National Canine Cancer Foundation to fund a new innovative Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) Research Project

June 19th, 2014

I have some new exciting news. As you all know we are always trying to find an new edge in the battle against canine cancer. And Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is one of those cancers we would like to get a better handle on since it seems to end up being diagnosed too late to save the dog. In fact, we are so keen on finding out how to deal with HSA that we have actually initiated our own research project on HSA with G. Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M., Ph.D., and John Ohlfest, Ph.D. This is very exciting for the NCCF because this type of research on HSA has never been tried. Let me tell you how it all came about by first talking about a dog name Batman.

Batman was the first dog to undergo a breakthrough experimental treatment for brain cancer, led by doctors, G. Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M., Ph.D., and John Ohlfest, Ph.D. They developed a combination treatment plan for dogs with glioma, a very aggressive and relatively common form of brain cancer. First they removed the tumor surgically. Then, in some cases, they use local gene therapy to attract immune cells to destroy remaining tumor cells, and finally they created a personalized anti-cancer vaccine made from the dog’s own cancer cells to prevent tumor recurrence.

I personally love the thought of taking a cancer that was killing a dog and turning it into a personalized vaccine to kill the cancer!

Dr. Pluhar, a surgeon at the Veterinary Medical Center, and Dr. Ohlfest, head of the neurosurgery gene therapy program at the Masonic Cancer Center, gave Batman his initial treatment in August 2008. Batman led a normal life unaffected by his tumor until his death from cardiac failure in February 2010, there was no tumor recurrence. According to the Dean of the College, Trevor Ames, DVM, MS, “the far-reaching implications of this promising new treatment are almost difficult to fathom; not only could these treatments lead to a cure for brain and other systemic cancers in dogs, but because dogs and humans share many physiological traits, dogs could also be the missing link in the cure for brain cancer in humans.”

Then something interesting happened. Almost one year ago, Davis Hawn’s then 8-year-old yellow lab, Booster, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his nasal sinus. Booster was given three weeks to live. Hawn did not want to accept the death sentence and began searching the country for a cure. His search led him to doctors in Florida who removed Booster’s tumor and gave him chemo. An online search then led him to Dr. Elizabeth Pluhar from the University of Minnesota’s canine brain tumor clinical program. Davis asked her to help his dog, but Dr. Pluhar had never made a vaccine for this type of cancer before. But Davis was not going to take no for an answer so she did agree to try. She shipped the vaccine off and ten months later Booster is cancer free.

Then after Davis contacted the NCCF to tell us about how well the vaccine works, we contacted Dr. Pluhar to ask if she would be willing to try the same research that was successful with brain cancer and skin cancer, and use the same protocol to try dealing with splenic HSA. The NCCF’s thinking is that with all these other cancers, the similarities were that the cancer had to be removed and a vaccine needed to be created from the cancer cells. With splenic HSA, one of the more common forms of HSA, the spleen is typically removed so we felt that Dr. Pluhar’s research could possibly work. With that in mind, we asked her if she could try and apply her protocol on splenic HSA. After doing some initial research she agreed to do the study based on reaching certain goals before going on to the next level.

First, she needs to insure that we can culture the cancer cells in the lab,

Second, she needs to insure that the tumor vaccines stimulate immune cells to attack tumor cells. If she can achieve these two steps she can go on to treat the HSA cancer. We could not be happier and are guardedly optimistic over this research project.

The cost for this project will be $55,500. I hope you are all as excited as we are about this research and will help fund the project. If you want to help with funding this new innovative NCCF’s initiated project please CLICK HERE or got to this link

http://wearethecure.org/giving/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=70

Thank you

Gary D. Nice
President and Founder
National Canine Cancer Foundation

What My Dog Has Taught Me About Living With Cancer

July 30th, 2014

In 2013 our beloved dog, CB, was diagnosed with melanoma. It was a stunning blow to all of us and even the veterinarian had a hard time with the test results. The tumor was in one of the bones that made up his first toe on the right foot and we made the decision to remove the entire toe as a precaution. The vet assured me that he would do just fine without it and she was right.  Following several weeks of healing, he was right back to bounding up the stairs behind me every evening on our way to bed, back to three or four walks around the neighborhood every day.  You would never know he was missing a toe.

Six weeks after the surgery, the vet said we ought to give him the once-over to see whether there were any more tumors or spots we needed to check out.  As a nearly-10-year-old purebred, he had sprouted odd bumps and lesions here and there that we hadn’t ever really thought twice about. I pointed out a few that were larger but didn’t seem to give him trouble or pain and we did biopsies.

Most of the remainder of 2013 was spent either in surgery or recovery for our poor boy after discovering another large tumor on his back that had wrapped around his spine.  I learned several big lessons from all of this, but the one that I hope to remember for the rest of my life is how to act when you’re diagnosed with cancer, just in case I ever am.

During the visits where we first attempted to figure out what was going on with CB’s foot, he was the same as ever.  Happy, goofy, loyal, exuberant. For as long as we have known him, he has loved people (especially children his height), other dogs, water, balls, stuffed animals, and food. He loves nothing more than a walk around the neighborhood and sleeping on the floor in the same room where there is a person. Any person. He hates being alone.  He follows me from room to room all day long as I empty the dishwasher, run downstairs to do a load of laundry, sit at the kitchen table to write for a few hours, walk out to the alley to dump the garbage, and head upstairs to shower. If we walk past a car with a door or the hatchback open, he sees an open invitation for a ride, even if he doesn’t know the owner of the car. He doesn’t mind going to the vet in the slightest because it just means that someone else is going to pet him and scratch behind his ears.

After his cancer diagnosis, nothing changed. He was slowed down a bit by the bandages and stitches and a little dopey from the anesthetic, but he wasn’t angry or morose or withdrawn. His tail still thumped on the hardwood floor in anticipation of some attention every time someone walked by. He still struggled to all four feet upon hearing the word “walk” uttered by anyone anywhere.  He still perked his ears up at the sound of Bubba locking his car at the end of the day before heading up the stairs to come inside.

Even after five surgeries in nine months and weekly visits to the vet, he was unchanged with regard to his most basic personality. He was a little more hesitant to get in the car because that generally meant we were headed for some more poking and prodding, but I can hardly blame him. I was, too, because for me, it generally meant a huge bill and more heartache.

I don’t know whether it’s because he has very little control over most of the aspects of his life that he has chosen to embrace the things that matter most to him – connection with his human companions and pleasure-seeking – or if it’s even a “choice” at all. I just know that watching him continue to be exactly who he always was even as physical parts of him got chipped away steadily through most of a year was inspirational and touching. He never stopped trusting me to change his bandages and give him pain meds. He never refused to get up and walk or greet me with a huge tail wag. He never lost his enthusiasm for meeting other dogs or new people or carrying some goofy toy around in his mouth. Through it all, he stayed CB. CB with melanoma, to be sure, but CB nonetheless.

If I am ever diagnosed with a disease that requires me to undergo painful or debilitating treatment and is potentially life-threatening, I hope that I can remember how CB handled it. I hope that I can make my way, one day at a time, through the treatments, rely on others to help me, and never let it change who I truly am.  I hope that I can continue to focus on the things that make me happy and let them make me just as happy as they always have even if I don’t have the same energy to enjoy them that I once did.

As of now, CB is mostly back to his old self. I suspect that he has more tumors growing that we don’t know about, but he is living a good life and is very active thus far. We have decided that five surgeries is enough for one dog and, while we won’t let him live with debilitating amounts of pain, we are going to let him enjoy the time he has left without anesthesia or stitches or casts.  Every morning when the two of us get up to start the day, I am grateful for the gifts he has given me, not the least of which is the constant reminder to just be who I really am as much as possible.

Story reposted from:
http://www.blogher.com/what-my-dog-has-taught-me-about-living-cancer

Written by: Kario

Man tells goodbye to dying dog by taking it on vacation across New York

July 29th, 2014

A man was devastated with the grim diagnosis of his dog and is determined to make their short time together very special.

James Garcia and Elmo

James Garcia of New York, recently learned that her dog named Elmo, has only a few months left to live.

Earlier this month, Garcia learned that his beloved 16-year-old dog suffers from liver cancer, bladder disease and renal failure.

Since then Garcia has been carrying Elmo around New York City, showing the dog his favorite sites and restaurants in a grand farewell to his lifelong companion.

James Garcia and Elmo at the Charging Bull statue in Bowling Green

“The vet has given him a couple of months to live,” said Garcia. He decided not to sit and cry, but to create special moments and happy memories.

Since Elmo’s legs no longer work, Garcia bought a stroller to take the dog through the Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Elmo even got to meet his namesake character from Sesame Street in Times Square, and witness a spectacular sunset over the city buildings.

Elmo in Washington Square Park

Garcia said that he hopes to write a book one day, on how to say goodbye to a beloved pet before it dies.

Story reposted from:
http://www.yourjewishnews.com/2014/07/28-w9973.html

Written by: Hydar Tomar

Popular therapy dog fighting cancer again

July 27th, 2014

Dog trainer Charlie Brugnola knows that his little therapy dog, Sweetheart, won’t be with him much longer. Cancer continues to slowly take the life from his canine friend.

After losing his therapy dog, Jinx, a few years back to cancer, the Air Force veteran who’s trained dogs for more than 40 years said he’s learned a valuable lesson about life and death.

“The best thing to do is to make them comfortable and to let them go emotionally’” Brugnola said as his voice cracked slightly. “It’s a selfish thing to hang on to them when they need to move on.”

Brugnola said Sweetheart, a mixed-breed who is partially blind and totally deaf, has won three previous bouts with cancer, but doctors have now given the little dog about a year to live.

“So many people love Sweetheart and she has quite the following, so I want to organize an event where people can come and say good-bye to her,” said Brugnola, who lives in Helendale. “I think it would be a wonderful thing for everyone.”

Over a decade ago, Sweetheart suffered burns over 70 percent of her body when two teenagers poured gasoline on her, set her on fire and left her for dead.

After her recovery, Sweetheart made headlines and appeared on TV shows such as “Miracle Pets” and was featured in the book “The Healing Power of Pets.”

Brugnola, who’s trained military and police K-9 units, said his little friend helped in the healing and recovery of those in many hospitals, jails, schools and military facilities across the country.

After the events of 9/11, Brugnola, his wife, Sally, and their dogs Jackson and Sweetheart were instrumental in the emotional recovery of many in New York City.

Sweetheart was also the catalyst behind a pet therapy program at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, where she’s inspired burn victims to keep surviving.

Brugnola said Sweetheart once walked a special “green carpet” in Hollywood as she received the inaugural DOGSWELL WAG Award, honoring heroic, funny, talented and inspirational dogs in Southern California. Sweetheart’s work also won her the Most Heroic Award.

Brugnola’s work with canines for the Hawthorne Police Department saw a record “120 felony finds” in six years. He trained Jinx to be friendly and approachable — characteristics used to help injured or scared children and adults, even those who were attempting to take their own lives.

When Sweetheart came into Brugnola’s life, he passed one of the batons of therapy and caring over to her, and the duo touched the lives of thousands of people across the nation.

Brugnola, who owns Good Dog Training by Charlie, said some of the amazing things he has seen with Sweetheart and his other dogs are soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder coming out of a catatonic-like state after encountering the dogs.

“One soldier, who would not respond to anyone or anything, began moving after Sweetheart came up to him,” Brugnola said. “Before you know it, the soldier was on his feet, being discharged from the hospital, and on his way to therapy and his family.”

Brugnola said there is something about a dog’s presence that heals, calms and soothes people. He also believes that certain calming hormones are released in the human body when people and dogs connect.

“One of the heavy things that I carried for a long time was the guilt that I did not let Jinx go,” Brugnola said. “I will not do that with my Sweetheart. When it comes Sweetheart’s time, and she’s done her job and fulfilled every amazing thing — she can go home.”

Story reposted from:
http://www.vvdailypress.com/article/20140725/NEWS/140729858/13059/LIFESTYLE

Written by: Rene De La Cruz

Gullivers Run : Run Against Canine Cancer with the NCCF!

July 24th, 2014

The National Canine Cancer Foundation is very proud to offer passionate owners the opportunity to remember and honor the dogs that have touched your heart. Through the Foundations work, in this case specifically www.RunAgainstCanineCancer.org, we are committed to providing dog lovers a voice in fighting back against canine cancer! 2013 was the Inaugural Gulliver’s Run, a tribute to John and Lisa’s beloved Vizsla running partner Gulliver.   Many are very dedicated and passionate following the death or diagnosis of their beloved dog, but it takes a team to put together and host a charitable event that gives others a voice to their story.  Because of these stories continually being told, awareness grows and research moves forward.  This is one story, of a dog that so touched a family that they have dedicated their efforts to his remembrance.  It was a pleasure to work with John and his team in 2013 and we are looking forward to an even bigger and better event in 2014 – Together, We Are The Cure.

- Chris Pike
VP of Marketing and Events National Canine Cancer Foundation

As many of you already know, Gulliver left us in November of 2012, after a 13-month race against canine lymphoma. He was a runner and a remarkable companion. Gulliver kept on running through all of the chemo and other treatments that were part of his battle. He stopped running only 2 days before he crossed the last finish line.

Gulliver’s loss devastated us, but he never gave up, so how could we? We founded “Gulliver’s Run” in January of 2013, went on to file for and receive status as a 501(c) 3, non-profit, public charity, became partnered with the National Canine Cancer Foundation, and held our first “Gulliver’s Run” 5k Trail Race in November , almost a year to the day that Gulliver left us. We were able to send a check for $5,000.00 to the NCCF as a result of our first year’s effort.

Gulliver’s legacy and his trail run continue. Our 2nd annual “Gulliver’s Run” will be held again this year on Sunday, November 2nd, at beautiful Pinchot State Park. It is held on the same trails that Gulliver ran on almost daily. It is comforting to think that his noble spirit still runs free there beside us!

Our work is far from over! Sadly, there are countless other dogs and their human families who are facing the same battles and challenges that my wife and I did when we helped Gulliver fight against canine lymphoma. Please join us in this battle against canine cancer by being a part of “Gulliver’s Run” in 2014. If you can’t be with us in person (and with your canine pal) on November 2nd then please consider a donation. All funds raised go directly to fighting canine cancer. All that any dog truly expects from us is our companionship. Such selfless friends deserve our help in finding a cure for this terrible disease.

Together—We are the cure!
John & Lisa Heycock, on behalf of “Gulliver’s Run”

Join online:
http://runagainstcaninecancer.org/gulliver/register/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_18&products_id=72

Download  printable registration form:
http://www.houndsandharriers.com/GulliversRun.pdf

Photo courtesy: NaterPix

Daisy: The dog who has sniffed out over 500 cases of cancer

July 24th, 2014

Dr Claire Guest was preoccupied with thoughts about work as she took her dogs for a walk one grey February evening in 2009. A long-term dream to use sniffer dogs to detect early signs of cancer had hit an impasse.

Claire, an animal behavioral psychologist, was convinced the animals could sense abnormal cancer cells through smells emitted by the skin, urine or even in the breath. Her first clinical research, published five years earlier, had shown it was possible to train dogs to detect cancer in samples supplied by patients.

Claire, an animal behavioral psychologist, and dog Daisy, who spotted her cancer

Since then, the accuracy of the dogs’ detection had risen to 73 per cent. But Dr Guest’s findings were being dismissed by some in the medical establishment – and her plan for a team of dogs to become a ‘second line’ detecting unit, specializing in hard-to-spot cancers such as pancreatic and prostate, was dismissed as hokum. As Claire recalls: ‘One leading cancer specialist said publicly: “You can’t possibly have a dog in every doctor’s surgery, so I can’t see the relevance.”

‘But what I envisaged were dogs in satellite units, across the country. They don’t need direct contact with individuals, because samples of breath and urine can be brought to the dogs to record their reaction.’

That February evening, Claire opened the boot of her estate car to allow her dogs out. While Tangle, a cocker spaniel, and a friend’s Yorkshire terrier jumped out of the car and ran into the park, their tails wagging, Daisy, a labrador, refused to follow.

As Dr Guest, now 50, recalls: ‘Daisy seemed to be pawing at my chest. She bumped against my body repeatedly – I pushed her away, but she nuzzled against me again, clearly upset.

‘She pushed me so hard that it bruised me. Her behavior was totally out of character – she was normally such a happy dog, who would never hesitate to race after the other dogs.’

‘I felt the tender area where she’d pushed me, and over the next few days I detected the tiniest lump.’

A few days later she went to her GP who referred her to a consultant. He thought it was a cyst, but said he would do a mammogram to be sure.

‘He was correct – the bump was a perfectly harmless cyst,’ says Claire. ‘But further in the breast tissue was a deep-seated cancer.’ It was caught very early and she had a lumpectomy and some lymph nodes removed, as well as six months of radiotherapy.

‘I was 46, and the specialist told me that by the time a lump had become noticeable, this cancer would already have spread and my prognosis could have been very different.

‘Just as I was doubting the future of dogs being used to detect cancer, my own pet labrador saved my life.’

Now, five years and several trials later, Daisy has sniffed 6,000 samples of urine and detected more than 551 cases of cancer with a diagnostic accuracy of 93 per cent.

Claire’s charity, Medical Detection Dogs, now has 12 dogs who live with host families and come to work from Monday to Friday at the charity’s headquarters near Milton Keynes, detecting traces of cancer from urine and breath samples.

They are trained by sniffing urine samples of people with cancer and rewarded when they single out these samples from other urine from non-cancer sufferers.

Claire says: ‘We published the first report into dogs detecting cancer in 2004 in the British Medical Journal, showing that our dogs correctly identified bladder cancer in 22 out of 54 cases – our success rates are now 93 per cent.’

Using dogs to diagnose a disease with such potentially serious consequences as cancer may sound bizarre but the concept is being considered seriously by scientists.

In 2010, for example, Japanese researchers showed that dogs can detect colorectal cancer from a breath sample, while in 2012 the European Respiratory Journal published research that found dogs could identify lung cancer in breath samples.

Claire’s charity is now conducting a trial with Buckinghamshire NHS Trust and Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust with samples from thousands of patients – the work is funded by the trust and charity donations.

‘If we have much more evidence, the plan is that the dog can be used as part of the cancer screening process – backing up the results of clinical tests.

‘A lot of cancers are difficult to detect in early stages,’ says Claire. But malignant cells produce changes in volatile organic compounds, and it’s these compounds which dogs are believed to detect in urine samples. ‘Dogs can detect odors at concentrations as low as one part per trillion, identifying scents which the human nose could never detect,’ says Claire. ‘We have five million sensor receptors dedicated to smell – dogs have 300 million.’

Professor David Billington, Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, who specializes in researching treatments for cancer and diabetes, believes the dogs’ skills are useful.

‘The dogs can detect cancer in the urine of patients with prostate cancer more reliably than the PSA test’, he says, referring to the blood test typically used to detect levels of prostate specific antigen, a protein linked to the disease. ‘A positive PSA test is followed up by a multi-needle biopsy, which is unpleasant and invasive.

‘If medics could use dogs to detect cancer from urine as well as using the standard blood test, they can use both factors to decide who needs to undergo a biopsy. It would save the health service a huge amount of money, spare patients unnecessary procedures and save lives.’

Claire’s work with dogs was inspired by meeting Gillian Lacey, editor of the magazine published by the charity Hearing Dogs for the Deaf. Gillian’s dalmatian Trudii helped diagnose her skin cancer. The dog became agitated about a mole that appeared on Gillian’s right leg while on holiday when she was 19.

As Gillian, now 55, recalls: ‘I hadn’t given it a second thought, but Trudii was really disturbed by it – she kept sniffing it, then licking and nibbling it. Her strange behavior – directed only at me – continued for eight months.’

The dog’s behavior persuaded Gillian to go to the GP.

‘When I told him the dog had sniffed out this mole, he said it was amazing what dogs can sense, but he didn’t think my mole looked sinister.’

Even so he removed the mole under a local anesthetic and two weeks later she was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma, which claims more than 2,000 lives in the UK every year. Gillian had surgery to remove an area of flesh 4in by 3in in size.

‘When I returned home after ten days in hospital Trudii took no notice of the area again. I’m convinced it was the smell of cancer which had bothered her so.’

As well as cancer-sniffing dogs – or canine olfactory detection, to give the process its technical name – the charity also trains medical alert dogs. These warn owners of the odor changes linked to a life-threatening medical event, such as dangerously high or low blood sugar levels in diabetic owners. The medical alert dogs – which cost £5,000 each to train – can also warn owners who have severe allergies, or narcolepsy (where the sufferer suddenly falls asleep) if they are in danger of collapse.

Professor Billington, who is also adviser to Claire’s charity, explains: ‘I know a nurse with type 1 diabetes who had been rushed to hospital in an ambulance a dozen times in a year. Thanks to her dog alerting her, she’s able to start working again.

‘These people are getting their lives back again. Day and night, their dogs remain by their side, smelling their breath and observing their body language and facial expressions, searching for the slightest change or sign that something is wrong.’

Scientists are now developing electronic systems (e-noses) that mimic the way dogs detect the smell of cancer.

Medical Detection Dogs is helping in this work by supplying statistics on reliability of dogs and their findings on how long the volatile compounds survive once exposed to air, for instance.

Among those supporting the charity as a trustee is Betsy Duncan Smith, wife of Iain Duncan Smith. She became interested in the charity’s work following her own diagnosis of breast cancer in 2009.

‘What the Medical Detection Dogs do is truly amazing. We know dogs are 93 per cent reliable in recognizing the odor of prostate cancer volatiles.

‘We also know they have consistently strong results for bladder and renal cancer and have the potential to detect breast, lung and – hardest of all to diagnose – pancreatic cancer.

‘It is incredibly exciting to think of what a difference they could make, providing quick, painless early detection.’

Article reposted from:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2700561/Daisy-dog-whos-sniffed-500-cases-cancer-She-saved-woman-research-revealed-uncanny-skill.html
Written by: Amanda Cable

Classroom Canine Dies After Cancer Battle

July 23rd, 2014

Kasey, a 9-year-old golden retriever who visited thousands of Santa Fe schoolchildren with police Officer Bruce Pratz and was a fixture at community events, died July 7 after a battle with spleen cancer.

Kasey, a 9-year-old golden retriever who visited thousands of Santa Fe school-children with police Officer Bruce Pratz, died of spleen cancer on July 7. She and Pratz were named City Employees of the Month in February 2009. (Courtesy of Annette Pratz)

“We learned of her illness shortly after my husband retired from the Santa Fe Police Department about six months ago,” said Annette Pratz, Kasey’s “mom.”

Kasey started going to the schools with Officer Pratz when she was 6 weeks old, helping put the kids at ease as Pratz taught them about responsibility, honesty and the importance of staying in school.

The friendly mutt attended numerous civic functions, ranging from child identification projects to National Dance Institute fundraisers.

In February 2009, Officer Pratz and Kasey were named City Employees of the Month.

“Over the years Kasey brought lots of love and smiles in the Santa Fe community, where she became a giant,” Annette Pratz said. “I could not be a more proud puppy mom, and was blessed to have been given such a beautiful gift as our little girl Kasey.”

Story reposted from:
http://www.abqjournal.com/430853/news/classroom-canine-dies-after-cancer-battle.html

What You Need To Know About Cancer In Dogs

July 22nd, 2014

Warning Signs And Natural Remedies

Who would have thought that cancer would become the leading cause of death in dogs over 10-years old. Cancer simply means that certain cells are reproducing faster than normal. Older cells in the cancerous area are not dying off like they should which is why they can grow so fast. The good news is if it is caught early enough, some can be cured. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help catch it early so a proper treatment can be administered, before it is too late.

Most Common Types Of Cancer In Dogs

The most common kind of cancer include:

  • Malignant lymphoma – tumor of the lymph nodes
  • Skin cancer – mast cell tumors
  • Mammary gland tumors – breast cancer
  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • Soft tissue sarcomas
  • Bone cancer

Learn The Warning Signs

The warning signs in dogs are quite similar to those in people. You might notice a bump on the skin or a lump. Perhaps a wound is not healing properly or there might be a swelling of some sort such as in the lymph nodes, under the arm or abnormal bleeding. Many times, there are no signs but there might be something about your dog that isn’t quite right. They might become lethargic or just don’t feel well. That is the best time to bring it to the attention of your veterinarian. Watch for any of the following warning signs:

  • A sore that doesn’t heal
  • Change in your pet’s elimination habits
  • Difficulty defecating or urinating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargic
  • Any unexplained discharge or bleeding
  • Offensive odor
  • Persistent stiffness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Persistent cough

Cancer rates in dogs and pets in general have increased simply because they are living longer with great care and attention by their owner(s). Years ago, dogs often died from a common illness or hit by a car but today the vaccines are quite effective plus more are living indoors. They are simply living longer. A cancer diagnosis is no longer an automatic death sentence.

Natural Remedies For Cancer In Dogs

If the cancer is found early, it can usually be treated with surgery to remove it and your pet can live a long, healthy life with a little extra attention. If you are an advocate of natural treatments, then most of you will want to avoid steroids, radiation and chemotherapy. These treatments rarely prolong survival, dish up plenty of side effects and can cost thousands of dollars. A calm state of mind and spending time with your pet in nature, can also greatly help the healing process.

If your dog is older and the tumor is growing slowly, it may not require immediate treatment, as long as it is not causing any pain or discomfort. Many times your dog might pass from other age-related issues before cancer becomes a problem for them. Regular exercise can be done on a daily basis that is good for both of you.

The folks at rescueme.org have developed a special diet that contains ingredients that have been proven to slow down the growth rate of cancerous tumors. They point out that it is not the cancer itself that hurts your pet; rather it is the fast rate of growth of the tumor or the side effects of cancer treatments that can kill your dog.

The Cancer-Prevention Diet

The cancer-prevention diet revolves around a high-protein, grain-free meal that is most similar to their wild counterparts. Companies such as Sojos offer grain-free based, dehydrated foods that are convenient and easy to serve up to your dog. For a 60-pound dog, mix together the following:

  • 2 cups of dry Sojos Grain-Free Complete (Beef or Turkey – or you can mix them)
  • 3 cups of water to soak the dry food
  • ¼ pound of ground turkey breast – raw
  • ¼ cup of plain, organic yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons of Health From The Sun – Pure Fish Oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of organic green tea
  • 1 Brazil nut – finely chopped

Supplements For Your Dog

  • Yunnan Baiyao
  • Xiao Chai Hu Tang Wan
  • Enzymatic Therapy
  • Milk Thistle
  • Glucosamine/Chondroitin

Dog Breeds Prone To Cancer

Some breeds are more prone to cancer than others. Anytime there is an inbred population, you have no idea what traits have been passed along. For example, Bernese Mountain dogs, Boxers and Golden Retrievers are more prone to cancer. Thought genetics plays a role, we cannot ignore toxins, chemicals and pollutants in the environment.

Cancer Prevention Tactics

  • Like people, it is important to give them a line of defense with a good quality supplement that contains vital antioxidants that can help prevent free radicals (toxins, chemicals and pollutants) from attacking healthy cells in the body.
  • Your veterinarian should examine any lump, mass or tumor for a proper diagnosis and treatment, especially if you notice any changes in the growth or mass.
  • Breast cancer in dogs is highly preventable through spaying the animal. Spaying your animal before their first heat cycle can help prevent them from developing breast cancer later in life.

Article reposted from:
http://wagbrag.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-cancer-in-dogs/
Written by: Dr. David L. Roberts, DVM
Reference: http://www.rescueme.org/rehabilitation

This Poor Dog Traveled 4 Miles To Get THIS Bag

July 21st, 2014

This Poor Dog Traveled 4 Miles To Get THIS Bag. What’s Inside Brought Tears To My Eyes.

You’ve probably heard plenty of stories about how loving dogs can be but you’ve probably never heard anything like this before. What Lilica does is incredibly special and brought tears to my eyes. Lilica was abandoned as a young puppy in São Carlos but found by Neile Vania Antonio. Together, they live in a junkyard with the rest of their diverse family that includes another dog, a cat, a mule, and several chickens.

Lilica lives in a junkyard with another dog, a cat, a mule, and chickens.

Every night, Lilica does something that will leave you speechless. Every night, Lilica travels two miles along a busy highway to visit Lucia Helena de Souza, who takes care of numerous stray animals. You see, Lucia and Lilica have a special arrangement: Lucia prepares food in a bag for Lilica and meets her at 9:30 pm. Lilica will eat some of the food before making the two-mile journey back with the rest of the meal back to her junkyard home to feed the rest of her family.

Every night, she travels several miles along a busy highway to get food for her family.

Lucia explained, “I realized that she ate and then stared at what was in the bag.” A neighbor then suggested that perhaps Lilica kept staring at the food because she wanted to take the rest of  it with her. “Then we tied up the bag and gave it to Lilica. From then on, that’s what how we did it.” This arrangement has been going on for over three years! Lucia believes that Lilica is a very special dog. “People don’t do that. Some people hide what they have and don’t want to share with others. She didn’t. Lilica is an exceptional animal.”

The video below is in Portuguese but it is subtitled in English.

What a heart-melting story about a selfless dog that is truly devoted to her family. Lilica, we can learn a lot from you. You are truly incredible!

Story reposted from:
http://www.metaspoon.com/lilica-miles-bag-family/

Brain Tumor in Dogs, Diagnosis, Symptoms and Treatment

July 21st, 2014

Overview of Dog Brain Cancer:

Brain tumor are common and often seen in middle age and older dogs however they can also affect the younger one too. If canine has a seizure then it could be the signs that a brain tumor is present.

The most common types that often found in dogs are astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas and meningiomas. Tumor tend to be wide spread on multiple sites on the brain rather than one spotted position.

Some of the tumor arise directly from the brain tissue while other types spread to the brain by bloodstream since the brain control extensive blood supply.

The severity depend mainly on the brain location where the tumor arise and how fast they grow. Canine seizures can also be caused by other problems such as low blood sugar level or heart problems.

Causes of Brain Tumor in Dogs:

As with other forms of cancer, the exact cause of brain tumors in dogs is not known. In humans, brain tumors are thought to be caused by such things as genetics, exposure to radiation, nitrosamines from processed meats, electromagnetic fields, immunological issues, traumatic head injuries, solvents, and pesticides. It is not known if these same factors can cause brain tumors in dogs or not.

Brain tumors do appear to be more common in dogs than in many other kinds of domestic animals. Dogs that are over five years of age seem to be most at risk. Some breeds of dogs are more susceptible to brain tumors than others, such as Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, and Boxers. These are short-nosed or brachycephalic breeds and they seem predisposed to having tumors affecting the pituitary gland. Golden Retrievers, Collies, and other dolichocephalic (long-nosed) breeds may also be predisposed to having brain tumors, particularly meningiomas. Most mengiomas occur in dogs that are over seven years of age.

Symptoms of Dog Brain Cancer:

The most common symptom of a brain tumor is the onset of seizures, especially if the seizures start after the dog is five years old or older. Other symptoms include the dog exhibiting abnormal behavior and forgetting things; extreme sensitivity to touch or pain around the neck; problems with the dog’s vision, especially if the dog begins walking in circles or showing uncoordinated movements. Some dogs have a staggering walk that is a tell-tale sign. Some dogs may develop aggression or behave like puppies. In some cases dogs may develop obsessions.

More Symptoms:

  • behavior change
  • lethargy
  • irritability
  • compulsive walking
  • walk in circle
  • loss of habits that have been trained before
  • facial paralysis often cause by tumor in the lower part of the brain (brainstem)
  • lower intelligence
  • partial or fully blindness indicated that there is a tumor in optic nerve or hypothalamus
  • low energy level
  • decreased activities
  • seizures often cause by tumor in the cerebral cortex
  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • wobbliness and tremors indicated that there is a tumor in the cerebellum region of the brain that play an important role in the integration of sensory perception
  • loss the sense of smell often cause by tumor in the sensory system used for olfaction (olfactory system)

Because of slow growing rate of tumor inside the brain dogs can carry brain tumors for a few years before they start to show signs and symptoms, so its wise that the owner gets his/her dog checked by a veterinarian if he/she noticed any kind of above symptoms.

Treatment of Dog Brain Cancer:

There are three primary care methods for dogs and cats that have been diagnosed with brain tumors: surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The major objectives with these therapies are to eradicate the tumor or reduce its size, and to control secondary effects, such as fluid build-up in the brain (known as cerebral edema) that may result from a brain tumor. Surgery may be used to completely or partially remove tumors, while radiation therapy and chemotherapy may help shrink tumors. Various medications can be prescribed to slow tumor growth and to cope with side-effects, such as seizures. A course of radiation therapy will usually cost from $3,000 to $4,000, according to the North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine. Chemotherapy is not used very often to treat canine brain cancer, so the data on this treatment is limited.

Breeds that are prone to brain tumor:

  • boxers
  • boston terriers
  • golden retrievers
  • doberman pinschers
  • scottish terriers
  • old english sheepdogs

Living and Management:

It will be necessary for your veterinarian to monitor your dog regularly with different scans such as CT scans (computed tomography, CAT scans (computerized axial tomography, and MRI scans (magnetic resonance imaging). This will help your vetexamine your dog’s nervous system and look for any complications from the treatments.

The prognosis for dogs with a brain tumor will depend on what kind of tumor the dog has, where it is located, the size of the tumor, and how early it was caught.

Article reposted from:
http://www.vetarena.com/dogs-health-care-articles/287/brain-tumor-dogs-diagnosis-symptoms-treatment.html