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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Grade III Mast Cell Tumor
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Member Since:
14 January 2010
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15 January 2010 - 5:28 am
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My dog was diagnosed with a grade III Mast Cell tumor in his left hock. Removing the entire growth was impossible so he is scheduled for amputation on friday. We ran a buffy coat profile which came up clean, and we are planning on doing about 9 months of Pred after his surgery along with a supplement called Procel which I have heard great thing about from people who have been in similar types of situations. Just wondering if this is a good protocol? Any suggestions as to what we could add? Diet suggestions? I am looking for just about anything that I can do for him.

Member Since:
22 August 2008
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15 January 2010 - 8:02 am
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Have you consulted with an oncologist?  Amputation is indicated but I would also do an abdominal ultrasound pre-op with fine needle aspirates of the liver and spleen since Grade III MCT often mets here.  It is also a good idea to give Benadryl prior to surgery.  There are many protocols to follow post-op for Grade III tumors and most involve chemo (CCNU or vinblastine) as well as the new drug Palladia.  Pred is an okay option if you can't afford the above but the results with pred alone will not be as good.


Member Since:
14 January 2010
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15 January 2010 - 8:50 am
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Thank you so much for replying - If his buffy coat came up clean would you still recommend the ultra sound? I'm kind of limited on funds and the amputation is putting me just about to my limit. What about sending in the lymphnode on the amputated leg, is that necessary?

15 January 2010 - 8:56 am
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I am sorry to hear about Mel.  I just wanted to tell you that my dog Zoe also is fighting the same type of cancer.  Her tumor started in her front forearm, it was too large to get all of it, she had her amputation in August.  Zoe was started on Prednisone with CCNU, they tapered her off the Prednisone, now she is just on CCNU 1 dose every 3 weeks.  It is an oral capsule so it makes it easy to give, the main side effect is the low blood counts about a week after her dose.  My understanding, and I am not a vet, is most start with either CCNU or Vinblastine, these are traditional chemos and then if there is no response to that, the next step is the newer drugs Palladia or Masivet.  I am not familiar with the supplement Procel, but am interested in finding out more info on it.  As far as diets go, I have changed Zoe to a lower carb, grain free diet.  Zoe has also taken Benadryl and Pepcid since her diagnosis to counteract the effects of mast cell degranulation.  

I can remember how hard it was when Zoe was diagnosed and having to make the decision to amputate,  this is a great website for information and support, please keep us posted. 

Karin and Zoe

15 January 2010 - 9:04 am
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Hi again Mel's Mom,

I just posted a reply to your other question in Mag's blog.  In addition to Pam's recomendation we have kept a close eye on the lymph system.  After Mag's amp the mets were found in the lymph node removed with the leg.

Mag did two types of chemo, CCNU and lomustine (I think that is right, I am at work and doing this from memory).  In addition she was on pred and benadryl.  In fact for every tumor we have found on both my pugs (7 total to date) they were on benadryl for some amount of time before and after the tumors were removed.

I have also had her on a grain free diet which I found out is good for cancer dogs.  We started on it because my other pug Tani has IBD and does well on the diet.

To help with her joints I have her on glucosimine/chondrotin (sp?), because she is 3 legged and now almost 11 years old.

Several others here have posted about supplements, and you can find more information in the Eating Healthy Forum and the Tripawds Nutrition Blog .

Karen and the pug girls

Member Since:
14 January 2010
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15 January 2010 - 9:17 am
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Thank you for all of your help. My Mel is only about 5 years old so I am willing to do pretty much anything at this point. Here is a link to some info on protocel http://alternat.....otocel.htm The lady who runs the rescue i volunteer for HIGHLY recommended that I try it. There was a lab in our system who was diagnosed with an inoperable Grade III Mast cell tumor. The vet gave him a few months to live, he has been on protocel and hes still around 2 years later. She has also seen it work on a few other similar cases. It does not effect any other treatments that I'm aware of, but i think it is definitely worth looking into.

Member Since:
16 February 2008
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15 January 2010 - 10:50 am
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Hi Mel's mom,

I am not a vet, but I do recall there were quite some discussions on Neoplasene.  Here is the link to one of the related topics. Or better yet, do a search/tag on the word "Neoplasene".

Perhaps look up "Artemisinin " in the forums as well.


Member Since:
22 December 2009
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15 January 2010 - 11:37 am
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Hi, Mel's Mom …

Sorry you are having to go through this, but you have found a great source of information and support here. I know it helped us just knowing we are not alone.

Concerning your lymph node question … Harley had bloodwork, ultrasounds, & xrays done before amputation, which showed no visible spread of the cancer. His lymph node was examined after the amputation, which showed the cancer had spread microscopically to it … so, I’m glad we found that out.

Harley has a different type of cancer (Histiocytic Sarcoma), but here’s our plan of attack … he receives Lomustine (which is the same as CCNU, I believe?) chemotherapy every 3 weeks. He gets a joint supplement (Dasuquin with MSM, which he's taken for years), and we switched his food to a mixture of kibble (EVO, which is grain free ) and canned (Hill’s prescription n/d, which is for dogs with cancer). Otherwise, we don’t do anything else, but that is just our decision to keep his life as normal as possible for whatever time we have; everyone’s choice is different due to lifestyle, money, etc …

Oh, we also moved our mattress to the floor so he can easily get in and out of the bed (yes, he’s a big baby and now sleeps with us. He, also, is allowed on the couch whenever he wants, which didn’t used to happen.).

Best of luck!!

-Gwen and Harley

Amputation on 11/10/09, due to Histiocytic Sarcoma in left elbow. Angel Harley earned his wings on 06/24/10.

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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15 January 2010 - 11:53 am
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melsmom said:

...we are planning on doing about 9 months of Pred after his surgery along with a supplement called Procel

Diet suggestions?

Please consider posting whatever information you may have about Procel. we haven't heard about that one and would love to share more detils with the community.

Also, be sure to search the forums for diet info and review the links we have consolidated on the Tripawds Nutrition Blog Diet page.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
14 January 2010
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On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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15 January 2010 - 12:28 pm
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melsmom said:

Info on Protocel ...

Thanks for the links! If you care to write a brief article about protocel and why you chose the treatment, we would love to share it with everyone in the Tripawds Nutrition blog . You can submit it here if you like. Thanks again!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
22 August 2008
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15 January 2010 - 12:53 pm
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If you can't afford the ultrasound then it is okay to proceed with amputation as long as you realize that the cancer could already be elsewhere.  Unfortunately a negative buffy coat smear does not rule out cancer of other organs.  It is nice to check the lymph node since that might determine chemo plans but once again it is not necessary if money is tight.

I have not heard of Protocel either so I will have to check out the links later.


15 January 2010 - 4:17 pm
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Hi again,

I am now home and looking at Maggie's records.  The earlier post is correct, lomustine and CCNU are the same.  The second chemo that Maggie had was Vinblastine, I think also mentioned earlier.  She had a chemo treatment every other week, and the drugs were alternated.  It was about a 6 month treatment, we had to postpone a couple of treatments because her WBC count was too low.

And as Zoe's mom mentioned Maggie was also on Pepcid before the amp and stayed on it until the sutures were removed.

Her tumor was original called a grade II prior to surgery and the prognosis was good.  I guess partly based on all the preliminary testing that showed no signs of mets anywhere.  It was after the surgery that her prognosis was down graded due to the amount of cancerous mast cells in the lymph node removed with the leg.  I don't find anywhere in my notes that the grade of the tumor was changed. 

I'm not sure that matters though- based on my reading a grade II can act like a I or a III- Pam correct me if I am wrong.


Member Since:
20 May 2009
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15 January 2010 - 4:54 pm
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I'm sorry to hear about Mel's  diagnosis. I don't know anything about a Mast Cell Tumor but I wanted to add my support.  I will pray for you and Mel!

Debra & Angel Emily

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

Wesley Chapel, FL
Member Since:
13 September 2009
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15 January 2010 - 5:40 pm
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Please be very careful of what you read on the internet. Absolutely anyone can create a website and post any kind of information. The following information was taken from the National Cancer Institute's website. Please read... and please beware!

If an anecdotal treatment is not expensive, and doesn't do any additional harm to the patient... then by all means, go ahead and try it if you feel you must. But if it is costing you an arm and a leg (no pun intended), and has not been scientifically proven... please be careful.

There are alot of folks out there that prey on cancer patients and their wallets. I see this all the time in our own human cancer patients...  We use traditional as well as complimentary therapies... but only those that have been scientifically proven. I work in a human cancer center... (my area of research is angiogenesis and brain tumors).

Angel Jake's Mom


- posted from http://www.canc.....fessional/

The principal manufacturers of Cancell/Cantron/Protocel have stated that the mixture has been used by thousands of patients and that it is safe and effective in treating 50% to 80% of cancers. The degree of effectiveness is said to vary with the type of malignancy. These findings, however, have not been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and only testimonials and anecdotal reports have been provided. No clinical trials of Cancell/Cantron/Protocel have been reported.

To qualify for a level of evidence analysis, a study must:

  • Be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
  • Report on a therapeutic outcome or outcomes, such as tumor response, improvement in survival, or measured improvement in quality of life.
  • Describe clinical findings in sufficient detail that a meaningful evaluation can be made.

No levels of evidence analysis could be performed for Cancell/Cantron/Protocel because no study of its use in humans has been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Based on the manufacturer's recommended doses of a marketed brand of Cancell/Cantron/Protocel it has been calculated that under idealized conditions of absolutely no loss of the constituents after administration to a patient (i.e., 100% bioavailability, meaning no loss due to degradation, absorption in the body, or rapid excretion—an unlikely situation), the maximum concentration that could be achieved in the plasma of an average 154-lb male is 29 μg/mL (antilog of 1.46). Thus, under these highly idealized conditions Cancell/Cantron/Protocel may exhibit some mild inhibitory effect on the growth of some cancer cells, but it would not be expected to inhibit their growth completely or to kill them. There is little evidence that any of the constituents of Cancell/Cantron/Protocel would be available in the bloodstream of a patient.

Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… ….. CANCER SUCKS!

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