Left Side is from Feb; Right Side is from June 21st

Left Side is from Feb; Right Side is from June 21st

Last update: August 5th, 2013

I felt it necessary to start a new page on our fight against Nunya’s nasal tumor because we have learned some bad news on 6/21/2013, that starts the final chapter of the story.  Nunya’s tumor is back.  The fight is over.  There is nothing we can do to get rid of it.  So unfortunately, the focus for me has shifted from a mind set of attack, attack, attack to let’s make sure Nunya is as spoiled as possible for her remaining 3-6 months.

Nunya’s runny nose had not cleared up, so Alison took her for a third visit to A&M where they did another CT scan of her nose and they identified a mass that almost fills the entire left side.  They presented Alison with a chemotherapy option that could potentially slow the growth but will not stop it.  Since there are little to no side effects from this shot of  chemo, Alison went ahead and Nunya was juiced up in the back.

Nunya’s runny nose is a little bit different this time.  More snot on the right and blood snot on the left.

The magic of tomotherapy only lasted 7 1/2 months for us but I would have to say I would do it again.  She has had several perfect months and even now as the cancer is regrowing in her nose, she appears happy and in really good spirits.

I never lost touch with the reality that Nunya would die within a short period of time but for my own selfish reason, I imaged after tomotherapy, I would be one of the lucky pet owners whose dog passes naturally in the night while sleeping (does this even really happen).  I thought maybe worst case we would get some organ failure or something else that would be a definitive sign that it was the correct time, but it looks like in the end, the crushing pain from the cancer will get her.  I now have three months to prepare myself for making the call on Nunya’s life at the right time for her and not for me.  In the end, it is really a small price to pay for her loyalty and companionship.

Nunya is nudging me now so I think it is time to start the spoiling at Petsmart.

Updates:

Nunya watching from JeepTo keep consistent with the goal of the blog, here are some more details:

Medicine – Nunya received a Chemo injection on 6/21/2013.  According to the doctors there should be no side effect to this first round.  It cost about $400.  With the shot, we got an instruction sheet that basically told us to not touch her poop or throw up without gloves (ok – we will not disagree).  Basically, for 48 hours, all fluids are not friendly to people or other animals.  We suspended walk schedule during this period.  She will need to have a blood test by the local vet in 2.5 weeks and then will go for the next chemotherapy shot, which does have some side effects (nausea / vomiting).

  • Ondansetron 4 mg tablets – Anti-nausea – Give 1/2 tablet by mouth every 8 to 12 hours for nausea.
  • Denamarin tablets (S-adenosylmethionine/silybin) – Liver supplement – Give 1 tablet by mouth one time a day on empty stomach.
  • Ursodiol 250 mg tablets #15 – Liver supplement – Give 1/2 tablet by mouth every 24 hours until directed otherwise.

Dr. Grayton at Texas A&M – We just wanted to mention how wonderful she has been with answering questions and giving us straight answers.

Status – As of 6/25/2013 – I would rank Nunya at a 2 out of 10 on a scale where 0 represents Nunya at best non-cancer state and 10 being the days starting Tomotherapy where Nunya could not breath without huge effort and the tumor was the largest.  The last time we saw Nunya jump from a 1 to a 10 in about 2 weeks.  We are praying that is not the case.

We received the “Discharge Notes” from the last appointment – These notes have always been appreciated as you can get hit with a ton of information at once.

The plan for Nunya’s chemotherapy is to alternate between the two drugs which would administered once every 3 weeks for a total of 5-6 doses for each drug. This means a total of 10-12 treatments will be given to Nunya as part of this therapy protocol. It is estimated that each treatment will cost between $300 – $400.

We started Nunya’s chemotherapy protocol today with the drug carboplatin, which is a platinum-containing compound used in treating some cancers in animals as well as humans. Some possible side effects include:
1. Nausea and/or vomiting 3-5 days after treatment.
2. Low white blood cell count, possibly predisposing to infection.
Please call your veterinarian or the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital if you observe any of these signs.

Doxorubicin is the chemotherapy drug that Nunya will receive at her next appointment and is a drug in the antibiotic class used to treat some cancers in animals as well as humans. Some possible side effects include:

  1. Gastrointestinal upset, nausea, and/or vomiting, usually 3-5 days after the treatment.
  2. Damage to the leg if accidentally given outside the vein. This is prevented by carefully placing an IV catheter for drug administration.
  3. Hair loss in dogs with continuously growing hair (i.e. Poodles, Terriers and Old English Sheepdogs).
  4. Low white blood cell count, possibly predisposing to infection.
  5. Heart problems if more than 6 doses are administered.

Please call your veterinarian or the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital if you observe any of these signs.

The full document is 6 page – if you are interested or if it will help your situation, I will email a copy.

Update 6/30/2013:

Nunya still seems very happy and alert.  She is sitting at the same place status wise as last week.  She now has blood coming from both sides of her nose which I cannot imagine is a good thing but she doesn’t seem phased.  We need to ‘clean’ her nose at least once a day due to the crusting up of the sneezes.  Gross but she breathes a lot better.

Update 7/5/2013:

Nunya Ready To GoAli and I are very thankful that we had a wonderful 4th of July with Nunya at Alison’s family farm.  Nunya was thrilled to be out running around and she was happy to chase anything that moved.  She still had her normal amount of sneezing but it did not seem to get in her way.  This coming week, we have to go for a ‘pre-chemo’ blood test.  We had to get a ‘post-chemo’ blood test and everything looked normal (except her higher than normal liver values – which have stayed consistent throughout the treatments). Ali and I are a little nervous about this round of chemo (Doxorubicin mentioned above) as the side effects can be a lot more envolved.  I think we have mentally committed to this treatment but we will have to re-evaluate post treatment.

Update 7/7/2013:

Yesterday and today have been a little rough.  We think Nunya stepped on a splinter during farm day that caused an infection in her back paw.  We didn’t notice until her foot was pretty swollen.  Ali took her to the doggy ER (because of course it is Saturday night) and they lanced and drained the paw.  The stress from the procedure increased her blood pressure and her nose started bleeding a lot from the cancer side.  They put her on an antibiotic and they told us to watch if the swelling returns.  The doctor also mentioned that the swelling could also be a sign of the cancer spreading but by the end of the visit he was pretty sure he saw a splinter.  Nunya had to go back into the ‘beach ring of shame’.  Fast forward to today and now she is limping on her front paw too.  So it looks like we are returning to the doctor tomorrow.  Until then we are carrying her around and keeping her on the pain medicine.  We don’t regret the Farm Day adventure as we know she had a great time, but it has turned out to be extremely complicated and expensive.  See the Pics.

Update 7/8/2013:

We are still being plagued by the splinter.  We took Nunya to her regular Vet this morning and they gave us some new stuff to soak her foot in and they recommended that we up the dose of tramadol we give her.  We are not fans of having to dope her up because it really takes the day away from her (she will sleep 8 hrs straight) and it seems unfair if it is not really needed but I think today is an exception.  The nose bleeding has reduce back to its normal level.  Thursday she goes for her next chemo treatment at Texas A&M.

Update 7/9/2013:

Today was a bad day.  There is no way for me to tell the story without Ali and I coming off completely crazy.  As I am thinking about it now, after 90% of the clean up is done and Nunya is sleeping in a Tramadol induced nap, I can’t help thinking WTF am I doing and where do I go from here.

The day started normally, Nunya bounced between my office and Alison’s.  All was well until it was around ‘frinner time’ (what we call first dinner – Nunya’s food gets divided into three portions breakfast, ‘frinner’ at 5:15ish and dinner at 8:30ish).

That is when the 3-hour nosebleed started and we had our 3rd trip of the week to the vet (it’s Tuesday).  This nosebleed was unlike what we had seen since starting treatment.  It started at the caliber of the ‘my dog sneezed cancer on me night’ and proceeded to get 10 times worse.  Nothing we were doing would make it stop.  All medicines were ineffective.  One clot would form and it would be blown out seconds later.  When I would try to wipe away the blood I could feel it pulsing out with her heartbeat.  All we could do was pet her, look her in the eyes and tell her that she was a good girl in hopes that she would calm down.  She didn’t seem to be in pain, but the volume of blood on her, the floor, the walls and us, was definitely upsetting her.

For some reason all of this happened in the hallway, which only helped to make the blood splatter more dramatic.

Ali made a quick call to the Vet and we were able to get in to see her normal Doctor (amazing the care that they gave her and their willingness to stay late).  It was at the vet that everything hit.  Nunya is bleeding out of both sides of her nose now; granted 99% of the blood comes from the original cancer.  Her breathing is starting to be forced out of her mouth due to blockage. With the drastic progression in the last two weeks, we realize that Nunya will not be with us this time next month.  We were now discussing where we would have her put down.   Yes, we still plan to take her to College Station on Thursday to see about the next round of chemo but I can’t help but think too much damage has already been done.  I told myself from the beginning that I would not euthanize her for my convenience  (or delay it for my convenience) but I honestly have no clue what I am doing.

The problem with the nosebleeds is it evidence of destruction but not of pain.  She loved the car ride, even though she was bleeding all over me.   I really hope we can look to the vets for some honest answers over the next two days (blood work tomorrow, chemo Thursday).

Update 7/11/2013

Two good days.  For us the good days are much harder to write about than the bad.  It feels that if we don’t wait to the last minute to write something, we will jinx ourselves.  Since we are not really sure what happens next it can be anxious at times.

Couple of new developments:

  1. We have developed some nosebleed skills.  Nunya mostly bleeds from one side.  That side is almost completely blocked by the cancer so most of her ‘sneeze force’ comes from the movement of her head (she leans her head back then quickly rushes it forward all the way to the floor).  If we quickly put our hand under her chin, she does not do this.  It also keeps her from leaning forward.  No force is require – just the back of your hand touching her chin.  Combine the no thrashing with the 10% epinephrine and we have a magical combination that normally will form a clot.  We haven’t had to perform the trick individually yet so that will be the true test.Sounds like I am stating the obvious – but Nunya picks up on our mood related to the nosebleed.  We try to keep it calm and reward her after the bleeding stops.
  2. We received some more answers that, I think, will help us in our decision-making.  Nunya received a stronger chemo injection, Doxorubicin, which we believe is the best shot at either reducing the tumor or keeping it at bay.  Dr. Grayton (again we must mention how much we appreciate her time) pretty much spelled out that if the cancer does not react to this treatment in the next week, we know we are at an end with the treatment and we can expect the continued rate of growth.  The cancer will spread, Nunya will switch to mouth breathing and we will look for signs of loss of appetite, weight loss, change in mood, and change in energy.   When that happens, it will be time.  If Nunya does see some relief in the next week, that also gives us a plan.  We continue on the treatment – watch the side effects from the next dose and re-evaluate then.   Both endings are pretty much the same but for some reason it feels like the ‘plan’ provides us with more clarity.Beyond the chemotherapy, Nunya was given prednisolone to see if that will help reduce inflammation in her nasal area.  She has also been prescribed more antibiotics in hopes of keeping the congestion down.  We are kind of at a trial and error stage, seeing what she will respond to best.

Update 7/24/2013

Tomorrow is a big day for Nunya.  We head back to Texas A&M to receive her second “strong” chemo injection of Doxorubicin.  The results over the last two weeks have been mixed.  She has been in a great mood, happy to eat her food, happy to chew on any project we give her, and very excited to go on her nightly walk.  We have had an increasing amount of congestion from the non-cancer side.  It seems to be a mix of 95% snot and 5% blood.  The snot is very thick and hard for her to clear so for the last 24-48hrs she has been half breathing out of her mouth (it is very possible that the cancer is also now causing blockage on this side).

We do expect to see side effects with this next dose – which is a big worry.

Update 7/25/2013

Nunya had another chemotherapy injection today.  Before the appointment we met with the oncology doctors and discussed her progress and treatment options.  We had been concerned about the increased wet congestion and breathing difficulty she has been having the past few days.  The doctors gave us the option of doing another Doxorubicin injection or trying the Palladia chemotherapy pill.  They had previously not wanted to go with the Palladia due to Nunya’s liver levels being elevated.  There is a chance though that she will respond well to it and have positive medical benefits, so it might be an option to try if the injections are not helping.

We decided to do another Doxorubicin injection at this time, as last time Nunya tolerated it well.  We want to give it another good try and see if it is helping with the tumor.  It is hard to tell if her increased congestion was due to the cancer progressing quickly or if it was just the Doxorubicin effects wearing down.  We decided trying the chemo injection again this time will help to figure out if it is doing a good job helping the tumor or if it is more ineffective.  We go back again in two weeks for another consultation and treatment.  We will decide at that time whether to try the Palladia or stick with what we are doing now.

Nunya’s medications were also changed up a bit to see if we can get control of the inflammation and congestion.  Her dosage of Prednisolone was increased for the inflammation.  We also discussed congestion relief and are going to try Guaifenesin (Mucinex non-combo) and Ceterizine (Zyrtec).  We will mostly need to experiment with the two and see if we get good results with one or the other.  Side effects should be minimal, mainly drowsiness and increased thirst and urination.

The appointment overall went well and Nunya seemed fine after getting the injection.  She got home and immediately ate a lot of food.  She didn’t seem to be in any pain.  She took a nap on the couch and slept well minus some congested breathing problems.

Update 8/2/2013

We are one week post-second chemotherapy injection.  We have not seen improvements like we had hoped.  Nunya’s breathing is still getting worse.  She makes a constant gurgling/snoring sound when breathing.  Sleeping is very hard for her as she constantly wakes herself up.  Sometimes she will try to breathe out of her mouth, but she tends to pant more instead of learning how to slow mouth breathe yet.  We have also noticed a decreased amount of the congestion crust in her nose and increase in reverse sneezing.  While maybe this is good, we actually fear it is not so good and that the tumor is starting to block most of the nasal passage so that even snot is not getting out.  We will have to see what the vets think at her next appointment.

The good news is that Nunya still seems happy minus the breathing trouble.  She enjoys working on her dog chewy projects, and will sit outside and sun herself.  We are still able to go on nightly walks too.  Nunya had another blood test done yesterday and the results came back as good.

8/4/2013

We are having a really hard time transitioning from nose breathing (about 99% blocked by cancer now) to mouth breathing.  Anyone have any suggestions?  When we go for car rides or walks she naturally switches and doesn’t get the ‘panic’ pant.

8/5/2013

All further update continue here

Links:

Nunya’s Nose Bleed – The pictures may be graphic.  Our goal is to be as informative as possible about the entire process.

Nunya’s Facebook (Yes – I know it is silly but it is easier to update from multiple devices and hopefully will allow others to share their pictures)

Nunya’s Runkeeper (Holds us to a daily walk – with the exception of post Chemo days)

Google Docs – Information on other Dogs with Cancer


Comments

  1. Karen -

    We are so very sorry that Nunya’s cancer returned. We are about to embark on Nunya’s journey with my 10 year old baby-girl, Samantha, a most beautiful white shepherd. She is the love of our lives. The tumor was found this week and we await the biopsy, but I’m pretty certain it is nasal cancer that has spread to the sinus cavity. I found your page while researching radiation vs. chemo. My mother recently died of cancer and although I know it is “different” for canines, the horrors of what my mom went through are still fresh in my mind, and it didn’t “save” her or extend her life. So, I am weighing a shorter life-span vs. treatment that will probably leave my precious girl with a poorer quality, and still shorter live. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    Reply
    • David Klutts -

      My 5yo Rottweiller, Dylan. is discharging mucus/some blood from both nostrils now, was just the right. His right eye is really bulging now indicating pressure behind his right eye. The specialist did a scope 4 weeks ago, said no cancer. Today with eye bulging, 16 pounds lost in 4 weeks and lethargy the same vet seemed shocked when he saw Dylan. Dylan has a CT scheduled for tomorrow. Dylan is my 3rd Rott and as all of you know, I love him dearly but I will not put him through what lettle Nunya went through. I have done this vetcercize before, caused my 2nd Rott, Jackson undue pain and he still had to go. Having survived cancer myself 7+ years ago I will not do that to Dylan. Dylan is and always will be the Creator’s puppy first and that power decides when all of us will leave this plane, I accept that. What I can’t accept is my meddling in his growth and evolution. Will meditate on it tonight and the decision will be made in the morning. I wish you all the very best solutions for your friend.
      Be well as I will be, as Dylan will be, as Nunya will be. If we become too attached to the present it is very difficult to embrace the future and accept our place in it.
      Namaste

      Reply
  2. Mike C -

    Thomas,

    Words can’t say how horrible I feel for you on reading this lastest update! Your posts have been such a great inspiration for what I’m going through with my Cocker. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Mike C

    Reply
  3. sesparza -

    Thank you for sharing your journey. I found your page while searching for bloody sneezes. I feel the same way – give our doggies a good last few months and spoil them with extra love & care. She was so fortunate to have you and Ali.

    Reply
  4. Lisa S -

    I cant begin to tell you how sorry I am and feel your pain. Thank you for sharing your experience, My 12 yo female shepherd was biopsied last weekand and has nasal adenocarceneoma. Your story has given me more insight as to what the side effects are, I live in NY and will be meeting with a radiation oncologist this week. There is also cryablation that freezes the tumors with adjunt therapy. The standard gold treatment is IMRT. I heard of other meds such as Neoplasene. I will continue to post Daizi’s next steps. My sister gave me a bottle of Life Gold today it supports a healthy immune system,It’s homeopathic, costs $40 a bottle . There is a website called vetcancersociety.org that has clinical trials. Nothing is available in my area unfortunately. There is also funding if you qualify through frankies friends. Lisa S

    Reply
  5. Cheryl -

    Thomas, I am so sorry for you and will keep Nunya in my prayers. I just got the call that my beloved 13-year old Westie, Mackie, has nasal adenocarcinoma. I thank you for sharing your personal story. It helps so much to know that we are not alone. Hugs to all on this journey.

    Reply
  6. Barb Kepins -

    We also are battling a nasal cancer situation only we cannot afford radiation and chemo treatments and basically the past 6 months have seen decline but she is a almost 17 year old bichon frise and is adament about living quality life with us and I could not agree more with her she has been such a wonderful mild mannered pleasant little dog and I won’t let her suffer one day only I don’t know when that day is….thats the problem she hides pain extremely well. Only its clear that the discharge and nasal on the left is completely blocked and she is having trouble eating anything. I also got the wellness immune system drops I do think they have helped the past 3 weeks. Just don’t know what to expect next. She is only on steroids for easier breathing currently. Just hoping that she doesn’t have too much pain in the end. Seems to be comfortable now so I’m grateful for that. Thanks for writing your story.

    Reply
  7. Leslie -

    My dog just passed the 6th mark since diagnosis of nasal cancer and is doing well (as in still eating, just a few nose bleeds, and still active). This gives me hope but he’s also down to barely one nostril that is clear so that’s hard to ignore. I was not able to afford a CAT scan or radiation, so he’s just on Piroxicam and a grain free diet plus a ton of immunity support supplements. The last 6 months have been consumed with worry. The horrible last day is still ahead of me and I’ve had 6 months to prepare myself and I’m still in denial! My best wishes to all of you dealing with your sick babies!

    Reply
  8. Ethel -

    I am so sorry to read this. My Pug Brian is having a similar journey. He was diagnosed with oral melanoma a year ago. We did radiation and chemo, he was not a candidate for surgery. In October he had slight bleeding from the nose and we thought that was the melanoma spreading, but a MRI and biopsy showed it was nasal cancer. Given his history with the melanoma we decided to let it go and just keep him comfortable. We began with a hospice vet who specializes in managing the pain and discomfort. That has been 5 months and while he is much less active, I believe he is managing. I understand and feel for you and your pal.

    Reply
  9. Sue -

    I’m so very sorry to hear the update. I was so hoping Nunya would be one of the lucky ones. My 12.5 year old mix breed was diagnosed in May with nasal carcinoma. I decided radiation would not be a route I would take. She is getting some cancer fighting supplements like IP-6, Immunity4pets, AHCC to name a few. So far no symptoms but being realistic as there is no cure. Hoping Nunya has many happy spoiled days ahead.

    Reply
  10. Leanne -

    Hi There,
    I thank you for your honesty in your writing. I have been teary before, during and after reading the journey the three of you are on. Tonight a household confirmed my suspicions that my 7 year old cat Ginger, has nasal cancer. I thought her sneezing and strained breathing were just symptoms of a cold. Then, last night it was not just sneezing but sneezing blood over me, the couch and the papers I was sorting while she was on my lap. It freaked me out and I did not want to stress her by taking her to a vet, I organised a vet housecall asap which happened to be late today…which is yesterday now. Instead of sleeping, I have been researching, crying and now it is almost 5:30am! Anyway, my heart goes out to you, your wife and Nunya.
    Leanne. Perth in Western Australia.

    Reply
  11. Andrea Weeres -

    Hi, I was so relieved to read your newest post! (About being able to manage the nosebleeds and that Nunja got the new chemo drug).
    I received “Nasal Tumor Management Tips” via email from our radiation oncologist yesterday after a longer talk about symptoms our pup is still showing and I copied the content for you. From following your blog since March when our boy was diagnosed with nasal carcinoma I guess you know most or all of it but I wanted to share this info as it might help maybe somebody. ( I wish I would have had known more about possible complications or almost chronic inflammation earlier, we thought our Lab’s radiation treatment only worked for 6.5 WEEKS when he all the sudden was so congested and couldn’t breath…)
    It must have been tough to listen to your oncologist about the further outlook but I do agree that not knowing is worse. I hope this round of chemo will bring improvement!
    So here are the tips she emailed me
    ****Yunnan baiyao or paiyao: Chinese herbal formula used to stop bleeding, promote wound healing, and relieve pain (You already use this I think)
    ****Phenylephrine nasal spray (phenylephrine HCl 0.25%) (eg. “Neo-Synephrine”): Phenylephrine nasal spray can be administered for acute nosebleeds. Give one spray in the affected nostril. Use this spray only as needed in case of nosebleed, not as a daily medication. This medication can be purchased over the counter at your local pharmacy. (reading you newest post you got something maybe even stronger)
    ****Saline nasal spray (eg. Baby or Child Simply Saline, or Ocean Saline Nasal Spray): Spray saline nasal spray twice in each nostril as needed. Use to cleanse nasal passages, liquefy mucus, and moisturize dry and irritated nasal tissues.
    ****Antibiotic therapy: Many dogs with nasal tumors have a concurrent, low-grade infection and seem to benefit from antibiotic therapy. Clavamox and clindamycin are usually effective and tolerated well.(we just had our dog on Clavamox and it worked well, xost was about $146 for 14 days as our lab needed 2 tablets twice a day)
    ****COX-2 Inhibitors may be of some benefit for the anti-inflammatory effect, and the potential anti-tumor effect of COX-2 inhibitors in carcinomas. Often the older patients are already on an NSAID for arthritis. If not, we usually prescribe carprofen or Deramaxx to relieve discomfort associated with peritumoral inflammation and any acute radiation side effects if there are no contraindications to NSAID use in the patient.(our lab takes Rimadyl twice daily )
    ****FLONASE® (fluticasone propionate aqueous nasal spray): 50 mcg/metered dose (spray). Corticosteroid for nasal use. Use one to two sprays in each nostril daily for three days, then every other day. Go to every three days or weekly if effective. The action of Flonase is primarily local, with very little systemic absorption at recommended dosages. Caution to use as low a dose as is effective, especially in dogs also being treated with an NSAID to avoid NSAID/steroid drug interaction. (I think I will try this)

    While I received this from our radiation oncologist in Illinois it was compiled by Jeannie Poulson, DVM, PhD, DACVRO from the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine

    Reply
  12. Rita -

    Thomas just found you site, my dog Roxy a bearded collie was just diagnosed with cancer in Jun 12, 2013. We have been treating what I thought was a eye infection since last Oct 2012. She was treated by my local vet for several months, would clear up and then the eye would get red again. Conjunctivitis. Went for 2nd opinion and received basiclly the same treatment, just different drugs. Finally decision was made for us to travel from WV to Ohio State Vet Clinic. Was seen on April 22, 2013 and was told it was probably a reaction to all the meds she had used previously. After 3 weeks and no improvent decided to go back OSU and see 2nd vet. This time after checking Roxy I was told that Roxy could possibly have a Retrobubular Orbital Tumor which will most likely be maligant. Needed to return and have a CT Scan done. This was scheduled for June 12, 2013 at which time we find the tumor was not behind the eye but is in the jaw area and has spread upward toward the eye and into the nasal area. The tumor had destroyed some of the jaw bone. Pressue of the tumor going upward was causing the eye problem. She also had started snoring and I noticed she was snorting. Was told this was normal not to worry. But now I find the snoring and snorting was due to her nostril be blocked by the tumor. During the 2nd trip when the tumor was mentioned Dr. Miller told me she could probaly have radiation to shrink the tumor and then decide if chemo was needed. I am 5 hours away from OSU and work 5 days a week, so this would not be an option for me and I told him so. I was heart broken knowing that maybe I wasn’t doing everything she needed, but I would not be able to afford this type of treatment. But after she had the CT Scan he feels that even if I did do the treatment it would only buy Roxy a few weeks and would it be worth the pain to her. Decision was made that she would only recieve pallative care and I would enjoy her for as long as I can. Pray daily that I will be strong enough to make the decison to euthenize when the time comes. I have to think of her and not me. This is so hard not knowing what the next day will bringand if it will be our last.. I am blessed that at this time she is eating well, sleeps a lot while I am at work, but we take daily walks each morning before I leave for work and each evening. She is holding her weight well. Barks and runs around the yard. Worry about her breathing due to the nostril. She is on prednisone 5mg daily, wanted her to have more but she had used it at higher dose and had diarrhea so I am hold at 5mg and she was prescribed Tramadol for pain. I can not tell she is in pain, I gave her the whole pill and it seemed to sedate her to much so at this time I am only giving her 1/4 of the pill morning and nite and this works. She is not as groggy and sedated and is enjoying her life. Will increase when I think she needs it. I have only had Roxy November 22, 2009 she is a rescue. Not sure how old she is but was told they thought she was about 2 1/2 when I got her. But the vets think she is older. Around 8-10 years. Love this dog with all my heart and it breaks each time I think about what is coming. I know others are facing the same outcome I am but it does not make the pain any easier.

    Reply
  13. Debbie talpos -

    Rita and all: my 13 yr. old hound was diagnosed almost 3 months ago. He is on a potent anti inflammatory called metacam,, mucinex, minocycline and Chlor. maleate.He has heart problems and wasn’t a candidate for radiation and chemo. He is still enjoying life with a good appetite and loves his nightly walk. He has extensive disease. At diagnosis the tumor filled his right nostril, right sinus and right para sinus and is spreading into his left nostril. Antibiotics, mucinex, and Benadryl or the Chlor maleate help the congestion a great deal. He is very comfortable on the metacam which is expensive but it may slow blood supply to the tumor and his joints are like a young dog since he has been on it. He does choke down drainage several times a day which is scary to listen to but when he is up and around he is not in distress and breathes well out of his partially obstructed left nostril and sometimes out of his mouth. The antibiotic was recently added and helped alot with congestion. Our vet has been wonderful working with us to keep him comfortable (Deporre in Michigan, Dr. Fox.). We dread thinking about putting him to sleep but again our vet has given good advice on when he has more bad hours in a day than good and when he stops doing all the things that he enjoys. These tumors areal awful but you may have some good time left!

    Reply
    • Cynthia Wood -

      Debbie Talpos,
      Our shepherd mix has a nasal sarcoma also. We have opted for radiation treatment at WA State University. My question to you is, how to get our dog Ruby to take the meds. I’ve tried mixing them in her food, wieners, peanut butter, lunch meat, manually pushing the down her throat. Nothing works! She is gentle and seems to try to swallow the pill, but out it comes. Her appetite has diminished, and I’m sure she would not be with us long without the radiation. I’m already worried about meds when she comes home. Any ideas?
      Thank you, Cynthia Wood

      Reply
      • Thomas -

        We hated doing it, but whatever pill we could not get down (or could not get in liquid form), we would have to use a “pill shooter“. It took a little practice but after a while it did work every time. Sorry you guys are having to go through this – hopefully you will see the same dramatic results that we did with the tomotherapy.

        Reply
  14. Debi Hunter -

    We just put down our twelve year old lab Honey yesterday because of a nasal tumor. She had surgery for laryngeal paralysis just six weeks ago which was what we thought was her problem. When she was snoring after the surgery, the vet was concerned. Her nose started bleeding out of one side and then both. We tried antibiotics and rimydahl to try and slow it down. When the bleeding started getting worse and we could see her struggling to breathe, we decided it was time. Dogs don’t always show pain and she was a wonderful beautiful lab who was becoming a shell of her former self. We miss her and so does our other dog Sugar but she lives in our hearts forever.

    Reply
    • Jodi ariti -

      Hi Debi, Thomas and all,
      My 9 year old Labrador has just been diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis, which I think she probably does have mildly but the noisy obstructed breathing seems to be coming from her nose as when she opens her mouth there is no noise. It sounds like an obstructed low pitched snore and I think she has a nasal Tumor. Do you have any further info you could share about your dogs symptoms. She breathes really noisily when laying down but the noise disappears when she is sitting or standing up. I lost one Labrador to nasal cancer when I was about 20, I came home after a holiday and he was sneezing blood. I don’t want this to happen to Rosie if I can get it diagnosed early. She has had a cancerous Tumor removed from her chest recently and has been getting worse with the breathing since. She also has been shaking her head and pawing a her face but the vets just dismiss it as allergies as she usually starts biting her paws during consults.

      Reply
      • -

        You will know soon enough because our dog started having nosebleeds and there was some black stuff coming out of her nose. One time she sneezed and it looked like a massacre had happened. We put her down when she started bleeding so much we had to kennel her and one time she growled at our son which she would never ever do. We realized she was in pain. Poor Honey died only six weeks after having that laryngeal surgery. I had asked the surgeon to look in her nose but she forgot and then was surprised when my dog was snoring after the surgery.

        Reply
  15. Thomas -

    As time passes I am trying to separate Nunya from my tech blog as it has been a challenge keeping motivated. I have moved all her content to a new webpage (including the final blog entry on her journey): http://nunyathedog.com/nunya/the-nunya-cancer-journal/#theend. Ali and I are still dedicated to sharing the information we have learned through the process and are very thankful to everyone who has read along.

    Reply
  16. Cynthia Wood -

    Our eleven year old Shepard mix Ruby has been diagnosed with a nasal sarcoma. CT scan, etc done at Washington State University vet hospital. We are planning on the radiation treatments. My heart aches when I read of all the side effect that Nunya went through. Ruby is also a shelter dog. We’ve had her for 10 years. Wish her luck, our sweet Ruby girl. Thank you so much for sharing Nunya’s story.

    Reply
  17. angelica -

    Thomas and Alison I strongly send my sympathy to your loss of Nunya. This story has really hit me in a spot we my husband and I are in a loss of words and tears. We are experiencing the trial and triumphs you endured with our five year old girl dog Koda. We just got the news that koda also has nasal carcinoma. We have been dealing with the snot and nose bleeds ,lots of tests. And now we are torn on what to do. I love my little girl so much and she is a great joy to have. I just don’t know if we can put her through all that treatment. I appreciate the information that you have given. As I am a mess of emotions. I hope you both have found a place of peace with this, as I’m not ready to do. God bless you and hopefully we can overcome this obstacle as well. Sincerely , Angelica Mercado

    Reply
  18. Christina -

    I’m sorry to hear hear about ur fur baby I have a 15 yr old lab mix who has start to do the reverse sneezing and sneezing and bleeding from her nose which is a lot of blood not just a drip of blood she has fatty tumors all over her body we had them tested for cancer a couple months ago the test came back good now couple months later all of these symptoms start we took her to the vet and all the vet said was she pretty sure she has nasal cancer and a tumor on her liver as her side buldges out and not to waste my money on test since she is 15 yrs old we have desided to take her to a different vet on Monday to get a second opinion again I’m so sorry to hear about ur best friend I don’t knowwhat I will do if lose my angel to this nasty disease

    Reply
  19. Janet O -

    I just lost my precious cat Sammy 4 wks ago to what they said(?) was sinus cancer. I feel so guilty because we had no choice and had to move. He was very upset with the move from a townhouse to an Apt. Three days before I physically brought him to the Apt. I had plugged in Feliaway (Cat Phermones) to make sure he would have limited anxiety. It did nothing for him. He just acted very depressed which I thought would pass but after 3 wks he still wasn’t adapting. I took him to the vet and blood work came back perfect and everything was chalked up to anxiety from the move. After about 4 wks he started holding his pee for 2-3 days at a time and no blockages were found and again just anxiety. I had him going to the vet day and night (which at night was the ER). He was put on anti-depressants for a few days at a time because he would start acting real strange on them (hissing, pacing) and I would immed. take him off of them. He still wasn’t peeing normally and the vet would tap his bladder or he would just decide to go at the vet like that was his pit stop. The vet was actually getting irritated with him and me for bringing him in all the time. I didn’t want him to be uncomfortable and I couldn’t just wait for him to pee days later. I also got mad at him and I now feel so guilty because I really yelled at him hard at times. I loved him more than anything in the world because it was just him and me but it was more less out of fear that I yelled at him because I didn’t know why he was doing this when he had nothing wrong physically with his urinary tract like many cats.

    I had taken him to the ER vet at midnight, two in the morning etc. I also changed vets because I couldn’t get over the vet he was going to was irritated when I brought him in for the same problem. Finally after his last visit to the ER vet they noticed that his left eye was so slightly off by a hair which I could not even notice. They put him under anesthesia for 15 min. (which I was pacing the floor and crying) and came back and said they could not push his eye all the way back into the orbit and that was not normal. They said it could be an abscess or a mass behind the eye. I was devastated! They put him on Clavamox and pain medication and said he would need to be on it for several wks to see if the eye went back in place. He had also developed a small swelling on his forehead about the size of a dime within days from the previous ER visit. I was also told to take him to an Eye Specialist. I took him and she was suppose to put him under again but decided to leave him on the antibiotic and pain med for a good 5-6 wks to see if it was an abscess, cellulitis or possibly CX. He started to vomit from the Clavamox and when I called the Eye Dr. she said to take him to his regular vet (the new vet I found and from other people told it was the best) and she would call ahead and have them give him a shot of Convenia (anitbiotic that stays in the system for 2 wks). The peeing problem persisted and the swelling on the forehead and slight protrusion of his eye was not improving.

    With a week he got very weak, pacing and head pressing over night, I took him into the vet immediately that morning. He was put under by this new vet, she did a skull x-ray which showed the swelling around the orbit of the eye but she couldn’t see nothing in the skull x-ray which she said meant there was no bone damage as yet. She tried to aspirate in the roof of his mouth behind his molar on the left side hopeing for an abscess and got nothing and finally took a BX of the swelling on his forehead. She immediately felt it was cancer and wanted me to make a decision of putting him down. There was no way I told her and that I wanted the BX sent in for proof and not just by her word. He came home that same day and the next day bounced back to his old self (he was only 7 yrs old). I was so sure all would be fine and such faith except one week later she called to say the swelling Adenocarcinoma. I just cried hysterically on the phone as I was looking at him walking around so normal. Again she mentioned to make a decision and I told her my decision was I was going to do anything and everything to try and help him and I had him started on Chemo. within three days by an Oncologist I found. He was to get 6 TX a month a part and also put on daily prednisone. I changed his way of eating etc. had him on a very strong Immune support I also got on line and had such high hopes for him. He did fine for the first month and then started to have seizures he was then put on phenobarbital and was fine. He would have good and bad days due to the phenobarbitol and the interaction it had with the anti-nausea med he would get after the chemo. which was making him do nothing but sleep but he would always rebound back.

    I came home one day after being gone about an hr and a half and found him wet, limp and his face pushed into the corner of the chair he slept on and when I grabbed him he was breathing real heavy with his mouth open and his tongue hanging out (panting). I rushed him to the ER vet because it was a weekend and his regular vet was closed.The ER vet wanted to put him down because I would not agree to $2500 of tests and they wouldn’t listen to me that he was being treated for CX and I felt had a seizure. He was in an oxygen cage during all the discussion with them and he started to breath normal. I didn’t have the money on me at that point but I would be able to get it but I said he was just to be kept in the oxygen cage and he was to be his regular meds etc. and no ridiculous tests because I knew what was wrong with him. Because I did not have the money on me at that point and I would not have him put down they told me to take him home because they couldn’t help me. It was really the money. I went back to get him and he was standing up and I reached out for him and said “Momma’s here baby” and he walked over to me. I took him home and as each day went by he seemed to improved but not to the fullest (his Oncologist was informed about all this that same day by phone). Finally a full week later he started the pacing and head pressing again and the next morning he was so weak he couldn’t walk and would pant every now and then. I called his Oncologist and she said to keep him comfortable and bring him in the next day (mon) he slept all day as if he was in a coma (but wasn’t) and passed at 10:50pm on the couch with his blanket around him. I walked outside for a few minutes because I NEVER would accept him dying and thought I would be bringing him to the vet the next day and he would be helped. He passed in those few minutes I was gone. I found him with his little eyes glazed, peed and clear fluid fell out of his mouth. I just cried and cried, I brushed him, clipped his nails and laid him on a different chair wrapped up until I took him to the vet the next morning in total shock. I can’t say how much I loved him and am grieving and mourning him. I feel so guilty because I feel I contributed to his passing by the move and yelling at him when he wasn’t peeing. I would of never yelled at him if I knew he was sick with cancer. I keep thinking the stress of the move and me getting irritated made the cancer spread that much faster and I’m praying I am so wrong. He is being buried in a pet cemetery in a couple days (it has been 4 wks since he passed) because we have had so much rain here the ground has been to wet to bury many of the animals. It is going to be so hard to see him again but I need to because they lay the animals out before they are buried. .

    Reply
  20. Janet -

    It’s odd my 7yr old cat never displayed any symptoms of the nasal tumor. When I held him in my arms he seemed to breath slightly loud and one day I found a very tiny spot of blood on the living room rug and nothing ever again (that was a few years before he did get fully sick). We moved to an Apt. Dec. 2015 and he was acting strange and I just thought he didn’t like the move. I took him to vet and they said it was anxiety from the move. He also wouldn’t pee for upto 3 days at a time BUT he did that all his life since he was a kitten. He had no obstruction and again the vet said he was just lazy and that he had a good size bladder and could possibly hold his urine.

    I took him to a ER clinic late one night because he was acting strange and again not peeing. The vet noticed there was something very slight off with his eye. I couldn’t even see it because it was so minimal. They put him under and applied pressure to his eyeball to see if it would bounce back. The eye didn’t move and they told me it was probably a tumor behind the eye. He also within two weeks came out with a small hard spot in between his ears closer to the eyes. I took him to an eye specialist and she thought maybe it was an abcess tooth and put him on antibiotis and that the small bump was as she said a healing battle wound.

    The BX came back as adenoma carcinoma,I was devastated and still am to this day (it will be a year 6/7/16 that he passed). I had him on chemo and tried everything that I could and I still wouldn’t believe he was going to possibly die. He is on my mind every single day still. He was just so special, I have had pets I have loved to death in the past BUT there was something about Sammy that I can’t explain. I guess he and I went through so much together and now that we had moved things were suppose to get better and little did I know he was going to be my next tragedy.

    I researched the disease after he passed, I drove the vet and oncologist crazy with questions if there was a misdiagnosis because he didn’t display symptoms etc I know they thought I was nuts because I just couyldn’t except what happened so fast. They said they fully understood though. I even went to a Pet Loss group and found so many people in the same situation with the mourning. The psych that lead the group said NOTHING is abnormal in this group and to never feel that way.

    Three wks ago I took in a 14 yr old cat from a neighbor and had never met the cat before. He was the exact DBL almost of my cat Sammy and within minutes he came up to me and rubbed his face up against mine. I started to cry because I immediately thought “This is Sammys soul” and he know’s I have never been able to accept his passing. I truly hope it is because I can see the eyes as he looks at me and the little quirks Sammy had are still there.

    It is unusual to find two cats so alike in so many ways. Sammy had a personality that was so unusual for cat, he was more of a dog and this other little cat is the same way.

    Good luck with your little dog.

    Reply

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