Welcome to Dog Health Forums. Whether your dog was diagnosed with a health condition you never heard about before or you are looking for a place to share thoughts or obtain support about a certain dog disease with other dog owners, this is the right place. Obviously, this is not the place to ask questions when your dog is seriously ill. If so, please don’t waste your time on a forum, but rather, rush your dog to the vet!

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Palliative care for mast cell tumor in neck?
04-10-2017, 04:36 PM,
#1
Palliative care for mast cell tumor in neck?
I have an almost nine-year-old Boston terrier named Zoe who has a mast cell tumor in her neck.

When she went in for surgery about 10 weeks ago, the vet determined that it was too dangerous to try to remove because of its proximity to an artery. It had grown quite a bit in the 10 days or so between an exam and the scheduled surgery

We are treating her now with steroid injections and with Benadryl and anti-heartburn meds, with the vet saying that she can go on like this as long as the tumor doesn't grow to block her swallowing. The tumor has fluctuated in size, and is now about 10-20 percent larger than the size it was after the swelling from her surgery subsided.

Even as bad as it looks in the picture, she has shown almost no signs of her swallowing being affected, aside from being a more picky eater—the consistency and type of food doesn't seem to matter, it's just that something she eats today, she'll ignore tomorrow. 

Zoe's mood, personality, and energy is pretty good, but she does show intermittent fatigue, but not for long periods.

She's had a couple of mast cell tumors on her mouth in the past, and I'm not sure it's wise or practical to try chemo or radiation at this point—I just want to make her as comfortable as possible for as long as I can.

I'd love to hear any ideas or about other possible ways to treat her condition and care for her—what about essential oils? Any other types of medicinal or dietary approaches that might keep the tumor from growing? 

Anything else anyone would like to mention, I'd be very grateful.


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
   
Reply
04-10-2017, 05:02 PM,
#2
RE: Palliative care for mast cell tumor in neck?
I don't have a dog with mast cell cancer, but know of several resources. One of the is diet related, this ebook is by Dr. Damian Dressler, also known as "the cancer vet."
http://dogcancerdiet.com/pdf/DogCancerDiet.pdf

Many owners of dogs with cancer swear on turmeric
http://www.dogcancerblog.com/blog/more-o...og-cancer/

Golden Paste, made of turmeric, the recipe can be found here:
http://bestpethomeremedies.com/dog-golden-paste-recipe/

There's a group on Facebook called "Holistic Help for Dogs with Mast Cell Cancer" look it up and possibly join.

But as always, best to consult with your vet or even better a holistic vet for precise recommendations.
Reply
04-11-2017, 11:00 AM,
#3
RE: Palliative care for mast cell tumor in neck?
(04-10-2017, 04:36 PM).aaronkeith Wrote: I have an almost nine-year-old Boston terrier named Zoe who has a mast cell tumor in her neck.

When she went in for surgery about 10 weeks ago, the vet determined that it was too dangerous to try to remove because of its proximity to an artery. It had grown quite a bit in the 10 days or so between an exam and the scheduled surgery

We are treating her now with steroid injections and with Benadryl and anti-heartburn meds, with the vet saying that she can go on like this as long as the tumor doesn't grow to block her swallowing. The tumor has fluctuated in size, and is now about 10-20 percent larger than the size it was after the swelling from her surgery subsided.

Even as bad as it looks in the picture, she has shown almost no signs of her swallowing being affected, aside from being a more picky eater—the consistency and type of food doesn't seem to matter, it's just that something she eats today, she'll ignore tomorrow. 

Zoe's mood, personality, and energy is pretty good, but she does show intermittent fatigue, but not for long periods.

She's had a couple of mast cell tumors on her mouth in the past, and I'm not sure it's wise or practical to try chemo or radiation at this point—I just want to make her as comfortable as possible for as long as I can.

I'd love to hear any ideas or about other possible ways to treat her condition and care for her—what about essential oils? Any other types of medicinal or dietary approaches that might keep the tumor from growing? 

Anything else anyone would like to mention, I'd be very grateful.

Ask your Vet oncologist if the following approach might work...  First, a few  or more radiation treatments.   See if the tumor size can be decreased by 80%.  Most cancers are initially very sensitive to radiation, and respond well.  The downside would mostly be cost, and the potential of tumor lysis syndrome.  Where huge numbers of tumor cells undergo lysis and set up a septic condition. Discuss with your vet, what would be involved. Including whether it would be high or low dose radiation, and number of treatments. Then in the second phase assuming the tumor goes down dramatically in size, discuss the use of Metronomic Chemo with Chlorambucil (Leukeran).  Metronomic or "low dose" Chemo is starting to be used more for cancers.  By using a low dose you are unlikely to encounter any side effects of the usual higher dose Chemo.  It works not by killing the cancer cells directly, but rather by starving them.  It interferes primarily with angiogenesis or blood vessel growth.  No adequate blood supply, and the tumor starves.  The Metronomic approach I"ll soon be trying with my Nerve Sheath cancer puppy.  First she needs a little surgery to get rid of a tumor. Again, trying to eliminate the amount or tumor load before starting Chemo.

The problem for your MCT puppy currently is the size of the tumor.  Chemo of any type will have a lot of tumor burden to overcome.   It may or may not hold the current size in check. Thus, the need to attempt to reduce the size first with radiation. Again, ask your Vet Oncologist.  S/he may still believe Chemo is still worth a try, without radiation.   Maybe take down some of the swelling for palliative relief.

As  a tumor becomes larger it will have areas of dead necrotic tissue.  Where bacteria can grow, and cause systemic infections.  So you might be battling reoccurring infections in the future, if it continues at its current size or larger.

Another thing you should ask your doggy Oncologist about is a Cox-2 inhibitor, or the equivalent of doggy naproxen.  If you decide to go the route of Metronomic or other Chemo.  Canine mast cell cancer has a high expression of Cox-2 expression which aids the cancer in proliferation, and inflammation.  The Cox-2 inhibitor most studied in canine cancer is pixocam.  All of the common NSAIDs used to treat canine arthritis such as Rimadryl are also Cox-2 inhibitors.  The only hitch is Prednisone plus a NSAID will cause liver damage when used together.  So the dog would have to be withdrawn from Prednisone before trying a Chemo+NSAID combo.  A NSAID alone would be less effective than the Prednisone alone.

Per diet, assuming your dog has no kidney or other metabolic problems, a cancer puppy should be on a high protein, and high fat diet.  Cancer cells due to their high growth rate have problems converting fats into carbohydrates.  Avoid sugar like the plague!  Simple sugars will help cancer cells grow.  Add fish oil to the dog's diet.  The Omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil have a mild anti-angiogenic effect, and mild anti-inflammatory effect.  It also will help normalize lactic acid levels in the blood, frequently raised in cancers.  High lactic acid can cause such things as muscle cramps, and fatigue.  I give both of my 70 lb cancer puppies 3000 mg/meal.  I consider the Omega 3s as an add on to their conventional cancer treatments.  Note the use of flax oil to supply Omega 3 fatty acids is mostly hype.  Stick with the fish oil.   Also Vitamin E has a mild anti-inflammatory effect.  Consult with your Vet Oncologist for the appropriate dosage, and use.

If your dog becomes anorexic for periods of time, ask your Vet for Mirtazapine as an appetite stimulant.  My Leukemia puppy doesn't eat, unless I give him a Mirtazapine before each meal.  My NST cancer puppy needs only one before her evening meal.  

There are several problems with holistic treatments involving herbs, spices, etc, and their claims.  The first is purity.  Supplements are totally unregulated when it comes to purity.  The second is most claims are based on lab tissue culture, or mouse/rat studies. The poor mouse/rat is loaded up with high concentrations of an extract from a herb (usually not the herb itself), in order to see any effect.  Where in order to get the equivalent dose of the extract in a human or dog, you'd have to be consuming bottles worth of the raw supplement everyday,  and possibly at toxic doses.  At least guaranteed to upset the GI tract. The third problem is lab plus small animal testing doesn't always translate to humans, and our dogs.  The benefit of holistic treatments is that they make the owner feel better.  That they are doing something for their dog.

In summary... A plan would be for you to discuss the use of Metronomic or other Chemo with your Vet Oncologist.  With or without radiation on the front end.  The goal is to shrink the tumor, and try to hold the cancer in check.  Providing palliative relief.
Reply
04-11-2017, 11:24 AM,
#4
RE: Palliative care for mast cell tumor in neck?
Thanks for this very much! I'll talk to vet about it very soon.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)