Hemangiosarcoma Diagnosis

Here is where we can discuss canine cancers and treatment options to create a support system for those dealing with the disease.

Postby LisaM » July 17th, 2010, 7:19 pm

Hello Everyone. It's been quite a while since I lasted posted on this forum but I was told by a member that there was an excellent section on cancer here so I thought I would drop in and tell my story and hopefully gain some more knowledge on the topic..

Unbeknownst to me, my 9 yr old American Bulldog had a large tumor on his spleen and about 3.5 weeks ago it ruptured. I knew something was not right with him as soon as I got home that day...he refused dinner which he never does, and seemed a little uncomfortable and lethargic..He had been having some ongoing issues with his prostate and urinary tract so I thought maybe he was having another one of those flare ups.

I brought him to the vet the next morning, she examined him and told me she had a feeling it was something else and thought that it seemed like he was experiencing pain in his abdomen. We did an ultra sound and it was determined that he had a large mass on his spleen that had ruptured. She told me it may or may not be cancerous but decisions needed to be made ASAP. I obviously didn't want him to continue to suffer in pain until he eventually bled out so we went over everything and I decided if his chest xray looked clear that we would proceed to surgery. The xray looked good so we proceeded, however I did tell her if she saw any spots or tumors on any of his other organs to put him down. She opened him up and saw nothing so she took the spleen along with the tumor. I saw the tumor afterwards and it was huge! Probably about 3 pounds..

Anyways, the surgery was touch and go..he lost a lot of blood and his BP dropped to 70...she thought that she was twice going to lose him...(I said no to giving him a blood transfusion) but he bounced back and made it through. She gave him a 50/50 chance of making it through the night and again he prevailed...he's a fighter and always has been! Anyone who knows him will tell you how tough of a boy he is both mentally and physically...

About a week later, we got the results from the lab...Hemangiosarcoma. :( She had also sent a sample from the lymph node and it was determined that there were cancer cells there as well.

Right now my boy is doing fabulous but I am realistic about what the future holds..I have been poking around, doing a bit of research and have found out that dogs diagnosed with this cancer can be gone as quickly as 5-6 weeks but have also heard of others that have gone on to live several years? :confused: My thinking is that if cells are already present in his lymph node, that it probably won't be that long but I am very interested in hearing the thoughts and opinions of those here.

I have also been reading about the best diet for cancer (high protein/fat- low carb) but due to the fact my dog has food sensitivities it's hard for me to go that route..he's been on a prescription food from the vet for the past several years (Iams Low Residue) as any other kibble I tried him on gave him loose stool and very bad gas...I dabbled with raw for a while and it wasn't much better. This Low Residue food has been the ONLY thing that he has consistently done well on. Problem is it's the total opposite of what is good for fighting cancer..its loaded with corn and the protein and fat levels are on the low end..He is ok with a small amount of "extras" in his food and I have always supplemented him along the way with a high quality salmon oil and kelp along with a small amount of other protein sources like meat scraps, canned fish, and eggs..cottage cheese, yogurt, and a small amount of fruits and veggies is also included in his diet. Blueberries are in season now and I have been giving him lots of those although I am a bit confused about if I should be giving those or not because on one hand they are supposed to be "Cancer fighting" but on the other hand sugars are supposed to "feed cancer" so does that mean all fruits are out? Right now I am pushing the envelope a bit and have increased the "Extras" and decreased the amount of kibble he is getting...I just have to be careful because if I change this up too much his digestive problems will be back..it's a slippery slope. In the end it probably won't make that much of a difference but I want to be able to look back on this and at least know I tried...

Thanks for reading my story (I know it was long) and if any of you have experienced Hemangiosarcoma in one of your dogs I would love to hear from you.
A good dog is not that easily ruined.
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Postby BullyLady » July 17th, 2010, 7:27 pm

Hi Lisa, no experience with hemangiosarcoma (other than my best friend's dog has it as well) but just wanted to say, glad you made it over here. This forum is SUCH a great support system!

:hug3:
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » July 17th, 2010, 7:30 pm

I have no info/advice to give but wanted to send my good thoughts your way. We're always here if you need to vent or anything. :hug3:
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Postby hugapitbull » July 17th, 2010, 8:11 pm

I have nothing on the hemangiosarcoma either, but wanted to offer my support . We are going down the cancer road also, and it isn't a fun ride. I wish no one had this to face with their pet.

Best of luck to you. I've followed a lot of cancer stories in the past 21 months (I belong to the Tripawds.com forum where most of the members are fighting cancer) and I've seen those who change diets and those who don't. I think it is an individual choice and as with everything else, each dog is different and has a different reaction.
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Postby plebayo » July 17th, 2010, 8:23 pm

I think as far as the sugars argument goes that the blueberries high antioxidant properties outweighs the risk of "feeding the cancer" IMO. Although I feel the diet change helps [I'm feeding a homemade diet to my dog with nasal cancer] I too realize this is just me making an effort, you can support the system as best as you can. Unfortunately with hemangiosarcoma it is very aggressive and most attracted to blood vessels so it is a very, very hard battle for the body.

My question is have you considered doing chemo? Dogs take chemo FAR BETTER than humans do, they really don't get as sick as people do, and they bounce back pretty easily. Recommended treatment is 4-6 doses of doxorubicin every 3 weeks. [Well, one dose every 3 weeks, 4-6 doses in total.] My dog was given 6mos to live with her nasal cancer and we went the chemo route. We didn't finish our series because the doxo gave her pancreatitis and I decided that was enough but in September it will be a year since she was diagnosed. We did I think 5 rounds of chemo. I asked my vet and a couple of others if they thought the 6month prognoses was true, all of them said they saw dogs with her cancer go within 6mos of diagnoses. I strongly advise chemo because it can buy you a lot of time.

I'm sorry you are dealing with this. It's like our cancer calendar says "Cancer is not the fight we would have chosen, but we will fight it together." :hug3:
Suzanne
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Postby LisaM » July 17th, 2010, 8:42 pm

Thanks everyone.

My vet and I briefly discussed the option of chemo but quickly came the conclusion that I would not go that route. I realize is is easier on dogs than humans, but he is 9 yrs old and the treatment is expensive. Even my vet didn't think it would really be worth it and didn't even attempt to push me down that road. Thanks for sharing your experience with me, plebayo, and good luck with your dog. I hope you get many more months with her! :)
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Postby TheRedQueen » July 17th, 2010, 9:28 pm

I had a dog with a hemangiosarcoma, but it was a tumor on his skin...and though it involved a LOT of blood vessels, and was HUGE, they removed it with no major troubles...but he never had internal problems...so no experience with that. He did develop lymphoma later...which is what got him in the end (we chose the no chemo route for that...as he was older also)...

Good luck, and keep posting...(((hugs)))
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Postby plebayo » July 17th, 2010, 9:40 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:I had a dog with a hemangiosarcoma, but it was a tumor on his skin...and though it involved a LOT of blood vessels, and was HUGE, they removed it with no major troubles...but he never had internal problems...so no experience with that. He did develop lymphoma later...which is what got him in the end (we chose the no chemo route for that...as he was older also)...

Good luck, and keep posting...(((hugs)))



Did your vet ever say if the two cancers had anything to do with each other? Just curious.
Suzanne
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Postby plebayo » July 17th, 2010, 9:43 pm

LisaM wrote:Thanks everyone.

My vet and I briefly discussed the option of chemo but quickly came the conclusion that I would not go that route. I realize is is easier on dogs than humans, but he is 9 yrs old and the treatment is expensive. Even my vet didn't think it would really be worth it and didn't even attempt to push me down that road. Thanks for sharing your experience with me, plebayo, and good luck with your dog. I hope you get many more months with her! :)



I understand totally. My dog was 12yrs old at the time and if I did not work in a vet clinic I probably would have not opted for chemo just due to the cost and not knowing how much time you'll really get.
Suzanne
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Postby HappyChick » July 17th, 2010, 11:00 pm

plebayo wrote:It's like our cancer calendar says "Cancer is not the fight we would have chosen, but we will fight it together." :hug3:


Suzanne, thank you for using my quote. It's very true and it is a fight!

My advice, after going through the fight with Vinny and reading that you will not use chemo, is consult a homeopathic expert asap! I have a lady I highly recommend. If you want her info, pm me. As to diet, a diet of lightly cooked meat with a little raw veggies, organic yogurt, and some fruit for snacks is highly recommended. Here is an excellent website: http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/cancer-diet/

The thing regarding blueberries...I don't think fresh ones contain the types of sugar you should keep away from your cancer dog. Read this: http://www.naturalnews.com/001505.html

Carbs are the devil spawn when it comes to cancer. I did a ton of research when Vinny and I were fighting his cancer and although he only made it 4 months, I believe that in many cases, dietary and environmental changes can make a huge difference.

Please also check out this thread: viewtopic.php?f=44&t=31528

I'm so very sorry you are going through this, we are sending lots of positive energy your way.
Angie & crew

http://www.epitome-dog-rescue.org

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby Malli » July 18th, 2010, 2:38 am

I'm so sorry to hear this.

I used to work at an emergency vet and we saw many patients with Hemangiosarc.

I don't have any experience to offer with the diet portion.

If you have any questions I might be able to answer please feel free to ask.
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