Archive for the ‘Cancer Diagnosis in Dogs’ Category

Canine Cancer Walk 2010

March 26, 2010

K9 Cancer Walk

April 24, 2010

 Join Us to Help

Morris Animal Foundation Fight Canine Cancer!

Elk Grove Regional Park – Elk Grove, California 

Registration/Check-in: 8:30 a.m.

K9 Cancer Walk–3K/7K: 10:00 a.m.

Speakers’ Program: 11:30 a.m. 

Speakers:

  • Dr. Wayne Jensen, Chief Scientific Officer, Morris Animal Foundation
  • Dr. Nancy Kay, Diplomat, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine & Author of Speaking for Spot
  • Dr. Michael Kent,  Associate Professor, University of California–Davis School of Veterinary Medicine  

If you are local please come and walk in memory of dogs that have lost their battle with canine cancer or celebrate those that have survived. Your participation helps us help your best friends lead longer, healthier lives. 

Too far to participate in person?  Join Speaking for Spot’s virtual walk team.  Participants will receive a T-shirt and a dog bandanna this year, compliments of the Sacramento Canine Cancer Campaign Volunteers and I will draw the name of one Speaking for Spot team participant who will receive a personally signed copy of Speaking for Spot.

To join the Speaking for Spot virtual walk team click here: http://maf.convio.net/site/TR/Events/CCC?px=1004841&pg=personal&fr_id=1040.

Have you lost a canine family member to cancer or do you have one currently diagnosed with cancer?  Please share your story with us in the comments below or on my Facebook Fan Page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Kay/105415179814.

For more information visit www.K9CancerWalk.org.

Best wishes to you and your four-legged family members for abundant good health,

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, ACVIM
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life

Website: http://www.speakingforspot.com
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller.

A Gift of Spot

November 21, 2009

Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life by Dr. Nancy KayWho doesn’t have a dog lover or two on their holiday gift list?  If you are brainstorming the “perfect present” for your friends, relatives, veterinarian, groomer, and Dog Park buddies, here is an idea to consider.   How about a personally signed copy of Speaking for Spot!  I would be pleased, in fact, honored to personally inscribe as many gift books as you like. Heck, I’ll even provide the wrapping paper (dog motif, of course). Additionally, now through the end of December, 10% of the sales proceeds will be donated to Morris Animal Foundation’s Canine Cancer Campaign (www.curecaninecancer.org/).

Here’s what a few people who love dogs have said about Speaking for Spot: 

“From vaccinations and pet insurance to second opinions and end of life decisions, dog lovers often feel overwhelmed trying to make the best choice for their pup, pocket book, and peace–of–mind. Thanks to Speaking for Spot, we finally have a book that makes sense of it all! With experience, warmth, wit, and candor, Dr. Nancy Kay provides an authentic, user–friendly guide for making all types of health care choices for your dog.”

– Dr. Marty Becker, resident veterinarian on Good Morning America, nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, and cofounder of petconnection.com 

“Speaking for Spot is an engaging, compelling and truly indispensable book. Dr Nancy Kay enables her readers to become well-informed advocates for their pets’ health care decisions. She has provided the perfect guide that will make a tremendous difference for dogs and for the people who love them.”

-Claudia Kawczynska, Editor-in-Chief, The BARK magazine 

If a dog owner could have only one book for health information, this is it. This is an excellent book at a reasonable price.  I highly recommend it.”

-Dr. Susan M. Cotter, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Sept. 15, 2009 

There are two ways to obtain personalized copies of Speaking for Spot.  You can mail your own books to me or you can purchase the book via my website.  For either option, simply follow the steps found at http://speakingforspot.com/purchase.html

Not only will this “gift of Spot “ be personalized and easy on the pocketbook, it will provide the people you care for with an invaluable resource that will last a lifetime. Don’t forget to “gift yourself” while you are at it! 

Wishing you and your four-legged family members abundant good health,

Dr. Nancy Kay
Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine 

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller. 

Join our email list – http://speakingforspot.com/joinemaillist.html

Look for us on Twitter – http://twitter.com/speakingforspot

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross

AKC Genome Barks – Podcast on Canine Cancer Treatments

September 12, 2009

AKC Canine Health Foundation News Alert

The American Kennel Club and the AKC Canine Health Foundation are pleased to debut the next podcast in the Genome Barks series: Canine Cancer Treatments -Thursday, September 10, 2009.

This week, the Genome Barks podcast series welcomes Dr. Jaime Modiano, a member of the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Modiano has spent the last 15 years of his career looking at the mechanisms that are responsible for the origin and progression of canine cancer. Dr. Modiano’s current research focuses on better cancer therapies, singling out the canine immune system as a treatment for cancers that are in the process of spreading to various regions of the body.

The Genome Barks podcast series features lectures from the highly successful AKC-CHF Breeders Symposia and provides responsible breeders and pet owners an inside look at the work being done by the AKC and the AKC Canine Health Foundation.

New podcasts are released every two weeks and can be accessed from either the American Kennel Club website at www.akc.org or the AKC Canine Health Foundation website at www.akcchf.org – click on “Podcasts.” They are also available on Apple’s iTunes or directly at http://www.genomebarks.com
Clubs are encouraged to add the Genome Barks Podcast link to their home pages.

AKC Canine Health Foundation
http://www.akcchf.org

Now, here’s wishing you and your four-legged family members much good health!

Dr. Nancy Kay
Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Join our email list – http://speakingforspot.com/joinemaillist.html

Look for us on Twitter – http://twitter.com/speakingforspot

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross

How Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting Cancer?

September 7, 2009

When it comes to a cancer diagnosis, one of the most common questions I’m asked is, “How did my dog get this?” It’s only natural that people want to know what they could have done to prevent this dreadful diagnosis.  

Unfortunately, it’s exceedingly rare that I am able to provide a clear-cut answer. Yes, we know that cigarette smoke, asbestos, sun exposure, and some pesticides and lawn herbicides can be carcinogenic in dogs. We also know that female hormones influence the development of mammary tumors (breast cancer). In most cases of canine cancer, however, there is no discernible cause. 

Genetics clearly play a role in the development of some cancers. Giant dog breeds (heavier than 75 pounds) are predisposed to bone cancer. We certainly see an inherited predisposition to cancer in particular breeds, including Boxers, Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Boston Terriers, English Bulldogs, Scottish Terriers, and Cocker Spaniels. 

So what can you do to prevent cancer in your four-legged best friend? Here are some suggestions (I truly hope this list becomes longer as our knowledge about cancer increases): 

Avoid exposure to known carcinogens (cancer causing substances) such as cigarette smoke, asbestos, and lawn herbicides. 

If your dog has little or no pigment on his face or underside, avoid letting him sunbathe during daylight hours when the sun is most intense. 

Talk to your veterinarian about when your dog should be spayed or castrated. Neutering prevents testicular, ovarian, and uterine cancer. Neutering female dogs before their first heat eliminates the risk of developing breast cancer, and when performed before two years of age the risk is markedly reduced.  Some data suggests that postponing neutering until a year or more of age in large breed dogs may be protective against bone cancer. More studies looking at this relationship are needed. 

Before adopting a purebred dog from the list of breeds mentioned above, do the research needed to confirm that parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents were cancer free. I recently had the heartbreaking experience of working with two Bernese Mountain Dog littermates who lost the battle to a type of cancer called malignant histiocytosis. Three of their other four siblings had already succumbed to the same disease. 

Have your dog thoroughly examined by your veterinarian at least once a year. Just as with us, the earlier the detection of a cancerous process, the better the chances are for successfully treating the disease. 

Dr. Nancy Kay
Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine 

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller. 

Join our email list – http://speakingforspot.com/joinemaillist.html

Look for us on Twitter – http://twitter.com/speakingforspot

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Traveling with Spot

May 23, 2009

Speaking for Spot has taken me on quite a journey!  My book has opened doors to many fabulous invitations and opportunities. Here are a couple of examples.  Three weeks ago I was honored to give the keynote address at the Bergin University of Canine Studies commencement ceremony.  Located in Santa Rosa, California, this organization’s stated mission is advancement of the human-canine partnership through research and education.  Bergin University is the home of the Assistance Dog Institute in which dogs are trained for a variety of service jobs.  At the graduation ceremony I attended, three dogs began a lifetime of assistance work and companionship for three individuals with physical disabilities.  A fourth dog joined a family to assist with the needs of an autistic child.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!  In the course of my speech I discussed how my work and the work of Assistance Dog Institute both advance the human animal bond- we simply approach it from different angles.  While they train dogs to become advocates for their humans, I train humans to become advocates for their dogs. 

This past weekend, I paid a visit to the Argus Institute in Fort Collins, Colorado.  This organization recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.  The mission of the Argus Institute is to strengthen veterinarian-client-patient communication and support relationships between people and their companion animals.  Not only do they provide a tremendous support system for people experiencing grief about the loss or illness of a beloved pet, they also provide a comprehensive curriculum on client communication for Colorado State University veterinary students.  Believe it or not, most vet schools provide no formal training in client communication.  I was tremendously impressed by what I saw and learned at the Argus Institute and was privileged to provide a lecture while there on the topic of “How Veterinary Clients’ Expectations Are Changing.” 

I invite you to learn more about these two wonderful organizations by visiting www.assistancedog.org and www.argusinstitute.colostate.edu

Dr. Nancy Kay – Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine 

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. SPEAKING FOR SPOT is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller. 

Look for us on Twitter – http://twitter.com/speakingforspot

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Nancy-Kay/105415179814?ref=share 

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross – http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?story

Walking to Cure Canine Cancer

April 21, 2009

This past Saturday, I saw four three-legged dogs- each one having lost a limb as part of their treatment for bone cancer. I met another sweetie pie with a shaved patch over one side of his chest. His mom told me this was the site where her pup’s chest cavity was drained of fluid produced by a cancer growing at the base of his heart. Yet another dog I encountered had an orange-sized tumor on the bridge of his nose.

 
Believe it or not, I met none of these dogs in a veterinary hospital setting; rather, we were all gathered in Elk Grove, California, the site of the very first Morris Animal Foundation Walk to Cure Canine Cancer. Morris Animal Foundation has launched an unprecedented $30 million fundraising effort with the following goals in mind:

 
1. Provide new treatments for dogs currently suffering from cancer
2. Establish a high-quality tumor sample bank that can be used by cancer researchers
3. Develop prevention strategies so that cancer might one day be eliminated or, at the very least, drastically reduced in incidence and severity
4. Train new researchers who will work towards discovering preventions, treatments and cures

 
An important part of the fundraising effort will be in the form of “Walks to Cure Canine Cancer.” The Elk Grove Walk raised $17,945! I had the honor of speaking at this fabulous first-of-its-kind event- what a thrill to be part of it all! More than 300 dogs and their humans gathered together in the fight against canine cancer.

 
As unfathomable as it sounds, cancer will be the cause of death in one out of every four of our beloved canine companions. There’s so much we don’t yet know about what causes canine cancer and how best to treat it. I’m thrilled with the Morris Animal Foundation plans. They are an incredibly ethical and effective organization, and I am expecting great things. To learn more about the Morris Animal Canine Cancer Campaign, please visit http://www.curecaninecancer.org/. I encourage you to participate in any way you can.

Dr. Nancy Kay
Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. SPEAKING FOR SPOT is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller.

Look for us on Twitter – http://twitter.com/speakingforspot

A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross – http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102105836&ps=cprs

Zack

January 24, 2009

When I first met my Boxer buddy Zack and his devoted mom Jan, they were a rather intimidating pair. Both were distrustful, angry, and poised to bite – Zack with his teeth and Jan with her words. Zack wasn’t used to strange people getting into his “personal space.” I was able to approach this big beefy boy only when he was securely muzzled. I viewed Jan’s anger to be a normal stage of the grief process- not surprising given that she’d just received some awful news about her four-legged best friend. Zack had lymphoma, a cancer involving his lymph nodes, spleen and liver. Jan and I spent a few hours over the course of those first few days discussing the potential risks and benefits of treating Zack’s lymphoma with chemotherapy. That was just over one year ago.

Since the diagnosis, Zack and Jan were frequent visitors to my office. With time Zack transformed from a “Boxer bully” into a trusting, gentle boy- as if he somehow knew that all of our attention was helping him continue to feel good. He seemed to eagerly anticipate his quota of dog cookies, lots of attention from the nursing and reception staff, and the full body massages (physical examinations in disguise). Jan was able to let go of her anger, replacing it with tremendous appreciation. Lymphoma therapy provided a year of wonderful quality time for Zack and Jan. They recreated together by way of mountain climbing and Jan showed me pictures of Zack “smiling” while relishing the great outdoors. The stories I heard suggested they were profoundly enjoying each other’s company.

Yesterday, I said goodbye to this special and unforgettable patient of mine. With Jan by Zack’s side, I administered the euthanasia solution and he experienced a quick and peaceful passing. His ashes will be spread along the mountain trail where he and his mom enjoyed so much time together this past year. I feel incredibly privileged to have been along on the journey.

Dr. Nancy Kay
http://www.speakingforspot.com