Saturday, September 26, 2009

Breeds predisposed to cancer

Below is a list of breeds that are most suscepible to certain types of cancer. Please do not choose your dog based on this list, but use this list as a tool for early diagnosis.

Please remember that all dogs face the threat of cancer not just those listed below.

Breed Most Susceptible to Type of Cancer :

Bernese Mountain Dog - Histiocytic sarcoma (soft tissues)
Boxer - Lymphoma, Brain cancer
Cocker Spaniel - Lymphoma
Golden Retriever - Lymphoma, Hemangiosarcoma (blood vessels/spleen)
Labrador Retriever - Lymphoma, Hemangiosarcoma (blood vessels/spleen)
English Springer Spaniel - Mammary gland
Pug - Mast Cell
Shar-pei - Mast Cell
Greyhound - Osteosarcoma
Rottweiler - Osteosarcoma
Any large or giant breed - Osteosarcoma
Collie - Nasal Cancer
Scottish Terrier - Transitional cell carcinoma (bladder), Melanoma (skin/mouth)
Chow Chow - Stomach Cancer
Flat-coated Retriever - Transitional cell carcinoma (bladder), Melanoma (skin/mouth)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Don't forget the sunblock!

Below are some great sites for sun protection for pooches!

Tips on selecting a sun protection product for your dog:

1. The sunscreen should have an SPF of 15 or higher.

2. Find a sunscreen of a thinner consistency as it will be easier to apply to your dog’s coat.

3. Get a waterproof sunscreen as this will help it stay on your dog for longer, therefore increasing its effectiveness.

4. Avoid ones that have PABA or zinc oxide which can be toxic to dogs.

If your dog does get burned, there are a couple of things you can do to ease the discomfort. These include:

1. Hosing your dog down with cool water
2. Getting him out of the sun
3. Mixing two parts cool water with one part witch hazel and then gently applying the mixture to his coat
4. Give him a cool bath with baking soda in the water
5. Apply Aloe Vera gel

An article from Associated Content

When warm weather arrives, our four legged friends can get hot and thirsty quickly, particularly when playing in the backyard in direct sunlight. One aspect of summer you may not have considered is sun protection for dogs. Like people, our canine buddies can suffer from the not so healthy effects of the sun including painful sunburns and even the development of sun related skin cancers. If you've never considered the idea of protecting your dog against the direct rays of the sun, you may want to reconsider since a severe dog sunburn can lead to skin ulcerations in dogs as well as autoimmune skin conditions that can be extremely uncomfortable for your pet. Certain breeds are particularly susceptible to developing dog sunburn and skin damage. These include light colored dogs with short hair such as the Boxer, the Chinese crested dog, Dalmation, the Weineramer, Greyhound and Pitbull. These breeds of dog need definite sun protection if they'll be spending any significant amount of time outdoors in direct sunlight. If you have a longer haired dog that's usually given a short summer haircut, he'll also need protection from the hot rays of the sun. It's particularly important to protect dog breeds susceptible to sunburn since they also have a higher rate of skin cancer. The most common areas for dog sunburn to occur is around the edges of the nose, as well as the groin and abdominal area. When a dog walks on a hot sidewalk, his underside is subject to reflected light that bounces off the sidewalk which can result in a sunburn to the underbelly region.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

National Canine Cancer Foundation

To my fellow facebook users, please check out and support the National Canine Cancer Foundation.

This week they are featuring a memorial for Dozer!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's not over yet...

I plan to keep this blog alive so please check back often. I will be posting cancer related information that I think might be helpful. Thanks.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

If I could go back and change things I would....

Yes, there are things I would have changed about how we dealt with Dozer's cancer. I have regrets...hindsight is a hard thing to deal with sometimes. I could scream at myself for not being more pro-active. I know better. I tell people all the time that you can't just rely on doctors. You have to research the illness yourself. Don't just wholeheartedly believe everything a doctor tells you. I did that initially. I researched canine cancer, hemangiosarcoma and the treatment options. That's how I found the Neoplasene and decided to take that course rather than amputation and chemotherapy. But then I just let Dozer's fate lie with the doctors. I did seek a second opinion from my vet who referred us to another holistic vet for a second opinion, but I should have done more. I should have asked for follow up x-rays and ultrasounds. I was told again and again that the cancer was aggressive, but localized and that it wouldn't spread and I just focused on his leg. Actually, I was researching prosthetics that very week as I had decided on amputation after all. I didn't think he would do well on three legs, but I did think a prosthetic limb would work quite well for him. Honestly, I think he would have looked cute. He was such a beautiful boy. Anyway, I don't know if the cancer spread or if it was there and the initially scans missed it or if it was something new, but I do know that had I repeated the scan on regular intervals we would have caught it sooner and may still have him with us today. So, my advice...Be pro-active with these diseases! Research again and again. And give your dog a big squeeze and tell him/her how much you love them! I would give anything to wrap my arms around Dozer right now...

Friday, January 9, 2009

I lost one of the greatest loves of my life today.

This is so hard to write as Dozer lost his battle with Hemangiosarcoma today. I love him and miss him more than words can describe. My life will not be same without him. He was an amazing dog. Actually the most incredible dog I've ever known. He was special. He gave us so much and helped to change the views of so many regarding what a Pit Bull is really like. He left his mark on so many and will forever be in our hearts.

I would have done anything to keep him in my life, but it was clear that my poor little man was just too sick. Radiographs showed that he had a mass on/in his spleen that has ruptured. He was bleeding internally. He was vomiting and screamed in pain when trying to have a bowel movement. His stool was bloody. He couldn't walk, could barely lift his head and had a vacant look in his eyes. For the first time in his life he refused food. Although he did manage to give me one last kiss that I will cherish forever.

Our vet refused to perform surgery to remove his spleen as she didn't think he would survive the procedure. If he had she didn't think he would make it to have his stitches removed. We didn't know what to do; bring him home or euthanize him. We asked him what he wanted and just when we were about to take him home with us he began vomiting and throwing himself backwards. It was clear what we had to do. And it was the most difficult and heart wrenching decision I've ever made. I would have done anything to save him and keep him with me, but sadly I was out of options.

Attached is my new favorite picture of Dozer. That photo shoot for the Pinups for Pitbulls calendar was one of my fondest memories and thinking of how he tried to eat the props brings a smile to my face. Thank you Pinups for Pitbulls for allowing Dozer and myself the opportunity to be part of your organization and family. I love you all!

Dozer, Mommy loves you and will miss you always! You are and always will be my best dog! Rescuing you was one of the best moments of my life. And I cherish having shared the last 7 years with you. I lost a piece of my heart today when I said goodbye to you. I've never felt such heartache, sorrow and emptiness. Goodbye my sweet Dozer (aka PoePoe, Chewy & Doughboy)! I love you! xoxo <3<3<3>

Bad news...

Well, there's a mass on his spleen and his spleen is bleeding. The prognosis is bad, obviously. About a 1 month or two for a dog that isn't already battling cancer. For Dozer, much less. The vet said he could do surgery to remove the spleen, but he could die during sugery. We're going to wait and bring him home and call our vet in a couple hours when they open. I really don't know what to do...

I just want to see him and hug him and tell him how much I love him.

I'm scared to death right now.

I woke up this morning around 2:30 to find Dozer laying on the floor. Not normal. I reached down to pet him and his feet and face were cold. He was also breathing heavy, but slow. I woke up my husband and we checked his color. He was pale. I tried to offer him a cookie, but he wasn't interested. Dozer has never refused food in all the years he's been with us. He was also lethargic. We got him to get up to take a drink, but afterwards he collapsed on the floor next to the bowl and wouldn't get back up. My husband is with him now at the Emergency Clinic. They are doing bloodwork, x-rays and starting an IV. The vet is thinking the cancer may have spread to his spleen. I'm heartbroken right now. I want to be there with him, but we didn't want to make the kids get up and go out in the cold. I hate this. I'm so scared that he's not going to be with us much longer and I don't want to imagine life without him. I can't...

Please Dozer, get better. I love you, so much! You are and always will be the best dog I've ever known.