Diagnosis of Nasal Tumors - Dog Cancer Blog

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

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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 be,”Does my dog have a cold?”  Sometimes there will be a bit of a cough.  Discharge or blood from a nostril are not rare.  Finally, there can be changes (a swelling or a indentation)  in the outward appearance of the muzzle or around the eye.

Oftentimes, a veterinarian will simply dispense some antibiotics to see if it clears up.  The reason for this is that sinusitis (infection of the sinuses) is more common than tumors in the nose.

However, if a dog has a tumor in the nasal passageways, any positive effect of the antibiotics will be short lived.  The antibiotics won’t cure the tumor.

The reason why antibiotics may work for a while is that there is a little infection on the surface of the tumor.  This is common in nasal tumors.  The antibiotics deal with the infection and things get better, but it does not last.

Sometimes guardians will be upset that the tumor was missed initially.  This feeling is natural since nasal tumors are serious.

We also need to remember the big picture though.  If every dog that arrived at a veterinary hospital with a runny nose was taken for a skull X-ray under anesthesia and sent for a CT scan, most would say this did not make sense.

If 9 out of 10 dogs received the diagnosis of a simple nasal infection after all this testing, most guardians would be unhappy due to overly aggressive testing.

So we have to strike a balance.

How does one actually diagnose a nasal cancer?  Typically, in private practice, an X-ray is done as the first step.  This allows us to see if there is a proliferation that would not be there normally, within the sinus. Sometimes one can see bone loss in the area of the tumor.

Unfortunately, this is often not enough.  A vet may not be able to say definitively that the X-ray changes are due to a cancer in the nose.

A biopsy is often needed.  This can be done most of the time with a small scope that has a little grasping arm (bronchoscopy).  Sometimes the sinuses can be flushed out to collect some tumor cells that will give us a diagnosis.

These procedures are done under anesthesia.

In considering treatment, to really tell how far along these types of tumors have progressed, a CT (can scan) should be done.  X-rays are not very good at telling the extent of tumor spread in the nasal sinuses.

More information about these important cancers can be found in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.

Best,

Dr D

About the Author: Demian Dressler, DVM


Dr. Demian Dressler, DVM is known as the "dog cancer vet" and is author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog's Life Quality and Longevity.

  • Michael Pannone

    Since I am going through exactly what the doctor describes in this nasal tumor blog I want to contribute some of my thoughts.

    Back in January 2010, My Jett, who is a neutered female Great Dane, showed a nose bleed after a slip and fall, which occurred on some ice in front of our house. I checked her for concussion which was negative and after several minutes the bleeding stopped and the incident was over. I watched her over the next few days to see if it would return but the nose stayed clear so we went on with our lives. One other note to add, Jett has been a sneezer for the greater part of her adult life. I always chalked this up to happy sneezing. But back to her story…

    Then in February, another bleed happens. But ends quickly so we carry on. Then another in March so I bring her to her vet. We get sent home with a course of antibiotics for sinusitis, just as the doctor states in his article.

    Things clear up and so all is well – or is it?

    Short story, more green mucous shows up in April and more antibiotics are called for. But the mucous goes and returns so I take Jett to some vets I know who are able to get x-rays of Jett’s head without requiring Jett to be put under.
    These pictures show opacity in the left nostril and we send these pictures off to a radiologist for analysis. The report comes back saying a CT scan is needed to definitively diagnose the nostril.

    So, on May 20th, we get a CT and I learn Jett has a nasal tumor and a mass on the right atrium.

    Well, this rocks my whole world.

    What I haven’t shared is that in the month of April, Jett survived emergency abdominal surgery for bloat (stomach twists- torsion). She also has subsequent visits to vets for the nasal discharge when I thought she got an infection while in hospital. The surgeon also told me of an opacity in her lungs, which they could not diagnose but her abdomen and her organs were free of any observable cancer. That news is good but I know I need to learn what the lung issue is.

    So, in a very short span of time Jett as been through the ringer and my pocketbook was now short nearly five figures. So getting news about the cancer and learning treatment is costly – and Jett’s age – I was hurting because I want to help her live as long as she wants to.

    I found The Dog Cancer Survival Guide and began reading. The doctor’s book really helped me get organized and get control of a lot of unknowns and my emotions. But he also informed me of alternatives to the Big Three that gave me some hope I could help Jett.

    To close I must say a few things, first, I think my vet whiffed, that is swung and missed by prescribing antibiotics instead of saying, Mike- she’s eleven years old, a large breed and the chances for cancer being in that nose are high. And sadly Mike, we are seeing a high incidence of cancer in our pets these days. Let’s get some pictures.

    Secondly, for most of us, our choices of vets are limited for whatever the reason. And so we need to become the boss of our pet’s care. And we need to carefully consider the toxins we, ourselves introduce into our pets’ lives. Their food, their vaccinations, and the pesticides we put on their bodies. And if we can, we need vets who are educating themselves in the broad view when comes to treating cancer in our pets. Because there is power in the plants around us. The bottom line is-most vets today will not countenance nutraceuticals in their plan to fight pet cancers. This is slowly changing and Dr. Dressler is an example of the change for our pet’s betterment.

    Lastly, if you have a pet who is a senior, pure breed, but otherwise in what seems good health – review everything and don’t be passive. My vet should have added up all that was working against Jett in this moment. In Jett’s case, I think it was time to take a chance and call for more aggressive analysis.

    Look at the reality of our world and get familiar with cancer. What it is. How it comes about. How it lives and how it can be made to die. You’ll also be helping yourself prepare for cancer on the human side too.

    Vets should become cancer proactive and talk frankly about cancer, we’re adults, we can take it. There is guidance on prevention that must be applied in the present. Our medical professionals have to get busy and have more to offer us than just slashing, burning and poisoning.

  • Jennifer

    Dear Dr.,
    All of the above is very consistent with Hunny’s nasal tumor. She had radiation to help shrink the tumor, and is currently taking Chinese herbs and piroxicam. Both really seem to be helping. I knows that there is no cure. About how long do most dogs have with a nasal tumor?
    Thank you,
    Jennifer & Hunny

  • Melissa Clatterbuck

    Oh these stories sound so familar to what iam going through with my collie Lassie.She has been a sneezer most of ther adult life.As soon as i seen the green bloodish discharge we went straight to the vet.They started with taken xrays that showed a grayish area around the teeth area an where the spot was on her face under her eye an antibotics for 10days.That didnt work so we tried a strong one for 5 days no better after that.So i took her back an they took a sample from her an sent it off.The results came back 3 days later that it was nasal cancer.I was broken hearted to find this out but i know that i was very aggressive with the vet to get to the bottom of this.She is now on piroxicam until the end.My big question now is how long do i have with her?

    • Dear Melissa,
      I am sorry this is happening to your Lassie. I wish I could give you a number for how long you have with her. None of us, including vets, are able to tell when someone will pass.
      So you are not alone in this question.
      Hang in there. Hopefully you are using the exercises in the Guide?
      Best,
      Dr D

  • Shenaz

    Honestly who cares,there are children who r dying of hunger out there..dog r meant to live in the wild NOT in the HOUSE…human beings r important than dogs..be important in the community and lend help to HUMAN BEINGS who need help not freaking dogs…thanks

    • Dr. Demian Dressler

      Dear Shenaz,
      many care, although you don’t care about non-human animals…many of us do. It is a shame you have not had the opportunity to enjoy a connection or a relationship with non-human animals.
      Dr D

  • Linda D.

    Ah…Ah….Ah…Shenaz (Your name is what my dog sounds like, when he sneezes, lol)

    If you feel that way about dogs, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why you would bother to post on this site. I would bet that anyone who posts on this site to Dr. D., are aware of the “starving child” situation. The difference between you (including people like you) and us is that we were born with the “compassionate” gene. You have insulted me, and anyone else who is legitimately, seeking help and advice for a situation that involves both people and animals. That is cancer. And it know no bounds. People who have cancer or people who love someone or something that has cancer, are in enough grief and pain, that you really have no business posting anything here. A good part of the process of dealing with cancer is to have a positive attitude. And the hope to find a solution to help someone or something to battle this horrible disease. I personally would like to know what charities or how many children you’ve help to feed, or have had them sit at your table and shared your dinner with. I’ve done it. And I came to this site, hoping to get answers about fighting the disease that, Sam, my little Jack Russell/Schauzer mix has, and who I adopted from an abusive and neglected situation back in 2001. He is more loyal and non-complaining than most people that I know. My heart goes out to anyone, who reads your comment, because it is really not meant to be here, since it is a real ‘slap-in-the-face’ to anyone who’s facing their dilemna with a loved, four- legged, furry companion, who is a member of their family.
    Dr. D. (or whoever monitors your site, I do NOT have a problem with you deleting my post or the post above.) I’m appreciating any info/advice I can get to help my little guy, Sam. He deserves it.

  • Linda D.

    Well said, Dr. Dressler.
    And thank you for helping all of us, who are trying to deal with thine enemy, “CANCER”, in whatever form it takes, for our furry loved ones. Be they canine or feline, they are members of our families.

  • donna

    this is very sad for me that my 15 year old mixed female dog has a nose tumor. we thought for sure it was allergies but it is not. she is having many nose bleeds and getting a little swollen on her nose. she eats well and still is the same old cheyenne we had for years. my life would not be perfect if it wasn’t for my cheyenne. she has been wonderful and my family. i would do anything for her. at this stage there is nothing we can do for her , only make her comfortable and love her. iam sorry shenaz that you can NOT understand how the love of one animal brings so much joy to you. i hope you can find that love one day with a pet of your own.

  • Tina K.

    I want to thank all of you ( with the exception of Shenaz) for your helpful and informational posts. My black lab, Jake, has had severe sneezing for the past couple weeks. I noticed a few noosebleeds as well as discharge. I am taking him to the vet tomorrow and pray that it is nothing more than sinunitis or allergies. However, if the news is bad I will do whtever it takes to ensure he is comfortable. I will keep you all posted of the outcome. Thanks again.

  • Nelda

    My Ellie has been bleeding from her nose more this week. The vet decided she most likely has a tumor since her nasal passage/throat/larynx all look good. Lungs are clear. He scoped her nose and could not find anything. When breathing she sounds as if she is snoring. Lots of mucus. Now her nose is bleeding again. Has anyone tried to use any herbs? Ginger? Curcumin? Has anyone had any success with anything like that?

  • Angel H

    My 7 year old Brussel Griffons “Bug” has been to Auburn University for a CT scan and biopsy of the mass in her left nasal passage. There is bone loss and she has trouble breathing. More so now that she has had the biopsy. Bug has had problems with her left nostil for at least a year, clear mucus and a wheez. I never worrried to much about it and neither did the vet. 9Griffons have the short nose and snort like a Bulldog anyway. 3 weeks ago she started having seizures, first every few nights apart then everynight. She is now taking Predrisone, Phenabarbatol and an antahystamine. She is not the same dog. She is high on the drugs and is still seizing almost every night. The results from the biopsy and cultures wont be back for a week. I’m broken hearted and want her to get better.

  • Joey’s Mom

    After spending thousands of dollars on xrays, biopsies, CT scans, Rhinoscopy, we found out our beloved 10 yr old Australian Shepherd, Joey, has nasal cancer. We have decided not to go the evasive, expensive radiation route, sparing our poor fellow more prodding and pain only to prolong his life (for our selfesh reasons) another “possible year”. A tumor is never fully eradicated, and your precious four legged family member will eventually pass from the tumor returning. I am going to be chatting with dog cancer specialist here in Seattle within the week to find out other options, so I will come back to this site and post what more I find out. In the mean time the Veterinary Specialists Clinic I visited with my dog last week gave me some herbal supplements that can be purchased on Amazon, and can be give to Joey the remainder of his life to help control the bleeding. The name of that is Yunnan Baiyao Capsule Herbal Supplement. It is rated very high by the customers who bought it for their dogs, check it out. In the mean time, my heart and prayers go out to you all dealing with this horrible situation…

    • Dr. Susan Ettinger

      Joey’s Mom,
      I recommend Yannan and use it regularly for dogs with nasal tumors when there are bleeding episodes.
      I also recommend Apocaps (with and without radiation). Also check our the Guide for more suggestions on supplements.
      Good luck! And all my best, Dr Sue

  • Loulou Spencer

    I am in the same position, my dog has been diagnosed with a nose tumor,
    i have found some of your comments helpful,
    I am really worried tho what will happen next. like seizures etc…
    Could anyone describe one?. surely at this stage it would be unfair for the dog 🙁

  • Joey’s Mom

    This is a follow up to my comment left last week, with regard to my dog Joey, and the prognosis of his nasal cancer. It is worse than hoped, the cancer he has is aggressive and we’ve decided not to subject him to any more anxiety, and let nature run it’s course. He has problems breathing and the thought of him suffocating makes me panic……..does anyone know if this is a possibility? I will leave you all with one more piece of infomation you can hopefully use. Joey was given a prescription of a medicine (in addition to the Yunnan Baiyao), and that was Piroxocam 10mg capsules, to be given once a day. This is an anti-inflammatory medication that can help with pain but also can slow the growth of some nasal tumors. I was told by my vet he can remain on this, but should have his kidney function checked if he is on it longer than 2 months. Some side effects to look for would be GI upset (vomiting, diarrhea) or ulceration (black tarry stool). If any of these side effects occur stop and contact your vet. I leave this site with the hopes that my experience can help another family deal with this horrible situation a little better. Your in my heart…..

  • Loulou Spencer

    @ Joey’s mom I am so sad and sorry to hear this…
    I also am going through my dog Max having a nasal tumor ,
    I dont seem to be able to find out much about what to expect etc…
    However your comments have been helpful.
    God Bless…

  • Joey’s Mom

    @ Loulou Spencer, I’m glad my comments, for what they were worth, were of some help to you. It’s just so terribly sad we have to deal with this. And if Max is anything like Joey at this time, I’m sure he has no clue the horror that’s growing inside him. All I want to do is cry. I went to Amazon again, thanks to Dr Sue’s suggestion, and purchased some of those Apocaps. Wow! What great reviews this supplement has been given, and some great stories of hope as well. The very best of luck in this nightmare we all find ourselves in. God bless you as well..
    @ Dr Sue, thanks so very much for that little tidbit of information. I am having some of those Apocaps sent overnight. Time is of the essence here. The stories people wrote in their reviews of the produce were very encouraging. Thanks so much again.

  • Nelda

    My dog Ellie has a nasal tumor. She has had slight bleeding (a little pink in her mucus) I started giving her the Yunnan Bayaio 3 days ago. Last night it was like the tumor broke loose..she is bleeding bad now. What can I do? The vet will do nothing more than give her antibiotics and prednizone which she is already taking.

  • Loulou Spencer

    @ Joey’s Mom…it is terrible and so stressful going through this, and poor Max is still doing everything he wants to do. I can see signs that are worse some days than others. Especially the discharge from the nose. I dont know alot which is even more frightening too.. However we are taking each day and we will see how it goes as long as he is enjoying life and until that stops and we have to make decisions..
    I may try the supplement too, I will try and look into it today..
    Thanks for your feed back.
    Love to you and Joey….

  • Nelda

    Thank you for your response. I am trying the chinese herb and others things such as tumeric with Bromelain, and flax oil mixed with cottage cheese…etc. We are not able to afford radiation and such for our dog. So I am trying to do all I can. The bleeding finally stopped and she just has that snuffled snoring sound for a few days and now her nose is running mucous again but not as bad. I am sure I am fixing to go another round with the bleeding as I see a bit of color again in the mucous.

  • Amanda Steimer

    Our 7 year old black lab TJ has been dealing with sneezing with clear mucous since March. Antibiotics didn’t help and was just taking Benadryl. Until one day I came from work to notice he now had green mucous and some blood in his snot. We then had him sedated and had x-rays taken, a culture of his snot was taken and found nothing. X-rays showed nothing and we were refereed to U of M Vet. Clinic. There they suggested a CT and Rhinoscopy which would be $2,500. There thoughts were a foreign object lodged in his nose, fungal infection, or a tumor. We don’t have the money to invest in Chemo and radiation for TJ so we opted to just continue being his normal self until otherwise. The vet did however suggest Proxicam for TJ, I was just wondering if anyone else had used Proxicam alone with out the chemo or radiation treatments and if they think it is worth having our pet take.

    • Dr. Susan Ettinger

      Amanda,
      I’m sorry to hear that you and TJ are going through this. It’s hard to know what will help without a diagnosis. If there is a nasal tumor, piroxicam may help for a period of time (but as you learned, radiaton is the treatment of choice). Remember this medication is an NSAID which can causing liver and kidney toxicity and stomach ulcers, so I recommend blood work before starting and monthly. If it is fungal, the NSAID is not likely to help. For inflammatory rhinitis, a different anti-inflammatory is typically used (prednisone).
      All my best, Dr Sue

  • Nelda

    Well we lost our Ellie yesterday. We did everything we could to keep her happy in her last day. She did have the Nasal tumors but her body ultimately shut down from the over use of Prednisone. She lost her appetite and wouldn’t eat. It is not something I would ever recommend anyone using for any length of time. The all natural things I used really did keep her alive and doing well for over 2 months until her body just was too tired to keep going. She was great Saturday morning out running around and by that evening she couldn’t even get up…so she went fast and did not appear to be in any pain. Good luck to all of you and I wish you all the best with your pets.

    • Dr. Susan Ettinger

      Nelda,
      Sorry for your loss of Ellie. May memories of the good time ease your pain.
      With sympathy, Dr Sue

  • Rachel

    My 7 year old Silky Terrier, Precious, was diagnosed with nasal tumor after a CT scan was performed in December 2012. No biopsy was carried out as her vet advised us that it will be very risky for her due to bone loss showed in the scan.

    Since we are living in Singapore, radiation is not an option at all, hence, her vet put her on weekly low dose chemo injection (vincristine) that has been ongoing for 5 weeks now. Prior to this, she was on a new oral drug called nanographite that we are going to discontinue with after her current batch finishes. A very expensive treatment to us, we have to scrimp and save all our money to buy the prescribed dosage. Sadly, it doesn’t do any effect to her tumor which is growing bigger and pushing towards her left eye socket.. Despite her illness, we are thankful that she is still pretty much playful, happy and sniffing everything when we go for our daily walks.

    We are feeding Precious a full home cooked diet prepared accordingly to the guide. We add fish oil and (trying to add) coconut oil to her meals. The problem is she is very picky on supplements. If she smells anything different with her food, she refuses eating it even after we prepared another supplement-free portion for her. The only supplement she takes without much fuss is fish oil given at a low amount of 500mg daily.

    The supplements recommended by her vet are cordyceps, astragalus and colostrum with immune factors. Should we still go for K9 immunity, K9 transfer factors and Apocaps? We really wish to let her try anything within our means but are worried that she will refused it (we could mix it in her food and pray hard she doesn’t notice the difference, else we’ll have to resort in force pill her). Also, normal shipping time from Amazon to Singapore is a long wait… Really hope that we could have more treatment options available in Singapore…

  • Rachel

    Hi,
    Within a week’s time from my post above, things just went downhill fast..

    Last Friday when we brought Precious in for her weekly chemo injection, another vet (hervet was on leave) told us they would discuss about the option of freezing the tumor when her vet is back seeing her tumor growing bigger despite on chemo treatment. We asked if there are other chemo drugs that could be more suitable and the vet replied us that other drugs will do more harm for the dogs than to their cancer. The vet wanted to give her steroid anti inflammation pill but we opted for NSAID and so the vet gave her serrazyme.

    On Monday, we noticed her jaw trembled on and off and on Wednesday night, we discovered a new lump at her neck near to her jaw.. Off to vet again the very next day. Her vet just took a look at the new lump and said her cancer is spreading and there’s nothing much they can do for her. They will also stop the current chemo treatment for her, reason being it will do her more harm than good.. Vet also asked us to be mentally prepared for her time to come..

    Should I insist for the vet to do a surgery to remove the new lump or biopsy? He did says that if we want surgery to remove it, he could do it but it will come back and he don’t see any point in putting Precious through GA, surgery, recovery, etc. as it will weaken her further..

    We are really at a loss now… What should we do? Should we insist to continue with the chemo treatment and do a test for the new lump? The vet will do nothing for her. I’m very worried that she’ll slide downhill faster and in more pain without any treatment.. I’m really depressed…

    • Dr. Demian Dressler

      Rachel,
      it is never a bad idea to test to see if indeed we are dealing with a metastasis, in spite of the fact that the odds are higher that it is…but just so we know. I’m wondering…have you read the Dog Cancer Survival Guide? Is Precious on the diet? Apocaps? Immune support? Have you also considered Neoplasene, orally, at low doses, along with mirtazapine? Have you considered other chemo protocols, perhaps seeking a second opinion with an oncologist or at least another vet?
      I hope this helps
      Dr D

  • Rachel

    Dear Dr. Dressler,
    Thank you for your response. It really means a lot to us!

    Her current vet is the one who gave us hope when another vet we went to gave us none. But now, even the current vet is giving up on treatment for her because of the metastasis..

    We are feeding Precious a full home cooked diet prepared accordingly to the guide. For supplements, she is taking salmon fish oil, astragalus and colostrum with immune factors. We recently ordered K9 immunity and K9 transfer factors online, the shipment delivery should be within these few days. We will also be ordering the Dog Cancer Survival Guide and Apocaps from Amazon as soon as we get our next paycheck. I have read up on artemisinin from your previous blog post. Should we include this as well?

    Sadly there is no oncologist in Singapore. We did ask her vet about other chemo drugs since vincristine is not working for her, however, they just told us other chemo drugs will do more harm for the dogs than to their cancer without giving us any option for other chemo protocols. I guess we should really find another vet who is more willing to try and perhaps will be willing to contact Dr. Fox on Neoplasene treatment since I doubt her current vet would do so…

    Thank you so much for your advice, Dr. Dressler!

    • Dr. Demian Dressler

      Dear Rachel,
      glad to help.
      I’d hold off on the Artemisinin until the other steps are in place..
      Best
      Dr D

  • Rachel;

    I was seeking for more information about Nanodiamond treatment. I know there should be only one vet in Singapore that will recommend you this but what I would really like to know is that was your nanodiamond binded with?

    Sorry Dr Dressler, I am also writing from Singapore and I do not mean to hijack this thread except for the fact that my precious JRT had bone cancer diagnosed in 2011 Dec and of recent, her cancer has spread to the brains and I am desperate to try anything including of the very expensive Sang Hwang and Nanodiamond (nanographite) therapy

  • Laura

    Dr. D,

    My 6 year old puggle has become congested (cloudy mucous) from his nose for the last 8 months. His reverse sneeze has also become much more frequent. After numerous trips to the vet, his sneezing and mucous as only got worse. At first they thought it was nasal mites and he had shots every week for 6 weeks -it seemed to help a bit but didn’t cure it. They did a nasal flush and found nothing. Then a rhinoscopy with biopsy and found nothing so have assumed it is allergies. He is now on Vanectyl – 5 days in – and his sneezing and mucous is the same or worse. Any ideas if it could be anything else? His demeanor and eating habits are the same – should I push for a CT Scan?

    • Dr. Demian Dressler

      Dear Laura,
      I would double check on the following:
      Was a cytology done on the fluid to check for cancer cells?
      Was a bacterial culture and sensitivity done to check for resistant bacteria?
      Was a fungal culture done to check for fungal growth?
      Once these items are addressed, the choice will be to absorb the cost for imaging for nasal masses, and/or a nasal biopsy. Sometimes a practice with a very small endoscope can help with nasal biopsies and visualization of some of the nasal cavity.
      Sometimes you just need the right medication for allergic rhinitis and a different one might help, along with the proper antibiotic. Don’t forget immune support etc.
      I hope this helps
      Dr D

  • b woodling

    My husband’s 4 year old Brussels Griffon, also service dog, was diagnosed with sinus cancer. We were told there is nothing to be done. I can’t figure this out, as I read this cancer usually appears in older, male dogs, with long snouts. Has anyone ever heard of this happening to such a young dog?

  • Alice

    Dr. Dressler,
    We got a diagnosis of a nasal tumor in our beautiful Pepper, a 10-year-old Great Dane, after a biopsy that cleared much of the obstruction in her right nostril……Right now she is exhibiting signs that may say she is in pain…tucking herself in to the corner dog bed (her pal Moose, a 9-year-old Dane uses whatever bed is available)…and when Moose goes upstairs to sleep on the memory foam bed all day…Pepper has been uncharacteristically staying on the corner bed downstairs…ALL DAY. So her energy is not great, but she is as sweet as ever, and very much welcomes a massage and fussing over her…I have just read almost the entire Dog Cancer Survival Guide over the past two days. Before reading the book we had decided to have an x-ray done to get an idea of how extensive the tumor may be, but if i read things correctly, this may be pointless? What I would like to know is whether it makes sense in a Dane of this age to do a CT scan…or whether we should just go forward with the homemade diet, Apocaps….she is taking Tramadol and Rimadyl for hip dysplasia and perhaps arthritis so not sure if that precludes certain treatments or perhaps we could replace Rimadyl with something else (another inflammatory)? I would like to make our sweet girl as comfortable as she can be, while understanding that she has already outlived her life expectancy and that it might be basically cruel to put her through radiation treatment…though I get the impression that if we could get a CyberKnife radiation treatment (we are near to Dr. Ettinger) this might ease her pain somewhat? We have an x-ray scheduled for this week, but it would be wonderful if we get another thought on this..as to whether a CT scan would make more sense…or if we should forego all of these? Perhaps we will try to contact Dr. Ettinger to see if she can give us any advice regarding further diagnostics…and perhaps treatment…But any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Dr. Demian Dressler

      Dear Alice,
      sorry to hear about your Pepper. I think a consult with Dr. Ettinger would be a good idea, and imaging would be a part of the cyberknife work-up if you plan to go that route, so it would follow logically.
      here are some posts that i think might help too:
      http://www.dogcancerblog.com/what-is-treatment-plan-analysis/
      In the end, as a guardian, the decision will be yours, and will be correct as long as you have done your homework.
      Hope this helps
      D

    • Dr. Susan Ettinger

      Alice,

      I am sorry to hear about Pepper. For the head I do not think skull X-rays are useful. You really need 3D imaging of a CT to determine extent. If you are interested in CyberKnife and it sounds like you are close to me, why don’t you come in with Pepper for a consultation at ASC? IF you decide to do CK, the CT scan must be done on our unit for radiation planning. Please call my office and we can get you scheduled. 914-457-4000
      An alternative to Ck radiation is palliative radiation, which can address pain but does not kill and treat tumor cells the way CK radiation can.
      We can go over all the options as they relate to Pepper at an appointment. You can then decide what seems best for you and him.
      Here’s some more info
      http://www.dogcancerblog.com/cyberknife-radiosurgery-in-pets/
      http://www.dogcancerblog.com/my-experience-with-cyberknife-radiosurgery/
      http://www.vcaspecialtyvets.com/animal-specialty-center

      I look forward to meeting and helping you and Pepper.
      All my best, Dr Sue

  • Lisa

    My 6 year old golden retriever was informally diagnosed with a nasal tumor 10 months ago after many months of testing which all showed nothing. At one point, we thought we were going to lose her because she was so sick and had lost so much weight. She was put on several different antibiotics and an appetite stimulant. Everything was good for a while and then she started showing signs of lethargy again, coughing, sneezing, bloody nose and not eating. After more inconclusive testing at a very expensive teaching hospital, I took her back to my regular vet who diagnosed her with the nasal tumor. That was last April and she has been on prednisone ever since and appears to be doing great, although we know her prognosis is not good! This is our 2nd golden with cancer, and having been through it already and seeing what the treatment did to our other dog, we decided to just ride this one out.

  • becm84

    Our 2 1/2 year old golden lab mix was diagnoised last november with a nasal tumor. We had done the CT scan, rhinoscopy and surgery……a great cost but with much hope that we would have our pup for a long time. after surgery the Dr. told us that she got everything and we should have him for another 8 years, recently he has been exhibiting the symtoms once again that he had in the beginning. I have been in contact with the Dr that did the surgery and she had advised us to go back to our local vet and they can advise on how to keep him “comfortable” since the cost of the surgery was extravagant and we are unable to provide that again. Any advice on what to ask our local vet when we go next Tueday?

    • Susan Kazara Harper

      Hi Beryl, Hang in there, you can do a lot! Time is short because you’re headed back to your vet, so in this reply I want to focus on a couple vital things:
      Completely understand that you don’t want to go for surgery again. Your dog has youth and vitality on his side. Get his nutrition sorted with real food… please look at the blog page where you can download the main points of The Dog Cancer Diet for free. The full diet is in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide book, which is really an invaluable resource for you. If your dog doesn’t have the best nutrition going, he won’t have the best tools for his body to fight. Yes, there are goods foods you can give, and at not a huge cost, but just as important, there are foods NOT to give a dog with a cancer diagnosis. Please check out the diet. Apocaps is the nutraceutical Dr. Dressler formulated to help dogs with cancer. The details on how they work can be found at http://www.apocaps.com. Supporting his immune system and encouraging the cancer cells to die off are two powerful ways to help him. When you have your appt with the vet, you need to get into champion mode. Take charge. Statistics and prognosis are helpful, but your dog does not an expiration date carved in stone. Learn everything you can about nasal cancer, (there is a lot of information within this blog) and partner with your vet to help your dog. Don’t focus on the “oh dears” and the negatives. Stay positive, we’ll help you learn ways to support your boy. So, read, learn, get the food right and go in to your vet with a list of questions and be ready to write down answers. Check out these blogs: http://www.dogcancerblog.com/how-is-your-relationship-with-your-vet/#.U5T9yZStkWk (and)
      http://www.dogcancerblog.com/nasal-tumors-what-you-need-to-know-about-your-dogs-cancer/#.U5T-PZStkWk
      All the best,

  • Susan Kazara Harper

    Hi Marie,
    I’m sorry to hear about your boy’s diagnosis. Prednisone is often used as part of a cancer protocol. It’s a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, and it’s also used outside of cancer for many other situations. Does it lengthen a life? There would be no way to have data on that. Does lessening inflammation lengthen life overall? Probably not significantly all by itself. You’re looking at a bigger issue. We have some wonderful blogs on oral and nasal tumors and the possible treatment protocols. Please get your boy on the best nutrition you can (www.dogcancerdiet.com) and work with your vet for the best options for him. Good luck!

  • Susan Kazara Harper

    Hello Joe,
    Is this tumor in a location which means that surgery is not an option? Radiation? http://www.dogcancerblog.com/video/nasal-tumors-what-you-need-to-know-about-your-dogs-cancer/ Sometimes it is, even though it sounds like an extreme action to take. It’s great that Mario is still active and has a great appetite. He doesn’t know or care that the “c” word is part of his life. He just knows how he feels every day and how much you love him. I hope you’re getting him on the Dog Cancer Diet to really optimize that appetite and give him the foods that will help him stay strong. The main points of the diet are available in a free download at the top right of this blog, or at http://www.dogcancerdiet.com. Also in Dr Dressler’s book The Dog Cancer Survival Guide. About your questions, by all means reach out to the people in this blog, but also ask these questions to your vet. They are ideal. “What can I expect” “are there side effects” why does the vet recommend one treatment over another. Take notes. It’s easy to forget some details amongst the emotion of the vet office. While Mario is wagging his tail and enjoying his food, he knows that life is good and sweet. Please make sure you celebrate the days with him and don’t get trapped in the emotions of what may come. Worry is a prayer for what we don’t want. If things don’t go well, Mario will tell you when he’s had enough. In the meantime you have a gorgeous boy who just happens to have a fight to fight, and you can help. All the best to you both, and a special cuddle to Mario.

  • Susan Kazara Harper

    Barbara, There is no danger to your children from Lexis cancer itself, but if you do treat with chemotherapy drugs you may need to isolate her at times, and keep the children away from any of her waste. That’s the “if” you will need to hear from your vet if you do use conventional treatment. Other than that, the joy they have in being together is healing for Lexi as well as your children. Help the children understand her journey and hold her in their hearts rather than being afraid of this strange situation. It will help you all.

  • Susan Kazara Harper

    Hello Mike, Any attempt at giving you a number on which to focus, would not be responsible and would only distract you from enjoying your girl’s joy. 15 is a wonderful age… never enough of course, but it sounds like she is having a grand time. When my very senior dog was becoming very senior, I learned to take my direction from him instead of trying to guide things with my human will. When our dogs get to a good age they surpass us in wisdom. You know your dog better than anyone. If she is enjoying her life so much you see it in her eyes and her behavior. Sure she’s slowing down. Just give her the best nutrition you can, respect her choices, and really be with her. She will tell you, in your heart, if and when she needs help. Give her a wonderful cuddle for me please.