Every dog with nose cancer has a different experience, and timeline, depending on the progression of the cancer at the time it is diagnosed and treatment options selected by the owners. This is Abra’s timeline. It will be updated as we head forward with helping Abra through this time.
2018 – September (mid): Abra presents with hacking/coughing and coughs up droplets of blood. X-rays and blood panels show no signs of anything and we are told to keep an eye on her.
2018 – December (mid): Abra begins loud sneezing at night. Presents with bloody nose (epistaxis) with this mucus mixed with blood. Nose bleeds are a few times a day.
2018 – December 28: Abra is seen by her regular vet and they fear something is really seriously wrong with Abra. They refer us to an Internal Medicine vet. They put Abra on 20 mg of Prednisone for the nose bleeds. The Prednisone appears to help, as when Abra is on it the nose bleeds stop. On the days she doesn’t take the Prednisone the bleeding starts up again.
2019 – January 7: Internal Medicine vet sees Abra and is fairly certain it is nose cancer. They recommend multiple tests to identify the cancer for certain and see how far along it has progressed. We opt for palliative care.
2019 – January 13: Abra’s first day of being weaned off the Prednisone. Nose bleeds reoccur with multiple bleeds during the day. The mucus was thicker, bloodier, and more of it.
2019 – January 14-16: Lighter bleed from unilateral nostril. Clear drip from other nostril. Congestion at night with difficulty breathing due to congestion.
2019 – January 17: Met with Abra’s regular vet to discuss palliative care. Discussion covered symptoms to look for as the cancer progresses, medications and herbs to help with pain and bleeding and congestion, and quality of life (QOL). Medications prescribed: Cerenia 60 mg and Rimadyl (NSAID) 100 mg caplet. Will be ordering Yunnan Baiyo and CBD Oil to address the bleeding and pain. Tramadol was discussed as a possible treatment for pain. Abra experiencing congestion and some difficulty breathing, especially at night. Clear drainage from other nostril. Nose bleeding (mucus and blood) about 4-6 times a day. Slept better than the previous night but could hear the rattling of build up in her nose.
2019 – January 19: Abra’s night breathing slightly better and less waking up and less restless. The congestion is there but not as pronounced. This is two days into the Cerenia and Rimadyl. Nose bleeds (mucus and blood) still 4-6 times a day and definitely after food. Can see the blood that is pooling in her left nostril. It seems to just sit there. Abra is active, playful, and eating normally.
2019 – January 20: First nose bleed that isn’t mixed with mucus. It wasn’t gushing, but it was a continuous, light flow. Used paper towel and wet wipes to wipe away blood. Held her head up, and placed hand without pressure under her mouth to get flow under control and blood to clot. Husband talks about might need to “call it”, but we have not yet received the Yunnan Baiyo for bleeding. Will give it a try when it arrives. Abra still eating very well and playful. Difficulty sleeping during the night. First night without Cerenia since it was begun. Ended up trying 25mg Benadryl around 2:30AM. Appears to have helped as Abra slept without issue once it kicked in.
2019 – January 21: Gave 25mg Bendaryl in the AM to help with congestion. Very little bleeding today. Can still hear the congestion. Abra ate like a horse today (huge appetite). Using Benadryl again to help her congestion and help her sleep. Will see if she sleeps through the night. Last Rimadyl was given.
2019 – January 22: Abra did not sleep well last night. She was up quite frequently. We think it is due to the congestion in her nose. At one point she went to sleep in another part of the house that was cooler. The assumption is that it helped her breathe better. An additional Benadryl (12mg) was given to her at 2AM to help. Today she didn’t have a nose bleed until late afternoon. She had several from then on. The CBD Oil arrived today. We gave her 10 drops with her dinner. She was given 12mg of Bendaryl to help with congestion tonight. Lots of gurgling in her nose today. Still eating well and playing with her Kong.
2019 – January 23: Abra had a rough night last night. I slept out in the living room with her. It is possible she cannot handle the warmth in the bedroom. Our living room and kitchen area are much cooler. Gave her full tab of Benadryl at about 2AM. She finally fell asleep about 4AM on the cold floor. This morning her appetite was normal. Husband had to clean up a fairly heavy mucus bleed from her nose this morning that I didn’t see. Gave her 10 drops of CBD at 1PM. Waiting to see if it helps. Tried to feed her large pieces of apple today and she couldn’t eat it. In the past, large pieces were no problem. Now it appears we will need to break it into smaller chunks for her. Short discussion today that it might be getting closer to make the call. Tried to use saline solution in her nose to break up the mucus and she really didn’t like it.
2019 – January 24: Another rough night. This time we split sleeping in the living room with Abra, with my husband taking the first shift. Our bedroom is too warm for her, and the mucus really builds up in her nose. The tumor keeps the mucus from draining, even out of the nostril that isn’t bleeding. We gave her CBD Oil and a 25mg Bendaryl before bed. Both seem to relax her some, and she was able to sleep without gurgling noises in her nose until about 2AM. Then is started all over again. We gave her more Benadryl at 4AM, and she calmed down and was able to sleep again after about an hour. Today has seen some bleeding. We took her outside to run, and that made the mucus “move” and clear a bit. (It never completely drains.) Gave her 10 drops of CBD Oil this morning. We think it is helping calm her and ease any discomfort. She enjoyed running outside today and playing catch with her Kong. Although, she isn’t going after the Kong as much as before. Maybe due to shortness of breath.
2019 – January 25: Abra had another rough night and is continuing to sleep where it is coolest in the house. Today we noticed that the tumor is affecting her left eye, as we can see how it is pushing on it and there is blood. The YB arrived today, and we are giving it a try. The husband says we are giving it one week, but we will most likely make the call even before if the YB doesn’t seem to work. Abra really doesn’t show that she is in pain, but given we can see how the tumor is definitely pressing on the eye, we are fairly certain she is masking the pain to be strong for us. Still blood and mucus mixed and no major bleeds.
2019 – January 27: Nights have been rough. Abra’s congestion builds up at night, and she really can’t seem to get comfortable. We have upped her Bendaryl to every six hours. The CBD Oil is given three times a day. The YB is given twice a day (at breakfast and dinner). The YB does not seem to help the blood mixed with mucus. Maybe it is only for clear bleeds (not mixed with mucus). We aren’t sure. Abra is gurgling/coughing more. Her sneezes are stronger. We keep looking for any sign that tells us she is losing strength. She is still eating like a horse and breathing out of her one, good nostril. Although, we can see that it sometimes gives her problems.
2019 – January 28: Abra has been showing discomfort, and we weren’t sure the CBD Oil was really working. The decision was made to start her on Tramadol, an opioid pain medication used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. She only sleeps through the night if she is in the same room as my husband. The YB does not seem to make a difference in the amount of blood mixed with mucus that comes from her nostril. We set a cot up in the cooler part of our house so my husband can sleep out there with her. When he moved back to the bedroom in the early AM she became restless and wouldn’t sleep.
2019 – January 29: The first use of Tramadol was last night. It appears to have helped her discomfort, or it just made her sleepy. Today we split the pill in half and gave part this morning and part this afternoon – eight hours apart. She has been sleeping in the bedroom today, which she hasn’t done in over a week due to not being able to get comfortable. Tonight my husband will be sleeping the entire night out in the other room. We are hoping she will sleep through the night. Abra is really uncomfortable from the congestion. It seems, from what we have read, quality of life for dogs with nose cancer is really affected early on from lack of being able to breathe through their nose. Dogs are not used to breathing through their mouth. Eating is normal. Bodily functions are normal. She does appear to have some cognition impairment, which means the tumor might be growing back into her brain rather than further forward in the nostril or over to the other nostril.
2019 – January 30: Abra hardly slept during the night. Lots of gurgling and coughing. Congestion appears to be getting worse. Using Tramadol and Benadryl to manage symptoms and pain. Continuing YB. Discontinued CBD Oil. Still mucus and blood. No major bleeds.
2019 – February 1: She is having difficulty sleeping. During the day she has her moments of peaceful resting. She is on both Benadryl and Tramadol on a regular basis now. Heard her first reverse sneeze today. We think the mucus and blood are going down her throat. Benadryl 25mg 3x a day. Tramadol 50mg 2x a day and 25mg 1x a day. Basically, medication is every eight hours. She is now having difficult eating hard foods, as she can’t close her mouth long enough to chew it due to congestion. We are now feeding her soft foods.
2019 – February 3: Abra does not sleep through the night anymore. Both sides of her nose are congested. She is breathing mostly through her mouth when lying on her side. Since she can’t get comfortable she paces a lot. Soft foods, cut into very small pieces. Still blood and mucus. Lots of gurgling/choking sounds when trying to sleep. Licks at foods rather than chewing. Pain medication 3x a day at full strength. Benadryl does not seem to help. YB three times a day. Quality of life is minimal. Today, while outside in the cold air, she was gurgling and having difficulty catching her breath. We brought her back inside and saw blood on her tongue. Within minutes she coughed up a blood clot. Confirmation that the blood has been going down her throat rather than out her nose. We gave her the red, emergency pill from the YB package. It is time to make the call. 🙁
2019 – February 4: Today we helped our sweet Abra pass. She had slept through the night but was exhausted. She little strength. Now she is pain free. We miss her.