"No Treatment Advised?"
YOU, not your vet are ultimately responsible for the care or lack of care given to your dog. YOU MUST QUESTION EVERYTHING YOU'RE TOLD. YOU MUST RESEARCH EVERYTHING YOU'RE TOLD. YOU must make the final decision on whether or not to treat your dog's cancer and along with advice from your vet oncologist - - and armed with your research - - YOU must decide which treatment you want used on your dog if several options are available. Below we cover true examples of dogs with NASAL, BLADDER and MAST CELL Cancer.
NASAL CANCER Two dogs, one in Michigan and one in California contacted us within days of each other. The MI owner was told by oncologists at University of Michigan that his dog would be dead in 1-3 months no matter what he did. They told him that chemo doesn't work and that radiation doesn't work. The CA owner was told the same thing about her dog, Ally, by her oncologist. Within 2 days our research person had found an article about a treatment being done at Colorado State University called OPLA-Pt. We contacted the researcher mentioned in the study and he confirmed that he had an average of 2 years remission for nasal cancer dogs. In this treatment, either material or gel is impregnated with a chemo agent and implanted under the skin of the dog's shoulder. This is immediately followed by radiation treatments to the area of the nasal cancer. The cost to the owner is approximately $2,200. You can ship the dog and board it at the University during treatment for approximately $20 per day if you live far away. Cost to ship a big dog is generally around $200. We believe that our cancer program given along with this treatment can lessen the tissue damage caused by the radiation and help the dog heal faster but have no studies to prove this.
BLADDER CANCER I was told by vets at Cornell that my bladder cancer dog would be dead in less than 2 months even if I gave him Piroxicam. He was diagnosed in December and the cancer program I put together got him far longer, and it was all perfect quality of life. A California Dog, Goblin, was able to get 10 months of perfect quality of life using Piroxicam and the cancer program despite the fact that they had opened the dog. You NEVER DO ANYTHING INVASIVE to a bladder cancer dog. No needles used to remove urine from the bladder, no surgery as this cancer spreads like wildfire if you disturb it in any way. The dog can be diagnosed using a special Bladder Cancer Urine Test or by a regular urine test.
MAST CELL When a dog has a single mast cell tumor and the operating veterinarian feels that he got it all (i.e., clean margins), most vets do not recommend any follow-up treatment. This was the recommendation given to Clyde's owner last year. This year Clyde was diagnosed with an inoperable mast cell tumor in the same area as the original tumor. Clyde just lost his battle with this cancer. As an owner and someone who has heard from many mast cell dog owners, if my dog were diagnosed tomorrow with mast cell, a single tumor, and they told me they had gotten it all, I'd INSIST on doing follow-up chemo either by injection (one owner's vet used a series of 3 injections of Vincristine at a cost of $45 per injection) and Prednisone. Or, I'd do chemo by mouth one owner used Chloranbucil and Prednisone. I'd also look into the possibility of doing radiation at the site of the tumor though I might just go with the milder forms of chemo. I am not saying that if you do some form of chemo/radiation that your dog will never again have mast cell. What I am saying is that for me, MY DECISION as the caretaker of my dog, would be to take EVERY possible precaution up front in the hope that if there were any cancer cells left in my dog's body, I'd be able to stop them. I'd also, get my dog onto the cancer program and never take him off though I'd use lower levels than I would use if the dog had active cancer. My goal would be to keep my dog's immune system as strong as possible.