Best treatment for canine lung cancer

Our 120lb almost 9 year old Great Pyranees/German Short-haired point mix has a dry cough-starting 3-months ago, more consistent the last 4-6weeks. CBC was normal, but chest xray led to ultrasound guided biopsy-diagnosis of carcinoma-origin in the lung-estimated size 9cm with "lots of dead cells too." He wants the best quality of life (regardless of time.) He's asymptomatic except cough. What do you suggest? He's on piroxicam and doxy now. Would something different help his quality later? Thx.

  • Vetinfo

    By: Kara McCarty El Segundo, CA

    Replied on 04/19/2011

    Is it true that there is only one tumor at this point? If so surgery may buy your dog the longest symptom free interval. The median time for single, primary lung tumors that are well differentiated and don't have lymph node involvement is 15 to 26 months. If you choose this route I would recommend a referral to a board certified surgeon who has plenty of experience with lung tumors and then referral to a veterinary oncologist for chemotherapy, if need be, post-operatively. Even if you decide surgery is not an option a veterinary oncologist will have the newest treatment plans available and will give your dog the best chance of a comfortable life. Veterinary cancer therapy is quite a bit different than human chemotherapy as the focus is on quality of life rather than longevity. The typical side effects of hair and weight loss, extreme fatigue and vomiting are often not experienced. Some dogs will vomit but it may only be the day of treatment and there's usually drugs that are quite effective for nausea. I think discussing your dog's case with a veterinary oncologist is well worth your time.

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