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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

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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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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Breast Cancer Signs in Dogs: What to Look For and How to Think About Mammary Cancer

Finding a lump on your dog’s breast is not good: Learn how to examine your dog for breast cancer and when to head to the veterinarian.

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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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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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Calcium Tablets May Contain Carcinogenic Lead

Does calcium matter to a dog with cancer?   How about carcinogenic lead? Many dog lovers are feeding their dog The Dog Cancer Diet in The Guide, with very good results.  A dog with cancer has a unique metabolism that is totally different from a dog with no cancer. With this in mind, it is clear…

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What is Treatment Plan Analysis?

Imagine you want to spend some time somewhere.  Maybe the mountains, maybe the city…it is time for a trip. There are many ways to get there.  Perhaps having as much time as possible there is your main goal. Maybe you drive at breakneck speed to get there, wasting no time, and extend your time there…

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Glutamine, Immunity and Canine Cancer

Cancer is a whole-body disease.  When we think about cancer, many times we tend to look at it as if it were just a single growth. A single growth is called a tumor. We can see tumors, either on the body of a loved dog or with a tool to see the inside of the…

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Magnesium and Dog Cancer

The strategy of Full Spectrum Care is used in the Dog Cancer Survival Guide to take advantage of anything that is safe and effective to get an edge on dog cancer. This means we have to look not only at chemo, radiation and surgery, but also on all those other things that might help a…

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Bone Tumors and Doxcycline

Osteosarcoma, and other types of canine bone cancer, can be especially hard for a dog lover to cope with.  Not only are most of these cancers very malignant, but often they require major surgeries to help deal with the immediate crisis. Once the decision is made and the surgery performed, we are faced with cancer…

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Surgery and Supplements: Bleeding Risks

All herbs and supplements are safe because they are natural, right? Wrong.  The word “natural” seems to mean harmless.  No side effects.  Non toxic.  But this simply is false information. Anything in the body, no matter what it is, can create a harmful. effect.  Drinking too much water, seen with swine sometimes, can give seizures. …

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New Approaches to Squamous Cell Cancer

A cancer we see in from time to time veterinary hospitals is called squamous cell carcinoma. Even though it is not as common as other cancers in dogs, for any dog lover coping with this diagnosis, it is a huge issue. These cancers are not fun. First of all, especially in advanced cases, they are…

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Dog Cancer: Does Acupuncture Make It Worse?

There are few up to speed clinicians these days that will argue acupuncture is hocus pocus in cancer medicine.  If they do, the rest of us will point to this paper, and this one, and this one..and those are just a few. Now, Western clinicians are accepting that acupuncture does good things for pain, nausea,…

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Making Time for Full Spectrum Dog Cancer Care

There is a big difference between coming up with an idea to do something, and doing it. We humans are very good at deciding that we should do.  The problem is that many times we sort of lose track of this focus, and don’t totally follow through. This is a very important issue when it…

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Mirtazapine for Dog Cancer

Dear Dog Lovers, A newer drug is being used frequently lately, and I would like to make sure everyone dealing with a canine cancer diagnosis has heard of it.  This medication may help some dogs out there, so let’s keep everyone up to date. The drug is mirtazapine, also called Remeron. Now granted, many of…

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Is Dog Cancer Treatment the Same as Prevention?

I’ve been thinking about a distinction that deserves way more attention from those who want to be their dogs’ primary health advocate. Why are distinctions important? One meaning of distinction is, “the act of making or keeping distinct”.  So there is action implied in distinctions.  Many time actions are built in to words because they…

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The Premature Frenzy: Resveratrol

Ever since Dr. Oz mentioned resveratrol on Oprah, the media has anchored this substance into the minds of dog lovers across the country. Granted, resveratrol is very interesting.  And the anti cancer effects of resveratrol are quite interesting too…but mainly in test tubes and petri dishes. If one were to use this as the basis…

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I Need An Alternative Veterinarian!

When on the hard road of dog cancer, we have to use all tools at our disposal. The reason is obvious: we still don’t have a cure for systemic cancers.  Thus, most in their right mind would agree that an unsolved problem demands open-minded consideration of all approaches.  At the same time, the challenge is…

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Is There Hope For Dog Cancer?

Hope. Even looking at the word on a computer screen can cause an odd mix of feelings.  This is especially true if you are coping with a canine cancer diagnosis. If there was ever a double-edged sword, hope is it.  On one hand, allowing yourself to feel hope can turbocharge your abilities and motivation. On…

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Detoxification in Dog Cancer

One of the ways companies make money on cancer is by using words that sound great but mean little. “Detoxification” is one of them. Let’s take a closer look at this.  On the surface, getting rid of “toxins‘ is a good idea, right?  “Toxins” bad, “detox” good, correct? Well, sure, except nobody really knows what…

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Survival Times and Dog Cancer

I recently got a comment from a reader who was quite upset with her veterinarian. Turns out her dog underwent a splenectomy (spleen removal), presumably for treatment of a hemangiosarcoma (a malignant tumor of the blood vessel walls)  of the spleen. This dog lover was incensed that the vet  indicated this procedure, combined with removal…

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Hit The Bull’s Eye With Dog Cancer Drugs

One of the problems with chemotherapy, in addition to cost and trips in and out of the hospital is toxicity.  It can be especially difficult to handle a toxic event when the whole point of chemo in treating dog cancer is palliation. Palliation is defined as a reduction in the signs or symptoms of a…

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A Dog Cancer Wake Up Call

From time to time I receive comments from readers who express opinions about what they will consider in treating their dog’s cancer. These particular folks segregate themselves into a single group…the “anti” people. First, we have those who are very impressed with conventional veterinary care.  This is my background, so I see the appeal. Big…

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When to Avoid Chemo for Canine Mast Cell Tumors?

There has been much online talk these days about dogs with mast cell tumors (read, Palladia) which are the most common canine cancer. So I thought I’d just add some fuel to the fire and give my readers some overall guidelines about mast cell tumors and chemotherapy. As many already know, these cancers come in…

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Pau D’Arco for Dogs With Cancer: Be Careful Says Dr. Dressler

In the last post, I focused on really looking at the source of the information you are receiving about your dog’s cancer.  Let’s get into some specific examples of questionable “intelligence” you may have received. Some, claiming authority in the area of supplements for dog cancer, are pushing Pau D’Arco.  Be careful, everyone! Let’s look…

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Why use stomach medication for mast cell tumors?

Many dog lovers are coping with a diagnosis of canine mast cell tumor.  Just yesterday afternoon I was removing a very large one from the body wall of Big, a 10 year old, 105 pound, much-loved mixed breed. The day before his surgery, Big started to throw up.  He became quite sick, and would not…

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The Two Sides of Sunlight and Dog Cancer, part 2

In the last post, we examined those cases where a dog lover might want to protect dogs prone to certain skin cancers with sunscreen and indoor living. However, these are the minority.  The vast majority of dogs actually benefit, in a real way, from some direct sunlight.  Here’s my argument… Sunlight exposure in people is …

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Important Issues in Chemotherapy

The problem with chemotherapy, at least traditional drugs, is that it does not always target just the cancer cells.  What I mean by that is the chemo drug may not care if it shuts down a dividing body cell or a dividing cancer cell. Chemotherapy drugs tend, with some exceptions, to go after cells that…

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Chemo side effects: What should I do?

Chemotherapy does have side effects that need to be considered.  About 5% of these will require your pet to be hospitalized, on the average, and there is a 1% chance of fatal reactions overall with chemotherapy. Although I have not seen any published data, unpublished estimates on overall risks of any side effect are roughly…

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