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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

How to Get A Diagnosis Before Surgery

Updated: October 19th, 2018

There are several different ways of finding out if a lump is a cancer.  Each involves having some of the growth tested, but which is best?

There are several ways to collect a sample.  Often a biopsy is done.  A biopsy involves collecting a piece of the growth for analysis.  Sometimes the growth is removed and the entire mass is send off.  This is also called a biopsy.

Other times a needle is used to collect some cells from the area in question.  These cells are then placed on a glass slide, and the slide is sent for review.  This is called a fine needle aspirate.

Finally, cells can be harvested from fluid collected within the chest, abdomen, lungs, or sinuses.  This specimen can be sent off as well.

Different pets have different growths in various locations. Which is the best?

For growths on the skin, under the skin, in the spleen, liver, prostate, and some bladder or mouth tumors, often the best first step is the fine needle aspirate.  The reason for this is a fine needle aspirate can usually be done without any anesthesia and the procedure itself is over with quickly.  Dogs recover almost immediately and there is very little trauma.

Fluid analysis is useful for tumors in the abdomen, chest cavity, and nasal sinus.  This fluid can yield a diagnosis, sometimes without invasive surgery.

Fine needle aspirates and fluid analysis are good first steps to plan later surgery and work-up.  If a vet removes a cancerous growth for a biopsy without knowing if it is cancerous, a second surgery is often needed to remove more tissue.  This second surgery aims at removing more cancer cells that may be left in the area surrounding the growth.  A second surgery can often be prevented by knowing what we are dealing with first.

Another reason getting a diagnosis before a surgery is that, sadly, sometimes the tumor has already spread to other areas in the body.  If the fine needle aspirate report suggests that the growth has a high likelihood of spreading, often your veterinarian will do tests to determine if spread has already happened.  If there is evidence that spread has already occurred, surgical removal of the growth may not make sense.

In some cases doing a surgery is not the best treatment.  Cancers that have spread may need chemotherapy, radiation,  diet changes, apoptogens, immune supplements, anti-metastatics, and other treatments beyond surgery.

Sometimes a minor biopsy procedure can be done as a first step.  The advantage of a biopsy is the pathologist will be able to give a definite diagnosis almost 100% of the time.  Occasionally the less invasive tests yield hazy or inconclusive information, which almost never happens with biopsies.

One of the ways a minor biopsy is performed is by taking a small piece of tumor tissue using a biopsy punch or a scalpel.  This requires only a stitch or two, and the recovery is usually not bad at all.  These tests are often done for growths on the surface of the body, in the mouth, ear canals or genitals.

The bottom line is  a diagnosis should be sought before jumping right into surgical removal of growths that may be cancerous.  If surgery is the right approach, the right surgery can be done, and appropriate work-up can be performed beforehand.  For cancers where surgery is not the best option, other treatments can be started.

For more information on cancer testing as well as a comprehensive road map for the dog cancer journey, see The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.

Best,

Dr D

Discover the Full Spectrum Approach to Dog Cancer

Leave a Comment





  1. Christine Taylor on October 5, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    My dog is a 10 year old Siberian Husky/Shep mix. He has a mass on his left lateral side near the end of his rib cage. It seems to be swollen and is as big as the palm of my hand. The vet did 3 needle biopsies for a cost of $240 but when the results came back all they could tell us is that this is a very aggressive form of Cancer and the lab recommended surgery to remove it. Apparently the lab cannot tell us what type of Cancer it is but that it doesn’t spread to other organs.

    When I asked the vet for statistics regarding length of survival rates for dogs with and without surgery but I was told there is no research done. I think this is completely unacceptable and actually neglectful. There is absolutely no reason why Veterinarian Colleges cannot request results and timelines from vets who have treated cancer and the ages of the dogs.

    Another issue I have is that doctor’s, when treating humans have guidelines in place about whether or not to do surgery depending upon the size of the tumor. I was told that they will do surgery as long as they do not have to remove more than 50% of his skin and muscle. How can any dog recuperate well when so much tissue is removed? If such a dog did heal just fine how would he move?

    We have checked with other dog lovers who experienced something similar and all who went with surgery lost their dogs shortly after. We are talking under 6 months. One of the dogs recouped just fine (he was 10 as well) but then one day 6 months after surgery he went to his owners whimpering in pain and just dropped dead.

    The life span of our dog is apparently 10-12 years and recommending surgery without being able to supply us with statistics has put us in a terrible position. We originally decided to just let our dog live out his life enjoying his walks etc for as long as he can before he becomes uncomfortable because we were told the surgery is very traumatic (similar to a radical mastectomy in a woman) and he has reached the bottom range of his life expectancy.

    As a result of our decision our daughter has cried continually almost for 4 days. When she does stop crying it is for a brief time only. She thinks that because the vet recommended it that we should do it as my daughter sees this as a sign that he WILL live another 2 years. The family has been stressed seeing her suffer along with our dog having terminal cancer.

    Our dog has separation anxiety and just being at the vets makes him stressed. When he had to be sedated (had a hot spot and didn’t like the collar) he didn’t sleep, all he did was lie there whimpering until the sedation wore off. My daughter thinks that we should do all we can when it fact there may be little chance he will live past 6 months and even less of a chance living longer. Statistics would help us decide the course of action that best suits our dog.

    If you know of any would you kindly post them. I left a message to book the surgery as this was the only way I could relieve my daughter’s suffering.She is in University and cannot tend to her work due to her wondering what the right choice is. If chances are he will only suffer and die soon after than I would like to just manage the condition best we can until we can no longer relieve his suffering.

  2. Jim from RI on May 5, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Dr. Dressler,

    In addition to the comment above regrading prostate cancer, have you had specific experience using Apocaps with prostate cancer? Please also note that my dog has been neutered since we adopted him 9 years ago.

    Thank you for your time and information,
    Jim from RI

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on May 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Jim,
      one of the things I am prohibited from doing is making any medical claims concerning apocaps and specific cancer types. I am sorry. But suffice it to say that I use apocaps for my patients and have had successes. But I am not saying that Apocaps is chemo or radiation or surgery. However, the constituents do target certain metabolic pathways that are found in cancer cells, and these pathways are connected to normal health, and the ingredients in Apocaps are shown to help maintain normal levels of these pathways. Pretty round about, I apologize, but that’s as good as I can do at this time.
      Best
      Dr D

  3. Nicole on May 3, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Dear Dr. Dressler,
    We are extremely grateful for your book and the comprehensive research you have done on canine cancer. Your book is absolutely the most helpful resource out there; and I am relieved to have it to refer to every day. We were wondering if we could present our history to you and get a recommendation regarding NSAIDs and Apocaps for our 50lb. lab/chow mix Joe, who is approx. 12 years old.

    Joe was diagnosed with TCC. The preceding month we had noticed pencil-like stools. We originally thought the cancer was in the trigone area of the bladder. We implemented the recommendations in your book: diet, K9 immunity and transfer factor, citrus pectin, krill oil and fish oil, and multivitamin. We held off on Apocaps because he was put on piroxicam. The size of the stools showed intermittent and slightly inconsistent improvement. We also give him the cottage cheese/flax oil (Budwig protocol). Five weeks later, an ultrasound was performed, and we learned that his prostate has enlarged by 1 cm. The oncologist switched him to 50 mg deramaxx, and we have immediately started him on Apocaps.

    QUESTION: 1. In your book, it sounds like the reason for reducing the dosage of Apocaps when giving an NSAID is to avoid stomach upset. Our dog is strong, and with all of the diet/supplement changes has shown no nausea or diarrhea. Due to the aggressive nature of canine prostate cancer, we have started him on the full dose of Apocaps. Is there any reason besides potential stomach issues, not to have him on both deramaxx and full Apocaps at the same time?

    2. What is your experience with removal of the prostate for this type of cancer? Can it be done without interfering with the function of the urethra.

    3. Do you recommend any other specific supplements/protocols aimed at prostate cancer?

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on May 9, 2012 at 4:14 pm

      Dear Nichole
      Sorry to hear about this.
      you (under veterinary supervision) could try the combo but I would be using methods to protect the intestine and stomach to be safe (full meal, cytotec, carafate, slippery elm etc).
      Surgery can be done but rarely is curative.
      Are we talking about prostatic transitional cell carcinoma? Or prostatic adenocarcinoma? The chemos are different. The supplements have not been studied adequately to provide cancer-spefic supplement protocols most of the time.
      I would be also considering Neoplasene and artemisinin under these circumstances, with veterinary supervision, as next steps.
      I hope this helps a bit.
      D

  4. Chris on November 7, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Dr. Dressler,
    4Life makes Transfer Factor Classic. About $38 for 90 capsules. Same price on Amazon. This product doesn’t have anything else added. It is a human product, but from what I have learned that doesn’t matter – transfer factors are transfer factors. This company makes a canine product, called Transfer Factor Canine Complete, but this product contains other ingredients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (SOD is one of the ingredients).
    Do you have a recommendation on how much to give?
    I also spent some time on the internet and looking through your list of references in your book for the research on transfer factors. I wasn’t able to find any abstracts! The 4Life web site claims there are “hundreds” of studies on transfer factors, but doesn’t have any links to any published data on their web site. I searched PubMed and turned up nothing… Do you know of any papers you can share with us?
    Thank you!

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on November 12, 2011 at 7:46 am

      Dear Dr. Chris

      when searching use the browser search bar. Try :”transfer factor malignancy pubmed”

      This is safe stuff so go ahead and extrapolate human doses pound for pound.
      Here’s some info:

      J Exp Pathol. 1987 Summer;3(4):549-64.
      Clinical trials of transfer factor in malignancy.
      Spitler LE, Miller L.
      Source

      Paul M. Aggelar Memorial Laboratory, Children’s Hospital of San Francisco, California 94118.
      Abstract

      Results of clinical trials of transfer factor therapy in various malignancies have been variable. In non randomized trials, about 300 patients have been evaluated, and clinical benefit has been reported in about 1/3 of the evaluable patients. Results of randomized studies are similarly varied. In some randomized trials, clinical benefits of increased disease free survival and prolonged survival have been claimed. In other studies, transfer factor has been reported to be of no clinical benefit. In a few studies, results suggest patients receiving transfer factor do not do as well as those receiving placebo, although these are only trends, and do not reach the level of statistical significance. There are a number of variables in the design of transfer factor trials, and review of the studies performed to date does not permit a determination of which, if any, of these variables is related to the therapeutic outcome….
      Journal ofthe Royal Society ofMedicine Volume 72 December 1979:
      Transfer factor
      Anne S Hamblin PhD
      Immunology Department, St Thomas’ Hospital, London SEI 7EH
      The term transfer factor is given to dialysable material present in extracts of immune
      peripheral blood leukocytes which apparently confers (‘transfers’) delayed-type hypersensitivity
      (or its in vitro correlates) when injected into a non-hypersensitive subject. Clinical and
      immunological observations following the administration of transfer factor have led to the
      concept that it converts non-immune to immune lymphocytes in vivo, thus acting as a mediator
      of adoptive sensitization (Lawrence 1974). A wide variety of clinical conditions including
      immunodeficiency, infectious diseases, autoimmunity and malignancy have therefore been
      treated with transfer factor in attempts to reconstitute cellular immunity. However, the
      mechanism by which transfer factor is therapeutically beneficial is complicated by clinical
      observations that patients may acquire cellular immune responsiveness not apparently related
      to donor specificity (Dupont et al. 1974, Valdimarsson et al. 1974, Spitler et al. 1972, Griscelli
      1975, Kirkpatrick & Smith 1976a) suggesting that leukocyte extracts may also possess adjuvant
      properties. The clinical benefit derived from treatment with transfer factor may therefore
      depend not only on the initiation of specific immunological reactivity, but also the
      amplification of an existing immune response.
      The proposition that both the so-called specific and nonspecific properties of transfer factor
      may have a contribution to make to the augmentation of cellular immune responses in patients
      raises a number of practical issues. It is perhaps useful to remember that the term transfer
      factor is often applied to the whole leukocyte extract administered in vivo. However, it has
      been suggested that the crude material be termed ‘dialysable leukocyte extract’ and that the
      term ‘transfer factor’ be reserved for the unidentified factor or factors capable of transferring
      delayed hypersensitivity. The relative roles of the specific and nonspecific activities in the
      extract raise questions regarding the selection of donors for therapy. It is not clear whether a
      more beneficial product may be prepared from donors with specific strong delayed
      hypersensitivity responses or from unscreened pooled normal healthy donors. The question is
      0141-0768/79/120927-03/$01.00/0 ,’-. 1979 the Royal Society of Medicine
      928 Journal ofthe Royal Society ofMedicine Volume 72 December 1979
      under assessment in studies in which the product from normal healthy blood-bank donors is
      administered to patients with a wide range of diseases (Grob 1977) and in properly controlled
      clinical trials such as those currently under way in the United States in leprosy and
      coccidiomycosis.
      Much of the scepticism which surrounded the early work on transfer factor resulted from
      the consistent failure to demonstrate the transfer phenomenon in animals, particularly the
      guinea pig. However, recent studies in primates, guinea pigs and infectious disease models in
      animals have shown that it is possible to demonstrate biological properties of leukocyte
      extracts which may be relevant to transfer factor in humans. Such studies have revealed both
      general and specific stimulatory activity in leukocyte dialysates. Thus, Steele etal. (1976) have
      reported that human leukocyte dialysates could transfer delayed hypersensitivity responses to
      gnotobiotic monkeys never previously exposed to the relevant antigens. Immunological
      specificity was implied since recipients never converted to antigens to which the donor did not
      react in vivo. In contrast, Vandenbark etal. (1977) have reported that delayed hypersensitivity
      skin reactions could only be elicited in guinea pigs receiving human leukocyte dialysate when
      the animals had previously been primed with the relevant antigen, thus supporting the view
      that dialysates contain materials which stimulate the recipient to express sensitivity to
      antigens to which they have previously been exposed.
      The concept that transfer factor converts non-immune to immune lymphocytes raises the
      possibility that non-immune lymphocytes cultured with transfer factor may acquire the ability
      to respond to specific antigen which may be assessed by a variety of in vitro tests such as
      lymphocyte transformation, migration inhibition or cytotoxicity. Such specific effects have
      been reported and have been reviewed (Lawrence 1974, Ascher et al. 1976). However, it is
      clear that leukocyte dialysates also contain many substances capable of nonspecifically altering
      lymphocyte responses only some of which may reflect the nonspecific effects in vivo (Hamblin
      etal. 1976). It is, therefore, essential to bear in mind that extracts of cells may simply improve
      lymphocyte function in vitro by, for example, medium conditioning effects. Thus it has been
      reported that human leukocyte dialysate causes cyclic guanosine monophosphate (GMP)
      accumulation in normal leukocytes (Kirkpatrick & Smith 1976b). Cell extracts contain
      serotonin and ascorbate known to cause cyclic GMP accumulation. Fractionation of the crude
      dialysate indicated that the fraction which caused conversion of delayed skin tests also causes
      cyclic GMP accumulation, but did not contain ascorbate or serotonin. This example reveals
      the need for careful biochemical studies before conclusions may be drawn regarding the
      relevance of in vitro activity of the crude dialysate to its effect in vivo.
      To supplement these studies much effort has been made to characterize the dialysable
      material extracted from leukocytes biochemically. Analysis of dialysates by gel chromatography
      has shown that they may be separated into a number of subfractions some of which
      transfer specific delayed hypersensitivity responses (Zuckerman etal. 1974, Burger etal. 1976)
      and some of which may nonspecifically enhance delayed hypersensitivity responses in humans
      (Krohn et al. 1977). In addition, fractions have been described with specific and nonspecific
      activity in animal and in vitro models (see Ascher et al. 1976). Within leukocyte dialysates a
      variety of known substances have been identified which could be responsible separately or in
      combination for some of the reported in vitro or in vivo effects (Wilson et al. 1977, Hamblin
      1979). However, the material(s) responsible for the transfer of delayed hypersensitivity has yet
      to be defined biochemically, and to date no subfraction of the crude dialysate has definitively
      been shown to be therapeutically beneficial.
      The lack of available information regarding the mechanisms of action and biochemical
      nature of transfer factor makes it difficult to describe schedules, dosage and source of material
      for treatment. Furthermore, a variety of activities have been reported clinically and in animal
      and in vitro models and the interrelationship between these has yet to be made. One view,
      expressed by C H Kirkpatrick in 1975, is that ‘the phenomenon of transfer factor is a
      summation of several effects’. The results of ongoing clinical trials, together with continued
      biochemical and biological analysis of the dialysate, will show whether this hypothesis will be
      substantiated or refuted.
      Journal ofthe Royal Society ofMedicine Volume 72 December 1979 929
      References
      Ascher M S Gottlieb A A & Kirkpatrick C H ed (1976) Transfer Factor: Basic Properties and Clinical Applications.
      Academic Press, New York
      Burger D R, Vandenbark A A, Daves D, Anderson WA, Vetto R M & Finke P, (1976) Journal ofImmunology 117, 789
      Dupont D, BaUlow M, Hansen J A, Quick C, Yunis E J & Good R A (1974) Proceedings of the National Academy of
      Sciences ofthe USA 71, 867
      Grscelli C (1975) Birth Defects 11, 462
      Grob P J (1977) Acta Neurologica Scandinavica 55, Suppl; p 217
      Hamblin A S (1979) In: Clinical Neuroimmunology. Ed. F Clifford Rose. Blackwell Scientific Publications, London;
      p497
      Hamblin A S, Dumonde D C & Maini R N (1976) Clinical and Experimental Immunology 23, 303
      Kirkpatrick C H (1975) Birth Defects 11, 441
      Kirkpatrick C H & Smith T K (1976a) Cellular Immunology 27, 232
      Kirkpatrick C H & Smith T K (1976b) In: Transfer Factor: Basic Properties and Clinical Applications.
      Ed. M S Ascher et al. Academic Press, New York; p 161
      Krohn K, Grohn P, Horsmanheimo M & VirolainenuM (1977) Medical Biology 54, 334
      Lawrence H S (1974) Transfer Factor in Cellular Immunity. Harvey Lecture Series 68. Academic Press, New York;
      pp 239-250
      Spider L E, Levin A S, Blots M S, Epstein N, Fudenberg H H, Helistrom I & Heflstrom K E (1972) Journal ofClinical
      Investigation 51, 92a
      Steele R W, Eichberg J W, Heberlung R L, Eller J J Kalter S S & Kniker W T (1976) Cellular Immunology 22, 110
      Valdimarsson H, Hambleton G, Henry K & McConnell I (1974) Clinical and Experimental Immunology 16, 141
      Vandenbark A A, Burger D R & Vetto R M (1977) Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology 8, 7
      Wilson G B, Welch T M, Knapp D R, Horsannheimo A & Fudenberg H (1977) Clinical Immunology and
      Immunopathology, 8, 551
      Zuckerman K S, Neidhart J A, Balcerzak S P & LoBuglio A (1974) Journal ofClinical Investigation 54, 997

      Mol Med. 2000 Apr;6(4):332-41.
      Transfer factors: identification of conserved sequences in transfer factor molecules.
      Kirkpatrick CH.
      Source

      Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, USA.
      Abstract
      BACKGROUND:

      Transfer factors are small proteins that “transfer” the ability to express cell-mediated immunity from immune donors to non-immune recipients. We developed a process for purifying specific transfer factors to apparent homogeneity. This allowed us to separate individual transfer factors from mixtures containing several transfer factors and to demonstrate the antigen-specificity of transfer factors. Transfer factors have been shown to be an effective means for correction of deficient cellular immunity in patients with opportunistic infections, such as candidiasis or recurrent Herpes simplex and to provide prophylactic immunity against varicella-zoster in patients with acute leukemia.
      MATERIALS AND METHODS:

      Transfer factors of bovine and murine origin were purified by affinity chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography. Cyanogen bromide digests were sequenced. The properties of an apparently conserved sequence on expression of delayed-type hypersensitivity by transfer factor recipients were assessed.
      RESULTS:

      A novel amino acid sequence, LLYAQDL/VEDN, was identified in each of seven transfer factor preparations. These peptides would not transfer expression of delayed-type hypersensitivity to recipients, which indicates that they are not sufficient for expression of the specificity or immunological properties of native transfer factors. However, administration of the peptides to recipients of native transfer factors blocked expression of delayed-type hypersensitivity by the recipients. The peptides were not immunosuppressive.
      CONCLUSIONS:

      These findings suggest that the peptides may represent the portion of transfer factors that binds to the “target cells” for transfer factors. Identification of these cells will be helpful in defining the mechanisms of action of transfer factors.

      Birth Defects Orig Artic Ser. 1975;11(1):449-56.
      Transfer factor II: results of therapy.
      Spitler LE, Levin AS, Fudenberg HH.
      Abstract

      Transfer factor is a dialyzable extract of sensitized leukocytes, which transfers reactivity from skin test-positive donors to skin test-negative recipients. Transfer factor supplied by our laboratory has been used therapeutically to induce cellular immunity in 78 patients around the world. Many patients received multiple doses of transfer factor ranging from 1 unit given every 6 months for 3 years to 1 unit every week for 6 months to as much as 8 units per week for a brief period. A total of 299 units of transfer factor have been given. Diseases in which transfer factor appeared to cause improvement include the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, severe combined immunodeficiency disease, mucocutaneous candidiasis, chronic active hepatitis, coccidioidmycosis, dysgammaglobulinemia, Behcet disease, aphthous stomatitis, linear morphea, familial keratoacanthoma and malignancy.

      Biotherapy. 1996;9(1-3):61-6.
      Efficacy of transfer factor in treating patients with recurrent ocular herpes infections.
      Meduri R, Campos E, Scorolli L, De Vinci C, Pizza G, Viza D.

      Cancer Detect Prev Suppl. 1987;1:373-6.
      Transfer factor for adjuvant immunotherapy in cervical cancer.
      Wagner G, Knapp W, Gitsch E, Selander S.

      1st Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Vienna, Austria.
      Abstract

      In a prospective randomized double-blind study of 60 patients with invasive cervical cancer, 32 were treated with transfer factor (TF) derived from leukocytes of the patients’ husbands, and 28 were treated with placebo. Within the first 2 years after radical hysterectomy, five out of 32 TF-treated patients and 11 out of 28 placebo-treated patients developed recurrence of malignancy. Excluding one further patient with intercurrent death this difference is significant (chi 2 = 3.9915; P less than 0.05). Subdividing the collectives, significant differences were found in patients aged below 35 years and in patients with stage I disease. Identical immune profiles were checked in leukocyte donors prior to leukophoresis and were serially checked in patients. Antigen-specific correlations were found between donors’ and recipients’ reactivities but not between donors’ reactivity and recipient’s course of the disease.

      Eye Physiopathology Clinical Service, University of Bologna, Italy.
      Abstract

      Recurrent ocular herpes is an insoluble problem for the clinician. As cellular immunity plays an important role in controlling herpes relapses, and other studies have shown the efficacy of HSV-specific transfer factor (TF) for the treatment of herpes patients, an open clinical trial was undertaken in 134 patients (71 keratitis, 29 kerato-uveitis, 34 uveitis) suffering from recurrent ocular herpetic infections. The mean duration of the treatment was 358 days, and the entire follow-up period 189,121 before, and 64,062 days after TF treatment. The cell-mediated immune response to the viral antigens, evaluated by the lymphocyte stimulation test (LST) and the leucocyte migration test (LMT) (P < 0.001), was significantly increased by the TF treatment. The total number of relapses was decreased significantly during/after TF treatment, dropping from 832 before, to 89 after treatment, whereas the cumulative relapse index (RI) dropped, during the same period, from 13.2 to 4.17 (P < 0.0001). No side effects were observed. It is concluded that patients with relapsing ocular herpes can benefit from treatment with HSV-specific TF.

  5. chris distefano on November 7, 2011 at 12:44 am

    I tried to recieve the free diet and as yet nothing has come through~what do I do?

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on November 7, 2011 at 11:33 am

      You should have received the diet via email. If not, please contact customer support at cs@dogcancervet.com and we will make sure you get a copy.

  6. K on November 5, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Hello, Dr. Dressler,
    So happy to have found your info.!!
    Our sweet basset hound, Shug, just turned 9 this week and went to the vet to find a tumor on the outside of his ear. It is presently unattached, the first one to be noticed, and scheduled to be treated next week. That is the ques., how to proceed with what tx? Since it hasn’t been labeled yet…what can be done? Should it be surgically removed or can the neoplasine be applied even w/o a cancer dx?
    Looking forward to your input.
    Thanks sooo much for your time!!

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on November 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm

      Dear K
      it is very important to get a diagnosis so you and the vet know what the right treatment is. The conventional approaches vary a lot depending on the cancer type.
      I hope this helps
      D

  7. Paul on November 3, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Super Oxide Dismutase – Could you kindly tell us what the concern is with this substance,as I also have the K-9 supplements and was about to start treating my 2nd dog to have cancer within a year,with them.
    Unfortunately,they could not help me save my last dog.

    Your clarification on this rather important point would be much appreciated.
    Thnx.

  8. Mary Emmons on November 3, 2011 at 5:50 am

    My AB has been diagnosed with Mast cell tumors of the skin. He started out with very small bumps on his back, side, and back leg. My vet removed them and sent them off to a lab. The results did come back that they were MCT’s, but she said that they got it all, and the tissue surrounding the growths was free of cancer. The vet informed me that it is due to immune or allergy problems. I have him on supplements and am now giving him Curcumin (Turmeric) sprinkled on his food. It has been only a little over 2 months since his surgery and I have found a new bump on his other back leg that is the size of a small pea. I can’t believe it and now I am scared. Does this mean that they have spread to other parts of his body now? I will be contacting my local vet soon.

  9. Sue on November 3, 2011 at 5:17 am

    Can a diagnosis ever be wrong? My dog has had a lump for years that the vet said to “watch”. It got very big very fast and a needle aspirate showed it was a mast cell tumor, which the vet said was cancer. Our dog is 12 years old so we opted not to operate or do chemo or radiation, we only give her MSM and Benadryl twice a day.

    My question is, can a mast cell tumor ever be benign? She is not sick at all, no symptoms whatsoever even though she was diagnosed a year ago. Thanks Dr. D!

  10. Morgan Whitehead on November 3, 2011 at 4:18 am

    Reg, my fourteen and a half year old staffy/lab/bull terrier X had a 2cm andenocarcinoma removed April 2011, had back surgery for stenosis and was diagnosed with illiac thrombus 🙁 at same time. He went well with both surgeries and is now much more comfortable back wise, the surgeon told me he got clean margins and no chemo or radiation was suggested. At that point i knew nothing about canine cancer except that two dogs i loved dearly both died of cancer 6months apart leaving only me and my Reg, as far as i knew the lump was removed and all was good. In July 2011 on rechecking clot it had extended 4cm down the external illiac and he had enlarged lymph nodes. Realising my situation, albeit 3 month after initial surgery to remove growth i grieved and stresses and then got on the internet to find anything i could about dog cancer, thankfully i found a cancer diet recipe, your book and apocaps. I am eternally greatful for the clarity and peace of mind that came with the book. As Reg and i are Australian there was one more frustration – i couldnt get apocaps in Australia – thought my 2nd chance at giving it my best shot was lost too but alas after a week and a half of frustration and disappointment i awoke on morning and decided to accept i coulnt get apocaps and phoned a man in Western Australia (other side of Australia to where we live) who had a web site on canine vitamins and supplement and canine cancer and the first thing that came out of my mouth was “have you heard of apocaps?” He replied that he had heard there was a book out now and he had ordered some apocaps and was waiting for them to released to him, so i placed my order, a very very happy day indeed. For the last two weeks i have been giving Reg three apocaps three times a day, k9 immunity and transfer factor along with fish oil, digestive enzymes, multi vitamins and some antioxidants recommended to me for the clot. Other than risky complex surgery by and extremely talented, highly qualified fellow of veterinary science i dont have any other options but to hope i can find something to break down this clot. As Reg is fourteen +yrs, has cancer and we have not yet found an underlying issue to explain this clot so therefor may be growing within the artery wall in which case would be inoperable however we wouldnt know that unless we opened him up (in which case lymph nodes wld be removed also) i am constantly reading and trying to find anything i can that may help without giving him unneccessary things that only put more pressure on his kidneys and liver for no benefit. It is all very foreign and frustrating for me and Reg, i recently purchased some lumbrokinase (derived from earth worm to break down clots) however am anable to find enough literature to feel confident to add these to the mix as much as i hope they are all they say they are. Reg is fed three times a day and this seems to work for him very well how do i fit apocaps into his day with three feeds and anti oxidants? I know i can leave a minimun of one hour before or after food and 3hrs before or after antoxidants but am concerned that unless i leave the recommended 4hrs befor or after food and 6hr before or after anti oxidants that in reality i wont be gaining anything with apocaps?It is soooo important to me to get it right and this keeps me up at nights. And speaking of nights can apocaps be given at 11pm late in morning overnight, eg 4am and then 11am or are best result given if given over daytime period? Is there any other effective way to give a 70lb his required dose over a 24hr period, eg 4 twice a day? Any information or advice wld be much appreciated.

    with thanks,
    love me & Reg

    PS have you heard of lumbrokinase?

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on November 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      Dear Morgan
      just give the apocaps 1 hour before the full meals, or 1 hour after the full meals. If you cannot do this, giving apocaps with a full meal will not hurt, just less will enter the bloodstream but there will be benefit regardless.
      Could also look into nattokinase…just an idea
      Best
      D

  11. Chris on October 25, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Dr. Dressler,
    I’m posting my question so that others can possibly benefit. When we talked about supplements for my dog Cody you recommended stopping a supplement that I’ve using because it contains Super Oxide Dismutase. You recommended supplements from Aloha Medicinals – the K9 Immunity and K9 Transfer Factor. I ordered both. In reading the label for the K9 Transfer Factor I’ve discovered that this supplement contains Super Oxide Dismutase. I’m going to return it and look for a company that makes a formulation without SOD.

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on October 26, 2011 at 12:55 pm

      That’s a good point-
      Thanks very much for letting us know!
      D

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