TCM Case Study: Canine Hemangiosarcoma

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TCM Case Study: Canine Hemangiosarcoma

by Dr. Judith Andrews and Dr. Lia Andrews

Disclaimer: Though we are acupuncturists we are not veterinarians and thus cannot legally practice on animals in CA. This is our persona experience with our pet.

Lola, a ten year old shepherd/rottweiler mix developed bloating that would come and go for a few days. We gave her digestive herbs. She was her usual crazy self so we casually took her to the vet for what we assumed was a digestive issue. After initially finding nothing wrong with her, the vet discovered that Lola was suffering from internal bleeding. They operated on her immediately. It took two vets and several hours of surgery to stop the hemorraging and remove her spleen. A subsequent biopsy showed that she had hemangiosarcoma, a type of cancer that affects the blood vessels of the spleen and heart causing them to rupture. It is a very aggressive cancer and there is no Western treatment for it.

The vet didn’t think Lola would make it through the night due to the blood loss. We took Lola home and began treating her with nutrition and herbs, and decided to put her to sleep when she showed us a sign.

That first night we made her a liver congee traditionally used for postpartum women after c-section. She was extremely thirsty and this formula also helped her to retain urination.

Liver Congee with Herbs    recipe video
1 cup Fresh (Huai) Shan Yao (Chinese yam, Rhizoma Dioscoreae) or 12g of dried Shan Yao, chopped
¼ cup Yi Yi Ren (Job’s tears, Semen Coicis)
½ cup white rice (broken rice is best)
5 pieces of Fu Ling (poria, Sclerotum Poriae Cocos)
6 pieces of Lian Zi (lotus seed, Semen Nelumbinis)
6 Bai Guo (gingko nuts, Semen Gingko)
¼ cup Qian Shi (foxnut, Semen Euryales)
½ lb organic liver, chopped
4-5 cups of water

1. Rinse all dried medicinal herbs with hot water and soak in water for 45 min.

2. Wash pork liver and cut into cubes.
3. Place all ingredients  into a crock pot or rice cooker. Cook for 6 hours or overnight.

After a few days of this congee Lola’s tongue was a healthy pink (it had always been a little pale, and had turned blue-tinged white after her operation). She ate congee four times a day. After the first week we alternated different protein (chicken, fish, organic liver), added vegetables and seaweed, and alternated the herbs (we dropped the gingko and Qian Shi and often added Gou Qi Zi (go ji berries) and Ling Yan Rou (longan berries).

Lola’s Supplement Schedule:
Yunnan Paiyao – 1-2 capsules, 2 x a day
Supreme Defender – 1 capsule, 2x a day
Avogen – 1 capsule in the morning

Dosage was based on Lola weighing 80 lbs. Yunnan Paiyao was the primary herbal treatment. It both moves Blood and stops excessive bleeding. Blood regulators are key to any cancer treatment, but more so with a cancer that affects the blood vessels. If she became Blood deficient (pale tongue), we would lower the dosage. Had we known she was bleeding internally we would have given her the little red pill before her surgery.

Supreme Defender was an economical and practical way to administer important immune-boosting herbs used in cancer treatment: Ling Zhi (reishi mushroom, Ganoderma), Dong Chong Xia Cao (cordyceps), and Huang Qi  (astragalus, Radix Astragali). Other herbs we could have added are Yun Zhi (Coriolus versicolor) and Ren Shen (ginseng, Radix Ginseng).

Avogen is a an avocado extract that has shown promise in pre-clinical trials for cancer cell inhibition. It is a Western supplement, but its ability to restore the extracellular matrix also places it in a Jing tonic category.

Lola’s Progress
Lola was healthier than she had ever been for 3 months after the operation. She woke up one morning with labored breathing that declined rapidly. We knew it was her heart and had her put to sleep before she could suffer any more. Though we were only able to extend her life by 3 months, we consider it well worth it. She would not have survived that first night without the liver congee, and her quality of life would have been poor on chemotherapy. With this treatment she had an excellent quality of life until shortly before her death.

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By | 2017-12-29T22:23:49+00:00 September 12th, 2013|Chinese Herbs, Dogs|Comments Off on TCM Case Study: Canine Hemangiosarcoma

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