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Our Girls Health Information

Maggie is now gone. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in October of 2022 and managed to live until November of 2023. She had three major cysts on her lungs, but because they involved both lungs, removal was not an option. As well we were not sure it was a primary lung cancer or not. By the time she died her lungs had filled up with cysts and she could only breath standing up.  It was very sad, as Maggie had no other major health concerns, and I always thought she would live until 18, not 12. 


Grace has had about everything under the sun.  Especially arthritis in her back legs because of her ACL tears/surgery when younger, a slipped disc in her spine (probably too much jumping after balls), and her front paws, as she has used her front legs so long to compensate for her poor back legs. She developed some liver problems, that were not due to cancer, and we never did pinpoint why that happened. Both Maggie and Grace  developed fatty lumps. Seems the skinnier Grace gets the more her lumps show up.

Abbey, like her mother and sister, also came into her first heat when she was in her second year. She ate some carpet at couple of years ago and had to get most of her gut opened. The vet does not believe this should affect her ability to whelp a healthy litter. Abbey is slightly bigger than Hope, but is still less than 70 lbs.

Hope came into her first heat cycle in June of 2019, at 20 months. She has had no major health issues yet. We say yet as she love to chew, and has eaten toys, shoes, and drug bottles. Who knew Vitamin D was toxic to dogs? We do now. Even as she enters middle age, Hope has not slowed down. If a walk is mentioned she hops around and barks like a Jack Russell Terrier. Hope remains a small girl, although is up to the mid 60 pounds.

Maggie came into her first heat cycle in July of 2012, at 16 months. She had no major health issues during her first five years, except for needing a C-section to deliver her first litter of pups. Her annual check-ups were excellent. Her lung cancer took us by surprise.

Kassey was on the small size at 21" and her weight increased to 65 lb. in old age from a working weight of 55 lb.

Kassey had two lumps in her lifetime. One was a sebaceous cyst, probably from an ingrown hair. It ruptured and healed all on its own. The other lump was a soft tissue sarcoma. The vet noticed the sarcoma and had it removed immediately. Soft tissue sarcomas are a form of skin cancer. Kassey had this cancer when she was two, and had no major health problems except old age. Her sight and hearing declined with age. And she had problems jumping into the car due to arthritis. But she still loved to retrieve, swim and go for walks until her last days.

Koko was about 21" and her weight varied from 65 to 70 lb for most of her adult life. With illnesses of old age her weight got down to about 55 lb but during her last winter she put on weight due to lack of exercise. See Old Age for more on this.

Koko had three histiocytomas removed and one allowed to disappear. Histiocytomas are ugly bumps that grow rapidly but if given time, about three months, will disappear on their own. Koko had three lumps removed that were identified as Mast cell tumours. Mast cell tumours are one of the most common type of skin cancer in dogs. Koko also had a couple of other lumps removed that were benign. The problem with all these lumps is that it is hard to tell which are which. The vet can do a needle aspiration and search for suspicious cells. Or they can do a biopsy. If they do the latter, then it is just as easy to remove the suspicious lump.

We owe our vet, Cindy Nowles, a deep depth of gratitude for removing the cancers and allowing our girls to continue to have healthy lives.

Skin cancers are common in dogs, but there is no known genetic link to these types of skin cancer.

For more information specific to Old Age, please visit the old age page under 'Our Girls'.

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