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CANCER

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CANCER

Post  PugLady3 on 8/7/2010, 9:10 am

Since Buster's diagnosis of osteosarcoma a week ago today, I have been consumed with thinking about the dreaded "C" word and what I can do to help him. I've joined online email lists/support groups and started reading just about anything & everything that I can get my hands on. Experts estimate that approximately half of all dogs will experience some form of cancer - whether that be mast cell tumors, lymphoma, mammary tumors, or any other number of things. HALF - now that's scary. I'm starting this thread so that we can share our experiences & also any information that may be helpful to others.
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Re: CANCER

Post  Aussie Witch on 8/7/2010, 9:28 am

Good idea to put it out there Brenda. I hope so much that you get A LOT of quality time with your boy. So many prayers for you and Buster.

My experience with it has been with the horribly common, and thankfully mostly highly curable, mast cell tumours. I have had Pugs with them that have had them removed with clean margins and at low grades, which is the best possible outcome. I have also had my darling LouLou diagnosed with a grade 2 - 3, dirty margins and needing follow-up chemo. For anyone faced with that, I can only say DO IT. LouLou tolerated the chemo EXTREMELY well (there is no hair-loss in dogs on chemo) with few side-effects. There was no recurrance of the MCT and she lived cancer-free for another 4 years, crossing the bridge at age 17.
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Re: CANCER

Post  papaspugs on 8/7/2010, 10:06 am

I have a friend who had a mix breed dog who had a cancerous tumor on her rear. The tumor was removed, but came back bigger. My friend put her on a holistic grain free diet and she lived for another 3 years. And Mattie lived a good life for those additional 3 years too. That is pretty much the only thing that I can contribute.
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Re: CANCER

Post  northernwitch on 8/7/2010, 11:42 am

Brenda:
I've only had two experiences with it--Pete and Scout. Pete had malignant melanoma in his mouth. One of the worst cancers in terms of prognosis in the location with the worst prognosis. At the time the treatment for it was massive invasive surgery (removing most of his jaw) and radiation which might have given us a few more weeks. I opted not to do either. At the time, Pete was 10+, blind and I just couldn't see putting him through all of that for a bit more time with no guarantee that it would be good time. I was told we probably had 2 to 5 months. We got almost nine GREAT months. I put him on a cancer diet which may have helped. I can send it to you if you want. there is now a vaccine or treatment or both (I've forgotten) that is available. At the time of Pete's diagnosis, the treatment was considered experimental, wasn't available in Canada and cost about 15 to 20 thousand.

Scout was diagnosed with a very slow growing cancer that my vet said would likely either spontaneously go away or would eventually kill her. It seemed to go away, but her eventual death likely was the cancer. I can't remember the name of it--but it was a form of slow growing tumour(s) that are almost impossible to remove safely without spreading it. She lived another 5 years and I put her down at age 14(?).

I go back and forth on cancer treatment for dogs. My bottom line is IF the prognosis is a good one with the treatment and IF the dog can sustain the treatment (i.e. if the misery of the treatment outweighs the outcome, I won't do it) then I will opt for it. But if I'm dealing with an elderly dog and the prognosis is poor then I generally don't put my dogs through it.
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Re: CANCER

Post  PugLady3 on 8/7/2010, 3:12 pm

northernwitch wrote:I put him on a cancer diet which may have helped. I can send it to you if you want.

Sure, that would be great. Thank you! I do have some info. here on cancer diets but I'm always willing to read & learn more. I understand that they should be high protein & fat with little to no carbs, as carbs essentially feed cancer. My problem is that Buster's sensitive GI system can't handle raw. Every time we try it, he pukes (case in point: I added a little raw ground beef to his dinner last night & was changing the bed sheets at midnight). I've got him on Honest Kitchen's Force but found out this week that it is pretty high carb. I'm going to have to try Thrive or Embark and see how he does or else start cooking for him.
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Re: CANCER

Post  northernwitch on 8/7/2010, 9:07 pm

PugLady3 wrote:
northernwitch wrote:I put him on a cancer diet which may have helped. I can send it to you if you want.

Sure, that would be great. Thank you! I do have some info. here on cancer diets but I'm always willing to read & learn more. I understand that they should be high protein & fat with little to no carbs, as carbs essentially feed cancer. My problem is that Buster's sensitive GI system can't handle raw. Every time we try it, he pukes (case in point: I added a little raw ground beef to his dinner last night & was changing the bed sheets at midnight). I've got him on Honest Kitchen's Force but found out this week that it is pretty high carb. I'm going to have to try Thrive or Embark and see how he does or else start cooking for him.
It is a raw diet, but no reason why you couldn't cook it. Send me your email addy and I'll send you the info.
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Re: CANCER

Post  Amanda on 8/10/2010, 6:40 pm

PugLady3 wrote:
northernwitch wrote:I put him on a cancer diet which may have helped. I can send it to you if you want.

Sure, that would be great. Thank you! I do have some info. here on cancer diets but I'm always willing to read & learn more. I understand that they should be high protein & fat with little to no carbs, as carbs essentially feed cancer. My problem is that Buster's sensitive GI system can't handle raw. Every time we try it, he pukes (case in point: I added a little raw ground beef to his dinner last night & was changing the bed sheets at midnight). I've got him on Honest Kitchen's Force but found out this week that it is pretty high carb. I'm going to have to try Thrive or Embark and see how he does or else start cooking for him.
I searched all over for a kibble with the lowest possible carb content, for Hoover, and ended up with Fromm. There are probably others out there now and obviously the raw option but that's what I settled on at the time.

We dealt with prostate cancer with Hoover which is very rare in dogs (especially neutered dogs). Since he was still fairly young and all the vets told us that chemo doesn't affect dogs like it does humans (and it's true!), we opted for chemo/radiation and medication. The main medication he was on was Piroxicam. We were actually fairly successful in shrinking the tumor in the prostate but unfortunately ended up with mets in the lungs eventually. Piroxicam is an NSAID but it has tumor suppression properties. It may be worth talking to your vet about if you haven't already. I know it's not been proven effective on all types of tumors but I believe osteosarcoma was one of them.

***********************
Amanda, mom to Nell, Lucy & Ava
www.littlebeanshop.etsy.com
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Re: CANCER

Post  PugLady3 on 8/11/2010, 3:03 pm

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Re: CANCER

Post  Almandine on 8/31/2010, 8:27 am

What useful info, thank you.

George had epitheliotropic lymphoma last year, a tumour on his lip was removed with clean margins.

Five weeks ago, he had a runny nose and the discharge was pink. His eye swelled later that evening and after an MRI he was diagnosed with an advanced tumour (carcinoma) behind his eye and nose.

Initial treatment was anti inflammatories and pain relief. He rallied and the swelling subsided. The tumour has wrapped around the back of his eye and cost his sight on one side. At first there was talk of radiotherapy but it was decided that the brain would be damaged as the tumour was already coming through the waffly bit of bone (technical term, obviously!) that holds the brain back off the eye.

He has had 2 lots of chemo now. The first time, he was sick four times, but other than that he was full of beans and seemed fine. The second time, he had an anti sickie pill and there have been no side effects other than tiredness. The chemo drug is carboplatin. He is having a very small dose (takes 20 minutes to admin) every three weeks.

Two days after the first dose, he had some tiny seizures while sleeping - almost an exaggeration of the sleep runnung/eating that pugs do. Also a few "absences". The vets think that was swelling as the chemo was killing tumour cells as both disturbances vanished after three days.

George is now on steroids and gabapentin (for neurological pain). We are watching for seizures, further sight loss and changes in his sense of smell but his only concerning issue at the moment seems to be his breathing while he sleeps - possibly where the tumour is causing swelling/pressure behind his nose. He is tired - 10 to 15 mins walk suits him nicely. But he is enjoying buggy rides and visits out and cuddle time. He is keen and alert and "himself"

Without treatment, they said to expect days or weeks.

I'll tell him he should be cutting carbs (nobody had mentioned that to us) and await his orders for scrambled egg and lamb meat patties!

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Re: CANCER

Post  PugLady3 on 2/10/2011, 10:55 am

northernwitch wrote: Pete had malignant melanoma in his mouth. One of the worst cancers in terms of prognosis in the location with the worst prognosis. At the time the treatment for it was massive invasive surgery (removing most of his jaw) and radiation which might have given us a few more weeks. I opted not to do either. At the time, Pete was 10+, blind and I just couldn't see putting him through all of that for a bit more time with no guarantee that it would be good time. I was told we probably had 2 to 5 months. We got almost nine GREAT months. I put him on a cancer diet which may have helped. I can send it to you if you want. there is now a vaccine or treatment or both (I've forgotten) that is available. At the time of Pete's diagnosis, the treatment was considered experimental, wasn't available in Canada and cost about 15 to 20 thousand.

This is exactly what Bud was just diagnosed with. High grade malignant melanoma (with dirty margins). They couldn't get it all out due to where it's at in his mouth. Our vet left a message with the results on our answering machine yesterday that I didn't get until he was gone for the day & now he's off today, so I have to wait until tomorrow to talk to him & get more info. I am going to do some more research on the vaccine that's available today & probably try to set up an appt. with the same oncologist that Buster saw a few months ago. sigh
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Re: CANCER

Post  northernwitch on 2/10/2011, 11:06 am

Well, crap. I'm sorry about this. I haven't kept up with what's available these days for dogs with Malignant Melanoma. So there may be more hope than there was when Pete was with me.
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Re: CANCER

Post  Aussie Witch on 2/10/2011, 1:32 pm

Damn, Brenda, DAMN. I hope you can send it into remission with treatment. I'm so sorry.
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Re: CANCER

Post  Renee on 2/10/2011, 1:35 pm

(((Brenda!))) I am so sorry to hear this about Bud. I was really hoping it would be good news.

Hopefully, once you can talk to the vet, you both can formulate a plan. Advances in medicine happen all the time.
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Re: CANCER

Post  northernwitch on 2/10/2011, 2:40 pm

Here's the downside to malignant melanoma of the mouth--once it is advanced enough to show up in the mouth, it's usually already metastasized--usually to the brain and lungs. Or that was the thinking when Pete was diagnosed. My understanding is that the prognosis is still very guarded and a matter of how much time as opposed to cure. Pete began to show signs of both brain and lung involvement when I let him go.

Here's a link to a site that talks about it and treatment options:

http://www.vetspecialistsofsfl.com/rad_onco_articles_malignant_melanoma.html
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Re: CANCER

Post  sallyandtilly on 2/10/2011, 3:16 pm

Brenda, I have no words of wisdom. I am sending prayers for strength and good judgement for you. It's been at least 30 years since I've dealt with canine cancer and nothing could've been done at that time or probably even now. (((hugs)))
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Re: CANCER

Post  Millie'sMichael on 2/10/2011, 3:23 pm

I am very sorry that this was the diagnosis, Brenda. Best to you and your good boy.
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Re: CANCER

Post  smoochieface on 2/10/2011, 3:39 pm

I'm so sorry, Brenda. I haven't any experience to share about cancer in dogs but I've seen two parents through advanced cancer with widespread mets. That experience has placed me firmly in the camp of doing everything in my power to preserve quality of life, whether that means to pursue treatment or to let it go and enjoy the time you have left. There is nothing more tragic than seeing someone you love with no sparkle left in their eyes.

All my love and thoughts are with you and Bud.
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Re: CANCER

Post  Norton's Mom on 2/10/2011, 6:38 pm

Brenda- I am so sorry to hear this news about Bud. Fingers are crossed that he can get through this somehow. Hug
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Re: CANCER

Post  PugLady3 on 2/23/2011, 12:25 pm

I came across another really good website this morning that I wanted to share - for anyone who may be facing cancer & looking for more information:

http://petcancercenter.org/index.html

Thanks for all of the well wishes for Bud & I. I will update later (in a separate post) about our visit yesterday with the oncologist.
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Re: CANCER

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