The Pet Cancer Vet™
Mammary (Breast) Cancer in Dogs
#2072: Sam calls from Aventura, California to talk to Dr. Sue about his Cockapoo, Linda, who has mammary gland cancer — along with a history of pancreatitis.
Do Missed Chemo Treatments Lower Success Rates
#2071: Missed treatments of chemotherapy: does that affect the chance for success at getting cancer into remission? Lisa from North Carolina calls about Ruger, her 6-1/2-year-old pitbull/boxer mix with stage 4 lymphoma, who is on chemo with the UWM CHOP protocol. She’s worried because she had to miss a treatment because of his low blood counts — and asks how this will affect his outcome. Dr. Sue explains what the white cell count means and whether skipping a treatment is a problem. Also, Ruger is losing weight and he is Lisa’s first dog and she is “beyond heartbroken.” Dr. Sue and Tracie recommend a lightly processed whole food — preferably human quality food like The Honest Kitchen — and to also give her boy any actual “people food” that she wants to feed him.
Early Spaying and Cancer Risk
#2070: Angela calls from Indianapolis — she is a RVT (registered veterinary technician) working toward a specialty in oncology, and just lost her 135 lb Great Dane, Sydney, to osteosarcoma. She feels terrible guilt that she had her dog spayed early (before 6 months), not knowing that this could increase her risk for cancer. Dr. Sue and Tracie try to put her mind to rest because none of us “can know what we don’t know”! And her desire to educate others about this issue is what is motivating her to speak up. Dr. Sue explains that breed is not as correlated with increased cancer risk as is the height and weight of a dog.
Treatment Options for Dog with Multiple Mast Cell Tumors
#2069: Lynn in Winsted, Connecticut wants Dr. Sue’s advice on what to do for her 12 year old shepherd mix, who was diagnosed with multiple mast cell tumors. Lynn loves her dog dearly but doesn’t want him to suffer through surgeries and the side effects of medications, so has decided not to treat the cancer aggressively but to “let him be happy until he seems to be experiencing discomfort.” Lynn doesn’t have pet insurance or unlimited funds, but questions if she has made the right decision. Dr. Sue suggests a consultation with a veterinary internist or oncologist — which is not necessarily that expensive — simply to learn what the options are for treatment and the cost/benefit.
Unexplained Pet Death
#2070: Don’t blame cancer for unexplained pet death! Dr. Sue and Tracie discuss a question from a listener who had speculated that her dog’s sudden decline and death might have been caused by an undetected cancer. While Tracie and Dr. Sue empathize with the frustration of not having an explanation for a dog’s rapid death, Dr Sue doesn’t want people to jump to the conclusion that it’s always cancer at fault — and other possible medical reasons should always be explored.
Cancer Statistic Busters
#2067: Don’t get hung up on what survival time “most” pets with cancer are given. Enjoy every day and think positive! Dr. Sue talks about “statistic busters” — like kitty Jojo, a two-year-old cat with very tough lymphoma in the chest. He way surpassed the usual six month protocol and survival — with seven years in remission until it relapsed as intestinal lymphoma. And another #statisticbuster was Calin, a fifteen-year-old Aussie who got the CHOP protocol for lymphoma and got a great quality of extended life, too!
New Lymphoma Treatments
#2066: Dr. Sue discusses new lymphoma treatments, which are valuable because cancer cells do become resistant to chemotherapy the cells have already “seen” (been treated with). Tenovia (more info at www.vet-dc.com) is a new chemotherapy drug, conditionally licensed and requiring extra precautions.
Rabies Vaccine Okay for Dog on Chemo?
#2065: Is it okay for a dog on chemotherapy to get a rabies vaccination (required by law)? Dr. Sue gives the answer to Maureen, whose Scottish Terrier was diagnosed with TCC (bladder cancer is common in this breed) and been on chemotherapy for past nine months. Dr. Sue’s advice to others with Scotties is to do an abdominal ultrasound very quickly if there are any symptoms. Best practice is to do routine ultrasound on Scotties because early detection gives you the best shot at combating it. Get a baseline at age five and by age six get one twice a year.
Making Medicating Your Pets Easier
#2064: Dr. Sue and Tracie talk to Steve Siegel about Best Pet RX, his compounding pharmacy for animal medications and how they are able to turn any medication into an oral paste, liquid or micro-tablet to make taking medicine easy for cats, dogs and their people.
Additional Treatments for Pit Bull With Lymphoma
#2062: Dr. Sue and Tracie speak to Helen in Winnetka, California, whose dog Sinatra is a five-year-old pit bull mix who has been diagnosed with lymphoma. Helen wants to know whether after the traditional CHOP protocol are there any other drugs or treatments she can look into? She’s so happy Sinatra has not had side affects from any of the drugs he has been given — which makes her even more determined not to lose hope and to keep on actively seeking ways for him to live up to Dr. Sue’s motto: Live longer, live well.