Barbara Fitzgerald is an AKC Breeder of Merit and author of the column "Conversations with Champions" for the BCSA magazine, "Borderlines."
Visceral Canine Hemangiosarcoma Symptoms and Life Expectancy
Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is a relatively common variety of canine cancer that affects 5% of all dogs in the United States. This cancer appears to be on the rise, according to the National Canine Cancer Foundation. Visceral hemangiosarcomas most frequently present on the spleen, heart, and pericardium. Other less common sites include the liver, lungs, and uterus. Hemangiosarcoma of the skin is not discussed in this review.
This cancer is slow to progress and dogs tolerate the tumors well until the late stages of the disease. HSA tumors are vascularized, which means that they develop their own supply of blood vessels. These blood vessels are inferior and eventually rupture, bathing the abdominal cavity in mutated cells. These ruptures increase the likelihood of spreading (metastasis) and recurrence even after the initial tumor has been removed.
Dogs typically show few to no symptoms of the disease until the tumor ruptures and triggers hemorrhagic shock.
Symptoms of Hemangiosarcoma
The early signs of HSA typically do not present until a week or two prior to rupture and hemorrhagic shock. Symptoms are listed in order of presentation:
- Depression (typically noticed in hindsight)
- Minor abdominal distension
- Pale gums
- Constipation and unusual bowel movements
- Substantial abdominal distension
- Collapse (hemorrhagic/hypotensive shock)
According to PetMD.com, the average life expectancy following surgical intervention and aggressive chemotherapy is 2–3 months; however, many dogs enter into a state of shock and may not be good candidates for surgery. Early detection and surgery alone lead to an extended life expectancy of 4–6 months. Research is underway at several veterinary medical facilities to find a means of early diagnosis and treatment for this fatal cancer.
While researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed a promising line of research involving stem cells, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine have investigated a mushroom compound that can significantly extend the lives of dogs suffering from HSA. The positive results of this study suggest a treatment that is relatively inexpensive, produces no side effects and does not require a prescription.
Stages of Hemangiosarcoma Tumors in Dogs
Hemangiosarcoma is an indolent cancer. In the initial stages, the cancer develops very slowly, asymptomatically, and painlessly. The most common primary sites of the tumors are the spleen, the right atrium of the heart and the tissue beneath the skin. The tumors themselves are vascular in nature. As they grow, they attempt to develop their own blood supply. However, the blood vessels are of inferior quality and malformed. Over time, they begin to leak and clot, causing blood loss into the abdominal cavity, heart sac, and subcutaneous tissues.
Dogs with HSA may occasionally appear lethargic, but as the body quickly reabsorbs the lost blood, they may bounce back again. As the tumors grow, they shed cells into the bloodstream; eventually, the tumors themselves rupture. Frequently, by the time of diagnosis, the cancer has already aggressively metastasized to the lungs, liver, and intestines.
Primary Tumor Sites
According to CanineCancer.com and ScienceDirect.com:
- The most common HSA sites include the spleen, skin, right atrium and liver.
- Approximately 50% of hemangiosarcoma tumors originate in the spleen
- 25% of dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma also have a heart-based HSA (HSAs are the most common cardiac tumors in dogs).
- 1/3 of cases will spread internally in a malignant way.
Current Treatment for Dogs With Hemangiosarcoma
Splenetic and subcutaneous tumors are more readily treatable. The current standard of care is to remove the tumor surgically and then to treat with chemotherapy. As most universities and veterinary practices do not perform open heart surgery on dogs, there is little that can be done for atrial tumors.
The hemangiosarcoma tumors do not respond well to chemotherapy, adding on average just 2–3 months to the dog’s life span while simultaneously reducing the quality of the extended life. Many owners opt not to treat their dogs given the poor prognosis resulting from these expensive treatments.
Read More From Pethelpful
The Number One Holistic Cancer Fighter
The Coriolus versicolor mushroom, known commonly as the yun zhi mushroom or the turkey tail mushroom, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. Chinese medical practitioners have prized yun zhi for its healing and energizing properties. As interest in holistic approaches to medicine has increased over the last two decades, Western researchers have begun studying this mushroom for its potential as a possible cancer fighter in humans and in canines alike. Much of the research has focused on a compound found within the mushroom called polysaccharopeptide or PSP.
Yun Zhi Mushroom Results in Human Cancer Trials
Dr. Silva Couto and his associates mounted a year-long clinical trial examining the effects of yun zhi mushroom supplementation on patients with human papillomavirus (HPV). The findings were impressive:
Coriolus supplementation demonstrated a 72 percent regression rate in lesions compared to 47.5 percent without supplementation, and a 90 percent regression rate in the high risk HPV virus sub-types compared to 8.5 percent without.
In another study, researchers in Hong Kong tested people with lung cancer at various stages of progression of the disease who were receiving radiation treatment. Doctors found those who also took the yun zhi-based supplement showed slower deterioration or a longer survival rate.
The bottom line: Those who received yun zhi-based supplements survived significantly longer, felt better, and had fewer side effects.
Yunzhi Supplements (PSP) and the Treatment of Cancer in Dogs
In the wake of these impressive results, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania mounted a study of the effects of the yun zhi supplement, I’m-Yunity, on HSA in dogs. I’m-Yunity is a formulation of PSP that can easily be purchased online. The study was funded by Chinese Medicine Holding LTD and released in September 2012.
In this study, fifteen dogs that had been diagnosed with naturally occurring HSA participated in the trial. Dividing the subjects into three groups of five, each group received a different dose of I’m-Yunity: 25, 50 or 100 mg/kg/day. Owners were able to treat their animals at home with the supplement and return to the university on a monthly basis for blood samples and ultrasounds to determine the extent that tumors had developed or spread in the dogs’ bodies.
Dogs' Lives Extended With No Side Effects
The results astonished the researchers. Per Cimino Brown of the University of Pennsylvania:
We were shocked . . . . [p]rior to this, the longest reported median survival time of dogs with hemangiosarcoma of the spleen that underwent no further treatment was 86 days. We had dogs that lived beyond a year with nothing other than this mushroom as treatment.
Better yet, the dogs undergoing treatment with Turkey Tail mushroom extract demonstrated no negative side effects. The dogs’ lives were being extended while still maintaining a good quality of life. While dogs receiving the highest dosage at 100 mg/kg/day had the longest median survival time, it was noted that the difference in survival times between dosages was not statistically significant.
While the PSP supplement, I’m-Yunity, has been shown to extend life, it has not been labeled as a cure for hemangiosarcoma. The researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine intend to investigate the effects of PSP on dogs with HSA in two future studies. At the very least, the PSP supplement may be able to extend dogs’ lives long enough for other cures to come to fruition. The stem cell research being conducted at the University of Minnesota has produced some promising results.
Practically speaking, Turkey Tail mushroom extract has allowed many dog owners an opportunity to spend more time with their companions, and complete "bucket lists" with them, allowing owners some time to adjust to the poor prognosis typical of the diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma.
Occurrence of Cancer in Dogs
Alternatives to I'm-Yunity
While the researchers used I'm-Yunity as their brand of turkey tail mushroom extract, many other manufacturers exist. If money is a concern, you may want to look at other manufacturers that provide the extract in high-dose capsules at substantially lower costs. The least expensive one we found was made by Swanson Superior Herbs; however, countless others exist. Make sure the supplement you purchase has undergone quality control/assurance testing and is vet-approved.
Clinical Mushroom Studies for Humans With Cancer and Benign Tumors
In Asia, there are over 100 varieties of mushrooms that have been used to treat cancer. Among them, two types of mushrooms have enjoyed multiple controlled studies in Japan and China to test their impact on immune health in patients being treated for various cancers. Both the turkey tail mushroom and reishi mushroom have shown promise in extending patients' lives as well as diminishing the risk of cancer recurrence following treatment.
The Turkey Tail Mushroom (PSK) in Additional Human Clinical Trials
Polysaccharide-K (PSK) is another well-known active ingredient in the turkey tail mushroom. Studies in Japan dating back to 1978 have shown promise in treating patients with lung, breast, gastric, and colorectal cancers. PSK is an approved treatment for cancer in Japan:
- Gastric Cancer: Several randomized clinical trials totaling over 9,000 patients have shown that patients receiving PSK along with chemotherapy following surgery for gastric cancer lived longer on average than those who received chemotherapy alone. Researchers recommend that PSK be given with chemotherapy to improve patients' long-term outcomes.
- Breast Cancer: The National Institute for Health sponsored a study of turkey tail extract given to women who received radiation therapy. Improvements in their immune systems were show via increased natural killer cells as well as other cancer-fighting cells.
- Colorectal Cancer: Three trials have shown that patients taking PSK have fewer chances of the cancer returning; patients also lived longer than those who did not receive PSK.
- Lung Cancer: Five trails with radiation therapy have shown that adding PSK to the treatment protocol increases survival time. Another six studies of patients receiving chemotherapy showed that those receiving PSK improved in one or more of the following measures: improved body weight, improved well-being, improved immune-system function, reduced tumor-related symptoms and/or longer survival.
- Baillie, K.U. (2012, September 10). Compound Derived From a Mushroom Lengthens Survival Time in Dogs With Cancer, Penn Vet Study Finds. PennToday. Retrieved on October 30, 2018.
- Bethesda, M.D. (2017, October 6). Medicinal Mushrooms PDQ®. National Cancer Institute. Retrieved on October 30, 2018.
- Dorothy, C.B. and Reetz, J. (2012, July 25). Single Agent Polysaccharopeptide Delays Metastases and Improves Survival in Naturally Occurring Hemangiosarcoma. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012 (1-8). Retrieved on October 30, 2018.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
Question: Can any of these new treatments be used on cats that have hemangiosarcoma?
Answer: We have not had any experience treating cats with any of these treatments. I searched for research where cats were included in the studies, but could not find any evidence of it. Dogs are often used in preliminary studies for cancer treatments as their size and overall physiology is more similar to humans than the usual test subjects, rats.
Having said that, the mushroom manufacturers for turkey tail that is marketed to pets mentions cats in their description of pets who can benefit from their compound. As there are no side effects listed for humans or dogs, it seems likely that cats could take it too without adverse effects. Cats' nervous systems are more similar to ours than dogs' nervous systems are.
© 2013 Barbara Fitzgerald
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on June 16, 2020:
I am sorry to hear about your dog's fibrosarcoma. It sounds like it came up quickly; was it located on one of his legs? Radiation treatment at the site can be of use to keep it from returning; this is a cancer that does not respond particularly well to chemotherapy. The good news is that fibrosarcoma does not tend to metastasize.
Medical mushrooms, such as turkey tail, can be helpful in boosting the immune system; to keep the tumor from returning or slow its growth. No negative side effects have been detected with it, so you can add it to his diet without worry. Also consider a cancer diet low in fat and high in omega 3s.
Best wishes, and please keep us posted.
kuna on June 16, 2020:
Im from Malaysia.
i noticed a lump on my 9 year old boy a week back which appeared in a span of 5 days.
I took him to the vet immediately and procedures were performed and the lump removed.
sent to the lab and the result was tht it was fibrosarcoma.
Can i gv him supplements so that it dose not appear again.
The vets here are not in to holistic approach and im lost
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on October 15, 2019:
Thanks for visiting and for your thoughtful comment. I am sorry for your loss. A profound loss for me started my interest in ways to treat the disease.
Early detection is always to the key to a better outcome. Unfortunately, today we can't know something is off, until we look back with hindsight. I am hopeful that some of the new blood tests being developed will help with early detection and less invasive and expensive treatments. Those breeds predisposed to hemangiosarcoma would be ideal candidates to start biannual screenings.
Steve Schwarz on October 13, 2019:
It has been nearly 14 months since I lost my little friend to hemangiosarcoma, and I miss him every day.
Having read the article I need to say, without causing further grief for anyone, that you have to proceed with what you think is the best approach and then not regret the path that you take. My buddy boy had a metastasised disease (it was the first diagnosis), and immediately underwent a liver lobotomy and a splenectomy. He was put on chemo within 10 days of the operation and I also had him on the yun zhi mushroom extract (and another traditional Chinese medicine). He lasted just over two months from the date of the surgery.
Whilst I think of him constantly and wonder what else I could have done I also realise that you can only do what you can do. What is effective for one dog may behave differently for another.
I encourage anyone in the same situation to try whatever is available but I suggest that you do so knowing what the most likely outcome will be.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on September 15, 2019:
So sorry for your loss Kathryn; loss of a companion can be more affecting than loss of a human companion. It is a terrible disease, that gives us no opportunity to prepare for the loss of our dear friend.
Kathryn on September 14, 2019:
My 12 year old, Bodie, recently passed to Hemangiosarcoma. He had his spleen removed. 7 days later we received his diagnosis and 6 days later he was gone! It was just way too quick. I will never get over this. I still cry everyday.
Erika on August 24, 2019:
Hi everyone, my dog is still going strong over 3 years after hemagiosarcoma, splenectomy and chemo. I give her Swanson Turkey Tail mushrooms, 6 capsules per day - she is a 70 lb lab
Carol.Hitchings on May 21, 2019:
Dear jan, or anyone who has leftover I’m Yunity. My dog needs them. I have a friend visiting me from the States on 5th June. Or a friend visiting from Scotland on 29 th May. I live in Tuscany. Is there anyone who has the supplement please?
Sheila Thurman on April 10, 2019:
Janice Holcomb, I would be interested in getting your leftover herbs. My dog was just diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on February 28, 2019:
So sorry to hear about your dog's surgery joananeuman. Please let us know what the diagnosis is. Janice holcomb below has offered to forward her dog's meds if that is your disgnosis. Hemangiosarcoma seems to come from nowhere and the progression is usually far along when discovered.
Joannaneumann on February 23, 2019:
My dog just had a splenectomy a couple of hours ago. They still have to send off for the test on Monday to see if it’s cancer or not but it’s not looking good. I’m at a loss as what to do next. He was fine yesterday and all the days before and then boom today, he’s lethargic and his tail was between his legs and his gums are pale.
janice Holcomb on February 22, 2019:
Just wondering if anyone is interested in my leftover turkey tail and I'm Yunity pills? My dog died and I know how costly they are...I have no use for them and they will go to waste otherwise.
Ranae c on February 17, 2019:
Dear Jenny and Tara. I am wondering how your dogs did/doing? I just found out my boxer mix has the spleen/liver tumors. Found it because she had a small lump on side of her neck and vet did ultrasound and found the other tumors. I am using many of the same protocols and wondered how your dogs faired? Thanks
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on December 10, 2018:
So sorry for your losses to this terrible disease. Early detection is probably the best path to finding a cure for hemangiosarcoma. If we can catch it early, before it metastasizes, prognosis will be greatly improved. I would be interested to know if your Aussis were from the same lines.
Sherre Weeks on December 09, 2018:
I have lost 3 of my Australian Shepherds and my son lost one Australian Shepherd to hemangiosarcoma. I used the Yunnin Baiyao on the last two. Neither had surgery, but Little Bear had chemo for prostate cancer during the treatment time. Little Bear lasted 6 months from diagnosis. Harmony lasted 18 days taking the yunnin and turkey tail and no carbs. Please find a cure.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on November 25, 2018:
Great news Jamie; thanks for sharing Hank's story. Yes, I eat things I would never allow my dogs to eat, french fries to name a few forbidden treats. Which supplements did you use with Hank?
jamie goff on November 17, 2018:
We just celebrated 40 months with Hank (our 90 lbs Weim) utilizing real food and supplements and no chemo! Hank was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma of the spleen and had a splenectomy in July of 2015! Confirmed HSA on pathology! Hank is somewhere between 12.5-14.5 years old! He has outlived expectations both because of his size and his diagnosis......we are completely BLESSED! (he does eat better than the humans in our house!)
Athena Emmanouilidis on September 14, 2018:
There is a hemangioma support group on facebook.Possible problems causing hemangioma may be associated with vaccinations, spay/neuter.Please check the page for support.
MouseNow on August 03, 2018:
I have left over items if anyone can use them:
1) Apocaps - recommended by someone who wrote a book on cancer - good reviews on Amazon
2) Spirulina - cleans the blood of cancer - but should not be used if a dog is bleeding - 1st thing I bought for our dog when cancer was a possibility based upon an internet search.
3) Most of the supplements from Henry's Diet - Henry had hemangiosarcoma inside and out, no chemo or surgery and is surviving 3 years on this diet. We did not start until month 7 and then it was too late! This diet uses a combination of fresh food and supplements, about 15 ingredients in all.
Our golden retriever had surgeries, chemo, Darwin's Raw Organic dog food (chicken, turkey and duck) as well as turkey tail. We had yunnan baiyao on hand but only used at the end.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on July 19, 2018:
Hi DB: Please keep us posted on how your dog responds to the supplements you are giving him.
Gina on July 02, 2018:
My Border Collie was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma last Wednesday. We lost 3 of her brothers last yr to the same disease. She is 13. I requested a ultrasound last Aug. on her and it was clear. She needed a T-4 done so I took her in & I requested another ultrasound & she has a mass on her liver & spleen. The vet indicated that when she went to draw blood it was thin. i was not given much of a choice for her. I brought her home started her on a diet of no kibble. She is still eating, drinking, pretty active for her age I got an RX for pain as a back up & wrote the vet a letter about a supplement. She did not call; called back and advised I had decided on another course of action & wanted to discuss. I saw your recommendations for Turkey Tail and Yunnan Baiyao. She sent a message per her clerk to do what I thought I needed to do. I have received the Yunnan Baiyao, but am concerned about how much to give her. She weighs 52 lbs, her gums are still pink, she has some swelling in her abdomen & we were told she has some fluid there also. Is it safe to give it with her Thyroid medication? Also, since her gums are still pink I am wondering if I should give her the normal dose for her weight since she may not be hemorrhaging badly. It says to consult your vet which I did with not much advice & obviously does not work with herbs. Should I do only 1 capsule a day to see how she does? We have one holistic vet here, but by the time I would have to get records & an appointment I am so scared that she will get worse or collapse. I cannot stand the thought of losing my baby she is our last dog.
Angelique on April 08, 2018:
How can I prepare the mushroom. I live in China. I bought a huge Mushroom for a dog friend. he's got cancer of the Spleen, liver and pancreas.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on April 02, 2018:
Hi TJ: You should consult a holistic vet. Having said that, the researchers have found no side effects from either the Yunnan Baiyao or the Turkey Tail extract.
TJ on March 30, 2018:
My dog is 13. He has Cushing's Disease and now HSA. He was taken off Vetoryl for CD and placed on Prednisone to help him feel better. Can he take Prednisone or Vetoryl if using Yunnan Baiyao and/or Turkey Tail?
Tara on January 29, 2018:
My dog was diagnosed with Hermangiosarcoma of the spleen and has traveled to the liver. I am using the following routinely to prolong quality time/life. No surgery. He is 80lbs. Is this safe? Meaning am I shortening his life span even more or could this be potentially giving him a little extra time?
The Cancer diet (dark greens, nothing processed, fish/chicken no hormones, cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt, pumpkin, cauliflower, flaxseed, etc)
4 Yunnan Baiyao .25g
2 Artemisinin 100mg
2 Essiac for pets
4 IP-6 800mg
18 Xiao Chai Hu Tang Wan
8 turkey tail
2 milk thistle 525mg
4 fish oil
All spread out throughout the day
Carole on October 08, 2017:
David how is your dog doing
Diane on September 16, 2017:
Is the website to buy it: imyunity.com or imyunityfordogs.com? Are they the same or two different websites (of which one would be a counterfeit one?). Thanks
David Garry on April 23, 2017:
My 9 year old Golden Retriever was listless for a day, then got a little better, just lethargic for a couple days. I took him to the vet and
there was blood in his abdomen and he had grey gums. Vet suspected hermangiosarcoma, and thought even with this bounce back within a week he
would take a nosedive. He wanted to do a bunch of expensive tests then probably surgery and chemo. Uh uh. I weedled as much info as I could out
of him, researched online. I did a body wrap on him that night to slow the bleeding, got in touch with a Chinese doctor who gave me some Yunnan
Baiyao (then I ordered more online as it should be a 5 day on/5 day off cycle). That stopped the bleeding within a day and his gums started
getting pink again . He is not getting any commercial food at all. No kibble, and only 95-96% lamb/buffalo I got at a specialty store. No
carbs, high fat high protein diet. I collected every anti-cancer remedy there is:
Cannabis oil (this helps with appetite and calmness as well)
Baking soda/maple syrup Trojan Horse (he didn't like this, it was hard to get in his mouth even with a syringe so I switched to alkaline water -
you should only use one alkaline protocol on a dog).
Apricot kernels (bitter)
Turkey-tail mushroom ( Yunzhi mushroom apparently is best but it is expensive)
Alkaline water, as mentioned. Also gets colloidal silver and iodine in his water, which is either spring, well, or heavily filtered water, if
it's not the expensive alkaline water. I alternate.
Raw organ meats from free-range animals (all animal products should come from free-range animals raised on their natural diets and not shot up
with steroids or antibiotics)
Raw free-range eggs
High-quality fermented cod liver oil (10:1 Vitamin A to D ratio)
Organic Spinach, broccoli , mushrooms, (all slightly cooked)
Fermented foods; raw yogurt, raw kefir
Powdered Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate is best for dogs)
I keep an ozone machine running in the room he stays in the most and play very soft music in 432/528 hz (youtube it)
I turn phones and wifi off at night to cut down on electronic pollution he's exposed to.
As much fresh air, sunshine, and walks as possible.
It's day 6 and this dog was running around today, playing, eating a lot and looking very well. he's about 95% his old self now. Only time will
tell, but if he stays in good shape for the next week or so it means this regimen is working. People that do surgery and chemo wish they never
would have because the dog's quality of life is not good. Posting for everyone else's benefit.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on March 24, 2017:
Anndromeda: I am sorry to hear about your dog's tumors. With it starting in the spleen, I would suspect hemangiosarcoma.
If your dog has a collapse, then that would likely be from the tumor hemorrhaging. Yunnan Banyou, an inexpensive Chinese Medicine can stop that. The mushroom extracts discussed here can prolong life perhaps up to a year or more. There is another therapy that is in trails right now, Hylaplat, that you may be eligible to participate in for free. I am going to provide a link that has articles on both of these treatment options.
Look at the second and sixth article listed for more detailed info on how each treatment works. There is contact info listed for the Hylaplat study in that article.
You may want to start with the Mushroom extract and Yunnan Banyou to stabilize your dog until you hear from University of Kansas about the study. Both the Yunnan Banyou and the Mushroom extract have few to no side effects, so you can go forward with those without adding risk to your dog's life.
Please keep us posted on how your dog is doing and what treatment you decide to follow. Best Wishes.
Anndromeda on March 23, 2017:
They found a tumor on my dogs spleen today.
They are not sure if it is cancer. They took X-Rays of the lungs and found 2 small spots. They think either cancer, or a fungus. They do not think surgery is an option. They offered to euthanize him, but I couldn't make that decision at the time. If he appears to be in a lot of pain, then that would be an option. I really want to do the surgery to remove the spleen. I feel like, if he is going to pass anyway, at least if it's during surgery he will be asleep and I would have tried all options to save him.
Has anyone else that has gotten this surgery, that has had this lung issue ?
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on February 12, 2017:
Dear Inesa: I am not familiar with Chemodectoma. From the little I read on it, I don't have any reason to believe it would be helpful, then again I have no evidence it would not be helpful. Best wishes for your pet. Chemodectoma is typically benign, however if it is cardiac it would cause obstructions and no one really in the USA is doing open heart surgery on pet dogs.
Inesa Salei on February 12, 2017:
Would it be effective for Chemodectoma?
Jenny on January 17, 2017:
I do not believe in miracles, but here's Lily's story. Take from it what you will. 6 weeks ago she was out in the yard and collapsed. Her gums and tongue turned grey and I knew she was bleeding out. Somehow, she recovered - the bleeding stopped. We went to the vet and an ultrasound showed the worst: fluid in the pericardium and a very clear tumor in the muscle wall of her heart. Hemangiosarcoma of the heart, not a thing to be done about it but love her and wait for the day the bleeding started again and did not stop.
Nope - like all the others here, that's not the kind of dog mom I am. Researched, and decided on this protocol:
1) no more kibble - all fresh meats, greens and grains, supplemented by liver and sardines for blood tonic. Very fortunate to live in a town with a natural dog food producer who makes wonderful healthy fresh food;
2) I'm Yunity supplement for immune system and because of the U Penn study;
3) Essiac tonic for blood and liver support - also locally made by our wonderful herb store;
3) Yunnan Baiyao for the bleeding; and
4) CBD oil for all-around immune, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety.
One week later we went back for a follow-up ultrasound and saw that
the tumor had grown from the muscle wall into the atrium itself. Bad sign. Also confirmation of the original diagnosis. Later that week Lily had a difficult 'spell' where she almost lost consciousness, we thought we were losing her ... but then she recovered from that, too.
And then over the next few weeks, we saw a dog who was loving life - she was on reduced exercise and excitement, but eating like a champ, maybe a little tired now and then, but otherwise pretty 'normal.'
At 6 weeks - today - we went back for another ultrasound, hoping - best case - that we had slowed the tumor down. But ... there was no visible tumor anywhere. We flipped her over and around and looked from every angle, but there was nothing. We reviewed the previous ultrasounds, compared views - nothing. The vet was nearly speechless, and we all had tears in our eyes.
Now - cancer is a nasty, invidious disease and I have no illusions that Lily is 'cured' - there are still cancerous cells there and if given the chance they will come roaring back. So we'll check again with another ultrasound in a month, and probably every month after that. And despite the $300+/month price tag of the above protocol, we will not change a single thing ... except we'll go back to sleeping through the night without worry that our dog will die while we're asleep, and taking the long hikes in the hills around town that our active Lily loves so much.
Every dog and every case is different. Lily is only 10, she's a medium-sized mutt not a large-sized purebred, she was very healthy to start with, and we caught the tumor pretty early. There are no miracles. I don't know which supplement -if any - is the cause of her success. I'm just sharing a little ray of hope that if you find yourself in a situation like ours, maybe the Lily protocol will help your dog, too :-)
Angela on January 14, 2017:
The problem with some of these "cheaper alternatives" of turkey tail is their extraction process and the actual purity of the pills and the amount of polysaccharides found in the pills. Swanson in particular won't comment on their extraction process so while it's affordable, you get what you pay for. Marketing is so powerful and it's a shame when those of us emotionally suffering are being duped by a bogus nutraceutical company. Im Yunity seems to be the only "legit" pill guaranteed with 28% per pill. Just research your options and don't be fooled by fancy marketing trying to exploit your sorrow.
Rory44 on January 07, 2017:
I am trying to connect with Cindy, the women who made a comment on here, that she would like to donate the rest of her supply of I'm. Yanity.
I could really use it in the real near future for my 9 yr old Husky/Golden Chief who got diagnosed with this about a month ago and had his Spleen removed right before Christmas. Please email me at email@example.com and let me know either way, thank you
Shan on December 14, 2016:
Bobby, How can we convince a vet to give me a referral an a prescription for a dispensary? I am desperate!
Bobby on November 26, 2016:
To the people above my write up..l am so sorry to hear this devastating news, an l can relate how this cripples our whole world. My 4.5 yr Pitty that l rescued just 18 months ago was diagnosed 4 weeks ago with Terminal Osteosarcoma, in her right wrist above her foot. My vet gave her less than 7weeks,
l was consumed with grief as she is like my human kid..where most of you can agree completely. I stopped mourning an started fighting for my baby, l changed her eating habits in 3 days got her on the Budwig Protocol, 3x a day, Bison Marrow bone broth 3x a day, and organic food and lightly cooked beef bison, with turmeric and organic Flax seed oil, and l got her on Cannabis oil with a 1:1 ratio of THC an CBD! Oh yes l did, dogs and people have been literally cured!..to all who are reading this ..check out Utube, research dogs an cannibis oil!..l just had her brought into my vet to get her splint rebandaged, the vet was shocked..No Swelling, No Pain apon manipulation..you can get your vet to give you a referral an a prescription for a Dispensary..I would never see her on the chopping block an then chemo, l seen my father die from that..my vet is doing headshakes at her continued healing she is transitioning through...l will be getting another X-ray on her 8th week ...an l can't wait to see the results. Mother Nature has a cure for everything, and she is proving it right before my eyes. it's an edible oil that l administer to her with either organic coconut butter or honey.. Don't Give Up, have faith in the Universe!...
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on November 01, 2016:
Hi Karen: That is wonderful that you have gotten 10 months with Bart. What is you full supplement regimen? Are you working with a holistic vet?
Karen Hall on October 31, 2016:
TY Krsiten... We include Yunnan Bayou in Bart's supplemental regime. He was diagnosed 10 months ago (we were prepared for him going into back surgery). He's had a splenectomy, 5 big doses of chemo, another surgery to remove a lesion on his liver (and part of his liver) and recently a small mass on his omentum.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on October 16, 2016:
Thanks so much Kristen for visiting, sharing your story and your generous offer!
I am sorry you only got 10 weeks after diagnosis with your furry friend. Results definitely vary with each dog. For many it is one day from diagnosis, which gives owners no time to prepare.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on October 07, 2016:
I have heard of the ozone therapy being given rectally, and that the owners believed it was very helpful for their dogs overall condition. The blood transfer sounds very expensive and risky.
The yunnan baiyao is supposed to stop the internal bleeding from the ruptures in the hemangiosarcoma tumors.
Maral on October 05, 2016:
My 11-12 yr old lab just got diagnosed with hemagiosarcoma. His tumor is just above the shoulder but wasn't able to be removed. I started him on a raw diet along with fish oil, Hunan baiyo, Xiao Chai Hu Tang, CAS options immunity support, adrenal support supplement and milk thistle. The holistic vet I met with also recommended ozone blood transfer therapy weekly for 8 weeks. I wanted to see if anyone tried this and your experience. Our regular vet said this cancer is aggressive and no way of knowing if it spreads. I just don't know if it's worth doing the ozone therapy and there's very little info about it online in canine use.
Carol on September 16, 2016:
My 8.5 year old Golden (Cutter) was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma on July 30th. He was absolutely fine that Saturday morning until the tumor on his spleen ruptured - which was removed later that day.
Currently treating him with chemo every 3rd week and supplementing with I'm-Yunnity and Yunnan baiyou. Also feeding him a high-protein no-carb diet of liver, organic chicken, carrots, red bell peppers, salmon, and dark greens (which I cook almost daily). I'm doing everything I can but I know my days with this beautiful creature are few in number - so heartbreaking. Cutter is my 5th Golden over my lifetime and this is the first time I've had to educate myself about this evil disease. I now understand I should consider myself lucky since the cancer is so prevalent in Goldens.
One question - Cutter weighs about 75 pounds and I'm not sure how many I'm-Yunnity supplements I should give him daily. I currently give him 4 in the morning and 4 again in the evening.
My heart goes out to everyone posting here.
dawn on September 08, 2016:
My Staffordshire will be 13 next month and is diagnosed with cancer, this afternoon they called me with the results, but are telling me I have to go to an oncologist to know what kind it is. They did say it was not all in one place. He is going to leave me all alone.
Jennifer on August 23, 2016:
My pup Daisy a Staffordshire Terrior Mix was diagnosed with Hemangiocarcoma February 1st 2016, I paid the 5000$ to have surgery to remove it was beginnings of stage 2. We have had her on a holsitic powder I order through my vet but you can order directly as well, Natural Solutions Inc out of New York. H8+h60+H83 Splenic Heman, also she is on Canine CAS Options-Extra Strength Immune & Antioxidant Support tabs. These have the Turkey Tail mushroom in them.
I also feed her a whole anticancer dog food diet, low carbs high protein no processed anything or any store bought dog food. She was supposed to only live for two month and is going on 7 months right now acting like a puppy. I highly recommend these things for a dog with this type of cancer. There is hope!
Susan on August 03, 2016:
My border collie was diagnosed with splenic hemangiosarcoma a month ago. Tumor hadn't burst was found while doing a follow up ultra sound for a cancer that was in remission on her liver. Sounds like the dogs life is pretty normal till the end. That's what scares me the most is not knowing what the near future holds. Her spleen was removed and I had immediately ordered the I'm yunnity and the Yunnan baiyou which she has been on trying to stay positive and love on my girl as much as I can just don't want her to suffer in any way. She deserves so much more than that. Still hurts more than anything I've felt for a long time. Just want to do best by her
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on July 17, 2016:
Yes, this supplement has been taken along with chemo and no adverse side effects were noted.
Nicole on July 01, 2016:
My boy who is a daschound of 7 years underwent an emergency splenectomy 1 week ago. Now, just yesterday, the pathology came back and it is in fact hemangiosarcoma. We are considering chemo to extend his lovely life but can he take this supplement as well?
Lindsay Hart on July 01, 2016:
Cindy: My 14 year old pit was just diagnosed last night and i'm scrambling to figure out the best holistic treatment asap. I would be happy to take these off your hands, even pay for them. please let me know!
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on June 23, 2016:
Hi Laurie: I hope the turkey tail extract helps! Please keep us posted on your GSD's progress. Best wishes!
Cindy on June 23, 2016:
I wanted to let you know that our Maggie crossed over the rainbow bridge on May 23rd, a little over 3 months after having her spleen removed, 5 chemo treatments given every 2 weeks and the little bit of I'mYumity we were able to get in her as the chemo was very hard on her - no appetite, throwing up. We had really hoped the chemo treatments were going to give us more time with her but it was not to be. In hind sight we wish we wouldn't have put her through the chemo but I guess some dogs tolerate it pretty well and it does extend their lives a bit so we hoped and prayed that it would help her. We have a lot of I'mYunity we would be willing to donate if somebody would like to have it. Please let me know.
Laurie on May 19, 2016:
I boy Nestle who is a 10 year old German Shepherd had emergency spleen surgery two weeks ago. Pathology came back cancer. Ordered the I'm Yunity and hopefully it's here today. Just want more time with my sweet boy.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on May 03, 2016:
Hi Vicki - Border collies should be up there. I had one die at 4.5 years from cardiac hemangiosarcoma, and I know of 3 more that died at that same age + many more dying around the age of your dogs. It appears to be on the rise in the breed.
Vick on May 03, 2016:
Thank you :( Let's hope the research pans out. In all that I read, border collies were not in the top ten breeds so I would be interest to hear how it pans out for dogs not considered susceptible.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on May 02, 2016:
Hi Vicki- So sorry you lost your girl to this disease. It often is the case that it is very advanced before we even know there is an issue.. Dogs tolerate it well until the tumor ruptures. They are working on a way to diagnose it early from a simple blood test. That could be a real game changer. I will update with more info on that as the testing progresses. For breeds that are susceptible to hemangiosarcoma, it could become part of the annual physical, and help us catch it before it has metastasized.
Vicki on May 02, 2016:
My girl lost her battle today. I knew I'm Yunity wasn't a cure for this nasty cancer but I hoped that we may have more time, perhaps we just heard about it too late. What I do know is her last days were more enjoyable than not and her appetite was fantastic right up to the end. So that's us. It's been a very sad day in our little family . :(
Renee on April 27, 2016:
Thank you! That is good advice. Its such a horrible cancer - my first boy who passed from it was "fine" - had just been to the vet for his annual check up - clean bill of health, ran agility that morning, in the evening wouldn't eat his dinner - I thought he ate something "off" - took him to the vet - HUGE tumor on his spleen had burst, lungs loaded with cancer too so surgery was not an option, passed that night. I wish I had known about the Turkey Tail back then - maybe would have had a few additional months with my boy. :-( Thank you! I'll give it to my boy now - like you said can't hurt! :-)
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on April 27, 2016:
Hi Renee: The researchers saw no bad side effects from the turkey tail mushroom extract. People in China have been taking it for millennium; I can't see that it would hurt, and may very well provide protection. This is a cancer that is difficult to treat because it is usually diagnosed at such a late stage. If you suspect that your dog may be predisposed to it, I would invest in the extract.
Renee on April 27, 2016:
Does it work as a preventative? I lost my Aussie last year to this horrible cancer - I wish I had known about turkey tail. I still have another Aussie - whos Mother is my other boys sister. I read this cancer is hereditary :-(. I'm wondering if I give it to my boy as a preventative measure it can't hurt? Any advice would be welcomed. I can't bare to lose another boy to this horrible cancer.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on April 26, 2016:
Hi Vicki: Please keep us post on your girls progress. I hope it helps make her more comfortable.
Vicki on April 26, 2016:
My 11 yr old border collie was diagnosed with haemangiosarcoma just a few weeks ago. Our horrible journey all started when she knocked her leg jumping into the car & investigations led us to a very large mass in her thigh which is the primary tumour. It has been very hard to find information on prognosis when the primary is not the 'usual' places. She has metastasis throughout her body so we have opted not to use chemo. Today, our package of I'm-Yunity arrived (3 days delivery from USA to New Zealand! Very impressive) so I am hoping that it at the very least, makes her more comfortable by limiting the growth of the other tumours. What's to lose? It is expensive, but it's cheaper than chemo. And apparently it's very tasty... :)
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on April 21, 2016:
Wow Karen: So sorry to hear your girl has cancer. That is an amazing turn around. I hope it does last for a while. In the study, some of the dogs had lasted a year, without any other treatment, and were still doing well when the study ended.
Please keep us posted!
Karen on April 20, 2016:
My dog became very ill suddenly last week; a large mass was found on her liver and it is presumed she has hemangiosarcoma. We are treating her with Yunnan Baiyao, ($9 for a box of 16 capsules) which has clearly stopped the hemorrhage, and Wellmune Immune Health Basics, 500 mg. The cost for the Wellmune is approximately $60 per month. Nobody can believe she almost died 5 days ago, she's running around and wanting to play. Hope it lasts.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on April 02, 2016:
Hi Danielle: I am sorry to hear about your bull mastiff. I know how devasting this diagnosis is. I would stick with the Turkey Tail Extract, as that is the only one I know of that has been tested to treat hemangio sarcoma effectively. I have not heard of mush before.
Danielle on April 02, 2016:
has anyone tried or heard of mush? it has turkey tail in but also a bunch of other mushroom blends. Im trying tofigure out which one would b better and also maybe less expensive for my bull mastiff mix who was just diagnose with hemangio sarcoma:( the worst incurable cancer....
Steve on March 21, 2016:
Our Max was just diagnosed last week with hemangiosarcoma following surgery to remove the spleen and a tumor which was beginning to spread to the stomach pancreas too. We will not do chemo because he is very sensitive to all medications and he does not need any more suffering. After researching the studies at U PENN, we ordered Turkey- Tail which should be coming any day. Our concern is getting him to take it and holding it down. He is the first mini schnauzer I've read with this disease so far. Any info is helpful
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on March 09, 2016:
Everyone would love to know how she is doing. Please check back with updates on her cancer prognosis.
Cindy on March 09, 2016:
Thank you. We know that neither the chemo or the I'mYunity will cure her cancer but hopefully it gives us more time with her. I will post updates occasionally if you would like.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on March 09, 2016:
Hi Cindy - Thanks for that correction. I hope that the I'mYunity does help. Please keep us posted on how your boxer is doing, and any insight your vet has to offer on her progress.
Cindy on March 09, 2016:
You are incorrectly stating that this study was done by Penn State when in fact it was done by the University of Pennsylvania. They are two different schools. I know this for sure because my boxer just had her spleen removed by a surgeon at the Univ. of Penn because of hemangiosarcoma and as they are currently doing another clinical trial with I'mYunity we were offered the chance to particiapte. We chose not to as we wouldn't know if our dog would be receiving the I'mYunity or the placebo. We bought I'mYunity on line and yes it is very expensive. We hope it will help extend her life. She is also receiving chemo.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on January 27, 2016:
The problem with any "supplement" is that they are not regulated by the FDA in the same way many other products are. Investigators have found that some supplement capsules contained nothing more that dust in them.
The Penn State researchers used I'm Yunity, and found that the product was consistent in delivering the amount of mushroom extract that the label promised to deliver. The less expensive version from Swanson receives very high grades 4.5 stars from users with dogs battling hemangiosarcoma tumors as well as humans battling their own precancerous cells and tumors. However, I am not aware of any studies testing the amount or quality of the Swanson brand Turkey tail extract.
Lynn on January 27, 2016:
What is the difference between I'm Yunity and inexpensive Turkey Tail?
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on December 31, 2015:
Hi Laura: Thanks for your comment. I checked on Amazon and found a number of alternative makers for the turkey tail mushroom extract that are significantly less expensive than I'm Unity. While the trial was performed using I'm Yunity, you may find very similar results using Swanson at less than $20.00 a month for a 60 pound dog.
Laura on December 31, 2015:
The dosage is given in milligrams per kilogram of body weight so a 30 kilogram dog would require 3,000 mg per day.
Kim on December 30, 2015:
Thanks for the article. I lost my sweet boy to hemangiosarcoma 1 month ago. In wish I'd realized the benefit of I'munity when he was diagnosed. Perhaps he'd still be with us.
One thing I think you have in error is the use of the word "inexpensive" in the title. Perhaps it's all relative but the main reason I didn't start my boy on this was because I just did not have the money (also was unaware of the research and thought it was a crapshoot). It would've cost me well over $600 for a 1 month supply for a big dog his size. Maybe it's inexpensive if you have a chihuahua.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on July 01, 2013:
Thanks for reading epbooks and reviewstop. I lost my favorite dog ever to hemangiosarcoma. I was devastated and still am; but loss is part of life. I have some of her puppies, and they have lived past her age of diagnosis, but I still worry about them. I am glad to see they are working on a ways to alleviate the suffering and hopefully will find a cure soon. My Kiri was only 4.5 years old. Certainly too young for cancer.
reviewstop from Spain on July 01, 2013:
I avoid having pets because I think I will be very sad if something bad happens to them.
Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on July 01, 2013:
I've had two dogs that have come down with cancer; lymphoma and osteosarcoma. It's so prevalent in golden retrievers. I began making bracelets and donating to we are the cure- canine cancer research. Thanks for posting this as many people are not even aware that dogs get cancer!