SamBelKee Belgian Sheepdogs


Player at the beach
July 7, 1999 - June 26, 2009

Player's HSA treatments


At the request of others, and because I also think it is a good idea, here is the history of Player's diet and medications since he was diagnosed with HSA on November 5,2008. One thing I cannot recommend too strongly: keep a journal describing your observations, the medications, and anything else you have time to note. For us, our journal for Player proved invaluable in helping us, and the specialists, decide which treatments were effective and worth continuing and which were causing undesirable reactions.

We were very fortunate, due to our circumstances, to be able to do weekly blood tests, as well as abdominal and cardiac ultrasounds about every 4 to 6 weeks. Keeping track of the results in our journal made making some decisions much easier.

First a little bit about Player. He is SumerWynd's in the Playoffs, a Belgian sheepdog. He was born on July 7, 1999. We have done agility (to the open and expert level), herding, rally obedience, and he does have his CGC on top of it all. His normal weight is about 65 pounds.

About 2 weeks after the diagnosis and splenectomy, Player started a Doxorubicin (also called Adriamycin) on a three week basis for 6 inductions. This was his lifetime maximum. From just about a week after his first induction, we started treating Player with various medications, some traditional and others holistic. Almost all the holistic treatments were given on the advice of a holistic vet (who also does traditional medications) we have been seeing for several of our dogs.

From the end of November 2009 until the beginning of May 2009, Player was getting the following:
1/4 tsp Ultra Flora Plus DF probiotic
1 Yunnan Baiyao capsule
2 capsules Dang Gui Shao Yao San (600 - 1000 mg)
3 capsules Xiang Sha Liu Jn Zi Tang (900 - 1500 mg)
1 50 mg Artemisinin capsule
1/4 tsp Ultra Flora Plus DF probiotic
1 Yunnan Baiyao capsule
2 capsules Dang Gui Shao Yao San (600 - 1000 mg)
3 capsules Xiang Sha Liu Jn Zi Tang (900 - 1500 mg)
1 Artemix capsule

Three weeks after his last Doxorubicin induction, we started him on a daily 25 mg dose of Cyclophosphamide (also called Cytoxan) just before his evening meal. We also started with Deramaxx, but dropped this after a week because of the increasing (bad) liver numbers we were starting to see (rise). Ater stopping the Deramaxx, the numbers returned to normal.

The Artemisinin compounds are being pulsed with 1 week on & 1 week off. We do Sunday to Saturday to try and make it easier for us to remember.

Starting in May, we were seeing symptoms which appeared to be related to a heart arrhythmia and associated ventricular tachycardia we have heard on occasion. (We have been monitoring his heard regularly since his HSA dx. Initially every day then reducing to once a week.) After seeing a cardiac specialist, we started him on:
0.125 mg Digoxin
60 mg Diltiazem (later increased to 90 mg)

in the morning and evening (around meal time). In addition, the holistic vet recommended we stop the Dang Gui Shao Yao San and Xiang Sha Liu Jn Zi Tang and replace these with:
1 TSP Ultra Clear Plus mixed (with water) 10 min before a meal.
1 capsule Coenzyme Q-10 (100 mg)

After a week of these two, we started up with:
1 tablet Jia Wei Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang (550 mg) - After about 1 week this was increased to 2 tablets.
1 capsule Coenzyme Q-10 (100 mg)

also at every meal.

As a result of a significant bleed Player had about June 14, we increased the Yunan from one capsule at each meal to two.

As for his "regular" food, we have been using a combination of home-made meals (various protein sources, complex carbs, and veggies), high quality wet food, and no-grain manufactured dry foods. This is mostly to give him some variation.

Some things we have discovered as a result of the weekly blood tests we were doing:
1. The Artemisinin and Doxorubicin were a bit too much for Players cardiac system, and we were seeing a steady, but gradual, decline in his PCV/HCT. (His normal was in the high 40's, and we saw it drop into the high 20's.) After the Doxorubicin was finished, we started up the Artemisinin and this PC/HCT remained fairly steady in the mid 30's, and even started to gradually rise from there. At one point we did a bone marrow aspirate to make sure nothing was wrong with the red-cell generation. (The results came back OK.)
2. Player is one of the dogs adversly affected by Deramaxx, so we did not use it in conjunction with the Cyclophosphamide.
3. The cardiac issues Player was having seemed to cause Player to loose interest in food. Once we got him on the cardiac medications (traditional and holistic) he did become more interested in food.


Here are some links you may find useful:

The Artemisinin_and_Cancer Yahoo group. This is a group for people who are using artemisinin and/or its analogs to treat their dog's cancer or who are interested in networking with others who are using these experimental compounds.

The Sumner Foundation Yahoo group. The group aims at raising awareness of hemangiosarcoma (a very deadly cancer in dogs, mainly Goldens and German Shepherds, which generally isn't diagnosed until the dog collapses or dies), as well as finding a cure or a way or giving dogs a fighting chance.


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