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Dog Diagnosed with Cancer Today-EDIT: UPDATE

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Dog Diagnosed with Cancer Today-EDIT: UPDATE

Old 05-20-2013, 09:34 PM
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My lab was diagnosed with malignant melanoma 8 years ago and given 6 months to live. He is still ticking. We started an aggressive experimental procedure as soon as he was diagnosed. They use human melanoma injections and the dogs antibodies respond to it and attack its own in the process. He still gets the shot every 6 months. It is not cheap....
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:54 PM
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Default Mast cell tumor

Any competent veterinarian can deal with mast cell tumors. Key word, competent. Not all are, just as with any other discipline. Excision of mast cell tumors is often curative. Not always, but often. The only constant in biology and medicine is variation.
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:16 AM
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One of the best vetinary clinic in the world is in Orlando. Dogs are flown in from all over for treatment.. Some of the Alaskan Iditarod dogs go there for treatment. I went there when my dog had cancer. Top notch facility. As well equipped as the best hospitals. Must have a vet referral to get in.

Affiliated Vetinary Specialists
9905 S US Hwy 17-92
Maitland, FL 32751
(407) 644-1287

Last edited by ThreeLittleFish; 05-21-2013 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by tokinred View Post
Sprockets, i showed your pup to my boys. My 8yo is an animal lover. He said a quick but adorable prayer for your girl. Hope it all goes well. I'm sure i missed it, but what's her name? My son wants to know so he can mention her by name.
Her name is Emma. The vet was very optimistic because the area it was located made it easy to excise around the tumor. The extra tissue taken is referred to as "margin". The more tissue surrounding the tumor the better the chances that they removed all the cancer.


Originally Posted by ThreeLittleFish View Post
One of the best vetinary clinic in the world is in Orlando. Dogs are flown in from all over the for treatment.. Some of the Alaskan Iditarod dogs go there for treatment. I went there when my dog had cancer. Top notch facility. As well equipped as the best hospitals. Must have a vet referral to get in.


Affiliated Vetinary Specialists
9905 S US Hwy 17-92
Maitland, FL 32751
(407) 644-1287
I am very familiar with Affiliated. One of my clients is close friends with the founder. I also live in Maitland. We have been there a couple of times for other pets over the years. As much as we love our dog, we are pretty practical when it comes to heroic efforts.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:11 AM
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sorry to hear this.had to put down my boxer down due to cancer.it was very sad
to see how much pain he was in.hope for the best for pup and family.jay
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:35 PM
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Hows it going with the OP's dog ?
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:47 PM
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Sprocket ,I know what you are going thru.My yellow lab got the same cancer at 8yrs they didn't think he would make a year. He is now ten . The first surgery they just about cut him in half to get the margins they needed then he went on oral kemo for a year then it came back in 2012 and we let them remove it again. He is still on oral kemo and doing good. It's cost about $100 per month for the pills.These are some pics of the second surgery you can see the scar it was smaller than the first. You can see the scars from the first ,they continue from the stiches you can see in the pic. The pills we are giving him know do not make him sick.He was the first to try these pills but they seem to work.
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:33 PM
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Steve-Thanks for taking the time to post the pics. I'm hoping we don't have to go the chemo route. The scars from your pup's surgery are heartbreaking, but they don't understand like we do. We'll know in a few days if they got it all.
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:59 PM
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Sprockets
The kemo we are giving him are two different pills,one is cyclophosphamide and the other is piroxicam. We alternate days with the pills.The first time we gave it to him for 14 months and it came back when we stopped it. The vet thought it came back because we quit giving the kemo to him. He is on it again and now we will keep it up untill he passes .He was the first to get these drugs here but since then there have been others with good results. It might be worth asking your vet about them. He does not get sick with these meds . Thats why we agreed to do it.
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:27 AM
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Good luck. Hopefully they got it all. One of my 2 shepherds just died from some form of internal cancer. We caught it too late because she also had an eating disorder from birth. She was only 2 years old.
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:54 PM
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Got bad news a little while ago. It was not a mast cell tumor but a hemangiosarcoma. Kind of sucks because she was outside chasing squirrels today as fast as ever. Below is info from Univ of Florida's Small Animal Hospital. We are going to take her there to find out what the best option is.


Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs

What is hemangiosarcoma?

Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is a malignant tumor of the cells that line blood vessels. It is much more common in dogs than other species. HSA occurs most frequently in large breed dogs, especially German shepherd dogs, Labrador retrievers, and Golden retrievers. In dogs, the primary site is usually the spleen. Other sites include liver, heart, kidneys, bladder, muscle, and subcutaneous tissues. HSA is a very aggressive cancer, with high potential for wide spread and early metastases to other tissues, especially liver, lungs, and peritoneum. The cause of HSA is unknown.
What are the symptoms?

Clinical signs of HSA are often related to rupture and hemorrhage of the tumor, including weakness, abdominal distension, pale mucous membranes, and collapse. Some patients may suffer sudden death due to rupture of a mass in a critical location or severe and acute blood loss into a body cavity. Dogs with tumors involving the right atrium of the heart may present with arrhythmias, muffled heart sounds, and signs of heart failure. Some patients may have intermittent episodes of weakness with recovery within hours to days.
HSA may occur as cutaneous, subcutaneous or deep masses invading or originating from the muscle. These locations may cause lameness, a hard swelling within the muscle, or edema of the affected region.
How is it diagnosed?

Many dogs with the splenic form of HSA will present to the veterinarian for rupture of the tumor and bleeding within the abdomen. An abdominal tap will usually reveal free blood that does not clot. Abdominal ultrasound is useful in evaluating the presence of liver metastases prior to consideration of surgery. Aspirates and biopsies of splenic masses often reveal only blood and are diagnostic of cancer in only a small percentage of cases. Surgical removal of the spleen (splenectomy) and associated masses with histological evaluation is necessary for diagnosis. Echocardiography may be recommended to evaluate for heart masses. Approximately 10-20% of dogs with splenic HSA will have right atrial involvement. Diagnosis of cutaneous and subcutaneous HSA requires a tissue biopsy.
Chest X-rays are important in the evaluation of possible lung metastases prior to consideration of surgery. Additionally, many patients with HSA suffer from clotting abnormalities, anemia, and low platelets; therefore assessment of blood work, including clotting times is imperative before surgery.
How is it treated?

Surgery

Surgery remains the primary method of treatment for HSA. The surgery should be as aggressive as possible to remove all locally affected tissue. For splenic HSA, splenectomy is required. At the time of splenectomy, all suspicious lesions within the liver or elsewhere within the abdominal cavity should be biopsied. In dogs with atrial HSA, surgical exploration of the chest cavity may be considered, but most cardiac HSA are not amenable to complete surgical removal. For HSA of bone or subcutaneous HSA involving the leg muscles, amputation of the limb may be necessary. Many patients with HSA are prone to arrhythmias and bleeding during the surgery. Blood transfusions and anti-arrhythmic drugs are often necessary during and immediately after surgery.
Chemotherapy

Because of the high potential for metastatic disease, chemotherapy has been considered an appropriate adjuvant to surgery. Combination chemotherapy using a doxorubicin-based protocol is most commonly recommended. While chemotherapy may extend disease-free intervals, long-term control rates remain very low.
Very few studies have been conducted to evaluate immunologic or biologic therapy in HSA.
Radiation therapy

Palliative radiation therapy may help decrease symptoms of external masses, but will not impact disease at other sites.
What is the prognosis?

Median survival times with surgery alone range between 30 to 120 days. The addition of chemotherapy may double survival times. Although survival times are short, the quality of your pet’s life during this time should be excellent. New treatment options are constantly being explored.
Cutaneous HSA with invasion into subcutaneous areas or muscle have an average survival time between 6-11 months. Invasive cutaneous tumors warrant adjuvant chemotherapy.
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:56 PM
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Sorry to hear this news Sprockets, still hoping for the best and sending you good thoughts from us and our lugs!
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:08 PM
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Heartbreaking story Sprockets. On the other hand it makes me feel good to know there are so many great pet owners out there like yourself. I lost my bird dog of 14 years 2 yrs ago & still tell people (jokingly, but still true) that I still haven't gotten over it. Hang in there & know that whatever happens you gave this animal a high quality life.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:40 PM
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Jeff,
So sorry to hear about the diagnosis. Hang in there man!!
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:55 PM
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Sorry to hear Sprockets. I know all too well what its like.

My lab/great dane was 12 y/o, 120 lbs of muscle when diagnosed. You couldnt stop him from running everywhere and doing everything. By far the best dog I will ever have. I love my current dogs but he will always be the best. He started limping one day and after a week I got concerned cause his limps and little injuries never lasted more than a couple days (he was always into something). I took him in, xrays showed it. Doctor said he was 90% sure it was cancer without bothering with a biopsy. Over the next 5-6 weeks I kept him on pain meds and steroids as I watched the tumor grow and bull like muscles wither away. One morning I woke, he looked me right in the eye with a face I'd never seen from him. I knew it was time. that was almost 4 years ago.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:15 PM
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We took the dog to the University of Florida Veterinary Hospital today. It is quite a facility.

They did an ultrasound to check her organs for more tumors and didn't find any which is great. After running additional blood work, we decided to proceed with the first of 5 chemo treatments. We will be driving her up there every 3 weeks. It's a major commitment, but the surgery to remove the tumor was successful, and the odds of successful treatment make it worthwhile.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:30 PM
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Hope everything's goes well. Just had another cyst/tumor removed on my 13 yr old basset today
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:39 AM
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Hoping for the best for your family,
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:01 AM
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I post this periodically. Interesting that is is written by Dean Koontz, who is kind of a "horror/thriller" writer,

From Dean Koontz' The Darkest Evening of the Year
"Dogs' lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you're going to lose a dog, and there's going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can't support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There's such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware it comes with an unbearable price."
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by airedog View Post
I post this periodically. Interesting that is is written by Dean Koontz, who is kind of a "horror/thriller" writer,

From Dean Koontz' The Darkest Evening of the Year
"Dogs' lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you're going to lose a dog, and there's going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can't support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There's such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware it comes with an unbearable price."
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