Bromont’s Pathology was Bad

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Okay, the reason I’ve been so stressed the last few days was because we got Bromont’s pathology back last week and it wasn’t good.  Two out of 4 of the masses he had removed were malignant.   It is called cutaneous hemangiosarcoma, HSA, which is pretty common in dogs, but is also very serious.

So, we took Bromont to K-State to see Dr. Harkin, a cyclist, that took care of our dog, George, and whom I trust implicitly.  Dr. Harkin did an ultrasound of Bromont’s abdomen, specifically his spleen, and again, the finding weren’t great.  He had a bunch of nodules on his spleen, which is usually where hemangiosarcoma would be.

It’s not a good thing.  It is a very aggressive cancer and the survival rate is virtually nonexistent.  So, that was it.  We scheduled Bromont to have his spleen removed tomorrow.  The only real way to know exactly what is going on is to do the pathology on the spleen.

I was pretty taken back by the discovery.  Trudi is in shock, I think.  She loves Bromont with all her soul.

I started doing some research about HSA and got questioning whether we were doing the correct thing.  If it is in his spleen, there is no survival.  His life expectancy is pretty short, weeks, maybe a couple months.  That is if you do chemotherapy after the splenectomy.  If not, it is statistically measured in days.

I wrote a few people asking for information on clinical studies on the disease.  It doesn’t have much traction in the academic world because the cancer isn’t one humans contract, so there is no money to do much research.

But yesterday I got a call from Trent, the veterinarian, also a cyclist, that removed the masses in Ft. Collins last week.  He said that he talked to an oncologist and that the mitotic index was 2 per 10 hpfs, meaning that there were very few cancer cells and that the hemangiosarcoma was considered low grade.  He thought that the ultrasound of the spleen was atypical for HSA.

There are other reasons that there could be nodules on Bromont’s spleen – old dogs have nodular spleens, other types of “curable” cancer, nodules related to a tick-borne disease, and more.

I sent Dr. Harkin an email and asked him a bunch of questions.  He too, had taken Bromont’s pathology to an oncologist.  His oncologist also said that with such a low mitotic index, she didn’t think it was metastatic hemangiosarcoma.  But they had looked at the records of some other dogs they had treated with cutaneous hemangiosarcomas, and that they had HSA in their spleens.

Anyway, long story short, we decided that the spleen needs to be removed.  Mainly to get a real good look at it to see exactly what is going on.  Ultrasound guided biopsies have too big a chance of false reading and would really be almost valueless in this situation.  At least there is a chance, I’m not sure what, but some chance that the cancer was only cutaneous (skin) and that is was completely removed.

I don’t have a spleen, so Bromont and I will match in that respect.  I guess mammals, maybe all animals, can get along okay without spleens.

I was thinking about not posting this, but it has pretty much consumed the last 5 days of my brain, so I thought I’d just put it out there.

Bromont hates going to the vet.  I’m worried about him being so stressed out.  We’re driving Bromont to Manhattan this morning and they are most likely doing the surgery tomorrow. He has to stay until Friday.  I’m not sure when we’ll get the pathology back, but is is going to be pretty stressful until then.

I hope we’re doing the right thing.  This is an incurable disease.  And either he has it or doesn’t.  I guess we can only do what we do.  It’s more for peace of mind, I guess.  Knowing is better.

Bromont likes riding around in the back of the Honda Insight.

Bromont likes riding around in the back of the Honda Insight.

Dr. Harkin, from the wall of the K-State Vet School.

Dr. Harkin, from the wall of the K-State Vet School.

He hates going in.

He hates going in.

He's been kind of just laying around the last few days.  He doesn't feel well.  This is Frankie next to him.

He’s been kind of just laying around the last few days. He doesn’t feel well. This is Frankie next to him.


Last night in a bed for a few days.  He is spoiled rotten.

Last night in a bed for a few days. He is very lovable.



53 thoughts on “Bromont’s Pathology was Bad

  1. donkybhoy

    Hope all goes well for Bromont.

    One of the reasons I tune in here is to see Bromont.

  2. Gary C

    Hey Bromont all your doggie and human friends in Chequamegonland are pulling for you.

  3. Jim Wirtanen

    Hope all goes well.
    Glad to hear you have some choices.
    My cat had to go not long ago. No options I could afford.
    It is nice you lead a life where you can spend so much time with Bromont.
    He is a lucky buddy.


  4. Joe Weis

    Pets….they become part of our family…they become part of us…I have never met Bromnot and yet I Love him anyway….I hope he gets healthy and remains pain free…I also believe George is waiting to greet him so they can run and play and share all the great memories they had with their earthly family. ..

  5. Sal Ruibal

    Hang in there Bromont! Remember, DOG is GOD spelled backwards! Your family needs you.

  6. Fergie

    Please, let Bromont come thru. Couldn’t bring myself to read the whole post.
    Wishing the best for Bromont and you and Trudi as well.

  7. Tom Petrie

    Hey Steve, My thoughts are with you and Trudi. We went through a sarcoma episode with our dog. Fortunately we caught it early and they were able to remove it, but I know first-hand the consuming anxiety that comes with the news that your dog has cancer. I hope Bromont pulls through.

  8. Clifford Allen

    Sorry to hear this – I am really hoping that things turn out on the positive side for Bromont and you all. We’re thinking of you guys up here in NYC.

  9. Christopher

    Steve and Trudi (and Bromont),

    Sending you healing energy and love. Peace to all through this process.

  10. Kevin Lyons

    Bummer. You are doing the absolute best for him going to K-State vets. I have used U of Wisconsin and U of Illinois in similar situations with good results.
    good luck, it’s a hard time.

  11. Cotton B


    Read your blog often, but never commented before. Today I felt compelled to wish you, Trudi, and Bromont the best. Thinking of you all.

  12. kim west

    I’m so glad Ken is nearby and able to help. again, with a house full of aging hounds, we are familiar with the risks and the pain and the torment.
    we send our love and best wishes to you, to trudi, and especially to bromont.
    please give my regards to ken (we rode together in our ames days) and thank him for helping you all find answers and comfort.

  13. escargot

    Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. ~Tennyson

    Best to you, Trudi & Bromont at a challenging time. ~a snail

  14. Freestyle

    Positive thoughts for Bromont and Trudi. Your love for animals, especially dogs and cats, sets the good bar.

  15. Doubting Thomas

    Dang man, that is rough. I have lost dogs to cancer, they like Bromont had lived the good life and it was just their time to go -rough for us though. I have told me current dog(s) that they must live forever… Here’s to Bromont living forever.

  16. Jeff Butterfield

    Whose a good boy? Bromont, for damn sure. The shot of him under the sheets says it all; his is indeed a gentle soul.

    As a childless couple, my wife and I might be guilty of placing an extra degree of emphasis on the relationships we have with our pets. Perhaps that is why in late August, when we unexpectedly lost one of our Maine Coon cats, it left both of us shattered. The loss reminded us of the sometimes tenuous nature of life and the special enrichment that pets bring to our lives.

    I am not embarrassed to say that Bromont has enriched my life. Like others have posted, I often visit this blog as much for news on Bromont’s latest adventure as I do Steve’s commentary. Go figure: a dog I’ve never met, owned by people I’ve don’t know, and this recent news still cuts me up. Such is the power of an animal’s spirit.

  17. Jeff Jacobsen

    Very best to Bromont. Our black lab, Rocket, is now 13 and struggling with hip issues. Praying for good news. I fully understand how you and Trudi feel as I have had to put down other dear dog friends due to cancer. God be with you all.

  18. John Larson

    We lost our Brittany, Scooter, to HSA last year. We opted for chemo after his spleen was removed. He tolerated the first chemo treatment ok, but the second almost killed him. We stopped the chemo, and let nature take it’s course. We had two more months of his company before he passed.
    It is a horrible disease. I you choose to follow the path that we did, just don’t let it go on too long. When the bad days start outnumbering the good, it’s time to make a very hard decision.

    This is a very hard thing. Karen and I wish for Bromont to have peace during whatever time he has.

  19. Jim

    Steve, I’ve never met you or Bromont, but I’m a regular reader of your blog. I’m hoping for the best for Bromont and his family. Peace, Jim

  20. Craig

    Just went through something similar. It’s so tough to watch them struggle. Sounds like you are doing everything you can. Keep exploring all options. Also know that Bromont will let you know when he’s ready–mine did. Enjoy every second you have with him–he seems like a great pup. Dogs are the best, and I don’t understand why they get such a relatively short time on earth.

  21. B

    I never met Bromont, but after reading about him here on the blog, he seems like a great dog and a real friend to you and Trudi. I send good wishes and thoughts to all of you. Hoping it works out for the best!

  22. John Goggin

    I’m sorry to hear the news. My love of our dogs is akin to yours. I ride with my dog’s tags. I will send positive thoughts from California. Best wishes, John

  23. E Peogh

    I dunno Tillie you’re not going to like this too much.
    My vote is to just let him live his life and no surgery.
    He will go as he will in the time meant; it’s outta your hands.
    Obviously you have researched the options, and I can’t fault you for wanting to save him.
    I have and have had plenty of pets. They are great companions, and count on us to do the best by them.
    Wishing you, Trudi, and Bromont the best.

  24. LD

    Steve and Trudi, you and Bromont are in my thoughts and prayers. Try to take comfort in knowing you are doing what you think is right and have always given him the very best life a dog could have. Like some others, I don’t know you or Bromont but I am suffering right alongside you today. Thanks for posting.

  25. C C

    I always follow the blog and I can honestly say Bromont is my favorite part. I said a little prayer for you Trudi and Bromont. I hope Bromont comes through with flying colors and we will be getting great uplifting stories soon. I have always heard that K State Vet School is top notch. Sounds like he is in good hands.

  26. Mike Rodose

    Bromont, Tilford, Trudi and Doctors. Absolutely the strongest team to deal with this. Pro, Pro, Pro and Pros!

    Bromont is an incredible dog, riding Point, with a huge and supportive pack.


  27. Brett

    Steve and Trudi-
    So sorry to read about Bromont. . The spleen ruptured in one of our dogs. We had it removed and the diagnosis was hemangiosarcoma. By the time it ruptured it had spread to her lungs. Hopefully Bromont doesn’t have it and if he does, you have caught it early. We are so glad that we removed the spleen because we prolonged her life by 4 months. During that 4 months she felt good and we took her on her usual walks and gave her lots of belly rubs. She enjoyed life. We knew the end was near so we savored every minute with her. Glad we had the extra time to spend with her.

    I will keep my fingers crossed for Bromont.
    Don’t know if you remember me– we have a cabin in Seeley and it is our dog’s favorite place in the world too.

  28. McRower

    Trudi, Steve and Bromont,
    So very sorry that the three of you are dealing with this. This is a hard time and you were smart, Steve to put it out to the world about what is going on with Bromont., as many people are sure to provide support, love and encouragement.
    We have seen first hand how much the three of you love each other. We will be sending you our positive energy and hope for the best for Bromont at K-State. All our love, Diane & George (and Aspen)

  29. thescrapper

    a few years back, my boss lent me a copy of racing in the rain when we decided it was time to put a dog down. Written from dog’s perspective whose owner is having trouble saying goodbye. The book was very helpful for my wife and I. Helped us realize that when a dog begins to lose the “dog essence” the dog is being kept alive for the owner rather than the dog. Best wishes for you and trudi and Bromont. Enjoy the time you have

  30. Bill Stevenson

    Man, that sucks. Like many I enjoy your blog for all but maybe more so for your posts about Bromont. Here is hoping that you and Trudi make it through this in good spirits.

  31. Monique and Za

    Aw we are thinking of you guys and Bromont! Za and I send our best wishes for the very best news possible!! xoxox

  32. Scott Olson

    Steve and Trudi,
    So sorry to hear about Bromont’s condition. I went through a similar situation with my dog, Gunther.
    He had a splenetic tumor, and I had the spleen removed. It was a text book case in this situation, as
    the operation bought Gunther 9 more months, which is what the text books said most dogs get after this operation. His cancer was lymphoma, so a different situation than Bromont’s. During the last couple of months, I used the “poor man’s” chemo: tramadol for pain and pregnesone [sic] (with caraphate to protect the throat). It comes down to Bromont’s quality of life, but you know that. This is never easy. I do not regret the operation despite the cost. I’m thankful I had the time I did with Gunther. Best, Scott


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