Thursday, 14 October 2010

Mr Custard on becoming a legend and avoiding the paparazzi

No Mr Custard's (aka as Maverick) head hasn't really turned into a carrot after eating too many!

I love this picture. It was taken a few weeks ago as I feel this sums up Maverick's attitude towards his illness. 

No-one passing us on the beach that day would ever know how seriously ill he is. This is a traffic cone that was washed up on the beach and one of his favourite ever long standing 'toys', he can spend hours flicking it on his head and then running about with it appearing headless.  He truly is a beach dog and although we live in middle England we try to get to the beach every now and then so Maverick can enjoy himself to his hearts delight.  Up until his cancer took hold and affected the strength in his leg, he used to run through the waves out to sea, pick a suitable incoming wave and body surf back to the beach and then start the whole process again.  
He seems to understand his own limitations now and will only paddle - we also have him on a long lead just in case.
The fun we had that day also made me reflect on my own attitude and outlook for Maverick. I realised that we can all be guilty of spending too much time focusing on the negatives(the worry of the cancer and the 'what-if's' that inevitably accompany it).  Precious time is wasted on these negative thoughts.  
I spent five months worrying endlessly whether each day would be his last and what I would find each morning on rising instead of celebrating and enjoying every day that he survived past his life expectancy.  Its not easy to do this but I try really hard now to take each as it comes just as Maverick undoubtedly does.  I don't imagine that he wonders how he will be tomorrow or that day after that, he just enjoys the day for what it is, nice bit of food, two walks, meet and greet his friends and cuddles in the evening.  Maybe that's a lesson for us all - enjoy the here and now. 
I feel so grateful for the extra time that the CV247 has given Maverick.
I was very hesitant about starting the blog as I felt a sense of responsibility towards providing a happy ending and worried that if Maverick only had his treatment for a couple of months and then passed away we would somehow of 'failed'.  His journey has made me realise there will never be a happy ending as he will inevitably pass away at some stage whether it's from the cancer or old age and the blog is really about his and our trials and tribulations if anything.  
Someone once told us on our local walk that Maverick was a 'legend' (I'm not sure this was particularly complimentary at that stage) however even if one person reading this tried CV247 and had some extra quality time with their dog then he would have truly succeeded in becoming a legend.

Read Mr Custard's first blog by clicking here. 

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Happy Birthday to Mr Custard

This letter is going into the November issue of Dogs Today, and also included below is the first installment of Maverick's story...

I have a 'nearly' 10-year-old Rottie named Maverick (aka Mr Custard) who started displaying symptoms of osteosarcoma in March; he was eventually diagnosed in April (and that's another story). Luckily, I have been subscribing to Dogs Today for some years now and had read the article on John Carter and CV247 (April 2009). My vet knew nothing about CV247 and suggested it would be better to just continue with the steroids as life expectancy was very poor for this type of cancer (between four to six weeks). I stood my ground and asked for a referral to Barbara at Oakwood Vets in Oswestry (incidentally, Barbara was Maverick's first vet, as she was the breeder's vet so he has come full circle). He started on CV247 and the special diet following that visit.
So here we are in August and Maverick is still with us. We take each day as it comes and let Maverick tell us how many walks he can manage. His cancer is in his left shoulder so he limps quite heavily, but he has already enjoyed two holidays in Devon and the New Forest respectively that he wouldn't have otherwise had.
It's quite a lonely journey, as, just like humans, each dog will respond differently and you will have to overcome numerous problems along the way. Maverick does not like taking any form of medicine/tablets and has always been a picky eater, so we have discovered new ways of disguising tablets etc. He also started to have a very unpleasant smell emanating from his skin (as one friend kindly explained: well, that's because he's rotting from the inside out!). Fortunately, this smell has now stopped, so I can only presume he's stopped rotting! Our worry now is the bone shattering just from walking or the odd occasion when Maverick feels like a run when our backs are turned! We know this would then be the end of the road for him and it would be very unfair, as he has been so brave and uncomplaining.
It's really important for people to hear about this treatment so they can understand that there is an alternative to chemotherapy/radiotherapy, as I cannot find anything positive on the internet about osteosarcoma. It seems that no one offers any hope with this sort of diagnosis.
Perhaps a yearly feature/update in the magazine would be a possibility, for both old and new readers alike?I have not yet found anyone else who has heard of CV247 - how sad.
Kathryn and Mark Smith, Maverick and Quiver, by email

Hi Beverley
Today is Maverick's 10th birthday - a birthday he was never expected to make! I have attached a photo of him enjoying the special organic birthday cake I made for him along with his friends;- Chloe, Gemma, Honey and Quiver. If you look closely you can just about see how his left shoulder (that has the tumour) compares with his good right one.

He had his third holiday this year over Bank Holiday. We went back to Ross Park caravan site in Devon (an ideal site for dog owners) where we had previously been in June. We could draw some interesting comparisons from this little holiday. In June we had a pitch much closer to the lovely dog walk & Maverick could just about get there, go to the toilet and then have to lie down before we could get him back, this time our pitch was further away & not only could he get there but he also had a mooch and a sniff around covering far more ground so although his limp is quite severe and has not changed, something must have for him to feel more like walking.

We did have quite a scare though! On the Friday we had planned to see the Red Arrows in Dartmouth so had planned the logistics quite carefully. We caught the ferry from Totnes into Dartmouth as this involved the least amount of walking for Maverick however due to his excitement to get on the ferry he banged his leg on something - his screams were awful - we really thought he had broken his leg & felt sick to the core, luckily after some soothing rubs from his dad he calmed down & as soon as we got onto dry land I quickly bought some Arnica and gave him those every couple of hours. No lasting damage seemed apparent - phew - that was really close!!

Further to Heidi's blogs I have bought some apricot kernels and have now started to give him those. The woman in the well known natural food shop said that she has a gentleman who comes in regularly for his to help with his cancer.

We went to the 'normal' unsupportive vets last week as Maverick has been intermittently passing dark urine with no other symptoms. Vet said there is blood in it and prescribed antibiotics, not sure if they are helping. So back on the rollercoaster of worrying what every day will bring, vet also said that she felt his limp was significantly worse. I disputed this as his limp is no worse than when she saw him in July and tried to explain that by comparison he is actually walking further now than July (Mav hates the vets so we leave him in the car for the consultation and only briefly get him out for a few steps so she only ever sees a snapshot of his walking whilst he growls at her). She still feels that this progression of his cancer is normal for him and its not the CV247 that's helping, I feel he would be long gone without it!


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

How to make the medicine go down?

Just got off the phone with Mrs Beal who has a Rottie Bullmastiff cross with an aggressive cancer. Her dog HATES the vit c part of his meds. He spits it out and just loathes having his medicine.
Mrs Beal wants to know - is it okay to administer the Cv247 and the vit c separately? Also if it would be okay to put either it alone or the whole lot in tomato puree which seems to neutralise the astringent taste a little.
Mrs Beal went to see John many years ago with another dog and we both agreed how sad it is we can't just ask John these questions direct!
We were also recalling how John used to squirt the Cv247 into the dogs mouths, he was so quick they didn't seem to get to taste the stuff. We couldn't decide whether the mix included the vit c at that stage (early 90s) or not?
Does anyone remember if the Dr Linus powder was given separately or not?
Did anyone go to John with a brachycephalic breed? Mrs Beal says that the pointing and squirting is much more complicated in breeds with a very short nose as there's so much extra skin inside the mouth that you can't get a clear shot.
Anyone got any tips?
Would tomato puree be something John would shake his head at and curse? He hated mushrooms, raspberries etc - but I can't for the life of me remember his stance on tomatoes!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Any help for nasal tumours?

I need to ask if anyone has any experience with nasal tumours in dogs.  I've just found out that my 13 year old Golden Retriever has a tumour, it was thought at first that he had aspergillosis but test for this have proved negative. He's had blood tests done and his liver and kidneys are fine, also no sign of diabetes.  I'm totally shattered by this news, this is now my third dog to be diagnosed with cancer, (one Goldie with throat cancer, one Dalmatian with bone cancer in her shoulder).  I have read about CV247 and wonder if this would help Gyp, he is having problems with his breathing through his nose whilst asleep.  He is still fairly active, (still insists on going for a walk even though it is a very short one) and loves his food and a potter round the garden.  My vet has got him on Metacam but I am not keen on giving this to him as I like to keep to a natural approach to treatment if at all possible.  I already feed my dogs a natural diet of raw meat and veg and don't vaccinate my older dogs any more.

My vet has said that there is a chance the tumour could break a blood vessel as it grows and Gyp already has had some nose bleeds.  I just don't know what to do for the best, my husband is thinking that having him put to sleep would be the kindest thing and if he had other health problems, (with his kidneys or anything) I would agree, but I am relectant to do so without trying anything else.

What is it with my dogs, three in a row, and I've got three more apart from Gyp, I'm beginning to think that I must be doing something wrong when I am trying so hard to get it right.

Any advice would be very gratefully received.

Many thanks,

Margaret Ansell 

Also posted on the Think Tank Blog 

I have experienced nasal tumours in dogs from both sides of the consulting room table, so to speak, and they are certainly a very distressing form of cancer. I would totally agree with the advice your vet has given you about the possible effects and course of the tumour. Nose bleeds are a very common consequence of tumour growth within the nasal passage. Once a patient starts to have nose bleeds, the outlook is not at all good.
            I appreciate your desire to follow a natural course of treatment, but do please bear in mind that your vet prescribed meloxicam for pain relief. For any patient, the desire to spare pain is paramount and especially for those with cancer. Pain affects so many aspects of everyday living so changes in demeanour and appetite are two common ways of assessing for pain. It may be that meloxicam relieves the pain now, but may not as time goes by. Fortunately, there are other weapons available to fight pain, and alleviation of pain really must be your top priority. Pain definitely depresses quality of life – believe me, I have been there myself…
 Alison Logan, vet


Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Most up to date list of vets who have prescribed CV247

1.Mr Richard Allport B.Vet. Med.,Vet.M.F.Hom., M.R.C.V.S.
Natural Medicine Centre
11 Southgate Road
Potters Bar

Telephone: 01707 662058

2. Barbara Jones BVMS MRCVS VetMFHom
Oakwood Veterinary Centre
Babbinswood Farm
Shropshire SY11 4PF

Telephone: 01691 679 699

3.John Hope-Ryan
Masefield House Veterinary Surgery
Wells Road
Malvern Wells
WR14 4PA

Telephone: 01684 576464

4. Paul Grant
35 Addington Road
West Wickham

Telephone: 020 84623455

5. Alan Marshall BVMS MRCVS
The Bard Veterinary Group
15 Catherine Street

Tel: 01387 255295

6. Jane Murphy
Lordship Lane Vet Surgery
509-511 Lordship Lane
London SE22 8JY

Telephone: 020 86934677

7. Andrew Prentis MRCVS
Hyde Park Veterinary Centre
61 Connaught Street
London W2 2AE

Telephone: 020 7723 0453

8. Peter A Culpin BSc MA VetMB MRCVS
Clinical Director 
Pets Naturally
26 Chepstow Corner
Chepstow Place
W2 4XE

Telephone: 020 7221 9200

10. David Batchelor BVM&S MRCVS
Batchelor, Davidson and Watson
19 Hillhouse Road

Telephone: 0131 332 0458

11. Nick Thompson BSc.(Hons) Path. Sci., BVM&S, VetMFHom, MRCVS
Holisticvet Ltd.
Apthorp Centre,
Weston Chiropractic and Holistic Centre,
Weston Road,

Telephone: 01225 48 7778

12. Gavin Durston BVM&S, MRCVS
Thrums Veterinary Group
20 Forfar Road
Scotland DD8 5BY

Telephone: 01575 572643

13. Manuela Wight, MRCVS
Highfield Veterinary Centre
145-147 London Road
Sheffield S2 4LH

Telephone: 0114 2554667

14. David Beech
The Veterinary Hospital
175 Newport

Telephone: 01522 800333

15.Tim Couzens BVetMed, MRCVS, VetMFHom, CertVetAc.
The Holistic Veterinary Medicine Centre
Unit 2, The Village Works
London Road
East Sussex BN8 6QR

Telephone: 01825 840966

16. Jeremy Edwards B.Vet.Med MRCVS
1 Clayhill Cottages
Uckfield Road
E. Sussex BN8 5RS

Telephone:  01273478488

18. Sue Armstrong MA VetMB VetMFHom CertIAVH MRCVS RSHom
Balanced Being
Unit 8
Erivan Park
Sandbeck Way
LS22 7DN

Telephone: 01937 543860  

19. Dr Birgit Ahlemeyer MRCVS
21 Post Horn Close
Forest Row
East Sussex
RH18 5DE

Telephone: 01342 826 104

20. Andrew Carmichael Vet mb, MA, MRCVS
The Addison & Holland Park veterinary clinic
7 Addison Avenue
W11 4QS

Telephone: 02076034094

21. Mr Simon Caple BSc, MA,VetMB, MRCVS
Alnorthumbria Veterinary Group
Belvedere Terrace
NE66 2NX

Telephone 01665 602516

22. Mr Terence Oomerjee BVSc BSc MRCVS
Arthur Lodge Veterinary Surgery
17 Brighton Road
 West Sussex
 RH13 5BE

Telephone: 01403 252964

23. John Stoker B.V.Sc., MRCVS
Hollington Cross Farm,
Hollington Cross,
Berks. RG20 9SE

Telephone: 01635 253441

Monday, 22 February 2010

What a wonderful email...

Hi Beverley
Sorry I havent been on the blog for so long..almost a year...where does the time go?  My time has been spent enjoying every little minute with Chilli Pepper who is still doing well.  The tumours seem to be getting bigger but slowly in my view as they were cut out last April so I think they are growing slowly as it is an agressive type of cancer that is in her lymph nodes and liver.  She is finding it harder to poo now but they are still an okay shape(yes I am now a poo watcher!) but apart from that she is healthier, thinner and happier than she has been in her 8 short years.  I was so glad to get her to her 8th birthday as I didn't think it would be possible due to the agressive nature of her cancer and bleak prognosis from the Dick Vet in Edinburgh.
Needless to say I havent been back there as I found them a miserable lot and my own Vets are all very positive ie they think she looks great and none of them are saying' well you know she will die of cancer unless she is run over by a car'.  I may be optimistic but I am not stupid and know she will die of cancer probably this year as if the tumour continues to grow it will eventually constrict her rectum, intestine or stomach.  Anyway no more negativity!
The diet has been easy for CP to digest and eats it very well..she is still on carrots, broccoli and raw liver..though I dont add oats to her night feed as she seems to process the veg and liver fine but there is more bulk when she has the oats.  Another miracle is she had a substantial  heart murmour but 2 of my vets have recently been unable to hear any murmour so she is definitely finding something to make her healthier.  I dont know if it is the cv247 or the diet or the vitamins and mineral supplements I give her but she has never looked better and that is all the evidence I need..she is still on no medication as shows no signs of pain(believe me I would know as CP is a bit of a drama queen!)  She is still going for 2 hour walks with my other two dogs and doggy friends and never gets tired so I think I made the right decision to start CV247 with the help and advice from you and the other bloggers so BIG THANKYOU to you all!  Taking each day as it comes.

love Nikki and Chilli Pepper XX

Here's their original post

Monday, 1 February 2010

Mail on Sunday article

We've just heard that there was an article in the paper at the weekend about the human use of CV247. Click here for more info...

... and check out the previous blog here for a list of vets who have previously prescribed  CV247 for animal use.