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

Full Spectrum Cancer Care is the approach taken by the authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide. In Full Spectrum cancer care, we embrace any method that has been shown to help dogs with cancer, regardless of its source.

Newspaper Columnist Faces Dog Cancer Diagnosis

Kerstin Shamberg received the devastating news that her beloved dog Peebucks has cancer.  Peebucks was recently diagnosed with a type of tumor of the nose called a carcinoma, likely an adenocarcinoma. Kerstin writes for the Huffington Post, and describes what this experience was like.  Many reader will recognize what she is going through: shock, dismay,…

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How to Get A Diagnosis Before Surgery

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…

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What I Would Do for My Dog with Lymphoma

What would a veterinarian oncologist do for her dog with lymphoma? Dr. Susan Ettinger tells us how she would handle this dread disease.

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Prednisone for Dog Cancer

Cortisone drugs have a bad rap. Pharmaceuticals like prednisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone, budesonide, and triamcinolone are drugs in the cortisone family. And over the years these medications have achieved much attention as bad chemicals. This is very likely due to what could be described as overuse.  These drugs of have historically been prescribed for a wide…

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You Really Treat Dogs and Cats Who Have Cancer?

You REALLY treat dogs and cats who have cancer?? That’s usually the first question I hear when people find out I am a veterinary oncologist. You may get a similar response from your family and friends when you share that you are thinking about or are treating your pet with cancer – you are really…

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Man Meets Dog With Same Brain Cancer Treatment

A recent article in USA Today featured a man who met a dog receiving the same kind of experimental brain cancer treatment. Two years ago, John Huls underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation for a brain tumor.  He opted against continued chemotherapy and radiation for brain cancer treatment due to side effects.  He then enrolled in…

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Premature Fatty Acid Media Frenzy

A recent Dutch study has been published that is creating a large media ripple and alarm concerning the use of fatty acid supplements and cancer. The study showed that two specific fatty acids, when used in mice and in-vitro (in cells in a laboratory), can interfere with the effects of chemotherapy drugs. These fatty acids…

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CCNU Use for Lympho Rescue Protocols

Chemotherapy in dogs is used differently than in people.  In people, there are protocols that might in some cases eliminate the cancer for many years. In dogs though, the cancer usually comes back, many times in months. (For this reason, we use a wide variety of treatments above and beyond chemotherapy in the Guide). However,…

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Low Dose Chemotherapy and Cancer

Over the last few years, there has been much work in attempting to improve canine cancer treatment. One strategy has been to use lower, continuous doses of oral chemotherapy drugs.  The goal in this is to lessen chemotherapy toxicity, reduce trips to the oncologist for IV injections (the medications are pills), and hopefully gaining life…

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Landmark Study Confirms Cancer is Top Cause of Dog Death

A study done in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine backs up the fact that canine cancer is now the number one cause of death in dogs. Data from 74,556 dogs over 20 years (1984-2004) were analyzed. This data was archived for the National Cancer Foundation’s Veterinary Medical Database and then surveyed.  27 veterinary hospitals…

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Graviola Not Recommended For Dog Cancer

Graviola (Annona muricata) is a tropical tree that has been touted as a useful cancer supplement.  It is also called corossol or soursop. Graviola does have medical potential and is used as a medicine in certain parts of the world.  The fruit is also commonly eaten. The problem is that Graviola contains both medical compounds…

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Guardian Versus Dog Lover in Dog Cancer

There is a big difference between loving a dog and being a dog guardian. Guardianship implies being a protector.  There is vigilance, resourcefulness, and problem solving mixed with love.  Being a dog lover is just enjoying your relationship with your dog. Guardianship is required for dealing with canine cancer.  Being a dog lover is not…

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Innovations in Dog Cancer Care

Cancer may be the toughest adversary in medicine today. When a dog lover is faced with a dog cancer diagnosis, one of the most common questions is, “Are there any other options?”  Many guardians are urgently looking for options beyond what seems to exist in conventional medical care today. For this reason, The Dog Cancer…

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When Infection Looks Like Cancer

Many times cancer can be misdiagnosed as infection in dogs. How does this happen?  Cancer diagnosis is not as strait forward as it may seem. The reason for this is that we do not always have a simple test for internal cancers.  The standard of care in testing for cancer is a biopsy.  To get…

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Carcinoma of the Anal Sac, part 2

In the last post, anal sac carcinoma was discussed, including diagnosing these malignant tumors in the dog.  In this post, we will cover more on treatments and some data concerning outcomes. If a guardian is coping with a diagnosis of canine anal sac carcinoma, often major questions arise soon after the news is received.  Chemotherapy? …

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Carcinoma of the Anal Gland

One of the less common cancers is carcinoma of the anal gland. Carcinoma of the anal gland occurs on the rear end of dogs, and are found on the anus, in it, or on the edge where the haired skin starts.  Sometimes they can be found only by doing a rectal exam, which is a…

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Critical Question when Weighing Dog Cancer Chemotherapy Options

Many Guardians are faced with difficult decisions when facing a dog cancer diagnosis.  One of the toughest is whether to choose a treatment that seems more aggressive than others. A guardian should first get an idea of whether the expectation of the treatment is worse than the treatment.  Many times dogs receiving chemotherapy treatment do…

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Chubby Golden Retriever Has Less Cancer Protection

I was talking to one of my clients today in the exam room.  She owns an awesome Golden Retriever named Baloo.   Like his namesake in the movie “The Jungle Book,” Baloo is happy, friendly, goofy and….chubby. I started telling Baloo’s owner about the cancer rate in the breed. It is estimated that around 2/3…

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What is a scar revision?

When a veterinarian or oncologist diagnoses canine cancer, often a surgery is done to remove the cancer cells. Surgery remains one of the cornerstones of cancer treatment in dogs. With surgery, if all things go very well, your veterinary surgeon may be able to completely remove the cancer.  This may mean a cure is reached,…

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My Homeopathic Vet and Cancer

A reader of this blog asked a provocative question with a few different parts. Let’s look at it more closely to help all the guardians dealing with a dog cancer diagnosis. First, he wrote that his Golden Retriever (the number one breed for canine cancer now) is diagnosed with cancer. Next, he wrote that the…

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My Homeopathic Veterinarian and Dog Cancer

A reader of this blog asked a provocative question with a few different parts. Let’s look at it more closely to help all the guardians dealing with a dog cancer diagnosis. First, he wrote that his Golden Retriever (the number one breed for canine cancer now) is diagnosed with cancer. Next, he wrote that the…

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A Big Picture Viewpoint

The recent earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan can teach us a lot. I live on Maui.  We had a little tsunami damage here from the same quake that has created the horror show in Japan.  Now we face the potential of radiation exposure, depending on how the nuclear leak turns out. This is nothing compared…

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Kidney Supplements For Dog Cancer

Cancer of the kidneys can be very hard, both for you and for your dog.  This is actually a rare cancer, so I hope some information here can help. Let’s look at this topic.  To understand what happens with cancers of the dog kidney, it is important to understand what the kidneys normally do. Just…

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How Do I know The Right Course of Treatment, part 2

In the last post we looked at the information you need to gather about surgery, chemotherapy and radiation for your dog when deciding on a treatment plan. But as you know, the choices do not stop there. As a Guardian you also need to decide what to do. Since you are your dog’s primary advocate,…

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How Do I know The Right Course of Treatment

The decisions surrounding dog cancer treatment can be complicated. This is not only because of the treatments themselves. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation have multiple steps. Diet and supplements are not necessarily strait forward either. Steps to change a dog’s brain chemistry to a cancer fighting state take some doing as well. Boosting life quality needs…

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A Silver Lining in Dog Cancer

This is a blog about dog cancer.  As such, you are probably here looking for some advice.  Something useful to help this dire predicament you are in with your loved dog. Most often I will write about some outside the box approach to treating your dog’s disease.  Maybe a new therapy that is coming up,…

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Herbs in a Dog Cancer Diet?

You would be amazed at what are in herbs. For all readers with a “conventional only” medicine approach (anti “alternative), read on.  You may be surprised.  For you “alternative only” people (anti “conventional”),  this will be right up your alley. For those of you with a rational, discerning, anti-bias viewpoint, congratulations.  You are a full-spectrum…

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Chemosensitizers

We need longer life expectancies in dogs with cancer. When guardians hear the statistics about dog cancer survival, they are often shocked at how grim things sound.  And to be honest, they are grim. For this reason, we need to start looking “outside the box” of existing conventional cancer care. This was one of the…

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An Overview of What Else Can I Do?

The most common question I receive is: My dog has cancer.  What else can I do? Well, this is a very short question that needs a very long answer. I will do my best to give the big categories here. First, get the data you need.  A real guardian needs information to make aware decisions. …

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Why Rescue Chemotherapy Is Not As Good

Cancer cells are really quite amazing, but not in a good way. They have these little pumps in their outer wall (the cell membrane).  They go by a couple of different names, but the easiest one to remember is MDR. MDR stands for Multi-Drug Resistance. The reason these pumps are so amazingly bad is that…

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