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What I Learned So You Don’t Have To

Because the editor of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, I’ve been enthusiastic about dog most cancers day-after-day for over a decade. I have been managing this website for Dr. Demian Dressler, absorbing and modifying his phrases, and answering tens of millions of emails from canine lovers everywhere in the world. This isn’t fun work, I’ll admit. Nevertheless it feels necessary and significant. In September, I came upon simply how necessary when my own little Kanga faced down her personal dog most cancers surgical procedure. I hope to impart a number of of the things I discovered over the previous few months under. There are additionally a couple of videos to share with you … don’t fear — nothing too graphic.

(I’m still fairly raw emotionally so I will not be very articulate and arranged. I apologize prematurely for that, and hope that when you’ve got questions or need clarity, you will let me know in the feedback so I can handle your suggestions.)

You Can Do All the things “Right” and Nonetheless Get Most cancers 🙁

Here’s the surprising fact about my canine’s cancer: I’ve finished just about the whole lot proper as a canine mother. When Kanga, an eight pound Maltese, came to stay with us at age 13 weeks, I took Dr. Dressler’s advice:

  • Delayed spay (truly, by no means did one, for numerous reasons)
  • Delayed her vaccinations
  • By no means, ever fed her business dog food (until The Trustworthy Kitchen began making their pretty dehydrated human-grade meals, which Kanga loves and takes a number of the strain of cooking duties)
  • I gave her EverPup* every single day starting at age 2 when it first arrived available on the market.
  • She’s had every day walks, most days on the seashore.
  • We give dozens of pets and snuggles a day.

True to breed, her tooth are terrible — however otherwise, she’s been virtually disgustingly healthy. She just turned ten in October, however routinely gets mistaken for a pet.

So what happened?

Your canine can battle most cancers with meals!

Discovering the Lump

In late September, I took Kanga to see Dr. Dressler for a physical and a MUCH wanted tooth cleansing.

I knew her tooth had been bothering her for a while. She’d develop into choosy about food and typically didn’t need to eat in any respect. Her breath smelled like a garbage truck. I prevented bringing her in, sometimes, because I am all the time frightened about anesthesia dangers. Lastly, when she vomited three mornings in a row, I decided we higher go in.

Pro Tip: In case your dog is vomiting skinny yellow bile in the morning, and has smelly breath, it could possibly be an abscess that’s draining to the stomach and aggravating the whole system. It may be one thing worse. Don’t be like me, take your canine in for regular oral hygiene appointments.

Dr. D examined her completely, including X-rays to ensure her lungs have been clear for anesthesia. (At ten, she’s attending to that age when it could possibly be riskier.)

He put her on a round of antibiotics to clear her obvious mouth an infection, advised me that she would possible lose a dozen tooth, and despatched me residence. I determined to attend till my husband acquired back to Maui earlier than bringing her again for a follow-up. I can’t inform you why, precisely, though it had something to do with me being a wimp and never eager to cope with the stress of worrying about her all by myself.

Delay Might Have Saved Her Life

It took about 5 weeks for us to get back to Dr. D’s workplace to get her pre-dental bloodwork carried out, which turned out to be a blessing.

Why? Because Dr. D determined to look at her again, and as he palpated her abdomen, he paused.

“There is a lump that was not here a month ago.”

Oh. My. Phrase.

If we’d gone in a couple of weeks earlier, we might have never discovered that tumor. We’d have just cleaned her tooth, then waited months to “torture” her with another vet go to!

Typically, procrastination pays off. (Typically.)

But Does She Actually Need Dog Most cancers Surgery?

Ultrasound was ordered, and there it was — a mass 2.5cm long where her right ovary ought to be.

What had been a discussion about routine dental cleaning was turning, shortly, right into a dialogue about biopsies, prognosis, and ovarian tumor varieties.

Good grief.

I remained calm, especially in comparison with how most people feel when getting this news.

I know a lot about how widespread dog most cancers is — how stupidly, ridiculously typically individuals lose their canine to cancer — that I can’t say I was stunned, exactly.

In any case, we reside about 5 miles away from a area the place an enormous biotech company sprays cocktails of herbicides and pesticides on their seed corn to see if it will probably stand up to the chemical compounds. We’re downwind, and I am acutely aware that open-air spraying of these substances really increases our publicity. Closing home windows and eating natural food may help, however I can’t avoid exposure from just walking outdoors, respiration our air, or swimming within the ocean off that area.

Actuality Verify

One out of two canine over the age of ten gets cancer. One out of seven canine ultimately will get cancer. It’s the number one explanation for dying in canine, after shelter euthanasia. I’ve recognized this for years. I’ve been emotionally getting ready for the truth that I might do “everything right” at residence … and my Kanga and Roo might still get cancer.

Even with all this data, although, I was gripped by apprehension and doubt. Might I really let Dr. D minimize her open? Was the danger actually value it?

Was the danger actually value it?

The look in his eyes advised me what I wanted to know: yes, it was value it.

“This thing has been growing quickly. We’ve got to get it out and see what else is going on.”

We scheduled the surgical procedure for a number of days later, early on a morning when he had no other surgical procedures and could monitor her all day after.

Day of the Dog Most cancers Surgical procedure

I’m not going to go into details concerning the surgical procedure itself, because the pictures I saw on Dr. D’s telephone are just not ones I need to think about (let alone show you). Listed here are the essential details.

  • It took almost three hours, which is a very long time for a ten yr previous, eight pound dog.
  • The fitting ovary had “reached out” tentacles and hooked up itself to the kidney, it’s neighbor, and the spleen, which isn’t a neighbor.
  • There have been multiple blood vessels Dr. D needed to rigorously reduce with a purpose to get the whole thing out.
  • The tumor was bleeding inside — a sluggish oozy sort of bleed that can happen when a tumor grows so fast that it outgrows its own blood supply and begins to die off. If left inside her, that bloody tumor might very doubtless have erupted right into a life-threatening inner bleed.
  • The opposite ovary was “degenerating” and the uterus was filled with what later turned out to be endometriosis.
  • Kanga did a lot better beneath anesthesia than any of us thought she would.
  • Dr. D was also capable of get her tooth cleaned and extract the abscessed tooth.
  • He was fairly positive he’d gotten it all out.

I was really, really grateful that Dr. D was there for us and for Kanga. Before the surgical procedure, when I handed her over to him, he stated “I’m going to take good care of her,” and I knew he was making a soul deep dedication.

Discover ways to communicate together with your veterinary professionals 🙂

I didn’t fairly hold my breath until the telephone rang to tell us she was out, however I did get just a little lightheaded a couple of occasions.

Once we picked her up later that day, Kanga was mad at me for the primary time ever. She wouldn’t take a look at me. She didn’t kiss me for almost 48 hours.

She felt, and appeared, awful.

Night time of the Canine Most cancers Surgery

That night time I held her at an angle that prevented her from putting strain on the huge, six-inch long belly scar she sported. The staples have been so shut collectively they appeared like a zipper up her stomach, and she or he moaned or squealed all through the night time.

It was horrible. As I lay there, listening to her whine-breathe, I really regretted the surgical procedure. I stored considering “it couldn’t possibly be worth all this pain, all this trauma.”

Natural, Normal, Second-Guessing Denial

After a number of hours, I realized that I was doing what I’ve seen so many other canine lovers do — second guessing myself. I worked it all by way of in my mind. I followed my ideas to their logical conclusions.

  • I shouldn’t have had the surgery, I should have just let her be.
  • OK, properly, then what can be a possible state of affairs? She would die of a catastrophic inner bleeding … and I would really feel horrible as a result of I knew she had this large tumor inside, and didn’t take it out.
  • The one means that may have been ok is if I hadn’t recognized concerning the tumor.
  • But then I would have been mad at myself for not getting her tooth cleaned sooner!

I began to loosen up a bit, as I realized that no matter what, I would blame myself or try to blame others for what Kanga was going by way of. It’s a traditional, natural a part of denial. I was simply in denial about this entire factor because I couldn’t bear her pain.

Minimize yourself some slack. You will all the time second-guess your self.

So, my job was to chop myself some slack and understand that I had made the only option I might. If she recovered absolutely, the surgery would have eliminated an enormous tumor that would have killed her in weeks.

My job now was to look after her post-surgery and watch for those effing biopsy results. Both would take a minimum of 12 days — so I simply had to concentrate on her care.

It didn’t assist me sleep, however at the very least I wasn’t beating myself up all night time.

Submit Canine Cancer Surgical procedure Care

That is where the e-book really got here in useful for me. Whereas most readers will discover a whole chapter about their canine’s tumor in The Canine Most cancers Survival Information, there isn’t one on uncommon ovarian tumors. So I targeted on wound care, and absolute, 100% rest for my pup.

She has all the time had panic assaults in her crate, so I acquired a dog sling to make use of around the house and stored her on her leash at all times.

I tied her up on her little dog bed so she couldn’t transfer even when she wasn’t on my physique.

I stored her cone on, despite the fact that she HATED it.

I made positive she was clear as attainable, however didn’t give her a shower.

I was persnickety about her antibiotics and pain drugs, completely refusing to take NO for a solution on anything.

Once we went outdoors so she might relieve herself, I didn’t let her go farther than her six foot leash permits.

My husband and I both pray, and we each have Reiki, so we did a LOT of both.

Canine don’t know they want virtually complete relaxation. Make sure that your canine will get it after surgical procedure!

Day by day, fortunately, she improved. She even started offering me her belly for rubs after five days. She began consuming as her mouth recovered from the extractions, and that basically helped to perk her up. By the time we went back on day 12, Dr. D was thrilled to have the ability to take away all of the staples and give her the OK for walks round our neighborhood.

He was additionally thrilled to provide us the BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOME: her tumor sort.

Granulosa Cell Tumor!

Based mostly on what he’d seen in surgery, we have been all ready to seek out out that Kanga’s tumor was an aggressive carcinoma that might possible have already unfold, regardless of her wanting clear on both X-rays and ultrasound simply weeks ago. In that case, we might be getting ready ourselves for an finish of life state of affairs inside the next few months.

However that’s not what she had. She had a granulosa cell tumor, which, thankfully, has the perfect prognosis. Whereas they will metastasize, the probability that occurs is just 20%!

As of now, we don’t see any spread on imaging, and he thinks he acquired the complete tumor out in his marathon surgical procedure.

So at this point, we’re respiration a sigh of aid. For now.

And Kanga? She feels FANTASTIC. She’s enjoying, operating, jumping, and principally appearing like nothing happened.

Comply with Up Remedies and Examine Ups

In 4 months we’ll head again to the vet (despite her literal screams of protest) to examine and see if any more tumors seem on imaging. But within the meantime, Kanga might be on Dr. Dressler’s Full Spectrum Most cancers Care recommendations, the same ones that hundreds of thousands of canine lovers have advised me during the last decade have helped their canine. And yes, for the rest of her natural life — whatever that’s — we’ll assume that she has most cancers on a microscopic degree. It’s just smarter that approach.

Full Spectrum Cancer Care Recommendations I’m Following for Kanga

I’m a very good scholar, so I’m taking this most cancers factor as my instructor Dr. D recommends: one step at a time.

  • Step One is Typical Tools Like Surgery, Chemotherapy, or Radiation … in our case, surgical procedure has been a hit, and she or he is healing REALLY nicely. Not even three weeks after undergoing that large surgery, she is again to her puppy-like ways, consuming fortunately and taking walks, together with, as of this morning, on the BEACH. My husband James and I have already decided that at her age, we won’t possible do another surgery even when one other tumor appears. She really hated the method, and until it’s very discrete and straightforward to deal with, it’s in all probability not well worth the life quality loss for her (and for us). These tumors spread to the lungs and abdomen, and we simply can’t see opening her up again at her age. If we see unfold in a couple of months, we won’t do chemotherapy or radiation to treat it. The protocols will not be labored out for these rare tumor varieties, and we don’t need to put her via it if we don’t have strong numbers telling us it’s value it. We don’t have these, so we probably aren’t doing those.
  • Step Two is Nutraceuticals … dietary apoptogens might really help regular cell turnover and encourage cells to “wake up” and get rid of themselves BEFORE they grow to be problems. Nutraceuticals are mentioned in chapter 12. We use Apocaps CX, as a result of it’s applicable for Kanga, has no unwanted side effects to worry about, and actually helps her life high quality whereas we wait to see what else occurs with this stinking factor.
  • Step Three is Anti-Metastatics and Immune Boosters … I’ve received her on a medicinal mushroom mix to spice up her immune system referred to as K9 Immunity (different brands work, too), plus a Switch Issue that reinforces its effects. I’ve also put her on modified citrus pectin, another dietary apoptogen that also presents good anti-metastastic help. She’s sleeping in complete darkness, getting loads of daylight, and continues to be taking EverPup as her multivitamin.
  • Step Four is Eating regimen … I’ve given Kanga recent meals since her puppyhood, but now I’m lots stricter about low-carb meals, and ensuring she will get plenty of liver and cruciferous veggies. This step I’ve already been doing, but I’m turning into more conscientious, for positive.
  • Step 5 is Brain Chemistry Modifications … together with every day train, therapeutic massage, as a lot Reiki as she likes (and she or he likes rather a lot), and loads of recent air. I’m additionally starting to meditate together with her again. I’m sorry I ever stopped!

Significantly, if the editor of this guide wanted it when she came upon her canine has cancer, you must get a replica, too.

What I Learned:

Here’s a partial record of what I discovered throughout the previous few months that I either didn’t absolutely understand earlier than or just plain didn’t know:

  • My dog’s occasional hesitancy to eat starting about 4 months in the past should have been a serious pink flag that SOMETHING was incorrect.
  • Tumors can die and start to bleed whilst they’re rising — and if the dying tumor cells are in or close to a serious blood vessel, this could open up a hole that dumps blood into the canine’s body cavity. Whereas Kanga’s tumor was “oozing” not “flowing” with blood, it might have been a lot, a lot worse. These bleeds are life-threatening.
  • Because of the above, I know really perceive why vets all the time “want to cut it out.” It’s not just about (or even actually about in some instances) removing the cancer. It’s about saving the canine from a disgusting, painful demise from a potential catastrophic inner bleed.
  • I might beat myself up for “waiting too long” to get it addressed, but then once more, ready we have been able to find a life-threatening state of affairs that was not noticeable throughout a daily examination.
  • Imaging is dear, but man, it positive clarifies issues. Seeing a transparent X-ray of her lungs was such a aid. Seeing the ultrasound of the ovarian tumor was motivating.
  • I will begin judging myself for the whole lot when my canine is in ache or sick. I have to actually reduce myself some slack to stay targeted and make good selections.
  • When the discharge directions say “complete rest,” they MEAN it. The incision wasn’t the only factor Kanga had to heal. She also needed to heal all the INSIDE wounds from the surgical procedure.
  • My canine actually, actually needs to lick her paws. She’s like somewhat kid who chews her nails.
  • Canine actually do stay within the second. As soon as her ache and swelling went down, she simply bounced back energy-wise. If I’d had a serious stomach surgery, I wouldn’t need to go for a walk just some days later. I’d still be in mattress three weeks later!
  • I needed to modify my expectations of myself to accommodate the intensive care needs of my canine. I earn a living from home, so I’m fortunate I was capable of be there all the time, but I needed to let go of a lot of different things, like my very own exercises and glowing clear bogs. I had a brand new appreciation for simply how upsetting it have to be for somebody who has to go away their dog all day whereas they convalesce. For those who can organize to earn a living from home whereas this is occurring in your canine, I would. But I understand that the majority can’t. This hurts my coronary heart.
  • I’m really fortunate that I trust Dr. Dressler as a result of handing her over to go beneath the knife was really, really scary.
  • Regardless of how helpful I’ve all the time recognized the guide to be, I know now that it REALLY helps. I used the index multiple occasions a day to seek out something I needed to know or keep in mind.

Bottom Line

In all, I’m feeling a lot better. Kanga feels a lot better, too, which helps.

Thanks for reading this. I don’t assume I realized forward of time how a lot better I would feel after I wrote all of this down! I hope it’s been helpful for you, too.

Before I go, although, I have three videos that you simply may need to see.

Videos of Dog Most cancers Surgical procedure with Dr. Dressler

A number of years ago, Dr. Dressler had a most cancers scare together with his personal fantastic canine, Bjorn. He made movies of their progress, including earlier than, in the course of the surgery, and after, when he finally received the biopsy results. These have been on this website for years, but I assume they’re value reviewing now, especially in case you are dealing with canine most cancers surgery in your own pup. It’d assist to see that even veterinarians feel overwhelmed, upset, and impatient about how long it takes to seek out out the biopsy outcomes!

Don’t fear — the video of the biopsy surgical procedure is just not TOO graphic!

Even Dr. Dressler feels terrible ready for the results!

A lot Aloha and heat needs to you and your dog. We’re all on this collectively!


Molly Jacobson, Editor
The Canine Cancer Survival Information

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