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Hi there. I have an almost 12 year old (6/7) golden retriever named Angel who was just diagnosed with thyroid carcinoma. It was actually found by accident when we took her into the vet for a UTI. They did labs because of her age and found her T4 to be excessively high. We brought her back where they found a lump on her neck. She's had the lump about 2 years and has actually seen vets for it who stated it was a fatty tumor which she does get a lot. They did the biopsy and I just got the positive results..."significant endocrine neoplasm cells which supports the clinical diagnosis of thyroid carcinoma".

We have to take her in this morning to see if it has spread. They are worried since she had a UTI and with thyroid cancer the signs/symptoms mimic a UTI it may have spread to her bladder. We're doing xrays and an ultrasound this morning. They said surgery is extremely risky on thyroids because of their parathyroid. We don't want to give up on her. She's NEVER had health problems in the past except for arthritis in her hips. This has blind sided us. We're looking at everything/anything we can do to help support her so she's not in any type of pain or discomfort.

Everything is complicated because our middle daughter is in the hospital and we haven't told her about Angel because we know it's going to break her heart. We have 3 daughters (ages 20, 17 and 15) and they've all grown up with Angel. We've had her for her entire life and we can't imagine not having her in our lives.

Has anyone been through this or know where we can turn? Holistic and alternative medicines we should try? Anything??

Thank you for your time.
Kelly
 

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I am so sorry to hear about your girl.
I have no experience with this type of cancer. I would think you are going to get a consult for an oncologist to hear what he/she says and what your treatment options are.
Good luck, let us know.
 

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I am also not sure about the specific cancer, but our canine oncologist is a big believe in a cancer -starving high protein low carb diet with Esther C supplementation. Cancer cells thrive on carbs, and also C tricks the cancer cells somehow. I say this is simplistic terms bc I do not understand deeply. She believes this can increase survival time, but not change the prognosis. Fish oil is another dietary thing. Whn my golden had cancer, I fought a big battle to make sure he had a fentanyl patch bc they are so stoic. It is really hard to be sure they are not in pain, so tramdol as a safeguard while thinking and researching seems like a good idea.
 

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Talk to your oncologist about your options, and don't forget that quality of life is a lot more important than long term prognosis with a dog over 10 or 11. I don't know what the prognosis is for this type of cancer, but I do know that pain management is often under-emphasized in canine treatment because dogs can be so stoic.

I wouldn't consider it giving up on her if you have to let her go or if you don't opt for the most aggressive treatment. In fact, letting a beloved dog go when the time is right is often harder than continuing to treat the disease even though the dog's quality of life has diminished.

Just make your decisions with her best interests at heart—which is of course what you'll do—and you'll make the right choice.

I'm so sorry to hear of this. She sounds like a lovely, loyal girl. Give her a scratch behind the ear and some bacon for me.
 

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Talk to your oncologist about your options, and don't forget that quality of life is a lot more important than long term prognosis with a dog over 10 or 11. I don't know what the prognosis is for this type of cancer, but I do know that pain management is often under-emphasized in canine treatment because dogs can be so stoic.

I wouldn't consider it giving up on her if you have to let her go or if you don't opt for the most aggressive treatment. In fact, letting a beloved dog go when the time is right is often harder than continuing to treat the disease even though the dog's quality of life has diminished.

Just make your decisions with her best interests at heart—which is of course what you'll do—and you'll make the right choice.

I'm so sorry to hear of this. She sounds like a lovely, loyal girl. Give her a scratch behind the ear and some bacon for me.
A million times yes.

Heaven bless you and yours.
 

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I read that surgery to remove the tumor is pretty successful in thyroid cancer. There's also radiation and/or Adriamycin (a chemo drug/antibiotic) as additional options if removing the tumor doesn't get all the cancer.

The suggestions you've gotten are great. One more thing to consider would be adding an additional antioxidant to her diet. Her immune system is what fights the cancer. Any additional help you can give her will help to that end. Fish oil is a good one. You can add broccoli or cauliflower on the dietary side.

As you are experiencing now, I went through the shock of finding out my boy had Lymphoma, and these are my thoughts based on our journey with cancer:

Once you get a course of action try to not project into the future. Discuss the options with your vet and let them do the heavy lifting whatever options are given and decided upon. If we ensure that their days are happy and fun we're doing our part. Whenever she returns to where we all come from and return to, you'll have no regrets in knowing you did everything you could to give her a happy life.

Angel doesn't know she has cancer. Dogs are better than us in that and many other aspects. They live one day at a time; life is the moment they're living in. They don't regret anything from the past nor worry about tomorrow. Today is the best day of Angel's life in her mind. As long as you're providing her with fun and she's happy, you're doing everything that means something to her.

Take lots of pictures and videos. Mostly, just love on her and show her a good time.

Once you've figured out which course of action to take, relax and take care of her and have fun together. "Carpe Diem" i.e. "Seize The Day". That's the best advice I can give. You'll have no regrets the day she returns to Heaven, whenever that is.

We'll pray for you and check up on her here. Please give Angel a belly rub from us :) We're here for you. There are many people who've been through cancer with their goldens. GRF is full of the most amazingly kindhearted people in the world. I can't express how much they helped us, and they'll be there for you too. Welcome to the forum. You're among friends and kindred spirits ;)
 

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Ok, first of all I would try to find a holistic vet, here's a good resource to find one locally http://www.ahvma.org/ And then I would order some supplements, I would say the most important would be something called "im-yunity", and then "Polly mva". And of course a good multi vitamin is important as well. There's many other things as far as supplements that would be good but I think those are most important if your limited by budget. If you do find a holistic bet ask them about vitamin c Iv's. Not all of them are familiar with it and when my sisters dog had cancer it took alot of searching to find one so you might have to do some searching. If you have any questions feel free to contact me, my email is [email protected] I'll be praying for her.

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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Thank you guys for all the advice & support. I had to take her this morning to get xrays and an ultrasound to see if it's spread. Unfortunately we had to leave her at the vet so I'm waiting to hear the results when we go pick her up. In the meantime, I'm researching everything possible to find something to help her.

We will definitely do anything to help her as long as she is pain free. That's our number one priority. She doesn't even look like she is sick or has cancer. She looks like she's just a worn out golden retriever who's 12 years old. There's days she gets up and plays with our pugs and wrestles with them and other days she is tired and wants to be left alone.

My heart is breaking because as much as I want to keep her with us, I know it is not fair to her if she is hurting. I don't want her quality of life to be decreased. She's traveled with us from Delaware to Alaska (by plane) then Alaska to Delaware (plane) then Delaware to Illinois (RV) then miscellaneous camping trips then took an 11 day RV trip back to Alaska. We're a retired Air Force family and we don't believe in leaving our pets behind so they go where we go, as long as they're healthy enough.

I'm going to look into finding a canine oncologist here in AK and see what they think. I'm definitely willing to do supplements.

She does have a ton of food allergies and the only foods she's been able to eat without skin rashes are Canidae and Simply nourish.

I still welcome any suggestions, advice and ideas. I'm sorry for all of your losses. I can't imagine the pain you went through to have to let your babies go. We're just starting the process and my heart is shattering in two. My email is [email protected]

Kelly
 

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Chemo never caused our boy any discomfort. They do it in a less dose per kg than humans. From what I read, the chemo for thyroid cancer is Adriamycin. It's just a shot, and not painful at all. Looks like the #1 thing they opt for is removing the tumor. That would also not be painful. Also looks like the survival time is up to 3 years if the tumor is removed and there are clean margins around the incision. If there is still some remaining cancer beyond what they cut out, the Adriamycin shot is the chemo.

None of that is painful. Our boy went through pretty heavy chemo for a year and four months. During that time we went for our daily runs and ball playing, swimming, sailing, and all the other things we've always done.

Chemo for dogs is not like for people because they use lower doses per weight. They live a normal life.
 

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Sorry to hear about your dogs diagnosis and hoping you hear that it hasnt spread. Having that information will help you better make a decision for your dog. It is a tricky surgery to get the tumor and not touch the parathyroid. You would need a specialist to do that. Let us know what the outcomr was of todays test. You are in my thoughhts and prayers ..from a fellow Delawarean!
 
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We got the GREATEST news since we got her diagnosis...it has NOT spread anywhere else so the vet spoke with an oncology doctor in Anchorage who is positive he can get the tumor out and treat Angel!

We're so happy!! This is great news. We'll see after the surgery (scheduled 6/10) how she does and if she'll need chemo or anything further but we're definitely not giving up our on Angel baby!!

Thank you again!
 

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Awesome news! Fingers crossed for an uneventful surgery andrecovery!!
 

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We got the GREATEST news since we got her diagnosis...it has NOT spread anywhere else so the vet spoke with an oncology doctor in Anchorage who is positive he can get the tumor out and treat Angel!

We're so happy!! This is great news. We'll see after the surgery (scheduled 6/10) how she does and if she'll need chemo or anything further but we're definitely not giving up our on Angel baby!!

Thank you again!
Perfect!! You should be in really good shape after the surgery. Perhaps they'll suggest administering a couple Adriamycin shots if they don't get perfectly clean margins. But as I said earlier, it's just a shot and not painful.

Perhaps begin adding some fish oil to her dinner. About 1/2 a teaspoon if she's around 50 lbs. Make sure it's pure and certified without heavy metals or PCB's. Krill oil is supposed to be pretty free of that because they get it from near the Antarctic where the water is more pure. Fish oil is an antioxidant, which fights free radicals like cancer. Good for her coat too.

Congrats on the great news!! :D
 

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Perfect!! You should be in really good shape after the surgery. Perhaps they'll suggest administering a couple Adriamycin shots if they don't get perfectly clean margins. But as I said earlier, it's just a shot and not painful.

Perhaps begin adding some fish oil to her dinner. About 1/2 a teaspoon if she's around 50 lbs. Make sure it's pure and certified without heavy metals or PCB's. Krill oil is supposed to be pretty free of that because they get it from near the Antarctic where the water is more pure. Fish oil is an antioxidant, which fights free radicals like cancer. Good for her coat too.

Congrats on the great news!! :D
While fish oil may have antioxidant properties, the main benefit is a supply of essential fatty acids. These fatty acids are used from constructing cell membranes to cell to cell signaling.

Also cancer cells are not free radicals in and of themselves. Cancer cells are normal cells that have lost their ability retard cell division--thus becoming out of control and immortal. The healthy body produces cancer cells every day, but our immune system and dna repair mechanisms manage to take care of them before they become an issue.

Anything that helps support the immune system will benefit the body's ability to combat cancer.

Free radicals are normal byproducts of regular cell metabolism and the body has mechanisms in place to deal with them. The only reason they are of concern is because they are highly reactive and could cause tissue damage if not controlled. However, since they are highly reactive, they rarely hang around very long. The stress they put on the body is more caused by consumption of resources used to safely neutralize them that could be used more constructively elsewhere. Supplementing with antioxidants supports the body by providing more of these basic building block materials used to help neutralize them.

Hope that helps clarify a couple things.

To the OP, excellent news for your pup, and I wish you all the best in your fight!
 

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I am so happy to read that the cancer has not spread and that they think they can get the tumor out! What wonderful news! It may be helpful to see a holistic vet to talk about diet and supplement opinions to help. My thoughts are with you and your family.
 

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Hi, I know this is a longshot, and I hate to bother you about this, but I was wondering what has happened your Angel since last post? My 12 y/o Golden has just been diagnosed with high thyroid hormone levels and a "mass" in her thyroid, and Vet is sending us to a specialist because she suspects cancerous tumor. Our dog also is taking antibiotics for a UTI… We aren't sure what the best course of action is considering her age. We just want her to have a happy life free of pain!
Thank you for your time, and I hope all is well!
 

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Hi, I know this is a longshot, and I hate to bother you about this, but I was wondering what has happened your Angel since last post? My 12 y/o Golden has just been diagnosed with high thyroid hormone levels and a "mass" in her thyroid, and Vet is sending us to a specialist because she suspects cancerous tumor. Our dog also is taking antibiotics for a UTI… We aren't sure what the best course of action is considering her age. We just want her to have a happy life free of pain!
Thank you for your time, and I hope all is well!
I'm so sorry Lilly74.
Please start a thread on this forum so others who have any help, support or information can be of help. There are so many wonderful people here, they've become an extended family and one heck of a support system when your dealing with cancer in your beloved golden. I'll be looking for your thread!
Jeanie
 
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