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New York has the Manhattan Cocktail Classic; New Orleans has Tales of the Cocktail. 9 to 11, 2013.
Founded by four local industry pros, TJ Connelly, Andrew Deitz, Maureen Hautaniemi, and Brandy Rand, the event brings together even more notables from Boston (and other national and international cities), all to chat about coffee, cocktails, beer, and more. There's Will Thompson from Boston favorite Drink, Tyler Wang of Kirkland Tap and Trotter, Jake Robinson of Counter Culture Coffee, historian David Wondrich, Jackson Cannon of The Hawthorne, and more.
"If you think of Boston as a beer city, you’re really missing out on the last 10 years of amazing cocktail bars that have come up and great cocktail programs," Cannon told The Daily Meal in a phone interview, noting that the festival also celebrates beer and coffee culture. "We have a very enthusiastic clientele and this is a way to celebrate and have them learn something that they might not have known."
This means seminars ranging from the beer back to women in whiskies, to Japanese whiskies or coffee and cocktails. Plenty of seminars also deal with Boston history: "Old World vs. New World" examines New England cocktails with Wondrich, while "Boston Cocktails: Past, Present, and Future" brings together Cannon, Josh Childs of Silvertone, and John Gertsen of Drink to trace cocktails all the way back to colonial times.
"We’ve had great bars here for a long time and cocktails as we understand them today are really formed in the late 19th century," Cannon said. "But their roots go back to colonial times, with drinks that come right out of tavern culture." Naturally, Prohibition played a large role in the cocktail's evolution (there's a seminar on that), and beer's history is just as varied (yep, a seminar on that, too). Head over to Thirst Boston for the full list of events.
Hydration and Exercise: How to Get It Right
As much as 60% of your body is made up of water and when you work out, you can lose quite a bit.
The American College of Sports Medicine notes that drinking water helps functioning of the joints and body tissues, the regulation of body temperature, and the transportation of nutrients.
But some of us don&rsquot drink enough, says Nancy Clark, R.D., a sports nutritionist and author of Nancy Clark&rsquos Sports Nutrition Guide Book. Here's how to get it right.
Many people would say this is essential. You just want to unwind, you’re having a get-together and don’t want to have to go out, or you might have an insatiable urge for hops. Beer and cider are always good to have on hand. Hard liquors aren’t a necessity unless you run out of antiseptic.
It’s Not Just for Men
“Often, women are turned off to bodybuilding because of a common misconception that lifting weights will make you bulk up and look like a certain green Marvel hero,” says Griff Robinson, a NASM-certified personal trainer outside Boston. “But bodybuilding isn’t just for men. Many women enjoy the mental, emotional, and physical benefits of weightlifting.”
If you’re a woman and you don’t want to bulk up, don’t worry, Robinson says. “Unless you’re training like an elite, 22-year-old bodybuilder, you can expect to look fitter and more toned, not beefy and ungainly.”
Bagelsaurus in Cambridge serves some of the best bagels in America, according to ‘Food & Wine’
Bagels from Bagelsaurus in Cambridge. Instagram
To celebrate its 100th recipe, Polar Seltzer just launched an extremely limited flavor
America is in the midst of a bagel war.
Earlier this week, The New York Times published a story titled, “The Best Bagels are in California.” New Yorkers understandably lost their minds.
So while we quietly let those two states feud, we’re going to focus on another recently published story: Food & Wine‘s “The Best Bagels in America,” which happened to highlight a much-loved Massachusetts bagel shop.
The list included Bagelsaurus, a Cambridge destination that, pre-COVID, garnered long lines on weekends and slings truly excellent bagels. (The shop now offers pre-ordering with a designated pickup time.) Food & Wine‘s senior editor David Landsel described the shop’s bagels as “something that looks traditional, with the perfect crust and chew inside, however, you’ll find one of the lightest bagels you may ever fall in love with. This is a bagel that will last on your counter for days.”
“Thank you @foodandwine for recognizing our little bagel shop along with so many other bagel powerhouses we love and admire,” Bagelsaurus wrote on Instagram in response to the article. “Much love to our loyal customers who’ve helped us survive 2020 and beyond — and the incredibly creative, hardworking staff that makes the dream work every damn day.”
Food & Wine showed love to five other shops in New England as well, including three Maine bagel havens: Forage in Lewiston, Rover Bagel in Biddeford, and Scratch Baking Co. in South Portland. Myer’s Bagel Bakery and Feldman’s Bagels, both in Burlington, Vermont, also made the list.
21 Polish Foods You Need to Try That Aren’t Pierogi
When you think of Poland, three things probably come to mind: pierogies, Lewandowski, and beatboxing. While the world is grateful for these Polish contributions, it’s truly a shame that we don’t know more about the amazing cuisine that your neighborhood babcia (grandma) has been cooking up for years.
A recent trip to the motherland awakened my love of Polish food. My parents are both Polish immigrants, but after 30 years in the states they’re American AF. My brothers and I were little brats when we were kids, and always got our mom to make burgers or order pizza, anything but Polish food. Because of this, we’ve strayed a bit from our roots. But the prodigal daughter has returned, and I’m here to let the world know that Poland has so much to offer.
Let’s start with a Polish staple. Rosol (pronouced ruh-soo, roll your tongue on the r) is pretty much chicken noodle soup, but everything is made from scratch—no cans allowed! The ingredients are so fresh, I wouldn’t be surprised if the chicken in my soup had been alive two hours earlier.
#SpoonTip: a warm cup of rosol can cure anything from a runny nose to the worst kaça (hangover).
2. Red Barszcz
Sticking with soups, barszcz is a red beet broth typically served as an appetizer on Christmas Eve. Add some body to your barszcz by dropping in a few minced meat or mushroom mini-dumplings (uszki). But remember, no meat on Christmas Eve.
If you hate your current cucumber salad recipe, look no further than this creamy concoction. First, you slice and salt some cucumbers to draw out the water. While your cucumber slices drain, chop up some onion, dill (an herb I personally find unpleasant, but let’s stick to tradition), or both.
Mix it all together with some sour cream and you have a delicious salad, without the unhealthy fat-free dressing. Go one step further in the healthy direction and use plain yogurt instead of sour cream.
Photo courtesy of wkrainiesmaku.pl
Pronounced goh-wom-kee, or better known in English as stuffed cabbage. In this recipe, cabbage leaves are cooked and filled with rice, sautéed onions, and some assortment of ground meat (turkey, beef, etc.) If you’re not a fan of cabbage, take a trip to Poland and prepare to be converted. There are a million variations (including this stuffed version), that will make your tastebuds and your digestive track very happy.
Photo courtesy of myrecipemagic.com
Another cabbage dish, but this one is truly essential to the Polish culture and to your tastebuds. I’m aware that this looks like dog food, but just trust me. Fried and stewed fresh cabbage, sauerkraut, assorted meats (kielbasa, bacon, and stewed pork are the best combo), and mushrooms combine to warm your soul on a cold, central European day.
I like to add a few dashes of hot sauce for heat and extra flavor. This dish only gets better with age, so prepare it a day or two in advance for the best results.
6. Salatka Jarzynowa
Don’t even bother with the pronunciation on this one, just eat it! To make this sweet and tangy salad, dice up some boiled carrots, turnips, and potatoes, pickles, peas, hard-boiled eggs, and a sweet apple.
Mix these together with a nice helping of mayo and a squirt of mustard, season to taste, and serve with a slice of rye bread. I realize this recipe may sound like an unappetizing compilation of random foods, which is why I force my friends to try it before I tell them what’s in it.
Photo courtesy of www.doradcasmaku.pl
After all this food (and we’re not even halfway through the list), you may find yourself in need of a beverage. Quench your thirst with some h omemade fruit juice.
Make kompot yourself by boiling fruits such as apples, plums, cherries, and berries (anything really, sometimes my mom throws in a stalk of rhubarb) in a vat of water and sugar. The more sugar the better, but you’re in control here. This is a good way to use up overripe produce. Once the juice has cooled, sit back and sip on the literal fruits of your labor.
Photo courtesy of sdpolishdeli.com
I’d describe this one as the Polish Slim Jim. Kabanosy are a thin, smokier kielbasa that taste a bit like pepperoni. They taste great straight from the deli, but I also like them dried. You know the drill by now—best served with a slice of rye bread, but feel free to add cheese and tomatoes for a complete sandwich.
Also known as the ‘White Barszcz.’ The Poles must have hatched this clever recipe in order to use up all their leftover Easter eggs. People usually eat this soup for breakfast, and they always eat it on Easter morning. Zurek is a soup made of sour rye flour, sprinkled with chunks of kielbasa and hard-boiled eggs. You know the Lord has risen when that first bite hits your lips.
Photo courtesy of worldrecipes.expo2015.org
A Polish gnocchi, if you will. The kopytka is a little potato-y lump of goodness. I was picky as a child, and I mostly ate sweets. In order to enjoy this dish, I shoveled sugar onto the kopytki by the spoonful. I still eat them this way, but normal people eat them with a sprinkle of sugar and melted butter, or with fried onions.
Photo courtesy of www.mirabelkowy.pl
Nalesniki (nah-lesh-nee-kee) are a better version of the crepe, which is why the French stole our recipe.* You can eat these with the standard fruit or Nutella filling, but they are best when stuffed with a sweet cheese mixture and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
* I have no proof of this.
Photo courtesy of www.kwestiasmaku.com
If you have an aversion to sweets, you can take a plain nalesnika, stuff it with minced meat, mushrooms, or cabbage, roll it up, coat it with egg wash and bread crumbs, and fry that baby for a delicious krokiet (croquette). These crunchy meat rolls are my absolute favorite.
13. Pickle Soup
Photo courtesy of Christin Pittman at cookthestory.com
I thought Americans had an obsession with pickles , but then I went to Poland and discovered who the real fiends are. If you lived in Poland, you would probably have a garden, grow cucumbers, and make pickles. Pickle soup provides a practical and delicious use for all those pickles from your personal garden, also known as aisle 12 at the supermarket.
14. Liver and Onions
Photo courtesy of wikihow.com
This is a joke, that’s f*cking gross.
No, not a shish-kebab. This kebab doesn’t come on a stick, but on a roll. Kebabs are so popular, you can locate a kebab hut within 5 miles of your location in Poland.* A kebab is loaded with meat that has been shaved off of a larger, rotating hunk of meat, and is topped with delicious salads of red and white cabbage, pickles, lettuce, tomato, and sauces (white, hot, etc.) It’s pretty much a big ass salad bursting out of a roll.
*Not a fact, but kebab huts are abundant.
16. Fasolka po Bretonsku
Photo courtesy of piekielnakuchniaizabelli.blogspot.com
Fasolka po bretonsku translates to baked beans, but our tricky Polish friends actually stew these beans. White beans, tomato paste, bacon, kielbasa, onion, and spices combine to create a gas-tastic dish. In this single dish you get your daily serving of protein, fiber, and happiness. Wash it down with a beer for extra happiness.
17. Ryba po Grecku
Photo courtesy of smakujmy.pl
Roughly translated, this is Greek-style fish. My mom serves this dish cold and I despise it (I’d rather eat the liver and onions). But when I tried it warm with freshly fried fish, it had to be one of the tastiest Polish meals I’d eaten.
In this dish, the fish sits under a medley of veggies, usually carrots and onions, tomato paste, and some spices—think of it as a chunky sauce. Even though I’m not too sure where this dish stands ethnically, I can tell you flavor-wise it’s very good.
Photo courtesy of @Dawid Cedler on Flickr
Also known as Torun gingerbread, these are cakey gingerbread cookies that can be covered in chocolate, iced, or filled with various-flavored jellies. They often come in the shape of a heart. Aw. Fun fact : Torun, Poland is the home of both Pierniki and Nicolas Copernicus, that guy who said the Earth isn’t the center of the universe.
Photo courtesy of mojewypieki.com
Sernik is a drier version of American Cheesecake, so don’t expect to find this version at the Cheesecake Factory. Instead of using creamy Philadelphia-style cream cheese, Poles use a dry farmer’s cheese called twarog . Its texture is similar to that of feta cheese. Many recipes call for a layer of chocolate on top, which makes any dish taste better.
Photo courtesy of doradcasmaku.pl
Pronounced char-loht-ka, this is a Polish apple pie, but better, of course. The szarlotka consists of three to four layers, starting from the bottom:
- Vanilla cake
- Grated apples or applesauce & cinnamon
- Foamy meringue (some recipes omit this layer)
- Crumbly shortbread topping, dusted with powdered sugar
Now we’re here, wishing we were eating this right now instead of reading about it. This cake can be served hot or cold, and it doesn’t even need a scoop of ice cream to feel complete.
Pronounced pOHnch-kee. You’ll never go back to Dunkin’ after you try a Polish donut. The only downfall is that you can’t buy a box of paczki holes for your bday, because these donuts are filled and bursting at the seams with various flavors of jam, pudding, sweet cheese, or nutella. My favorite filling is rose jam.
Before, you probably thought Polish cuisine was meat, potatoes, and pierogi—well, it mostly is. How else would we win all those World’s Strongest Man competitions? Try these dishes and you’ll win World’s Happiest Wanna-Be Polska.
WHAT'S DOING IN Boston
Boston seems like a natural place to quench the thirst for Americana, and this summer, especially around the Fourth of July, the city will pull out the patriotic stops. There will be 10 days of festivities running through July 7, including the Boston Harborfest, with concerts, tours and other events designed to showcase Boston's maritime and Colonial history.
But that is not the only thing Boston has to offer this summer. In the past five years, the city has begun to turn a string of islands in Boston Harbor into pearls for hiking, picnicking, fishing, swimming and camping. Harbor cruises, offering city views by day or night, are also popular.
Boston in recent years has been a sports underdog this year things are looking up. Not only did the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl and the Celtics nearly make the N.B.A. Finals, but the Boston Red Sox, so far, have one of the best records in baseball. Red Sox tickets may be hard to come by, but visitors wanting a taste of Fenway Park can take a tour, including a walk up to the challenging left-field wall, known as the Green Monster.
And speaking of things you can do only in Boston, there are walking tours and even a bike tour of that gargantuan highway construction project, the Big Dig. And while the silvery Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge won't open officially until December (northbound only, with southbound opening about a year later), there is a unique vantage point of the skyline. Visitors can arrange for a free one-hour bridge tour, Monday and Friday at 9 a.m. and noon. Information: (617) 951-6400.
Boston capitalizes on its history and its waterways to make July 4 a dazzling celebration. The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra will perform at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade beginning at 8 p.m. At 10 p.m., fireworks will rain over the Charles River while the orchestra plays Tchaikovsky's ''' Overture. The best vantage points are on the Esplanade on the Boston side of the Charles, or on the Cambridge side of the river. Take blankets or chairs. Information: (617) 267-2400, (888) 484-7677 www.july4th.org.
Boston Harborfest runs from Tuesday to Sunday, with more than 200 events. Among the vessels in the harbor will be the amphibious assault ship Kearsarge (Northeast Jetty) and the guided-missile destroyer Donald Cook (Black Falcon Pier), but neither is open to the public. Walking tours with such themes as , Boston Underground, the Old North Church and Bunker Hill are planned, as are whale-watching cruises.
The Chowderfest, part of Harborfest, offers a chance to taste clam chowders from Boston's best restaurants and vote for your favorite. July 7, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., City Hall Plaza. Tickets are $7.
Jugglers, magicians and face painting are planned for Children's Day, for ages 3 to 10, at City Hall Plaza on Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The U.S.S. Constitution Museum, Boston Duck Tours and the New England Aquarium will sponsor educational programs. Free.
On most nights at 8, at the Old North Church there will be a dramatization of Paul Revere's life. Information: (617) 227-1528 www.boston harborfest.com.
On Thursday, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., there will be a 21-gun salute to the nation and a 19-gun salute to Massachusetts as Old Ironsides, the U.S.S. Constitution, turns around in the harbor. (A good vantage point is Castle Island.) The public can board at the Charlestown Navy Yard at 2:30 p.m. Information: U.S.S. Constitution Museum, (617) 426-1812 www.ussconstitutionmuseum.org.
At the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 280 The Fenway, Boston, an exhibition of the works of Manfred Bischoff, the German-born goldsmith, runs through Sept. 22. It features jewelry and drawings or paintings that incorporate miniature sculptures. Information: (617) 566-1401 or www.gardnermuseum.org. General admission: $10 on weekdays, $11 weekends. Closed Monday.
Anthony Rapp will star in ''Henry V'' in the free series, Shakespeare on Boston Common, at the Parkman Bandstand, July 19 to Aug. 4. Shows are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 7 p.m. and Thursday and Saturday at 2. Information: (617) 747-4468 www.commonwealth shakespeare.org. Viewers are asked to bring chairs.
Five years ago, a scattering of 30 islands in Boston Harbor became a national recreation area, and each year, more islands become accessible to visitors. Two parts of the park can be reached by car: the peninsula called World's End and Deer Island the rest require a boat. The harbor islands offer everything from sea kayaking to bird-watching. On four islands, there are campsites with no running water or electricity.
Several islands have historic structures, including Fort Warren on Georges Island, dating from the 1840's, and Boston Light, a 1783 lighthouse on Little Brewster Island. Activities include historical and environmental tours, and military re-enactments. Information: (617) 223-8666 www.nps.gov/boha.
Boston Harbor Cruises is one of many companies offering a three-hour catamaran whale watch ($29) and sightseeing cruises ($17). Information: (617) 227-4321, (888) 922-2789 or www.bostonharborcruises.com.
After four years of major renovations, the stately Henry Wadsworth Longfellow House, 105 Brattle Street, Cambridge, reopened on June 5 and will stay open through the fall. There are frequent guided tours of the house, which was built in 1759 and served briefly as General Washington's headquarters. Longfellow lived there from 1837 to 1882. On Sundays at 4 p.m., from July 7 to Aug. 25, the house is the site of the free Longfellow Summer Festival of Music and Poetry. Open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday. General admission: $3. Information: (617) 876-4491 www.nps.gov/long.
Tours of Fenway Park, the oldest Major League baseball park in the country, dating from 1912, are available almost every weekday in summer on a few days there may not be access to the field. The tours go from the dugouts to the spot in the bleachers where Ted Williams's 502-foot home run landed. Tours start hourly at Service Gate E, on Lansdowne Street from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a 2 p.m. tour added on nongame days. General admission: $8. Information: (617) 236-6773 www.redsox.com.
Among the many historical tours is the 1.6-mile Black Heritage Trail, covering 14 historic sites relating to the life of free African Americans before the Civil War. Free guided tours during the summer at 10, noon and 2 self-guided tours are also available. Information: Museum of Afro American History, (617) 725-0022 www.afroammuseum.org.
For a look, quite literally, at the underbelly of Boston, there are tours of the infamous Big Dig, a $14.6 billion urban construction project. Led by Dan McNichol, author of ''The Big Dig'' (Silver Lining Press, 2000), the next tours will be held July 13 and 14 and Aug. 10 and 11 and last three-plus hours. Cost is $28. For information: (617) 728-1353 www.bigdig productions.com. If youɽ rather go by bike, call Boston Bike Tours and Rentals at (617) 308-5902 www .bostonbiketours.com. Cost: $42.
For children, try the two Discovery Museums, at 177 Main Street in Acton: The Children's Discovery Museum and, for older children, the Science Discovery Museum. General admission: $7 for one museum, $10 for both on the same day. Information: (978) 264-4200 www.discovery museums.org. Closed Monday open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in summer.
The newly renovated Millennium Bostonian Hotel, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, (617) 523-3600, fax (617) 523-2454 or www.millennium-hotels .com, is on Blackstone Block, the city's oldest pattern of streets and alleyways. The 201 rooms have a European flavor some have working fireplaces and balconies. Doubles start at $265 a luxury suite is $599.
The Copley Square Hotel, 47 Huntington Avenue, (617) 536-9000, (800) 225-7062, fax (617) 267-3547, www .copleysquarehotel.com. In Back Bay, near the Newbury Street shopping district and near the Public Garden. The 143 rooms have dark wood furniture and elegant floral décor. Doubles, $189 to $295.
Budget: Days Hotel, 1234 Soldiers Field Road, (617) 254-1234, fax (617) 254-4300, www.dayshotelboston.com. On the banks of the Charles, the hotel is near Harvard Square, not far from Fenway Park, the Freedom Trail and the Faneuil Hall Marketplace. A park across the street has a playground and bicycle and jogging paths. The 117 rooms are newly renovated. Doubles $129 to $199.
Midtown Hotel, 220 Huntington Avenue, (617) 262-1000, (800) 343-1177, fax (617) 262-8739, www.midtown hotel.com. Near Symphony Hall, the Prudential Center shopping mall, and in walking distance of the Museum of Fine Arts, the hotel has comfortable rooms that are not fancy and an outdoor pool. Doubles, $99 to $279.
Luxury: Nine Zero Hotel, 90 Tremont Street, (617) 772-5800, fax (617) 772-5810 www.ninezerohotel.com. A brand-new entry in the luxury hotel market, Nine Zero Hotel is a block from Boston Common. The 19-story brick and limestone hotel has 190 rooms (all with free high-speed Internet access) and is decorated with touches of chrome and glass. Doubles, $279 to $309.
For an elegant dining experience in the financial district, try the Vault, in a former bank at 105 Water Street, (617) 292-9966. The handsome restaurant has a fireplace in the dining room. Entrees include grilled leg of lamb with white beans and figs and pan-seared scallops with corn risotto. Three-course dinner for two with wine, $140. Closed Sunday.
Across the Charles River in Harvard Square, Rialto is an eclectic upscale restaurant in the Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett Street, Cambridge (617) 661-5050. The menu includes roasted monkfish with grilled oysters, and seared veal sweetbreads. Dinner is served nightly for two, the cost with wine is $120.
Full Moon, 344 Huron Avenue, Cambridge, (617) 354-6699, is a great place to get a lovely meal and entertain the children. There's a play area with a train set and other toys. Among the dishes are grilled sirloin with blue cheese butter or pan-roasted halibut with herb salsa verde. Save room for the terrific desserts like chocolate pudding cake. Dinner, served daily, is $65, with wine. Lunch served Monday to Friday, brunch on weekends.
Antonio's Cucina Italiana, 288 Cambridge Street, in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, (617) 367-3310, is a real find. Prints by Michelangelo and Leonardo decorate the walls, and the food is modest-priced northern and southern Italian. The menu features pasta dishes and such seafood entrees as grilled swordfish ($11.95). Don't miss the cannoli. Dinner for two: $50. Closed Sunday.
Outlook Kitchen + Bar
Get the night started at the striking Outlook bar, powered by mix-master Brian McDougall, that offers various creative concoctions and microbrews like the Thunder Funk IPA from Bent Water Brewery out of Lynn, MA. We can say it’s more whiskey driven, according to the array of small-batch bourbons and single malt Scotches. There’s a carefully-curated list of single vineyards wines, too – not to mention freshly-pressed juices, mixers and sodas for endless crafting.
Too shamefaced to sip a real Manhattan in Boston? Select the Mission Statement (and get shitfaced). The redolent rendition includes fig and pecan-infused bourbon, Spanish vermouth and whisky barrel bitters stirred and served straight up with a fig finish. Strongly recommended: Spanish Octopus to accompany the mentioned ‘tail. Served with green harissa, caramelized onions and blistered tomatoes – This dish is damn-delish. Props to Executive Chef Tatiana Pairot Rosana for the cool, contemporary-American fare with local and seasonal inspiration (also available via room service).
Keep in mind, there’s live music – typically Monday through Wednesday – from 5:00PM to 8:00PM. No need to snag a window seat – every table in the house offers unparalleled views of the harbor (and the bumpin’ Barking Crab shack). “We have something for everyone, a quiet dinner, drinks with friends after work, or celebrating life events.” McDougall adds.
4. Cucumber Lime Fizz
It has come to my attention that society is underestimating how delightful it is to add cucumber to drink, especially when it’s accompanied by a White Claw! This White Claw recipe calls for lime, vodka, cucumber, ice, and a lime White Claw. Muddle together the cucumber together with the lime juice before adding to an ice-cold class with the White Claw and some vodka for an extra punch of fun. A really simple and refreshing way to incorporate a White Claw into a cocktail.
The full recipe can be found here.
Sarcoma in Dogs: What You Need to Know
It's hard to keep track of everything that could harm your beloved dog. Even when something is uncommon and almost unheard of, like sarcoma in dogs, you like to be your dog's first line of defense. Sarcoma in dogs is a cancerous, malignant tumor or growth that can appear on the skin or inside the dog. It only occurs in 35 out of 100,000 dogs, according to the National Canine Cancer Foundation (NCCF), but the more you know about this disease, the more likely you are to catch it early.
According to the Sarcoma Alliance, approximately 15 percent of skin lumps in dogs are sarcomas. "There is no 'typical prognosis' when it comes to sarcoma. Any thoughtful prognosis will have to take into account the type of sarcoma, how early it's detected, the treatment administered and what the grade (how advanced) of the sarcoma is," says veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber of Century Veterinary Group.
According to the NCCF, this type is a cancer of blood cells that often causes small blood-filled tumors that rupture unexpectedly, causing a potentially life-threatening bleed. It's most common in larger breeds like German shepherds.
An aggressive sarcoma of the bones that can easily spread to other parts of the body, osteosarcoma in dogs is also common in larger breeds, according to the NCCF.
By the time sarcomas are detected, sometimes they've spread through the lymph system and affected other organs -- namely the liver and lungs. No matter what your pet's prognosis is, your vet can always help.
"Is there any 'solution' or treatment for sarcoma in dogs? Yes. There is no cure for cancer, but the first line of treatment for sarcomas is surgery to achieve 'clean margins,'" says Dr. Lori Pasternak, a veterinarian at Helping Hands Affordable Veterinary Surgery & Dental Care. "If the tumor is graded as high grade or removal is incomplete then adjunctive therapy such as chemotherapy is indicated. Chemotherapy is well tolerated in dogs."
Dr. Werber and Dr. Pasternak advise pet parents to watch for these symptoms:
- Enlarged Lymph Nodes
Check around the neck, the underarm and back legs.
- Bloated Belly
Pale gums and loss of energy could accompany this.
- Leg Issues
Limping, change in gait, pain or swelling of the legs can occur, especially if one leg is larger than the other.
- Unusual Growths
Any unusual growths or swelling are a common sign of trouble.
- Sudden Developments
Rapid changes in your dog's health or behavior should get checked out.
Sudden weight loss or increased thirst can't be taken lightly.
Karen Q. from Massachusetts, who preferred her last name and town not be named, noticed a few lethargic spells and loss of appetite in her beloved Vizsla, Cooper, but he bounced back after a few hours. "Cooper suddenly became lethargic again and this time his gums became white. Our vet said to rush him to the emergency vet and an ultrasound revealed tumors bursting on his spleen." His spleen was removed but Cooper was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, and eventually succumbed to his disease.
Dr. Werber urges his clients to get to know their pet's "normal." You have a better chance of knowing when things begin to go awry. Notice how pink your dog's gums are, pet your dog daily and pay attention to any lumps, bumps or growths. If you take your dog to the groomer, have them feel for lumps and abnormalities, too. Also take note of appetite and energy levels, so you can catch abnormalities.
Cheryl Caira from Framingham, Massachusetts has a black lab named Kimmie, whom they took to the vet when they thought she had a bug bite that just wouldn't go away. It was sarcoma. "When the doctor removed the tumor, he took the margins around the tumor which saved her life," Caira explains.
Caira implores dog owners to go to the vet if they sense something isn't healing or isn't right. "The earlier you get them checked and something done, the better prognosis you might have," she says. No matter how scary it sounds, a rare tumor can never take away what your pet has already given, and will give, you. As Dr. Weber says, "We can still maximize quality of life and, since dogs are so great at living 'in the moment,' continue to make meaningful memories that we'll cherish all of our lifetime."
Laura Richards is a Boston-based freelance writer and the mother of four boys including a set of identical twins and also mom to three rescue pets: Scarlett, a 7-year-old beagle, and Edith and Ollie, 15-year-old identical twin black cats. She has written for numerous parenting publications and is the president of On Point Communications.
Doctor Appointments to Schedule Before Ages 30, 40, and 50
Doctor appointment photo via Shutterstock
Preventing chronic conditions is the best way to preserve health. But as medical research continually produces new recommendations for how to prevent these ailments, it can be difficult for patients to know what to ask their physicians during appointments.
To cut down on confusion, we outlined issues that every patient should discuss with his or her primary care physician before the ages of 30, 40, and 50. Three important caveats to remember: Timing of screening and care will sometimes vary based on individual patient desires and risk factors patients with pre-existing medical conditions require more frequent screening and monitoring and pregnant women require completely different screening regimens under close care from their obstetricians.
High blood pressure: Elevated blood pressure (hypertension) is asymptomatic until it is severe, but it is a major risk factor for a number of other conditions, like stroke, aneurysms, heart failure, and kidney failure. Thankfully, there are a number of lifestyle and medical interventions that can control blood pressure before it becomes a serious problem, and it is important for patients to discuss potential interventions with their physicians. The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for high blood pressure beginning at 18 years old.
Cervical cancer (women): With regular screening and follow-ups, many cases of cervical cancer and its resulting complications can be prevented. Screening should begin at the age of 21 with a pap smear and should continue through the age of 65 at regular intervals, adjusted based on age and results of prior pap smears. It is crucial for women to discuss details about screening and testing with their physicians so they know what to expect as they initiate and maintain surveillance throughout adulthood.
Sexual health: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are frequently asymptomatic but have far-reaching implications for personal and public health. For example, gonorrhea and chlamydia can be major causes of infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and ectopic pregnancy in women. In men, they can spread to other areas and, in rare cases, cause infertility. In addition to their direct effects, STIs like gonorrhea and chlamydia can also facilitate transmission of HIV.
Sun damage: Most people know about the association between sun exposure and skin cancer. Sunlight, however, is also a primary source of vitamin D, a important nutrient. According to the USPSTF, there is insufficient evidence to assess whether whole-body skin examinations should be used to screen for skin cancer. All adults would benefit from discussing sun exposure with their physicians to debunk myths and clarify issues around lifestyle habits and the best forms of sun protection.
High cholesterol: Many people know that having high cholesterol is not a good thing. But a range of lipid abnormalities—not just high total cholesterol, but also the levels of “good” cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol in the body—are associated with cardiovascular and metabolic disease. Unfortunately, without screening, patients often don’t notice the impact of these abnormalities until they suffer serious complications like a heart attack. Men age 35 and older and women age 45 and older who have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as prior cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and tobacco use, should be screened for lipid disorders.
Weight: Obese and overweight adult patients may benefit from seeing a doctor to address health concerns and then a get referral to intensive, multi-component behavioral interventions. Obesity screening and counseling is a crucial health intervention at all ages, including childhood, but it becomes particularly urgent as patients’ risks for chronic conditions increase as they age. Overweight patients and those at risk for becoming overweight should discuss the risks and benefits of intensive, individualized interventions with their physicians.
Diabetes: For many patients, there are few or no symptoms associated with initial diabetes onset. They notice problems—frequent urination, excessive thirst, blurry vision, slow healing wounds—only as their condition progresses. Individuals without symptoms should be tested for diabetes at the age of 45 in the absence of other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, history of cardiovascular disease, or a first-degree relative with diabetes. If risk factors are present, screening should be initiated earlier.
“Baby”aspirin risks: Patients frequently ask about the benefits of using “baby” aspirin (81 mg tablets) to prevent heart attacks or cardiovascular disease. Existing data suggests that taking a low-dose aspirin daily can have benefits for certain patients, particularly men with increased risk for heart attack and women with increased risk for stroke. The benefits of aspirin use, however, should be balanced against the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding that aspirin can potentially increase. The USPSTF and the American Academy of Family Physicians support baby aspirin use in men and women 45 and 55 years old or older, respectively, for whom reduction in heart attack and stroke risk outweigh potential harm from bleeding. A primary care physician can help assess individual risk and decide whether or not you would benefit from daily aspirin use.
Cancer screening: There’s been a number of recent debates about cancer screening in the fourth and fifth decades of life, leading to changes in breast and prostate cancer screening recommendations. Currently, the USPSTF recommends that breast cancer screening begin at age 50, though there is insufficient evidence to evaluate the benefits of starting screening at 40 (the age cut-off of prior recommendations). Similarly, experts have recommended against universal prostate cancer screening due to inadequate data, though it is clear that screening should be individualized. In light of these issues, it is important for patients to discuss screening with their physicians, learn about risks and benefits, and pursue individualized screening plans.