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Monday, 18 May 2009

Help for the carers

Hi there,
I have a gorgeous, almost two year old mixed breed bitch. My girl has a very rare cancer called 'angiofibrolipoma'. It started in a mammary gland but now goes down her right hind leg, through the hole in the pelvis and is quite close to the spine. She limps as the back leg is affected. I have been assured that she is NOT in pain.
The original prognosis was that she would manage about another six months!! That date came and went last autumn.
For a young girl she sleeps alot and sleeps deeply! But oh boy she can certainly run and jump. I can always see when she's overdone it!! On a couple of walks she has even collapsed, all she needs is a few moments and then she's up again.
I was advised to let her run, live and enjoy life. There is no cure. I would love more information on this elusive demon. Most of all I would love to speak to someone who's been through or is going through what we are now, with this particular tumour.
I am aware that it will be a miracle if you can help me!!
Yours most sincerely
Miss Jill Dickson

This certainly is a rare tumour – when I ‘Googled’ it, the Think Tank with your question was the third entry to appear!
What you are really wanting, however, is reassurance now that your dog has been diagnosed with this mass, at such a young age. Your description of the location of the mass indicates that it is inoperable, so it is all about quality of life, and by that I mean for everyone, patient and carers.
A priority is, rightly, pain relief and you have been assured that your dog is not in pain. Having been in pain ever since a rear-end shunt RTA more than five years ago, pain relief is always my first priority. Pain takes over your life, whether animal or human, and it certainly reduces your quality of life markedly. Additionally, however, drugs for pain relief often have other effects on the patient. You are lucky that your dog is not in pain, but do be aware that the situation may change. Be on the look out in particular for changes in behaviour or appetite, for example, which may indicate the development of pain. There are so many options for pain relief available now.
I think you can't better the advice you have been given to ‘let her run, live and enjoy life’. Being so young, she remains young at heart despite the mass, but therefore needs more sleep than might be expected of a dog of rising two years of age. That she wants to run and jump is great, especially as she makes a quick recovery when she has overdone it. After all, it will be hard to stop her if that is how active she wants to be.
Giving an estimate of expected life expectancy after diagnosis is always hard because it is based on experience from other similar cases, and especially so with a rare condition. Having exceeded the life expectancy that she was given from diagnosis, I would simply enjoy the time that you have with her now.
Store up all the memories of your dog being so active and happy because they will always be with you.
Alison Logan, vet

As far as I can see from veterinary reports, the first case ever of angiofibrolipoma was only reported in 2002 and there have been very few since then, so she certainly has a rare cancer indeed. However, this doesn’t mean that there is any less chance of it responding to treatment. Though I wouldn’t hold out hope of a cure, there are many natural medicines and supplements that will have a good chance of slowing down the rate of growth, or even stopping further growth for a while.
If you have been reading DT for the last few months you can’t fail to have seen the cancer treatment CV247 discussed. I am seeing more and more good results with this, so it is well worth considering.
There are many other natural products, including the ‘magic mushroom’ Coriolus versicolor, antioxidants such as Selenium and Vitamins A, C and E, homoeopathic medicines including Carcinosin, Viscum album and Dr Reckeweg R17. I could go on, but the list would become very long and a little boring. I would strongly advise that you ask your vet about referring her to a vet specialising in natural therapies, and particularly one offering treatment with CV247 if possible. DT has the list of those vets that do!
Richard Allport, alternative vet

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