Subcutaneous Hemangiosarcoma - Page 2

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by Hundmutter on 31 August 2018 - 06:08

At least you got a last couple of weeks with your girl, GSDFL. The lad I had with a sudden splenic tumour bursting was, like others mentioned here, apparently fine & healthy one day, very sick and being rushed to the vet the next day, and dead within an hour of that. Very little time to say "Goodbye". I am pretty sure he was on his way out even before the vet injected him. He too was only 7 years old. Haemangiosarcoma can be THAT fast. Truly horrible affliction.

by TIG on 31 August 2018 - 07:08

Hi Bev So sorry to hear re your friend's dog. He is very young for hemangio. The classic age for hemangio used to be 10 to 12 but in the last 20 years or so that has moved down to an average  diagnosis age of 7 to 9. Do you know if he was neutered and if so at a young age? Your friend needs to let the breeder know because while it has not been established  to be genetic  it certainly appears to be familial. I know one family it seems to run in tho at a low level and also know of a litter (totally unrelated to first family) where the whole litter died between their 7th and 8th birthday from it.

I am not familiar w/ the subcutaneous for the more common variants are tumors on the spleen, liver or the lining of the heart. A quick search came up w/ this article  wh/ suggests survival times are not much different for this form. In a previous post by Hexe she quotes a Colo Univ vet re survival rates w/ and w/o chemo but also raises some cogent points on why chemo can be problematic esp in such a young dog.

I would suggest your friend talk to the folks at the University of Minnesota as they are the premier lab working on this and are the coordinators for other groupstuff working on pieces of the puzzle. I included contact info in my post about my Remy who died from it. These folks are running two trials right now one on detection and one on treatment!! I believe UPENN is also running a trial trying to confirm previous results using a mushroom derivative that extended life for up to a year w/o the harshness of chemo. Problem w/ trials is you have to live close. Also the Penn trial uses a brand name product that is very very expensive but the underlying ingredient (I think it is called Turkey tail) is available at any health food store but she will have to do some research for the dosage and the method of deriving the mushroom extract.


by TIG on 31 August 2018 - 08:08

Two other things she might want to try that fall into the might help won't hurt category tho check on this first one if he does the chemo. The boxer people have had success using a combination of Benedryl and Tagamet in managing mast cell tumours. Yes I know different disease BUT if I remember correctly hemangio shares the same or similar histamine receptors/response that this works on PLUS Tagamet has been shown to be highly effective vs other cancers. In one Scandinavian  study of folks w/ advanced colon cancer (very difficult to treat)  treated w/  Tagamet for one year post surgery it added years! to their lives (up to 9 if I remember right). I do not know the doses used in the Scandinavian  study but the boxer info is readily available w/ a Google search of boxer lady Tagamet & benedryl.

The 2nd thing that I think is worth a try is 500mg of Rutin 1-2×/ day wh/ is a bioflavanoid. Available at any health food store. One thing it does is strengthen the walls of blood vessels so they do not break & hemorrhage. Hemangio is a blood cancer that ultimately causes a bleed out. The other advantage to both these is a very reasonable low cost esp vs chemo.

If your friend does her research she will find a number of sites dealing w/ cancer in dogs and many many other alternative treatments or off label uses of drugs. Comes down to each individual interest ability and stamina. There are several books written by vets in this area and one guy whose dog had nasal cancer has a huge website w/ a ton of very good info and suggestions for things to try.

The problem w/ hemangio tho it is a thief in the night. Generally by the time it is diagnosed it is too late since we still do not have effective treatments against it. Tumor removal will give you a bit more time but not much. What you can tell your friend tho is most dogs feel good and do well post surgery even w/o chemo until.. The until is usually 60 to 90 days and it's a bleed out usually evidenced by the dog being very very tired and refusing to eat. For the poster who lost her dog in the night I believe your dog just went to sleep. The hemorrhage  would have just deepened his sleep. It is hard on us because of the suddenness  and inability to say goodbye but I think it unlikely he suffered. My condolences I know how hard it is to deal with this disease.


by TIG on 31 August 2018 - 08:08

I urge all reading this thread to think about working w/ the Mondiano lab in Minnesota and their partners. If you have a senior normal donate their blood. As I noted in Remy's thread I did that w/ Nemo. He was a pretty safe normal being 15 at the time but even so when I lost him at 16.5 I contacted them to let them know he was euthanized for an unrelated problem so their records would be complete. They are also interested in blood samples from dogs who are related to a dog w/ hemangio. 

God forbid if one of your dogs or a friend's dog is diagnosed w/ hemangio contact them immediately BEFORE SURGERY because they really can use tumor samples. We will get this solved by working together.

Finally we need to urge the GSDCA and USCA to also work with them. The trials I mentioned earlier on early detection (so so important) and treatment were originally and may still be limited to Labs and Goldens since their parent clubs were working w/ the lab while neither of ours were . Since GSDS are one of the big3 that suffers from hemangio we can not be left behind esp because there can be definite differences in how a disease is expressed or carried between breeds.

OP please keep us posted on this pups prognosis. I wish him and his owner well.

by joanro on 31 August 2018 - 10:08

I disagree that hemangio is familial. It covers the broad spectrum of  breeds; it is not picky about kennel names nor castated or not. My wolf hybrid was entact and lived a very active life, working in my sled dog team and dog act and lived outside in a huge yard.
Hemangio kills so fast, that I believe most people who loose their dog suddenly atribute the death to bloat...when in actuality hemangio is more common. If I had not had a post mortem done on my 8year old wolf hybrid, I would have guessed bloat, even though he never had bloat, nor any of the rest of the team.
BTW, for all the nay sayers about feeding kibble....this dog had been on raw all his life, as was the rest of the 11 husky hybrids. Some were related distantly, but only two pairs were littermates. All were entact males. The rest lived to be 15 and 16 but two others, unrelated, developed cancer in the sinuses. Those two had zero gsd blood. 

One female I rescued and had her spayed. A year or two later she developed a bladder tumor and during surgery on the table, when I saw the condition of her bladder I had my vet put her down....she had suffered for many weeks and meds did not alleviate her distress.
This is why I have said many times that every one jumping on the dm wagon, need to put their donations and effort into pushing for hemangio research.


by Sunsilver on 31 August 2018 - 13:08

I'm assuming she was a GSD? How old was she, Joan?

Had a next-door neighbour lose his female GSD to bladder cancer. Don't know what type of tumor, though.

by joanro on 31 August 2018 - 14:08

Sunni, no! She was a husky wolf hybrid ( dilute, but hybrid none the less) ZERO gsd blood.

Souix was only three years old when I had to pts. With her previous owners, she had a litter of puppies at only one year old and was litterally starving and loaded with worms when I rescued her. I trained her to work n the sleddog team..she loved it and was a joyful sole! Her time with me gave her a full and happy life, though way too short.

Gdamn ca !!!


by Sunsilver on 31 August 2018 - 14:08

Wow, only THREE? Damn cancer is right!  Wilted Rose

Haven't lost a dog to it yet (touch wood!) but many humans in my life have been touched by it. Just last year two of my closest friends underwent chemo, now another friend is going to lose both her mom and her dad to it.

by joanro on 31 August 2018 - 15:08

I think domestication has inadvertently programed DNA in Canis Familiaris to sabotage the the species.....has nothing to do with breed specificity.

by TIG on 31 August 2018 - 16:08

Joan Actually research has shown that very early spay/ neuter does increase the incidence by 500% which is why I asked if he fit that profile.

Since I believe you like me are an old timer in the breed I am surprised that you dispute my comment re it being familial. There is a lot of observational evidence of that from old timers in the big 3 breeds (GSDS Goldens and Labs) Yes it does occur across other breeds but ask any vet and they are far more likely to suspect it in one of these 3 breeds - for good reason. Note that I did not say genetic the verdict is still out on that AND the current thinking is as w/ many diseases that there is an environmental component for ex in the skin versions exposure to high levels of sun are suspected to play a role.

It may be that the "familial" component is just a function of the fact that dog breeds and families tend to die of certain things just like us - in shepherds primarily Hemangio, mast cell tumors, DM and congestive heart failure ( usually of the old age variety). We all got to die of something. In my family it is heart and stroke not cancer. Goldens and Boxers( esp Boxers) get a variety of cancers Inc lymphoma and osteosarcoma - the latter another killer that like hemangio strikes the young and middle age. With osteosarcoma it seems usually a leg wh you can amputate and dogs do well on 3 legs but ultimately like w/ hemangio it only buys you time albeit a bit long around 18 months.

One bitch I knew died of hemangio when she was 10 or 11 and her sire had died at 7 from unknown causes wh given the age starts to look suspicious yet one of her litter mates lived to 16. But this was a family I knew well and when you looked there was a dam here or an aunt, uncle nephew  daughter sister etc sprinkled consistently down thru the line wh had died from diagnosed hemangio tho usually a bit older than the 7-9. It gives one pause especially since I have known one thing for several decades to be absolutely true and that is that longevity is highly inheritable which is one of the reasons I like to breed to old sires ( plus you know who they are and how they produce). Folks need to start asking breeders how old the dogs in the pedigree were when the died and what from and did they have a healthy old age. In just one generation of choosing for longevity in a pedigree one can increase the average lifespan. It used to not be unusual for our dogs to live a healthy 14 - 16 years with some outliers beyond that. Now the ave is 10 and 13 - 14 are the outliers. Since I started to choose for longevity most of my dogs have lived until 14. BTW the outliers are still there we just need to highlight and honor them. Becky Rogers has had a number of dogs from her old lines live to 15 and beyond. Nemo my dwarf lived to 16.5 highly unusual especially because he was a dwarf who the book says die young. ( thank God he did not read the book) BUT his sire 2x World Sieger Lasso lived to a healthy 15.   So balance the fact that he produced dwarves wh we can now check for carriers  with other benefits that he may have brought such as longevity and consider adding his or similar lines to your mix.

There is enough evidence of a familial component that it is why the research labs look for close relatives of affected to collect bloodwork. Does all this make it any more predictable at this point? Unfortunately not we are still stumbling in the dark but that is why I urge folks to participate in the research with "normals" related and affected. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with your comment re the DM crap and have been saying that for years. One of the reasons I love the Mondiano folks beyond the fact that Mitzi is wonderful, caring and compassionate wh/ speaks well of the primary researcher is they are not JUST looking for a putative marker that they can make boatloads of $$$ from unsuspecting folks. Yes they are looking for markers BUT they are ALSO looking for methods of early detection AND effective treatment.

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