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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32714
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have a 17 year old border collie - short haired his nose

Customer Question

I have a 17 year old border collie - short haired his nose looked a little puffed up on one side so I took him to the vets they are 95 % sure he has a tumour on the side of his nose an X-ray will confirm and they have offered to do this and then discuss radiotherapy treatment however at 17 I am not prepared to subject him to this. I have been looking on line and read that flax oil or even cod liver oil capsules could delay growth and be beneficial. Clearly it can't be a perfect solution else we would have been told but I am wondering if it could have any effect and prolong his life. Generally hie is in great health for his age a little deaf and maybe his eyesight isn't quite as sharp but - is this option worth a try and if so what kind of dosage should he have he is 28 kg - many thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with Spike. Yes, I'm going to find a nasal sarcoma or carcinoma in the great majority of 17 year dogs with Spike's presentation. To answer your question directly, flax should be avoided because it's very poorly assimilated and metabolized by dogs. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, however, are antiinflammatory and can be given at a dose of 40mg/kg daily (1100mg daily for Spike) of the EPA in the fish oil product you chose to administer to Spike. You should be able to find the amount of EPA on the product's label. I don't expect any appreciable antiinflammatory effect from fish oil, however, on a malignancy. Hospice care for Spike should include an antiinflammatory corticosteroid such as prednisone or a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as the prescription carprofen or meloxicam. Narcotic pain relief in the form of tramadol should be considered as well.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you I will give the Cod liver oil a try. The other medication u suggest is that prescription only from my vets?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.

Yes, prednisone, tramadol, and all of the NSAIDs are by prescription only. You must avoid NSAIDS for humans as they can ulcerate Spike's gastrointestinal tract. Aspirin is OK in a pinch at a dose of 20mg/kg with food twice daily but isn't expected to provide enough antiinflammatory action.

You're quite welcome. My best to Spike!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, sorry one last query if i may.

looking at your first response and checking out the cod liver oil capsule option i note that 1 capsule has an EPA of 110mg, if i understant correctly then we should give spike 10 per day? however, i just wanted to query this as the human adult recomended dose is 1 capsule a day but from your response i should be giving him 10 capsules a day which seemed excesive, please could you confirm?


and one final thought, although i'm not sure you will be able to advise, what chance do we have of Spike still being with us this time next year?

many thanks


Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Yes, 40mg/kg of EPA daily is correct. There are many fish oil products on the market. To receive that dose in a more practical fashion, you might have to go to a health food/supplement store and purchase a pure EPA product.

I'm afraid that's unlikely, Claire. My daughter's elderly dog presented with such swelling and I had to euthanize him 4 months later due to his discomfort.

You're quite welcome.