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Hello boxer lovers! My girl Amy is 10 years old. She was found to have heart base tumor, likely chemodectoma...I think there is no surgery and chemo options available. I am still shocked and I can't think clear at this point...Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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No experience with this, but just want to say dogs tolerate chemo way better than people do, so if that is an option for you I would consider it.

Prayers and well wishes !
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thank you for your reply!


I am going to keep this thread going for benefits of other boxers who may have the same issue as my dog. I am starting reading and investigation...and we are going to fight this thing with scary name - heart base tumor, likely chemodectomy ...but we are not sure yet...
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
So...Heart base tumors...
- rare
- more common in older dogs, older then 7, but more often seen in older then 10, again it gets diagnosed in older dogs but we don't know when it starts
- more common in brachycephalic dogs ( ex. boxers, french bulldogs). They talking about hypoxia ( low oxygen level) being a factor in tumor development
- first signs usually: difficulty breathing ,tumor push on a dog's heart and a dog has symptoms of CHF ( congestive heart failure)---dyspnea, fatigue, cough, build up of fluid around heart, in lungs or in abdomen, fainting episodes, decreased energy, inability to tolerate the previously well tolerated activities
- may be benign and malignant
- there are a few types of heart base tumors: chemodectoma, hemangiosarcoma it (is the most common one), fibroma, thymoma, sarcoma and many more
- the best way of treatment is surgery but it is very difficult because it is near heart and tumor cells may grow into the heart muscle,also sometimes surgery used for palliative therapy (to help the dog feel better but not to cure) - they can make a whole in pericardium (covering layer of the heart) so fluid will drain and it not compress the heart...also they can put chest tubes to drain fluid out of lungs...I think it is painful
- treatment may include chemotherapy and radiation depending on type of tumor
- there is ongoing study on hemangiosarcoma in dogs in University of Penn
- When tumor invades heart muscle then dogs may experience fainting episodes because of V Tach ( type of arrhythmia)...actually the same happens when dogs have cardiomyopathy
- Chemodectoma is slow growing tumor
- Research is poor because of luck of findings
- Diagnosed with ECHO ( heart ultrasound), sometimes chest xRay ( depends on location) CT and MRI as well
- Labs may be normal but may show anemia (low hemoglobin - especially in hemangiosarcoma because dogs may bleed internally) or elevated liver enzymes (if tumor seeds into liver as well)
- There is talk about natural remedies... one of them is about some kind of " mushroom" - "I'm-Yunity" this is supplement which may be helpful fo hemangiosarcoma, well tolerated by dogs, expensive (it will be more then 300$ for my dog per month)...I think the study was done in University of Penn and it was successful.I need more info on it.

This is what I've learn so far. I hope it may help someone later. Actually, I hope no dog will get it but...

Talking about my girl...She is a boxer. She is 10 years 2 month old. She had 2 witnessed episodes of fainting in her life, first one when she was around 3 and it was hot outside, second one recently when we was excited. She has history of multiple UTIs, status past surgery for bladder stone removal in young age, history of protein in her urine. Because of protein she was seen by a specialist who perform abdominal ultrasound and found 2 small nodules in her spleen. We have been panicking so we recheck in 1 month then in 3 month but they have been stable. The vet talk about possible splenectomy and we went to see a cardiologist to make sure her heart is fine. Amy had Holter monitoring ( you can order it online and put it on your dog yourself and it would be much cheaper then do it @ your vet office) done after her first syncope (collapse) which was fine. This Friday we got ECG and ECHO done. Bad news: she has heart base tumor and it is large...so who cares about spleen nodules now, now we have a real problem...Otherwise she is feeling fine...There is no breathing issue yet...I am freaking out about whole situation. Amy takes fish oil, cranberry suppl, Benazepril for protein in her urine and Antibiotic right now for UTI.

She is going to see an oncologist. Unfortunately we don't have any one near us so we are going to drive 1 1/2 hours (not so bad) I don't know what is going to be our next step. I am going to schedule an appointment tomorrow.
 

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Wishing you luck at the oncologist.
JMO - but I would also research some natural supplements that can help along with traditional medicine. Diet too - carbs feed cancer so you might want to feed limited carbs.

Please keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to those who replied and to those who just thought about my Amy! Meanwhile she is acting as an normal old boxer...no new symptoms...
 

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my boy Bronson, at 10 tear 10 months started fainting. I took him to the emergency room at NC State Vet school, very well respected in the east, and a 2 or 3 hours this is what they found heart based, right in the center
left ventrical only pumping at 20 %
stomach and other places full of fluid
serious arthymiea

Not much hope for any future but we asked if there was anything if there was anything that could prolong his life with no pain.

We put him on 4 meds ($400 a month)
lasik to get rid of fluid, lost 10 pounds in a week and 3 others.

He made his 11 birthday was almost normal. After the holidays he went down hill fast and we put him down in January.

We had a 1 1/2 year old pup and she helped with the grief but we still miss him terribly
 

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I am back for the future boxers owners who may find this info helpful...
We lost our girl on 08/22/2017. She had a syncope episode and died in my hands in our house...She was gone in few minutes..

The reason of her death was cardiac arrhythmia secondary to well known boxer's problem cardiomyopathy but not her chemodectomy but it may also played role because it was pushing at my dog's heart.

CARDIOMYOPATHY is very common in boxers. If you get a new puppy ask the breeder about it. Pay attention on how long parents and older generations of the puppy have lived. There are 3 types of cardiomyopathy. Most common one is when dogs have syncope because of abnormal heart rate (VT) All boxers since age 3 need to have Holter monitor check done once per year to rule out this condition. It cost me $300 at my vet cardiologist but you can order the kit online for $ 100 and do it at home...easy...ask me if you have any questions...There are a few meds a vet can try. My Amy was on Sotalol which I guess did not work...
Important to see a good cardiologist...I should do better ...Meds are not so pricy but you may get better deal online.

Chemodectoma...I don't know how long my dog had it but since a puppy she has problems with breathing when getting exciting or playing...There is no good chemotherapy to fix it. My oncologist put Amy on Palladia and Cyclophosphamide. Drugs are so expensive! The best price I fond was @ Diamondbackdrugs.com
So Amy was taking these drugs since Spring. A few month later her ECHO shower that tumor grew a tiny bit so I have no idea if chemo worked or not because it is such a slow growing thing...A lot of money to the oncologist...but the dog was feeling fine so I don't know if I did the right thing or not...anyway It is to late to change anything...
If anyone has any questions about cardiomyopathy or chemodectoma I am ready to answer...

My heart is broken...I love my girl so much. She was my only dog. The house is deadly quiet and no-one greets me at the door when I get home so I try to stay at work longer...but there is no escape because none wakes me up at the morning as my Amy used to do before...
 

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Rough days ahead! Can you volunteer to dog walk at a local shelter? I found I could keep sane if I could pet a dog a couple times a week after mine died. So sorry, it sounds like you would have done everything to save her, and had a wonderful vet team.
 
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