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

DogCancer.TV: Nasal Tumors – What You Need to Know About Your Dog’s Cancer

Are you concerned that your dog may have a nasal tumor? Dr. Dressler and Dr. Ettinger discuss the detection, diagnosis, and Full Spectrum Care Approach to treating nasal and sinus tumors in dogs. Watch this video.

Transcript of Nasal Tumors- What You Need to Know About Your Dog’s Cancer

James Jacobson: One of the cancers that you talk about in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide is nasal cancers. Dr. Dressler, I’ll throw this question out to you first, if your dog has cancer of the nose, what are the likely signs and symptoms that you might be looking at?

Dr. Demian Dressler: Nasal cancers are tricky, and the reason why they are tricky is because the fact that they grow within the nasal sinuses. And we can’t see into the nasal sinuses with our naked eyes as guardians or as Veterinarians for that matter. And so, many times we have to rely on things progressing to the extent that we see signs from the outside of the dog’s body, or the dog’s doing something different that, with normally be witnessed. Some examples should be a discharge that is some material green, yellow, or occasionally bloody or mucousy coming out of, one of the nostrils. Sometimes, we’ll see a bit of a swelling in the area of the muscle either a strange or sometimes it’s even a cavities so a depression in the area of the muscle. And very, very rarely I have seen nasal cancers show as dogs are having a some gagging or some swallowing, or some peculiar coughing noises, or something like that, and these are most commonly occurring when the nasal tumors are farther back in the nasal sinus.

Dr. Susan Ettinger: This is a, in some ways similar to bladder cancer in dogs and not a lot of patients have a secondary infection on top of the cancer which is a little bit confusing for the guardian and sometimes Veterinarian because they start the many antibiotics and the symptoms to discharge improves and so you think it’s just an infection but in general there’s a possibility that there is an underlying cancer in the nasal and the sinus cavities so that can be a little bit confusing and so I think it’s one of those, that’s going on with your dog. You wanna, really consider pursuing advanced diagnostics and often you’ll need a nasal biopsy and in best case scenario the better way to diagnosis is with a CT scan and Rhynoscopy which is a scoping procedure where they’re gonna get a biopsy, but that’s really gonna give you the complete picture about the extent of the disease on the type of nasal cancer that your dog has.

James Jacobson: Dr. Dressler, your thoughts on treatment options for nasal cancer.

Dr. Demian Dressler: Well, treating options we, as usual have a lot of different things to choose from. A nasal cancer can be a little bit frustrating in some cases. It’s difficult to achieve a cure. Radiation is one of the central ways that nasal cancers are treated and radiation therapy many times does a lot of good with respect to improving life quality and also longevity. Surgery in some cases can be tough because the surgery that’s needed many times would be so extensive, in other times many, many time so extensive that is just not possible. We’ve also got to remember that changing the diet can be an important additional help to fighting cancer for a canine patient. The additional supplements can be very usual including those that turn on cells suicide in cancer cells, those were called apoptogens. And of course life quality enrichment with deliberately improving things that are the joys in life for our patients and we of course can’t forget that pain control when appropriate.

James Jacobson: There’s a lot of information if your dog has…

Dr. Susan Ettinger: I’d like to.. Can I add some please?

James Jacobson: Please! Please!

Dr. Susan Ettinger: So, I think in terms of conventional treatment options as Dr. Dressler mentioned, surgery itself is not doesn’t really achieve wide, clean margins. It’s very hard to remove the entire tumor from the nasal cavity and radiation is really the main conventional treatment. Most nasal cancers tend to stay local in the nasal and sinus cavities so they have a low spread rate. And there’s a, two main types of radiation out there. One is conventional radiation and then there are a few places in the country including the hospital that I worked at in New York that has a type of radiation called radiosurgery and nasal cancers are the second most common cancer that we treat with radiosurgery with our cyberknife unit. And it allows the nasal cancer to be treated instead of fifteen to twenty treatments and three treatments were just less trips to the hospital, less anaesthesias for your pets and actually less side effects with very comfortable treatment efficacy. So, again this is an evolving field, there are some newer treatment options out there and definitely, some new things to learn about.

James Jacobson: Well, and if you’re looking at cyberknife, we have a video in this series specifically about that procedure. A very interesting one and lots of information in the book both about that and all the options are available to you if your dog has tumors in the nasal region. More information in the book but for now I wanna thank you both for joining us, Dr. Ettinger in New York, Dr. Dressler in Hawaii, thank you.

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Leave a Comment

  1. Lynn Carter on January 1, 2022 at 10:20 am

    Are Apocaps of any use and Turkey tail mix of mushrooms help along with chemo or is one better than the other?

    • Kate Basedow, LVT on January 7, 2022 at 8:11 am

      Hi Lynn! Dr. Dressler generally recommends both Apocaps and turkey tail mushroom (or a mushroom blend) for most dogs with cancer, including while undergoing chemotherapy. To make sure that these supplements are both a good fit for your dog along with any other meds and supplements your dog might be taking, discuss them with your veterinarian and/or oncologist. Best of luck on your dog’s treatment!

  2. Mary Molen on May 11, 2020 at 8:45 am

    My 15 yr old Westie has nasal cancer, we are in month 2 since diagnosis. Palliative care only. Several times I have thought she was at deaths door. The last 5 days she has suddenly seemed better; can breath through nose, sleeps peacefully, reduced sneezing, Why might this occur?

  3. Joyc on September 15, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Cryoablation to treat nasal carcinoma at UC Davis by Dr. Michele Steffey. My 10 year old beagle Bandon was diagnosed with Nasal carcinoma. He underwent the cryo treatment where they freeze the tumor. It has now been 9 months since his treatment and there are no signs of tumor regrowth. Along with this treatment I changed his diet to a raw diet and he goes to a holistic vet for acupuncture and he takes herb. Give Dr. Steffey a call!

    • LisaB. on March 23, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      Hi Joyc,
      Can you contact me?
      Our little fur baby is about to undergo this cryo treatment at UC Davis. The vet is giving him 30 to 90 days if we do nothing, so we are hoping and praying for a miracle. He is only 7 yrs old. I’d love to hear more about your experience with the post treatment recovery.
      Your insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  4. Elaine on February 18, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Hello, can you tell me where to find the Cyberknife video you talked about? Thanks!

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