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?
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.