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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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Dog Cancer Supplements

My Dog is Young…and Has Cancer??

These days cancers in young dogs do not seem to be that rare.  And they are especially difficult since it is such a shock.  Often we have the perception that things like this do not happen, or should not happen. Yet we are faced with this brutal reality that seems impossible to accept and even…

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Prejudice in Chemo Side Effect Treatment for Dogs

Bias (prejudice) is an important issue in medical treatments being withheld.  Some of these treatments may have benefit, and dog cancer is no exception. Managing the side effects of chemotherapy is an important part of cancer care.  Chemotherapy is most commonly delivered at the Maximum Tolerated Dose (MTD).  This means the highest doses that the…

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Analysis Paralysis With Dog Cancer

When faced with a dog cancer diagnosis, many guardians experience an immediate sense of overwhelm.  Of course, there is profound anger, sadness, numbness, grief, and the whole array of different responses to crises news. After a time, treatment options arise.  And the facts are that modern medicine in many cases does not provide options that…

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Osteosarcoma, Cisplatin and Magnesium

Low magnesium may be a threat for dogs receiving chemotherapy. Magnesium is a mineral in the body that is needed for proper functioning of over 300 different enzyme systems.  A study was done on critically ill dogs, and over half were found to have low magnesium. Low magnesium levels increase the risk of toxic reactions…

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Abnormal Immunity and Cancer

Cancer is a very strange and horrible creature.  The disease in very similar in dogs and people, and this post will use information from human literature so you can apply it to your dog. There are several ways the immune system is involved in cancer. One of the problems afflicting cancer patients is their immune…

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Can a Dog Cancer Diagnosis Be Wrong?

The news that a loved dog has cancer turns the world upside-down. Shock, dismay, disorientation, anger, and profound feelings of loss or sadness are common.  Another common response is questioning the diagnosis. “My dog seems fine.  The lump does not seem to bother her.  His appetite is good.  She still plays.  How can he have…

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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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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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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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disruptive stress and dog cancer

Disruptive Stress and Dog Cancer

Coping with dog cancer is extremely stressful. Certain life events, like coping with dog cancer in your loved family member, create such stress that it actually disrupts normal thinking.  This is called “disruptive stress.” This is very natural and common. However, disruptive stress has been shown to have a real negative effect. Disruptive stress creates…

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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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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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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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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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Time and the Joys of Life in Dog Cancer

We are very busy in modern life.  It seems as time goes on, the faster it speeds by. Dog cancer is connected in many ways to time.  There is the question that is most pressing: “How much more time do I have?”. This is an important piece of information to get, along with the odds…

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A Useful Discussion for Dogs With Cancer

I received a question recently that involves a common situation for guardians coping with a dog cancer diagnosis. So, to benefit everyone, I am including my answers here, in the hopes that you can apply the information to how you manage your dog with cancer. This case is Almond, who is a 10 year female…

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But Will Palladia Work?

I recently received a question about whether the chemotherapy drug Palladia would work for a dog with cancer. This guardian wrote that her dog was breathing hard, all night, and that X-rays showed the cancer had spread to the lungs. She was asking as to whether the drug Palladia would work for her dog. In…

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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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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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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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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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