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What Labs Should A Grey Have To Diagnose Cancer


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Guest avadogner

Hi Greytalk Friends,

 

Ava's hunger strike continues. The bowl snubbing and flipping continues. I know in my heart something is really wrong. She checked out good at her August vet visit (she's 10 yrs old). Her hunger stiking is getting really bad (see my many posts of her our culinary issues). I have an appt with our vet Monday. I want to have her kidney labs and liver function labs checked. I have a really bad feeling she has kidney failure. I am awaiting a kidney transplant myself and see so many symptoms I have in her. I also want to have her evaluated for cancer. What other labs should I have my vet check? I am so worried about her. She is my best friend and has helped keep my going during 8 surgeries and days of constant pain. She has been my personal therapy dogs through my kidney failure and I don't know how I will keep doing this without her. I love her so much. I've had pets my entire life and she is the most loving angel I've ever had. I am unable to have kids or adopt because of my health and she has been my version of a child. I know people who have kids think I am comparing apples and oranges but God has not chosen to bless me with children. His plan has been for us to rescue and love these sweet animals. I love our new hound Augie but there will never be another dog like Ava. I would appreciate any tips y'all have. I know there are lots of posts on here about sick greys. Please share your experiences with me. I want to find out what we are dealing with. I hope y'all can help me figure out what questions to ask and what tests are needed. I am a former NICU RN and also worked as a Trauma Nurse at a level one pediatric trauma center. I am very medical savy so feel free to get medical with me.

Thanks for the tips and support!

-ava and augie's mum

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I hope it's not cancer but let me tell you about Bailey anyway just in case. Bailey was off her food and picky for about 6-9 months before her diagnosis (splenic fibrosarcoma). What made me take her to the vet though was I felt a hard mass in her tummy while she was roaching. I compared with Murphy's belly and his was soft. The vet felt the mass too and confirmed it with abdominal xrays. So, palpating for a mass is important and maybe some xrays or ultrasound.

Good luck.

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I hope its not cancer. Both my seniors who passed from cancer, had blood tests within six weeks of their leaving us. I asked our vet, "Not for nothing, but both of dogs had blood work before they died and what did it show?" In fact Brandy had blood work and was cleared for a dental. The doctor said blood work doesn't show cancer. Brandy's situation was similar to Bailey, but, Brandy's tumor was between her heart and lungs.

I am sending good thoughts for Ava and hugs for you.

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Keeping Ava in my thoughts and prayers.

 

 

ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

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Well, there's no way to screen for cancer using blood work, but blood work will help you identify if there is an issue with a particular part of the body and then from there you can try to determine if it's due to cancer or another disease/illness. That's not to say that some cancers don't show up in some way on blood work. Alkaline phosphatase values are often altered in dogs who have bone cancer, but I believe that value is a function of bone loss and often changes in only the later stages. You would likely already know your dog had bone cancer from limping and resultant x-rays. That's just an example, all I'm trying to say is that a full blood chemistry is a good place to start, as well as an exam obviously and possibly x-rays or an ultrasound if something is suspected and then you go from there.

 

It could be a lot of things, try not to fear the worst just because your girl is off. Many dogs go off their food when they're in pain - perhaps it's as simple as something like arthritis?

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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You can't really diagnose cancer via a blood sample except perhaps leukemia. What you can see though is how each organ is functioning--- renal, liver....

I understand how special your girl is to you-- I lost my heartdog this past May after a 9 month battle with her illness. Not a day, rather an hour goes by that I don't think of her. I completely understand your concern.

The best place for you to start is with an exam and bloodwork. Next step may be x-rays or an ultrasound and perhaps a specific blood test targeting a problem area.

I'll be thinking of you both.

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Has Ava been tested for tick borne diseases, such as babesia and ehrlichiosis?

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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Guest buttonwillow

I hope she is ok. Have you considered the emergency vet? If she really is not eating? I would have a hard time waiting for Monday myself, but I'm a big worrier.

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All of the above. Complete blood work including screening for TBD, "clean catch" urinalysis/culture, fecal exam, abdominal ultrasound, x-rays if something bone related is suspected, dental if maybe something in her mouth is bothering her, acupuncture, chiropractor, reiki, T-touch massage, whatever works., but not necessarily in that order except for the first three. I am sure that you can work with your Vet in a way that makes sense to get a diagnosis for what is going on with Ava. Perhaps a referral to a board certified internist?

I hope the dx is quick and easily resolved. Sending prayers for you and Ava.

Linda, Mom to Fuzz, Barkley, and the felines Miss Kitty, Simon and Joseph.Waiting at The Bridge: Alex, Josh, Harley, Nikki, Beemer, Anna, Frank, Rachel, my heart & soul, Suze and the best boy ever, Dalton.<p>

:candle ....for all those hounds that are sick, hurt, lost or waiting for their forever homes. SENIORS ROCK :rivethead

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I hope it's not cancer and turns out to be something very treatable. I may have missed this, but seriously, what kind of bowl does Ava have? Plastic? Metal? Size? Raised or not? I once had a dog (non-gh) who as it turned out did not care for the food dish. It took some trial and error, but eventually we figured it out and he became a chow hound after that. ? Keeping you guys in my thoughts.

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Have you tried feeding here satin balls? here's the recipe, compliments of hubcitypam:

    • 1 lg. box oatmeal
      1 jar of wheat germ
      1 1/4 cup veg oil
      1 1/4 cup of unsulfured molasses
      10 raw eggs AND shells
      10 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
      pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together, much like you would a meatloaf. Roll into balls and freeze in baggies. Feed as needed.


Edited by robinw

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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Guest avadogner

Hi Greytalk Friends,

I've tried offering her foods in our normal stainless steel bowls, plastic tupperware and ceramic. I also tried hand feeding. She is already being treated for arthritis in her rear hips (she was seen by an Vet Ortho last fall for it). She had full xrays then and no signs of osteo but that was 12 months ago. She still eats the hard biscuit treats so i don't think it's a bad tooth issue. It seems like she is nauseated. She immediately pushed away or flips over any dish that has a food with any odor. She ate a full meal two days ago. She is taking fluids well, her resp and heart rates are normal. She is voiding and having stools that are normal and parasite free. The stools are much smaller now but she still free of the big d. She is taking Rimadyl and arthritis supplements for her hips. She was born with flattened femoral heads and it's probably why she never raced. We were able to adopt her at 18 months of age. I've palpated her abdomen and haven't found any masses. I have Polystic Kidney Disease and live with cystic tumors in the one kidney, one ovary and liver i have left after 8 surgeries. I know what tumors feel like. The kidney I have left is at about 10lbs due to tumors. A normal human kidney is about 9 oz. I'm just shaking my head trying to figure this out. She is moving well for her normal ranges of motion. I know something is wrong. She has always been a good eater until last year. Once she turned 10, her appetite has just slowly disapeared. Her poor little nose has sores on it from her pushing her food dishes away. If I don't remove the offending dish immediately, she keeps rubbing her nose to push it as far away as possible. It's caused sores to open on her nose. I treat for ticks and fleas year round here since it's so warm in Alabama. We also use mutliparasite heartworm preventative. My hounds get better healthcare than most Americans. I am trying not to jump to the worst case scenario but my medical training keeps making me think cancer or kidney failure. The loss of appetite is so pronounced. I fight daily to eat and can't stand to smell anything. I mainly eat cereal, cereal bars and ensure. Fruits i can do too. Anything with an odor makes me nauseated. If wasn't for Zofran, i would starve to death. When your kidneys fail, you build up waste and toxins in your system and it's like being hung over all the time. I appreciate the prayers and good Karma y'all are sending. I'll keep y'all posted at how she's doing.

-ava and augie's mum

 

 

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Guest Lovey_Hounds

you may have used flea and tick prevention but i would strongly suggest you get her tested for tick disease, it can lay dormant for a long time should could have easily picked up something years ago. I would do a full blood pannel and maybe something maybe detected incase its something else.

Good luck :grouphug

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you may have used flea and tick prevention but i would strongly suggest you get her tested for tick disease, it can lay dormant for a long time should could have easily picked up something years ago. I would do a full blood pannel and maybe something maybe detected incase its something else.

Good luck :grouphug

I agree 1000% TBDs can lay dormant for years. Phoenix was treated for babesia shortly after I adopted him, and since it is carried by brown ticks which aren't native to where I live, he had to have been infected when he was young. Please read this site for more information.

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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Guest grey_dreams

... She is taking Rimadyl and arthritis supplements for her hips ...

-ava and augie's mum

 

Rimadyl makes many dogs terminally ill and can cause rapid death from internal bleeding. It strips the stomach lining and causes massive internal bleeding of stomach and intestines. Read this thread that Dianne posted in Rememberance about her beloved Eliza: Eliza: in memory

 

Once the vet prescribed Rimadyl for Zuki. He became seriously ill after 3 days and stopped eating. I stopped the Rimadyl. He recovered within 1 day and started eating again. I will never again give Rimadyl to any dog in my care.

 

Zuki has arthritis and joint problems. I started giving him a supplement of glucosamine + chondroitin. He never limps anymore.

 

There is a chance that Ava is ill because of the Rimadyl. I would suggest that you should research side affects of Rimadyl leading to death. There is so much information on the internet, you can start with this Google search.

 

Prayers for Ava. Hope you can resolve this soon.

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Yep, there is a chance that it's the Rimadyl. Needn't be a fatal issue though - my Jack was on Metacam (also an NSAID, very similar drug) for years because of horrible arthritis and he needed acid reducers, plus a tablespoon of natural yoghurt each night, and still sometimes he'd lose his dinner. You have to choose though: for quality of life, is it better to suffer serious pain, or a little bit of upset stomach? By 'a little bit of stomach upset' I mean 'throwing up one time, perhaps once a week' not 'repeated nausea and/or throwing up with/without diarrhoea'. That would be more than a little upset and would need addressing.

 

Please do talk to your vet about the Rimadyl. Bloodwork can help to show if there's a serious issue (it can cause organ damage, like so many other prescription drugs), but s/he knows the right questions to ask to determine if Ava should be taken off it altogether. If not, maybe adding an acid reducer will help. I can't remember the one Jack was on, but it wasn't simply an antacid, it worked by actually reducing the amount of stomach acid the dog makes.

 

We changed from Rimadyl to Metacam not because he had any particular trouble with Rimadyl, but because it just didn't work so well, but some people do find that their dogs are more comfortable on Metacam. I liked it because it was a liquid.

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Guest HHHounds

My heart goes out to you and sweet Ava. I have just run into the dreaded Osteo with 2 hounds and have not had a grey with eating issues, but I hope and pray that your vet can find out what is going on with that sweet girly.

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Is she getting anything for her stomach?

 

Our protocol for meds liable to cause stomach upset is:

 

1. Give 1 Pepcid (10mg famotidine)

2. Wait 30-40 minutes

3. Give meal or substantial snack (piece of bread or similar)

4. Give meds right after the meal

 

I'd discontinue the supplement for the time being so you can rule it out as a course of stomach upset.

 

You can also check with your vet about a different med. Some dogs are sensitive to Rimadyl but not Metacam or Deramaxx, for example. True of antibiotics as well -- some dogs get really urpy/unwilling to eat on Cephalexin or Amoxicillin but can eat Clavamox like candy (which is weird since Clavamox contains Amox. but I have seen this).

 

ETA: I usually start out with 10mg famotidine twice a day. You can safely give three per day but I would check with the vet about any more than that, or about other stomach meds. Famotidine doesn't react with much; some stomach meds do and have to be timed differently.

Edited by Batmom

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I'm with Batmom...try pepcid. The meds can be upsetting her stomach and causing her to not want to eat, then she's getting meds on an empty stomach...kind of a catch 22.

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Agree with Silverfish and Batmom on the med issue. When you said Rimadyl I immeidately thought of the long term side effects that can develop from use of NSAIDs. Not to mention that if she's not eating, she is now getting them on an empty stomach, which very likely might exacerbate the problem.

 

You've mentioned concerns about a kidney problem repeatedly, but so far you haven't indicated any symptoms having to do with kidney disease. Some of those would include increased water intake (you said her water consumption is normal), accidents or needing to potty more frequently, and dilute and/or large volumes of urine.

 

I don't doubt that something is wrong with Ava - it sounds like there is something going on, but again it could be anything. What you are describing does not in and of itself sound like kidney issues or cancer - you really need more information. Deep breaths and go get some blood work and a urinalysis so you have a place to start. Also, start giving pepcid before meds and try to make sure she eats somethign when you give the Rimadyl, or stop the Rimadyl entirely and see if her symptoms change. Hang in there, you'll get this figured out.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest avadogner

Hi Greytalk Friends,

 

Thank you so much for all the ideas and info to check out. She took Rimadyl last winter for about 9 wks for her arthritis but soon as the weather warmed up, we dc'ed it. We just restarted it about 2 wks ago but she has only had about 4 doses because i only give it on days she eats a substantial meal. She gets glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM year round daily. She actually ate today. Praise sweet Jesus. She ate about 3/4 cup of Blue Buffalo Grain free salmon kibble, a couple spoonfuls of Brewer's yeast, a scoop of yogurt, her Prozyme (it's a digestive enzyme to increase absorption), fine shredded cheddar cheese and little LactoFree ensure Plus. It wasn't the biggest meal but I was so happy to see food go in. I'm holding the Rimadyl until her kidney and liver labs checked out. Once I starting suspecting renal issues, I held the Rimadyl. I can't do any NSAIDS with my kidney failure it was the first thought I had to hold it. The weather has been warm here in Birmingham so it's been easier on her. She limps a little with her rear hips but it's mild and she lets me do massage on her. My mom is the practice manager for highly respected Chiropractor with a Reiki specialist. They also do needle free accupuncture (they use electrical current stimulation in place of needles). I've spoken with her and she said Dr. Chabot would be happy to try working on Ava after her vet eval. Dr. Chabot has been treating me with Chiro, massage therapy, Reiki, herbal nurtition and good old fashioned TLC since I was 6 yrs old. (I used to be a competive gymnast until college). Ava visits Dr. Chabot with me so she is already comfortable with going to her office. I really appreciate all the care and support y'all are sending our way. My worry over Ava is really causing my unstable BP and heart issues to worsen so I'm trying to keep calm. Ava's not ER vet sick but I know something is off. Augie knows too. He's very goofy and silly and very boisterous but he always treats Ava carefully. He even tries to snuggle with her when she doesn't feel well. It's so sweet because she has been a very space aggressive dog with other dogs. She lets me spoon her and do whatever I want to her but she isn't that way with dogs. She lets' him put his head on her bed by her head. It' too sweet.

I'll keep y'all posted,

ava and augie's mum

Edited by avadogner
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... She is taking Rimadyl and arthritis supplements for her hips ...

-ava and augie's mum

 

Rimadyl makes many dogs terminally ill and can cause rapid death from internal bleeding.

 

 

 

 

SOME dogs have become ill and died from Rimadyl. Most of those dogs had undiagnosed underlying conditions. That's why they now do routine and periodic bloodwork for dogs on Rimadyl and Deramaxx.

 

Many drugs, including Rimadyl, can cause upset stomach. And so can supplements. There are no scientific studies that prove nutriceuticals do much of anything. I'd be included to stop both and see what happens.


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Agree with Silverfish and Batmom on the med issue. When you said Rimadyl I immeidately thought of the long term side effects that can develop from use of NSAIDs. Not to mention that if she's not eating, she is now getting them on an empty stomach, which very likely might exacerbate the problem.

 

:nod This. IMO Deramaxx, while it can still be hard on the stomach, is generally less of a problem than Rimadyl. Also, for arthritis type pain, Deramaxx works better than Rimadyl (in my experience, anyway).

 

Ace has chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Her symptoms included general lethargy, inappetance (though not excessive), and really red eyes. I took her in for her eyes because I suspected she had an eye infection. Because of her age (she's 9), the vet decided to do some bloodwork and her white count was off the charts (we're talking 900,000ish :eek). After consulting with OSU, we had several tests run. We had a full tick panel run by Michigan State, we had a PCL and flow cytometry done by NC State. The flow cytometry was what told us that she had chronic lymphocytic leukemia. She had issues all through January and we finally got her diagnosed at the beginning of February. She takes prednisone every other day and takes Leukeran (a chemotherapy drug in pill form) every other week. Her latest bloodwork shows that she is in remission. This particular type of leukemia, when treated, usually does not hinder normal life expectancy, and we're truly grateful for that :nod

 

The white count and leukocyte count will be off the charts if you're dealing with something like lymphoma or leukemia. Have you felt her lymph nodes? Ace's were never swollen, but that is often a symptom of lymphoma and leukemia.

 

Jen is correct that sometimes the alkaline phosphatase level will be higher in a dog with osteo, but that generally doesn't present until later, as she mentioned. Even then, it might never be elevated. I lost Sutra one month ago today to osteo and his alkaline phosphatase level was always just fine. :dunno His bone loss was really significant too, so by all accounts it should have been elevated.

 

As far as the eating goes...when I first got Sutra he was battling pancreatitis. He'd been in the hospital and had almost died. He WOULD NOT eat kibble or even cooked meat. I ended up feeding him mashed potatoes, macaroni, cottage cheese, turkey baby food, etc. to put weight on him and to get him started eating again (he weighed 47 lbs when I got him - he should have weighed at least 60). Sometimes those bland items help get dogs to eat, and, because they're all mushy foods, they're also easy for them to digest. None of those foods is particularly smelly either, so if she seems averse to strong smelling stuff, you might give the mashed potatoes a try. Sutra liked his with some Vanilla Ensure poured on top, or mixed with cottage cheese :)

 

I fed him out of the styrofoam bowls that you can buy in bulk at the grocery store. Really easy for me to do multiple feedings a day, and no dishes to deal with. I know that's not the most environmentally friendly option, but, it sounds like you've got quite a bit on your plate and anything to make it easier for you would be good :nod Maybe also try feeding her on a paper plate? I often noticed that when Sutra didn't feel well, he didn't want to stick his nose into a bowl, but he would eat off of a plate.

 

Wishing you luck - take care of yourself too! :grouphug

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

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