How do lifestyle factors and exposure to environmental substances affect our cancer risk?
by Cathtalk on Wed Jan 09, 2013 02:55 AM
Is there anyone here with a dog suffering from lung cancer? Our vet seems to think our older, almost 14 year old Scotttish Terrier, Darnley, has it.
He has all the symptoms -- he's lethargic, panting considerably and coughing, exercise intolerant, and the xrays showed his heart is enlarged and lungs are filled with fluid.
We thought at first it might be heart failure, but it appears his ECG was normal. He tested negative for heart worm. We are trying him on some diuretics in the hopes that he'll be able to eliminate/drain off some of the excess fluid from his lungs, but they don't seem to be having any effect yet. I also started him on Baytril and also some prednisone. We need to know what to do next? An ultrasound, maybe?
by Baileysmom97 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 02:55 PM
I had a friend who lost her dog to heart failure and those symptoms were exactly what her dog experienced. You definitely need to go another step to confirm it although the xray should really show if there are tumors in the lungs, perhaps not 100% but something should show up. You probably have to give it a couple days to see if the medicine can clear up the fluid.
by Cathtalk on Thu Jan 10, 2013 01:30 AM
Hi Bailley's Mom/Karin. Thanks for the reply.In some ways I'm repeating the last three months once again, now having to help our older scottie, Darnley. It is truly awful. He is going on close to 14, but he is suffering so.We went to the 2nd vet today for further help, and based on high ALT and ALKP (alkaline phosphotase) liver enzymes from the intial bloodwork on Sunday, the vet recommended instead an abdominal ultrasound, as Darnley's also quite bloated in his abdomen. The ultrasound found a large mass on the liver, as well as a smaller one in the stomach. He may/may not have turmors in the lungs. So it seems as if the liver may be the source of the troubles. They don't know 100%.
The liver is so enlarged that it is pressing our dog's other organs in the abdomen and possibly also putting pressure on his lungs. Hence, his breathing is extremely labored and maybe painful (he's breathing from the abdomen, not the chest), and he can't really walk much -- it's a big effort.The prognosis is not good. Our poor, poor dog. We started him on some Denosyl, a kind of salt to protect liver function/toxicity. It is not a chemo drug. I'll also start him on Tramadol.I need to urgently find out what we can feed him for the next few days dietwise that won't make his liver worse and also to help him safely eliminate some of those fluids and make him comfortable. I'll keep in mind what you said about the diuretic medicine. No one on this forum seems to have any heading for dog liver cancer.Thanks for your feedback Karin. I appreciate it very much. I feel horribly alone trying to figure out how much we can do and how much longer we'll have him with us. The vet today suggested euthanasia.
Unlike Megan, who really was mine, and whom I could decide for, Darnley is much more the family's dog (my Dad's originally). My mother doesn't like the idea.
Hope Bailley's hanging in there wit the neoplasene!
Cathy/Darnley and Megan's 2nd Mom
by Baileysmom97 on Thu Jan 10, 2013 04:50 PM
Sorry to hear that about Darnley. I know two people whose dogs have liver cancer, although their tumors are not nearly as big as Darnley's. If you can get your hands on ground milk thistle seed, it may help detoxify the liver. This was recommended as part of the Neoplasene regimen...as the cancer cells die off, the body must work to eliminate them and this process can overwhelm the liver. I ordered mine online and give Bailey just a small amount mixed with her food. One of the other dogs is also taking it and so far is doing ok. Worst case, if you wanted to try it, it is sold in capsule form at most vitamin shops, although that form is supposedly not as potent as bulk ground.
The most important thing is to try to get him comfortable. I think you mentioned the other day that he had fluid in his lungs? If so, that's most likely his breathing difficulties. I had pneumonia once and my lungs were about 1/3 filled with fluid and I couldn't even walk a few steps without breathing difficulties.
A couple things I know about liver cancer, is that dogs can survive longer with this type of cancer. My friend's dog now has had it about 2 years without any real problems. The smaller mass on his stomach might be more of a concern. If money is not an issue, I would probably take him to a good hospital and see what they think. You should be able to get all his records forwarded so that you don't have to redo them all. Where do you live?
I feel for you. Anytime our dogs suffer, we suffer right along with them and the hard part is not really knowing what they're going through. Whatever help I can be, please don't hesitate. You can send me a private reply or I will keep checking this thread.
by Cathtalk on Sat Jan 19, 2013 03:52 AM
Hey again Karin/Bailey's Mom. How's he doing with the Neoplasene?
We were able to move a bit more forward today with treating Darnley -- the cardiologist seems to believe the enlarged heart, the heart murmurs, enlarged/hyper tension in one of his arteries near his heart, crackling/fluid in his lungs is related to the alveoli having liquid and that it is more likely symptomic of COPD and not cancer in the lungs -- that's a relief. We're now starting Darnley on a course of sildenafil/viagra and another drug, pimobendan, some antibiotics, and we'll be continuing to give him spironolact, a kind of diuretic to help with hypertension.
However, Darnley's mass/growth we cannot successfully aspirate from the liver, in the opinion of the specialist, because another ultrasound showed it to be more spongy and the results would problably be inconclusive. Interestingly, the mass is almost entirely around the gall bladder. It needs to be properly biopsied or removed completely, in his opinion. But with his COPD as is now, we don't think he'll survive likely surgery. So, we'll wait a while. I'm worried about such growths spreading if they're malignant, of course, but this second ultrasound that the cardiologist did today did not seem to present the findings in the same light as the first ultrasound person did to me (he'd recommended euthanasia).
So, I'm glad we haven't given up on Darnley, yet. It's something of a relief for a little while. I so wish I'd been able to keep my other darling, Megan, alive.
by Baileysmom97 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 02:37 AM
Sometimes it pays to get a second opinion! There's a supplement called Im-Yunity which contains the Yunzhi mushroom. UPENN did a study and found that it lengthened survival times for dogs who took this supplement. If you go on the website-- imyunity.com they have a link to the study. The study was done on dogs with hemangiosarcoma but perhaps it may help other with other cancers. A bottle is not cheap (about $95) but the compound in the mushroom (PSP) may keep the cancer from progressing until you decide what the best option is.
Bailey is doing great on the Neoplasene but we'll see in about 2 weeks or so if there has been any change with the tumors.
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