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

Articles by Demian Dressler, DVM

Exciting News for Apocaps

When a new approach to medical issues is found, many steps must be completed before it can be officially used for any medical problem. To bring a new contenter all the way to FDA approval, it is estimated that it takes about 15 years and (as a very low estimate) about 50 million dollars. This…

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Surgery and “Blood Thinning” Drugs and Supplements

The approach in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, as well as my own personal philosophy concerning problem-solving, is to use what works, regardless of the packaging material. In other words, it makes no difference if the recommendation comes from a conventional (allopathic) vet, or an “alternative” vet, as long as it works, is safe and…

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New Technologies for Brain Cancer Coming Up

Brain cancer, both in pets and in people, is very difficult to deal with. First, we have something called the blood-brain barrier.  This is not really a wall per se, but is rather just a feature of the tiny blood vessels in the brain.  These little capillaries have tight junctions that don’t let things pass…

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To Chemo or Not To Chemo?

One of the little known facts about veterinary medicine is that chemotherapy does not cure cancer in dogs, with few exceptions (except transmissible venereal tumor or the very rare lympho or something). I believe that many people are unaware of this fact. So we are left with a treatment  modality that has a goal of…

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Fight Cancer With Local Chemotherapy

Many dog lovers hear grim survival statistics after receiving a dog cancer diagnosis, and it is extremely overwhelming. So much so that they go on a search for new and innovative ways to get better odds, longer survival times, and better life quality. Well, the same thing happened to me!  Why settle for stats that…

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Mast Cell Tumor Internal Spread

It is important to tell whether or not a dog tumor has spread internally. This question is not only very frightening for a dog lover, but also has some real medical ramifications.  So let’s take some time with this concept and mast cell tumors. Mast cell tumors are very common in dogs.  They come in…

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A Dog With Bone Cancer

I couple of months back, I diagnosed a bone tumor in a wonderful dog named Dolly. Dolly is one of the world’s happiest dogs.  She is an elderly family member (she would not be happy if I told you her age).  She is a Boxer. As many are aware, Boxers are one of the breeds…

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Clinical Trial Enrollment Available

A distressing part of dealing with dog cancer is data on the current standard of care in veterinary medicine for our dogs with this disease. Conventional veterinary care includes chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, with a little emphasis on diet.  The problem we are facing is that most people are a bit surprised at what we…

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Signs of Brain Cancer In Dogs

Tumors in the brain are very tough for us in veterinary medicine today. There are two reasons for this.  One is that they are hard to diagnose without advanced imaging like CT or MRI.  These are not available to everyone, since many do not live within a reasonable distance, and they are not cheap. The…

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Is The Cause of Breast Cancer in the Water?

Many of our female dogs are spayed at a young age.  One of the benefits that vets commonly talk about is that early spaying can almost eliminate breast cancer in dogs.  We usually call breast cancer mammary cancer in dogs, but we are talking about breast cancer. We now know that early spaying is also…

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Signs of Dog Lymph Node Cancer

Many find a bump or a lump on their canine companion at home.  The first question is usually, “what is this?” Sometimes the second question is, “Is it a gland or a lymph node?” These are good questions.  The reason is that glands, or lymph nodes, become swollen for different reasons.  Like in people, infection…

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The Sign of Cancer Hidden in Plain Sight

We’ve been looking at signs of cancer.  So today, let’s look at a really obvious one that can fool all of us. One of the first things I review during a patient intake is the body weight.  Next, I compare this weight with the numbers over the last couple of years. So am I just…

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A Sign of Dog Cancer to Know About

What are the signs of dog cancer? That’s a tough question.  There are internal cancers and there are external cancers. With the external cancers, those that are found in the skin, the space under the skin, superficial muscles, or in bony structures that are close to the outside of the body, many times we see…

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But Cancer Treatment at My Dog’s Age?

So many guardians post comments on this blog, asking questions that have to do with age and cancer treatment. Let’s look at this topic today. I have an old dog.  What is the right choice for cancer treatment? This central question usually can boil down to whether the life quality negative of the treatment is…

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Cancer Cure?

Recently I heard the comment that medicine (in my case, veterinary medicine) is primitive. This is a very interesting comment, especially if we are talking about canine cancer. When you are coping with a canine cancer diagnosis, the question of curing cancer comes up frequently.  Now, shifting back to this idea about medicine being primitive,…

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Better and Longer: End of Life Care

An article in the New England Journal of Medicine was just published that showed that human cancer patients lived both longer and better with hospice care. Patients with a type of lung cancer lived almost 2 months longer with hospice care than those who did not.  Similar trends have been seen with other terminal diseases…

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Different Pain, Different Drugs

In some ways physicians have it easy.  An MD can ask a human patient, “Are you in pain?” It’s a bit tougher for us animal lovers. Interestingly, we are in the same boat as pediatricians in this way.  We have to go by signs, feelings, intuition in some cases.  And sometimes the truth is that…

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Using Dog Cancer Statistics

The one of the first steps in the plan for helping you with dog cancer in The Guide is data collection.  Without data about your dog’s cancer, survival times, life quality during treatment, side effects, costs, nursing care you will be expected to do, your dog’s normal life expectancy and so on, you will be…

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Treatment Plan Analysis in Real Life

Yesterday, a 13 year old Rottweiler came in to the hospital. She had been limping, and there was a swelling in her front leg, down on the forearm.  It was firm and slightly warm to the touch.  The area was about 4 inches long. We took X-rays of the sore leg.  The films showed a…

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What Are Some Psychosomatic Tools to Help My Dog’s Cancer?

In the last post, we looked at the connection between your dog’s brain chemistry and an explanation of general ways you can use this knowledge to help fight canine cancer. Now, let’s focus on some specific techniques that can be used in day to day life. Brain Chemistry Modification in Dog Cancer Treatments?? It is…

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Use Psychosomatic Techniques to Fight Canine Cancer

One of the most overlooked areas on conventional medicine today is the huge impact of brain chemistry on cancers. No, I am not talking about some kind of “New Age” mumbo jumbo.  This is strait-up clinical medicine. Here’s how it works, and how you can use this information to help your dog fight cancer. First,…

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Urinary Problems And Cyclophosphamide

One of the most common chemotherapy drugs used today is cyclophosphamide. This medication can be given at home, as it comes as a pill that is given by mouth.  It can also be given as an injection in the veterinary hospital. One of the side effects that is seen in about 1 in 10 dogs…

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Is Cancer Caused By Old Age?

Cancer is due to the fact that our dogs are living longer. Right? This was recently stated by a publicly aired news broadcast, by an expert.  And the topic was dog cancer. I’m here to tell you that this is incorrect.  And as usual, there is ample back-up evidence. But first, some clarifications. In the…

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The Inflammatory Diet and Cancer

It turns out that modern changes in our dog’s diets may have a link to cancer development. It is now known that cancer needs inflammation to start, and to get worse.  Inflammation is the process where body parts get red, swollen and painful.  If we get an injury, inflammation happens as the first step in…

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Diagnosis of Nasal Tumors

Tumors of the nose and sinus in dogs are often difficult to diagnose at first. These tumors are located inside the nasal passages, invisible to the naked eye, at least in the earlier stages. Many times a guardian will notice that their four legged family member starts to sneeze more often.  The first thought can…

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Latest on Dog Food and Cancer

Is there a link between dog food an cancer?  Many feel the answer is yes, and there is evidence to support this link. Today’s post will look at some of the newest thinking on dog food and cancer. First of all, a dog’s wild diet is quite different from that of a modern, commercial diet. …

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Metronomic Chemotherapy

Traditional chemotherapy is moving in a new direction. In the past, chemotherapy used a strategy called Maximum Tolerated Dose (MTD).  Simply put, this is giving the highest dose a patient can handle, ideally without an unacceptable risk of side effects. The reason this strategy is used in cancer medicine is that the drugs we have…

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