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Hello everyone, I just found this forum while researching my sweet boy's cancer ailment. My boy Shadow developed a bump near the base of his tail about 2 weeks ago. It seemed sensitive to him when I touched it so I took him in to his primary care vet on Wednesday, 7/24. the news I received then was not good. She sent his blood work and mast cell sample to a lab and confirmed our worst nightmare: Shadow had an advanced anal sac tumor.

We took him to a surgeon here in Los Angeles on Saturday, 7/18 and received more devastating news: Shadow's tumor had already grown to cover 70% of his rectum, and had metastasized in other areas of his body. He was still able to poo and pee normally and had not been acting strangely the past few weeks which is why this caught us so off guard.

My partner and I are very upset by this news and are looking for others who have dealt with this situation, and what you did with your pup to alleviate any pain or treatments you may have used. We saw an oncologist this past Tuesday, and started radiation and chemo treatments for Shadow yesterday. He will be in for 5 sessions, ending on Wednesday, 7/29. But what do I do after that? What sort of follow up care can I provide my sweet boy to make him live as comfortably as possible as a cancer survivor?

Any help or guidance would be so much appreciated, I'm truly devastated and don't know what to do next. Thank you for taking the time to read this!
 

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I am sorry to hear your news. I have never dealt with anal sac cancer but have dealt with hemangiosarcoma of the spleen. I just wanted you to know that being on the forum will be a huge support and help for you. My thoughts are with you.
 

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Sheila 91-99; Haley 01-12
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I'm very sorry to hear about Shadow's cancer. I don't know anything about that type of cancer, but I will keep him in my thoughts. The only cancer I've seen in one of my Goldens, hemangiosarcoma of the heart, was not treatable.
 

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every moment is a gift
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I am so sorry your boy has received this diagnosis. My girl was also diagnosed with anal sac adenocarcinoma which was discovered during a routine preop screening to remove an unrelated mass.

It's was a different situation than yours since it was smaller and had not spread to her inguinal lymph nodes. After a long discussion with her oncologists and the surgical oncologists, I elected for her to have an anal sacculectomy, but for them to not remove the inguinal lymph nodes. Surgery was followed up with chemotherapy only because we lived several hours away from the hospital and boarding her for radiation would have been too stressful.

The oncologists you are working with should be able to provide some information. Also, adding some canned pumpkin to Shadow's diet should help keep things moving along comfortably.

Here's a link to a post with several articles and posts which might provide some information for you in the meantime.

http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...l-sac-removal-sacculectomy-2.html#post1815478

Remember that your boy lives in the moment and, although it's hard, try to do the same. I cried in the shower and during my commute - a lot.
 

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Thank you so much everyone for your prayers and well wishes. And a HUGE thank you to you HubBub for all of those links and articles!

Shadow has completed 2 out of the 5 radiation treatments. This weekend, he seemed like his normal self, if not a bit tired from the treatments. This morning, at around 2:00 AM, my poor boy threw up his dinner of dry kibble, pureed pumpkin, and green beans. It didn't all come up, but it was a big chunk.

During the day today, I fed him the same thing, and he only ate half of his food. He seemed very tired, and I imagine a bit nauseous. I was so worried about how tired he looked and how unwell. He threw up again in the middle of the day which caused me to freak out and call his oncologist who said to feed him bland chicken and rice, a little at a time to see if he could keep it down.

He seems much more alert this evening after I fed him a small dinner of the chicken and rice. Really hoping he is able to keep this food down and peacefully sleep through the night!
 

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Goldens Rule in SW PA!
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Our Jordie is 14+; he was diagnosed with an anal gland mass (cancer) back in March. Given his age and his severe arthritis, the vet (who has Goldens herself) said that chemo or radiation was not a good route to take. He had difficulty in pooping (continuously squatted while pooping) so we started him on Lactulose (stool softener of sorts) which has worked pretty well. As I said, he's had fairly severe arthritis in his back hips which makes it difficult to climb stairs. For us, there were no drugs we could give him. The mass was evidently slow growing so his overall health was reasonable until this past Friday. He began with a nosebleed in his L nostril. A vet visit and vet hospital visit later showed that the cancer has now spread to his abdomen and into his nasal cavity. We are trying to control the bleeding with neosynephrine nose drops (vasoconstrictor) and Yunnan baiyo, a Chinese herb that is supposed to be good at stopping bleeding. After several days, it seems to have worked relatively well most of the time. We are now "day by day"--he appears to be having more difficulty in traversing anything that isn't flat--and at some point, the vets have said the new meds will be unable to control the bleeding. As long as Jordie has a good quality of life--we'll fight the good fight. But we won't let him suffer.

As for Shadow, you didn't mention how old he was--but it sounds like he is young enough to do the chemo/radiation. For me that means you have time to explore other options and can focus on keeping an eye on his overall health in the future to try to stem the spread of the disease. Other options for us included putting him on some high quality dog food plus veggies at times and if you believe in supplements, we give Vit C and other ones (Nuuocar) to our other Goldens for various ailments. The news was not good for Shadow, but you now have a little time (and the Forum) and the Internet to start looking for other ways to maintain Shadows health. The fact that you're here--and asking questions--tells me that you folks are looking out for your kid--and that he has two pretty good supporters in his corner. Jordie and the rest of our gang wish you and Shadow luck in your journey...
 

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Welcome to the forum. I too found it under similar circumstances and I stayed for the information and support. I do not have specific experience with anal sac cancer, but I've lost 3 GRs to cancer. My Cooper had a soft tissue sarcoma that showed up as a mass between his anus and point of his hip. He also had another type on his chest and at the age of 11 we chose not to treat except for comfort care. Although he never seemed to be in much pain, we added tramadol to his regular dose of meloxicam just in case. Tramadol is super safe, you can give large doses safely and it was not expensive. Eventually, it became harder for him to poop (we assumed the cancer extended inside his pelvis and pressed on his rectum as his poop was deformed) so we added Miralax to loosen his stool. We got 3 good months with him and spent the time filling his "bucket list" and just enjoying him. I would ask for medication to help with the nausea and pain meds just to have on hand. Quality of life is key. I am so very sorry for the circumstances that brought you here, but you came to the right place for help and support.
 
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Shadow

Thank you so much everyone for your prayers and well wishes. And a HUGE thank you to you HubBub for all of those links and articles!

Shadow has completed 2 out of the 5 radiation treatments. This weekend, he seemed like his normal self, if not a bit tired from the treatments. This morning, at around 2:00 AM, my poor boy threw up his dinner of dry kibble, pureed pumpkin, and green beans. It didn't all come up, but it was a big chunk.

During the day today, I fed him the same thing, and he only ate half of his food. He seemed very tired, and I imagine a bit nauseous. I was so worried about how tired he looked and how unwell. He threw up again in the middle of the day which caused me to freak out and call his oncologist who said to feed him bland chicken and rice, a little at a time to see if he could keep it down.

He seems much more alert this evening after I fed him a small dinner of the chicken and rice. Really hoping he is able to keep this food down and peacefully sleep through the night!
I am so sorry to hear about Shadow and I will pray for him!!

I googled this Anal sac cancer in a male dog-how to keep them comfortable and there is a Dog Blog on carcinoma of the anal sac.
 
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Thank you AtticusJordie for sharing your experiences with your sweet boy Jordie, and thank you to everyone else for your stories and wishes as well. I'm so grateful to have found this place, even though it is under these circumstances.

Shadow just turned 10 this past May so yes, he is a younger senior dog which is why we went forward with the radiation and chemo treatments. They seem to really be taking a lot out of him though. He was very tired all day on Sunday. Yesterday, he seemed to be returning to his normal self, and after he returned from his treatment in the evening he seemed fine. But today, I had to stay home from work because he seemed so lethargic and sad.

He is currently taking Tramadol, 100 mg every 12 hours to help with any pain he may be in. His appetite has been affected the past few days which I am worried about, but he has not vomited since Sunday morning.

His poop has also become very soft and liquidy. Shadow pooped in our apartment for the first time in ages, he felt so bad! He has been pooping up blood the last few times we took him out. He has his 4th treatment today, so I will definitely be bringing this up with them. We are still feeding him pumpkin and bland chicken right now. I've started to mix in a bit of his Science Diet Healthy Mobility food too.

Thank you so much everyone for your support, I'm so glad these treatments are almost over so Shadow can recover and go back to being the joyful, happy, sweet boy he usually is!
 

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I am so sorry to hear about your boy Shadow!

We have a golden, but it is actually our senior German Shepherd who has been diagnosed with adenocarcinoma and we are dealing with a somewhat unusual case with her, so I don't know that any information I have will be much help.

Both our regular vet and the oncologist we have seen are very perplexed by the location of our girl's masses (on her outer hip rather than the anal sac region as is typical). Because of the location, other health factors and aggressive nature of our girl's type of adenocarcinoma, we have ruled out a second surgery as well as radiation/chemo.

Our oncologist has put her on Peroxicam, an anti-inflammatory/pain medication, that has been known to show results in slowing the growth of carcinoma cells. We are hopeful to see this as well and it may be worth asking your pup's doctor about this. I don't know what the protocol would be along with radiation, but just wanted to put it out there. The Peroxicam can cause upset stomach so we are giving her a dose of Famotidine Acid Reducer at the same time. The upset stomach can be caused by other medications as well.

I hope you are able to get some good time in with your boy. Sending good, positive thoughts!
 

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Because of his hips, Jordie is on 100 mg Tramadol q 8 hours--the vet said it could be increased up to 250 mg/8 hours although that is a pretty heavy dose. Hopefully we won't need that much. Please keep us posted on Shadow's progress (hopefully forever upward!) :)
 

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Hello,

I don't check my messages that often due to being busy at work, and this being summer,but my dog was diagnosed with anal sac adenocarcinoma as well. I got much information from couple other dog parents - Cyg and Sasha whose dogs fought this as well. Here is a thread about my pup.

http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...ers/303458-cas-has-been-diagnosed-c-word.html


if you'd like to discuss, please send me a PM and I will share my phone number. Cas's case is completely unique in that he had no visible primary mass even on CT and when they took out the anal sac, it was a 4 mm tumor. His cancer is back and has spread to 4 lymph nodes, but Palladia seems to be keeping i stable. One day at a time.


Hope you have a better outcome and have many more joy filled days with Shadow. My thoughts are with you.



Cheers..
Balaji
 

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Hello all, again, thank you so much for sharing your stories and experiences dealing with this!

Ginams, I will definitely bring up the Peroxicam with the medical oncologist. We have an appointment set for next Wednesday. Shadow has finished his radiation and chemo treatments, and while I'm sure he is glad, we have a new issue to deal with now.

Shadow finished his radiation treatments this past Wednesday. I knew he would be tired the next day, but I was not expecting him to completely lose his appetite. Has anyone else experienced with with their Goldens after any sort of radiation or chemo treatment? We are trying to feed him his favorite things such as pieces of chicken, sausages, his normal dry food, sweet potato, and he will not eat any of it. Not even a little bit. I was concerned about him being dehydrated, so I gave him some ice cubes to lick and thankfully he would lick the cubes out of my hands.

I'm worried about his lack of appetite. His bowel movements have also been strange. He tries to poop, and is unable to. Something comes out which I'm grateful for, but he bleeds mildly whenever he attempts to go, and he also farts. My poor guy strains to get everything out, but with the lack of eating, I'm wondering what is going on in his system?

I have a phone call with his doctor today, I will update once I know more of what is causing him to lose his appetite. My poor, sweet boy :-(
 

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The radiation treatments can cause GI upset. They are killing off good and bad cells so his entire tract is probably very upset. It's a vicious circle in many ways, eating makes him feel bad, so he doesn't, but when he does eat or drink, he is hurting again. It should get better with time, but absolutely bring it up to the oncologist and keep an eye on his water intake.
 

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Jordie is having trouble pooping since the cancer/tumor is slowly closing off his bowel. I doubt that this is the case with Shadow; I agree that it's probably due to the radiation/chemo messing up his ability to digest food. Keep in mind that Lactulose can be helpful in keeping the bowel movements soft and a lot easier for him to poop. We think about you guys--hope Shadow's eating problems ease up soon. Peace, SJ
 

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It has been a stressful last few weeks, but I'm fortunate that Shadow has been experiencing many more good days than bad. The radiation treatments seem to have been a success in that the tumor looks visually better, and the growth has stopped and stabilized in his lymph nodes! Since his emergency trip to the vet on 7/31 to receive IV fluids, his appetite has returned (loving his kibble and chicken!), energy levels are back, and his poo is normal! He does seem to tire a bit more easily on his normal walks though, so we have attempted to shorten them a bit more. We have yet to take him to the park to chase tennis balls as I'm a little worried about him overexerting himself. I think we will try this weekend though, for a little bit at least. I know he misses it!

Unfortunately, the radiation couldn't also treat the nodes that were on his lungs, which we are now going to fight with ongoing chemo injections. I did receive quite the sticker shock when I discovered just how expensive the chemo injections were (they are recommending he receive anywhere between 2-8, one every 2-3 weeks), and now I'm worried I won't be able to have Shadow complete his treatments due to the high costs.

Shadow hates going to the vet, and I feel so bad about bringing him there when it causes him so much stress. Does anyone know of any less expensive alternatives to chemo as opposed to injections? Are there oral pills that I can give him at home, I would like to suggest this to his oncologist and see if there are any other options. Thanks so much everyone!
 

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I would speculate that they are using IV chemotherapy as a targeted attack on cancer in Shadow's lungs. Oral (metronomic) chemotherapy generally provides a low dose over a sustained period of time. They are used for differently for different types of cancers, tumors and treatment plans. In my experience and from my knowledge of others, the two paths can be similar in treatment and occasionally the oral can greatly outprice IV therapy.

Regarding costs, you could look into Care Credit as a possible option.

If you haven't already, I would encourage you to read and really think about the questions in this sticky - http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...cancer-diagnosis-what-should-you-ask-vet.html
 
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