How I Kept My Dog’s Cancer From Spreading

Nina Osteosarcoma Update - Featured Image - Nina and Angie sitting on the dock

The Super Doberman who is slaying Osteosarcoma Naturally!

This is an update on Nina, after my original blog post on her diagnosis from August 2020: Fuck Cancer and the Conventional Therapies that go with it.

April 2020 is when Nina first started to limp, and by May she had developed a noticeable tumor on her wrist. In July 2020 we were given the diagnosis of Osteosarcoma, and were told she’d be gone by the end of the year.

NOT!  

It’s now been 15 months since the initial cancer diagnosis and Nina is still thriving.  The tumor on her right wrist has doubled in size, but I knew something was different because she started using her affected leg more, despite the tumor. It was time for an annual check in, so I made an appointment with my colleagues and friends at FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital in DeLand, Florida, about two hours north from where I live.

I had also noticed Nina biting on her right foot, either because she was losing feeling or it was bothering her, so amputation of the right leg was being considered again.

But then three days before Nina’s visit, I noticed some swelling on her left GOOD leg, and realized that’s where she was experiencing pain, and she had been compensating by putting weight on the bad leg. I didn’t know what the new swelling was. I feared the worst, thinking it was a secondary tumor popping up on her other leg and that metastasis was occurring.

Visiting our Holistic Veterinarians

So on August 19, 2021 we took Nina to FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital. 

At our visit, Dr. Schrager was blown away that Nina was still alive, and still had her tumor leg intact, over a year after Nina’s diagnosis.

Then for the moment of truth, Nina received a full blood panel and x-rays of her entire body (shown below). And guess what? NO metastasis, and her GOOD leg appears to be a tendon injury. Her bloodwork also came back perfect except for low Thyroid values, for which a Thyroid supplement was prescribed.

Nina’s Blood Panel Results

 

What happened next is something I’ll never forget.  Dr. Schrager asked me what I was doing for Nina’s treatment, commenting that she had never seen anything like this. 

Dr. Schrager examining Nina.

 

I am amazed at the level of pain relief that we get with CBD when used for bone tumors. In the past, these cases were heartbreaking because we simply could not control their pain with anything but amputation.  CBD alone works better than any of the multimodal therapies I have used in the past. I would actually consider bone tumor pain relief to be the indication where I have anecdotally seen the most impressive effects. Now, remember, however, that it has to be carbon dioxide extracted, third party tested full spectrum CBD, so you know what you are getting and know you will not do any harm because of contaminants. Nina is a happy, comfortable dog, over a year into her bone tumor diagnosis. That is amazing. It makes my heart happy!” says Dr. Schrager.

 

Dr. Schrager then called her colleague, Lisa Mason, DVM, CCRT, CVA, CVPP of Florida Veterinary Rehabilitation (which is next door), to see if she could meet Nina and offer her expertise.

Dr. Pamela Schrager, Dr. Erin Holder, Dr. Jessica Hathaway, Angela Ardolino and Dr. Zac Pilossoph at Florida Wild Veterinary Hospital in DeLand, Florida.

Side note: You know how you wish you could find incredible vets that listen and respect you? Vets that understand Chinese, holistic and cannabis medicine? Vets who are constantly researching what works to help pets and that really care? Well, I hit the lottery! These veterinarians are some of the most incredible integrative vets I have ever encountered. How they all work together, synergistically, to do what is best for each animal should be emulated in the industry. 

Nina’s Story Reaches More Vets

Dr. Mason, who has had great success keeping another osteosarcoma pet-patient happy and healthy for 13 months using Chinese Medicine, was eager to see how she could help Nina. She was impressed with the results we’d seen with Nina so far, but also understood the power of cannabis medicine, as it saved her own life similarly to how it saved mine. Dr. Mason has been using cannabis medicine in her practice for over 2 years now with incredible success.  She even knows what other medications interact well with cannabis, making it more effective in the control of pain. 

Here’s what Dr. Mason had to say,

“Nina presented to me for an evaluation to determine if she would be able to function with an amputation of her forelimb.  This is interestingly not an uncommon request.  In veterinary medicine, amputation is often a management choice for osteosarcoma, or bone cancer. The theory is that if we amputate the area of disease that the patient will live a much happier life.  Many owners and veterinarians are now aware that not all dogs can live a happy and successful life on three legs.  When faced with this decision, a rehabilitation veterinarian, like myself, can help to assess other current and ongoing musculoskeletal diseases that may cause the patient to be in increasing discomfort or suffer poor mobility after the amputation is performed.  

In Nina’s case she had been well managed with supplementation for pain management of her osteosarcoma for the last 13 months using CBD and other natural anti-inflammatory supplementation.  She was a very active girl and happened to land on her “good” limb and injured it to the point that the pain was worse in the “good” limb than the “cancer” limb.  Upon evaluation with ultrasound, it was apparent that Nina had injured a tendon in her wrist that was healing with scar tissue, but still very uncomfortable.  Her owners and I discussed the need to heal this tendon, but it would likely never be strong enough for her to use alone without her other limb.  It was decided that amputation was not a viable option for this sweet girl. 

We proceeded by providing Nina with a treatment called Shockwave, which uses high powered sound waves to encourage tendon healing faster.  After shockwave, and the use of medical cannabis for pain relief, Nina has been a much more comfortable girl.  Here’s video of the shockwave treatment.

Recent canine studies have shown that the appropriate dosing of cannabinoids to treat pain of osteoarthritis and cancer, can be an alternative or adjunct to traditional pharmaceuticals (Gamble LJ, Boesch JM, Frye CW, Schwark WS, Mann S, Wolfe L, Brown H, Berthelsen ES, Wakshlag JJ. Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs. Front Vet Sci. 2018 Jul 23;5:165.).  

Nina is outliving her prognosis in a very happy and comfortable way with the use of medical cannabis.”

Resting and Healing

Nina is now geriatric, as Dr. Mason reminded me, and that was the biggest reason for not recommending amputation. A Doberman’s typical life expectancy is 10-13 years, and most die from dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). We avoided the threat of DCM by feeding her a raw/fresh biologically appropriate heart-healthy diet as well as giving her Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, a cardio protectant, for the past six years. 

Nina update osteosarcoma resting on the couchWhen cases like this happen, and caring veterinarians witness such incredible results, it’s a game changer.  One good holistic/integrative vet will tell another, and so on and so on, so that natural healing and medicine can be used to help more and more pets who are not finding relief from western conventional medicine. 

So now Nina is back home resting, and we are doing our best to keep her off her feet so the tendon can heal. The risk of fracture of the bad leg is extremely high, since she only has her ulna bone remaining to support her weight. If that happens while her other leg is still injured, she won’t have any use from her front legs, and we’d have to consider euthanasia.  

 

Our goal now is to heal the tendon in Nina’s “good” leg, so that she can avoid using her osteosarcoma leg, and the risk for fracture will decrease. It’s crazy to think that I worked so diligently to keep the cancer from spreading but now a leg break poses the biggest threat.  

Regardless, she remains a bad candidate for amputation and continues to prove to the world that cannabis, turkey tail mushrooms, real fresh food, and natural supplements can not only keep cancer from spreading, but also give your dog the quality of life she deserves in her senior years.

Nina’s Protocol

I’ve shared Nina’s Full Protocol before, but since then I’ve made the following updates:

Nina Today

Thanks to her medical cannabis protocol and sound wave therapy, Nina’s ruptured tendon has healed and she’s back to her crazy self as you can see here in this video.

Stay tuned!  You can sign up for my updates hereFollow me on instagram or facebook too!

 

 

About Angela Ardolino:

Nina, Angela, Odie and Rhemi at Fire Flake Farm

Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years. She operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. In addition, she owns Beautify the Beast,  a natural pet salon and shop. Moreover, Angela got her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine. Next, she founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets. 

Accordingly, she uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day since 2016. Angela has five dogs. Odie a 15-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 9-year-old Doberman. Jolene a9-year-old mutt, Maza a 9-year-old mutt, and Rhemi an 9-year-old poodle. In addition, she has 4-10 more any time she is fostering or boarding. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and the Veterinary Cannabis Association. In fact, Angela has educated hundreds of medical doctors and veterinarians on the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals.