On August 28, 2008, Tripawds member tazziedog joined us in the discussion forums with this first post including her veterinary amputation surgery and recovery tips after welcoming home Tazzie, her 180 lb. three-legged English Mastiff who had just undergone amputation of the front leg due to osteosarcoma. Pam is a vet and has been very generous with her time and support ever since, frequently answering questions in the Ask A Vet discussion forum.
Tazzie was laid to rest on October 18, 2009. In addition to her chemotherapy treatments, Pam attributes Tazzie’s 14-month survival and quality of life to her metronomic protocol and supplements regimen, outlined below.
Tazzie was also getting 3 Power Mushroom tablets twice daily. Pam is not sure if the mushrooms or the Artemisinin actually did anything to prolong her life but she says, “Tazzie sure felt great for those 14 months.”
[January 7, 2009] Tazzie had her last dose of chemo (carboplatin #5) on Dec 18th and for the last few weeks I have been doing lots of research to determine if I should do anything else for her. Traditionally this would be to take the “wait and see” approach; taking xrays every 3 months and just enjoying life. There are currently several alternative paths to take, including the chinese herb artemisinin or trying a daily low-dose chemotherapy plus NSAID (metronomic protocol).
I have contacted Tazzie’s oncologist (Dr Karri Meleo of Seattle) and she thinks that both are reasonable and should be started as soon as traditional chemo is done. I also contacted a holistic vet, and several of the doctors researching artemisinin (Dr Cuoto and Dr Singh). Everyone agrees that artemisinin is safe, and it can kill osteosarcoma cells in a petri dish, but we still don’t know if the herb can work to kill cancer in a dog’s body or if the oral dose can be absorbed properly. Hopefully the ongoing study at OSU will determine a universal protocol for using this herb.
I originally wasn’t going to try metronomics since Tazzie has chronic liver disease. I am not worried about the chemo drug (cytoxan/cyclophosphamide) because that is fairly safe at low doses and tends to affect the bladder not the liver. I am more concerned with the NSAID since they all have to cycle through the liver to work. But Tazzie’s recent blood test is fine and she is still taking her liver meds (SAM-E, milk thistle, Vitamin E) so I am going to try Metacam and Cytoxan daily and see how her liver handles things. I can always stop if she has issues. She is also getting stiff on her remaining front leg and I think the Metacam will make her feel better!
If she handles metronomics okay then I will add the artemisinin and I will recheck her xrays every 3 months. Hopefully as more tripawds try these things we will get some info that can help others in the future.
Tazzie’s Metronomic Canine Cancer Care Protocol
This will be Tazzie’s new protocol (bodyweight 180#)
- 1 Marin tab(milk thistle and Vitamin E)
- 500 mg Vitamin C
- 25 mg cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan pill)
1 HOUR BEFORE DINNER
- 3 Denamarin tabs (SAM-E and milk thistle) has to be on empty stomach!
- 3 fish oil caps (1000 mg each)
- 2 Dasequin (glucosamine supplement)
- 1 meloxicam 7.5 mg (generic Metacam)
BEFORE BED (3-4 hours after eating)
- 200 mg artemisinin
- 80 mg artemether (artemisinin derivative)
- 1200 mg butyrate (to increase absorption of above 2 drugs)
She will also continue her Innova Large Breed Senior 3 cups dry plus 1/4 can twice daily. If she stops eating I will probably stop the artemsinin drugs but that is a rare side effect. If anyone has any questions about these things feel free to ask!
Many thanks to Pam for sharing this information! Follow the discussion on this topic here for additional feedback from her and other Tripawds members.
Please submit your dog’s treatment plan details for publication here in the Tripawds Nutrition blog!