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Discussion Starter #1
She's not my German, but my Austrailian. We recently had to rush to an emergency clinic for a bleeding mass on her spleen and had a spenectomy done. Now the results are Hemangiosarcoma.
She got through surgery fine, though her blood was low she didn't drop to the point of needing a transfusion, She only had troubles with arrhythmia that lasted a little longer than normal. She will be 11 years old this year. They did a chest x-ray and looked around at her other organs during surgery, there is no evidence of growths anywhere else yet. Other than arthritis she is back to her happy goofball self.

I am preparing her meals, a high fat and protein diet. Many supplements including Yunnan Baiyao, L-Arginine and L-Glutamine. Raw meats. Not even been quite a week since we started this diet and she is looking years younger, she had just blown coat during surgery and was looking pretty bald. She's glowing with health right now. Her staples are out, her tummy is healed.

Now, We have a huge care credit bill, I have a go fund me page to try to get help. I don't know If we should go through with Chemo, if we can even afford it. I know the ugly truth about this cancer, I know it can not be stopped but as long as she is not feeling it, I want to be selfish and keep her healthy and alive as long as possible. She and I have been through a lot. We have been homeless together and now I'm paying a mortgage. I just don't know if I should try it. I'm afraid it will make her sick. I can call the oncologist but I want to hear from people who have been where I am. I've seen how doctors and vets peddle their pharmaceuticals, I know all about the money. So please, if anyone has any educated advice, I know this is a common ailment of GSDs and I have two of those as well, I'd love any information you all may have.
 

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The late Barker the Younger of the Barker Sisters the first developed hemangio. I did go with chemo. She had no side effects and it gave us probably 6 months more. She would have probably died in 3 months or less without the chemo. It was a case of I would have felt worse if I hadn't tried it. It didn't give the cure that I wanted. It gave her more months of being a happy dog. I would probably do it again.
 

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I'm so sorry about your girl. I lost a 9 year old Italian Greyhound to hemangiosarcoma. Started out with growths on his skin that we had removed (a lot of them), and then it went to his heart.

I've never gone the chemo route with any of my dogs, but I have had a couple of grooming customers that did. Both of them bought a little time with their dogs, but I have to be honest, the dogs seemed pretty sick and miserable. Both owners said that if they were ever faced with that decision again, they would turn down the chemo. I know you don't want to lose your girl, so it's a tough decision.
 

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My Max had mouth cancer when he was around 12 years old. The vet told us that it was our choice, but that chemo could be horrendously expensive and that, in his experience, it did not often produce very good results. My husband and I talked about it and took a middle course of action. We felt that we couldn't just do nothing, so we opted for Max having a procedure to remove the tumor, but no chemo. The vet told us that it was almost certain that the cancer would come back, but we hoped we were buying him some time. We had to have Max put down when he was almost 14, he was so frail, falling, incontinent of bowl and bladder and very hard for him to move around. As far as we know, it wasn't the cancer, just the ravages of old age. I feel like we made the right decision for Max.
 

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My GSD had cancer, but not hemangiosarcoma. I went the chemo route. Without chemo he had a life expectancy of 3-6 months, with chemo, 1-2 years.

My GSD was a big boy, and chemo is charged by the pound of the dog and it was extremely expensive overall. There are many different types of chemo, some cheaper, some pricier. Cancer can build up a resistance to chemos, and you may have to use a variety of chemos, even return to ones that you had used before. It is very complicated.

Chemo for dogs is different than what they do for people. For dogs, they do it to extend quality of life, for people the goal is to cure. With that in mind, the amount of chemo used in dogs is far less than what they would give a human, therefore there tends to be far less side effects. My dog, despite a variety of chemos, had no side effects to any of them that impacted the quality of his life except for one bad day.

My dog lived another quality year, lots of love, hikes, food, hugs, swimming, you name it. His last two weeks of life weren't so good as the cancer began to beat him down, the chemo did not work anymore, and I had to let him go.

If I had to do it over and money were no object, I would not hesitate.

I would discuss the costs with your vets, you may find some chemo options very affordable.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all, see, I am considering her age in this. But I really don't think 11 is terribly old for her. I mean, it is, but she's so bright and youthful. And I know from my own experience that a good diet can do wonders. I have too many and I can't afford all the fancy stuff, but they do eat wheat, corn and soy free kibble. Which Hana only nibbles now when she's hungry because she gets a prepared meal. But it's what they have been on for a few years and it's what they all eat. I supplement with raw occasionally.

I've researched and researched supplements and herbs to help slow the growth of cancer. We cut out carbs, except the occasional apple, she loves apples. She gets a sweet potato microwaved occasionally too. Other than that, it's ground beef or turkey, the fatty ones, full of her supplements. (C vitamin, L-Arginine, L-Glutamine, Yunnan Baiyao, parsley, touch of garlic, coconut oil, shiitake mushroom dried crumbled bits, raw egg yolk straight from my own happy chickens.) She takes fish oil pills like a treat. I'll mix some broccoli, carrots and cauliflower in there sometimes. For Breakfast or later as a snack I give her Cottage cheese with frozen blueberries and blueberry kefir. She loves it. Oh, she gets pet tinic once a day. I haven't given it to her every single day though. I don't know why... kinda going with my gut on it.
 

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She seems to have a couple bumps that I find suspicious that feel like under her skin. Not very big ones, but two of them. She's got a couple old lady warts as well, they checked out normal.
 

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There's a book called The Dog Cancer Survivor Guide that you simply must order off Amazon or wherever you buy books and get shipped to you ASAP! It's co-written by two vets: a holistic vet and a board-certified oncologist--and they often disagree with each other, but it's designed to show their perspectives and educate carefully and accurately. It is a wonderful resource.

This book isn't just to learn about the cancer itself, and all the treatment options, but also coping techniques for your psyche too-- there were a few "exercises" in there that I was really grateful for, things to do and think about on really bad days. The reading also gave me a feeling of empowerment, so that when we met with the oncologist I knew what to ask and how to interpret the suggestions.

When we had one with hemangio, we were told by the oncologist at the state vet school that surgery and chemo, the median survival time was just 6 months. That's considered a "good" result. Many don't even get that much time--and she was likely to be on the low end because it was already in multiple organs. The disease is so insidious that it may already be in the heart, liver, and lungs once it's in the spleen, even though they can't see it yet. Based on that the oncologist didn't recommend putting her through chemo, but was willing to try if we wanted to (we didn't).

I just pulled out "the book" to look up splenic hemangio survival times: "Even with treatment, one-year survival times for splenic and heart HSA are uncommon--roughly ten percent." With surgery alone, splenic hemangio has a median survival time of 1-3 months...so chemo adds a median of just 3-5 months. :(
 

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Thank you so much, I'm going to look it up now. I'll try to order it wed. when I get paid. Try to. Money is stretched so thin right now.
 

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first of all , my best wishes to you and your faithful canine companion.

there are some things that you can do that will help.

take away the sweet potato -- cancer thrives on sugar !!!

please take the time to view this video which I provided on another thread

link to the lecture
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoQYh0qPtz8

one review Prof Davies and his team are the best hope we've had in cancer research for 40 years. Apart from a few successes in some of the rarer cancers, cancer is as big a killer as ever, therapy has not advanced beyond 'cut, burn and poison' and research still seems focused on the same staggeringly crude methods of treatment and hackneyed ideas of causation. It's as if we are back in the 18th century, hoping that yet another type of leech will be the one that finally cures all disease.

another review Davies is a rigorous thinker/physicist with a mind for fine details. He spots the sloppy thinking, inaccurate language, and flawed arguments that others have missed. He analyses things the way a lawyer might, word by word, concept by concept. He is constantly looking for subconscious biases in his own arguments, and is willing to reverse an opinion if presented with evidence. And he communicates clearly, thereby bringing other people into his circle of thought.

,

__________________


anti - oxidants -- probiotics / digestive enzymes , anti inflammatory

I will PM you the link to a dog that recently went through intense nutritional aide in partnership to other treatments .
The dog had extremely rare spindle cell cancer which went from the neck to the end of the rib cage along the spine and fingered down along the ribs . The dog was at the point where serious consideration was given about its future .

She used crowd funding .

The dog is better than it was before !!!
 

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Call Penn State. They are doing a trial with a combination of mushrooms that a friend used for her dog. It did not cure the cancer but may have extended his life with quality of life.

personally, I would not do chemo for hemangio. I don't think the time we get is worth the agony the dog may go thru.
 

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I had a lab with HSA and was unsure what to do. I decided to do more blood work and had a series of xrays/scans done to look for metastasis. it was an added expense but really helped me to make the best choice. Once I found out that it had already spread to other vital organs, I chose not to do the chemo. She lived 4 more months and the last one was very difficult.

I think it is different with each dog and situation and ultimately you need to do what your family can handle emotionally and financially. I had to tell myself that I was a good doggie mommy and that my girl would love me unconditionally regardless of what I could or couldn't afford to do for her. We did everything we could to provide her the best quality of life she could attain. When it was time we had the vet come to our home so she could cross the bridge in her safe place with us all holding her tight.

I know it is awful to see out babies sick. My heart goes out to you.

Sending prayers to you and yours.
 

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Garlic is part of the onion family and shouldn't be fed to dogs!

Having had four dogs pass away due to cancer. The first one was a do anything to beat the cancer route. My vet said "treatment is very expensive!" my answer: you're concept of expensive is a lot lower then mine!" It was. The bills didn't phase me a bit. But the chemo did very little to stop the cancer. Got an extra 3 months of mostly stress about her illness. She also wasn't very happy. When her kidneys started failing, she was put to sleep. Two years latter when my second girl was diagnosed with bone cancer. I spent a few days with her and put her to sleep. Same with my boys.

Its hard to do. But trying to fight cancer in dogs is hopeless. Now I hear cancer, spend a few days with them and do the right thing. My expensive threshold is extremely high, but its just not worth it.
 

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"Garlic is part of the onion family and shouldn't be fed to dogs!"

wrong . In fact garlic has much to offer , including bacterial controls and anti - cancer in that it does have some lignans ---- . Enter garlic into the search engine and see hundreds of pages and topics come up.

"
If Garlic is fed in proper amounts, there is absolutely nothing wrong and everything right with it! Been feeding multiple dogs cloves of fresh garlic for 20 years without incident.

"Garlic is a powerful antimicrobial and antibiotic and is effective in fighting various forms of internal or external bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. Garlic stimulates immune functions in the bloodstream by increasing the activities of killer cells. It is therefore beneficial for dogs with suppressed immune systems and dogs fighting cancer. Garlic has detoxifying effects. At least six compounds contained in garlic can enhance liver function by helping the liver to eliminate toxins from the body, thereby preventing toxic accumulation. It also aides in digestion."


If proper amounts fed to dogs were toxic, companies like Springtime - Bug Off, Solid Gold Garlic, Equilite Garlic, and Dr. Harvey's would have been sued out the wazoo by now."

lots to read about garlic in this thread http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/559337-advise-yeast-please-help-3.html

in addition dogs with cancer tend to be reluctant to eat and bring upon worsening condition by denying themselves vital nutrition . Garlic is an appetite initiator.

The better armed the immune system the better the body is able to defend .

there are many food sources which allow apoptosis (cellular suicide) to occur --
 

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If you are seriously considering chemo or radiation for any cancer, the best advice I got for mine with osteo (bone cancer) a couple of years ago was to assemble a team: an oncologist, a vet nutritionist with cancer expertise, an alternative-med vet for acupuncture on treatment days and supplements that are supportive and not contraindicated, and a GP vet you really trust to "quarterback" the team and be your sounding board for it all -- and who will help you make a hard decision if it's not working or quality of life diminishes. I circulated an email list to the whole team--so anything any one of them was doing was immediately shared and they could discuss.
They were all very open to working together, and the oncologist was very supportive of it.
 

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Much sympathy. Its never easy making these decisions. Age does play a big factor. She is up there in age. Chemo is heavy duty. Finances is a horrible thing to think about in times like this but unfortunately it is a factor. It is a lot to put her through. How much time would you buy with her if you did the chemo? They must have an idea but nothing is certain. Would she be comfortable. What do you think she would want. It might be where holistics medicines might be an option without putting through to much. Would the vet give chemo to his dog if was the same scenario. If she is full life and energetic , willful despite her age it may be worth it. If finances are stopping you there is always a way. if you are a long term client maybe they will work with you. Reading All the success stories and not so succeful stories here may help you make up your mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
She is very energetic, you wouldn't know she there was anything wrong besides her funny walk from arthritis, it's in her back and so her left rear leg has little muscle mass.
Unless the little bumps under her skin are cancer, it has not spread. It was only her spleen. Her lungs, chest, liver, kidneys, all of it, checked out fine.

Right now her quality of life is fantastic. Appetite is great, and yes she's getting the garlic, and mushrooms. I did a lot of research. I know cancer thrives on sugar. Sweet potatoes have a lot to offer and it's the only thing "sweet" she really gets. And not that often. I'm thinking the benefit outweighs the sugar with this one.

Unfortunately, the vet I go to that does help me out financially does not have a lot to offer with this. This is a very backwoods area, not quite getting with the times as far as people actually taking care and especially responsibility for their pets.

As far as life expectancy, I'm told 30 to 90 days from surgery, I'm told 4 to six months with chemo. There are so many numbers. So many statistics. I keep reading that once it has hit the spleen hard enough to need surgery that it's already spread. Well I'm sure it has being that it's in the lining of blood vessels correct? But she has no visible masses at the moment like I said unless the little skin bumps are it.

I meant to call the oncologist today, I really did. I probably still could. But some other "family" stuff happened today and I'm too shaken right now to even try. All any of those vets want to do is beat it into my head that her clock is ticking fast. Like I don't already know. I'm scared to death of losing my home if we can't pay bills and I don't want to drown in debt. I don't like owing anything to anyone. But if I can keep her happy for longer I want to do all I can. Too stressed. Just too much right now.
 

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You can only do what your heart tells you. But I've been in your situation and money wasn't an issue. I spend lots to keep my pups happy and healthy. However, the chemo was not going to do either. It was only going to make me feel better .. for a short time. I decided I would do what I would want done to me. Let me go with my dignity and not suffer. So I put my boy down. Heavy heart to this day, but I know every minute of his life was happy and healthy.
Good luck and prayers whatever you decide
 
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