3-Year-Old Golden Retriever Dog Diagnosed With ‘Aggressive’ Liver Cancer
Bella the golden retriever was meant to journey with her owners — Loretta Eleanor and her fiancé Ross Gomes — through the start of their married life and beyond.
However, the dog was recently diagnosed with an “aggressive” form of liver cancer shortly after her third birthday.
With only a few weeks left with Bella, Ms Eleanor, 26, and Mr Gomes, 27, decided to make the most out of their remaining time.
Besides bringing the dog for a swim — one of her favourite activities — the couple also arranged photoshoots to immortalise the joy she brought to those around her.
Owners decide to make the most of dog’s remaining days after cancer diagnosis
Ms Eleanor, who’s an account manager, broke the heartbreaking news via a post on Bella’s social media account.
According to the post, the golden retriever dog was diagnosed with “aggressive” liver cancer last Thursday (1 Feb). Doctors estimated that she had just a few weeks left to live.
The diagnosis came just 1.5 months after Bella celebrated her third birthday in December.
In an Instagram post, Ms Eleanor shared that she and Mr Gomes, a channel operations specialist, were devastated by the fact that Bella would not bear witness to their major life milestones, including their marriage and the birth of their kids.
Noting that Bella’s condition would “deteriorate quickly”, the pair decided that it was best to make the most of her last days.
Brought dog to swim at her favourite place
In the days following her diagnosis, Ms Eleanor and Mr Gomes filled their days with Bella’s favourite activities.
The day after the diagnosis, the couple brought Bella to the basketball court in their neighbourhood. Luckily for Bella, nobody was occupying the court at the time and she was allowed to play ‘fetch’ unleashed.
The couple then took Bella for a swim at her favourite place — Mutts & Mittens Pool at Kovan.
Bella had a blast at the pet swimming facility and even took pictures with her caretakers.
Dog with cancer had photoshoots with owners’ family and friends
The golden retriever started the following day with some hashbrowns treats from McDonald’s and visits to the nearby park, where fellow dog owners had gathered.
In the afternoon, some friends came over to visit, including a golden retriever from her childhood days.
Throughout the day, Bella was showered with pats, kisses, and tons of treats.
Perhaps due to the volume of treats from the day before, Bella had an upset tummy the next day.
Nonetheless, she managed a few visits to the areas downstairs and met fellow doggos and hoomans, albeit with the aid of a trolley.
Bella even received her first angbao.
On the fourth and fifth day, Ms Eleanor and Mr Gomes arranged photoshoots for their beloved dog.
Bella not only posed with her immediate family but also with the couple’s friends.
There was even a shot of Bella lying on her favourite bench alongside some of her favourite humans and doggos.
In light of Bella’s diagnosis, the couple brought forward one of their pre-wedding shoots so they could have some shots with Bella.
Golden retriever dog has multiple growths on liver
Speaking to MS News, Ms Eleanor shared that they noticed Bella showing signs of lethargy a few weeks ago.
A subsequent blood test revealed that Bella’s red blood cell level was on the low side, which was indicative of an inflammation in her body.
Having assumed that the condition was related to a hip surgery performed last year, the couple brought Bella to the vet surgeon who performed the procedure.
The vet noticed that Bella showed discomfort around her lower spine and recommended a CT scan for bone infection.
The scan, however, revealed “multiple growths” on her liver, which the doctor suspected to be primary hepatic hemangiosarcoma — a type of aggressive malignant tumour.
Based on the vet’s prognosis, Bella only has a few weeks to live.
Ms Eleanor explained that there were no potential treatment options for Bella’s condition. Even if she were to undergo chemotherapy, it wouldn’t make much difference to the mean survival time she has left.
Bella’s condition is likely to deteriorate quickly given the aggressive nature of the cancer, she added.
‘Immensely heartbroken’ by diagnosis
Ms Eleanor said she and Mr Gomes were “immensely heartbroken” and “devastated” by the diagnosis:
Bella is more than a dog to us, she is our family and our soul dog.
She shared that Bella has been a “sunshine” to everyone around them and said they still can’t believe the tragedy that had befallen their furkid.
Despite the diagnosis, she said they’re determined to make the most of Bella’s remaining days while documenting the “ups and downs”.
Since receiving the devastating news, many people have turned up at Bella’s residence to visit her. There were even strangers who reached out offering Bella treats and toys.
The couple are extremely thankful for the support and said it warms their heart to see the outpour of love during these trying times.
In the days and weeks to come, she hopes to bring Bella, who loves the water, for a swim at the beach at St John’s Island.
She had always seen dogs taking the ferry to the location, she mused, and hoped Bella would also have the opportunity to visit one day.
As for other pet owners dealing with a similar situation, Ms Eleanor offered these words of advice:
Be thankful for all the good memories that you’ve had with your pet. Treasure all the remaining moments you have, and make the most out of them.
In Bella’s case, the couple are grateful to have found support through social media, including dietary advice to ensure their furkid has the best quality of life up to her final days.
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Featured image courtesy of Loretta and Ross and The Curious Kind Photography.
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