My name is Vanessa and I'm writing about my beloved Standard Poodle Gypsy. I could not love her more. Last June after bleeding from her vulva since just after Xmas, she was diagnosed with squamous-cell carcinoma of the urethra at the Animal Health Trust Hospital. I was told it is extremely rare for this type of cancer to grow inside the body and it usually affects the skin. She appears to be only the third case of this they could find on records and therefore could offer no treatment other than horrendous Frankenstein surgery to remove her whole reproductive system, (she is not spayed), her vagina, vulva, urethra and bladder and to make a new bladder from a piece of bowel and reroute her ureters from her kidneys into it so she eliminated urine through her rectum. Although we booked her in for the surgery and left her there I spent a torturous night feeling it was the wrong thing to do and prayed for whatever is out there to send me a sign. I rang my vet first thing to ask her to ring the hospital to stop them going ahead and was informed that they were about to ring me as the surgeon had fallen and broken his arm really badly in a car park before he got to work. That was my sign.
To cut a long story short, the surgeon was so desperate to operate that he rang me a couple of days later and then a couple of times at a later date and tried to encourage me into going ahead with the surgery even though his arm was in plaster. It turned out that this would have been the first time this type of operation had been attempted on a dog combined with a spay.
The oncologist, Sue Murphy, did however prescribe Metacam for her as it can act to slow down that type of cancer.
So now you know the background. I asked for a second opinion and Gyp and I were sent along to see Malcolm Brierley at the Queen's College University Hosp. Cambridge. He was very kind but couldn't offer any better news.
We sort help Richard Allport and Gyp has been taking homeopathy and herbs.
To get to the crux of the problem, Richard told us about CV247 a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to give it a go. However my conventional vet is against it as she says sodium salicylate is a non-steroidal anti inflammatory and Gyp can't take it along side Metacam as this would be using two non-steroidal anti inflammatories together, which would be dangerous. Gyp has had a large 5cm duodenal ulcer caused by the Metacam and is now on Omeprazole as well as Antepsin and this seems to have healed it as far as an ultrasound could see.
So. My massive dilemma is do I go along with Richard and give the CV247 or go along with my vet? I am not very Internet savvy, so don't know how to go about finding anyone else who may be giving non-steroidals alongside CV247. I saw your site on it and wondered if you knew anything about this. I am desperate as Gypsy's stream of urine seems to be getting thinner and strangulated. I have M.E. and can't work, so I am able, thank God to give her 24 hour care. Every day is spent watching how every wee comes out and trying to keep my hysterical sobbing away from my beloved girl. She knows I am stressed and have been crying and tries to comfort me and bring me a toy to play with her with. She is a good weight as I have to hand feed her liquidised food as she stopped eating over a year ago. She is energetic, playful and wants her walkies despite having bad arthritis on top of all her problems. I am at my wits end and broken in pieces.
So there's our desperate tale. If you can help us in any way I would be so grateful. Surely there are others out there who's dogs are on non-steroidals who are taking CV247 but how do I find them for advice? Sorry for such a long letter but there was a lot to tell.
I hope so much that I will hear back from you Beverley,
I’ve never been asked about NSAIDs before, so I have forwarded your email to the CV247 bods to see if I can get someone technical to give it a look. Will let you know if I get an answer, it may take a while as Professor Sebensky in based in Hungary. I’ll ask on the blog too if any other CV247 users are on Metacam.
It is very difficult trying to make the best choices, but you might also benefit from talking to other people on CV247 – for eg Heidi’s owner who uses lots of other alternative remedies to give her Border Collie the best chances of more quality time. It may be that even if CV247 isn’t going to be suitable you might find some other things you might be able to do that do help.
Thank you so much for such a quick reply. Richard is on holiday and so can't get to speak to him. He was aware that Gypsy is on Metacam - I just hope he remembered that when he prescribed the CV247. The Metacam is the only treatment for this type of cancer according to both hospitals and all the vets she's seen. It has certainly kept it at bay for a year- in June last year she was given 3 months- and it appears that since we had to reduce the dose the cancer is progressing more rapidly. I dare not take her off the Metacam for fear that the cancer will progress even faster. Even Richard agreed that it was essential for her and he hates Metacam as it is so toxic. Richard's receptionist got a message to him and he replied he would be surprised if there was a bad reaction for Gypsy on CV247, but she didn't know if any of their other clients were taking non-steroidals, and couldn't tell me if Richard had considered this. The info about the CV247 states that dogs with gastro-intestinal upset or ulcers shouldn't take it but Gypsy is on the Omeprazole and her ulcer did seem to have healed according to the ultrasound vet and our vet. Our vet is a wonderful lady who goes beyond duty to help but is just so worried that taking the CV247 might affect that ulcer site and then we would be in trouble.
I hope this extra info helps you and anyone else who might have an opinion or be able to help. I don't know how to use the Internet or chat sites so would be very happy for you to give our e-mail address out on your site and to anyone who can help. Things are getting desperate and I would be so grateful to anyone for any kind of help. Also our landline number is: 01206 331183 - that's Colchester in Essex.
I hope you find this e-mail before the weekend! It's going to be a long one and along week till Richard gets back on the 6th July. I just hope we can get some advice in time- we have the CV247 in our hands and I am just too scared to use it.
Thanks again Beverley for your kind help - I feel so alone and desperate for my dear girl.
Having read your messages about your lovely dog, Gypsy, I felt I had to write to say how much I feel for you – I know how hard it is to have a beloved dog suffering from cancer (I lost my beloved Belgian Shepherd, Gunner, to bone cancer in 1994 – his story is on Beverley’s site) and also how hard it is when you’re trying all options and having to make decisions yourself rather than just doing everything your vet says.
I don’t know the answer re: giving Metacam and CV247 but when I had to make a decision, a few years ago, about having my cat operated on and desperately needed some advice, I rang lots of different homoeopathic vets and the only one who was willing to give me her advice over the phone there and then (me not being her client and her not having seen my cat) was Philippa Rodale – so while Richard Allport is away, maybe you could try ringing her? Her no. is 01305 848 221.
If it turns out that CV247 isn’t compatible, there are many, many other alternative ways to treat cancer. Another wonderful person for general advice on all aspects of animal health and healing is Catherine O’Driscoll (not a vet, but she lost several dogs to cancer in the early 90s and has made it her life’s mission to find out what is happening to make our dogs sick and is very knowledgeable. She now runs Canine Health Concern and has many, many contacts – she has really helped me with my current dog in the past, putting me in touch with various therapists, and she can also advise on diet and do absent healing and communication with your dog if you are interested in that sort of thing – her no. is 01821 670 410.
And finally, I happened upon this wonderful article last week about someone’s journey to heal their dog from cancer (and succeeded) – I found it really informative about various things to try (she didn’t use CV247) and also very uplifting – so it may help you to read that. I found it on Catherine O’Driscoll’s website, but the direct link is: www.pamperedpawswimspa.com/html/derby_s_healing.html
And lastly, I know its hard, but SO important to look after yourself while going through such a traumatic and stressful time – do get some healing for yourself too as it will help you and Gypsy (again, Canine Health Concern’s website has an A-Z of resources and many of the healers on there do healing for people too – I think Catherine may do as well. If you want to look at the Canine Health Concern website, the address is: www.canine-health-concern.org.uk
Take care, Vanessa – thinking of you and Gypsy and wishing you both much healing.
I've only just seen the blog - I wanted to let you know that I was advised by Richard Allport that it was OK in Herbie's case to take Metacam along with CV247. Herbie has a long-standing shoulder problem that occasionally flares up, I think from a former racing injury, (he's a retired racing greyhound) and earlier this year he seemed to be stiff for the first couple of hundreds yard when walking. He took Metacam for a week alongside his CV247 with no visible ill-effects.
Hope this helps,
PS Herbie is still alive - there's been no miracle cure, but the drug seems to be stopping him from getting worse.