Canine Bladder Cancer (tcc)

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RE: Tcc diagnosis staffy bladder/urethra lining

by Dougalsmum on Fri Sep 21, 2018 08:00 PM

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On Sep 21, 2018 7:48 PM fenway617 wrote:

My story with my sweet boy does not have a happy ending but the journey was all great.  As we just went through it all I thought I could share our highs and lows to help others. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer in August 2016. The symptoms were minimal, some pinkish blood once in a while so we had tests done then an ultrasound and received the bad news. Out vet said it wasn’t great news so we went online looking for hope all we read was grim timelines of 6 months is the range to live with this, maybe 9 months at best and it won’t be great quality of life. So we read about this Proxicam drug and went to Tufts Vet Hospital and met with an Oncologist who didn’t offer much more hope but said Proxicam with a chemo would give him a fighting chance to prolong his life but she said we were still looking at probably no more than 9-10 months. Our options were Proxicam with a drip chemo meaning we’d have to drive once a week 75 min each way to Tufts, drop him off for the day. He hates car rides and we were told the side effects were not good with the drip chemo. Option 2 was Proxicam and an at home pill chemo once a day, not as strong as the drip but almost no side effects so we went that option. 1 month became 2 months then 3 months then 4 months etc….. he lived almost 2 years after being diagnosed before passing away last month at 15 years old. And all but the last week was a great quality of life. Now there were some bumps in the road, a few UTIs, a clot in his bladder that initially looked like the tumor had really grown that he had to pass which he did. We did bloodwork every 3 months because Proxicam ca wreak havoc on the kidneys. After about 16 months the Proxicam started impacting his kidneys so we had to stop using it altogether. He lived the last 4-5 months with no cancer treatment and he still walked every day, ate, played and loved life. The last week he rapidly went downhill, tough time walking, no eating or drinking so we knew it was time. I miss him every day but so happy for the time we had with him.

So the lesson is, don’t give up. Look for options. We were told at time he was diagnosed not to expect him to last much beyond a few months and he lived 2 years. It was the best two years ever! The journey was long, highs and lows but we got through it. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask.

What a lovely story, I'm glad to read you got another 2 years, I would have been delighted with that outcome.  Only got 3 weeks with my boy, he went downhill fast even with proxicam.

RE: Tcc diagnosis staffy bladder/urethra lining

by rtlee on Mon Oct 01, 2018 01:51 AM

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Hello everyone! So sorry to hear about all the challenges with your beloved pets and families!

Our 8 year-old soft coated wheaten terrier was just diagnosed with TCC in the urethra lining. I'm writing my story here in case it helps others and to ask for advice on clinics around the US where we may be able to get the best TCC treatment including surgies.

Our story starts back in April 2018 where we noticed him straining to pee and frequent attempts. There were some wild goose chases along the way, such as a two-week course of antibotics for a UTI even thought the urinalysis was negative, just in case.

In August we saw a dog urologist who did a CAT scan and suggested we try 6mg of Pirioxcam 1x a day. Our dog responded very well to it. Within 2-3 days he was peeing for a log longer and straining a lot less (although still a fair amount of repeated attempts). More importantly, he was feeling great and totally returned to his playful energetic self.

After 11 days on 6mg of Pirioxicam, he developed ulcers, bleeding, diarreha and vomiting. It was pretty bad for several days. After a course of antibotics to get his stomach back in order and ulcer medication he was past the awful diarreha. Then we switched him to half dose (3mg) which he has been on for about 6 weeks now with no side effects from the meds, while he seems to get the same medical benefit from the Pirioxicam. I say this because his peeing duration is as before on the 6mg and frequency / straining seems to be just as controlled. His quality of life right now is excellent and you'd never know anything was wrong with him, unless you watched him outside with the somewhat frequent straining.

At any rate, it took a long time and several specialists before we got the diagnosis via a cyscopy. The doc said he estimates his urethra is about 40% obstructed via the inflamed lining. 

It is quite scary to see the articles on lines and some of the stories here about how low the survial rate seems to be and how little time we may have with our fuzzy fella. It also seems so misleading because he seems to be doing so great it's hard to imagine that won't persist, but realistics from what I'm reading, I know we need to do more.

We are in Maryland. We are trying to get an appointment ASAP with a clinic that has a strong oncology department. There's on in Leesburg VA with several experts and they also can do radiation if appropriate.

I was reading "Lately research with cisplatin and its more kidney-friendly relative carboplatin has shown some success with remission rates up to 70% (!!) when used in combination with Piroxicam.  Newer work with intravenous vinblastine is promising but there have been bone marrow suppression issues in some patients."

I was also reading about laser surgery for treating TCC here http://www.ridgewoodvet.com/services/tcc-surgery although it sounds like that helps get relief but not necessarily remission.

I'd love to hear from anyone with experience trying laser or the vinblastine or cisplatin/carboplatin and how well they work.

Also I am hoping to get recommendations for a specific clinic and or doctors around the US that are well known for being experts in treating TCC and possibly aggressive surgery if that can be used rid his body of this awful disease. He is such a wonderful and sweet boy, and 8 years of life for him is just way to short to see him go and are willing to do whatever it takes to get him the best treatment available. 

Whatever advice and help you can provide is greatly appreciated!! Thank you. :)

RE: Tcc diagnosis staffy bladder/urethra lining

by ZippyBeta on Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:02 AM

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Please join the Facebook group  Dog Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC) a great group with lots of info.                                          h

stereotactic radiosurgery services?

by rtlee on Tue Oct 02, 2018 05:55 AM

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Does anyone hear have experience with stereotactic radiosurgery services to help keep TCC at bay?

Supposedly it can be quite an effective treatment, so it is a little surprising that after reading thousands of posts here I couldn't find anyone talking about it. That said, it could be because there are very few clinics in the US that have the equipment necessary to perform this treatment, and it is also several thousands of dollars. I do plan to look into this for our 8 year old dog that was just diagnosed with TCC - story is in a few posts above.

RE: stereotactic radiosurgery services?

by fenway617 on Tue Oct 02, 2018 05:43 PM

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With our dog (story on prior page) I got very lucky to catch it soon.  He had no symptoms except at the very end of walks once in a while his urine would be  a pale pink.  At first I just thought it was the angle I was looking and maybe the sun shine was making it look different so I thought nothing of it.  Then a few weeks later he peed on a white tree and I saw it was reddish. We went to the vet a day later, urinalysis  and bloodwork were done and he was put UTI meds for 3 straight 2-week cycles until we got an ultrasound and bad news. He did well on the prioxicam and an oral chemo for a while, like 20 months without many side effects except for the every few month UTI. We gave the prioxicam with Pepsid so that helped his stomach. After a 1 ½ years though his kidenys started to get impacted so we had to pull him from the prioixam.  He was diagnosed  at 13 years old and he lived another 2+ years with a great quality of life. In the end the vet said it was prob just his old age that did him in and not the tumor because he was still peeing fine.

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