callmestace
I am still confused and lost. My 13 yr old calico was fine and suddenly she wasn't eating or drinking. She tried to leap into her favorite window sill and just barely grabbed the ledge with her front paws. She started stumbling and collapsing after only a few steps, then when her back legs gave out, she started dragging herself around. My heart ached, my spirit crashed, my baby girl tried to do it all. She would drink a little, lap up some pureed tuna with nutritional goop in it. She was trying so hard until the weekend of Memorial day. When I got home, she could barely lift her head and she mewed, soft and ragged. She seemed to be breathing like she had run a marathon. I had to watch her like this for 3 days.
Isn't it odd that so many animals are getting Cancer? I have always used veterinarian recommended flea remedies. My calico had an allergy to fleas. She wore a very strong collar the last year of her life. When I was home with my sick girl, I did what many of you have done. I typed her symptoms into my search engine. Cancer came up, but so did poisoning. My girl never went outside. I don't have poisonous plants or much of anything laying around my house. She started to eat the clumping kitty litter right out of her cat box. That was when I started to watch her closely and took her to the vet. They hydrated her with fluids, sent me off with supplements to jam down her throat and taught me how to jam a needle through her skin to administer subcutaneous fluid. By the end of the Memorial Day weekend i felt like i was a terrible tormentor. My darling girl was frightened of me. It made me physically I'll. I am so baffled as I read every single cancer story. I feel as if it is a vet go to diagnosis. Since my girl was poked and prodded for veins the first trip to the vet, she never walked again on her hind legs. She had a huge hematoma on one leg. She was extremely anemic. But her blood work was fine otherwise? The vet said she suspected bone cancer. She said that she would probably not respond well to even more tests. I have always put tiny amounts of Frontline on my pets for years. I wonder what are the long term effects of these poisons? I just see so many people whose pets have the exact same symptoms and different diagnosis. I don't know, maybe I just feel like i have to be angry at someone or something tangible? Am I the only one that wonders if squirting insecticide on our pets cause Cancer? I mean they tell us humans to go easy on the DEET now. Why would are animals be different?
I am just missing my precious girl, Jessie. Maybe this is just the anger part of grieving? She was my best pal. My daughter picked her out 13 years ago. Now my daughter is a high schooler. I don't remember this home without her in it. From her very first day to her very last she was the most affectionate, friendly kitty I have ever known. Her personality was awesome and she was a silky, soft favorite friend to my whole family.
RIP little darling
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Sooz
I'm so sorry for your loss!  Your darling Jessie looks like there's a bit of spunkiness in her (great photo!), as well as her very sweet side with your daughter!   RIP darling Jessie! 

Cancer is so devastating. The latest **theory** for human cancer is that we have cancer cells forming on a regular basis and our immune system takes care of getting rid of them and putting our bodies back in balance.

There is a preponderance of evidence that a lot of cancers are environmentally related for both humans and animals.
 
I used to do canine cancer research for an on-line non-profit, and learned about what things boosted the immune system, and what treatments or research was on the cutting edge for certain kinds of canine cancers and what the results were.  I was also on the personal end of dealing with a quack holistic vet (Note: not all holistic vets are quacks!) -- I fully expected him to pull out a crystal and dangle it above my rescue collie!  

Here are some things I learned about dogs and cancer--with the caveat that things may have changed, and acknowledging that I don't know much about kitties...

For dogs, there is a direct link between the use of lawn products, including insecticides and such, and a higher incidence of canine bladder cancer.  

There was also a direct link between certain flea shampoos and canine bladder cancer--they apparently worked great, but those products have since been removed from the market because of the increased incidence of specific canine cancer and the use of those flea shampoos.

For flea control, I do a lot of vacuuming, and if these bloodsuckers are on my dogs, I have trained my dogs to let me go through their fur/hair with either a flea comb or my fingers, and I use a q-tip dipped in olive oil and dab that on the flea, then I pull off the flea and stick it in a small bowl that also has olive oil in it... I guess you could use any kind of oil, but it's effective unless there is a huge glut of flea eggs all hatching at once around the neighborhood, then more powerful control is warranted.  

THIS IS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT FOR ANYTHING. I'M JUST SHARING MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCES:
I used to use Capstar as flea control, one pill every 24 hours and it worked well and and I thought it was probably the best of all the options with the least poison in it, but I was still 'dosing my dogs.'  

Then I tried the topical drops (Advantage, Frontline, etc) once a month but they quickly lost effectiveness and I was still 'dosing my dog.'  

In total frustration, I started to use Comfortis very sparingly, at a lower dose than is recommended--for example, if the Comfortis dose was for a dog who weighed 15 lbs, I would either cut that tablet in half and see if it worked (it did), or I'd ask for the tablet dose for dogs that weighed up to 10 lbs and give that to my 15 lb dog (that worked too).  

I read somewhere, years ago, and if I'm misremembering, please correct me, that a product derived from a kind of chrysanthemum (pyrethrum???) was being used as some kind of flea repellent for dogs...but there was toxicity involved.

Household products can also be a problem although the link has not been as strongly established and replicated--nonetheless, I have cut out almost all cleaning products on the market, and I use soap and hot water (or sometimes just hot water and elbow grease) for tile or linoleum/vinyl flooring, and for dusting, a dust mop for floors, and a special cloth for the furniture. Sometimes, I'll use vinegar or isopropyl alcohol, or bleach -- all diluted--and follow up with a water rinsing.  

Another issue that may contribute to issues of cancer or issues of health problems is our pet food.  In the past, I had done extensive research on this as well, as anyone may do because the info is all available online...and I was horrified to find that a lot of food sources used for dog food (wet) and dry kibbles come from animals who have died of diseases (cows, chickens, etc), or pets who have died, including pets who have died of cancer or who have been euthanized (and the drugs used for euthanasia are still present in the rendered remains).  Processing, according to some info, using high heat, is thought to eliminate drugs and cancers and other diseases etc.   I remain skeptical.  

There has been a recent surge in dog food companies touting better food, grain free, free-range, etc... there are also people who believe in raw foods and/or fresh foods for their dogs, as well as folks who feed dehydrated food, as many companies have sprung up offering a different way to think of what we feed our pets.  

Not everyone can afford premium "human grade" dog food, made in a specific facility that meets standards for this.

Feeding scraps isn't good either, and some foods are just not good to give dogs (turkey skin can cause pancreatitis in dogs, onions are toxic, and chocolate can kill a dog, etc -- easy to google this info). Some plants or parts of plants in the yard or garden can also be toxic and deadly, but those aren't man-made like the sprays people use for lawns and gardens.  

I agree with you, and there is anger in me as well, about these poisons that affect our beloved pets as well as affect us, and at the greed that is at the center of spoiling our planet and our water and the rest of nature and the environment, and that this greed might be killing us all.
Heaven is the place where all the dogs you've ever loved come to greet you.
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Tankie12
Sooz! You are a wealth of wonderful information, I’ve used Frontline once and advantage once. Never
lawn treatment since the girls were puppies. And I don’t know where you sit with this but I used, still do for Tankie’s sister, 1% ivomec. Which is what the puppy will get. Callmestace, I’m so sorry you and your daughter had to lose your kitty, in such a heartbreaking way. We suffer with them, every step of the way. I had to give fluids for almost 6 wks, 3 times a day. It was the most painful thing I have ever had to do. Inflicting pain to give them life. It worked in my case. She had such a transformation, almost miraculous, but I died a little, every time I put that needle in. When I was a vet tech, a million years ago, we were starting to see the results of the feline leukemia vaccine. Cancerous growths at the injection site. The vaccine came out with new recommendations for the site at the nape of the neck to be stopped. Extremities were now the site to use. Why? You could remove an extremities if they developed cancer, can’t remove the neck. The flea and tick topicals always tell us to wash our hands throughly and I’m sure they don’t want you to accidentally get it in your eyes, but I’m not comfortable with all of the precautions listed. It is a poison. I’m not comfortable with the flea/tick/heart worm and intestinal parasite combos. I’m sure some of the affects may take many years to be seen but the years we have with our pets is to short to begin with! My dog came down with cancer at 5 yrs of age. Her mother lived on a nursery where she had a lot of exposure to chemicals. The mother died from toxicity when she was 3 yrs old. How much of that was transferred in vitro to my dog? My dog is Tankie. Tankie’s birth sister has had a lot of benign tumors, external and internally. She just had her spleen removed because of growths and one on her gum. So, you have every right to wonder. Again I am so very sorry, take care of you
Lynn, Tankie’s mom, forever
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Sooz
Lynn, you're no slouch yourself about info and your own personal experiences.  

I think this thread that Stacey started, and info about her darling calico-girl, is an important way to get info out there, as Stacey asked some really excellent questions, questions that need answers.   I hope the info posted in thread's replies might help her and others to be less confused when there is a dx of cancer, and to be more aware of the potential of things that may be prone to cause cancer.

There are so many factors in the treatment of canine cancers.  Years ago, maybe it was decades ago, Dr. Jim Flanders, DVM out at Cornell, surgically resected a male dog (Scruffy Murphy) who had transitional cell carcinoma (bladder cancer) in the trigone region, and Jim effectively removed the entire tumor and surrounds... the owner eventually had to say goodbye, but not because of the bladder cancer -- which usually, eventually, seeds itself and spreads.  

Out of that came Carol's Cancer Program, which was designed to boost a dog's immune system and really did have good results per testimonials.  My own personal experience was that my Gobby-Girl, who had TCC, lived eleven months after diagnosis, with excellent quality of life and in good health (except for having cancer that would eventually cause her to fail quickly), while research at that time indicated dogs who were given chemo and-or radiation etc lived an average of 4 to 6 months.  Dr. Deborah Knapp (I think she's still at Purdue) continues to be at the forefront in research of transitional cell carcinoma of the canine bladder, and is considered the top researcher in the country for this. 

Dr. Bill Dernell, DVM, who used to be at Ft. Collins Vet Hospital in 2000 and 2001, was one of the vets instrumental in an OPLA Pt. implant for dogs with canine nasal adenocarcinoma--at the time (many years ago), it was the best possible chance, and considered the gold standard at the time, to give dogs the best chance of beating this.  An 11 year old sable Pomeranian named Teperman was the first dog to survive canine nasal adenocarcinoma with this treatment.  Teperman crossed the bridge years after the OPLA-Pt treatment, from aging I believe.  I don't know if there are better treatments for TCC and for nasal adenocarcinoma because I don't do too much research these days like I did in the past years. 

One concern about cancers and tumors is the recent ads on TV for the use of Apoquel to "quell" itching.  After giving this medication, you're supposed to wash your hands thoroughly!  It's touted as the latest-greatest but dogs who take this steadily will eventually end up with cancer and cancerous tumors.  Google it and read the research!  

Every once in a while, my boy would have the itchies and hot spots.  Our vet suggested this medication and said we might want to try it at the lowest dose possible, for a limited time period. I took the meds home and hit the internet for research.

I appreciated that she is so aware of how I am with my dogs and their medications etc.  I hit the 'net and googled everything I could find on it, and discovered more than a few research papers on it, and the eventual side effects after dosing a dog for a couple of years or less.  After doing my research, I talked with the vet and said I was not going to use it, especially since there was NO RESEARCH AT ALL done with senior dogs... plus the fact that so many dogs developed cancer and tumors. I have the research papers somewhere. 

Vaccines and site-tumors are also of concern--please reference Lynn's info above.   For me, I run titers on my dogs and try to avoid them.

(((((Stacey))))) Thank you for this post about cancer.  I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful girl. Peace to all of us.
Heaven is the place where all the dogs you've ever loved come to greet you.
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callmestace
Thank you all! It is so nice to hear from others who share my concerns. The information has been very helpful. It's been hard to sleep, so I look forward to hearing from folks on this site. It helps me do something other than cry. ❤
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Tankie12
Sooz, Tankie was in remission just over 5yrs post chemo. This is almost unheard of. The Vet who was treating her ARF had interned with a Vet in Gainesville Fl., she was the #1 Veterinary Oncologist in Fl as of 3 yrs ago. She had 1 patient who survived 6yrs. He personally had never seen one survive longer than 18months. Tankie was exceptional but she also had age on her side and a very strong survival drive. He told me research on people post mortum show long term damage to vital organs. But because the survival rate and remission time was not exceptional for animals post mortums were not researched. He referenced the possibility that her kidneys may have been weakened by chemo. Her heart also, she died of a heart attack. When people can, financially, I will always say go for it because you never know. I had a wonderful 5 yrs with my miracle baby
Lynn, Tankie’s mom, forever
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Tankie12
callmestace wrote:
Thank you all! It is so nice to hear from others who share my concerns. The information has been very helpful. It's been hard to sleep, so I look forward to hearing from folks on this site. It helps me do something other than cry. ❤
. YOU brought up something that could benefit others, in the future. I’m glad you did, if you hadn’t opened the door I would have never spoke up because I never want someone here to begin to feel they did something wrong when the pain is already more than catastrophic. But knowledge, future reference and awareness is always needed because we are truly at the mercy of many health professionals. Most are angels💛 and everyone here has done all they could to help their babies. The love written in between the lines of written words as tears spill over is testimony to how ‘epic’ (Denise) our love and loss is, may we all have dreams of our babies, sweet dreams
Lynn, Tankie’s mom, forever
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