful baby boy, my Webbie, has cancer all over his stomach, lymph glands and liver.  LuAnn thinks it's lymphosarcoma; but they did a biopsy to see for sure what kind of cancer it is.  I'm so sad. I wept. I can't take it in.  I love him so much. He's been by my side almost since I moved into this house.  I loved sitting with him on the steps watching the bluebirds feed their babies.  Not long ago he was lying on the swing rocking  back and forth with me. So sweet. So present. Asking nothing. We did have this whole summer and fall together without my going to work. And that's been really nice. But I had planned on years with him once I retired.  If he has lymphosarcoma, chemo might buy him nine months. I don't want him to suffer with the chemo though.
Thursday, November 24 - Thanksgiving morning. Webster's last Thanksgiving.  He had such a good day yesterday. He ate most of his meals and some low fat cheese and some crackers. Isabel came and he raced around crying with delight, plucked his rabbit  out of his toy basket and sucked on it.  I hope I don't forget all his sweet endearing little habits. 
We slept together last night in the guest room. He's up and down though.  And I find myself waking up to make sure he's okay. And he's more than quiet this morning. Won't eat any breakfast. Barely was interested in the bits and pieces of my toast.
It snowed last night and he was out a long time in it. I wonder, is this his last snow? LuAnn had left a message saying that maybe this wasn't the kind of cancer that responded to chemo; so we would cross that bridge when we came to it.  No matter what, I want to know the progress of the disease. How will he die? Will he starve to death? I don't want that. 
websterFriday, November 25 -  LuAnn called about an hour ago.  Webster has a form of cancer that is very, very aggressive.  It's called malignant histiocytosis.  From what she implied he may not even have two weeks.  She's going to be gone for two weeks.  And she made it sound like he'd be gone before she came back.  She said he'd just seem to enjoy life less and less, that he'd feel like he had the worst case of the flu imaginable.  I guess that's better than extreme pain. But,  I'm numb. It can't be possible. He had a great time yesterday.  He sucked on his toys.  He ate turkey, got wicked diarrhea; but seemed to get over it quickly, wanted to be patted.
But right now he's just lying up here. He's very quiet. He didn't even want to get scratched when I lay down beside him.   He lifts his head to watch me wherever I go.  I have to tell him to stay still. Why waste his energy on the stairs. I guess I have to think about moving downstairs soon just to save him the effort of climbing up and down to follow me.  My computer can come with me.  I try to imagine wandering around the house without him.  He's been in every corner of my life.  Soft and sweet. Wanting nothing but a pat and a squirrel to chase.  I have to go over to the vet's and pick up some prednisone for him.
Sunday, November 27 -  Yesterday was a better day for Webster.  I had given him a whole prednisone on Friday night. He peed all over the hallway.  So yesterday I gave him halves and got up in the night to make sure I let him out.  He ate more and seemed to feel more chipper. I watched him sucking on his toy, or playing a weak game of tug of war with me, and  found it hard to imagine him gone. 
I wrote to a woman who has a web site about this disease. She's a Bernese Mountain Dog breeder. Very lovely.  Couldn't have been nicer. She wrote me two sweet letters. She felt he'd go downhill very quickly. That the cancer would spread to his lungs.  I also spoke to his breeder last night. She was very sweet too. I emailed her pictures of Webbie. 
Today he's much quieter. He's eaten very little. I'm going off to the store in a minute to get him some gravy and carrots and whatever else I can find to tempt him. I know it doesn't matter ultimately. I just want him to get some pleasure. 
I can't seem to concentrate on much. I fiddle on the computer editing the few pictures I have of him.  I touch him. But I have no desire to do anything.  I try to imagine the house without him lying at the foot of the staircase.  It all feels too far away to touch; but I know it's right behind me and catching up to me faster than he and I can run.  I can feel my arms aching already. 
Night- Webbie is quieter than ever.  He's slipping, I can tell.  He still wants to eat, at least special things.  But he hasn't played with his toys.  He doesn't get up. He doesn't go upstairs.  He goes out and pees.  He did bark today a few times and made the rounds of the yard stopping to sniff in his usual haunts.  But tonight I noticed how bony his face looks.  How wicked. How fast.  I can't take it in.  He's only about ten feet away from me. And even though I can't see him, as I'm at the kitchen table and he's by the front door, I know he's here; and that's a comfort.  Tomorrow night or the next or the one after that he won't be. I've made the room up down here; so I can let him out to pee and he doesn't have to navigate the stairs.  How can I be without him?
Monday, November 28 -   Webbie actually had a fairly good day. I think he ate pretty well this morning, crackers and apple pie, turkey too.  Then as I started to go to the vet to pick up his pills, he got excited. I asked him if he wanted to take a car ride; and he went to the  door with his tail wagging.  So off we went in the wagon! When we got there, he cried to get out.  He took his leash and he carried it in his mouth and trotted off to walk himself in! Janine, the woman I had been talking to this morning,  smiled. "I didn't expect to see you today." She said to him.  She had a dog with terminal cancer not too long ago.  Anyway, she told him how nice it was to see him when we left.  He wagged his tail and raced to the car.  Orna (my friend)  came up later and he was so happy to see her!! He sucked on his bunny and seemed to relish all the attention.  He ate too.  Now he's very, very quiet. Not really much eating.
Tuesday, November 29 - 5:09 AM  Webster is quieter than ever. His body looks huge, distended next to his head.  He went out a bit ago and barked. But I can see him sinking fast.  I need to make sure the traveling vet is available.  What if it's too late for her to come and it's tonight?
I just sat on the floor with him and scratched his head lightly.  He seemed to like that.  Before that I lay there near him.  Mostly, I think he wants to be alone.... that's how crappy he feels. LuAnn was pretty smart knowing that he wouldn't be around when she got back.  My heart is shattering.
webster10:30 AM-   Well, Webbie sort of rallied.  Went out barked at things, wagged his tail, licked some ice cream.. then took his bunny and went upstairs the way we always do in the morning.  He didn't stay there long; but so what.
Wednesday, November 30 -  Cory came to visit yesterday.  Webbie was so glad to see her  He squeaked his toy, went outside and barked.  But as the night wore on, he slowed down considerably.  He threw up once. Stuff from a couple of days ago.  He had diarrhea. His breathing was labored, or so it seemed.  Around midnight I lay on the floor next to him. He wanted me there petting him.  We lay like that for around two hours. He even licked me a few times.  But he's slipping.  He isn't eating at all and his gums are pale. 
Later-  I was all set to put him down (yucky phrase). But when the vet got here, he rallied. She said he could last the weekend.  Carrie came to see him.  He loves her so much. I'm so glad she got to spend some time with him. He brought her a toy; but then he could barely hold himself up to sit.  His feet kept slipping out from under him.
I was thinking about what the vet said. I don't want him to just "last." He has to enjoy some piece of his life.  He hasn't eaten since mid-day Tuesday. And he only had a little bit of water this morning.
Thursday, December 1
- My beautiful, beautiful, incredible Webster left this world at around 11:30 this morning.  I just picked up his toys  from outside.  My soul feels as if it has a hole in it. 
I thought I had been watching him all night; but when I got up, I saw that he had thrown up something that looked like dark blood.  He lay with his head between his paws. His eyes were almost luminescent as they stared sadly at me. I offered him food and water; but he turned his head away. He struggled and got up; but he couldn't really walk on the wood floors.  Finally, he went out and lay down in the grass.  He looked all around as if he knew he was taking in the sights for the last time.  He lay there for quite a while as if gathering his strength to get up again.  I was afraid I'd hurt him if I tried to help him. But with a lot of effort he came inside and lay down again watching me carefully; but he didn't seem to want me to pet him though I tried.  I had called the vet while he was outside. When she arrived, he barely made a move to get up. We patted him. I lay on the floor behind him and curled my body around him, burying my face in his head the way I've done his whole life. He lay still; and I whispered to him how much he was loved and thanked him for being with me all these years. I tried not to cry. I didn't want him to be upset. But my nose, dripped, dripped on him. Then the vet gave him a light anesthetic, and he drifted off before she inserted the other needle. His fur still sparkled with gold even after he was gone.
I've loved all my dogs. But Webster was my soul mate.  He was a better person than I am... than most people are. He brought extraordinary pleasure to me and everyone who was lucky enough to pat him. I hope he is chasing squirrels and barking right now.


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.