Bella’s Diagnosis

Bella has cancer. This is not easy to write about. I always knew one of the dogs getting sick was a possibility, but I didn’t think I would be writing about it so soon. Saturday, February 25 my parents took Bella to the vet to have a tooth and a spot on her chest looked at. The tooth was broken and needed to be removed. The spot on her chest is just fatty tissue.

While they were waiting to see the vet, my mom noticed a lump on Bella’s right shoulder. The vet took fluid from it and saw bad cells. Upon hearing the news, my heart broke. Bella has never seemed like anything other than a perfectly healthy pit bull.

Bella went in for surgery last Tuesday. They removed the broken tooth and the tumor as well as an additional cyst they found the morning of the surgery. She did great during her surgery, but when I went to see her that night my heart broke all over again. Bella would not stop crying. I walked in and instead of greeting me with her barking, she just cried. Despite the obvious pain she was in, she did go find a toy to show me as she always does. She cried less if someone sat on the floor next to her and pet her.


She cried for about 3 days, but she is starting to feel better. Her lab work came back. The tumor was a Hemangiosarcoma, which, according to her paperwork, is malignant neoplasm of endothelial cell origin that frequently occurs in the skin of dogs. The tumor was due to sun exposure. Pitties with white fur are at the highest risk for this type of cancer.

The good news is the vet was able to get all of the bad cells from the area. There’s still a chance that the cancer has spread. We are exploring our options with her vet, and I will provide more details as they become available.

Cancer is scary whether in a person you love or a pet you love. After hearing about Bella, I made an appointment for my 14-year-old cat, Indy. He has a lump on his back right leg. Thankfully after taking him to the vet, it turned out to just be a cyst.

For anyone that has a pittie or any other breed or pet, please take the time to thoroughly check your pet. With Bella and Misha, it is easy to see and feel any spots because their coat is so short. But with their breed, they are more prone to cancer. So please, as you are petting your fuzzy, four-legged family member make sure you are feeling for any unusual spots. If you find that your pet has a suspicious spot, take them to the vet as soon as possible. It might just save their life.

Bella is strong. Every day she gets better. I believe in this beautiful dog’s strength to pull through this.

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20 thoughts on “Bella’s Diagnosis

  1. Such a sad story, I’m so very sorry. Our dogs could be twins. She loves to lay out in the sun all day, reading that our white babies are at a higher risk scares me so. I will pray for your sweet girl to beat this fd up disease. Thank you for sharing your story, I wish you to have a very happy ending. My girl is skyy da happy pitbull. My thoughts and prayers to you and your family, your fur baby is beautiful. Gods greatest creation is animals I truly believe that.


    • Bella also loves to lay out in the sun. Just like with humans, sunscreen can help lower the risk. As I get more information about this form of cancer and her prognosis, I will share it. Thank you for your support and your kind words.


    • Thank I for sharing..Alot of people ignore bumps in this breed because they are known to grow moles & benign cysts.cancer is not necessarily a death sentence in dogs.My mama developed cancer later in life,when she was 12..She lived to be vet & I decided not to go the radiation or chemo route because she already was 12 when she was diagnosed & he advised me most dogs ended up passing from the treatments rather than the is their best options,if it can’t be removed surgically he told me it would be best to keep her comfortable & if it progresses the best would be to let her go.i didn’t know how much more time shed have & I didn’t want her I’ll from treatments when she was doing well physically otherwise.she went downhill very quickly at 16.,the night before i was going to take her to be put down I laid with her,cried told her I loved her & I would let her go rather than suffer.she died quietly in her sleep that this day I think she let go so I didn’t have to go through with my decision,that she passed comfortably on her own terms.wishing u the best.Your partner in crime may have years left.


      • Thank you for sharing your baby’s story. I’m so sorry for your loss. We don’t think we are going to go the chemo or radiation route. It just seems like too much to put her through. It’s all so much information at one time from her vet so it’s nice to hear someone else’s story.


  2. I have a white American Bulldog and she has a lot of pink (not as much pigment as I wish). Im wondering if using coconut oil as sun screen would work? It’s supposed to work for humans. I just think it may be safer than regular sunscreen (chemical free).


    • That’s a great question. Coconut oil does have some SPF properties to it. My mom is doing some research and will put together a doggie sunscreen. I’ll let you know what we find out!


  3. Thanks for sharing your story. I lost my five-year-old blue pit to cancer a few years ago. The vet thought she was having issues with allergies because she kept coughing…ended up she had a fist size tumor in the top plalet of her mouth. It was inoperable & radiation would only extend her life a few months. I couldn’t put her through that if it wasn’t going to save her life so I took her home & loved her till I knew it was time to put her down.


    • I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sure that was incredibly difficult decision. Cancer has a way of sneaking up. We were definitely lucky to find Bella’s in time.


  4. Our 5 year old pittie/mastiff mix (Maggie) was diagnosed with cancer last August. She had surgery to remove the tumor (it was in the skin on her neck). We consulted with multiple specialists and decided to treat her holistically instead of putting her through chemo and radiation. We are SO happy we did this as she is much healthier from the acupuncture, essential oils and changing to home cooking with no unhealthy grains. Also … please do not vaccinate your dog as Maggie’s rabies vaccine is what caused the tumor to grow 10x it’s size within a matter of days. Feel free to FB me (Marianne Dickey Kermavner) if I can provide you with any additional advice. Best wishes for your Bella … the most important thing I learned from multiple books I read on canine cancer is to STAY POSITIVE.


    • Thank you for sharing! I will definitely be reaching out to you on Facebook. We have always tried to go the more holistic route with the dogs so it’s great to hear you had success with the cancer treatments.


  5. Thank you for sharing your story and I’m so sorry you and your baby Bella are going thru this. I have a 3 year old pit and he is my first pit..and won’t be my last. I Have had many other breeds. Needless to say I love him to pieces and can’t imagine. He got injured chasing squirrels and I fell apart. I will keep u both in my thoughts and prayers!!! 🙏🙏


    • Thank you for your support. Bella was our first pit before we got Misha. Now we can’t imagine having any other breed. It’s amazing how many people I’ve talked to whose lives have been changed by this breed.


  6. Thanks for sharing your baby’s story. I have been talking to a girl I met in a pit group and she lost her Zoey to cancer.. I lost my German Shepard VAUGHN to cancer. I am a cancer survivor myself so I am hyper vigalent regarding myself and my animals. My prayers are with Bella and you. Good luck.


    • Thank you and that’s great to hear that you are a survivor! Cancer changes so much. The moment I heard about Bella, I was checking my cat for spots.


  7. My Zeus is also a .white APBT diagnosed with the same type of cancer. He had surgery a year ago this past February to remove 2 tumors on his stomach, but I don’t believe that was the best choice for him, as more just started popping up. At that time , he was given about 3 months to live, so we brought him home to make his last days comfortable.. Then we went all natural with him,…Coconut oil, fresh foods and so on. He is by no means cured, but is strong and happy, and when his time comes…he will be with his family. He has lived long past his 3 months, and we are excited. I was skeptical about the all natural process, but he is my “miracle child” and we will continue this. Best of luck to all APBT owners with a sick baby…


    • Thank you for sharing. They are such strong and resilient dogs. Bella doesn’t act sick at all. We are definitely going to go the holistic route with Bella now that we have heard from so many about it.


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