Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
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I seem to have only recently, mid-August, devoted a bit of time trying to get my head around the possible future treatment options if or when chemo was over and mets appeared. Sadly I had to re-read that thread (and other similar ones) sooner than I expected! Well, it did prove useful – thanks to you all.
Today's topic is Artemisinin , one that Pam has mentioned long before Tazzie2 and I knew about canine OSA. I can't find a thread devoted specifically to it, or one that gives doses and drugs that some of you tripawds are using.
From a bit of websurfing, I did learn that there is unresolved debate about the best form of the herb (there are 2-3 derivatives) and dosage. I found a short web-article that tried to synthesize the literature. But since most people use Artemisinin in addition to other treatments (chemo, metronomics , holistic, this and that), it is difficult to say exactly what is the best form to administer and whether it works. In any case, it sure seems promising enough to give it the ole tripawd try. Most or all of the work applying Artemisinin (a drug used to treat Malaria) to cancer comes out of Pam's neck of the woods, from two researchers in Seattle.
In case anyone else is starting to look into this, here are a few short web-articles or posts on the topic that I found useful:
If anyone else has a dog on Artemisinin , I'd be happy to hear the specifics of how you administer it.
1. Did you give iron as a supplement when you started on Artemisinin (which seems recommended). I am assuming it is safe to give a dog supplementary iron and perhaps not a bad idea, given my Tazzie is slightly anemic.
2. Do you cycle the Artemisinin , e.g., two weeks on and one week off?
3. Do you avoid giving it within 2-3 hrs of food that is high in iron? (I know this sounds contradictory to the point implied by my first question, so am going to re-read some of the material to resolve this).
4. What dose do you use? (For lack of a prescription, and because it seems to fall into the range of what is standard, I might just try 100 mg twice a day for two weeks on, then one week off. Tazzie currently weighs in at 74 lb. But perhaps that dose is a bit high.
Tazzie2 and Susan
29 July 2009
This is exactly what I've been searching for for over a month now….I certainly hope that someone has more information about it. It's been hard to find information and a specialist or holistic vet who uses it enough. Since (from what I've gathered), it's not dosed like a normal supplement in terms of not giving it with certain foods and it interacting with antioxidants I'm nervous about just starting Mac on it even though time is running short. I may do what you do and just start him on 100mg. If I do I'll certainly keep you posted on the results and/or side effects.
I will re-read the information I obtained and get back to you, probably tomorrow. I think they did suggest staying off antioxidants. Overall it seems a pretty safe herb, and potentially quite useful. However, it is surprising more work is not being done with it IF it is truly as useful as a few researchers think.
There are no definite guidelines for doses at this point, at least that is what the reading and articles I posted suggested. I'm sure Pam will weigh in with good information here. And I'll just go buy “Artemisinin ” rather than worry about the different forms (or derivatives) of the herb.
I hope I spelled it right, given I posted under that topic. Forgot to check.
Gotta run, Ciao
Tazzie2 & Susan
I researched this extensively prior to starting my Tazzie on it. Dr Cuoto from OSU recommended 200-300 mg daily for my dog (185#). I received a longer post from Dr Singh of Seattle that I think that Jerry has archived on the site somewhere. I do not have time to retype it now because my Dad is in town and we are about to go out but I will have more time later to repeat it if needed.
You do not need to supplement iron but you do need to give it away from any iron-containing foods so I give it to Tazzie at night with cheese. She took it daily for 8 weeks and now takes it 4 times/week. She is on 2 forms which I buy from 2 websites.
More to follow….
Pam and Tazzie
I found some of the archived material Pam mentioned, from about one year ago, and will post the links here. I have not examined it closely yet, but it seems to give the doses recommended by the Artemisinin researchers – as best as one can for clearly different people have different ideas about what is best – and used by a few tripawd dogs like Pam's Tazzie. This should help you get going JackiMac. It also addresses the antioxidant question that I think Jacki mentioned.
Here is a quick summary of Dr Sing's recommendations for artemisinin therapy. He prefers to use multiple forms of the herb (artemisinin , artesunate, and artemether). A company called Wellcare (www.hepalin.com) has a product called Artemix that has all three. The dose is calculated based on artemether content since the other two forms are safer so can be overdosed without issue. His dose is 0.5 mg per pound per day. So Tazzie weighs about 180# and gets 80 mg of artemether daily. I actually found pure artemisinin much cheaper on the Holley Pharmaceuticals website (1 buy ArteMin 100) if you buy 2 bottles you get 1 free. They also sell a product called Butyrex (butyrate) that helps the absorption of the artemisinin making it more effective. Dr Singh recommended 2-8 capsules daily for Tazzie. He told me to treat her once daily for 8 weeks and then reduce to every other day (prevention mode since she has no mets).
So I buy Hepamether 40 mg from Wellcare (contains only artemether) and give 2 capsules. She also gets 3 capsules of ArteMin (100 mg each) and 2 Butyrex capsules. Instead of trying to remember which day I gave it (every other day) I actually do Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun so she gets it 4 times weekly. Dr Singh said to mix it with milk or cottage cheese at night at least 3-4 hours after eating for best absorption. Tazzie did not like that so I use cubes of Velveeta cheese. Remember you can not give it with foods containing iron such as meat products and dairy seems to work best.
He also suggested Vitamin C (500 mg) and Vitamin E (400 IU) in the morning with breakfast. In his opinion iron capsules are not necessary and may be harmful.
I think that if your pet has mets I would just continue with daily treatments after 8 weeks and re-evaluate monthly to see if it is helping. It is probably easiest for most people to use the combo product (Artemix) but due to Tazzie's size I am always trying to save money and buying different products from different websites has really helped cut costs. Tazzie is not getting any artenusate since that was the weakest and least effective form of the herb.
Any dog that weighs 100# or less can probably take half of Tazzie's dose and be okay. Dogs over 100# may need to take just 40 mg of artemether but increase the artemisinin to 200-300 mg total. I have heard of many people using Artemix and then supplementing additional artemisinin since it is so safe.
There are some days that I work late so Tazzie gets it 2 hours after eating, or I may skip it once or twice depending on our schedules but for the most part she has been taking it as described since January 2009. I am afraid to stop it because she is doing so well but at some point I might try to contact Dr Singh or Dr Cuoto (from Ohio State) to see how long I should continue.
I know this is a confusing topic so if you are unsure about how to dose it or where to order it just let me know.
Pam and Tazzie
I just ordered 'the stuff', in sizes half of what you ordered (50 vs. 100) but from the same two websites, and may check doses with you and my oncologist after it arrives.
I hope it gets across the border. They have a few warnings about checking customs regulations for different countries. It sounds like it will take some time before it gets here. That is probably okay, since we probably should wait until the lump is removed anyway.
Susan & Tazzie 2 (who is mighty energetic today!)
25 April 2007
Hi guys, I hope you don't mind but we moved this topic to “Eating Healthy,” since Arte is a supplment.
Thanks so much for the complete details Pam, we so much appreciate that. Not having firsthand experience with Arte ourselves, it's so helpful to get the experiences of others posted here.
Also, Tazzie, there's a Yahoo Group devoted to Artemisinin you might want to check out.
Keep up the energy, Tazzie2! Yay!
Hey we are banking on Artemisinin being The Great Cure we are seeking! But we'll let you know how it turns out, and even if it arrives in Canada . . .
An entire chat group on the subject. Holy Canine!
I am sitting here with “the stuff” (artemix, artemisinin and butyrex) and would like to check dosages. I found the thread when you first obtained dosages from people, but have a couple of questions. Tazzie is currently 33.5 kg, or 74 lbs, well maybe 75.
1. Following your instructions, 0.5 mg/lb of artemether, I will give him 1 capsule of artemix in the evenings: the capsule has 50 mg artesunate, 40 mg artemether and 50 artemisinin .
2. I think I will also give one capsule Artemisinin (artemin 50 mg).
3. I got your advice on when to give it relative to food and Cytoxan (e.g., at night, not when he consumes iron, and will assume that the Cytoxan will be given in the morning).
1. I thought Artemisinin was the raw form of the herb that contains all the derivatives, including artemether. So am I overdoing the artemether by giving the Artemin? Or are the three forms distinct?
2. I see you looked into pulsing the herb to avoid the buildup of immunity (2 weeks on, one off) but ended up giving it daily for 8 weeks. Why didn't you pulse it?
3. How much Butyrex do you recommend? My capsules contain “600 mg butyric acid as calcium/ magn butyrates”. But the serving size listed on the container gives a whopping 6 capsules! I am thinking more like 1 per day.
4. I expect we will finally get Tazzie on metronomics this week, hopefully by Wed or Thurs (Cytoxan or Leukeran). The delay since finding the met almost 4 weeks ago is driving me NUTS. I have a hunch that ugly things are happening in that there dawg's abdomen. Do you think I should wait to put him on metronomics and then start the Artemisinin about one week later?
I could start the Artemesinin now, then add in the metronomics (which would drive the oncologists nuts – I don't currently have an actively involved oncologist but Maximutt has KINDLY been helping me out there so that might change tomorrow. I know his oncologist was not keen on the idea of Artemisinin ), so I probably shouldn't start up the Artemisinin first. At this point, it kind of sounds like our main hope is for an “unproven” drug like Artemisinin to work.
Susan & T2
p.s. I changed my yahoo account for the Artemisinin group, from tazziepup 7 yrs ago during his renal failure, to TazzieMutt to reduce confusion. Tried MuttLover first but that was already taken.
I think that you are right on concerning the amount of drug to give Tazzie. 1 Artemix, 1 artemisinin , and 1 Butyrex. It is okay to supplement extra artemisinin since it is safe. I initially had my Tazzie on 200 mg artemisnin daily but I upped it to 300 mg when she was unable to continue the Cytoxan. The reason why I did the daily for 8 weeks and then went to every other day instead of pulse therapy is because Dr Cuoto recommended daily for life and Dr Singh also said daily to every other day. These guys are the primary researchers on the herb so I took their advice.
Pam and Tazzie
Thanks for the dosing info. I will wait – but not very patiently!!
My vet just called. No one here (they spoke to someone in Toronto) seems willing to compound Cytoxan. So she is thinking of giving him a 25 mg pill of Cytoxan every other day. We are going to continue metacam but will monitor kidney values closely.
How long did you have your Tazzie on Cytoxan before you noticed side effects due to the bladder problems?
My Tazzie had Cytoxan for about 6 weeks and then I found the infection on a routine culture. Because she has had bladder problems before I had cultured her prior to starting and then every 1-2 weeks after. She never had any symptoms or bleeding but I stopped the drug because the bacteria that we grew (Pseudomonas) can be very nasty and took 6 weeks of antibiotics to eradicate.
Because your Tazzie is a boy he is much less likely to have an issue. You should contact Tika's mom to see if she still has my Tazzie's Cytoxan. They are 25 mg tablets but Tika couldn't use them either because of bladder or kidney problems.
Pam and Tazzie
13 September 2009
Pam and Tazzie,
Can the artemisinin be given if we're not doing chemo, or is it just in addition to chemo? There is no way that we can afford any chemo or radiation for Jake… Just barely were able to pay for the biopsy and amputation surgery and meds… and we are so broke and behind in everything else now.
But I want to do whatever else I can to keep that horrible cancer at bay… I've read that artemisinin has antiangiogenic properties. Is that correct? Jake is now 80 pounds so what dosages and dosing schedules should he take? Any other supplements I should add?
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… http://jakesjou.....ipawds.com ….. CANCER SUCKS!