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Osteosarcoma treatment w/ Aredia
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Member Since:
2 April 2012
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3 April 2012 - 10:51 am
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Hello,

I posted yesterday about my great dane, Sophie, and it was suggested that I post under the topic of 'Aredia' so I can give everyone the details as my wife and I take this journey with Sophie.  Sophie was diagonosed with osteosarcoma this past Saturday.  It was devastating for us since we lost another dane, Daisy, to lymphoma two years ago.  We currently have two other dogs (a terrier named Buck and another dane, Josie) and two cats.  Sophie is seven, which it getting up there in age for a dane, but she is so full of energy and spunk, that you'd never know it.  The cancer has not yet slowed her down with the exception of her limp.  Her appetitie is good and is her temperment.  After much thought and research, my wife and I have decided against chemo and amputation.  Our previous dane, Daisy, sturggled with chemo and we just don't think Sophie would do well in our house and yard as a tripawd.  I have switched her to a diet that consists of the Budwig formula of cottage cheese/flax seed.  I'm weaning her off of dry food and substituting brown rice, boiled chicken, green veggies and shitaki mushrooms all soaked in chicken broth (she loves this!).  I have her on a multi-vitamin, tumeric, and beta-glucan.  We are heading to Memphis on Thursday (4/5) to speak with the canine oncologist who helped us with Daisy and she mentioned that she has had great success using Aredia.  So will keep everyone posted as to Sophie's progress.  Thank you ahead of time for you kind thoughts and support! 

On The Road


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3 April 2012 - 2:36 pm
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Oh terrific, so glad to see you posting here. I would love to learn more about Aredia, so any info you find and care to share, we would be most appreciative.

Sounds like you have a great diet for her, what a lucky girl! The book, The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, has some fantastic anti-cancer foods and recipes you can follow too.

I hope the appointment goes well this week, please keep us posted OK?

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Las Vegas, Nevada
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3 April 2012 - 2:39 pm
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I'm so sorry you find yourself with us.  It's such an emotional diagnosis.

As I'm sure your vet has said, bone cancer is the most excruciating pain any living being can have.  It's intolerable in humans who can talk and say how painful it is. And in addition, the bone will become more fragile and any pressure can cause a bad break break which forces you to make a fast decision.  This is why we are advocates of amputation for bone cancer. Dog do suffer without out. The amputation is to remove the pain, not eliminate cancer.  Any dog that is limping is already 3 legged except they are living in pain.

Just remember that you don't have to do chemo if you do the amputation.  We have seen many, many dogs here not do chemo after the amputation and live just as long. And in some cases, longer.

It would be interesting to hear what kind of success the oncologist has had with the Aredia.  We haven't seen anyone here have any luck with bisphosphonates (or at least I haven't in 2 odd years).  Maybe someone else can chime in about it.

Again, I'm very sorry.  Sending lots of good wishes to Sophie.

  

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

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5 April 2012 - 4:58 pm
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Just got back from the vet, and here is what 'went down'.  By the way, if any of you are in the Memphis area, you might want to see Dr. Kathy Mitchener at Angel Care Animal Clinic.  She specializes in canine oncology and she helped give our other dane, Daisy, two additional years after she was diagnosed with lymphoma.

1)  We started Sophie on Aredia today.  Dr. Mitchener has had great success with Aredia as a weapon to help ease the pain of the osteosarcoma.  She definitely agreed that Sophie is not a candidate for amputation as she is too big at 180 and getting up in years for a dane.  I'm going to get Sophie to drop about 10 pounds, which she can definitely afford to lose, and this should help somewhat. I will go back on the 23rd for a second round and then as needed. 

2) We are also going to use acupuncture as a way of helping Sophie deal with the pain and inflammation.  

3) As far as prescription meds go, the good doctor prescribed Sophie meloxicam (7.5mg/once a day) to help with the pain and infllammation.  Once it's determined that Sophie is responding to this therapy, low doses of cytoxan or 'other disease stabilizing' therapy will be added.

4) On the homeopathetic end, the following has been added to Sophie's daily diet:  curcumin (can relieve joint pain and act as an anti-oxidant); fish oil with high levels of omega-3s (she said the Budwig diet will not help since dogs cannot process the high levels of omega-6s found in flax seed oil), one daily multi-vitamin.  I've added shark cartilage and beta-glucan on my own and she said there is anecdotal evidence that these can be beneficial.

5) At home physical therapy:  ice pack on tumor 2x day and massage feet and muscles daily to help with circulation.

6) Diet:  small scoop of grain-free Innova (dry), 1/2 boiled chicken breast, 1/4 cup cottage cheese, 1/4 cup brown rice with brocolli, peas, shittaki mushrooms or other green veggies thrown in.

7) Everything today came to about $600.  That included the consultation, Aredia, accupuncture, etc.  

8) Finally, I measured the circumference of Sophie's leg where the tumor was located last Saturday and it was 7" and was down to 6 3/4" today.  I started Sophie on the diet last Sunday, and very interestingly, Sophie has had a large cyst on her left side for the past 2 years and today, it is almost gone.  Just wondering if pulling away from commercial dog food has anything to do with it. 

My wife and I know that this is not a cure and Dr. Mitchener gave us a low end survival of an additonal 6 months for Sophie, but also has some patients who have survived for 18-24 months.  We are going back in about a month to check the progress and see how Sophie is dealing with the pain.  I'll blog once or twice a week to let everyone know the progress of Sophie's treatment.  Please feel free to add your thoughts, ideas, etc. and thank you ahead of time for you thoughts and prayers for Sophie's battle with this dreaded disease.smiley

On The Road


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5 April 2012 - 9:04 pm
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Sophie is one lucky gal! This protocol sounds fantastic. Thank you for sharing so many details, I know others will benefit here. We will too. I would like to write about Aredia and possibly interview Dr. Mitchener if she's available sometime.

If you have time, feel free to write a recommendation for Dr. Mitchener in our Veterinary Referrals Discussion Forum Topic.

As for her diet, I think it sounds great, but why the brown rice? My understanding is that it's fine for a low-carb filler but one has to be careful with it because it's got carbs (and carbs feed cancer, etc). I'm also curious  how you're giving her curcumin ? And at what dosage?

Awesome details though, thank you! We are so happy things are looking up!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
2 April 2012
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6 April 2012 - 5:08 am
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Brown rice is out....shortly after I posted last night, I watched a video by Dr. Steven Eisen on how to make home cooked dog food and he said brown rice is too high in carbs.  He had a recipe that included a 4 pound chuck roast, organic apples, carrots, green peppers and various herbs (http://dogcance.....tuser=1198).  It's very easy to make and it not only is much healthier, but cheaper too.  As far as the curcumin goes, I am giving Sophie one 400mg tab twice a day with meals (qid=1333710356&sr=8-2).  This brand of curcumin has an additive (can't remember the name) that allows for greater absorbtion in the blood.  I've heard various dosages of 1000-2000 mg day, but to start out on the lower end to avoid stomach upset.

San Diego, CA
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29 October 2010
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6 April 2012 - 12:30 pm
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I thought that Dr. Dressler said brown rice was one carb (and I think there was one other - but i forget which one... maybe oatmeal?) that is actually ok to feed cancer dogs. I'll have to try to find it in his book.

That is amazing that the cyst got so much smaller so fast. Hope she is doing well.

Jackie, Angel Abby's mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

Edmond, Oklahoma
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7 January 2011
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6 April 2012 - 12:40 pm
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Jackie, you're right, Dr D says oatmeal and brown rice are ok.

Scout: January 31, 2002 to November 7, 2011

Scout's diagnosis was "poorly differentiated sarcoma"; amputation 1/11/2011.  Scout enjoyed 9 fantastic years on 4 legs and 9 glorious months on 3 legs.  If love alone could have saved you…

San Diego, CA
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29 October 2010
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6 April 2012 - 12:44 pm
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Thanks for confirming I'm not losing my mind. (Well, I am - but that's another story.)

I think I also read - not sure if it was in Dr. D's book or somewhere else - that brown rice is actually good for cancer prevention.

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

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2 April 2012
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6 April 2012 - 1:36 pm
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Here's the conflicting info I have found:

Brown rice and oats bad:  http://dogcance.....ad-advice/

But, in the Dog Cancer Survival Guide , brown rice is thought to help fight cancer.

 

Go figure...........

San Diego, CA
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29 October 2010
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6 April 2012 - 1:47 pm
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Yeah, go figure indeed. One of the many areas of controversy/conflict in treatment. Sometimes it's so hard to know what to do! You have to just go with your gut at some point.

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

12
6 April 2012 - 6:19 pm
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Hello and Welcome to Tripawds! Even though Sophie is not going to be a Tripawd we are so glad that you are here! We will support you and help you in any way we can. I am very saddened to hear of Sophie's diagnosis. I adore all Dogs but Great Danes hold a very special place in my heart. I lost my Great Dane Valentina on Feb. 3rd. She was 8 years old and she had osteosarcoma. My heart drops everytime I see another Great Dane having to endure this disease. It sounds like you have a very good plan laid out to help Sophie and try to keep her out of pain and prolong her life. I sincerely hope that all of your efforts pay off and she can be with you for a very long time and without pain. Praying for Sophie's tumor to shrink and not cause her any pain so she can continue to enjoy life with her loving family.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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14 August 2009
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6 April 2012 - 8:40 pm
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Wonderful news about the shrinkage!  YAY! 

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

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2 April 2012
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11 April 2012 - 6:46 am
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Update on Sophie...she is doing great.  The tumor on her right front wrist has not grown or shrunk and she has lost three pounds.  She was 180, and though the vet said she wasn't overweight, she could afford to lose between 10 and 15 pounds which go a long way in helping her deal with the limping and pain.  She is still very active, her appetitie is great and the only change in her activity level is that she won't run for long distances.  A friends of ours, who is certified in Reiki, came over Monday night and did a Reiki treatment and sound accupuncture (can't remember what she called it).  It was amazing at how Sopie immediately sensed Betsy's great energy and immediately relaxed and allowed Betsy to work on her for an hour.  I go back on the 23rd for another Aredia treatment and will continue using Betsy.  In fact, I'm going to get a couple of Reiki treatments myself--including an attunement--so I can save some money and give Sophie the Reiki treatments myself.  Though Reiki will not cure the cancer, I am sure that it is helping Sophie deal with the pain and probably going to help me stay relaxed so I don't stress Sophie out with my worry and concern.

On The Road


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11 April 2012 - 9:54 am
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Yep, keeping a Tripawd leaner than most dogs of their size/breed is always so helpful. I'm so glad to hear that she's doing well. Keep us posted on the Aredia treatment. Oh, I did some reading about Aredia, and learned that it's also more commonly known as pamidronate. I had no idea that Aredia was the brand name for it. It's been around for a while and helped a lot of dogs. I will write more about it in our News Blog at some point.

I agree that Reiki can really help. You're so lucky to have a friend who knows how to do it. My oncologist did it on me a few times and it really helped me to relax. Also, this video of Athena shows how relaxed it made her when her mom would work on her.

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Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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