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

The Oncologist’s thoughts on mast cell tumors

If ever there was a tumor that fits the saying: “one size does NOT fit all”, it is mast cell tumors (MCT). These tumors are common, particularly skin tumors, in dogs. You may know a dog that had a mast cell tumor removed with surgery and went on to live many happy years to never…

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Diagnosing mast cell tumors

When should you see an oncologist for a mast cell tumor (MCT)? I recommend you get an oncologist involved early. But before you see me, you need to know what a MCT looks like, and how they are diagnosed. Most dogs are not feeling or acting sick when they are diagnosed with MCT. Usually the…

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My Experience with CyberKnife RadioSurgery

In my last post, I introduced CyberKnife RadioSurgery, a type of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). This is the radiation unit we have at my specialty hospital, the Animal Specialty Center in Yonkers NY. I want to tell you a little bit more about my own experience with this new technology, but first, a quick recap on…

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What’s new with oral malignant melanoma? Part Two

If you read part one, you remember I was all excited after a recent weekend meeting in New York City on the topic or oral malignant melanoma. As discussed in my chapter in the Dog Cancer Survival Guide, oral melanoma is the most common tumor in the mouth of dogs, accounting for 30-40%. It is…

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What’s new with oral malignant melanoma?

I was not planning on my next blog to be about oral malignant melanoma (or OMM) in dogs, but I just attended a really great meeting on the topic in New York City. It cut  into my weekend family time, so I am happy that the meeting was so informative. This meeting was VECOG, or…

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The Oncologist’s Perspective on Statistics: Part Three

As you are likely starting to notice, I have so much to say on cancer. I am breaking up big topics into sections to make them more manageable. This is part 3 on statistics. As I mentioned in part one, statistics can be very helpful to give you reasonable expectations about your dog’s cancer, but…

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Can Needle Biopsy Spread Cancer?

Can needle biopsy spread cancer? As always when it comes to dog cancer, there is no “one right answer.” Dr. Dressler, DVM goes over the facts.

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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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Testing for Mast Cell Tumor Spread: Buffy Coat?

Mast cell tumors occur commonly in the dog. There are three basic grades of mast cell tumor (Grade 1, 2 and 3).  The Grade of the mast cell tumor is useful because it gives the veterinarian or oncologist an idea of how aggressive the mast cell tumor will be. Another way of talking about this…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Why is Canine Cancer Still Winning? Part 1

Those who have experienced the frustration and sadness in caring for a dog with cancer may have wondered, “Why is cancer still winning after all this time?” In the last forty years, successes in cancer treatment relative to effort have been pretty meager.  Even if one were to spend the average total price tag of…

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Why Would Anyone Choose Chemotherapy?

Very few people overall will opt for chemotherapy for their dogs with cancer. This is interesting, because in human medicine it is widespread. It would seem that fear of life quality loss, expense, side effects, and lack of cure in true malignancy are the main deterrents. However, there are some reasons why some do opt…

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Where Do I Begin?

“I am overwhelmed with all the information I am reading to help my dog with cancer.” Does this sound familiar to anyone out there? Most of the readers of this blog are searching for information. Once a true malignancy has developed, the realities can feel utterly unacceptable. This leads to information gathering.  Whenever we are…

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Dog Tumor Surgery and Anesthetics

In the last post we looked at why surgery ends up often being a good option for malignant dog tumors. Of course, this is a simple answer, but it may not be all that simple in reality. Why? Well, aside from the cost-benefit considerations, surgery itself varies from vet to vet. I have worked with…

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An Antibiotic for Dog Cancer

Antibiotics are normally used to treat infections, but not many know that there are anti-tumor antibiotics. One of the cheapest, safest, and most easily obtained through a vet? Doxycycline.  Now, doxycycline is not a dream antibiotic.  It actually has fairly limited use as an antibiotic.  Some use it for dental infections, but it is most…

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Vitamin C for Canine Cancer Patients? Part 2

Well, it’s been 2 days since the lead-in entry on Vitamin C….which may (or may not) be a long time to wait 🙂  Anyway, here you go: As I had indicated, it turns out that if one were to take vitamin C, at huge doses by mouth, the blood levels you get are puny. When…

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