Go Back   Pet forum for dogs cats and humans - Pets.ca > Discussion Groups - mainly cats and dogs > Dog health - Ask members * If your pet is vomiting-bleeding-diarrhea etc. Vet time! > Senior dogs

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old December 24th, 2010, 02:00 PM
dbg10's Avatar
dbg10 dbg10 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ajax, Ontario
Posts: 494
Raggs has been dx'd with Hemangioma or Hemangiosarcoma

Raggs is now 13 years old and has been diagnosed with a probable hemangiosarcoma in his spleen. But there is a slim possibility he only has a hemangioma which is slightly less lethal. My vet and I decided that we would only put him through blood work before deciding whether to do an Ultrasound or Surgery. His complete blood count came back very suggestive of a hemangiosarcoma. However my vet did say that there is a slim possibility it is an hemangioma. My vet also said that his platelets, though low, were not as low as she would expect to see in hemangiosarcoma.

Because his gums are very pale and his hemoglobin very low, I started him on cooked liver and a multivitamin compound. I'm hoping that the liver will help his anemia.but have wondered (as in my other post) whether the liver should be given to him raw for the best absorption of the nutrients.

This all started back in the spring when I noticed a hairless tumour increasing to the size of an egg, today, on the lower part of his chest, midline. I had talked to the vet at the time and she did a needle aspiration and found fat cells in the tumour. In the last week he had 2 episodes of vomiting seemingly caused by a new treat he didn't particularly like. After that he had returned to normal until he injured his front left paw when he fell on the ice outside. His front paw was lame following the fall and because his hind legs are weak normally he lay around for the better part of 24 hours. I had to reposition his hind legs before he was able to get to his feet. He was still limping when we finally got him to the vet this last Monday.

My vet examined all his joints especially the ones in his front legs and checked the bones in his feet as well. She examined his entire body and noticed his gums were very pale and that's when she suggested we do blood work to confirm or rule out cancer. She did a complete blood count only because she told me it would tell her if any further testing was indicated. After getting the results I decided not to put him through anything more testing as it would become evident in a very short period of time if she was right. As much as I love him to bits, I have strong beliefs about the treatments for cancer. I decided to try some alternative therapies. However when I read about the individual herbs I found they were not recommended in anyone with potentially active bleeding so I settled on liver and a high dose of multiple vitamin and mineral product for dogs.

If anyone has any other remedies they have tried or heard of that work, I'd love to know what they are?

I have also looked for information on the complete blood panel results when the tumour is a hemangioma, not cancer, unsuccessfully.

I know there are those of you who would give chemo or have surgery to remove the spleen but I think it will not provide him with a better quality of life even if it does prolong his life.

Another thing I've wanted to know, is if either tumour is painful for the dog. Raggs does not appear to be in pain but I wonder if I'm just not seeing it.

Either way he has really grabbed my heart strings in the year I've had him, and I'm am really hoping that my vet is wrong and the liver I've added to his diet will help him live a lot longer than she forecast of one day up to a month but no longer.

__________________
Willing Slave to: Sam 17 yrs; Bailey 14 yrs; and Smokey 10 yrs.
R.I.P. Raggs 1997-2012 ; Pepper 1997-2009 ; Tiger 2000 - 2014;
"Please do not breed or buy while shelter pets are left to die"
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old December 24th, 2010, 02:10 PM
hazelrunpack's Avatar
hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
The Pack's Head Servant
Chopper Challenge Champion, Mini KickUps Champion, Bugz Champion, Snakeman Steve Champion, Shape Game Champion, Mumu Champion, Mouse Race Champion
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Just east of the Hazelnut Patch, Wisconsin
Posts: 49,958
I'm sorry to hear about Rags, dbg10

We've had a dog with hemangiosarcoma--we had a positive diagnosis because the cancer had spread to his lungs. I'm not sure they can tell from just blood work weather it's a hemangiosarcoma or a benign hemangioma, though.

Either condition leads to blood loss through internal bleeding, though. Our dog never showed any discomfort from the condition, although because of the lung involvement, his breathing was impacted his last couple of days. But the primary tumor didn't seem to cause him pain.

Because he's anemic, Rags might feel tired, but anemia isn't usually a painful condition, either.

It's been some years since we had experience with hemangiosarcoma. Maybe there are different treatments now, but back then the only treatment option was surgery to remove the primary tumor before it burst and bled out. If the surgery is successful and the tumor proved to be a hemangioma, then the dog was 'cured'. If it was hemangiosarcoma, it would likely recur somewhere else in the body.

What terrible timing for you, right before the holidays Whatever you decide, you're in my thoughts and prayers, dbg10!
__________________
"We are--each of us--dying; it's how we live in the meantime that makes the difference."

"It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived!"

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old December 24th, 2010, 03:33 PM
dbg10's Avatar
dbg10 dbg10 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ajax, Ontario
Posts: 494
Thanks Hazelrunpack I really appreciate your prayers.
They now use chemo as well as surgery depending on whether the tumour has metastasized or not.

My vet is against surgery due to his previous blood work a year ago that showed his platelet count was low (indication of how well his blood will clot). Actually it was a little weird because the previous year he had blood work done with the same normal ranges where the platelet count was much lower than it was when my vet did it in January 2010. I found it strange that it had increased (for the better) but he was living in a boarding kennel then.

She also doesn't think an ultrasound is necessary, though it might prove what he has, because he has that lump on his upper abdomen at the level of his spleen. I wonder about whether I should have the ultrasound done, but I read that an ultrasound won't necessarily show the difference between a hemangioma and hemangiosarcoma. The only diagnostic test to confirm which one it is, is a surgical biopsy or removal of his spleen. Since she doesn't think he'll live through the surgery, I don't want to take the chance.

The only thing I thought might help was to try to treat his anemia so that any small bleed will not necessarily kill him. I know when he has the massive bleed out it will be the end.

Yes it is the worst possible timing for this news, especially when I thought we were going for the injury to his paw and might find a broken bone in his foot. I had noticed that his gums were pale but hoped it was the way I was looking at him at the time.

The other bad thing is my vet is now away until after New Years and I might have to take him to a strange vet.

I forgot to mention that we increased the amount of Metacam he is getting as well, to reflect his weight gain over the last few months. He is also on a glucosame/chondroitin/MSM daily with his food and has been since I got him in January.


I am just trying to prolong his life as long as he has no pain by treating what I can. If anyone has any other ideas for supplements that might help I'd love to hear about them. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed and praying that he doesn't have something that will end his life in the next month.

BTW: my avatar pic of Raggs was taken yesterday and shows how happy he is.
__________________
Willing Slave to: Sam 17 yrs; Bailey 14 yrs; and Smokey 10 yrs.
R.I.P. Raggs 1997-2012 ; Pepper 1997-2009 ; Tiger 2000 - 2014;
"Please do not breed or buy while shelter pets are left to die"

Last edited by dbg10; December 24th, 2010 at 03:37 PM. Reason: correction
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old December 25th, 2010, 10:09 PM
ScottieDog ScottieDog is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 413
I had a dog with splenic hemangioma. It was very difficult. She was 10 years old and became ill very suddenly. The ER vet did the Xrays and ultrasound and told us there was a very large mass in the spleen. We were told it was frequently cancer. My little dog was at the point of the organ rupturing (pale gums, the spleen was "seeping"). We did the surgery and it bought us an extra year with our girl. Biopsies didn't show cancer, but the entire organ wasn't examined. This is a brutal surgery. Removing the spleen causes something to happen with the cardiac enzymes. Tipper, my little Scottie, was in ICU care for several days to monitor her heart, which was causing problems. We did the surgery because it was either that or put her to sleep. She was critical at the time. I know another Scottie owner who's dog died in recovery from the heart complications.

I know you have opted not to do surgery. I just wanted you to know that the recovery, if the dog survives surgery is very hard. My little dog took weeks to get her strength back and then without her spleen, her immune system broke down and she had random, bizarre infections her last year (UTIs constantly, hepatitis, etc.)

Tipper was a pudgy little Scottie at around 28-30 pounds. When she had her surgery, the spleen was the size of a 16-20 ounce soda bottle--it weighed over a pound. It was so engorged, it was pressing on other organs and she wasn't comfortable. I was told that her condition was one that was indicative of trauma, but she was a pampered little house dog, so no trauma. We don't know what caused this, but it is devastating.

Make your decisions for Ragg's best interest and please don't second-guess yourself. It is a horrible surgery. Tipper did get cancer later on. Chemo treatments for my Tipper's bladder cancer destroyed her kidneys and she died from kidney failure. As one who tried the chemo route, I have to say I wish I hadn't done this part.

I'm so sorry for this diagnosis. It is so hard. I will keep Raggs in my prayers and ask for strength for you as well.

It is hard for me to talk about this. I miss my little Tipper so much still.
-ScottieDog
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old December 26th, 2010, 07:32 AM
Love4himies's Avatar
Love4himies Love4himies is offline
Rescue is my fav. breed
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boating in the 1000 Islands
Posts: 17,763
I don't have any advice, but wanted to give you some and a great big
__________________
Cat maid to:

Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old December 26th, 2010, 08:52 AM
hazelrunpack's Avatar
hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
The Pack's Head Servant
Chopper Challenge Champion, Mini KickUps Champion, Bugz Champion, Snakeman Steve Champion, Shape Game Champion, Mumu Champion, Mouse Race Champion
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Just east of the Hazelnut Patch, Wisconsin
Posts: 49,958
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbg10 View Post
The other bad thing is my vet is now away until after New Years and I might have to take him to a strange vet.
More s, s and that he holds out till long after your regular vet is back, dbg!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbg10 View Post
BTW: my avatar pic of Raggs was taken yesterday and shows how happy he is.
He does look extremely happy to be with you! You've been his this past year! What a gift to have bestowed upon him!
__________________
"We are--each of us--dying; it's how we live in the meantime that makes the difference."

"It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived!"

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old December 26th, 2010, 11:49 AM
dbg10's Avatar
dbg10 dbg10 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ajax, Ontario
Posts: 494
Thank you all for your support and hand holding during this awful time. Raggs spent the day yesterday lying in his bed until the evening and then came to watch TV with me as he does every night. I was a little worried that he was so inactive but today he is bright and cheery and jumped up to lie beside me at the computer. Maybe he needed that day of rest. At least he's still holding his own. Also to me his gums look a little less pale. I didn't think the liver would work that fast, but maybe it's just me hoping they will 'pink up'.

@maxalisa thanks for the link, there is a lot of information there. I found some other info on dog cancer especially where it relates to diet. One of the diets I found was posted by the Veterinary Information Network, so I think it may be better than the other diets I found but they are all quite similar.

@ Scottidog thanks for the information about your Tipper please accept my condolences on your loss. I read about Tipper the other day when I was looking for info on the forum. I am sure you still miss her. I know I miss every one I've lost even if I've adopted a new one. I do intend to make my decisions based on what's best for Raggs. I know if he starts to go downhill and/or shows he's in pain I'll take him in to be euthanized.

I have issues with chemo for people, as a nurse I have seen far too many people spend the end of their lives with very few quality days when they are receiving chemo. As for giving it to an animal, unless I was absolutely certain it would be curative, I wouldn't even think of subjecting a pet to it. But that is my opinion only. I would never discourage someone from giving their pet chemo because each situation is different.


@L4H I really appreciate your

@hazel thanks. He has been the love of my life since he set foot in my home in January 2010. Because he is a beagle X I was hoping he'd last longer than a year. It will be extremely hard for my adult son and I to lose him, he is a fabulous dog.

Yes I am praying he lasts until she gets back because I know she'll come to the house to euth him when it's necessary. I'm just hoping I don't find him gone one morning or anytime for that matter because I honestly don't know what I'll do if he dies at home thought that would probably be best for him. Anyone know what you do with an animal that dies at home?

Thanks everyone, I need all the support I can get to get through this one. It is almost as bad as when I had to have my first dog PTS after having her 14 1/2 years, Raggs has really wormed his way into our hearts
__________________
Willing Slave to: Sam 17 yrs; Bailey 14 yrs; and Smokey 10 yrs.
R.I.P. Raggs 1997-2012 ; Pepper 1997-2009 ; Tiger 2000 - 2014;
"Please do not breed or buy while shelter pets are left to die"
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old December 27th, 2010, 03:31 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: California, usa
Posts: 895
When my girl died at home, when I was ready, I brought her to the vet later that day to be cremated.

Regarding chemo, and you may very well know this, but even in animals, I think it can be curative in the blood cancers, as in humans. For many of these cancers, I'm a huge believer in IP6, though I don't know about hemangio. Since the symptoms of this cancer are so similar to tick diseases, and doxy helps with these cancers, that's one drug that always makes sense to me for this cancer.

I think that diet and a good supplement program can help so much with quality, and sometimes quantity of life in these situations - am hoping for the best for you guys!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old December 25th, 2010, 09:54 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: California, usa
Posts: 895
Please click one of the Quick Reply icons in the posts above to activate Quick Reply.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old December 25th, 2010, 10:00 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: California, usa
Posts: 895
I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis

There is a hemangiosarcoma link in this cancer thread that might be helpful:
http://germanshepherdhome.net/forum/...98/Cancer.html
There is an herb that is supposed to help stop bleeding that some have used, the antibiotic doxycycline has been used to prevent the formation of new blood vessels to the tumor.

Is the vet sure that there isn't a tick disease - the blood profile and enlarged spleen can be found in both. When my boy had low plat, lower red blood cell count and an enlarged spleen, the ultrasound showed no tumor, just a "generous spleen". Of course, if this is related to this fatty tumor you mention, then it wouldn't be tick related.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Forum Terms of Use

  • All Bulletin Board Posts are for personal/non-commercial use only.
  • Self-promotion and/or promotion in general is prohibited.
  • Debate is healthy but profane and deliberately rude posts will be deleted.
  • Posters not following the rules will be banned at the Admins' discretion.
  • Read the Full Forum Rules

Forum Details

  • Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
    vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise (Reduced on this page: MySQL 0%).
  • All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:31 AM.