Status on Dog with TCC Tumor

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Status on Dog with TCC Tumor

by jlong516 on Sun Feb 03, 2019 05:30 PM

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Hi everyone, 

My rescue lab mix was diagnosed with an aggressive TCC tumor in October 2017 after struggling to determine the cause of frequent UTIs. Sammie had started constantly dripping blood when we were referred to the onvology vet for a camera exam in her urinary tract. The vet gave her days to live at that time without any intervention. With meds he gave her 4-6 months. We opted not to do the stint or chemo as it didn't seem a good fit for our pup not to mention we couldn't handle the chemo financially.

I feel it's important to note that my husband and I had just moved out of an apartment complex where we had lived for two years. That apartment complex frequently sprayed chemicals on the grass and even though they would put signs up when they did this that it wasn't safe for dogs, there were not any other places to go and when your dog is trained to go to the bathroom as soon as you come outside it's difficult to try and make them change their habit and hold it in while you find a chemical free area. I think this was a big part of bringing to light any predisposition Sammie had. 

 We started piroxicam immediately and she is still with us 15 months later! In those first few months I scoured sites like this looking for any kind of info on a time line or what specifically to expect. I know everyone has said you will know when it's time but once that 6 month time frame came and passed we didn't know what to expect anymore as Sammie never really had a measureable decline. We just took her on a 5 mile hike yesterday and she continues to be as happy as ever. 

I wanted to share what we have noted over these past 15 months and the diet changes we made in case it's helpful for others looking for some kind of measurable info. 

Since being diagnosed we have gone outside in the morning every single day (rain shine dark snow ice whew!) to check her morning pee to confirm she is passing urine in a good stream. We don't check after that because the morning pee is always our guage. There have been many mornings of running across the yard to catch up with her because there was a squirrel on the other side of the yard! ...and crawling under our deck too! 

Since Sammie started the piroxicam she stopped bleeding constantly almost immeidately. She has periods of bloody discharge that come and go, soemtimes lasting a few days or a week and then goes weeks without any blood. It has never been an active drip like it was before she was diagnosed (I have wondered if that coming back would be a sign we are headed downhill.) Sammie does have regular yellowish discharge, it seems to be every day and she cleans it up on her own. Sammie will squat to pee and linger a while multiple times while outside in our backyard. Sometimes a few drips come out and sometimes nothing at all and we aren't sure how much is the tumor vs she is just marking. She squats more when we are walks than in the yard. She has not woken us up during the night to go outside. She does seem to want to go out during the day more but she has not had any accidents inside. 

Sammie has always been a lazy dog and tires out after a long walk but she is also 9.5 years old.  

She never appears to be in any pain. She is sensitive to her vagina area like if there's a lot of horsing around with other dogs and another dog accidentally steps on her lower half she gets upset. Other than that there's been no indications to us that she's uncomfortable. 

Diet Changes: We have kept her on the same kibble but we are careful not to buy anything with a bunch of junk like by-proudcts in it. We occasionally mix in wet food but since she was diagnosed I have for the most part been making her a mixture of ground beef with olive oil, chopped broccoli, brown rice and peas and carrots. Ever since I read that leafy greens are a good preventative for this type of tumor I thought it couldn't hurt to add it in her diet now. The other big change is we give her goat's milk every night before bed. This started out as a way to make sure she is drinking before bed so we know she needs to pee in the morning and can guage her urine stream. She just normally isn't a big water drinker and she loves this stuff. It's expensive so we water it down to make it last longer but I have wondered if this has been beneficial for her since it is often given to puppies as a replacement for their mother's milk. Plus our other dog goes nuts over it too. I do occasionally cook her some salmon with olive oil to mix in with food. 

I hope this is helpful to anyone going through this. Initially we were in a complete panic. Then the anxiety set in as the 6 month estimate approached and once it passed we just decided to relax and go with the flow. We have been afraid to go back to the vet for an ultrasound in case it's not something we want to hear but Sammie has just been such a happy dog and it's been such a pleasure to be her owners. We have often joked with friends that this has been some elaborate scheme by her to get maximum treats and oh my she has gotten many many special treats! 

RE: Status on Dog with TCC Tumor

by ZippyBeta on Fri Feb 08, 2019 01:31 AM

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Glad to hear your Sammie is doing good. I was told the bloody discharge is just the tumor shedding. As long as you have a urine flow you are doing good. Are you giving a stomach protectorant to prevent ulcers from the piroxicam?

RE: Status on Dog with TCC Tumor

by jlong516 on Tue Feb 12, 2019 01:19 AM

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Hey! We actually just went to the vet today to ask specifically about that. She said she did some research and consulted with a specialist and there’s no research to indicate it’s necessary but that if I wanted meds she’d give them. We opted not to right now since she’s not showing at signs of GI upset—no issues eating, no vomiting and no bloody stools. She mentioned Pepcid and Zantac as options if we wanted it. We did do labs so hopefully nothing upsetting when those results come in.

RE: Status on Dog with TCC Tumor

by jsmerdy on Tue Feb 12, 2019 04:54 AM

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On Feb 03, 2019 5:30 PM jlong516 wrote:

Hi everyone, 

My rescue lab mix was diagnosed with an aggressive TCC tumor in October 2017 after struggling to determine the cause of frequent UTIs. Sammie had started constantly dripping blood when we were referred to the onvology vet for a camera exam in her urinary tract. The vet gave her days to live at that time without any intervention. With meds he gave her 4-6 months. We opted not to do the stint or chemo as it didn't seem a good fit for our pup not to mention we couldn't handle the chemo financially.

I feel it's important to note that my husband and I had just moved out of an apartment complex where we had lived for two years. That apartment complex frequently sprayed chemicals on the grass and even though they would put signs up when they did this that it wasn't safe for dogs, there were not any other places to go and when your dog is trained to go to the bathroom as soon as you come outside it's difficult to try and make them change their habit and hold it in while you find a chemical free area. I think this was a big part of bringing to light any predisposition Sammie had. 

 We started piroxicam immediately and she is still with us 15 months later! In those first few months I scoured sites like this looking for any kind of info on a time line or what specifically to expect. I know everyone has said you will know when it's time but once that 6 month time frame came and passed we didn't know what to expect anymore as Sammie never really had a measureable decline. We just took her on a 5 mile hike yesterday and she continues to be as happy as ever. 

I wanted to share what we have noted over these past 15 months and the diet changes we made in case it's helpful for others looking for some kind of measurable info. 

Since being diagnosed we have gone outside in the morning every single day (rain shine dark snow ice whew!) to check her morning pee to confirm she is passing urine in a good stream. We don't check after that because the morning pee is always our guage. There have been many mornings of running across the yard to catch up with her because there was a squirrel on the other side of the yard! ...and crawling under our deck too! 

Since Sammie started the piroxicam she stopped bleeding constantly almost immeidately. She has periods of bloody discharge that come and go, soemtimes lasting a few days or a week and then goes weeks without any blood. It has never been an active drip like it was before she was diagnosed (I have wondered if that coming back would be a sign we are headed downhill.) Sammie does have regular yellowish discharge, it seems to be every day and she cleans it up on her own. Sammie will squat to pee and linger a while multiple times while outside in our backyard. Sometimes a few drips come out and sometimes nothing at all and we aren't sure how much is the tumor vs she is just marking. She squats more when we are walks than in the yard. She has not woken us up during the night to go outside. She does seem to want to go out during the day more but she has not had any accidents inside. 

Sammie has always been a lazy dog and tires out after a long walk but she is also 9.5 years old.  

She never appears to be in any pain. She is sensitive to her vagina area like if there's a lot of horsing around with other dogs and another dog accidentally steps on her lower half she gets upset. Other than that there's been no indications to us that she's uncomfortable. 

Diet Changes: We have kept her on the same kibble but we are careful not to buy anything with a bunch of junk like by-proudcts in it. We occasionally mix in wet food but since she was diagnosed I have for the most part been making her a mixture of ground beef with olive oil, chopped broccoli, brown rice and peas and carrots. Ever since I read that leafy greens are a good preventative for this type of tumor I thought it couldn't hurt to add it in her diet now. The other big change is we give her goat's milk every night before bed. This started out as a way to make sure she is drinking before bed so we know she needs to pee in the morning and can guage her urine stream. She just normally isn't a big water drinker and she loves this stuff. It's expensive so we water it down to make it last longer but I have wondered if this has been beneficial for her since it is often given to puppies as a replacement for their mother's milk. Plus our other dog goes nuts over it too. I do occasionally cook her some salmon with olive oil to mix in with food. 

I hope this is helpful to anyone going through this. Initially we were in a complete panic. Then the anxiety set in as the 6 month estimate approached and once it passed we just decided to relax and go with the flow. We have been afraid to go back to the vet for an ultrasound in case it's not something we want to hear but Sammie has just been such a happy dog and it's been such a pleasure to be her owners. We have often joked with friends that this has been some elaborate scheme by her to get maximum treats and oh my she has gotten many many special treats! 

This sounds almost exactly how my 9.5 yo border collie Winnie is doing.  We have a holistic vet who has her on the piroxicam, but also essential oils (incl. CBD), chinese herbs and a people food diet. The piroxicam caused (we think) some issues with her kidneys, so we cut it in half. We had a weekend about a month after we started with the piroxicam where she vomited 15 times in 24 hours.  The vet said that can be a symptom of early kidney failure and sure enough her BUN and Creatnine were off.  After halving the dose the levels are back to normal. 

Her diet is a combo of veggies (cauliflower, green beans, broccoli, carrot - I get the frozen ones) ground turkey, a very small amount of rice, and homemade bone broth.  The vet also had me make a mixture of cottage cheese, flaxseed oil and wheat germ that we give her as snacks a few times a day and she loves it!  

She has lots of hair on her hind legs and a hairy tail (as border collies do), but after reading your post I think I'm going to trim all that hair so we can get an easier look at her morning pee.  We check now, but it's hard! 

Thanks so much for this post - so great to hear that there's hope of having her with us for awhile. It's been about 4 months since diagnosis.

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