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What is Nose Cancer?

A dog’s nasal cavity is divided into two chambers (each made up on turbinate bones and paranasal sinuses) by a cartilaginous septum and extends into the two nostrils you see at your dog’s snout. The anterior of your dog’s nasal cavity handles respiration while the posterior handles olfactory sensation. Your nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses are a complex network, and a cancerous tumor obstructs your dog’s breathing and causes significant other complications.

Nose cancer is an aggressive cancer more commonly found in older dogs, dogs with longer snouts, and dogs living in urban areas. Two-thirds of all nasal tumors are carcinomas, which form in the lining of the nose, and about one-third are sarcomas, which form in the cartilage, bone or connective tissue within the nose. A nasal tumor may also be lymphoma; however, this is very rare. It can be treated if caught early, but nose cancer is by definition malignant, with a high frequency of metastasis to the lungs, skull cavity, or lymph nodes.

Nose cancer, technically known as nasal adenocarcinoma, is a rare tumor of a dog’s nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. Nose cancer accounts for 2.5 percent of canine tumors.

Nose Cancer Average Cost

From 2 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $15,000

Average Cost

$12,000

Symptoms of Nose Cancer in Dogs

  • Epistaxis (bloody nasal discharge)
  • Mucous or pus in nasal discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
  • Stertorous breathing (labored, noisy breathing)
  • Anorexia
  • Seizures
  • Facial deformity
  • Visible pain around nose
  • Excessive ocular discharge
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Causes of Nose Cancer in Dogs

The exact cause of the cancer is not known, although it is correlated with certain risk factors. The most telling is an elevated risk in dogs living in urban areas, which suggests that exposure to pollutants, smoking, and fossil fuel combustion byproducts increase a dog’s risk of developing nose cancer.

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Diagnosis of Nose Cancer in Dogs

The veterinarian will take tissue samples from lymph nodes in order to analyze for cancerous cells and detect possible metastasis. The nasal bacterial culture will be harvested and analyzed. In addition to the nasal bacterial culture, a rhinoscopy, or examination of the nasal passages, will be complete. Further, a combination of X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and radiographic scans will be taken in order for the veterinarian to identify and diagnose the tumor, the extent of its proliferation, and if it has spread into the cranial vault. An additional tool for diagnosis will be the biopsy of the cancerous growth for microscopic analysis by a laboratory pathologist.

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Treatment of Nose Cancer in Dogs

Because adenocarcinoma advances so rapidly, it is typically very advanced at the time of diagnosis. For this reason, getting treatment as soon as possible increases your chance of survival. With a positive diagnosis, the veterinarian may refer you and your dog to a veterinarian oncologist. An oncologist specializes in treating tumors, and will be able to best advise you on your dog’s prognosis and help you make decisions regarding treatment.

Surgery

Adenocarcinoma is not amenable to surgery, due to the complex nature of your dog’s nasal cavity and the fact that the tumor is close to the brain and eyes. Therefore, the risk of complication outweighs benefits. In rare cases, rhinotomy, or an incision into the nose to remove the tumor, is attempted; however, success rates have not been encouraging, and rhinotomy correlates with significantly reduced survival time, average between three to six months.

Radiation and Chemotherapy

At this time, radiation therapy and chemotherapy have not proven effective at treating adenocarcinoma. The good news, radiation therapy is still considered an option to prolong life and relieve pain. Depending upon your dog’s tumor, you may consider one of the following options for radiation therapy:

  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery

    delivers a high dose of radiation targeting the center of the tumor and is a one-time treatment designed to minimize damage to tissue surrounding the tumor.

  • Stereotactic Radiation Therapy

    delivers up to three smaller doses at different times in order to further minimize the risk of damaging tissue around the tumor. This involves multiple visits to a radiation specialist as opposed to one and is used when a tumor is located dangerously close to essential structures such as your dog’s brain and eyes.

When considering radiation therapy, it is important to discuss the risks of possible side affects with the veterinarian, which can include inflammation, runny nose, skin shedding, atrophy, hemorrhage, degeneration, brain necrosis, seizures, optic nerve degeneration, fibrosis and bone collapse.

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Recovery of Nose Cancer in Dogs

Untreated adenocarcinoma is very deadly, and affected dogs typically die within two to seven months of diagnosis. The median survival time of dogs administered with radiation therapy is eight to twenty months.

If your dog undergoes radiation therapy, be sure to carefully monitor symptoms and follow up with the veterinarian as scheduled and whenever symptoms warrant. Some side affects are treatable with antibiotics or other treatments; however, some of the most severe side affects are non-treatable.

The most critical task is keeping your dog comfortable. To ease pain, anti-inflammatories, pain medication, and sleeping pills may be prescribed. In serious cases, with a poor prognosis and debilitating pain, euthanasia may be concerned as the main option.

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Nose Cancer Average Cost

From 2 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $15,000

Average Cost

$12,000

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Nose Cancer Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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GracieKaye

dog-breed-icon

Beagle/terrier mix

dog-age-icon

12 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Reverse Sneezing
Sneezing,
Sleep Apnea
Discharge W/Sneezing

My GracieKaye started coughing & sneezing the day after she was in the vet for a spa day. Long sorry short we have been on meds, had bloodwork, x-rays, & more meds to still not have a formal Dx. The bloodwork looked good, only slightly elevated CBC, her x-rays of sinuses/head, & lungs were clear. She intermittently snores & has for years. Her vet, who is wonderful, seems to still be on the fence for a Dx. Regardless of Dx I will be doing palliative care. Some days she seems to have a lot of energy & her happy self, others she seems depressed & sad. I have some fear about what I can give her to keep her comfortable. She’s been on Apoquel & the commercials say it can make pre-existing cancers grow more rapidly. Should she be on something else? I don’t want to lose her faster b/c of a med that I thought was to help her! I’m already finding what I’ve read hard enough to accept on how fast this can progress.

July 22, 2018

GracieKaye's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

I wish that I could give you a good answer, but I know very little about GracieKaye, or her test results, and I can't see her to give an opinion on what might help her. Since your veterinarian seems to be on top of managing her situation, it would be very reasonable to call them and ask what more might be done, and whether Apoquel is needed for her situation. I hope that she does well.

July 23, 2018

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Bo

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Yellow Lab

dog-age-icon

12 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Heavy Breathing Sneezing Bloody

My Bo yellow lab was diagnosed with a nasal tumor in April, it has now progressed to very enlarged pink nasal opening. Three weeks ago noticed a large growth on the side of his nose. He is now having a yellow greenish discharge from the eye on the same side. He is taking aa steroids every other day. He has a good appetite, is eating treats. He has labored breathing, his eyes look tired all the time. His nose seems very sensitive will not let me touch it and jerks back when he has contact with his nose. I just want him to be comfortable. Before I talk with vet again any suggestions.

June 22, 2018

Bo's Owner

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0 Recommendations

There is no quick solution to this unfortunately, you should visit your Veterinarian to discuss pain relief and other aspects of palliative care; without examining Bo and the tumour I cannot really weigh in as I don’t know the exact location of the tumour on the nose, how invasive it is or the type of tumour. For now continue with treatment and visit your Veterinarian when they open. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 23, 2018

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Milo

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Jack Russell Terrier

dog-age-icon

9 Years

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Moderate severity

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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Some Sneezing, Pain

My 9-year old Jack Russell was just diagnosed with nasal cancer. He had a lump in-between both eyes, and his right eye seemed painful. I took him to the vet, and they weren't sure if he had a bee sting, or maybe it was an infection so they tried a number of things like antihistamines and antibiotics and pain relievers. The pain reliever, Galliprant has been like a miracle drug for him, but the lump only seemed to get bigger. We went to a specialist, where they performed an aspirate to get a sample from the lump. They told me today that there were squamous cells in the sample, yet after 4 days, there had been no further cell growth. We will see an oncologist for a prognosis. Just wondered if there is much hope from recovery. I know you haven't examined my dog, but just wondering from any experience you, as vets, have seen. He's a sweet dog, and my good pal, but I won't let the guy suffer needlessly. I would never invest a lot of money in procedures that would only prolong his life a few more months. In the meantime, he and I will spend quality time on lots of cool walks.

May 7, 2018

Milo's Owner

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0 Recommendations

As you mentioned, it is very difficult to determine severity or prognosis without examining Milo; I cannot even determine the level of attachment and the presence of ‘some squamous cells’ is vague. It would be wise to visit an Oncologist to get their input on Milo’s condition, I wish I could give you more information but there are too many variables. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 8, 2018

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Elliot

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Havanese

dog-age-icon

11 Years

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Moderate severity

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

My dog Elliot is an 11 year old Havanese who was diagnosed January of 2017 with Adenoid carcinoma and we were told that he would only survive another 3 to 6 months at most. It has now been over a year and the breathing has gotten so much worse and the nose bleeds are coming several times a day. He has difficulty sleeping at night and gets up to go to the bathroom several times at night as well. He is still begging for food and treats, even more so then ever before and tries to eat his poop as well. I don't want him to suffer but I also don't want to put him down before it is time. I am at my wits end. The bleeding is a lot with several pieces of tissue coming out each time. Please help.

March 28, 2018

Elliot's Owner


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2 Recommendations

I understand that you don’t want to put Elliot down before his time, but you need to make sure that you are doing it for him and not for yourself; I cannot examine Elliot so I cannot determine the severity of the bleeding and his overall condition. Products like yunnan baiyao (Chinese Medicine) may help with bleeding, you should discuss Elliot’s condition with your Veterinarian and whether yunnan baiyao would be suitable for him. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

March 29, 2018

My dog Belle has had a nasal tumour for over 2 years.It started with a nasal bleed then yellow discharge from one nostril it then progressed to the other nostril and now the discharge is bloody and a lump has formed on her nose between her eyes.She breathes thru her mouth and seems happy enough for now, she eats and plays with my other dog but the the tumour is progressing now.I have been giving her Turkey Tail mushroom capsules 2 a day for a year and a half now and it is this reason I feel she is still with me.The TTMushroom slows down the tumour. She is over 13 years old now and she still has more time before I have to make that decision as she is not suffering.

June 6, 2018

Mario G.


I have a 12 yr old lab having the same problem. What dosage are you using of YB? Mine is 75lbs.

May 7, 2018

Amberly


What dosage should I incorporate for an 80lb lab with nasal bleeding/tumor. I have the powder form. There are no clear instructions on administrating. Can anyone help?

May 7, 2018

Amberly


Hi, I'd be really interested in hearing the outcome of this. I am in almost exactly the same position. Our 11 year old lab has a nasal tumor and having sneezing bursts almost daily with lumps of blood/tissue coming out. His left eye (side of the tumor) is squinted and he flinched when we go near it. Is is watery and also starting to go bloodshot. Like yourself, I don't want to PTS before I really have to as can't imagine taking what looks like a happy healthy dog to the vets, I would always imaging it would be when he is clearly no longer enjoying life. Please do keep me updated and offer any advice you can. Thanks

April 27, 2018

Jamielee L.


I am using Yunnan Baiyao for my dog with carcinoma in the nasal passages....stopped the bleeding. It's a great product. I'd use it.

April 26, 2018

Ria S.

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Bridget

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Golden Retriever

dog-age-icon

9 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Elevated Third Eyelid
Elevated Third Eyelid, Sneezing Na
Elevated Third Eyelid, Sneezing

Hi, my dog Bridget is almost 9yrs old. On or around Feb 13th I noticed her right eye didn't look right so I took her in and she was treated with an antibiotic eye drop. A few days after her third eyelid was elevated and she had clear discharge with a tinge of blood come out of her nose while we were at the vet. Bridget developed reverse sneezing a few years ago on and off but nothing out of the ordinary. It seemed to be more reoccurring in Dec and Jan prior to this past Feb 2018. The airflow in the right nostril also wasn't good. We went to a specialist and had an MRI done, it revealed a mass that was in the rear aspect of the right nostril that had some destruction to the cribrifrom plate and has invading her intracranial cavity as well as pressing into the orbit of her right eye. The specialist attempted to due a Rhinoscopy to get a piece of the mass but ended up doing a blind biopsy. Results came back as Inflammation. She wasn't able to get a piece of the mass and also said there was quite a bit of inflammation surrounding the mass. We were offered an aggressive biobsy but declined due to the location . We are treating her with antibiotics for now and they have kept the sneezing under control and her breathing seems better but her eye is still the same. Could this be a fungal infection, that's their next treatment to rule it out. We have to be worried about seizures now as well. I'm terrified of the unknown. Can you shed any light on what I've explained or give me your medical opinion? Thank you Tish

March 11, 2018

Bridget's Owner


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2 Recommendations

Without a biopsy of the mass itself it is not possible to confirm whether it is cancer, inflammation or something else; if they are suspecting fungal infection or planning to rule out fungal infection next I would suggest trying to get a sample for identification as this may help as far as treatment planning is concerned. At this moment you are looking at treating a variety of conditions in an attempt to rule out each one until a diagnosis is made. I cannot really shed any light on this unfortunately but would recommend you have a biopsy done by rhinoscopy or another method to try to make a diagnosis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

March 11, 2018

We are going through the same thing with one 1 year old hound boxer. They did a cat scan and found a mass they went through the eye socket with a needle and took a samp,e. We go Monday to,see our options as they think it might be cancer

May 4, 2018

Tanya P.

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Lucy

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Collie

dog-age-icon

5 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Nose Bleed
Sneezing
Snorting
Trouble Breathing
Facial Deformity

My sweet 5 year old collie has been diagnosed with advanced, spreading nasal tumor. Started with nose bleeds out of the left side 13 months ago. Treated as infections, she even had a surgery to remove the fungal and bacterial infections they were seeing behind her eye in her left sinus. Antibitoics always stopped the bleeding, but it would always come back when we stopped. In May, we took her for a CT Scan. They said it was adenocarcinoma. So advanced they recommended no further treatment. That dr basically said you've got 6 months-1 year, take her off her meds, and make her comfortable. Her doctor told me I could keep giving her Clavamox (antibiotic) because it's literally the only thing that's been helping her. Perks her up a bit and it actually stops the bleeding (we had one bleed through last weekend, both nostrils, upsetting as a sign that the tumor as spread). We have seen her worsen - facial deformity over her left eye, snorting, trouble sleeping bc she can't breathe, heavy breathing, sneezing, sneezing fits, etc. It's hard to see her suffer and know I can do nothing. I guess my question is - I have had her on these heavy duty antibiotics for a good 3+ months now, every single day, twice a day. It's the only thing that seems to help her but I'm afraid I'm harming her more since it's such a heavy dosage of something. Should I scale her back to 1 a day? Just keep giving them to her indefinitely? I'm terrified to take her off of them and watch her go straight downhill :( I just want to do whats best for her. Every single day with her is a blessing. She still seems to playful and like herself other than these symptoms.

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Feena

dog-breed-icon

Mix

dog-age-icon

12 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Breathing Difficulty

Two weeks ago I lost my beloved 12 years old female dog feena, she had soft tissue sarcome in her nasal cavity and frontal sinuses. On May/01/2019, we noticed puss mixed with blood discharge from her right nostrill. Vets put her on antiboitics for a long time, it improved and then came back when antiboitics were stopped. Suddenly in mid june i noticed both her nostrills were blocked and she had troubled breathing, we took her to vets, he had an x ray n did nothing, he advised us to nabulize her. On being nabulised she had worse attacks, they call it fitz, Vets couldnt help us in india, So we took her in another state new delhi for a CT scan in the beginning of July 2019. We found she had soft tissue sarcoma, no histopathology test was done even though that stupid vet had her biopsy. He scared us that the tumer is so advanced and will block her throat, lungs and brain within three to six months. We will not be able see her suffering n will have to euthanise her(something that we cannot dream off). Then I found a place 30 hours drive to Mumbai where Tata Memorial is doing radiation for dogs as well. She had to go through 5 radiations sessions weekly. She had three sessions, that improved her breathing 80 percent n her facial deformity was gone, she was a happy wag again, we were told by Dr Pardeep Chaudary, Dr Kieren and Dr Rajiv Sieren that Feena will live for two to three years n will pass away narurally at the end but not with cancer. Radiation therapy relieved her from pain and short breath. I dont know what happed after fourth radiation, Feena's health started getting deteriorated and she had breathing issues. Those attacks due to shortage of oxygen came back. We put her on oxygen most of the time. Drs said she will be given her last radiation one week late than normal schedule. She didnt eat for 4 days n was given glucose 200 ml, we came home n she started eating again, she slept for an hour. i found she had 102.5 celsius temperatue, i used cold water strips n lowered her temperature to 102.1, then her breathing issue was getting worse, she laid down while she was on oxygen at home. We took her to emergency Vets. on the way she had massive bleeding from her left nose. She went to coma n was on a ventilator for two and half hours, Vets told me all the blood is in her lungs now n in a moment she passed away. We were devastated.She had great appetite, initially her right nose was bleeding n was completely blocked, later on her left nose started with puss n blood and ended up with a flood of blood that took her life.

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Ginny

dog-breed-icon

Rat Terrier

dog-age-icon

14 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Breathing Difficulty
Nasal Discharge
Blindness

My dog Ginny is 14 yo. Since we adopted our her 6 years ago, She has always had cloudy eyes but was able to see, and she has had history of allergies-reverse sneezing etc during spring. Just 2 weeks ago, her vision has been completely disabled, then a couple days after that, she had a very difficult time breathing and would have to breathe through her mouth. She eventually started not finding her way around the house and fell completely disoriented. We went to 3 different vets to see our options and possible diagnosis. They all suspect nasal cancer. We decided to go the palliative route and not go ahead with CT scan since we cannot afford the $3000 procedure and also even if we found out, we wouldn’t go ahead with the treatments bc of the risk of her age and other underlying conditions. And to add to that, the prognosis is still really poor. Believe me if I had a lot of money I would do it all hands down but we also want to make sure that we are not making her suffer. We want to make sure she is as comfortable as possible with as minimal pain as possible. Currently she is on antibiotics, Prednisone, and pain meds. She has been very active and loves to roam around the house, mapping her routes even though she runs into things. She also has a great appetite and takes her meds well. We also give her probiotics in her food. So far, so good. I think the worst thing that has happened so far is that she has more mucus discharge in one nostril and has been sneezing now but otherwise..her spirits are up. We are in touch with a hospice vet which I highly recommend as she focuses on quality of life for our Ginny. Just an idea for those of you who are having a difficult time seeing their dog go through this and not being able to go forward with cancer treatments. Good luck, everyone!

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Callie

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Golden Labrador

dog-age-icon

8 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Nose Bleed
Weight Loss
Bad Breath
Lump On Nose

Callie has just been diagnosed with nasal adenocarcinoma. She has lost 15 pounds in 1 month. I originally took her to the vet because she had a droopy eye- Horner's Syndrome. A few quick blood tests and was also diagnosed with Diabetes. After the insulin not seeming to help, and a rapid growth on her nose, and nose bleeds - came the diagnosis of nasal cancer. Her appetite is still good, she is a lab after all! Her spirits are good, she loves her walks, although has slowed down a great deal in the past month. I can literally see the growth growing on her nose. I am not sure how much time I have left with her or how long she may have at this point. Any ideas - has anyone been to this point - what was your experience?

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Chawmba

dog-breed-icon

Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

11 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

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5 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Sneezing
Snoring
Congestion
Bad Breath

My almost 11 year old chocolate lab Chawmba has always had allergy like symptoms sneezing for years and has been on Benadryl. November of last year, he started snoring loudly to the extent that he would wake himself up and the sounds he was making were strange and loud. We brought him to two vets who thought maybe the Benadryl was drying him out or could be related to progressing periodontal disease. He has very bad breath. Otherwise he has been a happy/hyper dog who is still very strong and can pull a 6 foot man while on a leash and go on 40 minute walks and climb steep driveways. Just three weeks ago, I got a call from my dogsitter while I was out of the country that she was bringing him to the emergency hospital because he was sneezing blood. $7k of blood tests, X-rays, rhinos copy and CT scans later, they found that he a nasal tumor on his left passageway also affecting the bone. Unfortunately the biopsy they did just showed inflammation and could not determine what type of nasal cancer. I just saw the radiology oncologist yesterday who suspects it is nasal adenocarcinoma and recommended stereotactic radiation which has the best chances for extending the life (although my research says anywhere from 7 months to 18) with the least side effects. But it is about 11K and they found that Chawmba's condition is bilateral (already on both passageways) and even affecting a little bit of the roof of his mouth. Otherwise, no sores, no lumps and not even bleeding since I have him on a daily dose of Yunnan Baiyou. Every vet who has seen him says he is extremely healthy and happy. In the meantime, looking at Chawmba and except for his sneezing or noisier breathing, he is back to his happy beggar dog self. I am now at a crossroads to decide whether I do the palliative care first and see how it goes. I am trying Essiac tea and sound healing. My concern with he surgery other than the cost (I have insurance most of which I used up and will renew in August) is the ambiguity of what to expect. The oncologist says he is about a 7 out of 10 in terms of where his condition it. I'd like to also understand how aggressive is this condition in terms of how much time he has left untreated and how does that look and feel for him. His 'brother' Indy just passed away at 16 years old and had a brain tumor for 4 years but you wouldn't have known it either. Eventually it did cause the seizures that prompted us to put him down. Any insight would be most appreciated.

Nose Cancer Average Cost

From 2 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $15,000

Average Cost

$12,000

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