This is a Dog with Cancer Month 3 anal sac adenocarcinoma to Lymph Nodes

16 Mar

Buford with Cancer Month Three

This is a dog with cancer. I have to keep telling myself that because sometimes I can’t believe it’s true. He still wants to go for a walk everyday, has a huge appetite and is very active.


It’s now at least three months since we can assume the cancer had returned, and two months since we found out it was back.  It’s been nearly one month since I met with the holistic vet and that was a miscommunication between my regular vet me and her. On top of that, Buford had some strange tremors on the homeopathic remedies oddly he is taking another homepathic remedy Dr. Reckeweg’s R17 drops and that does not. Perhaps the base formula is different. This is a strange dog anyhow, he turns pink if he eats pork, so who knows.

It’s been almost two years since Buford first had anal sac adenocarcinoma and his operation to remove the tumor and his anal sacs/glands.  I sent his initial biopsy away for comments and I noticed there was talk of how this cancer could spread to the iliac node.


I discovered this great article written on the subject by By: Meredith Gauthier, DVM, DACVIM (oncology), Lisa G. Barber, DVM, DACVIM (oncology), Kristine E. Burgess, MS, DVM, DACVIM (oncology) Here which talks about the cancer my dog has. It explains the  anal sac cancer tumor he originally had was common only about 2% of the time, but common in dogs over 10.5 years. This was the exact age when he had the operation to have the cancer removed. It then explains that in  40% to 72 of cases there was recurrence or spread to the iliac node.

In a nutshell it does explain the cancer is invasive, and will spread to other areas even if removed properly. Four our of five dogs lived 20 months on average after original tumor removal and some longer with lymph node removal The longest dogs in the study lived 956 days which is 32 months, not quite three years and that is after surgeries, raditions, chemo, etc.

Lymph node removal is dangerous, many side effects and the fact that 40 to 50 percent of the time, it has or will spread elsewhere anyways. It must be combined with radition and follow up treatment and that just impacts the quality of life of the dog anyhow.  Since Buford is almost 13 I’ve decided that’s not an option.  I’ve decided to try to slow down the spread and keep him comfortable until I have to make that choice to put him down if he starts suffering.

Big Changes

The biggest change in Buford is his sunken in face appearance, which happened with the diet change.

Sunken in Face

At first seeing the contour of his face upset me a bit, but the diet has changed his fat content. Even though we are upping his fats naturally with chicken, olive oil and pork back fat, there was some initial weight loss with the diet change. This was a dog who was on grains his whole life. Luckily, the sunken in face is the worst part, the rest of him is still nicely filled out and his skin is soft. He smells of celery, kale and fresh veggies and likes to make me yell at him to eat his vegetables.

The second issue we are more concerned about, that he seems to strain or think he has to go to do #2 more than he does. That is possibly happening for the mere fact the lymph is so enlarged it may be pressing on something, making him think he has to go, as this is also outlined in the same article from above and this we have to watch.  His stool will be semi solid one day and somewhat runny the next, it’s never the same. He will be meeting his new vet soon and the only reason we will be taking him to  ensure that along the way he’s not suffering.

Fecal obstipation = word of the day.


5 Responses to “This is a Dog with Cancer Month 3 anal sac adenocarcinoma to Lymph Nodes”

  1. JustJanuarysJargon March 17, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    I use this to keep my cat healthy and when my Rott had cancer I used protocel your will find the info on protocel in this book.

  2. Betsy, Tucker's mommy July 26, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

    best wishes for your dog buford! it looks like we have the same vets.. as barber and burgess are treating my dog too, who has this horrible cancer. he presented in january with an abscessed (infected) lymphnode.. all of the sudden, he got really sick, turns out it was cancerous too. he had the surgery, 20 rounds of radiation, and 5 rounds of chemo (3 mitoxantrone, 1 carboplatin which did nothing, then another mitoxantrone) .. he had ultrasounds along the way which showed the lymphnodes shrinking.. but his chemo was delayed a wk cuz the poor guy had the runs, and then we figured we’d try carboplatin to see if it’d be easier on him. that was lesson #1: don’t ever stop a chemo if it’s working to lessen a side effect. the carboplatin didn’t work at all and 3 weeks later when he was due his last chemo dose, we found out it was back in his iliac lymphnodes, which grew from 4mm to 9.6mm. he had been straining to poop and peeing in middle of night. turns out the ultrasound gives a false sense of security. reason being, it doesn’t show lymphnodes in pelvic canal (which press on colon, etc., and lead to straining) cuz it doesn’t see thru bone. so while the iliac lymphnodes were decreasing, the pelvic lymphnodes were increasing. he is scheduled for his 2nd surgery at the beginning of the month. we are taking him up to cornell in ithaca ny to have the best surgeon in the country work on him! yes, lymphnode removal is for the most highly skilled surgeons as they can be quite vascular and you have to know what you’re doing. but the good news is that they can be removed. the dog that lived the longest had the cancerous tumor and lymphnodes removed, and then went in for four additional surgeries over the years to remove the lymphatic tissue and vessels around where the lymphnodes used to be.. cuz the cancer can come back. organic pumpkin (real pumpkin, not pumpkin mix!) has really helped his digestive system. one tablespoon in morning, one in evening! it is a miracle. also, my dog will be having a ct-scan right before the surgery at cornell. this way, they will see exactly where the cancer is. he was diagnosed in january and it’s almost august. we are still taking him for walkies (tho we go slower cuz his back legs are weak from the cancer) and he loves the food we cook him. chicken breast, salmon, ground beef, scrambled eggs (with water instead of milk, to avoid hypercalcemia) .. and bark at the moon dry dog food. i wish all of you who have furry babies with this type of cancer the very best and my heart goes out to each and every one of you! please keep advocating for your dogs and give them as much love as they can take, they are worth it!!! oh, my dog looooves relaxation music, he listens to ‘soundscapes’ on tv and it really helps him. please take care and hug your dogs right now!!! give buford a big hug what a sweet dog!!! xoxoxo lots of love, betsy and tucker

    • Bruce and Deb November 30, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

      Read your article and was very helpful, what was the result after taking tucker to Cornell university, I know it’s over a year, but thought I’d see how things are going. Our Lina was diagnosed with anal sac cancer last Friday, and we are devastated, never thought this would happen, now we have decisions to make…. Surgery or not, holistic is one approach we are pursuing, please keep us dated or of any news that would be helpful. Thanks, Bruce and Deb

  3. Lynn Jameson December 1, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    Does anyone know (in California) where to get the bacteria that can be directly injected into the tumor or something called dendritic cell exosommes? My dog had an anal sac tumor that went to his lymph nodes also,

    • Admin November 25, 2016 at 1:31 am #

      sorry for late reply, never heard of this worth looking into

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