Introduction

Phoenix was diagnosed September 9th 2015 with a 10 cm mass in her spleen.  It was shocking to me.  I thought my dog was super healthy!  I was always watching the shine of her coat as that indicator of health.  How could this be?

It is September 2016.  Although the year has not been without its stressors – mainly 9 tumor bleeds, or near death episodes as I call them, she is still living a quality life for a 13 year old – enjoying walks in the park, swimming in ponds, running for her ball in the back yard, barking at squirrels and herding (or harassing) the chickens.   I wanted to share our story if it may help anyone facing this, or any potentially grim diagnosis.  It does not have to be the end of the road…

Canine Hemangiosarcoma (HSA).

It comes with a very poor prognosis, sometimes sudden death which leaves owners only in grief, and I’d imagine disbelief for quite awhile.  In our case an average survival rate of 90 days after diagnosis was given .  At best with surgical removal of the spleen (in the case of a splenic tumor) doggies may live up to a year or a little over if the tumor turns out to be benign.  Generally diagnostic biopsy’s are not performed to determine if a tumor is benign or malignant due to the vascular nature of these tumors and therefore the likelihood of causing a bleed with the biopsy procedure itself.

From my own research if the tumor is malignant – which seems the more common occurrence – then surgery is not as successful in prolonging life since the cancer cells have most likely already metastasized to other organs.  Although a study from the  University of Pennsylvania with 15 dogs undergoing splenectomy for malignant HSA tumors found a few living to a year or little beyond with supplementation of a turkey tail mushroom extract.  This was an encouraging study and one that peaked my interest – if it is possible to prolong quality life in a few dogs with only this treatment, then what else is possible – even with combined natural treatments?   Things are always changing and I encourage anyone to do their own research to learn of new possibilities for working with supporting the health of their dog.  In the meantime I intend to share what I can and update postings with any new information I find.

Phoenix was diagnosed September 9th 2015 with a 10 cm mass in her spleen.  It was shocking to me. I thought my dog was super healthy!  I was always watching the shine of her coat as that indicator of health.  How could this be?

She was 12 years old and I chose not to put her through the $3000 surgery which offered little hope (possibly a year) and too many potential complications.  I chose instead to support her health as best I could through diet, botanical, and energy medicines.

It is September 2016.  Although the year has not been without its stressors – mainly 9 tumor bleeds, or near death episodes as I call them, she is still living a quality life for a 13 year old – enjoying walks in the park, swimming in ponds, running for her ball in the back yard, barking at squirrels and herding (or harassing) the chickens.

I wanted to share our story if it may help anyone facing this or any potentially grim diagnosis.  Everyday I tell myself  “I don’t know”.  I don’t really know her fate.   I know what is before me – a living essence – and what I wish to do is nurture that essence – in whatever direction it wants to go.

best-friends-and-parks-424-jpg-cropped
Phoenix is a Dutch Shepherd, also known as a Hollandse Herder.  We came together when she was about a year old.
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