Update-Sheena's Oral Melanoma-Still No Metastasis!

Health topics and issues with Chow Chows.

Moderator: chowadmin

Post Reply
User avatar
Rank 2
Rank 2
Posts: 821
Joined: Thu May 12, 2005 5:38 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Update-Sheena's Oral Melanoma-Still No Metastasis!

Post by Juniper » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:42 pm

Sheena is doing really well at 13 years (approximately this month). In June 2013, after a dental cleaning she was diagnosed with lingual melanoma and a 1.5 cm mass at the base of her tongue was removed and then another surgery to get clean margins on the tongue and remove any and all warts (just precautionary) and a cheek melanoma. Sheena showed much improvement pretty quickly. Had biopsy which showed melanoma cells were all the same/non-differentiated, lung x-rays were clear and blood tests before which showed slightly off were now perfectly fine after the surgeries. Luckily Sheena was on organic wet food before diagnosis and could only have wet food as her tongue healed but I kept her on the wet food.

I started her immediately on the melanoma vaccine-human DNA Tyrosinase shots with her oncologist which showed the most promise in research (there were two other melanoma vaccines on the market at the time) 1x/2weeks for 4 shots and then 6 month booster shots. Sheena just had her first 6 mo. booster and her chest x-rays showed her lungs were still clear.

Sheena was diagnosed w/beginning signs (.9) of hypothyroidism in Sept. 2012-3 weeks on thyroid meds and then quit and started her on Thyroid Silver herbal by Petwellbeing. After 4 months thyroid tests came back at 1.5. I got lax on giving it to her in the past few months and her hypothyroidism tests went down to .2 this past week so she is on brand name Soloxine (not generic). She lost her neck hair, which is now returning and her energy level is up. Get tests done in 2 weeks to see her thyroid levels. May decide to go back on herbals once her levels go up.

Eye infections
For past 2 years was on and off Falcon eye antibiotic ointments. Oncologist/internist did a tear duct test this past month and Sheena has 15% tear duct blockage in right eye, borderline in left eye and inflammation of the cornea (retinitis) so different antibiotic drops and 2% cyclosporine ointment in eyes morning and night has gotten her tearing problem handled. In 3 weeks will check her eyes out again and do tear duct test. (Note: Sheena had a really bad case of Entropion and had surgery when she was about 3.5 years.)

Hind leg weakness
Since 2010, after a tick bite, 2 years of glucosamine w/chondrotin didn’t do much…then found this product called “Licks,” (sardine paste) which has been working like a charm and Sheena can get up on her own now…tho’ sometimes I still help her. Internist states she has a neurological problem on right hind paw where it doesn’t flex right away when Sheena tries to get up (probably from that tick bite.) Although melanoma can also create weakness in hind legs.

Loss of Weight
Sheena dropped from 58.3 lbs to 50.7 lbs since last June 2012. Her hunger has returned in the past 2 weeks and is back up to eating 25 to 26 ounces of wet food plus asking for more treats and hopefully is gaining weight again. Internist was impressed with her energy level even w/her low thyroid levels.

These are the only problems Sheena has, and that’s enough! I check her paws for melanoma as well as her body monthly and just ordered some cream for her paws/skin from Petwellbeing. I also added the cancer kit for dogs (vitamin supplement & herbal Gold-2x/day) from Petwellbeing to her diet for an extra boost 3 months ago. Give her Dr. Wheatgrass periodically and make sure she has plenty of filtered water to drink.

I hope this helps anyone who is looking at the possible signs of oral melanoma in your beloved chow-chow or are trying to make the decision to treat the melanoma or let it take its course. It is not cheap but for me and Sheena it’s worth it. Melanoma shots are $622.00 each as of this past month; add to that oncologist fees, blood tests, x-rays, etc. It does run into the thousands. So far research has shown that if caught before the lump reaches 2 cm no dogs have died and are living out their natural life span per my oncologist.

Most of all – please get dental cleanings by a Vet w/Isoflurane gas every few years it just may save your chow's life and find early detection. 30% of cancers in chows are actually melanoma due to the high pigmentation of melanin in chows.

You can read more about my discovery of the melanoma here: http://forum.chowchow.org/viewtopic.php ... xt5-dJDsa4

Much health to you, your family and fur family always.
Jennifer & Sheena

Post Reply